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How much should I expect from husband?

(76 Posts)
TartanKitty Wed 21-Sep-11 19:12:39

Was going to call this thread 'how do I make him pay' but that seems a little drastic. Basically he is off on a five day stag holiday with some mates leaving me home alone with four month old, who happens to also be teething (already!).
He had a four day holiday with two other friends a month ago, again leaving me home with no support (parents and best friend are over an hour's drive away).
These trips were planned while I was pregnant. Of course, not wanting to be the unreasonable or demanding wife I agreed to it but I admit to feeling somewhat pissed off and jealous that he can just go off and do as he pleases.

So, how much do I make him 'make it up to me' when he gets back? I'm not looking for tit for tat exactly (ok, so maybe a little bit if I'm totally honest) but I do feel he owes me some serious pampering or something for being so understanding.

Last month we had two nights away as a family camping as my 'holiday' to give me something to look forward to after he had been away. But the first night he was ill and the second night the baby was playing up so I ended up shattered (I do all night wakings and about 99% childcare and housework generally) so I still feel a bit cheated out of my 'break'.

My husband works really hard in a stressful job to earn money for our family so I can't begrudge him letting off some steam but he does little around the house and I am trying to get him to realise just how hard I find it all being a new mum and doing everything at home.

Any suggestions for a -list of demands- wee treat for his lovely wife? smile

kunahero Wed 21-Sep-11 20:23:05

Sorry but I dont think making up is called for here. A change in behaviour is required. As a husband and father to 3 dc I would not ever even consider leaving my DW for more than a night when expecting or with a young baby. Totally selfish and inconsiderate.
Again sorry as this is not what you wnated to hear but even a three week holiday to Hawaii for you and dc couldnt make up for that.

AnyFucker Wed 21-Sep-11 20:34:29

you want "pay back" ?

that is silly

if you have a problem with all these jollies he has (and I would, tbh) you need to put your foot down and remind him he has a family now

otherwise, if you bite your tongue, pretend to be ok with it because you wnat to be a "cool" wife then you have a lifetime of resentment ahead of you

clam Wed 21-Sep-11 20:37:36

How much "down-time" does he have compared with you? In an average week, trips away aside?

TartanKitty Wed 21-Sep-11 20:42:32

Oh, I am aware there are wider issues here. He's had a few nights out too and a handful of nights away for work since our son arrived. I'm a bit jealous but realistically I couldn't bear to leave my PFB boy even if I did have the opportunity. The lack of support/acknowledgement/division of labour at home is also an ongoing issue and he has just accepted he 'needs to get his shit together' but I've had promises he will 'step up' before and it never materialised.

I suppose that's why I'm looking for specific things I can ask him to do as 'payback' for this latest jaunt. A few weeks ago I asked him to take baby out for two hours so I could have a relaxing bath but that never happened (I did get a bath a couple of weeks after request but husband and baby were home so when he cried I couldn't ignore it and cut my bath much shorter than I would've liked to go to him - possibly my fault in not being able to let go but that's why I specifically asked him to go out).

He's not a bad person but does take me for granted and gets a bit hurt and defensive when I raise this with him so I thought specific 'can you do this for me' requests might work.

PeppermintPasty Wed 21-Sep-11 20:43:06

This is probably a side issue but it's interesting isn't it that some people who work outside the home have little or no concept of how hard it is staying at home looking after children(your last para).

My DP and me have swapped roles if you like and I am back at work FT and he is FT SAHD. He said to a mutual friend recently that he totally takes his hat off to anyone who is a SAHM/D and said it is the hardest work he has ever done, and he also said that being honest, he used to think it was a bit of an easy option.

I think you need a bit more help!! That might help you feel less fed up and hard done by. I have a stressful job but I still do a lot around the house and with the children. Hmm, but I may of course be a control freak hmm

I don't mean to sound so full of it, reading that last para back...I just think you need to impress upon him how hard you work.

PeppermintPasty Wed 21-Sep-11 20:43:45

oops xpost

CrackerFactory Wed 21-Sep-11 20:43:48

Your husbands works very hard but so do you with a 4-month old and little help so never ever forget that. You need to sit down and have a chat about expectations now life has changed with a baby. And make sure yoy get some down time for yourself. If breastfeeding it can only be an hour or two here or there but totally possible. I would have a big problem with all these jollies.

Bogeyface Wed 21-Sep-11 20:45:16

Why did you do the night wakings when you were away? I understand why you do it when he is at work but at weekends and holidays he should step up and you should insist upon it.

It can be hard when the first baby comes along because life doesnt really change on a day to day basis for the father in the same way it does for the mother. So then they think that actually, their life hasnt changed at all and act the way they always have.

It sounds like a short sharp shock of the "here is your DD I am going away for the weekend" type is in order, followed by a long conversation about him carrying out his share of the responsibility for the house, the baby and you.

HerHissyness Wed 21-Sep-11 20:56:13

OK, so I get your H is reluctant to take full responsibility for his share of the housework, cooking, etc. Don't agree with it, mind. not at all.

I understand also that he is unprepared to do his fair share (fair = EQUAL) of looking after HIS child. angry



How on earth do you think this clown is ever going to step up and get on with it if you go around cutting your bath short for example? Get yourself an iPod or somthing, turn it up and let H do his share. Perhaps then he will understand how hard it is to look after a child and cut you some long overdue slack!

You need to set a weekend routine whereby he DOES one morning per weekend, and you do the other. Ditto the nights.

I had a P that did literally bugger all for me, for his son and for anyone except himself.

He got DUMPED, I do it all myself now, but hey, I always did... but at least I don't have to pick up after him, or put up with his overblown sense of entitlement anymore.

Sofiaintherye Wed 21-Sep-11 20:57:40

So that's his idea of having a great time, going on vacation with other blokes? Is he a teenager?

AnyFucker Wed 21-Sep-11 21:00:34

when you tackle him substitute his "hurt and defensive" for "pissed off and arrogant" and you will start to see the bigger picture here

AnyFucker Wed 21-Sep-11 21:03:13

you need to let go too

you cannot expect him to do his bit, if you hover

go out for the day

for the whole day

be uncontactable

pfb will survive, and so will your H

you need a break

CactusRash Wed 21-Sep-11 21:47:08

I think you need some serious readjustements here.
I don't think it's an issue of having 'a list of demands' rather than reviewing the balance of work/responsability in your couple.

1- If you agree again and again for him to go away on his own, leaving you with the baby, it will stay like this and will be like that in 3, 8, 12 years time. If you are not happ about it, SAY SO. Explain and expect him to step up (ie don't let him off the hook because you are there. He is supposed to look aftre his son, let him do it!).
Also baby is still young, yu are stll learning. In a year or two, yu will know what to do, he won't and it will be his 'getting out of jail' card. 'Idon't know how to do it'
2- Agree that no one who has not looked after a baby/child for a whole day on his own has any idea on how hard it is. Leave your H with his son. Go away and have some well deserved time for yourself
3- I have a thery re SAHP. If I had beein working and paying someone, I would have expected that person to do that and only that. So I've always done very little housework duirng the day. concenrtated on my child. Then in the evening, week ends, we are both at home, there fore we both do an equal amount of housework as we both have been working. That includes getting up in the night (And yes he does need to learn that too). That is actually a big deterrant for night out as it is very difficult to get up early with your baby after a night out! (but again he needs to experience it and take responsability)

Now my experince is that I've let my H off the hook, accepting him to go away for his hobbies/work etc... I though he would adjust all on his own and realize how hard it is, that I needed a break and that we needed to work as a team re raing our dcs. 8years on, he is still unavailable because I let him get away with murder.

TartanKitty Wed 21-Sep-11 21:49:50

Typed a long response and lost it angry

Condensed version:

DH: 2-3 hours per week sport
Average 2 nights out per month (plus the two holidays - one was mate's 50th birthday and other a stag for which he is best man so not regular occurrence)
I also argued his commute of up to two hours a day could be seen as personal time as it is time alone with no responsibilities

Me: run a Brownie unit which is great fun but also hard work entertaining 18 8-yr-olds for 90mins and baby comes with me as there's no one to watch him.
I am very politically active (hoping to stand for local council and do that from next May instead of going back to work so it's as much an eight month job interview as a hobby tbh). Again baby is with me at meetings, fine if he's asleep in car seat but stressful if he's grizzly and requires attention/soothing and I have to leave the room to get him settled.
Obviously I get time on mumsnet or to watch tv while DS is sleeping or quiet and only needs me to keep half an eye on him but I have had a total of 16 hours out of the house alone in the 16 weeks since he was born.

Until a couple of weeks ago DS was exclusively breastfed thus glued to me. He does take a couple of bottles a day as well now so maybe I do need to make a point of leaving him with his daddy. I did this to attend a political meeting on Sunday and in four hours DH hadn't managed to even have a shower or get dressed or wash up any dishes and looked totally exhausted when I came back so I hope that was a bit of an eye-opener as to how much attention the baby requires.

Bit gutted no one has suggested jewellery/spa break/nice meal with wine as a way DH can thank me for accepting his time away wink

Nippysnippy Wed 21-Sep-11 21:53:59

Book yourself some time off preferably with an overnight. Maybe a long lost friend a fair distance this regularly. Also he doubtless works hard but you seem to be on call 24/7. Now the same can't be said of him. When my daughter was small my husband did 2 nights a week in recognition of the fact that I worked hard looking after home and family. My daughter was sleeping through at 4 months so it didn't last forever. My husband worked 12 hour days but still understood the need for sleep for me. He insisted I had breaks too that were completely childfree, simple things like an unmolested mooch around the shops etc. You need to assert yourself.

AnyFucker Wed 21-Sep-11 21:54:55

nope, not gonna happen smile

AnyFucker Wed 21-Sep-11 21:55:35

why doesn't he have the baby while you are at Brownies ?

does he work evenings ?

kunahero Wed 21-Sep-11 21:55:58

Not blowing my own trumpet here (dont want to wake dc) but I too have a fairly stressy job (own business in recession) but I make damn sure my dw has as much time off as she needs. She is a SAHM ( and a brilliant one too) but she gets at least one long and one med lie in at the weekend, she gets as much time in eves as I can manage and I get dc dressed and breakfasted if she's up b4 i go to work. We also share the housework, I have my fave jobs and DW has hers.
I dont think that I do anything special just what a reasonable H and Dad should do, in fact its just what my dad did 47 years ago.
Your DP needs a reality check and soon or this will continue for ever and you will become v bitter which WILL affect dc.
Good luck

PeppermintPasty Wed 21-Sep-11 22:02:21

I think bogeyface hit the truth-a lot of new dads I know don't really feel their lives have changed at this stage (bless them). He needs a wake up call. My DP had to undergo shock therapy before he became Super-Stay-At-Home-Man, and tbh his superpowers still fail him an awful lot at times grin

How assertive are you?! Time to lay it on the line. Why not book your own spa weekend and leave him at home with your 4 mth old?

CactusRash Wed 21-Sep-11 22:05:01

So actually you are not a SAHM. You are a WFHM. And you are juggling work with looking after a baby, taking him to meetings etc...

And he still doesn't get up at night?

Not sure if I would consider commuting as 'time for yourself' but I know what you mean. It is time where you can think, read, relax in some ways. No one there to expect you to do things. Sounds like paradise compare to being at home with a baby.

TartanKitty Wed 21-Sep-11 22:14:13

Having DS at Brownies is a real sore point just now as it is much harder than i had anticipated and not fair on the girls to have me distracted or a baby Crying and interrupting their activities. DH says he can't possibly get home in time for 6.30pm start or even 7pm to take him away for last hour (to be fair that would require him leaving motorbike at the church hall and taking baby home in car to return and swap again an hour later or using my bike that day and me taking up helmet/jacket etc to ride it home so not impossible but a little planning required). I get upset that he never seems in a hurry to get home to us but he would counter that by saying he has to work hard to provide for us financially.

I know I am letting him get away with it and making a rod for my own back and need to learn to step away. The lack of help at home was an issue I posted about during pregnancy too and he'd do the dishes a few times then it would slip back to me doing everything until I reminded him again I was struggling. At times it actually feels easier when he's not here as I don't have him to cook for or pick up after on top of everything else.

This wasn't meant to be another moan about inequality in division of housework though it seems to have ended up that way. I'm getting the message it is up to me to be strong and MAKE him take more responsibility and take time for myself instead of waiting for it to be offered.

CactusRash Wed 21-Sep-11 22:18:16

it is up to me to be strong and MAKE him take more responsibility and take time for myself instead of waiting for it to be offered

Yep that's exactely it smile

And I don't think you were moaning about housewrok tbh. Probably more that a lot of us saw this is where the problem is wink

AnyFucker Wed 21-Sep-11 22:19:02

erm, yup, you got it

TartanKitty Wed 21-Sep-11 22:22:05

I dont class myself as a working mum really as I'm on maternity leave just now but I do want to return to some sort of work, though it doesn't look like my current job will be possible as DH says he cannot guarantee finishing on time for nursery pick ups. He is keen for me to be SAHM but I think becoming a local councillor would be challenging and rewarding and would offer flexibility enough to juggle with caring for DS. That's why I go to political meetings even with baby in my arms, I have eight months of campaigning ahead to try to get elected so I have a job for the next four years!

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