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How much does DH help out

(26 Posts)
Bee14 Wed 29-Oct-14 03:43:01

LO is 5 months, mixed feeding (breast then bottle so harder for DH to help), just curious as to how much help other peoples's DH are helping out as I get increasingly wound up during day but by evening have decided I am being unreasonable. So this is what he does:

* mornings, doesn't help and heads to work between 6-8, LO wakes around 6-7
* evenings, hope for 7, helps with bath (I don't really need help but its fun), puts bottle on, I massage feed and settle, he cooks/heats dinner
* baby normally down by 8:15 and we'll eat, I will then catch up on admin, do chores (or to be fair sometimes snooze)
* bed around 11, he will do last bottle feed and settle, as I do lunches for next day, empty bins etc
* nights, I will wake, he quite often sleeps in spare room
* weekends, will try and alternate one person getting a bit of a lie in, I still do all baby care stuff (bottles, cleaning etc), we will either do activities together or alternate looking after baby with household tasks every 45 mins or so

I guess what I am struggling with is that he seems to have a couple of hours in the evenings when he does nothing (which we both used to have pre-baby) as I desperately try and cram in keeping on top of things. Mornings also wind me up - he will lie in if hes had a bad ninght and takes over an hour from up to door (I do this in 20 minutes!) if he got going earlier, he could be home earlier which would make a huge difference to me!. At the same time he tells me he is always tired (he does need more sleep than me)

RRRJ83 Wed 29-Oct-14 04:29:26

Everyday is different here, but my dh/ does get up in nights and mornings from Friday to Sunday to give me a line in. If your dh is sleeping in a different room in week, he has no rights to a weekend lie in (imo) as you need it more.

Home at 7, he has baby whilst I cook tea and then we both have her, rather than me keep a log of who does what. Baby goes down at 10:30...I dream of an 8:15 sleep routine!

I ebf so he doesn't feed (although keeps asking me to express so he can help)

On weekdays, If eh is up, he always takes her before work if she is awake. Gives her back to me so he can get ready for work.

How does your dh have a couple of hours in the evenings, where are you at this time? How.much admin can a person have?? Can't these things be done on a weekend?

Ignore his complaints at being tired! He's being ignorant of your tiredness!

dorasee Wed 29-Oct-14 04:59:32

My DH rarely helps. We have 3 kids.Our youngest is 5 mos. I do it all. If he holds baby while I take a wee I am lucky. He is actually a lovely guy but he's never been good at helping with the kids as infants. I think you are pretty lucky. smile That being said, I can understand your need for more help. I have my mother, bless her. I would sink without her. You should ask DH for a bit more help. It's not unreasonable to ask.

mrsmugoo Wed 29-Oct-14 06:50:56

You sound like you've got it pretty good.

I've ebf'd so done every single feed and night waking (and there have been a lot!) for the last 7 months.

DH is self employed so is working at home in the evenings and weekends so doesn't take the baby and often works til 2 or 3am so I rarely get any extra morning sleep.

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Wed 29-Oct-14 07:21:58

I think you need to talk to him. I don't think it's acceptable for one part of the team to be lying in/relaxing on the sofa regularly whilst the other one doesn't.

My dh and I basically have a rule that neither of us relaxes until everything's done (so one of us will cook whilst the other tidies etc) this is obviously flexible and if we know someone has had a bad day they have a break. In the mornings we're generally up at the same time but again, if one of us had had a really bad night, the other will take the dc downstairs for an hour or so.

Have you told him what you need?!

We have a toddler who goes to nursery a couple of times a week and a 4mo EBF baby. Dh sorts out the toddler on nursery days and drops her off. I'm on mat leave and do most of the housework during the day. Dh will wake up for night feeds and ask if I need anything but will generally go back to sleep.

ColdCottage Wed 29-Oct-14 07:44:48

Mon-Fri
DH leaves 7am back 5pm
He takes DS after he has changed or sometimes after a jog. He does bath and pjs then I bf at 7.15ish
Take turns making dinner. He always washes up. Take turns making his packed lunch. No plan for turns just randomized each day. DH will tidy house more than me. I do washing.
I then do all night feeds due to EBFing.
Weekends I get a lay in until 11 both days. I feed DS around 8.30 then DH takes him and does chores.
I am lucky and grateful.

mumofboyo Wed 29-Oct-14 07:50:58

Both my dc were bottle fed and dh did his share. We took it in turns to get up and do any night feeds - we still do when they wake in the night now. We either got up together on a weekend or took it in turns to have a lie-in. Even now, if we've had a particularly crap night, he has the kids whilst I go for a nap. I don't ask him, I just go.

He does half the cooking, he dries up as I wash, he does half the laundry.

The only things that do my head in really is that he never, ever hoovers up, takes over half an hour to get himself ready on a morning before work whilst I'm getting both dc dressed and that everything, no matter what it is, always has to wait until he's had a fag.

I'd say that, if you need a break and your dh is there, esp if he's sat for ages doing nothing constructive, then just go. Don't ask for permission because you deserve time to yourself too. If it's the weekend and you've had a crap night, either tell him you're having a sleep in or go back to bed when he gets up and leave him to it.

LittleLionMansMummy Wed 29-Oct-14 07:58:41

Dh couldn't help with ds at night because i breastfed. But he always did loads of housework and if ds woke early and didn't go back to sleep he took him downstairs so i could sleep until he went to work or needed another feed. At weekends we took turns for lie ins because dh had already helped so much on week days.

butterfly86 Wed 29-Oct-14 08:31:59

I agree you have it pretty good...my dh is a lovely man but he gives me practically no help to be fair he works 12 hour days 7 days a week but raising a baby single handed is hard too. I do all night feeds the only time he helped was when he had 2 weeks paternity leave, I do bath bed everything clean the bottles all chores and cook and wash dishes every night...I'm shattered. I know he works hard to provide for us but I do feel like a single parent sometimes.

QTPie Wed 29-Oct-14 08:36:37

Have you spoken to him?

Think that he should be doing more in the evening - so you both get a break. Maybe re-apportion chores evening?

Can you leave the "bath and ready for bed" (other than feed) just to your partner? My DH did it from birth (I had a CS and didn't feel able to) and still does if virtually every night (DS is now almost 5). Leave them to it - doesn't need two of you.

Also maybe a regular few hours at the weekend that are just "daddy and baby" time? Bonding time for them, complete break for you to either rest or go out and do something yourself. When DS was 8 weeks old, I used to go out to the gym one night a week: I was exclusively breastfeeding, so I dashed out in between feeds whilst DH held the baby.... So mixed or even exclusively breastfeeding doesn't mean you have to be there all the time.

QTPie Wed 29-Oct-14 08:39:31

And the other young that we used to do is DH would look after DS whilst I "got ready for the day" every morning. Ok, that was only a very very quick shower, face wash, teeth and dressed, but it helped a lot (then I didn't have to worry about getting myself ready to go out, just DS). If your partner can't, then fair enough, but if he is having a "lie in" AND you can manage it in between feeds...

Artandco Wed 29-Oct-14 08:40:37

I think you need to talk.

Slightly different here as dh took to working 50% from home by 5 months so was at home when I worked. But both children were breastfed with one midday bottle if I was out working.

On day when dh was working it would be.

Am - both wake 7am, both clean/ relax/ get ready. Baby wake 8am so dh left already.

Eve - dh return 7pm. 7-9pm would equally look after baby and house. I usually fed baby before bed and he would settle to sleep

Night - dh would settle if baby woke. If couldn't settle without feed would then I would feed, and one I us resettle. By 5 months I didn't feed in the night anymore, fed 9pm before they slept in living room then 11pm before we took up to bed, then nothing until morning unless ill.

Millie3030 Wed 29-Oct-14 08:48:13

My mum had a rule with my dad, which she urged me to implement from day 1 of our marriage which was - 'You sit, I sit.' Which meant as soon as my dad sat down for a rest relax, watch telly etc, she would do exactly the same. And I do that with my husband now, if I put baby to bed, and I get downstairs and he is sitting watching telly, I sit next to him and watch the telly, when he asks what's for dinner I say, "ummm I don't know, got any ideas?" I fancy, such and such" and he will then go and start dinner, I will then clean up.

I think childcare is part of being with your family, it shouldn't fall on the woman, before and after work are shared family responsibilities. Lay ins should be shared 50/50. My DH is like yours OP, if he starts earlier he can get home earlier, so I tell him it's selfish when he has a lay in then gets home later 'out of choice', and he is getting better at getting up now, took a few heated discussions for him to see my point.

The minute he steps in the door, it's hands on until DS is in bed and we share who's putting him down doing dinner, cleaning up, preparing his bits for nursery the next day, etc.

tobysmum77 Wed 29-Oct-14 08:48:37

just an observation. ..... dh doesnt 'help' at all, we are equal parents confused

kiki0202 Wed 29-Oct-14 08:53:11

I think it sounds pretty fair there are a few things you could change. He should leave for work early to be back to spend time together. I think you could do your chores and admin in the day while he's at work too meaning when he gets in it's just family time and relaxing. I do a big clean on Monday afternoons then tidy everyday if for some reason it's not done one day then I leave it and do it the next I need my chill out time once DS is in bed.

At the weekend DP gets up with DS in the night and sleeps late on Friday/sat and I do nights and get a lie in on Sat/Sun.

kiki0202 Wed 29-Oct-14 09:01:19

I should have said too DP also does some daddy DS time when he gets home from work after a shower for an hour where they go to the park/a walk/out in the garden/roll around the floor. While they do that I finish dinner and tidy the kitchen I may not be sitting down but I have a little tv in the kitchen I put ITV2 on and waltch rubbish have peace for a while. It gets me ready for dinner and bed time and that little 45/60 mins is priceless to me.

Mutley77 Wed 29-Oct-14 11:35:09

It's such a tricky one. Do you genuinely go non-stop all day even when baby is asleep? I find that if I do all my chores during the day (not working and have 3 DC, youngest is now 18 months but this has been the same since she was about 12 weeks old) I can also relax in the evenings - other than doing the essential dinner, clearing away and dealing with bedtimes. If you choose to have a bit of down time during the day (fair enough) you are kind of choosing to do those chores during the evening?

The mornings/evenings really get on my nerves if DH is here as I always feel that he isn't pulling his weight!! He is either dragging his heels in the morning and not usefully doing anything with the children, or he is coming home expecting to sit and have a beer while I rush around like a headless chicken! To be honest the state of our marriage has been better since he left for work at 7am every morning - and I have very little expectation of him before that time. I think fixed times are key (like you say it is really irritating if you think he could go in earlier and doesn't) and making sure he gets enough sleep so IMO he should go to bed early enough to have had enough sleep by whatever time he needs to get up to go to work at the agreed time, given he's not up in the night at all.

I know I'm lucky with my DH as he does 50/50 of nights - pretty much since birth. DC3 is a nightmare at night (I did all the nights with DCs 1 & 2) and after she was born we were in a new area, I was borderline depressed and had a lot to do with the older DC that tested my patience (2 school runs, moods, homework, playdates, activities, etc etc) so we accepted that my "job" was as demanding as his.

Heatherbell1978 Wed 29-Oct-14 16:32:27

My day is similar to yours except DS1 (10 wks) doesn't get a dream feed so once he's asleep at 8ish, we are both 'free'. DH sleeps in our room though so during the week he has to put up with the night feeds although he tends to sleep through now. At the weekends he wakes and changes/settles DS1 once I've fed him.
In the evenings though DH tends to carry on working after we've had dinner which really frustrates me although if I ask him to help with anything specific he'll do it but most of the housework is done by me.

I feel your pain, at the weekends DH will take him off me loads but he doesn't seem to get that I look after DS AND do everything around the house.....if he is entertaining DS, he doesn't do the housework at the same time....

Bee14 Fri 31-Oct-14 17:40:33

Wow, thanks so much for responses, such a huge spread of experiences.

Should have said that LO naps for 30-40 mins at best in Moses basket about 2-3 times a day, or more often in pram if were out. I run around like a crazy idiot when she goes down.

I went out last night (to a work do) for 3 hours, had bought him a ready meal and did half the sleep routine, she went down about half an hour after I had left and I came home and nothing had bloody been done - no bottles, no bins out not even emptied the bath!

Overall I think it's a self discipline issue and fact that he does need more sleep than I do, so I am just going to ask him to do more and stop being a martyr, maybe knowing I will be annoyed will be a motivator when he decides he'll sit on his bum!

Live the you sit/I sit, no one sits down until we both can!

Cariad007 Sat 01-Nov-14 00:31:55

DP has been great and done loads for DS since he was born. I do cosleep with DS, so DP sleeps in the spare room during the week but that works for us. It means he goes to work on a full night's sleep and when he comes home he has the energy to play with DS, and feed him and bathe him so I get a break. At the weekend he will always take him in the mornings so I can get a lie and and he looks after him while I go to the gym and have a break for a few hours. We share the cooking and housework too, although tbh we aren't that house proud and if we go a week without hoovering it's no big deal! He's really good, I can't complain. However I don't consider myself "lucky" as I think this is how it should be when you become a parent - it's a shared responsibility.

BackforGood Sat 01-Nov-14 00:39:44

I'm surpirsed more people haven't commented on the "how much does he 'help you' phrasing".
Like tobysmum both of us decided to be parents, and both of us therefore contributed equally to all that had to be done.

Love the way Millie3030 has explained it - that's exactly how it should work if one parent (or even just half of a couple) seems to be expecting the other to do more than their fair share.

Playthegameout Sat 01-Nov-14 06:49:34

Agree with posters saying coparent! Dh has always just got on, he does what needs doing.

Things are a bit different for us as Ds is 1, but back at the 10 week stage he was struggling with reflux and it was a tricky stage. Dh would get up at 5, walk dog, get lunches, make breakfast, clean bottles, get ready for work. Then I got up, he would tend to baby while I showered, ate, dressed. Then he would go to work. When he got home he would take over with Ds, Ds at the time never slept for long so I went to bed at 8 and Dh stayed up with baby til 11.30 so I got solid blocks of sleep.

Now, thankfully, Ds does sleep but we alternate who gets up if he does ever wake, and each of us gets a lie in either Saturday or Sunday. In the evening, one of us will feed, do bedtime with Ds, the other will wash dishes, do bottles, cook, clean up. We alternate this too as putting Ds down is easier.

The main thing for me is that I never have to ask Dh to "help", he sees it all as part and parcel of being a dad. Is there a chance your Dh is a bit apprehensive about doing things wrong? It's still early days after all, he might just assume you know better.

Levismum Sun 02-Nov-14 01:16:43

My Exdp was absolutely useless when our dc were born. Some were ebf & some were ff, made no difference!

Our youngest is 9 months. He's never bathed her or put her to bed... that's partly why he's now exdp!

It needs to be resolved sooner rather than later. I would just like to add, he's the dad so not a helper.

Thrholidaysarecoming Sun 02-Nov-14 01:25:46

Sounds very similar.

If your a SAHM expect to do the lions share. Dp didn't even do the last night feed as I BF.

I found it hard as when dp was out of the house I knew I had to do all the shit but when he was in the house I expected him to do his share. I compromised in the end as I knew I could nap during the day while dd was a sleep and stopped thinking of the 101 things I needed to do and making sure the house was spotless. When I focused on just looking after dd2 and myself I didn't get do tied up that was doing all the 'hard' work.

When I went back to work part time I realised how lucky I was to have that spare time fir a nap if dd2 had had a bad night or not having to get up dressed and out of the house if I'd only had three hours sleep.

It's swings and round abouts.

My dp got much better at being more hands on when she got older. Now if he us in the house - he gets no rest. Daddy has to do everything grin

Failedspinster Sun 02-Nov-14 21:57:59

My kids are 2.6 and 9 weeks (mixed bf and ff). I'm on mat leave, and DH works full-time on a shift basis - he's often out from 7 am till after 6pm. He'll help me get the kids up in the morning if he's working late, then returns for bath time. One of us does bath time, the other bed time (we take turns), then he cleans up in the evening and stays up to give a late formula feed. I breastfeed in the night. I do most housework, he cooks and gardens. We both look after the kids more or less 50/50 when he's at home. Lie ins aren't possible ATM but we both try to ensure the other one gets a nap if really knackered, and he will take the kids out so I can rest if needed. I appreciate all this. We were always a strong couple but I actually feel that the way he's stepped up to fatherhood has strengthened our marriage.

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