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Row with DH, handhold please?

67 replies

Surreymummy2019 · 02/06/2019 14:52

At a bit of a loss here and been in tears all day. DH and I have a beautiful 5 month DD. I’m on mat leave and DH has been at work after taking 2 mos leave. I’ve been struggling lately, just shattered and baby not sleeping well (she is EBF so I do all night wake up and feeds).

DH has been brilliant-doing all of the cooking and washing up. Laundry I do and the other tidying (bathroom, etc) is between the two of us. But he leaves the responsibility for all baby appointments etc with me, and I find the mental load exhausting and quite draining. And since he’s back at work (long hours) he only sees her for a half hour before he leaves and an hour at most when he’s home in the evening. And i try to adjust her nap schedule so he can see more of her, and then I also end up doing more cooking and cleaning so they can have more time together. But because he’s not with her much he doesn’t always see her cues and when I try to tell him she’s tired and doesn’t want to play more, he says he feels judged and that I don’t trust him with her.

To not drip feed, I’ve had a rubbish childhood and quite feel like I’m winging it here. I have no contact with my birth family, so really don’t have much in the way of role modelling.

DH has also been quite critical of me, if I say we should avoid X he looks it up to check if it’s true. (Even if I was just told that by health visitors this morning). I have been seeing talking therapy for help but it doesn’t seem to be doing much, and even that I’m getting worse. Perhaps it is reminding me of more things from my childhood and that is making the situation even more difficult for me.

I have been telling DH I would like more support and help with the mental load and finally told him it feels like he is making me into the main parent-he replies he had never heard anything worse in his life and thinks it will be a long time, if ever, before he can forgive me. We’re essentially not speaking now, just quietly sharing the baby duties and being in different rooms.

I am heartbroken, I already feel I am not fit to be a mum to my gorgeous girl (because of my upbringing) and feel awful for hurting my husband. I’m knackered and feel like I don’t know how to be a mum and don’t deserve DD. We’ve been together for many years and not ever had problems like this before. I don’t know how to make it right. I feel perhaps they should go live somewhere without me and I can visit on weeeknds, as I am too worried and flawed from my childhood.

Can anyone give advice? Apologies if I’m not making much sense but really having a rubbish and quite scattered at the moment X

OP posts:
HollowTalk · 02/06/2019 14:55

You are the best mum your daughter can have. You love her more than anyone could ever love her. You'll be absolutely fine.

Often things get a bit fraught in the early days - everyone feels as though they're winging it. Give your husband some space for now and tell him that you don't want a fight. Does he normally bear a grudge?

SuperLoudPoppingAction · 02/06/2019 14:56

'he had never heard anything worse in his life and thinks it will be a long time, if ever, before he can forgive me.'

This is so controlling and an overreaction.

Do Not suggest he takes your baby and lives elsewhere.
You are likely to regret this.

What kind of talking therapy are you having? Does your therapist have training in recognising things like the dynamics of a potentially abusive relationship?
It sounds like you're focusing on your past and your failings but he's choosing to say these things and to undermine you

Soola · 02/06/2019 15:04

Don’t know about your husband but what are all these baby appointments?

If your baby is feeding well, alert when awake etc and sleeping well and is healthy then you don’t need appointments’ to monitor her growth etc.

Chamomileteaplease · 02/06/2019 15:06

This kind of situation happens to so many couples - you are not alone!

Your baby changes so quickly and if dh is only spending a bit of time with her each day then he is bound to misread cues etc. A very frustrating situation for all three of you!

However, it sounds like he has been really nasty to you. I couldn't quite understand what he was upset about.

To be honest, if he is working long hours and you are at home all the time then surely you are bound to be the main parent and doing most of the organising? Surely that is normal.

What he can help with is being extra hands on at the weekends and to not be an absolute cock. Why do you think he is doubting your knowledge? Is he jealous? Does he hate to think that you know more than he does? Is his ego so fragile??

I echo the previous poster - you sound like a lovely mum. Please don't harbour thoughts of leaving your lovely baby. Unfortunately, this part of parenthood does involve a certain amount of drudgery and you have to just get through it. Those with support fare better probably so you have it extra hard.

You need to get your dh back on board. I hope he has it in him.

Qweenbee · 02/06/2019 15:11

I think every new parent is winging it. And the parent who sees three baby more recognises cues more.

It'll take a while to negotiate everything. Does he want to be the sahp whilst you go back to work?

fedup21 · 02/06/2019 15:11

What are all the appointments you have? I don’t really remember having any other than the 6w check?

DH has also been quite critical of me, if I say we should avoid X he looks it up to check if it’s true.

What sorts of things are you saying to avoid?

Surreymummy2019 · 02/06/2019 15:21

Thank you for the support.

He’s never been one to bear a grudge so I suppose this has me feeling especially awful. I’ve never seen him this upset really. He says it was incredibly hurtful. I feel awful to have hurt him and can’t take it back but I didnt know how else to express how I’m feeling.

DD has CMPA and been a bit of a palaver getting it sorted. Been to HV, GP, A&E with rashes, infected skin, bloody nappies. Been referred to speicialiy clinics but takes ages. I’ve asked DH to read through the materials we were given and he doesn’t do it, and I feel I am alone in managing these bits. I might say we should keep her skin covered to protect the skin and he will look up whether that’s true.

I have been in talking therapy to address my worrying anxiety thoughts, I couldn’t stop thinking DD would be injured and am quite scared of SIDS. So I understand to a point that he second guesses the things I say (as I have been worried about her being harmed from early days) but it also feels hurtful to me-especially when he doesn’t attend her appointments or read through the materials we are given.

OP posts:
wishfull888 · 02/06/2019 15:22

DH has also been quite critical of me, if I say we should avoid X he looks it up to check if it’s true.

In what way is that critical? You could choose to look at that differently in that he is co-parenting & finding out information for himself too.hes new to this also i assume.
When my DH went back to work & I was on maternity leave, I did all appointments alone. I didn't see it as him abandoning his duty as a father, more that part of his role at that time was supporting us financially so our child wasn't in full time care with a stranger mere weeks old.
Your partner may be hurt from what you've said to him. He does not sound abusive from what you've described, just possibly also struggling with the change so it would be best to have a chat to straighten things out.

Surreymummy2019 · 02/06/2019 15:23

I don’t think he’s abusive, we’ve never had anything like this before. IN fact he’s generally quite supportive of me. I told him it feels he has made me the main parent and that is what he objected to as being so hurtful.

OP posts:
Bluerussian · 02/06/2019 15:27

I do feel for you Surreymummy and know you are not alone in this. It's a common complaint.

Regarding household chores, is there anyone who could help you, lighten the load a bit? It would be one less thing for you to stress about.

In the meantime, you need Flowers and a little Wine.

Good luck.

Surreymummy2019 · 02/06/2019 15:27

Thank you, it’s more of a “DD should keep her skin covered” and he says “no but it’s nice weather she should enjoy the sun” and then look it up, even if I’ve just seen the GP that morning and been told to keep her skin covered, for example. Or we were talking about when we start weaning-I attended the course at the children’s centre and told him about cutting grapes to avoid choking and he says I’m overreacting and he doesn’t think his mum did that for him. Hell look it up and see it’s correct and do it, but not without questioning me first.

OP posts:
Surreymummy2019 · 02/06/2019 15:28

Thank you for the Flowers glad I am not alone. Everyone else seems so perfect and sunny, don’t have anyone to talk to about this X

OP posts:
IvanaPee · 02/06/2019 15:29

Have you minimized what you actually said to him because on the face of it, his reaction seems massively disproportionate!

Your anxiety could be clouding lots of things. That’s not your fault AT ALL but just be aware that things probably aren’t as bad as they seem.

To me, him checking details on what you tell him isn’t a bad thing. More clarifying/learning the reasons why?

I think if he’s out at work all day it’s probably a little bit unfair to criticize his not picking up her cues. He has to earn! And it’s not as though he’s ignoring her or shirking his household responsibilities from what you’ve said.

A new baby is a tough adjustment period. You need to be a lot kinder to yourself. Everyone wings it! They really do.

fedup21 · 02/06/2019 15:31

Have you minimized what you actually said to him because on the face of it, his reaction seems massively disproportionate!

Yes-what exactly did you say?

Qweenbee · 02/06/2019 15:32

It sounds like he is anxious too but is either too anxious to face it head on and be proactive so reacts to what you tell him and feels the need to check, or is anxious but too lazy to be proactive.

Try to communicate and express your thoughts in a calm way when you are both relaxed. It's easy to get defensive whilst you are both knackered and get into the competitive "i'm more knackered and worried than you" competition, but try to work together as a team and recognise each other's anxieties. Roll your eyes and let him double check if necessary and fight more important battles. The mental load of the appointments will always fall to the one who goes to these appointments. But he can listen to your worries. Tell him he doesn't need to provide a solution. Just being a listening ear is enough.

Forgive yourself for not being the perfect mum. None of us are, or possibly can be. I remember tying myself up in knots trying to make the right decisions. But it's impossible to know what those right decisions are. You only have to be a good enough mum and it sounds as if you are.

wishfull888 · 02/06/2019 15:34

Personally I don't think it's unreasonable of him to be upset about that. He may feel he's doing the best he can.
You sound like you have some communication issues to address as a couple - you feel hurt by him, he feels judged by you etc- I'm sure all can be resolved if you sit and speak together about the different issues. To break the current "stand off" situation you could apologise for hurting him and reexplain how you would appreciate discussing your daughters health issues a bit more together?

Surreymummy2019 · 02/06/2019 15:36

It started with a discussion of him criticising me, that I feel judged that he’s always looking up the things I say about her health, but at the same time leaving all of the decision making and care to me and trusting me with this obviously massive responsibility. (We were given a choice of three hospitals for speciality referral and he said whatever I wanted was fine and asked “why, do I need to come?” when I asked for his opinion. I told him “I feel like I am the de facto parent now” (it was more balanced when he was on leave). I just meant that it has felt I am doing the parenting and family management now. I have been asking him for more emotional support for a few weeks now and it’s ended with this Sad

OP posts:
Surreymummy2019 · 02/06/2019 15:38

I feel like our marriage won’t survive until DD’s forst birthday at this rate Sad

OP posts:
Sparklfairy · 02/06/2019 15:39

DH has also been quite critical of me, if I say we should avoid X he looks it up to check if it’s true.

In what way is that critical? You could choose to look at that differently in that he is co-parenting & finding out information for himselftoo

This. I'd take that to mean he's trying to take an active parenting role.

DishingOutDone · 02/06/2019 15:44

he replies he had never heard anything worse in his life and thinks it will be a long time, if ever, before he can forgive me

WTAF? Same old story all over MN this weekend - couple have baby, male can't cope, female must help him to cope by whatever means possible, no one helps female partner to cope.

Ginnymweasley · 02/06/2019 15:47

The early days are hard. My dh works long hours so only sees the kids for an hour before bed as well. You are with your baby all day so you will recognise tiredness quicker, he might miss it. If you tell him that he isn't doing it right you will make him feel bad. Your dh probably feels like he is missing out and wants to spend every possible moment with your dd when he can. The tiredness and housework isn't a competition, so please dont make it into one.
The double checking thing might not be him trying to undermine you, I prefer to read up on stuff myself to get a better understanding, not because i dont believe what i have been told but just so i have a clearer idea as to why.

JassyRadlett · 02/06/2019 15:47

In what way is that critical? You could choose to look at that differently in that he is co-parenting & finding out information for himselftoo

As he complains about OP not ‘trusting’ him when she tells him things about the baby’s cues, and that he feels ‘judged’, he is at the very least a massive hypocrite.

It’s also pretty telling that he’ll only do this when it’s OP telling him something that feels like it will inconvenience him or stop him doing as he pleases (grapes, sun). When OP tries to get him to engage and make decisions about his own child’s medical condition he can’t be arsed.

OP, I know you will anyway because you’re a vigilant parent, but having watched my 7 year old choke on a grape this year (well over NHS guidelines for safe grape eating age, ffs) please please do keep cutting them. Single most horrific experience of my life. We were so lucky.

NewMum293 · 02/06/2019 15:49

It sounds like you hit a nerve with what you said, as he probably knows that you are the main parent for your child at the moment (if you’re the one at home, and breastfeeding as well, you just are - it can’t be helped!)

You sound like a fantastic mum so the fact that you’d even consider leaving your child suggests you have some issues you need to work through - have you considered any alternatives to the talking therapy if it’s not work?

How long have you and your husband not been speaking? Could you sit him down and calmly talk through what you posted here with him? If there are areas where you are sharing responsibilities pretty evenly, he may simply not get that he needs to step up in other areas.

FWIW, I do all the organisational stuff in my house, baby related and otherwise - I used to moan to my husband about it but now accept that that’s just how it works for us and don’t get so stressed about it xx

mollycoddle77 · 02/06/2019 15:50

Aarrgghh I'm really sorry you are going through this. I understand where you are coming from, you feel out of your depth especially after DH going back to work, you are questioning your capability of being a good mum because of your history, and you need support. And you are not really getting the support you need, so you try to tell him. However, perhaps instead of getting angry or accusing him of things, is it possible to just make it really clear that you need more help? That you feel vulnerable and out of your depth, and really need him to be there for you in x, y, z way? If things continue to be bad between you, please let someone know, eg the HV, that you are struggling. There may be other ways of getting help and support, eg Home Start have volunteers in a lot of areas. Definitely don't start thinking you child would be better without you - nothing could be further from the truth!! Your love and care is all your baby needs, but you need to look after yourself too.

Sorry if I'm rambling, I do hope things improve for you very soon Thanks

Ginnymweasley · 02/06/2019 15:50

Also the problem is when you are the one at home, you are the main parent. It's not that he isn't an active parent but that he is working atm and you are not. My dh never comes to drs appointments, it's not worth him taking a day off work when I can do it. Maybe he is thinking more along those lines, that he doesnt want to either miss a days pay or use a day of holiday.

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