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'Chill out with the baby'

58 replies

Idontknowwhatto · 17/09/2022 14:16

Am genuinely interested in your views.

Have a sweet, placid, easy going 7 month old baby who is breastfed.

Also have two slightly older kids. My husband is very good around the house and very very active in his parenting. I do, however, get annoyed in the way in which he thinks he is giving me a break.

He will say he is taking the older two out to give me a break, so I can 'chill out with the baby'. Or, he will send me and the baby to the bedroom with the baby, telling me to relax with her.

In theory, maybe when we are lying on the bed as I feed her, and I'm scrolling on my phone, it looks super chilled. However, while it's physically low key, it's not really that relaxing breastfeeding as my break. Even when the baby falls asleep and I get a moment to doze off too, she could wake at any moment (she only takes micronaps)

So, while it may look like I'm chilling out, I'm either feeding, or grabbing a few moments sleep before the baby wakes. I constantly feel on high alert, always ready to be called to action. There is no switch off.

This is the nature of breastfeeding, of which I really am well aware and my husband's heart really is in the right place. He is great, really.

I just cannot help but get increasingly annoyed when he tells me to 'get some rest with the baby' or 'go and chill out with the baby'. I just don't really feel like I can!

Honest answers please! Do you feel you can fully rest while in charge of a baby, even if they are the sweetest, most docile little baby ever?

AIBU: breastfeeding in a calm, quiet atmosphere while looking at your phone is a good way to rest and recharge.
YANBU: it's not restful when you are on duty, even if you're not technically doing much.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

342 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Rowen32 · 17/09/2022 14:26

I can see both sides..there's something lovely about breastfeeding whilst watching Netflix and then baby napping.. It isn't a break break though so just tell him that - go for a super long shower or a walk/cycle even for ten/twenty minutes..
I think with two other children and a breastfed baby it's the best you can get at this time but look forward to when you're both going to be able to give each other time off by taking all three :-)

sawwshaa · 17/09/2022 14:28

With 3 kids that sounds like a fair split!

EndTheMonacyNow · 17/09/2022 14:31

Hmm, I think that sounds like you are chilling with the baby 😅.
It sounds like you split things fairly well so I'd take it for what it is and enjoy the breastfeeding when it's going well.

ChekhovsMum · 17/09/2022 14:31

It’s a bit like long-distance driving; to an outsider you must be relaxing because you’re in one position, not moving much, and you can listen to the radio or whatever. I’m reality, you can’t let your attention drift ever, and it’s knackering.

Mischance · 17/09/2022 14:33

He sounds like a gem! - go and give him a kiss you lucky lady!.

Prinnny · 17/09/2022 14:34

I kinda agree that chilling in the bedroom on your phone or having a little snooze with a feeding baby is lovely! He’s taking the older 2 out so you don’t be disturbed, sounds a fair split to me!

Yeahrepublic · 17/09/2022 14:36

Mischance · 17/09/2022 14:33

He sounds like a gem! - go and give him a kiss you lucky lady!.

It isn't luck that she has a partner who shares childcare, that should be a basic expectation!

Fireyflies · 17/09/2022 14:37

Sounds like it's the language you find irksome. Better that he says "How about I'll take the older two out for a bit and you can manage the baby?" acknowledging that you're both doing your bit for the family. But I image he means "chill out with the baby" kindly and it's probably as close to chilling as you're likely to get with a bf baby and two older kids. If you're craving some real chill out time could you try to do more things with all three kids, and ask him to do likewise? Or is it too difficult to manage all three at once at their current ages?

Flutterbybudget · 17/09/2022 14:38

Does he ever leave you with the three kids, so he can “get a break”?
Could you express enough milk for him to feed the baby a bottle and let you get a couple of hours peace on your own?

Tbh, when I was in your position (although we had more kids than you do) I never got completely child free time, and “chilling out with the baby” was heaven, but there are times when I agree it just doesn’t feel “enough”. Maybe speak to him, and see how he feels and how you can rejig things. Possibly involving another family member to help him out a bit, if he’s nervous of having all 3. Although while men always seem to struggle with “all” their kids, and mum is just expected to manage, is beyond me, sometimes discretion is the better art of valour. At least he’s making an effort and acknowledging that you DO need a break - of sorts.

AnneLovesGilbert · 17/09/2022 14:38

Chilling with a baby is much less effort than taking two older kids out. If you want him to take the baby then ask him to.

JenniferBarkley · 17/09/2022 14:39

Two preschoolers Vs one happy baby having a feed and a sleep? I found the baby years very difficult but I think you do have the easier shift in that case. No it's not time off, but by taking yourself away you're not worrying about the bigger ones and all the scrapes they can get into.

With three small children I imagine true time off for either of you is very rare, so I'd lean into enjoying the feds and micro naps.

FabFitFifties · 17/09/2022 14:42

I would keep that annoyance to myself, I think, as he sounds as though he is doing his best to give you a break, and can't really take all 3, if you are breast feeding. I'd feel more aggrieved if he gets lots of 'just me' time. Have you considered expressing to allow yourself a complete break occasionally? You could have a supply in the freezer. DH would need some just me time also of course. Or, as baby is 7 months, agree to some "just me" time after a feed.

TrianglePlayer · 17/09/2022 15:00

My husband said last night I was chilling out when I was doing an online supermarket weekly shop for the family…

giveovernate · 17/09/2022 15:04

I'm not sure I understand what the issue is? What do you actually want from him?

ManateeFair · 17/09/2022 15:08

Well, I’d imagine it’s a lot more chilled breastfeeding a happy baby in peace than it is trying to do it with two other kids running around demanding attention. I don’t think he’s suggesting it’s equivalent to having a massage or something, just that if he takes the other kids out you can at least have a bit of quiet time. And if you’re breastfeeding, presumably he can’t take all three for very long.

galacticpixels · 17/09/2022 15:12

I think it's just his wording. Would you be as annoyed if he said "I'll take the two older kids so you can feed the baby in peace"? That's probably what he means so I'd try not to dwell on it. If you want time a rest without the baby, you can ask for that specifically.

ChiefWiggumsBoy · 17/09/2022 15:14

I think you need to be clearer what you need. If he’s taking the older kids to the park, then ask him to take the baby. She should sleep in the pram if she’s just been fed, and at 7 months he can take a snack for her anyway.

He’s never going to ‘get’ what you mean @Idontknowwhatto because he’s never going to breastfeed. So you have to be clear. It does sound like he’s doing a pretty good job aside from assuming it is restful for you to feed the baby, so I wouldn’t raise it as it’s not an issue - just ask him to take the baby out when you want him to.

Idontknowwhatto · 17/09/2022 15:14

Husband is great but does much more stuff without any kids than I do. He will go to the pub, meet friends, do his hobby etc and I'm totally cool with that. It's not as easy for me, which I understand is par for the course with breastfeeding.

I feel fairly confident taking all 3, either at home or out but he is just starting to feel OK doing that. I did ask him to take all 3 a few months ago, so I could get an hour to myself and he said no. He is more willing to now as baby is eating solids so I can pop out for an hour or two without her.

I think I got to a bit of mental breaking point a while ago (before she was on solids) and felt like I could never switch off. Things are much better now but I was just curious what you all thought! It's hard to think rationally when you're exhausted and 'touched out but things are getting mu h better as the baby gets older.

OP posts:
Idontknowwhatto · 17/09/2022 15:16

And he really is great. Didn't want to be unfair by bringing it up when I'm not thinking straight!

OP posts:
ChiefWiggumsBoy · 17/09/2022 15:18

Oh cross post.

If he’s saying he can’t or won’t take them all out then you need to have words. If you can do it, then so can he - and it’s unfair of him to suggest otherwise.

I would also try getting baby down for naps in a cot that’s in a room away from you, and leaving her there for a bit awake. Obviously not if she’s upset, but put her down awake and leave her to try and sleep. My babies napped much better when they weren’t constantly with me.

NCHammer2022 · 17/09/2022 15:18

I mean a 7 month old isn’t likely to still be cluster feeding, they’re usually fairly efficient at it by then. So it does sound a lot more chilled than dealing with 2 older ones!

HotDogKetchup · 17/09/2022 15:19

My Dh always says this OP and I get annoyed that he thinks he’s treating me to some time, when in reality I still have one child with me. He goes from 0-1 and I go from 2-1.

He suggested I spent all our holiday sunbathing when I had the one year old…

It might be more restful than having 2 but an actual rest would be having 0.

Sleepyquest · 17/09/2022 15:20

My DH also does this. 'I'll take DD(2) out to give you a break' but during my break I'm still looking after, feeding and changing a 7 month old 😂
It is a lot calmer though so I am grateful, just isn't the kind of break he gets if you see what I mean

FarmerRefuted · 17/09/2022 15:21

I can see your point. You're not relaxing, you're taking care of the baby's needs and taking care of someone else's needs isn't the same as you getting time to take care of your own needs.

Do you ever get time totally on your own without a child to care for at the same time? If not then he needs to vmbe taking all three DC, even just for a short time, so you get some actual downtime (and going to the shops, having a shower, or eating a hot meal do not count).

RidingMyBike · 17/09/2022 15:22

Nope it's definitely not a break if you have the baby with you. I used to hand mine over to DH for 3 hours every evening for precisely this reason! It's important to be able to switch off from the constant demands and not be the one 'on call' for a while.

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