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To think I'm a nightmare wife?

123 replies

SundayGirlB · 30/11/2019 09:21

At home currently on maternity leave. Look forward to the weekends all week where DH is home and can help out and we can do stuff as a family. Then the weekend gets here and for the first half of Saturday he really annoys me. Things that annoy me:

  • having to coach him in the basics of baby care i.e. the baby has porridge on his face. Clean his face. The baby has a wet baby grow, change baby. What can he eat? Oh just the array of pre prepared meals in the freezer. JUST PICK ONE.

  • remind him of baby schedule. The baby has been awake for over 2 hours and is grouchy. He needs a nap. It's morning and the baby hasn't had his breakfast, feed the baby etc etc.

It is supposed to be the time he takes the lead but it ain't happening. He barely sees the baby in the week so I shouldn't blame him. He is also very very helpful round the house.

I feel like some 1950s housewife all possessive over my domestic sphere. Please help me get a grip and be nice to my increasingly sheepish husband.
OP posts:

HarryElephante · 30/11/2019 09:24

Yep, nightmare.


Oysterbabe · 30/11/2019 09:25

I think you need to chill out a bit and leave him to figure stuff out. It must be so annoying to have someone nitpicking at you when you're just trying look after your kid. Go to gym, have a coffee leave him to it for a few hours. 'There's food in the freezer and they'll probably want a nap around 12. Bye!'
He'll only get more competent and confident if you get off his back.


NoHummus · 30/11/2019 09:26

You're not a nightmare, he sounds useless. Head out for the day and leave him to it, he'll soon learn.


Wheredidigowrongggggg · 30/11/2019 09:27

Oh I hear you op and totally get it but, yes, you and I are being totally unreasonable.

If you do iy every day it’s second nature. If you do it obly at weekends you worry about getting it wrong and need a hand. Be kind, but firm. Say: ok, I’m going to walk you through all this but take notes if you need to as it would be great to share the mental load at weekends’. Or similar.

Google the mental load. It’s hideous. Even now with my kids 8 and 9, my husband will say ‘what’s for lunch?’ At weekends or ‘shalk I do X for you?’ (Meaning some family household chore, not something genuinely for me’. It drives me wild but, and it’s a big but, he earns hundreds of thousands of pounds doing a big job with long hours during the week. I work school hours. It makes sense for me to bear the family mental load. Work out what’s fair for you.


Singlenotsingle · 30/11/2019 09:29

Just go out and leave him to it. It's the only way


churchandstate · 30/11/2019 09:29

It is really annoying and I totally get it. Not sure how being annoyed makes you ‘a nightmare’, though. It took my husband a little while to ‘get it’ with the new baby routine, and now I am a SAHM he still doesn’t do things for her with the same alacrity, but that is because I am practised and he isn’t. He does a lot for her.

Are you feeling that there’s a lack of effort, or just a lack of thought?


Gatehouse77 · 30/11/2019 09:30

Would it help to write out a rough guide to a typical day?
My DH found it quite hard to find the balance between switching off from work (the way he was used to doing) and still being switched on as a parent. I was able to breastfeed successfully so there were times when he would put that at the top of the list and forget about all the other reasons why they might be grumbling.
Our added advantage was that I had worked as a nanny (newborn to teens) so we weren’t on the same learning curve.


Scotinthenorth · 30/11/2019 09:31

He’s not useless. He’s just not doing things the way you want him to.


Singlebutmarried · 30/11/2019 09:32

The only way o got over this was to leave him to it.

Did he do things the way I would? No

Was DD warm, fed, clean (ish) and happy? Yes

Until you step back a bit he won’t learn. You have so much more time with LO that it’s now second nature. He’s still learning.


sewinginscotland · 30/11/2019 09:32

Argh, mine doesn't seem to be able to think for himself either. We're in a very consistent routine so at least he can figure out what the baby needs, but still asks stupid questions. (We had the same convo as you last night. Dh: what's ds having for tea? Me: something from the freezer. Dh: yes, that's obvious but what? Me: I don't know, I haven't looked yet).

I have to figure everything out and show him how to do it.

I suppose you can try prompting him to think rather than telling him what to do (e.g. ds is cranky, why do you think that is?). If you have a routine, write it down for him to follow and tell him to look at that instead. I now have an Alexa, so I would be setting helpful reminders. But you probably need to give him a little space to figure it out himself, otherwise he will always rely on your lead.


Cactusmum · 30/11/2019 09:32

my husband never figured it out, still the same with the now 17 and 13 yr old daughters, they come to me for everything, he hasn't got a clue of what is going on with them, they're lucky if he can even remember how old and what grade in school they are in. I dont think he means to..hes just wired differently and complaining about it just makes everyone frustrated.


8Iris8 · 30/11/2019 09:35

I wouldn't say you were a nightmare, but I would say how is he supposed to become less useless if you are micromanaging his every interaction with the baby? Go out for a few hours and leave him to it :)


littlepaddypaws · 30/11/2019 09:36

no wouldn't want to be your dh /dp. calling someone useless when they need to learn new things. i guess you have always been able to do the things you do, never been shown or learnt for yourself.
you can read all the baby books in the world but nothing prepares you for the real life situation of caring for a young baby.


nowayhose · 30/11/2019 09:36

Yep, you're micro managing him !

It doesn't matter if he doesn't do things your way or takes longer to suss out what to do, I'll bet you were the same, but there was no-one there when you were learning to point out exactly where they thought you were doing it wrong ! ( think about all the posts where DM or DMIL are there and keep butting in with 'helpful' advice, just as YOU are doing to your DH !)

Tell him where the baby food/ bottles etc are and fgs leave him alone to do it ! Go out, visit friends whatever floats your boat, just get out of the house and stop nitpicking him when he's trying so hard.

You cannot expect him to know it all and take the lead if he's never had a chance to learn.


Spitsandspots · 30/11/2019 09:37

He’s not useless. He’s just not doing things the way you want him to

my DH frequently tells me that, just because he’s not doing it the way I would, it doesn’t mean his way is wrong.
I am a nightmare wife, I don’t know how he puts up with me Grin


Gatehouse77 · 30/11/2019 09:38

One thing I’d say to DH was that apart from pregnancy and breastfeeding there was nothing as a parent that he couldn’t do as those reasons were down to biology.

I agree with a PP - it’ll run smoother if you can give him the time/space to get on on his own.

Once mine had a relatively established routine I would go out for an hour or two. It gave me a chance to go out hands free (!) and either do errands or sit in a coffee shop on my own. It also gave him the chance to work things out for himself and what worked for him.

Do something differently doesn’t mean doing it wrong - look at the outcome not how he got there.


90schic · 30/11/2019 09:39

Write a schedule, stick it on the fridge. With meal options. That’s what I did as I was totally fed up of being asked 21 questions all the time. It’s annoying but one evening of writing saves 10 weekends of arguments


pinkyredrose · 30/11/2019 09:39

Does he do anything in the week. Tbh i think you should leave him to it. Did you have someone hanging over you when you were learning how to do things?


ChesterDrawer · 30/11/2019 09:40

Just stop.

He’s not going to leave the baby with food all over its face. He’s an adult and knows that wet clothes need changing. You can tell him that it’s nearly nap time. Could you go to his workplace and just know how things are done?


TellMeWhoTheVilliansAre · 30/11/2019 09:40

If you stop telling him, he'll soon figure it out. He's asking because you're there. And it sounds like he doesn't want to do it "wrong". You need to accept as the "main carer" you are the one "in charge" so to speak. He is looking to you got advice as you are the heavy lifter purely because you're always there, and he's not.

Why are you telling him to wipe porridge off the baby's face? Don't tell him and see what happens. Or do it yourself and see what happens.

I wouldn't automatically know to take a child's meal out of the freezer to feed them. I'd ask incase there was something already out or you had something else prepared. I'd often discuss with my husband what we're planning on feeding our children because he might have something in mind, or I might.

Ease off a little. Let him find his own way. Your way of doing things is just one way. You need to let go of somethings to let the dad find his own way.


roonilwazlibismynickname · 30/11/2019 09:41

Ugh I get the same coupled with a hard done by wounded I know! Or I’m just trying to help or a comment to the baby...

Just bloody do it right then I won’t need to nag!!!


CharityConundrum · 30/11/2019 09:43

he hasn't got a clue of what is going on with them, they're lucky if he can even remember how old and what grade in school they are in. I dont think he means to..hes just wired differently

That is really sad. I bet his 'different wiring' doesn't prevent him from holding down a job or managing to remember the things that he deems important enough to warrant the effort.


WorraLiberty · 30/11/2019 09:45

Well if he doesn't spend nearly as much time as you do with the baby, of course it's going to take a while to get the routine.

He'll probably get it and then the routine will change.

Stop sweating the small stuff and just enjoy being a family. You won't remember any of this in a few years.


Greenwingmemories · 30/11/2019 09:46

You seem a bit smug. Tbh you'd get on my nerves too. This doesn't seem to be strategic incompetence, which deserves criticism, as you say he's very good around the house. It's more he doesn't live up to your standards, when you're more experienced at it. Cut him some slack and stop supervising. It doesn't sound charming when you make out he's so hapless, just undermining and a bit rude.


ohwheniknow · 30/11/2019 09:46

So do you have to explain to your husband on a daily basis that he needs to wash himself? Or feed himself? Or where to find food?

If he can do those things without needing a carer of his own, then he can do these things. If he wanted to.

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