My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

Shared parental leave ungrateful husband

153 replies

If123 · 26/01/2024 00:09

AIBU? 

me and my other half have decided that we will do shared parental leave. I’m am taking 5 months then finishing my leave and he will have the remaining paid 4 months as his company will top him up to full pay and I would only be on Statutory amount. It makes total sense financially to do this however when I ask my OH if he is looking forward to it he doesn’t show much enthusiasm. I would prefer he atleast pretends to be excited since I am absolutly gutted to be leaving my baby so soon. I feel he is being really ungrateful of the sacrifice I am making. 
to make thing worse I have been for a kit day with my employer today. I have spent months back and forth trying to set this day up and I finally managed. I am going in for the money to help financially support our family. I’ve come home in pieces because I feel guilty about leaving my baby she’s only 3 months. Also I had hardly any energy to make effort for her as I was physically exhausted (my job is very manual). I felt so bad for this. I had been up since 5.30am getting ready and getting out to drive to work. When I explained I was tired and needed a nap or to have a sleep my OH has a bit of a go saying that he’s tired too and he’s had the baby all day (which I get is tiring but I do on my own every day and he’s had MILs help all day) he then said how he’s tired because he had cleaned the house- which did look a lot better but I don’t know why he thinks he needs a medal for it when I did a large amount of it the evening before. 

it’s just made me feel like I am trying my best to financially help to support us and he’s thrown it in my face. He obviously does not understand how hard it is being away from her (he works from home) but I really feel like telling him to get F**ed if he thinks I’m making a load of effort again to try and help out to take the financial pressures off him when he clearly doesn’t appreciate the effort. 

AIBU to tell him that I don’t want to share my leave with him anymore if he doesn’t appreciate it and that I won’t be doing any more Kit days or forcing myself to prematurely return to work if he doesn’t appreciate my efforts. 

*the only reason I have to return is because I have to pay my contractual maternity pay back to my company if I don’t return for atleast 6 months. At the value of £3.5k to be paid in 21 days I can’t really afford to do that. So I have to try and go back for 6 months and with him taking 4 months off I could do most of this without relying on a nursery.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

614 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
33%
You are NOT being unreasonable
67%
bombardelli · 26/01/2024 00:17

YANBU at all. Take the rest of the maternity leave.

And he needs to do his fair share.

Getting his mum to look after the baby all day and then moan that he’s tired is pathetic.

PointyMcguire · 26/01/2024 00:28

As someone who was adamant I’d return at 6 months, take the full year and reassess after that.

DrinkFeckArseBrick · 26/01/2024 00:35

Yabu. Its not 'your leave' to share any more - its paternity leave now not maternity. After thr mother has taken time to recover from birth, the purpose is for the baby to bond with their primary caregivers. Lots of people think maternity leave is tedious, relentless, and might be apprehensive about it...it doesn't mean they don't actually want to do it or don't think it's worthwhile. If you do 'tell him' that you're taking all the leave, on the basis of him not being as excited about it as you expect, then you can't complain when the baby will only nap for you, only wants you at night, you are the default parent, you become responsible for a disproportionate share of housework etc etc

The competitive tiredness thing is annoying but normal with new parents

Dotchange · 26/01/2024 00:36

Does he have to be excited about being home with your baby? It reads a bit like you regret the decision ?
I can see why he would be upset about you wanting a nap when you got home. This sounds like a big transition, and you are both tetchy about it.

ellenpartridge · 26/01/2024 00:39

Drinkfeckarsebrick, yes it is her maternity leave. Her husband cannot take spl unless she chooses to relinquish some of her leave to him and it is her call.

I would personally not share the leave, or certainly not so much of it, in the circumstances you are describing OP.

TheBeesKnee · 26/01/2024 00:42

Sorry, I think you are absolutely bonkers to go back so soon. I'd cancel and take the full year. Plead hormones, baby brain, whatever you need to make it happen.

If he doesn't show much enthusiasm then maybe he regrets agreeing to it also - the reality of looking after a baby on your own is shocking. Why on earth was MIL there and is he planning on having her do everything while he's at home?

Wishitsnows · 26/01/2024 00:45

Yep screw that you have done 9 months of pregnancy, given birth and it takes a long time for your body to recover. He did one day and had his mum to help. How pathetic is he and def no medal for a bit of tidying up after you had done it the previous day, he probably got his mum to do it anyway

ACatNamedVirtue · 26/01/2024 00:51

As long as you can get by on his salary I'd say absolutely take the full year of maternity leave yourself.

Don't think about it as taking the leave back from him though. As he works from home he'll see the baby regularly even if he doesn't have the months off on leave. You will be out the house and exhausted and seriously resenting your DH. Sounds like it would be better all round for you take the rest of the maternity leave.

Codlingmoths · 26/01/2024 00:57

If you don’t want to share the leave, and dont have to, don’t. I’m not clear on the have to bit, it sounds like you do have to.
but with kit days, no more!
you say Dh, I found leaving baby and going to do a kit day emotionally just awful, I don’t want to leave my baby. I worked really hard the previous evening to tidy up, and I felt you neither appreciated the emotional sacrifice I was making to earn the money a kit day would do, and also you seem to have no recognition at all that when you are complaining about how hard a single day with our baby is while your mum is there for 6 hours helping you, you are telling me you don’t care that I do that on my own every day, that I’m not worth your support. No one helps me for 6 hours any day.
im not interested in making this effort and leaving our baby for zero recognition to earn a bit more money. I won’t do any more kit days. You would just take my effort for granted and when I come home tell me how hard it was for you and you don’t care that I look after baby every day.

SwordToFlamethrower · 26/01/2024 07:16

I think you're mad to be going back so soon!
It takes a year for a woman to recover her constitution from the drain of pregnancy and childbirth. You could be setting yourself up for serious health issues by going back to a job so soon. And a physical one at that.

On top of that, you are biologically hardwired to be bonded to your baby so no wonder you're gutted and devasted to be leaving her. Your baby will feel the same way.

Stuff the money! He doesn't care to bond with your baby. You won't get this time back. Be a mother. It's your right!

You grew her, you birthed her! Maternity leave is about full recovery AND bonding.

Get a cleaner to help you, stay at home.

Don't share leave with a man who doesn't give a shit.

Whataretheodds · 26/01/2024 07:20

@DrinkFeckArseBrick what are you talking about Its not 'your leave' to share any more - its paternity leave now not maternity

@OP have you seen his company's policy on pay and shared parental leave?

Saymyname28 · 26/01/2024 07:23

I'm sorry do you not also live under that roof, use the water, the electricity, the food. You are not helping him financially support his family, you are supporting your family. You're not doing him a favour, you've said you're doing what's best for your child.

How many times on here do we have mums staying at home with a baby all day complaining that their male partner gets home and doesn't appreciate what they've done.

You're both doing your best but neither of you deserve a medal, you're just doing what parents do, looking after your family.

Feeling like you haven't recovered, or aren't emotionally ready to leave your baby is different and I'd support trying, with your husband, to work out how to allow you more leave within your family finances. But don't make it about how you're doing a huge favour for him by contributing to your household and your family and if he doesn't appreciate it enough then you won't. That's not how marriage or parenthood works.

MotherOfCrocodiles · 26/01/2024 07:28

Stick to the plan. Those four months will get him to be competent parent and share the load. It's an investment for the future dynamic of your family.

Whattodowithit88 · 26/01/2024 07:41

First thing you need to address is the guilt. I’d make this top priority if I was you because if you keep feeling/thinking your guilty this is going to cause many problems and restrain you, your heading down a slippery slope-loose the guilt.

Personally I’d still get him to take the leave, just because his thrown a strop and threw it in your face doesn’t mean I still wouldn’t have gone for that nap nor would I give up work because of it.

Bearbookagainandagain · 26/01/2024 07:55

YABU. It sounds more like you want a medal for doing your KIT days and go back to work, and want him him to be sooo grateful that you are contributing to the household income and sacrificing yourself! Grow up!
Your work situation isn't his fault either.

And any poster on here who said their hubby came back from work and went for a nap "because they work and you've been home all day" got the same answer: whoever says with the baby works too, had a hard day too, so you put yourself aside for a minute and help.

I quite like the contradiction as well between blaming him to ask to help with the baby, and saying you miss your baby so much he's ungrateful. He can't really win, can he?!

HAPPILYMARRIEDSINCE2012 · 26/01/2024 08:00

I sort of agree with @Bearbookagainandagain even though it sounds a little harsh. I do feel OP that you need to deal with your guilt first as I feel this is causing you some resentment and like your husband should be so happy that h3 gets to stay at home.

SlightlygrumpyBettyswaitress · 26/01/2024 08:10

The best bit of advice is
Don't get into a competition about who has the crappiest life.
Small babies and work is tough for all involved.

LiquoriceAllsorts2 · 26/01/2024 08:14

The first time on your baby is overwhelming so I can understand him being tired and wanting his mums support.

also he is probably used to working so the idea of something different is probably very daunting. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to do it but could just be that he is nervous.
potentially he also doesn’t want to seem too excited given that he knows you would rather be there instead.

Zanatdy · 26/01/2024 08:14

Reevaluate - does he really want to do it? I doubt it. Can you afford for you to stay off 9-12 months? I took 6 months unpaid with ds1 as it was 6 months full pay for me then zero (he’s 19 now). I don’t ever regret that, although it was tough relying on ex DP’s wage, not that it wasn’t enough but he hated paying for everything!

Wictc · 26/01/2024 08:14

Don’t make this into a competition. Not everyone is excited about leave, it doesn’t mean they don’t live the baby. Shared parental leave is great for showing the father how difficult things are and how to care, prep, feed the baby etc. Everyone I know who has done it (including me), has a partner who does equal parenting, household, and mental load.

It’s only for a few months, it will get easier. It’s a hard time for both of you, don’t make it a bone of contention.

TinyYellow · 26/01/2024 08:16

You will make yourself miserable if you believe this is something your husband should be grateful to you for. You are working together as a team to bring up your baby and finance your household. He owes you exactly the same appreciation that you owe him.

Whaleandsnail6 · 26/01/2024 08:17

Surely you arent working to purely take the financial pressure off him but the financial pressure is a joint thing?

I think you need to change your mind set a bit. You aren't the only one who is tired and making sacrifices, its not a competition.

How many times on here do we read resentment from parents who have been home with the baby all day and had their partner come in from work and immediately want a break or nap cos they are tired from work, when the parent at home has also had a tough day?

Sounds like this is a decision that has been reached as it is the best thing for the family. Stick with it, give it a chance and you'll likely get used to it and all settle into a routine

Maray1967 · 26/01/2024 08:19

ellenpartridge · 26/01/2024 00:39

Drinkfeckarsebrick, yes it is her maternity leave. Her husband cannot take spl unless she chooses to relinquish some of her leave to him and it is her call.

I would personally not share the leave, or certainly not so much of it, in the circumstances you are describing OP.

Same here. No way would I have shared my leave. And DH was great with our DC - it’s just that I saw it as my leave.

I think you need to have firm words after a rest. And if MIL has been there as well, he’s being pathetic. Mine took our 2 year old to his parents for a weekend when I was away with work. He had more sense than to claim that he’d been doing non stop childcare.

SgtJuneAckland · 26/01/2024 08:20

I have a friend in your position due to go back in a couple of months, she says it's ok, but I'm not sure I fully believe her. Yes parts of maternity leave were hard, repetitive, relentless but needing that time with a very young baby is instinctive. It was hard enough leaving DS at a year, even though I was very much done with being at home, leaving him was the biggest challenge. I also think the first 4/5 months are a bit of a blur so it's the bit after that's enjoyable. Especially when you have a winter baby.
Could you look to stay off until 9 months then take any accrued annual leave? Do your KIT days to top up money

janeintheframe · 26/01/2024 08:22

Whaleandsnail6 · 26/01/2024 08:17

Surely you arent working to purely take the financial pressure off him but the financial pressure is a joint thing?

I think you need to change your mind set a bit. You aren't the only one who is tired and making sacrifices, its not a competition.

How many times on here do we read resentment from parents who have been home with the baby all day and had their partner come in from work and immediately want a break or nap cos they are tired from work, when the parent at home has also had a tough day?

Sounds like this is a decision that has been reached as it is the best thing for the family. Stick with it, give it a chance and you'll likely get used to it and all settle into a routine

I agree, I’m shocked at the answers, completely ignoring the financial situation she’s in, and I’m shocked at the ops position that in some way she’s doing him a favour.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.