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This board is primarily for those whose children have LGBTQ+ parents to share their personal experiences and advice.

LGBT parents

I hate being a parent

20 replies

Bnotbroken · 24/10/2022 17:33

I hate being a parent! It's taken my ages to pluck up the courage to post, as no one I speak to takes me seriously and freinds have just fobbed me off with it will get better and I'd love to be in your shoes! But I hate parenting, don't get me wrong I love my little boy, he's my world.
My wife and I had our son just over three years ago, my wife was the biological mum and I'm the non biological mum. I have no family for support and my wife family have always disaproved of our relationship and have persistantly made our life a living hell. The plan was we would manage our son between us and both work part time. 3 months after my DW had our son she was really bad with postnatal depression, I ended up having to give up my job and we lived off my savings as I couldn't leave her alone, she became paranoid that i was having an affair beacuse her parents had suggested it, despite the only place i was going was work, . She wanted to go back to work full time and pursue her career, which she did, she's done amazingly well and had promotion after promotion. Meanwhile I was to become the primary career, it wasn't really discussed, it was just decided that my job was less important because I have a chronic pain condition so it made more sense. It was never in my plan to be a full time mum and I was always the one who had reservations about my ability to parent. As it so happens I'm alright at it and our little boy is happy, healthy bright and caring. I however feel like my life is over, I have no aspirations, I don't know who I am anymore, I'm lonely and feel completely trapped by my circumstance. I resent my wife for having a life at work and having adult conversations with other people whilst I just feel like I facilitate everyone around me but dont even get noticed. Ive tried to speak to my wife and paid for us to have couples counselling and paid for her to have counselling for her own stuff but it changed nothing apart from the fact that I have no savings now. I don't even feel like I can speak to my freinds because they are all joint freinds and all seem to think my life is bliss because I don't work. But literally I feel like I never stop with mundane chores and my job list never seems to get any smaller. Everyday feels like ground hog day and it makes me hate being a parent, then I feel guilty for thinking that. I've broken down in tears so many times in front of my wife, but she doesn't get it, she once said to me i dont why you need to thanked for being a mum because i dont need any thanks! Which was entirely missing the piont, I just feel so deflated and sad and like this is my life. What makes it worse is that my wifes parents refuse to see me as our sons mum so every wedding or occasion I have to deal with that and my wife never puts them right. I just smile and wave whilst inside I'm burning up with anger.

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RoseslnTheHospital · 24/10/2022 17:42

I'm sorry you're feeling so unhappy with everything, I can absolutely understand why.

There are lots of different issues wrapped up in your post. Being the unexpected main carer for your child is the obvious one. If you are in the UK, now your son is 3 or about to be 3, are you using any childcare for him? If you go back to work you can access the 30 hours funding for 3 year olds.

Your wife seems to really be struggling to understand what your issues are about being removed from adult company and doing all the childcare and home related tasks. I can't imagine being unmoved by my partner being repeatedly in tears about something, nor not understanding why you feel unappreciated and lost. Was she like that before you had your child, or do you think it might be related to the PND?

I would put a boundary in place regarding her relatives, if she isn't prepared to correct them when they ignore you, then you and your son should not be subjected to their passive aggressive homophobia. So she can go to weddings and occasions on her own without you and your son.

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Bnotbroken · 25/10/2022 10:47

Thanks for the reply.
Yes we get some childcare hours and yes our son goes to nursery I spend the time he's at nursery playing catch up. Shopping washing etc our life is complicated by the fact we live in a big caravan off grid at the moment which sounds great but in reality it really hard work. It was only meant to be temp measure but we got gazumped on two houses and house prices shot up. It's been 2 years now.
My wife is very different since the pnd sometimes I feel like I have no idea who she is or what's going on with her. She doesn't communicate with me at all, ive tried so hard to open lines of communication but it always ends up with me in tears not feeling heard or understood and feeling like I'm the problem.
I'm not even a shell of the person I was, I used to be an outgoing confident person and now I have no confidence at all and most days I feel totally worthless.
I have tried to set boundaries regarding her parents but I'm told I'm being unreasonable. And that I'm asking her to choose between me and her family, no matter how many times I try to explain that I didn't put her in that position it never changes. She refuses to accept that her parents attitude towards us could be potentially damaging to our son and our little family. I just have to suck it up. Her parents are narcissistic and abusive she started to get her head around it when she had pnd and counselling which I think was a big trigger. But now she says she can't trust anyone including me because she suspects everyone is a controlling narsacist. But then she chooses to see her parents and subject our son to him and see them bully me and say nothing.
She is actually currently not speaking to them due to a particularly nasty trick in which they got her attention by making out her gran was seriously ill in hospital, she wasn't she had just been to a hospital appointment and was fine. When she's non contact with her parents things generally get a bit better. But it doesn't alter how I feel and my loss of identity and my hate for the mundane everyday of parenting and who ive become. Sometimes I just don't think I'm normal, but then the reality is our experience of parenting so far has been so messed up, I feel like I've just spent 3 years fighting fire and trying to save my marriage. And the outcome is that I feel like I've sacrificed everything and get nothing back. I feel so lost and alone.

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BuffyFanForever · 26/10/2022 07:09

I’m so sorry you are feeling this way. You are definitely not the only person in the position and I totally understand the not being able to talk properly with friends about it. We all end up with joint friends don’t we and it’s abit against the lesbian code to talk about your marriage problems openly. I have also ended up unexpectedly our children’s stay at home parent and also really struggle with it. Happy to chat if that would be helpful? Feel free to PM me.

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Bramblejoos · 26/10/2022 07:25

Esther Perel does a great counselling session on this exact subject. Perhaps you can find it on podcasts or similar. Your wife should be acknowledging your sacrifice and effort on a daily basis and thanking you for it.

Perhaps you can consider divorce - then childcare would be shared.

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achangeisafoot · 26/10/2022 07:34

Without sounding dismissive, your problem isn't parenting. It's your wife who is being absolutely awful to you! Honestly I feel like it's bordering on abusive.

Can you just get a job? While your son is at nursery? I feel like your wife is making your life decisions for you in a way she shouldn't be. I also don't understand why you paid for all the therapy when she's the high earner? Honestly you're being really screwed over here, I would get a job and I would be planning to leave her

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OperaStation · 26/10/2022 07:53

It’s not being a parent that you hate. It’s being the wife of your partner that you hate. She’s the one making your life unbearable, not your 3 year old son.

You need to find a proper house to rent, not an off grid caravan. You need to find a job and increase the hours your son spends at nursery to accommodate your career (either that or your partner reduces her hours).

The housework needs to be shared equally or outsourced.

Finally, you need to suggest moving further away from your in-laws.

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NCgoingdry · 26/10/2022 07:58

What's the legal situation with regards to your son. Do you have full parental responsibility?

To be honest, looking from the outside in, I can literally feel your misery from your posts and your wife is exacerbating that.

I would be getting my career back on track, find for self worth again and get the wheels in motion to separate.

See how your wife manages 50/50 care with her career that's she's prioritized over everything else.

You've bent over backwards to create a better life, including giving up your identity, career, savings - she's done nothing to support you. You're no longer equal and if she won't even acknowledge anything with open communication you're doomed anyway.

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PerenniallyConfused · 26/10/2022 08:08

Lots of things you've described would make anyone miserable. I'm sorry you're struggling, but it's completely understandable. You've given up a lot for your family, but you are also a key member of the family and deserve care, attention, and support as well.

If your wife won't communicate with you, I think you're going to have to accept that the relationship isn't equal or fair, and you been to consider what you're getting out of it.

You need to find a way to put yourself first, carve out self care and "me" time, and make it sacrosanct. You are putting the oxygen mask on in order to be well enough to look after your child.

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LimeCheesecake · 26/10/2022 08:30

@OperaStation is right. You have a DW problem. She has prioritised what she wants and so have you.

plan of action - you need a proper house to rent. You need a job and your dd to go to childcare - which your DW has to do half of the drop offs and picks ups from. And the childcare is a joint expense.

You need to rebuild a life outside of being a wife and mother, start with a job.

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DivorcingEU · 26/10/2022 09:46

I've been in the same situation where I've ended up as primary cater and had never planned that, meanwhile my partner (male) is having promotion after promotion because I'm taking the burden of all the childcare, organising schools, birthdays, doctors appointments, dentist appointments etc. He could not have progressed so much if he'd taken on his share. Couples counselling also useless because he basically said all the right things there.

My advice is to focus on yourself. How can you get back into work? Can you get back into your former work, do you have to move sideways, or is there something else you think would be better? Do not present this as an "I'd like to.." but "I'm going to..". If your income would be eaten up by childcare costs, then I'd say that the positive impact on your own mental health would be worth it, plus you would be moving forwards to a promotion opportunity in the future too (if you wanted), rather then folding washing. And if your wife has financial concerns about you working vs childcare, then this is the line of argument to take, because it's true.

While there are different dynamics in same sex parenting and relationships this particular situation is sadly a very "traditional" one.

FWIW I have a friend who has to return to work for a month between pregnancies (strange twist of fate). She was nervous about leaving her son in more childcare. And nervous about being able to cope with work again as her job is stressful. After the first week she looked radiant: her stressful job was far easier than being at home. Freedom to eat and ho to the toilet alone, only work to think about, adult conversations. She ended up viewing it as a holiday from mat leave!

So you're definitely not alone in your experiences- and that also means you're doing nothing wrong. I'd add that your living circumstances must add another layer of difficulty.

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Igmum · 26/10/2022 10:21

Sending love a hugs. You sound so isolated. Parenting can do this and if DW no longer communicates that is awful for you. Agree, get yourself back into work and get some adult friends so you can head out for coffee, enjoy a pizza or have a beer child free - or whatever is your thing. You and DW should have equal free time (as they so often say on these boards), as well as couple time if you want that.

Your relationship may or may not survive and it needs effort from both of you not just you, but you need to put yourself first for once. Childcare is expensive but if you're both working you should be able to afford some. Good luck

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Bnotbroken · 28/10/2022 07:36

Thank you all for your replys. I don't disagree with anything which has been said. We are currently in the process of buying a house its taken 3 months so far and it's still not sorted they recon it could be another couple of weeks. Our living situation is incredibly stressful and I feel like a 1950s housewife cleaning the fire getting logs and coal just to stay warm, it's cramped and dangerous and I hate it. My DW has changed, and I would say my relationship has at times become abusive. I paid for the counselling because I was so desperate to get things back to how things where. Before the pnd and we had an amazing relationship, and I was very much in love, we shared everything and where very open with each other. I don't recognise the person she is anymore and I don't even know if that's possible for pnd to alter someone in that way? The silence and lack of empathy from her is the thing which I don't understand and whic I find the most damaging. Any sort of difficult conversation she just doesn't want to know, she's behaves like a child, if I don't acknowledge it, it will go away. I don't feel like I can leave because I feel like I owe to my little boy to try from a better starting piont ie a house as our life and how we have been living has been so stressful. Also I know for a fact my dw would want full custody of our boy and I'm terrified she would get it and I'll be honest as she is at the moment I would be so worried about him, she wouldn't hurt or anything but her understanding of parenting and the need for routine, boundaries and practical aspects of bringing up a child are nil. Because she behaves like an overgrown child, she loves the fun stuff and the cuddles but anything else stresses her out.
My plan is to get I the house get settled and then I should have more time for a job and me, and maybe in turn that will help us? I'm not so sure about the last bit, but I can hope right?

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tribpot · 28/10/2022 08:02

I can't see how the full-time working parent would get full custody over the primary carer, but I appreciate this can be complicated. Are you your ds' legal parent?

I would agree with your plan to get the house and then get a job, but not necessarily because it will improve your relationship with your DW, but to give you more options for getting out. However, the first steps are the same regardless of the outcome.

In the meantime, I would tackle the idea of you having some savings of your own. Can she pay some money into a savings account belonging to you? You need to have some financial cushion.

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achangeisafoot · 28/10/2022 11:16

I think you need to start planning to leave. Get a job, get some savings, get some legal advice. You deserve better than this.

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Bnotbroken · 28/10/2022 11:54

Please don't tell me how stupid I am. I know but I don't know what else to do. I'll be using my savings as a deposit for the house I've also just sold anything I have of any value to fund the deposit. She will be paying the mortgage on the house and it will be tight so no chance of any savings. The money is in herited from my mum, but without using it we have no chance of a house. The upside is that once the house is sorted I will sell the caravan and get the money back from that. The down side is if we split up soon after buying the house I'll be thousands down. But I guess in terms of leaving it would be the long game I would need to play, because I really believe I need to try from a better starting piont with everything. The reason I think she'll try for full custody is she will use my health against me as I have fibromyalgia, and I think if it all went wrong her mum and dad are loaded and would love nothing more than to get rid of me whatever it takes and would just fund and support her to get their own way.
And I haven't even covered the bloke whos land we live on, who is pretty infatuated with my wife and puts me down at every opportunity! She says I'm being unreasonable and its my insecurities but he is awful to me, his partner left him and he threatened suicide so my DW felt the need rescue him rather than focus on our marriage and her pnd. I'm pretty sure he plays us off against each other, he's very keen to tell me what my dw has been telling him. It's just toxic through and through, so I don't feel that I can give anything a fair go until we are out of the situation.

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achangeisafoot · 28/10/2022 12:39

I don't think anyone thinks you're stupid. You're clearly a wonderful loving person, I'm just so sorry that your wife is taking advantage of this. Like you say, you'll have to play the long game. Find out your legal rights on everything as soon as you can.

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tribpot · 28/10/2022 21:06

No-one has said you are stupid, @Bnotbroken . It sounds like a number of people around you are grinding down your self-esteem.

Have you had legal advice about how to protect your deposit? If you decided to pull out of the purchase, could you rent somewhere for a while? (This caravan sounds properly grim). If she's doing so well at work and comes from money, how come she hasn't got a deposit? I'm concerned she could trap you into this house and then just refuse to pay the mortgage. I can't help but think your mum would rather you were using this money to get some security for yourself and your ds.

I'd also get some legal advice about potential child arrangements if you split; as you're already doing the role of primary caregiver, I can't see why your fibro would count against you.

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Bnotbroken · 28/10/2022 22:56

Ha ha I don't have an self esteem to grind down! I have non or any self respect for that matter. Its a long story but basically I met my wife 15 years ago through work she still lived at home and had a boyfriend who her parents liked she was miserable the boyfriend was physically abusive and she had grown up in family in which this was normal. She was incredibly shy and barely spoke, we became close, she dumped the boyfriend and got with me, moved out and started to come out of her shell. But her parents hated it because they could no longer ontrol her. So over the years they have tried everything from threatening me (litterally my father in law used to let himself into our house was i was on my own and stand over me telling me to fuck off out his duaghters life or he would ruin me), to ruining my career and discrediting me, to cutting off any help to my wife. Her sister was set up in house etc she got nothing. So we moved away but she kept limited contact with parents on her terms. We where very happy which is why we had our son, we had so much love to give to a little person and had each other as family. She didn't like to talk about her parents but she would talk to me about things. Then after our son was born it was like a switch went her head, she was desperate to please them and for them to approve of her, it didn't come. They just critiqued everything she did as a parent and ground her down and made out I would be bored and having an affair. She went nuts at one piont I thought she needed sectioning as she was spying on me on all my social media yet completely denying it to my face even though the login was in my hand, she was ringing 50 times a day at work. So yes they would happily pay to get rid of me, so they could control her and my son. It terrifies me.
All I wanted was to try and help her get better and look after my family which is why I paid for the counselling for her as an individual and for us as a couple. Since the counselling she looks at me like the enemy and she tells me nothing, not even simple every day things. It breaks my heart because I know what we had. I don't care about the money anymore because I don't really have enough in me to care, everyday I'm battling with pain and axiety, I know I'm not easy to live with but I carry on for my little boy because I will let him be collateral damage. And once our living situation is better I will start managing my pain better which will ease things.

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Parentandteacher · 27/01/2023 08:53

How are you doing now OP?

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FlawlessSquid · 11/02/2023 11:07

Parenting is the hardest job and you are doing greatly. Things do get better when kids go to school. You'll be able to find your own time and do your own thing again. Best of luck!

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