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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:

Sunnyqueen · 11/09/2022 09:50

Have you ever actually just said 'I'm doing xyz at the weekend so you'll be having the kids'?
Maybe start doing that, take back a hit of independence rather than waiting for it to materialise.


KimberleyClark · 11/09/2022 09:53

Same with my dh boasting every year how small his suitcase is compared to mine. I have everyone's towels, flannels, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, hairdryer etc but yeah I "overpack" 🙄

Get him a nice wash bag for Christmas. It’s ridiculous you are responsible for packing his toiletries.


BeautifulWar · 11/09/2022 09:58

I get you, OP. I find the lack of understanding from someone who is supposed to your partner and care about you the hardest pill to swallow.

Being around someone who is in a bad mood isn't nice, but if you love them, you'd presumably want to find out why and try and support them but in my experience, men just seen to resent that it's getting in the way their evening or whatever they want and aren't up to the emotional support part that's supposed to go with a partnership. For me, that's the worst thing of all.


Marvellousmadness · 11/09/2022 09:59

"haven't had a single night away from the kids in 3 years"

This is ALL YOUR OWN decision.
You CAN have a night away . You can go for days away. You CHOOSE not to

Dont make breastfeeding your excuse why you can't go places. And if it is really restricting you much to a point where yoh are miserable: formula exists op

Stop being a martyr.


luxxlisbon · 11/09/2022 10:01

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

I mean, I agree with him. I don’t think being a “mum” is harder than parenting or being “dad”. You have made your life harder than it needs to be be by making yourself a martyr. There’s no reason you haven’t done anything for yourself in the last 3 years and that’s mostly the reason.
I don’t feel like a bad mum most of the time, I don’t think it’s universal that dads can go out and have a nice time and mums like they aren’t doing enough. If you take more time for yourself you will be less stressed and on edge around the kids and have a better time.


SpinningFloppa · 11/09/2022 10:03

I agree with that others that it’s your own doing, I had nights away when mine was one even though I was bf, by one you can certainly have a night away bf or not!!


RiverSkater · 11/09/2022 10:03

Totally agree with everything.

My daughter put it succinctly when she remarked on my nieces lazy selfish partner 'he just chooses the bits of parenting he enjoys'.

She's 13.


Treesuphooray · 11/09/2022 10:13

I can relate.
for me it’s the lack of communication and failure to even consider the billion things that need to be done. And it’s the not doing things he agrees to do in a timely way so if the situation is to be saved it turns into a faff and me doing something either to sort it or cover what DP would be doing if he wasn’t suddenly doing the thing he hasn’t done which is now urgent.
yesterday I took the kids out all day, activities, play dates etc. so far as I can see he managed to mop the floors down stairs and take enough rubbish out of his car that the car seat is visible. In a whole day.

I could do so much with a whole day, that I won’t ever get!

For those suggesting OP made a rod for her own back by breastfeeding. Maybe read around it. WHO recommends bf until at least 2 if possible. OP is doing a huge service to her child, what is her DP doing to contribute as much?


KittyWindbag · 11/09/2022 10:15

Oh my god I’m literally in the very tumults of the same thing right now and I am really struggling. My husband doesn’t understand why I’m so upset. I feel utterly defeated. I don’t think men have the guilt that mothers have. I am completely touched out, exhausted and unwell at the moment, I just want everyone to leave me alone. But the youngest clambers all over me and is hyper clingy, the older one is jealous and starts fights over nothing… I let them watch way too much tv and they’ve eaten a lot of rubbish lately because I just don’t feel able to cope otherwise.

sending my sympathy to all the mums feeling this way right now. It’s exhausting.


Iguanainanigloo · 11/09/2022 10:15

I think this is down to your personal lifestyle to be honest. I bf both of mine until they were 3 &1/2, but it didn't stop me going on weekends away, nights/days out, just as much as (if not more than) DH. Being the main caregiver, doesn't have to equate to lack of freedom once they're past the baby stage. Yes my DH doesn't have boobs, so wouldn't be able to settle them as easily as me initially, but he found his own way of doing things when I wasn't present, and they all quickly adjusted to what happened when daddy was in charge. Your 3 year old doesn't need to be settled back to sleep by breastfeeding, yes if you're there, that's going to be her first choice, but if you aren't, then they will find a different way of getting back to sleep without you. I know the first year (especially if breastfeeding) the care does fall dramatically on the mother, but after that, there's no reason why you still need to feel "trapped" and unable to have a basic amount of freedom and time to yourself outside of being a mum. Make some changes op, and get some time to yourself back. I'm sure your husband will be supportive of it, and will feel empowered to not rely on you as the only one who can look after the kids in certain circumstances.


Booklover3 · 11/09/2022 10:17

I relate to having the kids hang off you.

mine will walk around their dad and ask me for a drink… or whatever it is they want. I’ve started saying “ask your dad.”


SpongeBob2022 · 11/09/2022 10:29

I completely understand your situation in that you carry the 'load' of parenting whilst he dips in and out, which is much, much easier. And I would be very frustrated if my DH didn't recognise that this is what is happening.

But you can do something about this. He sounds fairly amenable to doing his share so sit down, explain to him calmly and figure out what to do about it together. You are coming across as a bit of a martyr but that's not to say I genuinely don't empathise. But whilst you think you are doing everything right, putting children first, night wakings, breast feeding etc, big picture it is impacting your relationship and you need to take this into account because your relationship is very important too and will impact your children also.

Your child can still have expressed breast milk I presume, if you are absolutely set on continuing. And night wakings can be addressed.

I do think it's common for the woman to carry the mental load though and I definitely do this. But it is possible for kids to think of both their parents equally (my circumstances are different but my DS doesn't see me as 'the main caregiver'... he genuinely thinks of me and DH equally and always has done).


K37529 · 11/09/2022 10:35

@TyFly i understand what being a martyr is breastfeeding and struggling with it doesn’t make her martyr it makes her a good mum for trying to do what’s best for her baby, we’ll just have to agree to disagree


NotOnTheSofa · 11/09/2022 10:53

I get where you are coming from. Mine are 2 and five and I am fucking exhausted. DP does make a conscious effort to do his share of everything but the kids still automatically come to me all the time because I'm here a lot more than him, so i suppose it becomes habit. Every time they wake in the night or want a biscuit they b-line for me. The constant needs of the kids, the broken sleep and the mental load can be overwhelming. But if i want a day out alone, i tell dp my plans and i just go. If i need an hour in the bath to decompress then I take it. Start looking after yourself more op.


TyFly · 11/09/2022 10:57

K37529 · 11/09/2022 10:35

@TyFly i understand what being a martyr is breastfeeding and struggling with it doesn’t make her martyr it makes her a good mum for trying to do what’s best for her baby, we’ll just have to agree to disagree

We don't have to agree to disagree

You don't understand the word

That's evidenced by your interpretation of the term

The OP is factually a martyr

You can have your own opinion, but not your own facts unfortunately

Definition - someone who voluntarily suffers alternatively - 'someone who triess* to get sympathyy* from otherss* when he or she has a problemm, usually when that personn* causedd the problemm*'


K37529 · 11/09/2022 11:19

@TyFly according to you then all parents are martyrs if they complain that parenting is hard. Say my baby is up all night and I stay up to taking care of them, I’m tired the next day and complain, I’m a martyr because I choose to stay up with them, I could leave them to cry but chose not to. You do not know her reasons for breastfeeding, I wanted to combi my son from the very beginning but anytime I gave him a bottle he projectile vomited and after talking to the midwife she said to try and reintroduce bottles when he was a bit older because the flow was too fast and that was making him sick. I found breastfeeding hard the first few weeks because of latch issues, but I kept going because my baby needed it, doesn’t make me a martyr.


mamabear715 · 11/09/2022 11:29

My late ex was pretty shocked when eldest DD pointed out to him 'didn't you think Mum might have liked to go out at times too?' (Think he felt trapped by having 4 DC inc baby twins.) Tosser.


Goldbar · 11/09/2022 11:32

It's not being a martyr to meet your child's needs.


Flowerytoe · 11/09/2022 11:36

@Goldbar it is being a martyr if you meet ALL of their needs. Their needs need to be met by their mother and father in this situation.


Angelinflipflops · 11/09/2022 11:37

Why can't you go out?


GiveMummyTheWhizzer · 11/09/2022 11:43

Yes. This. Absolutely this.


Marvellousmadness · 11/09/2022 12:27

@K37529 "it doesn’t make her martyr it makes her a good mum for trying to do what’s best for her baby,"

I think you do not understand what being a martyr means. Nor do you understand what makes a person a good mum. Breastfeeding doesn't automatically make you a good mum


Marvellousmadness · 11/09/2022 12:30

Nor does never ever going out in three years make you a better mum


ChiefWiggumsBoy · 11/09/2022 12:38

I don't think you're wrong, some men definitely don't get it, but I also think you're doing yourself no favours by not just addressing these things?

Say no sometimes. Tell the kids to find dad for whatever. Make plans, and stick to them. It doesn't have to be an ordeal.

I'd also say, if it gets too much and you need (for want of a better word) a time out, just verbalise this before things start getting fraught. I'm going upstairs to read for a bit, I'm going for a walk, I'm going into town for a mooch around the shops, I need a break. DON'T wait until you're so fed up that it's causing arguments.


Deadringer · 11/09/2022 12:50

I understand how you feel and I think most mums feel this way at some point. No matter how much your dh does you are the dc's primary carer and it is natural for them to look to you first to have their needs met and even cling to you a little, that doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong. Sometimes people try to pretend that parenting can be equal but in general it just isnt, many women are recovering from birth injuries, trying to get their bodies back to normal, breast feeding and the toll that can take, and then of course judgement from the wider family and society about just about everything, from the state of the house, to the dcs behaviour, to how you have 'let yourself go' when you are a mum. The dad just has to ' 'babysit' now and again and he is superdad. A weekend away once the youngest is weaned would do you a power of good and could be a real eye opener for your dh. And if you do carve out some time for yourself, don't make the mistake of doing everything in advance to make it easier for your dh, like batch cooking or whatever, it's important that he experiences what you do.

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