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What can I do here?

(13 Posts)
PalcumTowder Mon 28-Mar-16 13:50:07

I don't know where to start so bare with me.

I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old. They are lovely but can be very challenging. I've been asking DH to take them out without me on a regular basis just for a couple of hours every weekend. He always says that he will, that he does, he'll remind me of the time 3 weeks ago he took them out for an hour after I'd asked him repeatedly. He gives examples of all the things he does, like get up in the night, get up at 6am with them every other morning, put a load of washing in, cooked dinner for me. He does do all of those things with varying levels of regularity. I'm a lot luckier than some women whose husbands don't do anything, I know that.

But I need time alone. Desperately. I need time when I'm not climbed on or screamed at, or having my hair pulled, or rushing around to get milk or crackers. My kids are good children, they're lovely and sweet and mostly know the boundaries but they're still babies and still learning and it can be very hard work.

Since the youngest was born I've needed time to myself more than ever. I gave up work, my friends, my physical fitness, my hobbies and now I really need to reclaim something for myself. All week I feel like I'm being chipped away, and I need time to restore myself at the weekend but I don't get it and the chipping away continues and soon there will be nothing left. DH has never had them both on his own for a whole day. Never.

I've been in tears telling him all this and asking him to make it a regular thing that he takes them out just for 2/3 hours every Saturday but it never happens and I'm at the end of my tether now.

He's finally taken them out now (he's been off work for almost 2 weeks and this is the last opportunity for him to take them so he's gone today for an hour or two after I asked several times) and now I have some time to think, I'm thinking would it be better for us to live apart? That way I could have the kids Monday - Friday like normal, and he could have them every weekend. I would say every other weekend but I'd need to get a job on the weekends to afford my own place. I don't even know if I could... I've found a 3 bed for 525 a month and I could earn around £500 a month if I worked every Saturday and Sunday. I need to work out exactly what child benefit I get and whether that would cover the extra plus food for us all. I don't want to rely on benefits as god know where we'll be if they cut them again, I wouldn't want that hanging over us.

Could I do it? Would it be better? Ideally I'd want to stay in this house and have DH move out but this house is 650 a month which I couldn't afford on my own. At the moment he pays all rent and bills. Crap, bills too. I can't do it can I? Has anyone got a bright idea for me? What can I do? How can I make life better for myself before I get swamped completely?

I'm probably being over-dramatic, they're only children ffs. I just need a break. A regular, reliable break. Sorry I'm rambling I'm just trying to think out loud. Thanks for any advice you can throw my way.

Balders74 Mon 28-Mar-16 14:06:35

Could you go out & leave them all at home instead of him taking them out? Not ideal I know but it would give you some space. Could you go to the gym a couple of times a week?

Do you love your husband? If this wasn't happening would you still want to be with him? It does seem extreme to want to split up just so you can get a break. And consider how much you would be doing on your own if you were on your own.

How would he respond to a rota? Or get the children ready & tell him he's taking them out at 1pm.

I'm sorry you're feeling so fragile.

PalcumTowder Mon 28-Mar-16 14:09:54

I can't drive and have no money so I can't really go anywhere. I didn't mean spilt up, sorry if that wasn't clear, I just mean live apart but still be a couple. Then I feel like if we had scheduled time with the kids I'd be guaranteed to get a break.

Marchate Mon 28-Mar-16 14:21:04

Why have you given up your friends?

Why do you have no money, if that's not too rude? I mean, is it because your husband is the only one working, so you are a low income family? Or do you not have any say in how it's spent?

Did you intend returning to work after 1 year old was born? If so, did you change your mind?

Sorry it's all questions!

PalcumTowder Mon 28-Mar-16 14:27:09

I gave up my friends because we moved away. They all work full time and are child free. I had children and needed bigger accommodation which I couldn't afford in that area.

I'm a SAHM mostly because I wanted to be (and I think it's the right thing for my son in particular), and partly because we couldn't afford full time childcare if I went back to work. That means we have very little expendable income. The job I did prior to having children doesn't exist in the area we have moved to (most areas, in fact). So I will return to work once the children are in school but I'll have to retrain.

Marchate Mon 28-Mar-16 14:31:44

Okay, so you are isolated from the world outside through circumstances rather than intent

He needs to realise how dispiriting isolation can be. He probably thinks being at home with the children is a breeze! Like a very long holiday. Even in 2016 some men believe this

PalcumTowder Mon 28-Mar-16 14:38:51

Yes, he's not a bad man in any sense he just doesn't listen to me I think. I've tried to tell him, calmly, angrily, tearfully, nothing works. I was diagnosed with PND when the youngest was tiny and he said then that he would take them out regularly but then the tablets made me sick so I stopped taking them and I think he thought I was cured then so didn't a break anymore.

PalcumTowder Mon 28-Mar-16 14:39:25

Need* a break anymore.

Sorry that was a bit garbled!

pocketsaviour Mon 28-Mar-16 14:53:23

You need to start going out and just leave him alone with them. He needs to step the fuck up and start actually parenting his children.

Just leave the house and go for a walk. It's free smile But learning to drive would be a really good thing for you as well. Can you talk to your H about booking regular driving lessons for you? It would help you feel less isolated.

Are there any mum and baby/toddler groups nearby you could go to and make new friends?

PalcumTowder Mon 28-Mar-16 15:03:51

I go to baby and toddler groups several times a week. We have at least one a day. But I can't really make friends because I'm running after the kids constantly! Maybe I'm a helicopter parent, I'd like to not be but the youngest is still quite clingy and falls over a lot too. I have people I can chat to though, and two friends that come over for play dates sometimes, just no-one to go out with without the kids.

I was having driving lessons very soon after the second was born but I think all the PND (undiagnosed at that time) and the anxiety I had about driving all came together in my mind and by the end of it I was finishing each lesson in tears. I will try again when I'm feeling better.

Maybe if I got a weekend job but stayed living with DH that would be a compromise. I'd have a bit more money, and DH would have no choice but to have the kids. Still no time to myself but we can't have it all I suppose!

Onecallaway Mon 28-Mar-16 15:24:45

What job could you do that is only on a Saturday and Sunday? I would say be realistic about that because that would be ideal for me but I have never found one. Retail and catering jobs want shifts including anti-social hours like early mornings and evenings in the week.

I really don't think a flat and a job is the answer.

Can you get him to commit to a regular time each weekend eg could he take the children to visit family or a play area or something?

I think you need to build a life outside your home eg gym, class, meet up with friends. Even if your dh takes the children out, you are still stuck in the house.

PalcumTowder Mon 28-Mar-16 16:06:01

I have had several retail jobs only working Saturday and Sunday so it is possible. It's just not ideal.

No I can't get him to commit that's the whole problem! I don't mind being stuck in the house, I am quite a solitary person and I have my sewing. I just want some peace to do it in.

PalcumTowder Mon 28-Mar-16 16:17:20

I am feeling much better and less desperate now I've finally had some time alone. I just wish he wouldn't delay it and delay it until I'm tearing my hair out and unable to cope, when a regular couple of hours every Saturday would be enough to keep me happy.

I'm going to take pocket's advice and just go out somewhere rather than wait to be given permission. He's going to have to learn to cope without me.

I suppose the bigger problem is how he doesn't care enough to do this one thing for me, but there's nothing I can do about that.

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