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SICK of dh 'needing to get things done' at weekends..!!

(29 Posts)
legacy Sun 24-Jul-05 17:49:43

Grr...... just need to rant, and see if this is just our problem...

DH & I both work full time, so at weekends have to try to fit all our chores etc in.

Our kids are 6 & 3.

However when the w/e arrives DH invariably 'announces' that 'X is an absolute priority for us as a family (usually something like cutting the hedges, or doing some DIY etc) and disappears off to do it. If I suggest that he might need to do something he can involve the kids in he kicks up a huge fuss and says "they'll just have to play by themselves - we have things to do..." And so, they kids play by themselves, except they DON'T - at least not for long enough for me to do anything at all. It's a constant interruption of:
"Can I have a drink"
"This needs batteries"
"Can you put this together"
"I need the toilet" (3 year old)
DH is conveniently deaf to all of these, and besides is usually at the bottom of the garden, or in the shed out of earshot.
And it really p*sses me off, because it feels as if I'm left 'on duty' with the kids the whole time.

As a result I spend all my evenings rushing around trying to catch up while DH sits in front of the TV, or goes on the PC.

I've tried to talk to him about it, but he's completely in denial, he just says the kids will be 'fine' left alone, and I shouldn't worry so much. But the point is they're NOT OK without some supervision (at least within earshot).

As an example 'today's little important task' for DH was to tidy the loft, so he had the loft ladder pulled down on the landing. It goes right up the side of the stairwell, and if one of the kids climbed it and fell they would fall down two flights of stairs and probably kill themselves, so I spent all morning checking they weren't messing around upstairs near it (esp 3 yr old).DH was at the far end of the lost with the radio blaring....

Actually I just think DH is taking the piss - this is his way of avoiding looking after the kids. On the rare occasions I've also tried to do something that needs doing (e.g. hem & hang curtains) the kids STILL came and pestered me, even though he was in the other room).

How can I get him to see how unfair this is??

TracyK Sun 24-Jul-05 17:53:01

He IS taking the piss -start organinsing outdoor activities for you all to go on - that you have to leave the house for - park, swimming, lunch etc. Then he'll have to come too. Or say you have a dentists apptmnt - but really make it a facial and leave him to it!

Gobbledigook Sun 24-Jul-05 17:53:23

Go out and leave him with the children - force him to do something with them. That's what I'd do.

Yorkiegirl Sun 24-Jul-05 18:00:26

Message withdrawn

charliecat Sun 24-Jul-05 18:05:58

Either go out as a family ordering him to make pack lunches/baths/whatever needs done before you actually get out and when you are out take a step back if you can and send him off to go get ice-cream/the toiliets runs or whatever needs done. Or...go out next saturday and leave him too it. Where are you? Come to near me and we will both do it

Ragtaggle Sun 24-Jul-05 18:14:06

This is familiar! My dh started doing this a bit recently with the excuse that it was important to us 'as a family'. I nipped it in the bud, though, by explaining that at the weekends we should be doing things 'as a family' (The park, swimming, the zoo) and if DIY was that pressing he could do it when dd is in bed. He decided that perhaps it wasn't so pressing that he would forgo an evening relaxing. The upshot is that there are still loads of things that need doing but I'd rather that than be sole carer at the weekends especially as I'm seven months pg and coping with our toddler alone is increasingly difficult.

Aragon Sun 24-Jul-05 18:15:02

OMG are your DH and mine related by any chance. While my DH doesn't disappear to do "odd jobs" (he's not that practical)he does disappear into the bathroom for an hour to wash, another 20 mins to go to the loo (I bet he's not the only man who sits on the bog and reads) while moaning if DS keeps banging on the door etc. On the other hand it's apparently quite acceptable for DS to run riot in the bathroom while I'm attempting a bit of a soak - then we also get tutting when I ask him to leave the PC (grrr) and remove DS from the loo.

Don't know what the answer is. My only delight is that for the next six weeks he is doing the bulk of the childcare as his work is schoolbased and he won't earn anymore until September. I am increasing my work hours to 4 days to bring in the extra cash and - surprise, surprise he is dreading it.

I also go swimming a great deal these days - often in the evening admittedly. Can't you plan a day out and let him find out the hard way how tough it is.

PeachyClair Sun 24-Jul-05 19:23:10

Mine works fulltime, is setting up (or trying to) a business AND has a weekend hobby that takes up Saturday.


mandymoo Sun 24-Jul-05 19:56:41

DH is a primary school teacher, gets gome at 6.30pm, has half an hour with me and dd then goes up to his office where he duly "works" til 1am /2am. On a saturday he plays football which takes up the whole day and on sundays he has to "mark, plan etc etc". Yes, i know he has lots of holidays but invariably these are for planning, marking, sorting the classroom/office etc. Sometimes i think he uses this as an excuse not to spend time with us. But that could just be me being paranoid {shock]

Mirage Sun 24-Jul-05 20:03:06

I have the opposite problem-DH rarely does any DIY-it is normally me who does everything.He works weekends a lot,but will tell me that he will do a certain job on his days off & then spends all day reading the paper & watching Sky Sports.I now know that if he says 'I'll take all that rubbish to the tip',it will be me who eventually gets fed up with looking at it & actually does it.If I complain,he just says that he works hard & needs to relax.So looking after a baby & a toddler all week is so easy that I don't need to relax then?

He does look after the kids at the weekend when I am chasing around doing everthing,but will constantly interrupt me to ask when dd2 had her last bottle or what he should give dd1 for her lunch.Arghhh

legacy Sun 24-Jul-05 20:19:47

Hmmm.... oh well, at least I'm no alone then...
I just can't stand the fact that it's all very kind of 'tit for tat' in terms of "you had one hour to do this... I want one hour to do that..."

I thought Dads were supposed to DO things with their boys...?? For example our (almost) 6 year old still has stabilisers and DH keeps saying I'll take him down the park and get him off them.... and of course he hasn't. I've got a week off work next week to look after DS (school hols now...) and so I AM GOING TO DO IT 'cos I'm so embarrassed for poor DS.....

He just isn't wired properly to care for kids I think... we ran out of Kids vitamins a few days ago, and this morning DS1 said that 'Daddy had given him one of his (DH's) orange ones.... FFS - they are adult strenght Vitamin C tablets and it says very clearly 'not for children under 12'... I went mad with him and he just told me I was being paranoid

SecondhandRose Sun 24-Jul-05 20:28:17

Oh my God, you've got a DH that actually does jobs around the house. Please can I borrow him? Mine struggles to put the rubbish out and then he never puts it all out.

Put your foot down, he does it because you let him get away with it. Organise a family trip out next weekend and give him plenty of notice or ask that he only does 'jobs' until lunchtime and then it's 'family time'.

assumedname Sun 24-Jul-05 20:31:33

legacy - wouldn't think it would matter about the vitamin C tablet. Vit C is water soluble and the body just excretes what it doesn't need.

PeachyClair Sun 24-Jul-05 21:30:10

My dh wanders about the house with a paintpot looking for jobs to do. The slightest mark, even if it's imaginary (invariably it is) gets a coat of paint. 'terrible stains' on the carpet get extra care (eg a bit of dust that would vacuum), I Do appreciate it usually, but on a dayt o day basis drives me round the twist!

An hour for me an hour for you? Yes I get that BUT I have to have the kids on my hour as he invariably takes his at the same time, doing soldering, not safe for kids. It's been a week since I washed my hair , as that would have to be 'my' time, and I have been using that for basics, such as childcare.

legacy Sun 24-Jul-05 21:33:18

assumed name - yes - I actually realised that about Vitamin C tablets too, but to be honest DH wouldn't know that, and if it had been something else it could have been more serious... it's more the principle I think!

assumedname Sun 24-Jul-05 22:57:16

I know what you mean legacy - my dh has given the under 6 yo (at the time) calpol from the 6+ bottle, before now.
I only found out the next day when he was going to do it again!

It probably wouldn't matter too much but it gave me a .

swedishmum Mon 25-Jul-05 01:28:50

When I read this title I had to double check to make sure I hadn't started it! Dh has been a total pain this weekend, specially as the kids need to de-school at the end of term. He goes off on his own mission moaning at all who don't fall in with it. He works abroad and much as I look forward to him coming home, I can't wait for him to bog off again tomorrow morning so we can all have some fun.
Have had a crap time today (except I took dds to a party - much huffing and puffing) and the house is now a total mess as he never clears up and he's catching a 6.30 plane for the week away. Grrrrrrr

swedishmum Mon 25-Jul-05 01:33:13

I adore my 4 kids but would really appreciate 2 days in a darkened room with no interruptions right now. I know it's for work, but I rewsent the fact that dh spends his week in 5 star hotels and eating in restaurants then comes home to moan. I've cried enough over this.

Issymum Mon 25-Jul-05 13:13:25

Hi Legacy

We live in a house that is gently crumbling around our ears and so there is always something to do, but the fact that DH disappeared for the entire weekend to put new watertanks into the loft or reseal the shower would drive me crazy. Even more so because he is essentially wheel-chair bound (getting up the loft ladder is very ugly!) so he calls me every 15 minutes on my mobile to bring him a tool he has forgotten. I should be and am hugely grateful that he gets this stuff done and awestruck by admiration that he doesn't let a little thing like being unable to walk stand between him and providing hot showers for the family but........I'm left with the DDs all weekend.

However, we do seem to have resolved this recently using the following strategy:

1. Start talking mid-week about what needs to be done and how long it will take and negotiate around it before the weekend begins so that on Saturday morning you can implement an agreed plan.

2. Find your own 'must dos and can be achieved only without children' tasks and work those into the plan.

3. For at least one day of the weekend organise an activity from which DH can't escape e.g. having friends round for lunch, going to see friends or taking the children on a promised treat with both of you - you can't break promises to children.

4. Get in a babysitter to look after the kids and help him with the DIY.

One day of the weekend consumed with DIY tasks seems to satisfy the male-DIY compulsion and get essential things done around the house, without making me feel as if I'm a home-alone mother.

handlemecarefully Mon 25-Jul-05 13:16:10

Definitely unfair.

I work part time and dh works full time, and my attitude is that the weekend is therefore for family things first and foremost. We get some jobs done but emphasis is on family outings and being together. We both have to accept that most jobs are done when children are in bed.

morningpaper Mon 25-Jul-05 13:19:32

Why don't YOU do it? Say "I'd rather clean the loft, it would be a nice break for me." Don't take no for an answer. Spend morning in loft - BLISS!

bossykate Mon 25-Jul-05 13:19:32

perhaps i will start a thread "SICK of dh not recognising that things need to be done at weekends!"

bossykate Mon 25-Jul-05 13:24:39

we organise our w/es like this.

sat am is my time - usually this is for chores/admin that can't be done during the week, but if i need to go to the hairdressers for example, this is when i will do it. sat pm is dh's time - he hardly ever uses this time to do chores though, and i'm rather sick of all the additional, ad-hoc, non day to day things either falling to me or not getting done at all.

sunday is family day - as few chores as possible, outings, visiting friends whatever.

like the issyfamily, we also discuss in advance if we need to vary the pattern at the w/e - e.g. if we are having friends/family for lunch on sunday, i may need more time on sat than usual to cook, or occasionally dh has work related things to do on saturdays.

this usually works reasonably well.

Tortington Mon 25-Jul-05 22:10:57

you need to sit him down and use the DR Phil approach " i hear what your saying about leaving them to play on their own. and i think that sometimes that is appropriate, however doing things as a family on saturday is important to me. as spending time with you is more important to me than anything else in the world becuase i love you so much"
then feel free to puke

legacy Mon 25-Jul-05 22:17:38

Morningpaper - ha ha - that's EXACTLY what I did a few weeks ago... Sat morning arrived... kids swimming lessons... and DH suddenly announced that the hedges HAD to be trimmed because some men were coming to do some work at the back of the house... anyway, I said, NO PROBLEM I'll DO it.. to which there was some spluttering from DH and various blithering about how I did know how to use the powerbreaker ("Well, you can show me before you go..")... I would be able to reach ("we have a step ladder don;t we?") and you might fall ("so might you...")...
Anyway, in the end he did go, and I DID do the hedges - it was great (for me!). However the next day I had to hide the fact that my arm ached like crasy from the heavy power hedge trimmer

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