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(47 Posts)
gertrudestein Mon 23-Sep-13 10:12:39

Not sure if this is a relationships issue or not ...

DH and I have a DS, 11 wks, who is breastfed with the occasional bottle of formula. He wakes for a feed about once every 2 to 3 hrs, with one 4 hr stretch from about 10 to 2. DH and I have an agreement that I go to sleep as soon as I can after 10, to get a good stretch of sleep before the night feeds begin.

I'm really grateful for him for doing this, as it helps me get a good chunk of sleep. He soothes DS to sleep and normally stays up until midnight or 1, and will give DS a bottle if he gets hungry before this time. Then they both come to sleep in our bedroom.

The problem is - that's it! Apparently that gives DH licence to tell me off for making too much noise at night in case it disturbs his sleep (I take DS into another room to feed him). DH regularly gets 10 hrs sleep (he's self employed and starts work late) from midnight to 10am, while I'm up all through the night and most of the morning, tiptoeing around in case I wake him. On weekends DH sleeps in until 1 or 2 in the afternoon to recover from the working week. Occasionally on a Fri or Sat night he 'does me a favour' by staying up to do the 2 o clock feed. Of course this means I get a bit of extra sleep but then DH is knackered all day and has to have a nap in the afternoon and can't help look after the baby. If he asked me, I would always say I'd rather do an extra feed in the night and have some help with the housework, cooking, childcare etc in the afternoon.

I realise that he works hard, and he's very supportive and wants to help. Also, he genuinely needs a lot of sleep. (I've asked him to go to the doctor about the amount of sleep he needs but he doesn't think it's a problem.) In the meantime, I feel a bit abandoned and resentful - all of this sleeping basically just means I have to do absolutely everything else. How can I even things up a bit?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 23-Sep-13 10:19:36

I think it's totally unacceptable for him to 'tell you off' about anything hmm What is he, your father? I'm not seeing supportive and wanting to help quite honestly. Everything seems to be on his terms and the arrival of a baby hasn't disrupted this relaxed life of his one iota. And no, it really isn't normal or healthy for an adult male to be so chronically fatigued and still asleep at 2 in the afternoon..

How do you even things up? Just tell him what to do rather than expecting offers of help. And bang a few pan lids together at the weekends.... one up, all up.

gertrudestein Mon 23-Sep-13 10:36:00

I have to admit, I get very annoyed when he complains about noise at night - but he's just tired and has been woken up. He'd never dream of 'telling me off' really - he just gets a bit snippy.

A big part of me agrees with you, but then I also want to be compassionate. He really does seem to need a LOT of sleep. And this all seems so petty in many ways. And I dont want to make him more tired/ ill. I wonder if we should sleep in separate rooms so I can feed the baby in bed, and DH would get uninterrupted sleep. But would that spell the beginning of thr end of our relationship as a couple?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 23-Sep-13 10:53:44

Your baby is 11 weeks. I have new neice who is about 5 weeks old. My DB and his DW are taking it in turns to do the night shift with one of them sleeping in their basement room with DN while the other gets a full night's sleep two floors up. They have another child so it means at least one of them is firing on all cylinders the next day. Works for them. It doesn't take all that long before babies start sleeping though so I can't see how a few weeks like that would doom a relationship. Selfish, 'snippy' (please don't downplay it), inconsiderate and lazy behaviour is far more likely to put the mockers on a relationship

Twinklestein Mon 23-Sep-13 10:58:34

Sleeping in to 1 or 2pm is not a necessity if he is not ill - it's a choice.

That choice impinges on your & your child's life.

Sleeping in a separate room would certainly cut down the arguments, and it wouldn't affect the relationship if all was well. But all is not well if you feel abandoned...

Almostfifty Mon 23-Sep-13 11:13:11

Sleeping till 10 every morning, and till the afternoon at weekends?

He's not a teenager, get him out of his pit and helping you.

No grown-up needs that amount of sleep unless they're poorly.

NothingsLeft Mon 23-Sep-13 11:28:05

When you have a baby everyone's life changes, not just yours. There's no downtime with a newborn. Those days are gone for now. 10 hour long sleeps are a thing of the past. I am shock that's he's snippy.

Working all week is one thing but looking after a baby when sleep deprived is the hardest job in the world.

Have you spoken to him about it? What does he say?

Sammie101 Mon 23-Sep-13 11:40:49

Please don't downplay his sniping, it's awful looking after a young baby with broken sleep!
Yes he may work through the week but what does he think you're doing at home all day? Sitting round drinking cups of tea and watching loose women while the baby sleeps like an angel all day? Not likely! You'll be looking after her all day, whilst trying to wash yourself, feed yourself, do housework and presumably making the evening meal for OH?

Whenever my boyfriend goes to work I'm always jealous that he can get a bit of a break!

I wouldn't tiptoe around him, have a sit down and tell him that you need more help! Staying up later I've always found is easier than getting up early. Maybe suggest that at the weekend he gets up early so you can have a bit of family time? Or just leave the baby in the bedroom with him and when he/she cries leave it to him to get up and settle him/her (sorry I can't remember if you have a DD or DS, can't look at your post on my phone!)

Noideaatall Mon 23-Sep-13 11:42:46

oh OP, I really feel for you, I have a very similar situation and I don't know what to do either. My DP does get up at 6.30 during the week with DS1, and then takes DS2 to school so he's helping a lot. But if he gets up even once in the night with DS3 at the weekend he sleeps until midday or has a nap in the afternoon, and if he doesn't he's really shouty all day. I do understand that work is tiring (I'm on mat leave, not SAHM so I do get the long hours thing ) but....I get up every night and earlier at weekends because I'm getting up with DS2 as well. I'm reading with interest for any advice!

MotherofBear Mon 23-Sep-13 14:48:10

So, your DS usually goes to sleep around 10pm, and normally sleeps through until 2am. Your DP gets him to sleep around 10pm, and you go to bed shortly after, and then you get up to feed your DS around 2am.

I'm a bit confused as to why your DP feels the need to stay up until midnight or 1am if your DS is sleeping anyway. Surely he'd benefit more from going to bed around the same time as you do, and then he can get up to feed DS if he wakes for a feed earlier than 2am.

Or am I reading this wrong? Otherwise I'm not sure what your DP does to help to be honest - staying up an extra 2 or 3 hours whilst the baby sleeps is not really doing much helping. What does he do during this time?

gertrudestein Mon 23-Sep-13 17:20:49

Thanks for all your responses. Dh stays up because ds used to have a midnight feed, which Dh would do. Now ds has dropped a feed, which is good for him developmentally but inconvenient for me because it's the only feed I wasn't doing!

I get what everyone's saying about life changing when you have a baby. I really don't think Dh gets that, and the way I feel about that is probably colouring my judgment a bit. But at the same time, Dh works hard and I want him to feel comfortable abd relaxed at home - I don't want to constantly nag him. I've tried talking to him and asking to share things more equally, but nothing changes ..... I guess I have to find a way to get my point across without being too narky (hard to do at the end of a long day!)

Perhaps I need to force him to go to the doctor. The sleep is really extreme.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 23-Sep-13 17:29:55

You're supposed to be a partnership, a couple, a team.... Not one man doing his own sweet thing and a woman that runs around after him, pathetically grateful to be in his presence just because he brings home the money. It's not 'nagging' (misogynistic term) to work out how to manage a household and a baby in a way that's fair to everyone. Everyone should feel 'comfortable and relaxed' ... and you're anything but.

And btw.. he 'gets it' all right. He's just taking the piss.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Mon 23-Sep-13 18:05:28

He might work hard.
You work harder. That's a fact.
Tell him to man the fuck up and get out of bed.

Almostfifty Mon 23-Sep-13 18:08:43

Get him to do the ten o'clock one, and then you can be asleep by then.

He doesn't need to go to the doctor, he just needs to man up.

My second DC was FF as I was ill when he was born, and my DH did every night feed for me for three months, even when I was better. He then got up at six for work every morning, came home at night, helped with bath and bed, we'd clear up the kitchen together and then he'd study till bedtime.

That's a supportive husband, you've a teenager IMO.

Walkacrossthesand Mon 23-Sep-13 18:33:01

Why does the world stop turning on its axis if he's tired, yet it's somehow ok for you to be chronically sleep deprived and never get longer than 4h unbroken sleep? If you like 8h but get 4h, he likes 10h so will now have to manage on 5. Fair's fair!

clam Mon 23-Sep-13 18:53:20

This is the biggest load of bollocks I've read in a long time.

He doesn't "need" a lot of sleep; he's a lazy arse who's onto a good thing by generously offering to do one feed a day that he's up for anyway.

Why on EARTH are you tiptoeing around him, pandering to him "working hard all week?" We all work hard all week, whether we're SAHMs or in the office. I must say, though, that all the working mums I know say that they view the office (or even, in my case, the classroom) as a rest, compared with running around after babies/toddlers.

Sorry, but your dh needs a good slap. Here's some thanks and a brew for you. Or perhaps you'd prefer a wine ?

NothingsLeft Mon 23-Sep-13 19:18:24

I know it's hard to communicate it but the resentment will just build.

DH and I went through a similar issue with DS. I initially did nights, he 'helped' at the weekend. After months of serious sleep dep (they don't all sleep through at six month) I realised the unfairness of it all. I was going to bed earlier & earlier to cope while DH was sat up watching the telly carrying on like normal. I was bloody angry but he wouldn't listen.

I ended up with pnd and we ended up in marriage counselling. Babies are a joint responsibility, night waking are par for the course. 10 hours sleep is a piss take and he's not really helping you out.

gertrudestein Mon 23-Sep-13 19:45:43

Ok, I obviously really need to talk to him. I think I feel guilty because for the most part I really enjoy being a mum, and so I don't feel like I can complain. But you're right - the resentment will just build and build unless I tackle it. Honestly though, my Dh is trying hard and doesn't realise that I feel like this.

gertrudestein Mon 23-Sep-13 19:46:26

Thank you everyone for making me see this more clearly. Dh is working late tonight but I'll talk to him tomorrow.

cupcake78 Mon 23-Sep-13 20:31:48

Op I'm pleased your seeing it like it is. Firstly you work all day (and night) as well! He is an adult, he made that baby as well so he needs to pull his weight. No man needs that much sleep. I'd be so refreshed if I were him.

I have 2 dc. Firstly afternoon naps have gone for us. Dh does fri and sat nights feeds and sometimes one during the week. He gets up early in the morning as does ds so he sorts out his breakfast. At weekends we each have a lie in morning. After 9.30-10am I begin to break out the Hoover, hair dryer, empty the pan cupboard in the kitchen, take him a coffee in bed. I think you get the picturewinkgrin.

Your dh needs to man up. Schedule his sleep better and stop moaning. Buy him ear plugs and an eye mask and tell him to get on with it!

He has a baby, he will be tired for at least the next 20 years. About time he gets used to it.

gertrudestein Mon 23-Sep-13 21:31:56

Am so annoyed. He's just called to say he's going to be working all night on a project deadline that he's known about for weeks. He sounds all understanding - says he will 'keep me updated.' But couldn't he have thought about this a little in advance? I've been on my own with ds for 18 hrs now. No time to wash the sick off my clothes, enpty the washing machine, make dinner, tidy up. He tries to sympathise but says 'just leave the washing - it's not important.' Well it is if the baby is going to wear any clothes tomorrow. Oh god I'm so annoyed ... I feel totally abandoned and taken advantage of. The more I think about it, the more I feel like he sometimes 'lets me sleep' because he thinks it will fix everything - ie normal service will resume, me doing everything. He doesn't realise how relentless this all is, how I have to keep going and never get a break.

I just don't know how to talk about it without it becoming hostile. He has a history of making me out to be unreasonable. Everything I say is neurotic or OCD or because I'm tired or whatever. And somehow we end up agreeing to compromise 'to make me feel better' but not because hr sees my point of view. And he never sticks to his side of the bargain any way.

Obviously, I can't let this resentment build up ..... It's not completely black and white. We do love each other and I believe he's trying his best. But deep down it is still patronising and a bit disrespectful.

Almostfifty Mon 23-Sep-13 21:41:17

Well, if he's working, he's working. That's different IMO.

Put the baby down, go and have something to eat. Have an early night to yourself, knowing he's going to be late.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Mon 23-Sep-13 21:56:34

OP, I too genuinely need a lot of sleep.

I have 4 dcs, which I have raised so far (oldest is 9, youngest 3) almost singlehandedly (STBXH's excuse was usually work, ironically given what you've just said). For years, I have been desperately sleep-deprived. I have only recently come out of that stage. But I survived. I had to!

These days, I'm grateful for the lie-in if I stay in bed till 8am.

There's that funny saying, "An hour before midnight is worth two after." How about you suggest he goes to bed at 10pm, then he can get 4 hours' sleep before midnight and get up at 6am well-rested! wink

Unfortunately, though, it looks like he will not take you seriously whatever you say. He will give a verbal pat on the head and keep going as before. The only constructive thing I can suggest is thinking about whether there is someone who can deliver the message for you - someone who understands where you are coming from, but he will take seriously?

gertrudestein Mon 23-Sep-13 21:58:24

He works for himself and promised me he would plan better, not have these late night marathons anymore. That was after he complained about getting a bad night sleep while I was in labour because he had to meet a deadline the next day. I had been warning him for months not to line up any big deadlines around my due date. Luckily I was kept in hospital for a few days so I had some support after the baby was born. But I am still paying the mortgage out of my savings because he can't keep his commitment to me that he would contribute.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Mon 23-Sep-13 21:58:46

It's not a long-term solution, though, to what is a big problem in your marriage, if he really doesn't take you seriously when you raise a concern. Where's the equality?

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