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is it fair that full time mums do all the nightshifts with baby so working hubby can sleep?

(113 Posts)
agnes2404 Tue 23-Oct-12 12:34:30

My DD is 14 months old and has decided she wants to cuddle me all night. Ahhhh. Argh! She is having ALL her teeth come at once and I think night time separation anxiety might have set in too - this not-sleeping coincided with her starting to walk. Anyhoo.... She's up at least 2x every night, and has taken to staying up for up to two hours a time.

I strongly believe if we give her lots of love and reassurance when she needs it, she will become confident and secure and more able to put herself to sleep again. This worked beautifully for her previously - after 7 months she slept 10 hours through every night, what a joy!

But no more! I am KNACKERED. Hubby helps at weekends, and my parents have her 1 night a week, so don't feel too sorry for me smile

I also have a 4yr DSD who is with us half of the time - on these nights DD is in our room with us so I lie listening to every grunt and snuffle.

You see, I recently recovered from chronic fatigue syndrome, so maybe I get a bit uptight about sleep.

So I'm wondering, how do you arrange things in your family? Do mums do the nightshift? Do you alternate nights?

Hope this makes sense, DD is skwarking at me as I type and bringing me gifts (shoes, paper...) gorgeous little duckling.


izzywizzyisbizzy Tue 23-Oct-12 12:38:00

No I do all nights - it's not fair on DH to have to get up when he has to go to work at 7 - he helps on weekends when he isn't working.

At the end of the day - if I am shattered I can go back to bed with baby, while dc are in school or I can put the toddler in front of cbeebies while I collapse.

He HAS to go to work and be able to function.

megandraper Tue 23-Oct-12 12:39:49

No, I don't think it's fair. I think it's something you have to balance between you - and if one of you is desperately sleep-deprived, the other one needs to step up and help. It's not difficult, if both people are sensible and nice.

But it does vary. I'm doing all the night-wakings with 16-month-old DD at the moment, because she only wants BF me. If DH goes to her, she will cry and cry, and wake up both DSs, who need their sleep at the moment. Plan is for DH to take his turn at half-term, when it doesn't matter so much about the boys being disrupted. But now there are quite a few teeth coming, so that may not happen, as I think it's not fair on her for me to stay away if she's in pain.

AARGH! But, if it's any consolation, both times previously I have found this 12-18 month period a nightmare for sleep, but things much improved at 21-24 months. Just hoping that proves true this time too.

Until I went back to work (DD was 6 months) I did bedtime, and then midnight-6am, then I continued doing that but didn't do bedtime. Which was the way it was until DD was about 18/19 months.

She is now 2.3yrs and still wakes 3-4 times a night so we alternate. One night on, jone night off, but whoever has the evening/night off has to get up when she wakes in the morning. Knowing I can have 6hours solid in 48 hours is a godsend, if she is ill or very distressed I have to take over as she wants her mum.

41notTrendy Tue 23-Oct-12 12:42:49

I think it depends on your level of sleep deprivation tolerance!
I reached a point where I just needed a night off. So DH stepped up, but it wasn't too often as he had an hour's commute to and from work and I'd rather he came home in one piece, not having wrapped the car round a tree due to fatigue!

BettyandDon Tue 23-Oct-12 12:44:29

It's normally 50:50 here. We have a toddler so I'm on my feet all day and just work as hard as DH. If DD napped at all maybe it would be different but she doesn't.

Plus recently DH has been doing more as I'm very preggers with SPD and it takes 10 mins to manoeuvre myself out of the bed for starters. Plus if I sit next to DD's bed, I get stuck and can't get up...

HorraceTheOtter Tue 23-Oct-12 12:46:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kendodd Tue 23-Oct-12 12:47:54

In my family I do/did just about all the night shifts. DH works, I don't, all BF.

My children are all good sleepers though. DD1 and DS slept through from about four months, DD2 from eight months. If they wake us up in the night (which is very rare) we know something is properly wrong with them so DH will very often get up as well.

Up until she slept through DD1 would scream solidly until about 4am every night, DH often slept in the spare room. I thought this was fair enough and was happy for him to do so because I could sleep in the day. I might well have felt differently had it been one of the later children though because I wouldn't have been able to catch up in the day if I had older children to look after. The other two would just wake up, feed, go back to sleep.

A friend of mine had severe PND with her first, possibly triggered by lack of sleep. With her second her DH did all the night shifts (BF) so that she could sleep. It worked well for them and she didn't get PND.

It's exhausting not sleeping though, I really feel for you, maybe you need to work out a plan with your DH.

Kendodd Tue 23-Oct-12 12:51:02

With her second her DH did all the night shifts (BF) so that she could sleep.

I meant FF

GoldPlatedNineDoors Tue 23-Oct-12 12:52:10

Could you ask dh to do one 'on duty' night per weekend? He does baths and bed and any night wakings so you can get some rest?

GoldPlatedNineDoors Tue 23-Oct-12 12:54:29

Mind, dh and I both work fulltime and as such each deal with night wakings. dd wakes maybe twice a night, once for milk and once for dummy (ish). I dont feel any different at work if I got up in the night or not.

defineme Tue 23-Oct-12 12:55:17

I think if you hadn't been ill I'd say you had a perfectly reasonable situation-it's what I did-dh would do a shift on a Friday or Saturday, but had to be ok for work as without his work we'd be stuffed.
Your parents helping out is great-I assume this is because of your illness?

I think you have extenuating circumstances and need to think of solutions-you can't look after the kids if you become ill again. So is there anyone/anywhere you can put the kids with so you can have a nap in the day? Is there a creche you can pay for or a friend you can ask?
I used precious savings for 3 hours of a childminder once a week for about 6 months when I had 3 under 3-just couldn't do without it!

GimmeIrnBru Tue 23-Oct-12 13:09:24

DH works night shifts every week so yes, I'm the one who had to do all the feeds through the night when he was away.

Fairylea Tue 23-Oct-12 13:12:40

I do it all because if dh gets up it's like there's been an international disaster. He's faffing about and moaning longer than it would take me to do it. Even though he does offer....

snowmummy Tue 23-Oct-12 13:17:18

50:50 ish here. Whoever is the least tired will deal with whoever wakes up. Its not fair that the SAHM should have to do everything. Looking after children is a job too, an important and hard one at that.

RillaBlythe Tue 23-Oct-12 13:17:52

I hate the term full time mum. I'm a mum. I happen to stay at home with my DC at the moment, but when I go back to work I won't be a part-time mum or a no-time mum. I will still be a mum.

Anyway in my house I do all night wakings, ever. This has been because I was breastfeeding, because dp had exams, because dp had an important job - the reasons vary but basically I do it all. It's a bit shot actually & I think in your case maybe you could consider astern sting nights?.

LST Tue 23-Oct-12 13:21:11

It's the other way round here. I work full time and DP only works nights at the weekend. So he does all the night wakings in the week.

MistressIggi Tue 23-Oct-12 13:27:57

I have noticed that all the dhs (mine included) who absolutely have to sleep because they are driving/need to function at work the next day don't seem to be worried about their partners being so tired they almost step out in front of a car on the walk to school, or still have to drive to shops etc, or end up snapping at dcs because they are so sleep-deprived.

YouOldSlag Tue 23-Oct-12 13:28:37

No, in our house I always get up because I can sleep in the day if need be, but DH can't.

He has to be up for work at 6am but I can lie in until 7.30 and nap when DS2 naps later in the day. I think it's totally fair that way.

DH can't sleep at work, or when he's commuting!

bakingaddict Tue 23-Oct-12 13:29:25

Totally agree with snowmummy...

To the OP, maybe get your DH to do one or 2 more nights in the week. If you were to have a relapse of CFS then he'd have to do a lot more anyway so this solution protects you both.

MrsHoarder Tue 23-Oct-12 13:38:36

On maternity leave here with DC1. All other things being equal then as long as the SAHP has the opportunity to take a nap during the day or lie in past when the working parent leaves the house (as I do because DH leaves silly early to get to work) then it seems fair for them to do the night wakings. Disclaimer: DS generally sleeps through.

But as you are likely to be more adversely affected by sleep deprivation (?) then your DH needs to do a larger share if at all possible.

MistressIggi: I don't think DH is more important, just that I get more chance to catch up on sleep during the day, as does anyone whose preschool children still nap. Note that when we weren't sleeping through there was no expectation that I would do anything for the house if I was tired and needed to nap, DH sorted that after work. Its just that it would be somewhat frowned on for him to take an hour's nap in the early afternoon whereas I found that snuggling up with DS (safe cosleeping guidelines followed) was a good way to ensure he had a nap as well.

YouOldSlag Tue 23-Oct-12 13:42:30

Mrs Hoarder,I agree. I can get rest throughout the day, but DH can't drop off in a meeting or at the wheel of his car. (And my pre schooler still naps)

TheSkiingGardener Tue 23-Oct-12 13:44:18

DH and I alternated, that way we each had one good solid nights sleep in every 48 hours so neither of us ended up too tired to function. As long as you are both able to function and happy, then whatever works.

defineme Tue 23-Oct-12 13:50:04

I do appreciate what people have said about sahm being hard work, I found 3 under 3 hard work, I had twins and my eldest has asd.
However, dh can never sit on the sofa unwashed with the tv on at work (I know he can't because we have the same job) and he doesn't get a lunch break because he's fielding constant enquiries whilst eating pack lunch. The only real break is the drive to work, but that's shared with a colleague and they often talk about work! We share equally when we get home, but the nights were mine in the week because I could be that unwashed minger on the sofa if necessary.
The op, as I said, has an illness which means she needs different strategies.

FariesDoExist Tue 23-Oct-12 13:51:00

No I don't think it's fair for the mum to deal with all the night stuff - DD1 was awake a lot, she fed a lot, cried a lot, had sore tummy, needed cuddles a lot, teething etc.

And she was clingy during the day and I could not sleep during the daytime.

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