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How do you share childcare with your partner?

(38 Posts)
ohthegoats Sun 07-Jun-15 21:16:48

I have an 8 month old baby. From the first day my partner moved into the spare room and put in ear plugs. I knew he'd do this on work days, that's only reasonable while I'm on maternity leave, but he's still doing it on weekends, on holidays etc. I have stopped breast feeding in the last week, and have been mixed feeding since 6 months, so he's got a lot more opportunity to be involved in everything - he's just starting now to actually 'do' stuff, but not much of it happens without me asking him to do a specific thing. I think the general chore stuff of making bottles, getting bed stuff out, taking her for a bath etc will just improve, since it's improved a lot in the last 6 weeks.

BUT... in all that time he's only dealt with her between the hours of 11pm and 7am on 4 occasions. She's not a good sleeper, I'm exhausted and just want a night off where I can sleep for 8 hours. Or even 5 hours to be honest.

Every time we have a night scheduled in for him to be the main person getting up to her, there is a reason why it can't happen.. interview the next day, feels ill, she's ill and so on. Tonight it was meant to be happening - I put her to bed, came out of the room to find him tucked up fast asleep in the spare room. At 8.30. So... that's me on duty for the night again then is it? He's apparently 'ill' - he aches. Diddums.

Obviously we need to have a conversation about this for the future - I'm going back to work for a few days here and there as of next week, 4 days a week in September. He's also doing a 10 days in 9 days contract as of now. Even the nights before those days off there have been 'reasons' why he can't get up to her.

Apologies for the long rant (I'm FUMING right now) - what do you to try and make sure that childcare is a properly shared job? I want to get something sorted out in an almost formal way as I think that's the only way he'll actually start properly stepping up.

Only1scoop Sat 13-Jun-15 18:14:26

He did everything I did but we chose to ff so that part was much easier. We have never slept apart but it seems many parents do.

Christelle2207 Sat 13-Jun-15 18:12:45

When I was on mat leave my dh would do the night shift friday and saturday nights i.e. When not working the next day. I don't recall a big discussion about this, he just did it. When I went back to work we took it in turns and had one weekend lie in each.
Now Im bf dc2 (only 3 weeks) he does the night shift with dc1 (rarely sleeps through) and all get ups with him.

Millionairerow Sat 13-Jun-15 17:52:27

Hi I guess in terms of childcare you have to do what works for your family. If you're not happy taking the brunt of the childcare then you need to ask him nicely to get his finger out esp if you're going back to work. Sounds like you're sorting it out slowly. Also, point out to him, this phase doesn't last for ever (and some say shoudl be made the most of as they soon become independent V quickly), and it does get easier. HONEST. And there are some times when it is best to leave baby crying to self settle if you've done all you need to do to make DC comfortable eg fed, nappy, calpol if needed etc. Good luck

ohthegoats Sat 13-Jun-15 10:06:02

He did last night too - and he's moved back in to our bedroom. I didn't even hear anything last night, despite him getting up twice and feeding her once. We're going to sort some proper night share thing. I think it just needed the breastfeeding to end so he could clearly see where he could be helpful.

qumquat Fri 12-Jun-15 13:01:47

When dd was tiny I was in charge of feeding and dp in charge of nappying. Nights we tag teemed he would do until 1 (she generally fed till 10 so not a massive shift!) and I would do 1-7. At weekends he would get up with me for the night feeds to keep me company. Once she was only feeding once in the night but getting up early, I would do the feed and dp would do early morning. Now I'm back at work we get a lie in each at the weekend. We don't spend a lot of time divvying things up it just seems obvious that we share the load and we fell into these routines. I'd be fuming if I were you too op.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 11-Jun-15 10:44:37

He sounds like an absolute arsehole.

My DS has always been EBF (he's 14months now) and from Day 1 my DH always got up with me in the night when DS woke. Even now, if I'm struggling to settle DS my DH will take over and send me to the spare room to get some rest if I've been particularly stressed or tired.

When we are home together we share bedtimes. We both bath DS, then DH puts him in his pyjamas and brushes his teeth, and then I do bedtime breast feed, stories and bed.

We equally share who cooks and feeds DS if for any reason we aren't all eating together.

DH does a lot of the sole care on the three days that I work and if I'm off on the weekend (I work shifts) he gets DS up in the morning, gives him his breakfast and dresses him whilst I have a good 2-3 hour lie-in.

I can think of loads of other examples which demonstrates how much our care is shared but I sharn't. The crux of the matter is that DH does this because it's his child and he wants to do it. He wants to parent his child and he wants to spend time with his DS. He also cares about me (as partners should) and so wants to make sure I'm not overly tired or worn down by DS.

You seriously need to put your foot down or think seriously about how you see your future as I envision things getting worse for you.

Littlef00t Wed 10-Jun-15 13:55:33

Hmm I wonder how bad she is really being, or whether he just wants to make sure he's getting full kudos for stepping up...?

ohthegoats Tue 09-Jun-15 12:14:37

Update... I got ANOTHER NIGHT OFF. Apparently the child was horrendous too... he brought her in at 6am to ask if I could hold her while she shouted and he warmed up a bottle, saying 'worse night ever!' But, he took her away again and I carried on sleeping (by accident, I intended to get up, but zzzzzzz).

He's currently making her lunch. Invasion of the body snatchers.

Buglife Tue 09-Jun-15 09:41:24

ohthegoats I often announce things to DS instead of asking DH as well! "Oh, do you want a nappy change? Shall I go and make a bottle while daddy does that?! Is it naptime?" Etc.

LittleLionMansMummy Tue 09-Jun-15 08:11:27

Dh has never been good at getting up with ds during the night, mostly because he doesn't hear him or claims not to hear him

I breastfed for 7 months so it wasn't practical at first. Ds first started sleeping through when ds was 7 months.

But dh was always good at giving me a lie in at weekends and even during the week when ds was still tiny. Despite having to go to work he woke up when ds woke up for the day and gave me a couple of hours before ds needed another feed and dh needed to go to work. Dh is 4 now and had a stomach bug about 6 months ago - it was dh who cleaned it all up.

I work reduced hours a couple of days so have ds before dh gets home, but on Mondays dh has him in the afternoon while i work. We share drop offs and pick ups at nursery/ cm accordingly. I tend to do the organisational stuff (health appointments, form filling, booking holidays etc) but we both pitch in with all other housework.

happypotamus Mon 08-Jun-15 22:30:44

I am currently on mat leave with 7 month old DC2. We also have a 4yr old. DH's input with DC2 has been minimal. She is breastfed and a terrible sleeper, rarely sleeps for more than 2-3hrs, nearly impossible to put into cot. DH has once got up with the DC in the morning while I slept in, changed about 5 nappies ever, never bathed her, dressed her a couple of times, once took both DC to the park for a hour while I cleaned up, 3 times I have been out for 2hrs in an evening so he had to look after them. I did feel like punching him at the weekend when he had a long lie-in as he does nearly every weekend day. He does still sleep in our room, but that is because we don't have a spare room.
He was much better with DC1 so I don't know what has happened.
However, he is going to have a problem when I go back to work, as I am out if the house 6.30am until after 9pm on work days, including weekends, and will also work night shifts. I hope, for both their sakes, that he gets his act together over the next couple of months.

squizita Mon 08-Jun-15 17:47:21

grin Mine feeds her... but rather odd fridge based meals. Mind you she loves them!

ohthegoats Mon 08-Jun-15 16:55:36

Oh and when anyone else has been left to feed her she's mysteriously 'not hungry'. I'm not forcing the child to eat, but frankly if she eats a reasonable amount then she naps well and sleeps better at night too. Less important to the people who aren't dealing with her at night though!

ohthegoats Mon 08-Jun-15 16:52:59

Yes nolim, that's good! He has also suggested doing the same tonight. Also good.

Yes squizita same here regards 'she's happy' in a 3 tonne 6 hour nappy! To be fair though, I find that's the same with the grandparents too. I change her nappy according to the day's schedule, so if people only have her for part of the day I guess they aren't really thinking about when it was last changed.

I've found with most things in 'training' my partner, that I need to make a really clear point about telling my daughter why I'm changing her nappy, or why I'm making a bottle.. 'you must be hungry.. 2 hours since lunch, better fill the gap before tea' etc. Eventually things are sinking in and he's doing them before I remind him or ask him to.

The sleep/overnight thing though... there will be a conversation.

squizita Mon 08-Jun-15 16:06:35

I still bf my 8 month old.
DH and I split it "boob and bum" ie I do milk and he does nappy/randoms.

If as is often the case she wakes more for milk, I get "payback" on hos days off ... He creeps in when she wakes, takes her and gives her bottle/cereal, clothes on etc so I get a sleep in.

When he sleeps in the spare room either the monitor or his phone (I give him 3 rings if there's a brrrp and a stench on the Co sleeping bed! grin ) to alert him. He actually sleeps there a lot cause of HIS snoring waking baby! grin

He is driving me mad with regards to anything over 2 hr (he's very "intuitive" in terms of his approach but hippy though I am I don't care if she's "happy in herself" if she smells of wee she needs new nappy/trousers. Also foods for fun before 1 doesn't make coating the entire house with strawberry yoghurt "a good lunch" angry ).

Nolim Mon 08-Jun-15 14:47:26

So he is suggesting you go out for coffee or shopping or whatever and he stays with the baby? Isnt that good?

ohthegoats Mon 08-Jun-15 10:41:37

Oh, and he's just suggested I go out and 'do some shit' today. On my own. Ha.

ohthegoats Mon 08-Jun-15 10:40:10

but do not agree with the leave him to it suggestions as it may knock his confidence further

This is why I want him to do nights when I'm still around - he did try to do one a few weeks ago, but at 3am I couldn't stand the crying anymore and went to get her. His face looked like I know mine does at 3/4am when it's a bad night!

He said that she needed comforting a lot last night and woke up lots, but she doesn't for me (either that or I do it in my sleep!), so it's a 'getting used to it' thing for both of them isn't it. He's just 8 months behind!!

He's properly cock-a-hoop this morning too.. probably it wasn't as bad as he thought. Not going to have a conversation about that though, it needs to be not a big deal.

ohthegoats Mon 08-Jun-15 10:36:06

Kent that sounds crap, you have my sympathies. My OH isn't anywhere near as bad as that (although there were times around 3 - 4 months where he was getting that bad - he blamed his long commute, pah!)... I have to keep telling him he's being shit, which steps things up for a few weeks.

EvilSidekick Mon 08-Jun-15 10:33:45

I agree it is a confidence thing, but do not agree with the leave him to it suggestions as it may knock his confidence further and lead to more discord. As much as your husband is being unreasonable, you want to resolve this in a mature fashion and ensure that shared childcare is a long term norm, with a clear and fair agreement as to who does what and when, not turn this into tit for tat which has all the hallmarks of leading to a row and not actually resolving things. Good luck.

ohthegoats Mon 08-Jun-15 10:31:51

Interesting replies, thanks.

In the end last night he woke up at 11.30, I fed her and put her back to sleep at that point, and left them to it. He actually looked like shit, but tough! There have been nights where I have felt dreadful and he's shut the door saying 'good luck!'. He slept in with her and I went into the spare room, where I slept from midnight until 8am! Woohoo... well, there was one wake up for a wee, at which point I could hear her crying, but it was at her normal nightfeedwakeuptime, so I left them to it. He's actually been pretty good at getting her to sleep in general - the way he rocks her seems to work better than my 'not feed to sleep' methods.

He was on board with the pregnancy, although it happened quicker than we expected (both nearly 40 at the time, thought we'd have a month or so, took 3 weeks), so we were both a bit in shock. In his defence, he's very good with her in the daytime (and getting better as time goes on), and he does look after me in that he does most of the cooking etc.

Until now with the breastfeeding I have been able to at least slightly understand his viewpoint, but things are going to change formally now.

I was lying in bed this morning working out how to share the nights. Agree definitely that we both need an option for sleeping through the night and getting a lie in at weekends.

Kent1982 Mon 08-Jun-15 10:19:44

On the goats. I could have written your post, I'm in exactly the same situation and questioning if I should just leave and go it alone. Oh left the bedroom at day 2 never to return and it's week 12. He isn't likely to return either even though baby sleeps for 5 hours through the night

I don't think he has changed a nappy for 3 weeks. He makes out to his family and friends he is super dad but heis appalling. He rareLay picks him up but will talk to him for 10 mins every day. I've not left the baby since he was born and I'm getting tired now. He does bath him but I have to prompt this and he is good at it.

This guy is responsible, so I just cannot believe how bad he is. I feel bad for wanting to leave because I would be depriving baby of a family but if we stay I don't want Ds to grow up thinking that this is how men should be. Pretty much oh has better social life then before baby was born and everything he does with us seems half hearted.

When I see families in the park I could cry because oh is missing out on so much and Ds is such a happy content baby

I need to hear someone has turned it around and it will get better because it's looking a bit bleak at the moment

HazleNutt Mon 08-Jun-15 10:13:43

wait, so he agreed it was his night and then promptly went to bed? I would have woken him up. How selfish can one be!

ch1134 Mon 08-Jun-15 08:51:44

We don't consciously divide labour, it just happens. I did all the night feeds as I was breastfeeding, and he has always done the first nappy of the day. We both want to be with our son so we don't really argue about time off.

Athenaviolet Mon 08-Jun-15 07:51:53


Seriously what's the point when he doesn't give a rats arse about you or your child?

Being a single mum is better than this.

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