I need a step dad's point of view please!(21 Posts)
I am 7 months pregnant, married and have one 9yo DS from earlier partner... DH and DS get on amazingly and i feel v lucky for that (otherwise we would not have married!). i have 'good enough' relationship with ex and all is friendly... DS spend's every other weekend with his dad, and one night during the week.
I am now absolutely knackered with the pregnancy though and feel really unsupported. When DS is home i do everything for him, cooking, cleaning, washing, homework, getting him up and ready for school etc... all of which has been fine because he's my DS and i want to spend time with him. Right now though i am super tired. I would really like a lie-in. I really feel that my DH could make the effort on a weekend to get up with DS and make breakfast, let me get some kip? Maybe offer to take him off for a few hours? Offer to do his dinner or get him up to bed? I know i have every other weekend off, but the 16 days between getting up early each day takes its toll... DH gets up early each day to go to work but would never dream of bring me up a cup of tea or doing anything like that... his philosophy seems to be to keep himself out of the way and not make too much mess so i can't moan.
The reality is he really wanted us to have a baby, i didn't, but i agreed in the end and am happy that we got there finally (it was a hard road), but i kind of thought he'd help out more. DH and I both work full time.
We have had this conversation about a million times but nothing changes. he thinks he has 'done his bit' if he spends an hour a day chatting at home with DS on the weekends, while i do the household chores.
i genuinely don't know whether i am expecting too much?!
I'm a mum, SM, GM and SGM, and I'd say, if you are solely responsible for your DS's care, working full time, doing ALL the household tasks and pregnant at your DH's request....then you are most definitely doing more than your fair share!
What's going to happen when the new baby comes, assuming you'll go back to work at some point, will you still be doing it all? I think, no matter how many times you've discussed this with your DH, he has to be made to understand this is ridiculous and unfair! What if you become so worn out you're ill, what will he do then?!
Thanks. I think you're right. I think maybe when i go on Mat leave it will be easier as i can nap in the daytime, and that is coming quite soon. He's not deliberately uncaring, he just not naturally thoughtful. If i asked him to he'd do it (get up and help in the mornings), but i'd literally have to ask every time, and the fact that i know he'd rather not have to makes it difficult for me to ask.
It also feels like a cop-out that he says 'just ask if you want me to do something' because it's putting in the onus on me. I think he should be more pro-active. This way i feel like i'm dealing with a teenager.
Yes your dh could help out, ask him for specific things rather than a generic "more help", but also, do you really need to do so much for your ds?
I have a 9yo son and he gets his own breakfast on the weekends, sticks the TV on, knows how to click the heating on and he feeds the cat too.
You should not have to ask him to do chores; they are not all your job. Share those and give yourself more time with your child.
Sit down and work out regular things he can do.
If he did weds am get up with ds then that would break up the week for you.
He does the food shop and put away.
He cooks x amount nights per week.
A couple of family washes a week to include all bedding.
Swimming/library/town trip with ds once per week.
Whatever works for you both.
Make a list of daily chores, write it on a whiteboard and tell him you need help with the chores on the list. Put your initial next to every one you do, get him to do the same. If he's not had to run a household he probably hasn't a clue about all the things that need doing and how often they need doing.
This is all so helpful, i really appreciate it. ArmfulOfRoses i think you are probably right and DH makes the same point about him being capable of sorting himself out. I think it is guilt that makes me get up with him at the weekends; guilt that i don't see him every weekend; guilt that he has to split his time between me and his dad, guilt that i've left him an only child for so long - plus I worry that he will be lonely on the sofa (i had 3 siblings to argue with)... all that rubbish.
I'm going agaisn't the grain here,your pregnant not ill. Unfortunately when your pregnant with a second child or third you don't have the luxury to laze around. I'm pregnant with my third baby. I have a toddler and a 7 year old to see to. I also work and tired. My DH is working full time is out at early doors. If your child is old enough get him to help with chores. My DS helps load the washing machine brings the dirty clothes down etc. You also lucky you can have a rest when your DS goes to his dads house. Theres always the option to go bed when your DS is bed for an early night.
sunbeam1112 i get what you're saying and i certainly understand that i have to do it when i'm home alone (if DH is away) and i don't actually mind, and DS is pretty well trained but when DH sleeps in at the weekends while i have to get up with DS? That's when it irks... we both work full time so are both up early all week, yes DS is mine not his, but the baby in my belly and keeping me awake all night is his, and i think that deserves some support.
Yes i can and do go to bed early because i have to get up early, he stays up late and gets up late... like flatmates?
Also you can order shopping in. Asda/Tesco do ready made dishes lasagne,cottage pie that can be put in the oven which are quite nice, i did this when i was poorly and made a nice meal. I think you could be asking your DS to do chores rather than DH. He can make his own breakfast should be able to entertain himself with out the need of supervision.
I don't understand why you can't both have a sleep in given your DS is old enough to make cereal and put the tv on?
sunbeam1112 i don't agree at all that i should be asking my DS to do chores rather than my DH. He's 9. He makes his bed, tidies up after himself and folds his clothes and i think that's good enough. He helps cook breakfast. I don't expect him to be washing our bedsheets or putting the shopping away, or tidying the house. I think DH should help do those things.
Anyway it's not really about chores, it's about him wanting to take things off my plate at the weekends so that i can rest, because i am pregnant with his baby.
I think men sometimes feel you're expecting them to be a mindreader if you just ask for more help in general as they fail to see the things that you think need doing. As suggested above, better to ask for something specific, or better still make him responsible for more tasks so that they are always his job - eg the laundry, or getting up on a Sunday morning with your DS.
I'm a SM and my DH is also SD to my own DC. We both take primary responsibility for our own DC, but help out a lot with each other's as needed, though usually I do have to ask DH if I want him to do something for mine. But some of the things you say you do for DS aren't really for him, they're more household tasks (cleaning, etc), so no reason why these should be your job if you're both working.
Can you let your DS sort his own breakfast at a weekend, so you can have a bit of a lie in? I think my DS started doing that from the age of 4, when I was struggling with getting enough sleep as a single parent with baby DC2. Like you, I felt guilty about it at first, but DS was very happy helping himself to the breakfast I left out for him, then settling down with Cbeebies for an hour or two. And I was a much better parent to him once I'd had enough sleep. Learning to entertain yourself, or having a bit of early morning screen time isn't a bad thing. And get rid of the guilt, as it won't make you a great parent to be doing things out of guilt. You split up from your ex in order to make a happier home for your DS, which is good for him. Plenty chidren come and go beween two homes and see nothing unusual about it, and you're not teaching him self-reliance if you feel you need to be with him constantly.
By chores i mean washing the pots or loading the washing machine if your struggling to bend down. You can't expect your DS not to do chores and expect your husband. My 7 year old cleans his plate washes the pots( sometimes)occassionaly dusted and loaded the washing machine ( as i struggle to bend down. As previous poster you dont need to supervising him he should be abit more independant. My ex has had ds hoovering or helping wash the car. As a said due to his your DS age theres np reason why you can't sleep in and rest. I could understand if you had a toddler who demanded and needed help with eating getting changed toileting etc.
Sunbeam I totally disagree with you. Being pregnant might not be being ill but what about the discomfort, sickness, tiredness and the host of pregnancy related complaints that women can have?
This partner wanted the op to have a child but while its growing in her body he doesn't step up and help more?
Your DS and your DH should be doing more. There is no reason at all why everything should be left to you. But you do need to spell out what needs doing. Your DH should be doing more with his DSS
Thewrath Im 7 months pregnant. Im well aware of the symptoms of pregnancy i deal with it on a daily basis. Op is lucky her DS is independant and doesn't have younger children to deal with. Theres no reason they BOTH can't have a sleep in or for her to go for a rest. She chooses to get up with DS. I think it's unnecessary to get DP up with DS totally different if DS was younger and needed supervision.
I'd second the get the DS to get his own breakfast at weekends. I was pregnant with a DS of 9 years too, snap! I want him to grow to do his fair share, so he has had household chores for years, takes out the bins. He'd help me with the shopping and carry the bags.
I admit he is forgetful, so I get him to put out his breakfast the night before. Then one day we have a late bruch of a fry up together or pancakes. He makes the pancakes! He's glad of time in the house to chill.
I'd get your DP to do similar, say ' can you take over recycling/hoovering' and say how supported and taken care of you feel
I'm sure your DS will enjoy having the TV and couch to himself, whilst chomping on his cereal, which he should be able to get for himself. Give it a go next Sat/Sun morning, even if you need to take a sneak peek to see he's OK. Start at giving him 30 mins on his own and work from there.
Most definitely something wrong with me then. I relish my weekends when mine get up and make their own breakfast and watch tv. I'm only an hr behind them but they love getting up and having 'their time' on Saturday mornings. And whilst I am up within an hour - that little bit extra makes a big difference. I understand if your child was a toddler but he is 9. He is more than capable of getting up alone, making breakfast and watching TV while you have an extra hour. It won't do him no harm.
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