Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Getting a break?(17 Posts)
Bear with me, this could be long, I don't want to drip feed....
Not even sure whether to post this here or in parenting but tonight it's definitely a 'relationship issue'
So, DH and I married 5yrs, DS 4, DD 2. DH very good, hands on, etc etc. Kids very clingy, often only want mummy, lots of tears/tantrums when I'm not ever present or engaged. Perhaps this is my own making. I have a terrible guilt complex and am useless at leaving them to their own devices.
My problem is this, DH cannot accept my need for a beak from my parenting role. We both work, he does longer office hours but I do all school/nursery runs, home admin, cooking etc and amuse the kids between 3pm-7pm when he gets home. He has plenty of 'off' time. His current project is relatively kushy as he will admit, he has weekly long lunches, takes annual trips with his male friends, etc etc. I'm a teacher so surrounded by kids all day and afternoon.
Unfortunately my turn for some time out never seems to come. It came to a head last weekend when after a particularly trying week I asked him to take the kids off my hands for a few hours on Sunday afternoon. He seemed obliging and went along with the idea until just before they were all due to leave the house. DH approaches me saying "Tommy reeeaaallly wants you to come, mummy, don't you?'. And being a sucker, I went with them, because DS was ready by this point. DH then frequently reminded me what a lovely time we all were having AS A FAMILY. Why couldn't he just have swooped them out?! They'd have been FINE! Whether he's scared to have both kids alone, or he's just playing on my guilt complex, he certainly knows how to manipulate me and I can honestly say I can't recall the last time he had them both to himself, if ever really.
It's really starting to get me down. Tonight I started to look at some short-break ideas for me and a girlfriend (DH has agreed to this as I wholeheartedly supported him going on the annual golf trip this year with his mates). Sadly he interjected with queries about cost, purpose, and generally made me feel totally shit about it. "Oh, so you'd rather go to X with her than with me" etc.
How do I tackle this? When I try to talk to him he always says it's the kids, not him. That they're miserable without me (bollocks). Then gets stripy because he says I'm telling him he doesn't do enough, which I kind of am.... I just need a few hours a week!!
He will not entertain the idea of taking them to playground/soft play or anywhere else child-friendly as he can't stand the idea of them. I'm making him sound awful aren't I?! Instead he'll take one child swimming, or our son to see the trains, so he does stuff, it's just not ideal for both kids at the same time.
Any ideas or help for those who've been through similar would be greatly appreciated.
I think you just need to be tougher, INSIST that either he takes them both out, or you just go out on your own and leave them to it. Don't let yourself feel guilty, why on earth should you.
As a teacher you should be good at being assertive
FWIW.... I feel guilty for going back to work. We don't need my salary. I went back because I missed my adult life. Never great with the toddler years....
Your DH is being selfish. And manipulative too. 1) I would go ahead and book your short break away. Tell him you are going. End off. 2) Organise time for you at weekend. Be that coffee with a friend. Gym. A quick drink. Tell him you are going out and he is in charge.
I know I need to be more assertive, but I really don't look forward to the fallout if I do just leave him and the kids to their own devices.
This weekend I have a virus, feel utterly shit (have done for weeks but definitely paying the price for not taking a break sooner). DH has done his back in. No family around so it's been a well and truly miserable weekend. Boring and neither of us have actually had a rest. Oh wait, not true, I took kids out all morning to soft play. He has done bugger all except sit on his laptop. I'm just so fed up.
Proceed with your plans for a break with your friend.
He'll be fine with the children.
Like you I could not be a SAHM. I missed adult company and felt I had to go back.
Getting a break rejuvinates you. I had my first break away when my DD was about a year old.
He sounds like an arse. Ok for him to go away, but not you?? Just book it and counteract anything he says with the same back when he went.
Start doing stuff. Join a sports club or gym or a class that gets you out or arrange to go out with friends. You don't need to explain.nor justify anything. You look after the kids and home from when you get in from work and that's after a while day spent with children. Get him to join school trips, they give a little insight as to how tiring it is for a teacher.
I just tried to discuss this with him.... he came back with " you had 2 hours at the supermarket on your own "
I mean it has come to that...
He’s being and shit and you are letting him get away with it. Book your weekend away with your friend and go. Ignore every comment he makes that isn’t supportive of your trip. Even if you hate every second of the weekend because you feel guilty (you shouldn’t) you still need to go because you need to Make it clear to your DH that the kids are his responsibility too.
I think with some guys just saying you need time away from the kids puts them on a defensive like you’re saying they aren’t good dads/partners and pulling their weight (whether it’s true or not) but those same guys would be happy to go out with them so long it was their idea. It is easier leaving them at home with all the home comforts and a fridge full, wardrobe of clothes etc it’s not much for them to think about or as stressful as a day out so if you could find a local hobby or make meeting your friends a regular thing and him staying in with them while you just pop out, if he can manage two hours for you to go to ASDA he can manage two hours for you to go for lunch on Saturday type thing.
If I was you though with this extra income I would put them into after school care one day a week, not because you need time away from the kids but to build their independence and make some friends then enjoy the couple free hours to yourself on that day. Could the two year old have an extended day in his childcare in the same day?
Once they are both a bit older it will get much easier to say to the boys, oh look this superhero/dinosaur film is out daddy would love to take you and then just stay at home yourself because why pay a tenner extra to go see a film you don’t want. Then when they are heading out the door be like oh maybe you can get a McDonald’s too byeeeee
Done his back in so you can have a break and he's just messing about on the laptop. He's a liar.
I agree with the poster who said he is manipulative. He sounds very passive aggressive. It's a terrible trait. You have to learn to tough things out and when he invites you to come with and uses your DC to manipulate you into doing so, you need to a) decline and b) tell him later when he's alone never to pull this stunt again. Maybe tell him to cancel his golf trip and not plan any more because it's not okay for him to take trips but to block your plans. You have to learn to feel okay about thwarting his efforts to deprive you of some time to yourself. Because he feels no guilt about it and is happy being selfish 100% of the time. My ex was passive aggressive. It gives me the rage. Suddenly you realise that he is orchestrating and manipulating your whole life. It's highly corrosive.
Done his back in so you CAN'T have a break and he's just messing about on the laptop. He's a liar. < that's what I meant to say!
Urgh bastardkitty that all sounds a little familiar. I do think he is manipulating and knows I'm a bit of a pushover when it comes to giving in to my kids. I put them above everything and I do suffer for it (I look and feel like shit a lot of the time these days).
But as a pp said I also think me leaving the house for a few hours so at least it's easier for him at home is probably a better way of getting some me time, maybe gym and coffee...
Give DH the choice of looking after the kids saturday am or pm once per fortnight.
Then book yourself a standing appointment to have a massage/facial/nails done every fortnight on Saturday will cost £40-50 depending on where you go. Then go for brunch/ lunch/coffee and then go home.
If you don't feel like massage/facial/nails done. Cancel the appointment but still go out anyway!
There are separate issues here 1) your H is a lazy parent 2) you’re a sucker who won’t stand up for herself. You enable his lazy parenting because you won’t stand up for yourself.
Everyone has a role to play in relationship dynamics and yours appears to be doormat/ martyr. Stop waiting for him to change the status quo and dynamic that he obviously prefers and start prioritising your needs.
Your guilt is a self made stick which your H is using to beat you with, he can’t use what you don’t give him.
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.