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AIBU?

To think that men just don't get it?

95 replies

JasmineJJ · 10/09/2022 22:36

Don't get me wrong, DH is a great dad to our two kids, aged 1 and 3 - he does loads around the house, cooks, takes the kids out on his own frequently to give me a bit of a break. But still, I don't think he really gets how hard being a mum is. I think his view is that parenting is hard full stop, and that he's just a bit calmer and somehow more able to manage than I am, and I'm finding that increasingly frustrating.

I feel like he doesn't recognize how much more freedom he has - he's been on work trips, to festivals, had nights out - admittedly not many, but more than me! I haven't had a single night away from the kids in 3 years. I'm still breastfeeding the youngest and so do all the night wakings - up until very recently, I hadn't had an uninterrupted night's sleep for over a year. He can get stuff done when he's looking after the kids - they don't hang off him and demand things from him in the way that they do with me - my youngest is particularly clingy at the moment, which I find quite stressful. He can take the kids out for the day and basically feel like super dad - some days I feel like a great mum, but mostly I feel like I'm pretty mediocre.

Sometimes I just get a bit fed up, you know? Fed up of the whining, constant demands, lack of personal space, the relentlessness of it all. I get a bit moody. I've felt much happier since going back to work part time, but still, I have these occassional days where it just all gets a bit much, and when that happens DH just gets angry with me. He says he finds it really stressful when I'm in a bad mood and he can't be around me. I just wish he would try to understand a bit more instead of basically making me feel like a crap mum. Can anyone else relate? I know that it's hard to be around someone in a bad mood, but the way he reacts just escalates things until we end up having a full blown row. I need to find a better way to handle my frustrations, any suggestions welcome.

OP posts:
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curcurbita · 11/09/2022 07:58

lilaccottagegarden · 11/09/2022 07:05

Mines good. But it’s the freedom. Mine is away with work Thursday. He only saw to mention this to me when I mentioned possibly doing something Thursday, because he doesn’t have to. I’m there. He can go for haircuts, drinks with mates whenever. I’ve been trying for three weeks to get an appointment to get my eyebrows done.

But you and your DH have made it this way. It doesn't have to be like that. Use a shared calendar, if it's not on the calendar it doesn't exist, book your haircut/eyebrow appointment when you know he'll be in, tell him and put it in the calendar. If he can't cope with this he is being unreasonable. Why is there an assumption that you are the default child carer when you are both at home?

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Teenprobs · 11/09/2022 08:14

Also the mental load. I have an A star partner. Honestly amazing. And we're a team. But I'm the director of our team. I have to do all the thinking, the remembering, and the communicating. And I also have hair and tits. My baby loves stroking pulling my hair out my hair and is obsessed with trying to pull my nipples off.. the lack of personal space is over whelming. Right this moment he's sat on top of me while I'm lying on the sofa watching teletubbies. My DP is lying in bed (same room we split the room) as it's his turn and he has 5.30 am starts most days for work x

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TyFly · 11/09/2022 08:19

Well tbh half of your most is pure martyrdom

You are choosing to BF

You are choosing to do the night wakings

Being a mum isn't hard for me as DH and I genuinely are 50/50

I have at least 2 nights away a month, and have done since DD was 3 months old, DH has the same. I travel for work, as does DH and have lots of time with friends. Because he pulls his weight and most importantly, I allow it.

I pumped purely to ensure equity in parenting. We chose jobs that fit our parenting goals before TTC.

Everyone makes choices in life, you just didn't make the right ones for you and are now moaning about it

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Iamthefavourite · 11/09/2022 08:23

The problem is, mums are always the favourite parent! We’re the ones who put ourselves out time and again and we’re the ones the kids will come to and cling to. This cycle becomes self fulfilling as dad’s way will never be as good and so they come to us more. It gets easier and reaps its own rewards as they get older. It’s not right but ultimately my relationship with my DC is better than that of my DH!

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lilaccottagegarden · 11/09/2022 08:25

There is more chance of my own DS being announced as the new king than there is of DH using a shared calendar. And to be fair I probably wouldn’t be great at using it either but then that’s the point, I don’t have to be.

DH is great in some ways, a bit useless in others. Just as I am. As I imagine most people are and most of their partners. It's only when looking at someone else's life it's as simple as "unless they are 100% perfect, they're a dead loss and a waste of space".

I have fallen into the role of "main parent" for DS, but he is very young and I know that will change. It is harder for dads if baby is breastfed (even an older baby, even if weaned, as it's not just about milk - the bf forms a real primary attachment to mum so dad inevitably gets pretty short shrift from baby when they're tired or sad and want comfort).

My DS is currently teething, didn’t sleep well last night, yet somehow I am still the one who is up with him the next day as DH snores. It is annoying but it’s how things are and all the obstreperous Mumsnetters in the world telling me it shouldn't be won't change that fact.

We will get there. And in the meantime it's okay to be tired and run down and to take off every other pressure that you put on yourself that's not essential. Be kind to yourself!

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saleorbouy · 11/09/2022 08:33

You need to organise some time for yourself away from the DC to regain some "you" time and be able to switch off.
By the sounds of what you wrote your DP is more than capable to allow this.
The demands of a mother and parent are tough but you still need time to be free of these commitments to allow yourself to unwind, relax and find your own time and pleasures without distractions.

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Delabruche · 11/09/2022 08:36

I hate it when people jump on these threads to blame the OP and be smug about choosing a better partner! I had no idea what kind of father my husband would be beforehand. I was (and am) disappointed but I couldn't change him. Things got better because the kids got older though. Yes, you need to push to have your own time but this might be at the price of accepting that he will never "get it".

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TyFly · 11/09/2022 08:39

Delabruche · 11/09/2022 08:36

I hate it when people jump on these threads to blame the OP and be smug about choosing a better partner! I had no idea what kind of father my husband would be beforehand. I was (and am) disappointed but I couldn't change him. Things got better because the kids got older though. Yes, you need to push to have your own time but this might be at the price of accepting that he will never "get it".

I'd bet money that if you anonymously surveyed your friends and family before you had kids at least one or two would have said your partner wouldn't be a good parent.

Most are blind to red or even amber flags when in a relationship

There would have been signs you missed

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Penguinsaregreat · 11/09/2022 08:44

Op go out and leave the kids with your dh. Express milk and just go.
You say he cooks and takes his own children out of the house- and? Seriously that is expected when you are a parent. Imagine saying about a woman she is a fantastic mother. Sometimes she even cooks for her own children and get this, occasionally takes them both with her to the park and such!!!!!
Your dh will not get it until you leave him to cope. Also Yanbu.

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K37529 · 11/09/2022 08:44

@TyFly i disagree, when you choose to have children your supposed to make the best choices for them not you. She decided to breastfeed thus doing night wakes as she felt this is what was best for her baby not because she’s a martyr.

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anotherpotoftea · 11/09/2022 08:45

Keyansier · 10/09/2022 22:42

I am a man and agree with everything you have said. I'm not a father (I'm gay, and certainly not looking to be a father either!) but since being on this site I think I understand and relate more to what mothers go through and deal with.

You don't sound like a crap mum at all to me. With the little one aside, you could also do festivals, nights out etc, IMO, he can look after the kids for half the time, they are half his doing after all, it was his sperm that made them.

Did you miss the part where the OP mentioned she’s breastfeeding?

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mycatisannoying · 11/09/2022 08:47

If you haven't had a night away in 3 years, then that is very much your choice. Don't play the martyr and make it happen.

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TyFly · 11/09/2022 08:48

K37529 · 11/09/2022 08:44

@TyFly i disagree, when you choose to have children your supposed to make the best choices for them not you. She decided to breastfeed thus doing night wakes as she felt this is what was best for her baby not because she’s a martyr.

She is being a martyr by moaning about it

She had chosen to BF, she can't then moan about the consequences of that active choice

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Darbs76 · 11/09/2022 08:48

Get some nights out planned. You can still do that with breastfeeding. I always continued to go out with friends and on holidays without my kids. Don’t be a martyr - your husband is capable. But I agree in principle, women do tend to have to do a lot more and a lot of men don’t always appreciate this.

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brookstar · 11/09/2022 08:56

lilaccottagegarden · 11/09/2022 07:05

Mines good. But it’s the freedom. Mine is away with work Thursday. He only saw to mention this to me when I mentioned possibly doing something Thursday, because he doesn’t have to. I’m there. He can go for haircuts, drinks with mates whenever. I’ve been trying for three weeks to get an appointment to get my eyebrows done.

It doesn't need to be like this.
Get a shared calendar and if it's not on the calendar then it's his problem to sort.

Not telling you he's working away is just disrespectful.

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Ohjustboreoff · 11/09/2022 08:59

@JasmineJJ I totally get you. My DC's are a little older but its the general life admin that's so tiring. DH and I both work full time shift work. It's been hard and he does more than some men but his idea of doing a shop or cleaning is totally different to mine. We've just had the start of school, he never once asked or even thought about school uniforms, shoes, school dinners or wrap around care and what days we need it. That always falls to me, even if I ask he'll say I'm better at it than him.
Also if the kids want something they would walk past him standing there and ask me! Every time!

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Goldbar · 11/09/2022 09:03

When we went on holiday, my mother would do all the laundry, ironing and sort everything into piles for each family member.

My father would pick things from his pile, put them into a case and zip it up.

My mother would run around checking we'd all done our packing, finding lost things and packing all the 'extra' family stuff that she thought it was necessary to take on holiday...medical kit, sunscreen, insect repellent, beach toys, beach shade, adapter plugs etc...

Then she'd give the house a good clean from top to bottom and nag us to tidy our rooms so they were nice to come back to.

Usually at this point, my father would be getting annoyed that packing and organising was taking so long and dinner was late (my mother did most of the cooking) so he'd announce grumpily "I'm going to get fish and chips. Anyone want some?" My mother's would usually be cold by the time she sat down to eat it.

They both worked full-time.

It makes me so cross looking back, but when I talk to my mother she maintains that theirs was a fairly typical marriage for the time and actually my father did a more than most men (DIY, bins, school stuff etc...). She doesn't agree that it is gender-based - she thinks that she is just an organised person who sees what needs to be done and does it, whereas others are not.

But I know she can't help judging me (and not my DH) for not leaving our house spotless when we go on holiday. Even though I've told her that since I do DC's packing, cleaning is DH's responsibility. Apparently men "don't see it" 🙄.

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K37529 · 11/09/2022 09:07

@TyFly all women who breastfeed will inevitably do more of the childcare so are they all martyrs or are you only a martyr if your struggling? Breastfeeding is a choice I get that but women who choose to do it generally do because they believe it’s the best choice for their baby, putting your babies needs in front of your own does not make you a martyr

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Alysskea · 11/09/2022 09:09

There is a double standard in your house when it comes to parenting and he doesn’t seem to realise. Set him straight! You should be able to go on trips and nights out too. At the very least he should acknowledge that parenting is falling harder on you than him because of the things you’ve listed.

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Carriemac · 11/09/2022 09:15

Oh FFS just book a night out for yourself and a weekend away . You're hiding behind your kids , they will be clingy if they're allowed hang off you all the time . And get some sleep, the breastfeeding is obviously not suiting any of you.

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Soproudoflionesses · 11/09/2022 09:30

Keyansier · 11/09/2022 00:58

Cook for yourself. Do not pack clothes for him. He is the one that will suffer if he only has shorts and T-shirts to wear. I'm personally not married but am astounded that some people look after other (non-vulnerable) adults in this way! (probably why I'm not married lol!)

Oh sorry l don't pack for him - what l mean is that is all he thinks about whereas l have to think about myself and dd and what we might need. Fuck no, he is big enough and ugly enough to pack his own stuff just annoys me that that is all he thinks about.
As for cooking, we had the conversation last nt if he doesn't like what is on offer, he knows where the kitchen is

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Thenosleepclub · 11/09/2022 09:37

I know exactly what you mean.
My husband is pretty good with the kids, but I'm still default parent. I work less, I do every school drop off (in fairness he starts work too early to) and he has no idea what it is like to get two kids up, fed, dresser, to two different settings and yourself to work all before 9am.

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MangyInseam · 11/09/2022 09:46

I think it's always hard to fully appreciate a role you aren't playing yourself. It's just human nature, some are better at it than others but it can be a blind spot for anyone.

I've met mums who don't bf and aren't tied down the same way who also don't "get it". And also SAHMs who don't totally understand the stresses of the role of the sole breadwinner. Not that they are unappreciative, but like you say, they don't quite get some of the particular stresses and things that person might feel he's giving up, like time with the kids.

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TyFly · 11/09/2022 09:47

K37529 · 11/09/2022 09:07

@TyFly all women who breastfeed will inevitably do more of the childcare so are they all martyrs or are you only a martyr if your struggling? Breastfeeding is a choice I get that but women who choose to do it generally do because they believe it’s the best choice for their baby, putting your babies needs in front of your own does not make you a martyr

You don't seem to understand the definition of the term martyr

If you choose to do something knowing it has negative implications to your well-being and do it anyway, moaning about said something makes you a martyr

I wanted my DD to go to a certain gymnastics class, I know it starts at 07:00 on a Satuarday, I wanted her to attend so if I started moaning about having to wake up early every sat that would make me a martyr

The OP knows that BF has downsides to the parent with breasts, does it anyway, she can't then moan about the well known downsides that come with it. She can stop, she chooses not to

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Pyewhacket · 11/09/2022 09:49

I’m with your husband. I couldn’t have headspace for anybody winging and whining. And looking after kids isn’t the hardest job in the world, as some would bitterly complain.

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