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So miserable

(191 Posts)
OhThisIsJustGrape Thu 08-Nov-12 10:53:47

Not really sure if relationships is the right topic for this.

I'm a SAHM with 4 DCs, two older ones and two little ones aged 2.5 and almost 5. DH works long hours running his own business.

Every day feels like groundhog day. I spend my whole life, it seems, cooking, cleaning, washing... The list goes on. I don't see anyone all day apart from on the school run and then I don't really talk to anyone. I only have two friends and they both work full time. DH comes home from work usually very stressed or knackered so doesn't really want to talk/listen or if he does I know he's thinking I'm complaining about nothing really.

The children just seem so full-on. Youngest dc is a real monkey, and the arguments between him and his sister are constant. Luckily she is at school full time but I dread the time after school when I'm trying to get tea cooked etc as I end up referreeing between the two of them. He really is going through the terrible twos and I'm struggling. He is an angel at weekends when DH is here though.

No-one cleans up after themselves, it's all left to me. I've tried taking things away from the eldest two if they don't clean their rooms but they don't care. Eldest DS works full time and pays board so I don't expect him to do much around the house, just like I don't expect DH to. A little consideration for me would be nice though.

That's the thing I'm struggling with I think - no one gives a shit about me. No one cares if I'm unhappy or lonely, no one asks how my day was. They all walk in to a meal on the table every evening and it's the end of the world if I'm ill or something because how will they survive - no one else cooks. Even Sundays are planned around what I'm cooking, I fucking hate cooking, DH knows this yet refuses to learn or help just at weekends so I can have a day off.

DH doesn't get involved in anything to do with the home or the kids. One example is I'm planning a party for DD1s birthday, he is refusing to come/help with ideas etc as he just doesn't want to. He feels he can opt out of things because I'll pick up the slack. Having said that, he is a very good father in terms of doing bedtimes, playing with the kids, will look after them if I have to go somewhere etc but he just won't help out with things like Christmas - this is a big issue for me. He never takes any interest in what I choose for the kids presents but always throws it back at me afterwards that I've spent too much/bought them a load of crap etc.

I can't work because I have no back up. All time off to cover kids being ill or holidays would be down to me. DD2 was ill with a heavy cold and temperature last Mon, Tues, Weds and Thurs. She went back to school Fri by which point DS2 had it. He was better by Tues but DD2 then developed an ear infection so has been off school since then. How the hell would I hold down a job with that much time off? Yet being at home every day is driving me mental. I know though, at least while the youngest two are small, that I'll never have the freedom to work without the responsibility and worry of childcare etc, unlike DH who can work whatever hours he likes because he knows I'm here to deal with all the shit pick up the pieces.

I know this is a self indulgent rant and I don't really expect any replies offering advice but there must be some of you in a similar boat who can rant with me? smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 08-Nov-12 11:08:09

"Eldest DS works full time and pays board so I don't expect him to do much around the house, just like I don't expect DH to. "

I'd start here. The fact that two important members of the household are allowed to treat the place like a hotel means that others will copy their example. You have to shout 'ENOUGH' and make yourself heard. Everyone in a big family has to pull their weight around the home as much as they're able. So stop picking up the slack.... stop doing everything and portion the work out instead. Everyone should be picking up after themselves. Older ones can work washing machines and cook suppers. Younger ones can keep rooms tidy. No more excuses

Then plan something for yourself. A day out shopping perhaps where you leave the smaller children in the care of Dad and the older siblings. Or - better still - some kind of activity that you do on a weekly basis, that gets you out of the house and interacting with others.

Once you stop doing everything, they'll notice you.

mumsknots Thu 08-Nov-12 11:16:54

Cogito is right.

I have an elder dc who is also works full time and pays board but if she wants to live here then I expect her to pull her weight. Every night I cook and usually masacre the kitchen and she does the washing up and cleans the kitchen for me. Even the youngest dc 9 has jobs that I expect her to do and it's the only way it works.

You have to find your voice here and start laying down some rules or you're just going to carry on being worn ragged!

Offred Thu 08-Nov-12 11:17:34

I have 4 dc. I'm a SAHM, although I am also a pt student and I do community work on a voluntary basis too. My dc are 7, 6 and 3 yo twins. They have not mastered many aspects of tidying yet but are certainly expected to tidy up their toys, bedrooms, strip their beds and bring their washing down. If they don't they don't get to play as I need things to be tidy in order to Hoover, if they don't bring washing/strip beds they sleep in dirty beds/have no clean clothes and at that point being their washing/bed clothes down! I agree you need to at least expect that they all help with the home even if sometimes it is hard work getting them all to actually do it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 08-Nov-12 11:17:55

"How the hell would I hold down a job with that much time off? "

You know what?.... I would get the job, tell your DH that he's going to have to do his share of time off for nursing children (it's his own business, he isn't on the clock), and then carry that through, no backing down.

I'm concerned that your DH seems to not only take you for granted and being lazy about domestic matters but seems to treat your concerns as trivial and does things like making nasty comments about what christmas presents you've bought. That's starting to sound like bullying.

BTW....that expecting a cooked meal on the table 7 days a week thing is so 1950s Just stop doing it. When they come home to an empty table and ask why there's nothing to eat say 'someone else can cook'.... and keep it up for a week.

OhThisIsJustGrape Thu 08-Nov-12 11:51:57

The youngest DCs are quite good at tidying away their toys etc and will always carry their plates through and put them in the dishwasher. I sometimes think the older two see their dad do fuck all and think they don't need to either.

If I don't put a meal on the table then no one will. Ok, maybe eventually someone might but it's not really fair on the youngest DCs in the meantime is it. Plus, as a SAHM, I have to accept that as my job - I would have no argument as to why the house hasn't been cleaned/dinner isn't ready if I've been here all day would I? DH really would do his nut if he came home night after night with no food ready. Funnily enough he wouldn't give a shit if the house was a mess. His favourite saying is that I'm always stressing about the house being a mess yet it never is. He cannot see that the reason the house isnt a mess is because I'm always cleaning It! A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday I felt awful. I suffer from horrendous periods and I'd come on the day before. He watched me clean, wash beds etc and when I happened to mention that I really didn't feel up to cooking a roast for lunch his solution was for me to cook it for tea instead that way I could spread the preparation (veg peeling etc) out over the course of the day rather than standing there doing it all on one go! Helpful or heartless?

The getting a job and leaving DH to sort childcare. It wouldn't happen. I worked 30hrs a week in a previous life job and still came home and did everything. It was still up to me to take time off as my job will never be as important as his. Ever. sad

I just hate my life.

Offred Thu 08-Nov-12 11:57:11

No a SAHM's job is childcare. A housekeeper is responsible for housework and a cook responsible for cooking. Maybe you should recognise the fact you are effectively being expected to do three jobs?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 08-Nov-12 12:06:46

It's not your job as SAHM to be exclusively responsible for all meals, all cleaning and all childcare at all times. That way lies a nervous breakdown and a houseful of lazy, entitled, spoilt brats.... I'm aghast that he still made you cook a full Sunday Lunch, clean and wash beds even though you were in pain. That's not just heartless, that's downright cruel. I am very suspicious of family men or older DCs that 'do their nut' just because they're expected to cook a meal occasionally.

You are not going to get your point across if you do nothing, say nothing and carry on thinking you're there to be everyone's servant. You will internalise the misery, probably making yourself ill in the process and meanwhile everyone will think that good old Grape is OK and doesn't mind being treated like a skivvy.

Here's an idea.... how about taking the two youngest away somewhere for a fortnight? Book yourself into a hotel. Let the others manage without you that way.

OhThisIsJustGrape Thu 08-Nov-12 12:08:25

Thems aren't the rules in this house I'm afraid. DH grew up in a house where his mum worked full time yet still managed to put a meal on the table every night. She only had two kids though and a DH who was at home for part of the day and prepped veg etc for her. Oh, and a cleaner.

If I'm here then it is expected that I will do all household chores. Of course, if I'm ever not here for a day and DH is with the DCs then nothing other than childcare is achieved.

OhThisIsJustGrape Thu 08-Nov-12 12:10:47

I did suggest to DH that he could learn to cook, just so that we could take it in turns at weekends. His response was 'there's no way I'm working 60+ hours a week then coming home and spending all weekend cooking'.

I posted about it on here at the time and got a right flaming.

Offred Thu 08-Nov-12 12:13:52

Those are not his rules, why are they not the rules of the house?

Whatnowffs Thu 08-Nov-12 12:20:04

He refused to come to his childs first birthday? shock

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 08-Nov-12 12:21:15

If those are the rules of the house & they're making you miserable, I'd seriously be looking at finding a new house.... where you make your own rules.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 08-Nov-12 12:24:42

"DH grew up in a house where his mum worked full time yet still managed to put a meal on the table every night. "

And tell him to go back to his mothers perhaps.... ?

OhThisIsJustGrape Thu 08-Nov-12 12:26:50

DH's head is always full of stress about work. Therefore he has no headspace for anything else, we are a major inconvenience to him most of the time as demanding anything from him (even just his time) means he has to think about us. Our dog had surgery last week and DH was in a foul mood as it was him who had to run the dog to/from the vets. If I spoke to him during the day he wouldn't even ask how the dog was - and he does this if I'm feeling unwell too - because if I dared say 'not too good, you'll have to come home a little earlier' he'd shit himself as what would happen about work?

Our sex life is awful ATM as I just can't feel that way about him on a Saturday night when I spend all week skivvying for everyone.

hillyhilly Thu 08-Nov-12 12:27:51

I am a sahm and like you have "complete domestic responsibility", though I only have dc aged 7&5. I do agree that your elder dcs and your dh need to help out even if its only a little to stop you being the domestic slave who's on duty 24/7. At the weekends your Dcs should be stripping their own beds, doing some laundry and getting their own meals if necessary. You do need to feed the littlies and its not unreasonable to feed grown ups who've been at work but not when they are enjoying leisure time.
If you can afford a cleaner then you must do that, all the better if you can find one that irons, I find sometimes either the tv or having prepared the evening meal during the day helps with the Afterschool squabbles, as does activities. My other lifesaver is the gym as it has a crèche and I wish I'd discovered it sooner. If you don't want to join a gym then perhaps you could find a childminder or nursery or even make an arrangement with a friend to get yourself at least a couple of hours off each week that are just for you. You could swim (I loved the peace and quiet of that), walk or go into town window shopping, it doesn't matter what you do but the time is yours and ideally you do not spend it in the house!
My ds was an absolute tinker at 2 -& still is at 5- but it honestly does get better and things get more under control.

Tenderisthenight Thu 08-Nov-12 12:31:16

Your ds is paying board to cover the cost of his accommodation, heating and food, not for the services of a full time cook, cleaner and washer woman. You need to get real with him about the realities of being an adult.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 08-Nov-12 12:31:30

"Our sex life is awful ATM "

Your relationship is awful.... You're being bullied, oppressed, made to feel like a servant in your own home, not shown anything even approaching consideration, affection or appreciation...

Really... take the smaller ones and have a fortnight by the seaside. Leave the others to cope by themselves. They will not appreciate what you do until you're not there. Courage....

OhThisIsJustGrape Thu 08-Nov-12 12:32:51

No, not a 1st birthday. It's a party I'm planning for dd's 13th in a few weeks. Being in a hall full of teenagers at a disco is his idea of hell so he's not going. Not my idea of a good night out either but someone has to go and I don't get to opt out. Actually, I'm looking forward to it but he's already declared it will be a nightmare controlling all the kids but he's still happy to leave it all to me to sort out. When I pointed it out to him he snapped back that he was paying for it (obviously as I have no income)which made me feel shit. Again.

I do occasionally ask him wtf he'd do if I left or anything happened to me - his response is always that he'd go back to his mother's.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 08-Nov-12 12:34:03

Paying????? Oh I get it now... he thinks he owns you. 'His' income is the family's money, not his to distribute according to his largesse. You've really got to stand up to this guy. He's taking the piss.

Whatnowffs Thu 08-Nov-12 12:36:47

tell him to go back to his mothers, something has happened to you - you have had enough, you have four children to cope with, not five!

Offred Thu 08-Nov-12 12:38:38

You sound worn down sad

One thing I would say is you have a pattern of thinking that is basically "what dh thinks is how ^things are^" and your whole life revolves around providing him with what he wants. Why are you such a second class citizen that you are doing all this work unhappily and just shrugging your shoulders because this is just "how it is"?

OhThisIsJustGrape Thu 08-Nov-12 12:39:35

I do try and prep meal during the day and stumbled upon the wonder of using a slow cooker recently which really helps in the after school meltdown period. DH doesn't eat with us as he's not home early enough so his gets left in the oven keeping warm.

It's difficult because he does work hard, really hard, and I do appreciate that he does all that to keep a roof over our heads etc, but I'm just sick of the daily grind. Maybe I blame him more than I should?

Eldest DS does have ASD, although not an excuse for everything and he obviously manages to work etc it does limit him somewhat. Especially in terms of being able to see what needs doing instead of leaving it to me. Mind you, DH has the same issue and he is very much NT hmm

camgirl Thu 08-Nov-12 12:40:26

I know there are deeper issues here than just he cooking, but what about a nice bung in the oven ready meal type thing once a week and a healthyish takeaway once a week to ease the load?

Offred Thu 08-Nov-12 12:42:43

To me it is not so much the actual division of labour but the attitude to it. I do most things in our house but it is not because DH expects I will because he has decided that is my role.

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