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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.

cestlavielife Wed 22-May-13 23:52:55

If you are going to be serious about weekends off then let him go stay elsewhere for the weekend . Then you do the same.

No... You take it in turns to each get three to four hours break on weekends. With baby this young no one should get to disappear for a weekend.

Why can't he stay working and you pay a nanny when you go back to work ?

And a cleaner etc.

If he thinks he can have weekends off already he has a long way to go as a parent....

NotGoodNotBad Wed 22-May-13 21:12:12

Yeah, not sure how or why anyone - mum or dad - gets to have a whole weekend off when they've got a 12 week old baby. A couple of hours of free time is a pretty good deal at this stage.

butterflymeadow Wed 22-May-13 20:53:04

What a strange turn this thread has taken.

FWIW, of course you need to believe in your DH because you have a new baby, you arRe exhausted and you have to believe he will pull through for you. No-one here would advocate throwing in the towel at this stage.

But speaking as someone who tried everything, and I mean everything (lists, plans, negotiations, cleaners, delegation, expecting initiative, doing it, stopping doing it) before collapsing two years later in an exhausted heap on the floor, and declaring no more, there are a couple of things to be wary of:

- you made the plan. It needs to become a joint responsibility
- he has negotiated himself the first weekend off, which suggests he really does not get how exhausted you are, or take your point about equal sharing of duties seriously. A weekend off with a 12 week old baby with demanding needs? Seriously?
- people do not fundamentally change

That said, I hope you do work it out, and if so, please do come back 6 months after your return to work and update, if only to restore my jaded faith in men.

IsItMeOr Wed 22-May-13 19:55:08

Am I the only one who has no idea what an "in it to win it" couple is?

OP, you do come across very unsympathetically. This could be because you're in the middle of a hugely challenging situation. Or it could just be that you don't like the other members of your gender very much. Either way, I hope you find a solution that suits your family and get the support you need.

expatinscotland Wed 22-May-13 13:00:16

And whether you are a SAHP, in your OP you said you were, but now it's your spouse, a partner who finds doing his or her fair share in life is a dick.

expatinscotland Wed 22-May-13 12:50:50

You earn THAT much money and never thought of outsourcing this work? Or hiring a nanny? Really? Where is Xenia when she is needed?

namelessposter Wed 22-May-13 12:42:19

I was impressed with your CV :-)

Helltotheno Wed 22-May-13 11:32:59

He did FA before the baby came along and he's doing FA now.

This is the fundamental problem OP, that his behaviour (ie being a lazy sod) has always been tolerated by you and now, when the chips are down with the new baby etc, how are you going to change that entrenched behaviour if he (an adult and parent) doesn't see himself that it needs to change? I think that's what other people see that you don't seem to. Having to manage another adult when you have children is an unbelievable PITA.

I agree with the the above poster that there's little less sexy than a big overgrown lazy baby as a partner. Given that you have been successful, how will you keep loving and respecting someone like that? Very difficult.....

Keep your bright side out by all means, but develop zero tolerance and cojones of steel smile

DistanceCall Wed 22-May-13 11:25:03

Go back to work. Your baby's nappy will get changed.

wellhellobeautiful Wed 22-May-13 11:11:51

Mixxy I'm glad you've spoken to your DH and he agrees his efforts have been less than sub-standard so far.

I do think that in the short term, the only solution is the one you've arrived at - a prescriptive approach where he's given very specific instructions to follow. That at least addresses the issue of making sure all chores that need to be done get done.

But I think that the other posters are concerned that by adopting this approach you've cornered yourself into the role of his 'manager'. Who's going to enforce this new rota? If he starts to get lazy again will you have to go nuclear again to get him to pull his socks up? That doesn't bode well for the future of your relationship and I suspect you'd quickly lose respect for him.

Where you perceive you've been given a hard time is where posters are pointing out that actually your DH doesn't sound like a very dependable partner. He did FA before the baby came along and he's doing FA now. Sure you might be able to project manage him in the short term. But longer term he's going to have to fundamentally change his attitude and - to put it bluntly - man up a bit. He's a parent now.

Don't make the mistake of doing all his thinking for him.

ClaraDeLaNoche Wed 22-May-13 10:36:30

OP I am impressed with your CV. You don't sound like the doormat some people are making you out to be.

Did you want the time off with the baby? Have you had enough do you think?

mummytime Wed 22-May-13 10:29:12

Okay despite your personal attack (and bad spelling) in reply to my first post. I will try once more.

You are obviously extremely tired. I can only imagine you are awake to post on here in what must be the middle of your night, because you have been woken by the baby again.

So I will give you the benefit of the doubt, that you are barely existing due to tiredness and sleep depravation and that is why you are being so rude to people who try to help you.
However if you can earn twice what your DH does, why isn't he taking over the Physical therapy for the baby so you can return to work. Or why don't you buy in some help, and he could continue working.
You do need to let him parent his way (even if it leads to mess etc.) and then let him deal with the consequences, so you can get some basic rest.

Relationships are not the same as business, and maybe you need to work on that. You do also need to get some sleep.

BTW very few people here are impressed by how impressive your CV is, sorry.

Umlauf Wed 22-May-13 10:25:26

You think getting a house cleaner solves under lying issues? What a spotless house you must live in.

It solves the issues in the same way as a spreadsheet does. What needs to change is the mentality of your husband, chores lists and cleaners are just shortcuts to getting jobs which need doing done.

I really sympathise with your original post, I'm pregnant at the moment and my SPD is killing on top of living in a country where I can't take time off work for health issues like this one. I feel awful as for about 4 months DH has had to do literally everything at home for me. He keeps telling me he isn't doing anything special, its normal.

I think you have already communicated your feelings to your husband and whether or not he will adapt only time will tell, not anyone on MN or you yourself, but I think in your exhaustion and stress with the newborn you are reading comments here in a much more negative way than i am, which is not helping the thread.

It seems what I work at impacts peoples empathy towards me. I doubt this will help. I'm a COO of one of the top 5 bull hedges on Wall St. Women are haters. None better than us Brits for this.

Its really sad that you feel this way, I've only read comments on your thread to be really empathetic towards you, although perhaps a bit defensive after you were defensive. If in your job you are used to women being aggressive towards you, be thankful that here on mumsnet you can get honest and good advice from all kinds of women, most of whom don't give a shit about money or your job.

Fwiw I see nothing wrong with hiring a housekeeper or nanny if neither you or your DH want to be sahps.

ClaraDeLaNoche Wed 22-May-13 10:22:40

Mixxy do what works for you and your family and keep upbeat. Such a lack of support from the "sisters" here. Fight one battle at a time. How mean with this "sweetie you earn nowt". You have achieved a lot and should be proud of yourself.

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 10:18:45

I judt told you that I had a great conversation with ny DH about all this. We are working it out. Why don't you tell me what dog and pony show you need to read?

OxfordBags Wed 22-May-13 10:09:55

Mixxy, why don't you tell us what you want us to say? Because the truth is obviously miles away from what you're willing to accept and therefore help.

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 10:06:32

You think getting a house cleaner solves under lying issues? What a spotless house you must live in.

OxfordBags Wed 22-May-13 10:03:46

You're calling women haters, but MNers are not the ones treating you like a live-in servant, OP. Everyone on here has told you that you are being treated unfairly and wants for that to change for the better. You not liking some stone cold home truths does not make them haters. You're lashing out at strangers because that's easier than facing up to how badly you're being treated by your OH.

You seem to have some strange ideas about Feminism. It doesn't matter if you're Queen of the bloody world, job-wise - if you're doing all the shitwork around the home, WAHM or SAHM, and making excuses for your OH to not lift a finger, then that's not any form of Feminism I recognise. Believing that you are equal to your OH is very nice, but not helpful if you're not actually treated that way by him.

The only hating going on here is the woman-hating of your OH who sees housework and childcare as utterly beneath him. And if it's beneath him but fine for you to do, that's pretty fucking hateful. He won't even get a change of vest for his own child? I could cry for you at how he must see you as a bloody slave to even dream of treating you that way. You say you don't enable him but you so do!

I have been a SAHM for over 2 yrs. My mister comes home and everything is shared between us. In fact, he probably does slightly more than me, as I have health issues and tire more easily. When the working parent is at home, things should be 50-50. I often feel like I could fall into a coma by 4pm every day, but I can't use tiredness as an excuse to not parent my own child.

Ask yourself this - however tired you were after a full working day, would you come home and do zero around the house, virtually nothing with your child? Of course not. So ask yourself why on earth it is acceptable that he does that? Possessing a penis or being a older does not make it okay.

You need to ask yourself why you allow yourself to be treated this way. The weirdly peppy and over-bright way you talk coupled with allowing yourself to be a skivvy really indicates incredible low self-esteem underneath the surface, IMHO.

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 09:59:40

You think getting a house cleaner solves under lying issues? What a spotless house you must live in.

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 09:57:01

Ton I don't why asjibg adivse seems to center on or tries to guess on my job,or than the one that 'tires' my husband. I'm qnot in law, though my mother was a judge. It seems what I work at impacts peoples empathy towards me. I doubt this will help. I'm a COO of one of the top 5 bull hedges on Wall St. Women are haters. None better than us Brits for this.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Wed 22-May-13 09:54:53

Well get a housekeeper then. Problem solved.

Yes, all the women who have taken time to think about your problem and give considered replies and recommendations are 'haters'. Seriously what a waste of time. hmm

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 09:44:22

Ton I don't why asjibg adivse seems to center on or tries to guess on my job,or than the one that 'tires' my husband. I'm qnot in law, though my mother was a judge. It seems what I work at impacts peoples empathy towards me. I doubt this will help. I'm a COO of one of the top 5 bull hedges on Wall St. Women are haters. None better than us Brits for this.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Wed 22-May-13 09:26:56

I mostly lurk in Relationships, rarely post, but my admiration for the regulars, especially AnyFucker is boundless.

I have no doubt you are a high earner and high achiever. And you are trying to use the same skills that got you there within your relationship and family life e.g.
"I employed this strategy"
"win win"
You come across as someone who expects to be fully in control and to problem solve and negotiate. (I'm guessing you're in law but may be wrong)

I expected you posted here to be given advice in the same light. You were expecting responses along the lines of:
- spreadsheet / organisation chart for household chores
- suggestions for incentivising your DH
- negotiation techniques
- training advice for bringing his household and childcare skills up to scratch
- time management / 'managing energy'

You didn't get it. And you lashed out at the people who gave you the clear sighted advice that he was very unlikely to change and that he undermines you and does not do his fair share. And you went back into your usual mode of problem-solving and negotiating and agreeing strategies to 'manage' the situation.

The only way he will change is if you stop doing his shit and expect him to do his fair share. He doesn't need to be briefed or delegated to or managed. He needs to act like an adult and a parent. And he needs to be respectful of what you and your body have done over the past year.

(Also, if he earns half your salary for a job that expects him to work 36 hours straight after having a baby then he needs to leave.)

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 THIS.

If you are a feminist then you'll know this Gloria Steinem quote
"The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off."

Sorry you are having a truly shit time and hope your DC's therapy is going OK.

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 09:14:53

Thank you Mrs Bodger Yes he needs coaching and no I'm not happy about it. Throw a great marriage away about division if labour? I spoke abd was haerd I'm lookibh forwrd to rest of the week. I ha e my eye s open. Why other women want to attack me is probably their own issues.

MrsBodger Wed 22-May-13 08:55:47

Hi Mixxy. Just wanted to say well done for facing up to this situation with such a level-head. Not something I could have done with my first newborn.

And to say, yes, of course, your husband has been being an arse, but becoming a parent for the first time is a huge shock for lots of us, male and female. And, yes, of course, he should have realised that it was his time to do the heavy lifting, and it's very poor that he's been so selfish. But what's so terrible about giving the man you love and the father of your child a second chance? Why is that not feminist?

(Waits for good kicking that is surely coming Bodger's way . . .)

PS Hope your baby is doing well.

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