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Another ruined weekend - small kids, stressed out parents... help me work out what to do?

(6 Posts)
McLurkin Sun 09-Dec-12 11:54:27

I snapped at DP this morning for 'criticising my parenting', noting that I had just spent the past hour he had been in bed getting dcs dressed and breakfasted and cleaning up.

I wasn't feeling resentful actually of doing all that and it was quite an innocuous comment I took offence to so not sure why I snapped.

Anyway, DP was furious, swore, kicked stuff, descended into the same old same old argument about how he thinks I think he doesnt do enough around the house and he lists all the stuff he's done. And I say we're both stressed and he thinks the solution is to get a cleaner more regularly which drives me mad because I think what we need is more time together and alone without kids and a bit more respect in e.g. cleaning away after oneself.

We get caught up arguing over ridiculous trivia of house cleaning etc. Go round and round in circles. He storms off to the office, I sit and watch non-stop cbeebies w dcs...

This is getting to be a bit of a pattern. I dont think we ever resolve anything. He reckons its only when he is stressed about work but e has a v stressful time-intense job so that is quite often.

We haven't really had a sex life in 3 years. I am still bf ds (8mo) so am restricted in what I can do without kids and ds has been teething and feeding at night quite a bit recently so I am a bit extra tored and more prone to snapping.

I know life with small dcs is tough on a relationship but I think we are getting into an area where we will find it v hard to get out of our habits of disconnection and arguing. I grew up with arguing parents (still together and happier since they got thru us being teens and retiring) and I dont want my dcs to grow up in same environment. Moreover I want us to be happier.

I kind of know some things I could do but just feel at a loss as to where to start. We dont seem to be getting anywhere talking (we have tried talking when calmer but always enss up tense).

Do I just accept this is a really stressful time to be got through or do I try and do something now. And where do I start?

Typing on phone w dcs running around - feels a nit incoherent but that'll have to do!

ohforfoxsake Sun 09-Dec-12 12:01:36

You are right, it IS life with small kids. And it's really, really hard. It's very physically demanding and something has to give. It can't be the care of the children, so it generally tends to be the relationship.

Do get the cleaner in more - if it's fortnightly, make it weekly (hell, twice a week if it's weekly!) and get rid if the cleaning (you spend enough time tidying up as it is).

I had four DCs is 5 years. Youngest is now 5 and over the last year there has been a huge shift. She is still demanding, but the others do so much for themselves.

It WILL get better. Talk to each other and work out what little things you can do to get through this phase.

Good luck.

ohforfoxsake Sun 09-Dec-12 12:05:22

And don't underestimate what an impact the odd shag can make. It makes a massive difference, or you become little more than grouchy flat-mates.

When you have small children its the last thing you want to do. Sex is like going to the gym - you really really don't want to do it, but it's ok when you get started and you are always pleased you did it afterwards wink

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sun 09-Dec-12 12:38:42

I'm very concerned that your partner feels it's OK to 'kick stuff', attack your parenting and dish out verbal abuse. Yes, everyone feels fatigued working, looking after children and so on but there is no excuse for aggression. A smile costs nothing.

You mention 'habit' and 'pattern' and it worries me if the same scene keeps being played out. If he is unwilling or unable to make time to talk about how he can be kinder to you and how you can make things work better as a couple then nothing will change.

Can you get the children taken care of for an evening.... demand his attention?

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sun 09-Dec-12 13:49:51

"do I try and do something now. And where do I start?"

In any relationship where there are two people, both of you have to a) accept there is a problem and b) want to 'do something' to make it better. There are lots of things you could do to make your life easier/calmer .... count to 10 before getting annoyed, catching up on your sleep, weaning your youngest off b/f so that you are not so tied down etc. But, with the best will in the world, nothing you do in isolation (including 'an odd shag') will make any difference to how you relate as a couple if he carries on kicking stuff, shouting and swearing...

So when you say 'where do I start'... it should be 'where do we start'. You can only adjust your behaviour, not the other person's.

PottedShrimp Sun 09-Dec-12 13:52:57

What I would do right now is, get the kids wrapped up warm and say we are all off for a family ramble. Bet you anything you like alot of it is cos you are all indoors . You would all get some fresh air, the kids will sleep tonight and you and dh can have some time together to talk.

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