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Feeling increasingly resentful of DH for no "good" reasons, how do I make this better ?

(11 Posts)
slightlyincognitorookie Sun 01-Nov-09 19:16:05

Over the past few months I have been getting increasingly frustrated with DH.

On all the big things he would be seen as an excellent husband and father. His first priority is making sure our family is provided for and he doesn't have any really bad habits such as drinking, gambling and I'm pretty sure he would never cheat on me.

And yet I'm still not satisfied. Primarily because despite the fact I work 4 days a week at a job I don't particularly enjoy just about everything to do with childcare and housework falls to me. I don't mean that DH doesn't do any, he will once a fortnight or so whip up a curry using a jar of sauce. He will quite often put on the dishwasher/washing machine, but rarely hang it up or empty it out. He will always tell me when he has done anything at all.

Then with DS aged 3.5 who does require a bit of entertaining, DH is great when we are out and we often do days out, but when we are at home it pretty much always falls to me to spend time with him, so today DH was out in the garden in the morning doing admirable and necessary things to the green house whilst I made lunch and dinner and put more glitter on a bat, listened to DS say Mummy 384 times, wiped his nose 564 times, refused Halloween bounty a fair few times, well you get the picture. Afterlunch I said I needed a few minutes to myself so locked myself in the study to come out to DS and DH watching The Simpsons. Now I don't mind DS watching some TV but this appears to be DHs default option and I want DS to do more than watch TV for hours every day.

This afternoon I took DS out to a soft play and came back to a still messy home, granted I have now managed to escape to the gym, but it really irks me that in order for DH to become the primary carer I physically have to leave the house.

Now I try to remember that DH does stuff I'm not keen on such as the finances and some of the gardening, but it's all the daily grind of putting meals on tables and having clean clothes that I find somewhat wearing.

DH is in many ways a lovely man and I have tried to get through this in the past by just getting on with it. But I'm increasingly getting to the point of thinking why the hell should I.

I'm also aware that I'm not one of lifes eternal optimists and I know I am very fortunate in many respects but also feel that equality at home shouldn't be too much to ask.

So what do I do, do I just suck it up and understand this is what marriage and parenthood is about or how can I make it change in a way that doesn't turn me into a constant nag ?

shonaspurtle Sun 01-Nov-09 19:21:27

I do think one of the things you have to do is accept that when dh is spending time with ds he should get to decide what they do. Dh also does quite a bit of tv watching with ds but he also takes him out a lot.

How about telling your dh that it would make you feel great if you could have an afternoon to yourself and it would be lovely for ds to get some daddy-and-ds-time. We have various activities that are mainly dh's thing - swimming, park at weekends, transport museum, getting the shopping and going for a cake in a cafe.

Ds does love it and I really appreciate the time at home to myself.

Igglybuff Sun 01-Nov-09 19:25:44

hi, It sounds like you have too much on your plate. Have you talked to your DH?

It's easy for men to fall into the stereotypical role and let the wife do the same - I think he needs a talking to. Not in a nagging way - i'd suggest calmly setting out your position, how you feel about it and practical suggestions as to how you'd like him to help out more.

Also clearly DH takes a different tack to entertaining a child at home. Maybe discuss parenting styles and remind each other how you want to bring your child up?

You need to tackle the resentment - I don't think you can suck it up for long without it coming back with a vengence...

bigchris Sun 01-Nov-09 19:30:10

when he is in the garden i would put ds' wellies on and call to dh 'ds wants to help while i cook dinner' lol

pippylongstockings Sun 01-Nov-09 19:33:02

I know where you are coming from - I think what you need to do is take a step back from the situation and try and look at things you and DH can share together as a couple - things that are not to do with you both being parents, but things to do with you as a couple.

You two are the base of the family the children are add-ons.

It is difficult with the pressures of work/children etc - maybe draw up a weekly rota of who does what in the house and then also look at going out once in a while minus DS.

Good luck!

GroundhogsRocketScientist Sun 01-Nov-09 19:40:14

You know? Some might say that you don't know you are born....

That said, it's all relative, and you might be a little stuck in a rut. The cooking and cleaning and clothes is such drudge and it just gets so flaming uninspiring at times.

Agree with bigchris, send DS out with DH pottering about doing the jobs, you do sound a little overwhelmed and I really do know how that feels and it's hellish.

This time of year is tough too, so perhaps there are seasonal factors at play here too.

If you can make changes to improve your day to day, do it! If you don't like the job, look for another.. at least it'll give you something else to think about that is not the same as it was yesterday etc...

Get a cleaner perhaps, it'll be one less thing you need to worry about on a weekly basis.

Otherwise, would it help to plan out things like meals ahead of time, like at the weekend, when you shop etc, so you are not constantly under pressure to come up with some culninary genius again and again. You could also then plan in when DH does his jar curry.. or better yet, get a takeaway...

You can get yourself out of this slump, it sounds like he could do a little more to help you, perhaps he doesn't know what would be most useful to you. If you need time for YOU, make it. Tell him he's looking after DS and leave them to it. If it's simpsons or whatever, so be it. It's not the end of the world a few times a week.

choosyfloosy Sun 01-Nov-09 19:41:22

I think the keyword here is 'default'. That feeling that your dh does X Y and Z with the dc but unless he is doing something specific, he assumes that ds is with you and being looked after by you. It sounds so minor, but can leave you with straws in your hair.

Maybe part of you feels that in fact childcare is your job? A lot of us were brought up that way. Well, that's not a crime, you can change things, but not without making it clear how you are feeling overall. I remember an evening when I ended up saying to dh that i HATED looking after ds, which was not the whole truth, but had enough truth in it in that moment (and enough craziness in my voice) to get across to him. I also explained how the default thing made me feel, and he did get it. Things have been noticeably better since (not perfect, but then neither am I. Soooooo much not perfect).

dittany Sun 01-Nov-09 19:45:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

choosyfloosy Sun 01-Nov-09 19:46:15

Another thing. DH and I had a council of war about telly, having read this article (warning: it's by Oliver James and is like taking poison if you've just sat your dc in front of a film - read it only after you've just spent an hour doing healthy things with your dc).

I read it first, flung the paper down and said hysterically 'Right I want to ban ds from telly completely'. I realised what I'd said, handed it to him and said 'I really want you to read this and can we talk afterwards?' We had a really good conversation and made a good plan which we both signed up to on screen entertainment and when he could have it and what limits. Very useful.

slightlyincognitorookie Sun 01-Nov-09 20:15:20

Thanks everyone for your responses. I probably won't be able to reply after this tonight because I don't want to leave a trail at home as I don't want DH to see this as I feel pretty awful putting it in words.

Regarding the TV thing, I do feel that if I have primary responsibility for DS 10 hours and DH for 2, if the maximum healthy limit that DS would ideally watch in a day is 2 hours then it seems somewhat inequitable that this 2 hours should fall in DHs time if you get my drift.

Choosy I will definitely read that article and get DH to read it too, thing is in principal he agrees with me on the screen time thing but actions in reality don't back it up. Maybe I will go for the default chat thing too, hopefully that will sink through. It is I think the default bit that riles me the most, Dh seems to be able to pick the time he spends with DS ergo I don't. If I choose to parent in the same way as him which is of course less bother to myself then DS gets stuck in front of the TV for even more time.

I know I should try to do something different job wise, but I'm very unsure what, therefore whilst I'm not upbeat about it I believe it would be hard for me to find something else on reduced hours.

Somewhat shamefaced I admit that we do have a cleaner 3 hours a week, that we do go out occasionally as a couple and I do get a bit of time to myself although DH tends to have more.

Another thing I should mention I suppose I was diagnosed last year with severe endometriosis and had surgery and hormonal treatment. We are currently TTC at the minute but if it doesn't happen within the next couple of months then may
have to give up because of pain of the Endo returning and my age. DH is very keen on another DC and we are giving it our best shot, but I feel quite emotional about it all as I'm scared of the pain being like it was before and affecting my daily life not just around period time.

Ok so calm talk it is I think.

dollyparting Mon 02-Nov-09 10:08:44

OP, I see that you might not reply, but I hope that you are still reading this thread.

I think you make an important point when you describe the different amounts of time you spend looking after ds. If you do any activity for 10 hours, and your dh does it for 2 hours then of course you are going to be more skilled at it than he is (not suggesting you necessarily change that).

That may be one reason why it appears easier for you to multi-task, and to cook dinner while also looking after a child. I am not suggesting that it is easy for you, but your dh, who has not had as much practice, may find it more challenging.

Perhaps if you are talking about this to him, you could help him by describing some of the things that you do e.g. if ds is "helping" in the garden, he will need to think about 6 different activities that will each occupy ds for 5 minutes, rather than expecting him to do one activity for 30 minutes. Together you could think of the type of activities e.g. filling a pail with water from a beaker, brushing dust out of plant pots with a little brush, carrying a big, big branch from one end of the garden to the other.... These are all things that you might think of easily, but perhaps your dh finds it more difficult to think of things.

If you can find ways of thinking of things together then you are taking a shared responsibility for ds, irrespective of who is looking after him.

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