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At loggers (and wits end) with DP about his weekends away

(22 Posts)
sofarmum Sat 12-Sep-09 23:12:49

In ten months since DD born, I have only managed two afternoons off and both of those were to go into my old work to discuss a new role. (DD breastfed, and still is, never took bottle and nap resistant), We (DP and I) have no help or support, both sets of parents dead. I have an older sister not far away but she ?doesn?t do babies? so she has never helped. Other family (brothers and sisters) too far away for any regular help.

I?ve kind of gotten used to this but its made even harder because DP has weekends away playing in a band which hardly played before DD born but now is playing gigs a lot. He is away this weekend. He arranges dates for gigs and then tells me after they have been arranged. In some cases, two weekends in a row and once, a four day stint abroad. I guess, this year so far, an average one in four weekends away. This weekend a very good friend is having a party as she is leaving the country to work abroad for two years. When I told DP about the date, he told me he had a gig. I asked why he could not have checked the date with me first and he said that?s not how it works and there is too much stuff to arrange for the gigs, and was almost incredulous that he should ever check with me. Generally, its highly unlikely that I would have something on but I think he should check and not assume that I will always be doing the childcare. Does this seem reasonable? Am I asking too much? He suggested his sister stay over and babysit (she has family of own and quite far away or would help more) I thought about it but DD does not know her, might as well be a stranger. I think the first night I am away from DD, DP should be with her! He has never had more then half a day on his own with her and never a night.
DP, when we have rowed about it, says that I am ruining his music success which he has worked so hard for and being unreasonable. (He does have a day job, this is not a source of income for us.).

I don?t want DP to not do his music, its part of who he is but want him to at least check dates with me and not agree weekends in succession as I get left with all childcare and house stuff gets left (which I do anyway to be frank) and I end up doing that too. It is only respectful to check, surely? I want another child but not in this current situation.

Apart from this issue, DP is great with DD, adores her and does his share of nappies, feeding, bath and bedtime and took the brunt of the first few nights of sleeptraining. Am I expecting too much, given our lack of support circumstances? We keep rowing about it and I can?t understand the other?s perspective. I'm just exhauseted, its making me miserable and feel like I'm losing my grip. sad.

sheepgomeep Sat 12-Sep-09 23:50:19

I know what I would do. How close are you and your sis?

Because I would leave the baby with your dp for the weekend and just go and stay with your sister.

Don't warn him beforehand, just go, smile sweetly as you walk through the door and say 'oh you will be fine, I have to be...'

You need a break and he is taking the piss.
The least he could do is check the dates with you, its courtesy

sofarmum Sat 12-Sep-09 23:58:19

Not that close to be honest, used to be but had one too many battles, Its getting better but she has a habit or reminding me of my misdemeanours whenever when have a disagreement - it would just be ammunition that I even stayed with her and she is literally a bus ride away and she'd know someting was up. sad But, I do need to leave him with DD, you are right. He simply has no idea what it is like! Is this just men or just my DP??!

AnAuntieNotAMum Sun 13-Sep-09 00:04:49

If he turns downs down gigs he's likely to get kicked out of the band and might resent you forever for that, especially if the band carry on and make it without him. Horrible situation for you, sounds like the music comes first for him.

sofarmum Sun 13-Sep-09 00:10:35

Mmmm, that is probably true....that is why I don't want him to give it up. I do feel music come first. Its interesting that if its music as a hobby people are given more slack. if I said he was doing a less glamorous artisctic hobby...say, off to trainspot, he be given short sharp shrift! I am in a no-win situation. I'd be better off with separate living arrangements and joint custody [hmmm] and its sad for me to even think that.

AnAuntieNotAMum Sun 13-Sep-09 00:36:22

I'm not cutting him slack, he should have made it clear to you where his priorities lay before having a baby he wasn't prepared to properly co-parent, but he didn't, and you need to deal with the situation as it is now. You know you're between a rock and a hard place because of how deeply he will resent you if he can't follow his dream (which will probably come to nothing anyway). If they really have some luck, he might be asked to go away for a couple of weeks or longer on a tour, how will you handle that?

Can you go away for a night mid-week when he is there if you want your baby to get used to you not always being there? Can you afford babysitters if you want to go out on a Saturday night when he's away?

mamas12 Sun 13-Sep-09 09:21:11

Good suggestions from anuntie there.
Also cultivate a 'babysitter'
Ask him about what he would suggest if he goes away and you are ill. Would he reccomend a nanny or an au pair.
H can't see how hard it is because he hasn't done it so really you do need to allow the pleasure of being the sole parent overnight or regularly during the week.

sofarmum Sun 13-Sep-09 11:22:48

Auntie, we can't really afford babysitters on a regular basis but I am going back to work and we have got a chilminder two days a week so she will get used to somebody other than me.Mamas, I'd like to think he'd do the right thing if I or DD were ill, ie come home. hmm Thing is, when I go out, its after DD has gone to bed. Its the weekends that are the issue, when you just look forward to having somebody else there to share in the tasks. Or even just having family time, going to the park, and doing things together. I don't think his life has hardly changed, no night duty or sleepless nights as I did all the feeeding, he just has a great new playmate. He says I don't know all the things he knoecks back, which I can only assume means he'd be away ALL the time if he really had his way. This did all take off afte she was born and he just started discussing dates when he would be away. I then reaslised that the dates were already arranged. Sometimes he'd be back if they were more local but sometimes he say just as he was packing 'you know I'm staying over don't you' and I wouldn't. Or say I'll be back at such and such a time and the rest of the guys want to hang about so the van would be leaving late and he'd be home much much later.

Hassled Sun 13-Sep-09 11:35:28

He really is taking the piss. You are completely entitled to have a life of your own as well and he is making a lot of quite arrogant assumptions. The music thing seems to have made him lose all sense of perspective.

I just wish I had some solution for you. But stick to your guns - you're not in the wrong here. Relationships and parenting are all about compromise, and he doesn't seem to have worked that out yet.

AnAuntieNotAMum Sun 13-Sep-09 11:37:22

Do sympathise, it sounds difficult and lonely for you. sad

Are they any good? Do you think they will get anywhere with it?

JodieO Sun 13-Sep-09 11:46:00

I don't think he's being fair at all. We all have dreams we'd like to pursue, but most of the time, they aren't practical. He's had a baby with you and is expecting you to do everything still. He needs to realise that this isn't possible and grow up a lot.

What's more important to him? It should be you and dd, not a hobby. Thousands of "bands" play gigs etc and the vast majority never make anything of it. Even if he did, at what cost would that be at? Would you be ok with him being away for weeks on end touring? Everything that comes with that too? If no then I'd suggest thinking about your options now and have a serius talk with him.

There's no way I'd be left doing everything most weekends especially when he doesn't even check the dates with you first. Make sure you have your night out too. If I were you I'd also take up a hobby, you seem like you need it, and the space at the weekend would do you and him good. He would then have to look after his own child for a change.

theworldsgoneDMmad Sun 13-Sep-09 11:53:54

Haven't you posted about this before?

No offence, but if he was talented enough to hit the big time, the dates would be arranged around him, not vice-versa.
If it brought any money in regardless, it would be a different story.

You had a DD with a man in a band which hardly played. It's him changing the goalposts here.

Don't leave him with DD if he think his sister is suitable childcare as he'll just leave them together instead. Just tell him he shouldn't be going when you and DD need him.

"I'd like to think he'd do the right thing if I or DD were ill, ie come home." - so did a couple of other MN posters recently, if I remember correctly!

AnAuntieNotAMum Sun 13-Sep-09 12:06:39

"No offence, but if he was talented enough to hit the big time, the dates would be arranged around him, not vice-versa.
If it brought any money in regardless, it would be a different story".

That's not true, bands are a group thing and everyone has to commit and even if you are the lynchpin singer/songwriter, you will still be dropped by manager/label etc. if you don't jump when they say, there's always someone else knocking at the door.

It's all very well saying he has to grow up, he has to drop the band, but is having a resentful person about any better than having no person? This clearly isn't a hobby in his mind, he thinks it might become his profession.

ducati Sun 13-Sep-09 12:17:56

sofarmum i would so recommend a serious sit down discussion about this potentially explosive situation, with starting point a non-confrontational "darling, i am really not coping/increasingly upset with how we are living our lives at the moment". i think it is really important to keep up with your passions and hobbies when you have children otherwise you just get bored with eachother and have a midlife crisis in five years time. but there seems an awful lot of imbalance here. i take it dp has a job and this is really just a sideline with no prospect of hitting the big time??? ask him what he thinks is reasonable in terms of weekends away and put ball in his court.....and if he says "well every weekend" ask what he thinks is going to happen to your relationship if you never spend good time together. i had eventually had to give up playing hockey which i played for county when dd was 3 and it broke my heart, but i wish i'd just been realistic and given it up sooner and put less pressure on my marriage cos it bu**ered up weekends so badly. now taken up running instead -- boring as hell but at least i can do it in an hour and a half, not all of saturday

JodieO Sun 13-Sep-09 12:31:55

What about her growing resentment of him though? Or doesn't that matter?

sofarmum Sun 13-Sep-09 12:46:54

This is the first time I've posted about this and feel realy guilty for doing so! The band have a loyal dedicatd following (its kind of niche reto stuff they do) here and in Europe. This isn't the only band he is in either, he was in more but they did drop them as he was not that into them and he knows we would never have seen him. I think if he could do it full time and make it his living, he would. Thing is, its not compatible with family life. I could never ask him to give it up, its so essential to who he is. What I don't know is how essential I and DD are. He wants the life of a single man and the benefits of family life. I'd love no.2 but can't see how it would happen.

AnAuntieNotAMum Sun 13-Sep-09 22:31:16

Don't feel guilty - your feelings are valid and important.

Probably all you can do for now is keep talking about this with him and try for both of you to put your sides? Certainly if he jumps on you and says you're ruining his hard worked for career, it makes it very difficult to continue with a rational discussion - can you try and agree to both have a conversation with no blame but just explaining each other's feelings?

Of course Jodie is right in that your resentment may grow too - often the result of that is not wanting to sleep with your partner which can also destroy the relationship.

Either way, it's really important to keep talking. Otherwise, next thing you know you'll be wanting, for instance, to take a family holiday and find out that he's used up all his days for gigs and travel here and there.

morocco Sun 13-Sep-09 22:47:04

if he was my dh I'd tell him to take a running jump but as he's your dh and you sound quite fond of him still . . .

he needs to work out some system of compensation - so a weekend of fun away = ? lots of cleaning when he gets home? a couple of nights out for you and the girls while he babysits? basically whatever it takes to keep you happy.

if he's not entering into negotiations with you then he's taking the piss - so are you a doormat (in which case you'll have a happier life if you smile and let it wash over you) - or are you going to make a stand and tell him a few home truths?

incidentally we have a rule - the calendar rules - if it ain't on the calendar, it ain't happening smile

mamas12 Sun 13-Sep-09 22:47:57

Well perhaps you will have to live your life as a single parent and then when and if he happens to be with you on weekends you'll have to think of that as bonus.
Maybe if you do that and he doesn't have gigs one weekend and you have made plans he can see what it's like.
But make arrangement in his diary every now and again too.

skidoodle Mon 14-Sep-09 01:48:40

It is incredibly unreasonable of him to assume that you will do all the childcare while he does whatever he pleases.

You might as well be a single parent if those are the rules. In fact, you'd probably get more time to yourself.

Having a hobby that defines you is not an excuse for treating your partner and the mother of your child like shit.

Being a couple and having one person with a serious hobby that takes up a lot of their spare time is doable - but only when the support and consideration works both ways. If he appreciated all the work you are doing so he can play his gigs, and did extra work when he was around, then that would be something. In fact, he is taking you for granted and pleasing himself.

Living your life in fear of someone's else's resentment if you don't give them whatever they want is destructive. You should support him as much as you feel able and ask for his support when you need it.

He is not a child that needs to be indulged. He's a grown man with a child. That doesn't mean he can't be in a band or play gigs, but it does mean that he needs to attend to all his responsibilities.

mamas12 Mon 14-Sep-09 10:29:43

Skidoodle has said it all in a much more eloquent and succinct way than I ever could.
Print what she has said or learn it off by heart and repeat it to yourself and your dh.

ilovespagbol Fri 18-Sep-09 20:01:18

Thank you everybody for your support and words of wisdom. skidoodle... you are right. He will do extra stuff if I ask him, but having to ask him is kind of exhausting in itself. . Will bear you advice in mind.smile

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