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joint parenting

(27 Posts)
wonderingwilbury Sun 20-Sep-09 22:15:55

Was going to post in AIBU, but can't deal with the unavoidable argument discussion...

So I'd like views:

If your DH / DP were away all week (unavoidable), and works really hard...

And you are at all home alone with 2 babies under 2 yo

How much housework / childcare would you think was acceptable for your DH /DP at a weekend?

Just vote for
1. You'd expect a complete break with him looking after both kids, even if he has had a hard week...

2. You'd expect him to want to give you a break but expect him to only look after 1 child at a time. 50:50 is ok...

3. You would expect him to want a break and not deal with the kids, other than play time. After all, you are a SAHM so house and kids are your job...

Niftyblue Sun 20-Sep-09 22:18:24

NUmber 2

hf128219 Sun 20-Sep-09 22:18:37


mamas12 Sun 20-Sep-09 22:23:33

No 4. for you both to have a complete break and decide which of you has the lie in on sat and which one on sud and then 50 50 all weekend.

PrettyCandles Sun 20-Sep-09 22:30:12

2 or 4 (as per mamas12)

My dad worked abroad Mon-Fri most weeks, and weekends could get quite stressful because mum would be longing for him to come home and share the burden, whereas he would be longing to come home and rest. I don't think either of them ever said this - it's just what we kids worked out when we got a lot older.

You need to talk it through honestly and without getting angry, perhaps with someone neutral around to help.

Anyone with 2 under 2 needs a break!

Clayhead Sun 20-Sep-09 22:33:12

I was in a similar situation a few years ago (mine are 6 & 7 now!) and we did number 4 - shared lie ins and did 50:50 for the rest of the weekend (childcare, housework, cooking etc.).

wonderingwilbury Sun 20-Sep-09 22:48:22

As prettycandles said, there is obviously a difference of opinion here.

No. 4 (as suggested) isn't an option as he won't take both children at the same time. He will take one child but it is always the one that is happy / contented, so that I can deal with the 'other' one (the one that isn't happy and contented).

I just don't feel like I ever get a break.

Yet, at various times I have to look after both of them, Nights - as he wants a good nights sleep and for an hour or two in the morning, I have to take them out so he has some time to relax alone.

He also gets very upset if there is any housework to be done (and if there is, he will insist he does it instead of looking after the children)

I suppose I'm just feeling upset because I try to appreciate that he does have a difficult week (even though on paper, it looks pretty lush) but he seems to think I have the life of riley (again, on paper, it's not bad)

Just wondering how to redress the balance without a major falling out.

colditz Sun 20-Sep-09 22:53:35

I would expect to leave him in bed ALL Saturday Morning, and leave him playing with the children (both of them, but just playing, no other chores) all afternoon while I did housework.

And on Sunday, I would stay in bed ALL morning, expecting to get up to dressed and breafasted children, and a dh who wanted to go and do SOmething FAmily on Sunday afternoon.

I would expect to cook both evening meals, and I would expect HIM to wash up whilst I get the children ready for bed.

colditz Sun 20-Sep-09 22:55:22


If there is an 'issue' with him taking both children at the same time, just fuck off out and leave him with both of them. Men who can't deal with their own offspring are utterly ridiculous and pathetic, and other dads take the piss out of them behind their backs.

OrangeFish Sun 20-Sep-09 22:56:11

Well, well, it seems to me that for him his children are something that could be switched on and off as per request and that you are the person in charge of ensuring he can use the switch.

I would have a serious word to agree to a number 4, the fact that he is working outside the house doesn't mean that your work taking care of the children most of the time it is less hard than his.

Actually, when DS was that age a say at work was even relaxing compared to a day at home. Actually, I surprised myself the other day when I realised I was looking forward to a visit to the dentist as the only time when I could sit and do nothing blush

purpleduck Sun 20-Sep-09 23:00:22

How is his "working hard" (not debating that he does) harder somehow than YOUR "working hard". No matter how much he works - he gets a break. Even if its just the knowledge of a fantastic nights sleep. Its been awhile since I've been at that stage, but I seem to recall contemplating selling body parts in exchange for a good nights sleep. grin

I have an option 50/50, but book yourself a few hours away ON YOUR OWN. Maybe meet a friend for lunch (real or imaginary )

And that taking the kids out so he can have peace malarky is is is...I'm speechless really. You are a much kinder woman than I am - I would have probably sent the kids in and shut the door

purpleduck Sun 20-Sep-09 23:02:22

"other dads take the piss out of them behind their backs".


wonderingwilbury Sun 20-Sep-09 23:05:29

Purpleduck - thankyou.. You have summed up how I feel.
I really do think he works hard, but he knows that his meal will be cooked for him and his bed will be comfortable and silent.

My work is different, but no less stressful but, of course, it isn't paid. sad So he pays all the bills / outgoings.

I do (seriously!) take the kids out every mornin and he won't come with us, and I'm happy to do all the night shifts too, as I'm pretty used to broken sleep at this point.

I'm not even sure I NEED a total break from the kids. I do love being a SAHM. I just dislike not being respected for it.

groundhogs Sun 20-Sep-09 23:08:21

Any chance you can sit him down and chat with him as to what he thinks he can do, and what you can do in return.

It's hard, but i think, if he chooses housework over childcare, he will understand how hard it is amusing, caring for and being with 2 LOs. If somehow, by some miracle, you can get him to see what it would be like if he had that all day everyday, 7 days a week....

You seem to suggest that he can only manage 1 at a time, so if you talk him through it gently and sympathetically, he might just grasp what your day-to-day is like.

You DO need a break, You Do deserve it JUST as much as he does. Likewise, he needs a break and deserves it as much as you do..

Try some negotiation, try divvying up the weekend mornings for a lie in, if he needs one on the saturday, then you set everything up for him to get up for you on the sunday...

Do whatever you can the night before to make it as easy for him as poss.. otherwise he'll either not do it again, or he'll be bugging you every 5 minutes.. where's this, where's that and in the end you may as well get up!

Any chance you could get someone in on a Friday afternoon to give you a hand with getting the house ship-shape?... it'd be one little thing less for you to try to do with 2 LOs... And then the house is nice for the weekend and he won't begrudge picking a bit of stuff up etc.

If not, then try and set yourself a task list and schedule a task each day.. while they are napping perhaps? then at least you ought to be able to get it done without too much interruption. Once they are put to bed, then hopefully you'll get your chance to put your feet up.

It's rubbish, but it will get easier.

PrettyCandles Sun 20-Sep-09 23:08:22

I think Colditz has got a good alternative.

I wonder whether he's doing a sort of learned-helplessness thing. Not confident about looking after the dc, therefore never does it, therefore never can do it.

Certainly when ours were under 2 I never got a lie-in, but OTOH I could - and still do - often get an afternoon nap at least when the youngest was sleeping. Never ever ever to housework when the baby is sleeping! That is your time.

Dh is far more domestically-minded than I am, and he, too, would choose to do housework before playing with dc. Until I rubbed it in rather hard that whatever job it was would still be available next week, but dd would be a week older.

PrettyCandles Sun 20-Sep-09 23:11:12

Wonderingwilbury, your work is paid - the amount that you could be spending on a nanny is going straight into your family's bank account.

The amount that you 'earn' pays for your holidays and goes towards your mortgage.

purpleduck Sun 20-Sep-09 23:13:24

Thing is, he knows its hard -otherwise he would deal with both at the same time.

wonderingwilbury Sun 20-Sep-09 23:18:25


I'm going to go to bed now.

Neither DC is sleeping well at the mo and the LO has gone to sleep.

I don't think I'm BU with wanting a break, but I don't think he is either, which is what makes it hard.

Just not sure there is a middle ground for us right now.

Am interested in what others do though, and I do like the idea of suggesting one lie in each...

Will catch up tomorrow.

AJM1954 Fri 12-Dec-14 09:10:29

My son and daughter in law practice joint parenting (unheard of in my time)
He works full time in a stressful demanding occupation.
D I L is at home.
Son has his shirts laundered and does the housework and cooks supper when he returns home from work to bath their child
When child was tiny he woke up during the night for every feed in order to take to his wife and then change nappies etc
Child still wakes up several times a night...and that is his joint parenting to settle child down.
Is this what joint parenting is?

Handywoman Fri 12-Dec-14 09:44:57

I understand this dilemma OP. I never reached a fair split so after 10yrs of being treated like the hired help I LTB.

While your dilemma is understandable, I would find it almost impossible to respect a man who declared himself 'unable' to look after both his children. Pathetic! About time he learned.....

Hope you get it sorted OP.

Handywoman Fri 12-Dec-14 09:46:23

At least my crappy ex would take both dc while I had a lie in and stuck them both in front of the TV for hours and fell asleep himself

CogitOIOIO Fri 12-Dec-14 10:38:16

You mention 'respect'. Everyone works hard, small children require extra effort and both parents should step up to the plate rather than standing on ceremony. But 'respect' is something different because what it suggests is that you are unappreciated and taken for granted. When that happens you're talking about a problem of attitude rather than organisation.

Does he show appreciation for other things you do? Ask for your opinion? Respect your decisions? Do you find your life fulfilling and worthwhile? Do you have ambitions? A social life and interests beyond home and babies? Or do you think you have been relegated to the role of 'little woman'?

rb32 Fri 12-Dec-14 11:33:18

I learnt the same from my parents. My mum would do absolutly everything and my dad would pick and choose what to do. And, I admit, for the first few years of my childrens life I thought similar. However, it took a break of a few month from my partner and having the kids myself every weekend to realise that looking after the kids and a house is 24/7.

I think every parents attitude should be this - When not at work everything should be split 50/50. That way, the stay at home parent gets a little respite when the working parent is at home and the working parent pulls their weight when they can.

HamPortCourt Fri 12-Dec-14 19:48:02

He won't look after both his children? Are you serious?

What would happen if you had flu or were in hospital? You are letting him get way with far too much OP.

Just say you are going out and go. Once he has realised he can do it maybe he won' be so reluctant? I have never come across this before so I am not really sure how to advise you. It certainly isn't unreasonable of you to expect a whole lot better than what you are getting thanks

GoldfishCrackers Fri 12-Dec-14 19:58:33

So he does his Very Difficult Job, much harder than your job of looking after the 2 DCs, which is why he needs to be treated like a consumptive all weekend.
But he finds your job too hard, so is incapable of looking after your 2 DC.
Does he realise that makes no sense? Or is he well aware of the contradiction, he's simply lazy and selfish, and is hoping to pull the wool over your eyes for as long as he can keep you too sleep deprived to notice?

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