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A classic problem is beyond me right now. Help.

(89 Posts)
Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 09:33:36

I have opted to stay at home with DS who is 12 weeks old. DH and I are having awful arguments over woking. He says he is too tired to do anything when he ges back in. I'm at home with baby who has a medical condition that requires constant attention right now (just lots of physi al therapy-don't let it seem that he is sick). This has to be the oldest, most longstanding problem since womens lib. Help me argue my case without a fight, please.

HeySoulSister Tue 21-May-13 09:34:44

is there a case to fight? he's tired from working all day

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Tue 21-May-13 09:37:51

If he is doing less that he did before, I would say he's trying it on!

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Tue 21-May-13 09:38:52

How did the division of chores work before baby?

Raaraathenoisybaby Tue 21-May-13 09:40:30

Don't do anything except exclusive baby care. Tell him you are too tired to do anything else either.

AnyFucker Tue 21-May-13 09:42:28

He is a parent, is he not ?

Being a parent also requires managing that baby's environment as well as caring for baby

he is being lazy

if he lived alone and worked FT, how would he eat and climb over the piles of laundry/dust/shit in the house ?

TeaMakesItAllPossible Tue 21-May-13 09:48:21

What I'm about to say can be used with someone who is reasonable. If your DH is not reasonable then it might not work!

I would recognise that he is tired and nicely point out that you are too. I'd propose a fair way of sharing the load and ask whether he has any ideas.

I would imagine that the combination of working, additional pressure to be good at his job (which many new fathers have), being wiped out at the emotions of having a baby which a medical condition, new baby sleepless nights means that he is tired. What he's not recognising is that you're tired too and many of these factors apply to you too. Perhaps he doesn't understand what's involved in your day to day?

The objective should be that you both have equal down time at the end of the day. Perhaps an ambition in the first instance that you both have 15 minutes not doing things to relax somewhere at the end of the day and an hour both out of the house each week doing something you enjoy. Build it up over time.

If you're both planners then timetable it over the week.

The other thing I'd do, if you can, is arrange to be away for a day as soon as you possibly can so he experiences what you are. Not sure how possible that is with a 12W baby. Might be an ambition for 6m.

I hope you both get some time and can avoid the competitive tiredness downward spiral.

TeaMakesItAllPossible Tue 21-May-13 09:49:19

It doesn't apply if he's a lazy fecker either.

badinage Tue 21-May-13 10:03:46

The most obvious additional factor involved here is that only one of you has undergone a physical experience requiring medical intervention for the past year and at 12 weeks post partum, you're still recovering from giving birth. This is something that few people genuinely understand unless they've been through it themselves, but quite apart from all the excellent points made upthread about the housework and childcare he'd have to do when he got home from work if he was a single parent, the impact of pregnancy and giving birth is significant.

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 10:12:12

We are in it to win it as a couple. No other problems. I was the larger income by almost twice my husbands salary. But to be honest, he is to my mind, lazy. Even when he didn't have work I cooked, did allthe laundry, did the bins etc . I know he works hard now, but MAN does he make a song and dance about it, while making me feel like a free loading loafer. eg "You have so much free time, why don't you go on your Mumsface page or whatever." Again, I just need him to learn to value what I do home more. I could go back to work but I'd be worried that the babies nappy wouldn't get changed etc.

badinage Tue 21-May-13 10:18:34

I want to bang my own head against a wall when I read about women electing to be the SAHP when they earn twice what their husbands do and who seem to think that they were born with an innate ability to change nappies and work a washing machine.

But if you did all the housework even when you worked just as hard as him and contributed double what he could financially, what on earth made you think he'd change when you had a baby?

Please tell us you can go back to your career and haven't resigned?

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 10:19:24

Badinage! Worse still I had an emergency CS at 1 day shy of 42 weeks after a failed 5 day induction-don't ask. But then again, he went straight into work the next 3 days. Barely saw him. All on my own. I haven't had 4 hours straight sleep since. I kmow he works hard. How do we faiy divvy up the work?

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 10:22:02

I will go back to work and he will be the SAHP as we had ways agreed. First, my child has to get out of OT. But I will still be left with housework and he has no idea what looking after the baby means.

BirdintheWings Tue 21-May-13 10:23:08

What he needs to understand -- and fast -- is that he needs to work harder now he has a baby.

My DH was briefly under the impression that when I was on maternity leave he would get to do less around the house.

To be fair, neither of us had had a baby before and merrily thought, how hard could it be? They mostly sleep, don't they? oh how I wish they'd slept

BirdintheWings Tue 21-May-13 10:25:16

Ah. You fear that he will actually be criminally bad at it by way of forcing the issue? That sucks.

On the other hand, if he is going to be doing all the childcare during the day, you may well get a pretty big share of the housework when you get home. After al, you do know how hard it can be.

See above points about both getting the same amount of downtime.

badinage Tue 21-May-13 10:38:51

I'm really struggling with your perspective on this. You say you are both in it to win it and that there are no other problems, but what you're describing is a lone operator who doesn't think he's part of a team, who thinks that housework and childcare is women's work and who hid for 3 days while his partner was undergoing a frightening medical procedure delivering his child.

They sound like big problems to me. What I don't understand is why you have a different view of him.

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 10:43:15

Hey bird. No actually, I've seen him in action. He says things like, "you need to loosen the diaper clasp, that is what makes DS constipated". - "Can you get me a new vest, he has wet himself"- because he doesn't fasten the . I'm not the woman that facilitates learn helplessness. But he is going to have to prove himself a lot better at the basics before he gets the 'cushty' job of staying at home. I'm so glad he lactates. Oh mo, that will also still be on me.

AnyFucker Tue 21-May-13 10:48:25

You are a mug

Nothing more to say here

Eventually it will split you up. Don't say you weren't warned.

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 10:48:57

badinage We live in the US where there is no maternity leave, let alone paternty leave. My DH returned to the hospital for the CS at 3.16am, stayed with me until we got the baby back and worked another 36 hiurs straight. He's not a dick. I was looking for positive talking points.

Mumsyblouse Tue 21-May-13 10:50:08

No, you don't have to do all the housework if you are the full-time worker, you have to share it like normal people. You have socialised him into this situation, by your own admission, by doing everything when you were both working. Now you are going to have to socialise him out of it- because all hands on deck are needed here.

By the way- the first year with a new baby is immensely tiring for both parents (especially if baby in room with you both, crying, waking up, sharing feeds if FF). We have a slight giggle sometimes over the grey dad face of the man who has aged 10 years by having a new baby in the house. But that's why everyone has to pull their weight. That's not to say you are not more tired, as your body has experienced childbirth/breastfeeding for some. But sometimes does feel like a tiredness competition.

Once your baby is out of the woods, tough love is called for, as is leaving him to it (baby and housecare) so he learns what to do.

AnyFucker Tue 21-May-13 10:51:48

There is nothing positive to say about a lazy man who thinks child care and domestic work is purely the women's arena

There is nothing good in a partner that you cannot trust to take basic care of his won child

Your chirpy tone is jarring, tbh

This a parenting site where feminist values are promoted and the idea of 1950's values wrt to women being the domestic drudge, glorified housekeeper and just there like a piece of furniture for the bloke to complain at are over

badinage Tue 21-May-13 10:54:52

Look, as soon as he starts feeling responsible for changing nappies and sorting out vests and realises he will be judged by others if he gets it wrong, he'll bloody well learn how to do it. Not to mention his own conscience if his own child suffers some minor discomfort because of his incompetence.

But you also need to relax and remember that no child died because of a nappy that hadn't been fastened properly, or the odd wet vest. Neither of you were born with childcare skills and like you, he will just have to learn by his mistakes. Let him get on with it and make his own mistakes and don't re-do it all when he fucks up.

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 10:56:35

anyfucker I disagree. I don't see this spliting us up. But thanks for your super useful input. - A Mug.

butterflymeadow Tue 21-May-13 11:02:51

>>I just need him to learn to value what I do home more. <<

No, you really don't, you need him to help you at home more.

To give him the huge, huge, huge benefit of the doubt, you are both working in extremely tough circumstances, but yours are tougher, for the reasons already stated re CS and lack of sleep and what sounds like 24 hour care. Where you personally are heading is lack of sleep, plus a full-time job, plus you still doing all the housework, this is what your life will look like in a few months if he does not step up now. Cue resentment and anger towards him and the realisation that you are more in it than him. That sounds more negative than you want to hear, I know, but I have been there twice over. It is not pretty.

The best advice on here in terms of positivity is from Teamakesitallpossible. If you really are in it as a couple, then he will listen and it will work. But you need to address it now. And he needs to listen. It does not come across as if you are in it as a couple at the moment.

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 11:05:08

badinage He was always planned to be the SAHP, so its not a case of gender ignorance. He keeps bringing up the fact that he is 11 years older than me and more tired. We had it out today and he cried with shame and embarrasement and also, I think, his own frustration. The promotiom he was promised is still up I'm the air. But to be honest, I can only handle one crying baby at a time.

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