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I'm struggling with DH's hobbies.

(79 Posts)
FlameProofBoots Mon 30-Nov-15 21:38:40

I will start this by saying dh is usually wonderful, he does lots round the house and is a fantastic father. I'm not working currently due to MH issues and he works full time.

He does a martial art two nights a week, and has an extra practice session with his brother on a third night. He is also in a band and at this time of year has a gig once a week. So that's four nights every week that he's either out of the house or unavailable.

Ds2 is four and will not settle in bed for me, but will settle happily for dh. I know it's not ideal but it's how it is for now. So for four nights a week he is either up until dh is home or asleep on me, meaning I can't easily get up without disturbing him.

I feel like I want to ask dh to be out fewer nights. But I don't know if I'm just being pathetic. I'm exhausted today as Ds doesn't have preschool on a Monday so it's been a full on day. I'm currently lying in bed with him in the vain hope he'll give in and go to sleep, dh is downstairs practising. I could cry.

I don't know if I'm just being pathetic about this and it's my problem.

I suppose I'm just wondering how many nights is normal to devote to hobbies outside the family?

I feel like because he's so good and involved the rest of the time I should just suck it up. Especially when I have free time to myself for three whole days every week. Should I just man up?

TheAuthoress Mon 30-Nov-15 21:43:41

Can he not do the practise with his brother and the music practise after he's settled DS to bed? Assuming there's no time restraints the way there would be with the martial arts classes. That would be two nights less of you struggling.

FlameProofBoots Mon 30-Nov-15 21:47:48

I did ask him to settle him tonight before his brother came round but he arrived early and there was no time. The music stuff is gigs, so also set in stone and he usually has to leave at 6pm to get there and set up. I'm just exhausted as I don't get an evening on these days and in an ideal world id be in bed by now asleep.

FlameProofBoots Mon 30-Nov-15 21:59:55

Would I be justified in kicking off suggesting he does fewer evening activities? I am fairly useless at the moment which is part of it, the meds I'm on make me very slow and tired and I just feel like I can't cope with evenings on my own with the kids.

LHReturns Mon 30-Nov-15 22:02:00

OP that sounds really tough. May I ask if you would have any problem with the DH nights out if your DS went to sleep easily without your DH having to do it? If no, then I can't help but wonder if you should work on pushing through this so your son does learn to settlemalone? Your post sounds quite anxious, and I wonder if anxiety is one if your challenges (I also suffer from anxiety, and it means that normal challenges of parenting can make me into quite a head case once something gets under my skin).

I am not meaning to project my problems into you, I am just enquiring as the way you describe your issue is exactly the kind of thing that would have worked me into a frenzy when I had PND and anxiety. Now I am largely better, I am normally able to say: 'OK, this is silly, DS will learn to sleep without DH just like every other normal little boy has to. No one will die or be miserable, let's just get in with it".

My son is 18 months, and both DP and I work full time. We certainly don't spend any more than three nights a week 'together' (in or out), and I wouldn't want to. Other four nights one or both of us is doing something else.

LHReturns Mon 30-Nov-15 22:05:10

OP until I got my medication correct I felt exactly the same way. If you need more help from DH for the moment for that reason, and so you can get more sleep, i think that would be totally appropriate. That is a better reason (to me) than just to get your DS to go to sleep - DS needs to get on with that.

FlameProofBoots Mon 30-Nov-15 22:05:56

I do have anxiety, and I am aware I'm a bit defeatist about Ds settling so it's got to the point I don't even try because it takes forever and I usually give in and take him to bed with me. If he would settle id have no problems with dh being out, I used to relish this time when I could watch my own trash telly or read a book.

Ds has finally fallen asleep in my bed, hurrah.

LucySnow12 Mon 30-Nov-15 22:07:11

Bedtimes are stressful for lots of families. Personally, I think you need to be able to put your ds to bed. I think it's easy to get into bedtime routines that actually make the situation more difficult. How is it that your H has such an easy time? Is he doing something different? If he is then you should do what he does.

ovenchips Mon 30-Nov-15 22:07:25

OP just reading your post I can see how hard you are trying and how much things are now getting on top of you. You're finding things hard but are reluctant to put 'more' onto your husband as you feel he already does a lot. And through all this you have MH issues which necessitate you being off work. FWIW bedtimes sound rough. And 4 nights out a week sounds quite a lot to me.

I think you have to ask yourself - if bedtimes were a doddle, would you mind him going out/ doing his thing?

If I were you, I would be asking him to work with you to get bedtimes right, whoever is doing it. Your son is 4, he behaves differently with his dad than you at bedtime. That's a fairly strong indication that your son's problems going to bed when you're on duty are behavioural and learned. It's nobody's fault that bedtimes are like this - it's just the way things have ended up at mo. But that's good news as it really means it's fixable and your DS can learn new behaviours!

So I would concentrate on 'fixing' that with your husband as a team. Once that's sorted, I would then see how I felt about the number of nights he was spending on hobbies, and if I still felt it was too many I would tackle it then.

Ughnotagain Mon 30-Nov-15 22:07:50

You're not being pathetic at all. I know exactly where you're coming from.

My DH plays a sport and is in a band. If he went to all the practices it'd be two or three sports sessions a week (evenings and weekend afternoon), plus a band practice, plus any gigs. Or some kind of combo of them. It's too much.

We have a 6 month old and he has cut back since she was born. It's still not ideal, there are still weeks where circumstances will mean he's out 4 days in a row, and I do get frustrated. But it's better than it was.

For me it's not even that I want to go out and do stuff (not much anyway), I just find it so lonely when it's just me and DD!

Ask him to cut down. He might not realise how much it's getting to you.

FlameProofBoots Mon 30-Nov-15 22:08:39

Thanks LH flowers

LHReturns Mon 30-Nov-15 22:09:36

OP you could be me a year ago, literally! You will get better.

Ovenchips worded my thoughts beautifully.

FlameProofBoots Mon 30-Nov-15 22:11:35

Cross posted with all of you.

I know I need to crack bedtime, I don't know how dh does it, we both do the routine but Ds just doesn't want me to leave him so it drags on and on unless he falls asleep.

I think I feel worse today because he's been at home with me and I feel like I haven't had a break, but ten I feel selfish because he's at preschool for the next three days.

LHReturns Mon 30-Nov-15 22:29:30

Dear Lord, by 10pm you definitely deserve a break!! My DS goes to bed at 7pm and when I have done the full day (weekends) I am SO excited as the time guilt!!

My son behaves best with his nanny, pretty well with his dad, and absolutely the worst with me. I have decided it is because he loves me the most. Bet your son is the same...what son wouldn't want to curl up in bed with his lovely mummy (if she lets him)....

When your medication starts to work properly I bet you won't be as daunted about this sleep challenge.

TracyBarlow Mon 30-Nov-15 22:36:01

There is absolutely no way I would tolerate my husband being out of the house four nights a week. When do you get your four nights out?

When you have children, you have to make sacrifices. What sacrifices have you made? Your career? Figure? Hobbies? Social life?

What sacrifices has he made?

I'm not saying he shouldn't be out. It's important for everyone to have some interests and indulgences. But there has to be balance. And if it upsets you then YANBU to ask him to cut down.

My H cut down his three sports to one when my first child was born. Now we have three kids he only does his hobby for an hour a week but he knows it's temporary, and it's more than I get.

Seeyounearertime Mon 30-Nov-15 22:37:07

OP, I don't think it's been asked, if it has then apologies.
DP you get time away where you can be Flameproof and not Mum?

It sounds a lot, him going out 4 nights a week so i would hope that the other three is your time?

If not then it might be an idea to get you out and aboit, have a change of scene, do something for just you. It's not a solution to the whole thing but it might take the pressure off a little until your DC night routine is a little easier.


wallywobbles Mon 30-Nov-15 22:41:34

Our kids are quite a lot older and this wouldn't be ok for me. One or 2 nights max.

Marilynsbigsister Mon 30-Nov-15 22:46:45

I have to say I agree with the other posters and think that your ds has 'learned' this behaviour from you and now needs to unlearn it. As the spouse of someone with MH difficulties I can identify with yourv dh and his desire to have a busy life outside of home. Being a carer is emotionally exhausting and it sounds like your dh Is pulling his weigjt in all other respects, I would be reluctant to take these hobbies away from him. I think you have to soldier on and crack the sleeping thing. It wlll take some tough love short term but can be done. If it is very tiring whilst your medication settles, you can catch up on the three days ds is at school and OH at work.

AcrossthePond55 Mon 30-Nov-15 22:48:48

I'm with you about the 'me time' when DH does his hobbies. I remember how nice it was once the kids were in bed; trash TV, a book, and chocs.

You've said that DS settles for DH at bedtime but won't with you? Have you (stealthily so DS doesn't see you) watched DH with him to see what/how he does bedtime and then try to mimic what he does? Listen to his words, tone of voice, body movement, etc. Maybe there's something he's doing that you can pick up on.

Smorgasboard Mon 30-Nov-15 22:53:17

Am I missing something or just lucky with a well behaved DS over the years. Your DS is 4! He should not hold your evenings to ransom, rod for your own back to let him fall asleep on you just because he does, it is possible he knows this will not be an option when your DH puts him to bed. A bit of distance and tough love if you like maybe helpful. If he gets out of bed, put him back straight away, however number of annoying times in the beginning, he will get it in the end.
I wonder why you are so tired though. As a single parent working full time, with a child from 3 to now 12, sure it's tiring at times but not that draining. Maybe you MH needs some help, whether that be counselling or GP. Sometimes the draining aspect of children can be if you find you have slipped into making them your entire world. Never forget your own interests, do things for you, what about your hobbies when DH is home? What about some sports club or gym or social group. If all your life is you child and home, that is what is draining. Get out on an evening or days you have to yourself, do stuff for you. There is much more to a woman than child and homecare, find yourself as you were before all that.

NewLife4Me Mon 30-Nov-15 22:58:07

He needs to choose either martial arts or the band imo.
It isn't fair that you are having to do so much without him and you are struggling.
They are hobbies not his job so one should be enough.

Fugghetaboutit Mon 30-Nov-15 23:04:07

Two things:

sleep train your son asap or your dh do so.

Tell tour dh to stop using the fact he works as a get out clause to parenting and doing what the fuck he likes.

You need more support.

IonaNE Mon 30-Nov-15 23:04:54

OP, I think it would be unreasonable to ask your DH to cut back because, as you say, the problem is not him being away/practising but your DS not settling. You need to crack DS's bedtime: get him to his bed and leave him no option. If he does it for your DH, he is capable of doing it for you, too. You say he "does not want" you - a 4-year-old does not get to rule your evenings.

BeyonceRiRiMadonnna Mon 30-Nov-15 23:37:45

OP because you are not feeling 100% trying to crack bedtime now is just going to frustrate you, BUT you really do need to crack it. "Man up" to your DS.

I think people are being unfair to your DH, you've said he's mostly involved, hands on etc. has everyone skipped the part where you are getting THREE WHOLE CHILD FREE DAYS or did I misread?

Having said that though, when you are not feeling 100% DP should be making you a priority and supporting you.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 01-Dec-15 04:03:59

If he is at work full time and out again by 6pm four nights a week, when is he doing lots around the house and being a fantastic father exactly?

To be blunt, the reason your son is like this for you and not your husband is because you let him. That's all. He has learnt that if he plays up then you give in.

And it is exhausting caring for someone with MH issues. And yes he needs a break. But more than half the week's evenings, every week is too much. You can't possibly be having equal free time. What are your hobbies outside of the home?

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