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Does your DH/DP tend to your DCs during the night?

(47 Posts)
MolotovCocktail Mon 11-Feb-13 20:05:10

I'm posting here as I think the root of my question relates to how two people co-operate as parents.

We have 2 DDs: DD1 is 4yo and DD2 is 10mo. DH works full time and I'm predominantly a SAHM.

Now, I am more than happy to get up to the girls in the night should they wake. DH, however, is reluctant to have me do this because he feels that, as I look after them for most of/all of the day, I need to be fully re-charged to do this adequately. Therefore, he gets up to them most of the time. This really is at his insistence. DH wakes more easily than me and says that he doesn't see the point of then waking me for me to tend to them. I can get migraines if I don't sleep properly, so I think this might be a driving force for him, too.

I have friends who are either SAHM's or who work part-time with children of similar ages and their DP/DHs
have a very different opinion: they think that, because the women are at home, that they should do most/all night duties. They don't see that being a SAHM is a job in itself. One friends DH refused to help her in the night because as she woke to BF anyway, he didn't see
the point of getting up at all (even to get the baby from the other room, or to see if she needed anything from downstairs).

So, I'm curious as to how other's DPs/DHs perceive their 'role' when the woman is fully or mostly a SAHM. Is my DH in the minority?

Huffpot Mon 11-Feb-13 20:10:54

I am very jealous! My DP doesnt even hear the children and the effort it takes him to get out of bed when he has to, like the time I had surgery (eg I have to continually poke and nag him till he gets up)

You are very lucky grin

Shybairns Mon 11-Feb-13 20:11:41

Your dh has the right attitude. He clearly respects the job you are doing through the day. I admire men like him.

My soon to be ex h slept in the spare room with ear plugs in untill my 2 where sleeping through the night. He had absolutely no respect for what I was doing as a sahm.

DawnOfTheDee Mon 11-Feb-13 20:13:48

I've just gone back to work p/t after a year of maternity leave. I would say DH gets up with DD 90% of the time. He says he wants to because he doesn't get to see her all day so it's nice for him to have a cuddle with her smile.

SizzleSazz Mon 11-Feb-13 20:16:56

When BF I obviously did them all. Now we probably do about 50% each - whoever wakes really. If DC are shouting 'Daddy' as i have trained them to do I give him a sharp kick in the shin grin

This has been the case when SAHM (probably 60/40 me) and when working

Chrysanthemum5 Mon 11-Feb-13 20:17:45

DH is a very light sleeper so he has always done more of the night wakings than me. His view (and mine) is that when he's at work and I'm home (I work part time) looking after the DCs is my role. When we're both home it's a completely shared task.

I know from talking to other mums, that that is not how a lot of the dads think, but it's how DH was raised, and it's an attitude he wants to pass on to our DCs.

BillyBollyDandy Mon 11-Feb-13 20:19:28

I get up unless I ask DH too and always have done. I genuinely need less uninterupted sleep and the big thing is I know he would do it if I asked him to.

I can see the migraines meaning your dh being more careful, there is no way you could look after dc's with a bad migraine.

I was surprised how many of my sahm friends do have dh's who do all the night times when I had presumed the sahp could catch up with a nap in the day.

But different strokes for different folks and all that.

My dd's are 3 and 20 months, and I work 3 days a week, if that makes a difference smile

Zara1984 Mon 11-Feb-13 20:19:30

When DS wakes we both get up to help unless one of us is very tired (and the other says they should go back to sleep), or I do it if I know DH has a very big day at work the next day.

However I usually stay awake longer IYSWIM because I give DS his bottle but DH changes him, warms bottle, takes nappy to bin etc.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 11-Feb-13 20:19:44

Dh always gets up in the night and in the mornings as he can do it and I cant.

dyzzidi Mon 11-Feb-13 20:25:47

DH never got up with dd after she started sleeping through. He shared all the nights until then but once she slept through he just didn't hear her so it would be left to me.

To be honest if I woke home to tell him she was up he would get up but I don't early see the point in that. He is always sent downstairs to sleep when dd is ill and she sleeps with me (very sickly child). When she gets up int morning he just leaves me to sleep.

He does sleep through most things in fairness not just dd.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 11-Feb-13 20:26:34

My DH is more like yours - I'm a SAHM too.

When they were tiny it was all hands on deck. Now they are a bit bigger - 4.6 and 23 months - it is whoever wakes first that deals with them.
Occasionally it will be a two person job - wailing child and wet bed, and then we both get up.

Works for us, could not live with a man who lay and snored while I had broken night after broken night. I would feel murderous.

Tee2072 Mon 11-Feb-13 20:30:48

When our son was small, we took turns, with me doing 4 nights a week and my husband doing 3, with each of us getting as long a lie in as we liked on the weekends.

Now that our son (more or less) always sleeps through, I tend to get up with him on the nights he doesn't. Although my husband will gladly still do so if I ask him too. We also each have a lie in day on the weekends, although if I'm feeling quite badly (I have some chronic pain issues) he will offer to do both nights and I'll let him if I feel bad enough.

JoandMax Mon 11-Feb-13 20:32:10

I do most nighttime wakings as I'm a lighter sleeper and can cope better than DH with broken sleep (good job really seeing as DS2 is nearly 3 and never sttn...). If I ever need a break I kick him and he happily gets up.

When the DCs were babies he used to stay up late with them so I could get a few uninterrupted hours and/or get up with them at weekends while I had a lie in

pictish Mon 11-Feb-13 20:35:03

Whoever hears them first gets up. When they were babies that was usually me wink....but now they are a bit older, it's often dh.

ChestyLeRoux Mon 11-Feb-13 20:38:31

Dd is ten months.I have only ever left my bed twice since her birth when she was ill as shes breastfed.

With dd1 dh did have the feeds but it was a lot harder. Now there is really no need for either of us to get up.

VinegarDrinker Mon 11-Feb-13 20:39:51

We split it 50/50, we both work PT and if it's a really bad night the one who is not at work the next day (if either of us) will do the bulk of it.

If you are at home it is hard work, but we both work in very physically and mentally demanding jobs, often with no breaks, conversely our toddler is quite easy going so he will play while you veg on the sofa for a bit, although sadly has stopped napping sad

worsestershiresauce Mon 11-Feb-13 20:47:37

My DH works long hours and has a killer commute on top. If I expected him to do this in a sleep deprived state I would be a widow within months and he'd be six foot under post heart attack. I'm not sure the pleasure of an occasional lie in would be worth that cost.

As I am at home all day (hence can if need be have a nap at random times) I consider it completely fair that I do nights. Weekends however are a different matter.

MrsOakenshield Mon 11-Feb-13 20:49:54

wow, your DH sounds lovely!

Dh used to do a lot of the nights (not that we had loads as DD has always been a pretty good sleeper) as he was better at staying calm and seeing it through! These days (DD is now 3) we take it in turns.

I do think it's a good idea to get them used to either of you doing it, I used to make myself do it every so often, even though I found it a real struggle and am not good on little sleep, because I knew there would be nights when DH was away or had been out on the lash and wouldn't be able to do it.

SpeckleDust Mon 11-Feb-13 20:52:45

Keep the bastard.

He sounds like a great dad and husband.

Ninetyninepercent Mon 11-Feb-13 20:55:14

When DC1 was small and a very bad sleeper DH used to do the night wakings - I was on maternity leave or P/T at the time. If he couldn't get DC to settle I would try. I had terrible trouble sleeping and was struggling during the day so DH would try to make it easier for me. Nowadays with DC1 and DC2 pretty good sleepers but can be prone to the odd nightmare or wanting a pee/water in the night its mostly always me that gets up. I sleep really well nowadays though and DH's job is far more stressful than it used to be, so he definitely needs his sleep more than me these days.

sheeplikessleep Mon 11-Feb-13 21:04:56

Your DH sounds lovely.

I do think everyone is different. Some people cope much better without sleep, others are like wrecks without sleep.

I know when I'm knackered, as I get weepy in the day and if that happens, DH will take the lead for a couple of nights, until I get back to myself. Likewise, I'll do the same with him.

After finishing breastfeeding and me being back at work, we pretty much share the night time wakings.

DS2 is a ridiculously early waker still at nearly 3 (4/5am) and we alternate the mornings as to who has the early start. I sometimes think it's a bit demanding of me, as I work 3 days a week, he works 5. But if I did it every night / morning, I'd be a wreck. DH knows this.

In all honesty, it tends to be who wakes first really and I do think it's about 50/50 now.

We each have a 'lie in' at the weekend too.

SocietyClowns Mon 11-Feb-13 21:12:21

Very much 50/50 unless dc are shouting for one person specifically wink

lovelyredwine Mon 11-Feb-13 21:21:26

My DH gets up with dd 50% of the time i'd say, but she's fortunately not up much in the night now.

When I was on maternity leave and he was working ft he would get her up and change her nappy and then call me to bf when she was still getting up every night. He would also put her to bed again if she was taking a while to settle.

He sees being on maternity leave or being a sahm as a ft job, so evenings and weekends are shared.

Your DH seems to have got it right, particularly if you suffer from migraines so need the sleep.

SmileAndPeopleSmileWithYou Mon 11-Feb-13 21:37:26

My DP helped with 100% of night feeds while on paternity leave. Once back at work I did all the night feeds as he drives wagons for a living, very dangerous with lack of sleep. I am on maternity leave so although it is hard work being a SAHM it is much safer for me.
He helps with everything he can during the evening, such as housework and cooking our meals. He will have quality time with DS while I have a relaxing bath or just quiet time to myself.

When I go back to work we intend to continue like this, although it should be easier as he is now sleeping through. When we come to teething/illness/general disturbed sleep however, it will be me who gets up in the night. An easier decision for us as I cannot cause death in my profession due to being tired.

I think it comes down to whatever works for couples, but there always needs to be co-operative parenting and quiet time to keep your sanity!! smile

Jayne266 Mon 11-Feb-13 21:41:42

My DH gets up during the early morning he works full time and I am currently on SMP. And at the weekend we take it in turns but he prefers it he says as he is a morning person anyway which am not.

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