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Does anyone's dp really understand?

(34 Posts)
Lizita Wed 10-Aug-05 08:30:48

I'm a single mum, and throughout most of my dd's first year I spent the time thinking things would be so much easier if I had a dp I could share it all with, and also unashamedly () looking forward to when me & my boyf would have a baby of our own and he would finally realise what it was I had had to go through.

But the more I hear & read, in spite of so many people saying "I don't know how you manage!", the more I realise that must have all been a pipe dream, and in fact I was probably better off doing it all alone!

What are your experiences? Does a father have to be a SAHD before he can really empathise with what hard work it is?

Raspberry Wed 10-Aug-05 08:42:37

No I don't think so L, its not a pipe dream to want a dp to share your experiences and life with.

Just remember (IMHO) MN doesn't attract a genuine cross-section of mothers, there are alot who come here for help and have stories of abuse and failed relationships to tell and this can skew the things you read on here to come to the conclusion that 'all men are bast**ds', etc..

There are alot of happy couples out there too!

I'm not saying all MNers have a downer on men, far from it, by the way.

Also, in my experience, a man doesn't need to be a SAHD to understand how hard work it is, 10mths of sleepless nights tend to do the trick!

handlemecarefully Wed 10-Aug-05 08:46:28

"Does a father have to be a SAHD before he can really empathise with what hard work it is?"


handlemecarefully Wed 10-Aug-05 08:47:25

Reading Raspberry's post - perhaps I've got a downer on men!, lol

Lizzylou Wed 10-Aug-05 08:49:46

I went away last weekend on a hen do, leaving DH in charge of DS, when I returned DH amazed me by stating that he hadn't realised how hard it was to be with DS 24/7 on his own... he was full of admiration for me and my efforts! I was pleasantly surprised, and DH does help out a lot when he can, he just never gets a whole 2 days of just him being in charge (which I frequently do).

emily05 Wed 10-Aug-05 08:52:18

I think that it is like anything in life - you dont know really how hard it is until you do it.

For instance DH s constantly moaning about work, but although I sympathise and give him support I dont understand because I dont do his job (iyswim).
I think that it is the same with staying at home.

Luckily DH is a hands on dad and pretty much takes over when he is home. SO for instance he will have ds on a Saturday if I go out. When he takes holiday from work he is hands on - so he knows what it is like.

I think that it isnt a pipe dream as I would find it very hard without the support and help of DH. so there isnt anything wrong with you wanting that help and support.

dejags Wed 10-Aug-05 08:53:17

Not all fathers need to be a SAHD to appreciate how much hard work it is to bring up a child.

DH has always had a very balanced view of what it takes and what a personal sacrifice it is to stay at home with your children.

He is the type of father who will do everything I do. We certainly have different strengths when it comes to dealing with our two but I have never felt that he is "less" of a parent than me because he worked.

dejags Wed 10-Aug-05 08:54:58

I have a friend who has four children - her DH has never once changed a pooey nappy. He just point blank refuses - now this I cannot understand for the life of me.

LittleMissNaughty Wed 10-Aug-05 08:59:34

My DH is very hands-on and completely understanding about how hard it is being a mum. He sometimes says 'I am glad I'm not the one who has to stay home'. A little bit insensitive I know but I think he says to show appreciation for what I do. I definitely think he needed to have day looking after my dd until he realised this though.

lockets Wed 10-Aug-05 09:04:08

Message withdrawn

handlemecarefully Wed 10-Aug-05 09:15:14

I've got husband envy!

Lizita Wed 10-Aug-05 09:18:33

I'm very pleased to read all this! There is hope for my future!
Re the work thing, understanding the other way round, I'd like to think I do, having worked full time in quite stressful jobs. But, I guess, throw parenthood into that mix and it's a different thing again... i'm thinking more of me & my boyf (who doens't lives with us) here, my boyf will come home from stressful day at work and say "Yes but I've been at work work," which drives me mad because we've had really open debates about this subject (as we can without getting emotive or blaming or anything ) and he ought to understand even if it's just from me telling him!!

hercules Wed 10-Aug-05 09:24:39

I agree with raspberry. Mumsnet tends to give distorted view of men as no one comes on to complain about a fair relationship!

handlemecarefully Wed 10-Aug-05 09:26:32

Well that's true hercules, however, most of my friends have issues with their dp's /dh's not pulling their weight in the house / with the children.

Whilst there relationships are broadly happy, this remains a simmering resentment for a lot of women that I know.

havetodothis Wed 10-Aug-05 09:27:38

my dh is very hands on. He used to tease me about going out alot with baby. I have an activity a day- a group or round to somebody's for coffee etc.
He would sometimes be a little bit dismissive.
That was until we shared childcare for a while when CM (I work p/t) was ill.
He had 16month old for 3 days a week for a while....and now he makews sure I have something to do when I'm at home!!
He really understands how much work it all is and how much you need the little boosts during the day. He is very veyr supportive and completely understands the fact that i gave up working full time to be a mother, not a housewife too so wee still wear unironed clothes...and he often cooks dinner

basketcase Wed 10-Aug-05 09:37:02

I am in a slightly different position as my DH works from home most of the time. He gets to see and hear exactly how much work it is being a SAHP.
Being alone is probably better than being in an unsupportive or negative relationship, but OF COURSE fathers can empathise with hard work and being a supportive and loving partner.
It doesn’t have to be a pipe dream if you are with the right man

Lizita Wed 10-Aug-05 09:39:57

It's not just mumsnet that I've got that information, it's also from books I've read etc. And from imagining what it would have been like if my boyf had been my dd's father and we were a family!! Probably totally unfair to think like that because the situation is completely different!

piglit Wed 10-Aug-05 10:08:22

I'm very very lucky to have a wonderful dh who is the best dad to our ds. He works very hard, running his own business and employs dozens of people but he still has time for us and does his best to be home every evening for bath and bedtime (especially as it's proving so hard at the moment with ds's sep anxiety). He does more than his fair share of nappies and night time wakings and always with more patience than I ever thought possible. A lot of my friends have similarly fab dhs but the ones who don't seem to have a far harder time than if they were on their own. I've been out with my fair share of w@ankers and never wanted children until I met dh.

Springchicken Wed 10-Aug-05 10:12:04

Lizzylou, i had exactly the same situaion as you.

I went on a Hen weekend in March frrom Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon and DP was absolutely amazed at how hard it was and DD was only 8 months at the time ! I must say it made him really appreciate how hard it actually it and just because we don't get a salary from looking after out kids doesn't mean it isn't hard work.
He does relapse sometimes but i soon remind him of how it works.

Typical example of Monday - work from 8am til 1, pick DD up from nursery, chores, bill paying etc, DD bath, dinner, bed, me dinner, 3 machine loads of washing, 3 machine loads of ironing, still ironing at 10p.m.....................DP has been at golf and the pub all afternoon/evening !!!!

bea Wed 10-Aug-05 11:14:51

must say that my dh is fab! very hands on, will look after the kiddies no probs... very much appreciates that looking after kids is very hard work and will readily admit that he goes to work to escape the kids etc, as he could never stay at home and do the looking after on a day to day basis.
does more hoovering than me, and can zip round the house when it needs a clean... but then again me and dh are not the most house proud of people so we do tend to live in clutter until we admit it is bordering on unhygenic! I must admit it's pretty much 50/50 in this house!

munz Wed 10-Aug-05 11:18:33

my DH's has already told me that once i'm on maternity leave/ this beanie's born all i'll be doing is sitting on my bum watching day time tv, and basically the house has to be spotless all the time!

think i'm gonna leave bump with him for a day a week!

steffee Wed 10-Aug-05 11:23:29

I always say my dh is better at being a sahp than me, because he is relaxed and devotes the entire time to the children, leaving the washing up/washing/hoovering etc for me to do later. However, an element of staying at home with the kids is doing a bit of housework too, and mixing being a sahp with housework is what makes it hard. My dh has put a load of washing in the machine once since we got together, hoovered a handful of times etc... but no, I don't think it's a pipedream, men can and do take an active role in day-to-day care for their children.

acnebride Wed 10-Aug-05 11:25:30

My dh is sometimes hands on and sometimes not, but I really do feel he understands, or at worst he manages to make it sound like he understands! This to me is the key thing - recognition of what I'm doing, that I don't find it easy and that I work hard whether I'm at my paid job or not. It almost makes up for times when he gets up with ds, giving me a crucual half hour lie in, and then I come down to find absolutely nothing done - no day clothes on, no nappy change, ds bouncing off the walls because of no breakfast, dishwasher not emptied, never mind any other chores...

It's fair to remember that we both have good and bad days at what we do. I think that dh actually enjoys looking after ds more than I do, and think that once ds is 2 he might well become a SAHD, though it's probably the novelty value...

hunkermunker Wed 10-Aug-05 11:34:34

DH isn't a SAHD, but he is very, very involved in DS's care - he looks after him on Sundays when I work and has done for the last ten months.

He baths him every night, probably changes more nappies than I do and is fantastic with him.

Just get a bit annoyed if people say "Are you babysitting on Sunday?" to him - er, do I babysit when I have him - nope! Gah!

FairyMum Wed 10-Aug-05 11:38:00

Hunkermaker, I know what you mean. Or when people say "Your DH is so good at helping with the children" or "he is a really hands-on father". Helping? Hands on? Ever heard of a "hands on mother"?

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