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Is DP out of line here (man-child?) or am I just tired/unreasonable/expecting too much?

(15 Posts)
PooperTrouper Thu 18-Jun-15 10:43:07

I lost it at DP yesterday. We have a three-month-old (and other kids). I'm tired from night feeds plus some insomnia (struggling to go back to sleep after 4am feed). He knows this. I want to feel that he's empathising, offering some understanding - just that he cares for me, really. I feel like I have to go on about how knackered I am to remind him I just need some emotional and practical support, which I think should be naturally forthcoming.

In addition, I feel that most domestic/admin stuff is bottle-necking at me, despite having my hands full with a small baby. I initiated sorting life insurance in November, with baby on the way. It took DP SIX MONTHS (and me endlessly reminding him) to pull together the few bits of paperwork and info the financial adviser needed. I felt embarrassed by the delay, and exasperated with DP. Likewise with a student loan he's being chased to repay: another reminder letter arrived yesterday, NINE MONTHS after the first! I'm finding his laissez-faire attitude to handling his personal finances and admin is causing me to lose respect for him. Like all adults, he has stuff to do, but he doesn't keep a list or anything to remind him.

I've been communicating with a couple of childminders, trying to sort quality childcare for when I return to work. DP does nothing to advance this; doesn't ask about it. I talk about it a lot, but last night when I was chatting it through with him again, he said: "I can't have an opinion on it if you don't tell me about what you've been finding out." shock angry

I lost it after that; I felt kicked when I was down. I'm very tired and doing the lion's share of domestic/financial/childcare organising, and he had the nerve to suggest I'm in the wrong for not communicating with him enough. We haven't talked since, other than DP saying he felt attacked and undermined by me.

I do love DP. He's fun and laid back, loving with our baby, he tells me he loves me and is affectionate and loyal. He is a DIY demon, and has done a lot around the house/garden, in bursts. He gives the kitchen a bit of a clear-up most days, and puts washing on. But I do (or nag about) pretty much everything else, which grates. Juggling all the day-to-day stuff (housework, meal planning, food shop, errands) is always on my mind, and I sense DP doesn't really think about much of it. We can be surrounded by piles of laundry, and he'll be gaming on his iPad, and I'll ask if he could fold some laundry ... surely I shouldn't have to ask? Sigh.

I just want to feel empathised with and cared about when I'm knackered, and as though I can depend on him to at least sort his own paperwork/financial admin (at least the stuff which impacts me/baby) without constant reminders from me. And be more minded to do housework, initiate conversations about childcare, etc, without me prompting. It's our life together, our responsibilities - we need to be a team surely, not for me to have to 'parent' DP too? I feel like a nagging PA/mother figure, and I'm feeling resentful and losing respect.

AIBU (or just tired and overly demanding), or does DP need to grow up?

mommyof23kids Thu 18-Jun-15 10:59:28

I'd have yelled at him too. No judgment here.

The non adulting of your dh can be grating. I admit I have many of his bad habits and have not been able to change no matter how I try. But rather than you taking on the brunt of the work which would be incredibly unfair is there a way to outsource many tasks in the house?

You don't need the extra stress and even if he wants to change it's not going to happen immediately so do whatever you can to help yourself.

shovetheholly Thu 18-Jun-15 11:30:40


You need to have a conversation about him regarding the division of labour. I suggest that you don't simply divide every task 50/50. He is clearly completely rubbish with financial stuff, whereas you are very sorted. So it will be much more efficient if you run that side of business. However, you need to offload some of your tasks onto him in return (how about the laundry, start to finish?). Clear lines of responsibility, rather than wishy-washy 'I just need some help with whatever is going on' will help, I think.

Handywoman Thu 18-Jun-15 11:59:09

Agree with Shove YANBU. He needs a wake up call and to take on more at home. Gives me the rage when men don't even give child care a second thought. My ex was like that. Note I said ex.

This is about lack of respect for what you are doing. It's invisible to him. Maybe leave him for a weekend on his own with baby? If not breastfeeding I would book into a hotel.

Vivacia Thu 18-Jun-15 12:03:41

I agree with shove too. Hand something over to him completely, but not something he'll obviously fail at.

I presume he's working full time. What are his hours?

I'd also advocate having equal down time, much easier than trying to figure out equal responsibility time.

DorisLessingsCat Thu 18-Jun-15 12:10:38


He is clearly completely rubbish with financial stuff, whereas you are very sorted. So it will be much more efficient if you run that side of business.

You don't need any special talent or education to sort out house insurance or student loans, just the impetus to concentrate on dull stuff.

He is behaving like a man-child and how anyone ever has time to play on an iPad with a 3 month old plus other kids in the house is beyond me.

As you have said, it's both of your lives, and he is not playing a full active part in it.

0x530x610x750x630x79 Thu 18-Jun-15 12:33:01

everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
I am not in a career that requires patience or caring because to be honest they are skills i am not good at.

What is wrong with organising tasks around your prefrences/skills?
Why should everyone do jobs they dislike just because they are "adults"?
my husband cooks he likes it, i don't really.
Oh no lets follow the MN mantra of making me cook a crap meal and him doing a half arsed job of cleaning up afterwards.

DorisLessingsCat Thu 18-Jun-15 13:09:16

Why should everyone do jobs they dislike just because they are "adults"?

Or to phrase the question another way: "why should adults get away with not doing essential tasks just because they don't like them?" - which is more relevant to the thread.

You can choose a career to suit your strengths, being a parent often means doing things you would not otherwise choose to do.

0x530x610x750x630x79 Thu 18-Jun-15 13:21:14

nobody was saying he should get away with doing less, just splitting the jobs up according to personal strengths/weakness/desires.

shovetheholly Thu 18-Jun-15 13:23:49

Yes, to be clear - I'm not advocating that the OP gets all the rubbish jobs by default! I'm saying that it might be helpful to have a discussion about what each of them enjoys or is good at, and to split the domestic chores along those lines. That will probably involve both of them doing something they don't really enjoy.

I also think that it helps to have some kind of a commonsense rule that, unless there is significant illness or some kind of extenuating circumstances, one person should not be sitting down and lounging around playing games or watching TV while the other is on their feet doing chores.

DorisLessingsCat Thu 18-Jun-15 13:24:50

But it's his crap - his student loan, his paperwork - not shared jobs. His attitude smacks of wifework.

OnlyLovers Thu 18-Jun-15 13:27:11

You seem to be being treated as the housekeeper/PA.

Please don't use the word 'nag' about yourself; it's a hateful word and all it means is 'ask repeatedly about things one shouldn't even have to ask about once.'

Look after yourself and the kids and leave his stuff, would be my advice. He'll soon realise that there isn't a house fairy.

0x530x610x750x630x79 Thu 18-Jun-15 13:31:21

but aren't finances husband work, aren't the men traditionally in charge of money?

He doesn't care, he doesn't do it, you have 2 choices nagging or do it yourself and give him a job he will do.

If there are no jobs he will do then yes i fully agree about him being a lazy bastard who the OP needs to leave.

shovetheholly Thu 18-Jun-15 15:41:54

Doris - I guess it is wifework, if he doesn't do anything back. If he does all the hoovering and the laundry for the whole house in exchange, though, it starts to look like a trade, no? I suppose I'm saying that a fair arrangement can be reached on a collective rather than an individual basis: provided both parties take on 50% of the overall labour, I don't see why it can't be in different areas. For example, I know a couple where one partner is a dreadful cook but brilliant administrator, and the other is a great cook but terribly disorganised. So they exchange, and neither is desperately unhappy doing the thing they hate. And they're gay! If both parties hate a job, it can be done alternate weeks.

I think the difficulty with this is the little jobs that come up around the 'edges' of things - like when DD spills cornflakes all over the floor - which is why I say that there also needs to be a general rule of no sitting down until everyone can sit!

0x530x610x750x630x79 Thu 18-Jun-15 18:54:42

Sorry lost it there, really shouldn't mumsnet when work is going to pot.

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