Desperately need...

Amber - posted on 06/02/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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advice on splitting up waking up with the baby in the middle of the night. My daughter has recently started waking up around 4-6 am and ready to play. I am a sahm BUT I do daycare 10 hours a day. My fiance works a full time job and a part time job one or two nights a week. We have been having an issue with splitting baby duties since day one. This morning was just another instance of how bad its getting. I woke up with her at 5 yesterday morning. So when she woke up at 4 this morning,I asked him to get her. It just turned ugly. He just doesnt understand how tired I really am and how much I really do. So in turn,he told me I was being "a selfish bitch". Seriously?

He works at a shipyard working with machinery and says that waking up will make him too tired and not able to be safe at work. I wake up at the same time to start watching a few kids,along with housework and taking care of the pets. He doesnt change diapers often or bathe her or feed her. He doesnt know what clothes fit her and he has never cut her nails. He just plays with her when its convenient for him. Asking him to do anything to help me is like a burden. Moms,Im at my wits end. help!

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Amber - posted on 06/02/2010

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I don't want this to come out negatively. So, please don't take it that way. But why is it an option for him? I think that you need to be tough with him. My guy is a nurse practitioner in the ER and sees patients all day. He has to diagnose and treat sick or injured people for 12 hours 3-4 days a week. And he still helped out with our son when I felt overwhelmed.

And the fact that he would call you a "selfish bitch" does not speak well on his character. He obviously does not respect you. If he did, he wouldn't be speaking to you like that and he would be helping with your child. You need to stand up for yourself or walk away from him. There is no excuse for his behavior.

I would tell him that this is his child too, you didn't make this baby by yourself! If he doesn't want to wake up with your daughter, then he needs to do more around the house so that you can relax more and maybe go to bed early.

Being a parent isn't a part time job and it's not optional. I would make that clear to him. He needs to learn to respect you as a woman and be a father to his child. It will not be good for your daughter to have a dad who won't do things for her or who disrespects her mother. It will give her a distorted view on what a household should be.

Good luck, and I hope you can get him to see the light.

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I understand how working in a shipyard while sleep deprived would be very dangerous, but I also think he should be helping out with your child a little more.

My son wakes around 5-6am, most kids do, so why not just adjust your schedule so that you can wake with her?

Perhaps you can have him take care of her for a couple of hours and put her to bed in the evenings so that you can go to bed earlier and be ready to get up with her in the morning. How late does he work at his 2nd job, if he cannot get to bed earlier, I would say that you should go to bed when you put her down for the night so that you can be up with her in the morning, but on nights that he is not working, he should definitely watch her so you can go to be earlier if he does not want to wake up with her.

Kate - posted on 06/03/2010

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On the weekend, when it's just the 3 of you at home, get yourself ready to go out for an hour or so. When you're ready, just tell him where you're going; ie shopping, for a walk, to a friend's house, and just go. He'll take over taking care of your daughter. They might have an unhappy hour or two, but he will begin to understand it's an every minute of the day and night job to take care of a child. l kept telling my partner, who was 45 and never had kids it's an every minute of everyday job. He didn't get it until our son was born 3 years ago. Then he said wow, you were right. Sounds like he just needs to have some experience with you not being there to do everything. They will survive and hour or two.

Jennifer - posted on 06/03/2010

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Some men are incredibly uncomfortable around babies, but they don't want to admit it. So instead of saying "honey, I'm uncomfortable", they just use excuses. My husband was exactly the same way. I worked in a nursing home, and in order to get to work, I would have to drive an hr just to drop my kids off at my parents' house, drive another 20min to get to work, work 8hrs lifting 200+ lb people, get hit and spit on, and deal with death every day. Then I would have to drive another 20min to pick up the kids, and another hr to get home. Then of course it was time to cook supper, do dished, and laundry. Then, get up every 2 hrs with our son (he did that til he was 12mo old). My husband drove a truck all day, and said he couldn't get up with our son, because he might fall asleep driving. It just sounded stupid to me, because I was doing so much, that I was falling asleep getting to work with the kids in the car. Plus, I worked every other weekend and my husband didn't. He would still refuse to get up. Finally, I talked him into getting up with the baby. It was a complete disaster. Our son just kept screaming and when I got up and looked at my husband, I could see he was terrified. He was so nervous that he was making the baby upset.

I'm not saying that it is a good excuse, because us moms were nervous too at first, but men just deal with things differently. Try talking to him when both of you aren't exhausted and just see if he is nervous. He may never admit it, but if you tell him you were nervous too at first, it might help him open up. If that is the problem, then honestly, it only gets better as the baby gets older.

Zara - posted on 06/03/2010

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Hello Amber,

I'm sorry to hear about the trouble you are having. I'm not sure how your relationship is but it's always best to take time and sit down and talk to him about how you feel. You have to first understand how he feels and then tell him I understand that you are working a lot as well but I just want to take turns getting up with our child. My husband works full time and he has to leave at 6am and I work from home and he has never had a problem getting up for me. I just always remember to thank him for getting up and helping out so he knows how much I appreciate it. I wish you the best of luck I hope something changes soon!

Bridget - posted on 06/03/2010

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Im sorry you have to go through this! Just because you stay at home doesnt mean you are working any less than he is. Especially if you are watching kids other than your own.
My husband and I had some problems for a few months, but not with waking up at night with our daughter. Since before she was born I knew I would have no help from him in the middle of the night. He is the most sound sleeper I have ever seen, and I am such a light sleeper that it doesnt even make sense for him to try to get up, as Id be up listening to him and my daughter the whole time. But we are lucky we didnt have that problem because we seemed to have the same issues you are having. My husband wouldnt do any work at all, for a while he wouldnt even hold our daughter, he would play with her if I was holding her only. I finally had to have a serious talk with him and tell him that his attitude about helping out was going to end up effecting his relationship with our daughter, she was so used to me and not used to him that she eventually didnt want him to hold her. It took a little while, but he saw I was right and he started helping on his own. I also explained to him that he doesnt deserve a pat on his back every time he changes a diaper or makes a bottle, its his responsibility and duty as a dad. I am lucky that my husband is very reasonable, he just struggled with being a new Dad.
Your husband seems difficult, have you tried to have a serious, calm, conversation, where you can explain to him how difficult your day is when you are tired? Or what about showing him how difficult it is. If he is willing, on his day off, make him take over all of your duties, including night duties, and keep him on the go through the day. Maybe that would help him understand how tough your job really is! We also did this, with out the night duties, and my husband couldnt believe how exhausting "sitting at home playing all day" really is.

Good luck!

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