Tired of this *letter to DH* - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 12-23-2009, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't take it anymore. I have been bottling everything up thinking it was just hormones and me being out of whack, but this anger isn't going anyway. Even though I have explained everything to him already I have went about it in a nice way, and I feel like I could just explode now. I wrote this for my DH, but I probably *still* will not give it to him, and continue feeling this way. I don't know, maybe I'm the one who is being unreasonable, I'm too exhausted to know anymore.


___________________________________

I am mad for numerous reasons, and I have already explained those reasons to you, but you either don't understand or just don't care. you must not see how badly this situation is effecting me, and again, I will tell you why.

for one I am cooped up in this house, I have no transportation, i have no one to take me anywhere. I have been cooped up in this house for a LONG time, since we moved here as a matter of fact. It was bearable at first, then became annoying, then became irritating. now i am locked up in this house with a baby 24/7, I have not been ANYWHERE and hardly been able to step outside since K was born. At least you get to go to work and get fresh air, but I get to sit my a** around the house tending to a crying baby all day long without a chance to even go outside. - I have been bleeding since he was born, I can not do tasks like I was able to before otherwise I start bleeding again. This is not my fault nor a reason to be 'lazy', YOU were there when i went to the hospital, you seen how critical it was that I go, and in no way do I want to end back up in the hospital because I *overdid* it.

When you do take the baby, minus the 1 day that you let me sleep in(1 day in nearly 3 months), you only take him for a brief time before I end back up with him in my arms.

I let you sleep as much as possible. I am up all day and then practically all night(normally 3 or 4AM), when K goes to sleep at that time. this means you get to sleep from 10/11PM to 5/6AM if not more without interruption, and that is WAY more than I get, and yet you complain about how tired you are. any time I mention that I am tired you go on to say, "ya I'm tired too", in a way that seems like you're trying to size up who's more exhausted.

It me off that you're able to go to sleep every night and you can so peacefully drift off without giving a thought about my status. I am drained, for every single reason stated above, plus some that I haven't mentioned in this.

I know you have to work but I need to sleep too. By the time I CAN go to sleep I'm too exhausted to go to bed anymore. It's like a second wind, half the time I'm in a daze, everything feels like I'm half awake with eyes of fire.

When you do hold K you will give heavy sighs, this indicates to me that you are not enjoying it. When I ask if you want me to take him, you say "you can if you want", which translates more or less, "yes take him", since that is your response every single time and you don't tell me to just take it easy for a bit, or at least this is how it makes me feel, like you don't even enjoy holding him whatsoever.

I am mad at you, I hate that you can continue your daily life as normal, plus going out to *--* again, and I am SITTING HERE day after day, 24/7 taking care of K with NO HELP. you have 1 day that you spend here all day now, and you hardly take responsibility for him then. I can hardly get you to take him for more than 25 minutes at a time... it's getting old fast.
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#2 of 14 Old 12-23-2009, 07:25 AM
 
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I'm sleep deprived too, so i hope this makes sense.

i'm guessing this is your first child? How old is your baby?

Its perfectly reasonable to expect help with your baby. I've found the blunt to the point approach works best. "Heres the baby, i'm going to have a nap, bring him up in 2 hours to be fed, bye."
or " I'm having a lie in tomorrow, when the baby wakes at 6am you take him downstairs and bring him back at 8am."
or "I'm having a bath, heres your baby, i'll be back in an hour."

Then when he is looking after the baby, "ahh, look how much he likes being with you, look how he loves you" etc


How come you can't leave the house? can you go for a walk round the block? Any mother and baby groups near you?

Has your dh actually said he thinks you are being lazy around the house or do you just feel that way? I always said that my job was looking after the baby, if i get a chance to do any housework thats a bonus, if not on the weekend we share housework / looking after the baby - "take the baby while i clean the bathroom, or would you prefer to clean?".

If you can sleep when the baby sleeps, you'll feel better and world will seem like a better place.

Does your dh have any other father friends to talk to, so he can see what is expected of him is normal? DH always tells new fathers " when you get home from work take the baby, even if you have had the worst day, take the baby, your wife will love you for it".

It does get easier.

Mummy to T 06/04, L 08/06, R 08/09
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#3 of 14 Old 12-23-2009, 08:39 AM
 
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I could have written this a few years back when our first child was born.

(We lived on a mountain, and my baby hated the car, so we stayed home a lot. We don't live on a mountain anymore, but my second child hates the car too, so we have walked or taken the bus almost everywhere for the first 7 months...but we live in a place where that is easy to do...The first time around, I didn't get more than 2 hrs of sleep at a time for 2 years! I have "slept in" 2 times in 4 years)

I think what you are going through could be a syndrome of some kind. The becoming-a-parent, my-mate-is-a-disappointment syndrome. But, it affects the whole family unit, not just one person. I think that the transformation of becoming a father takes longer for men. You have the *benefit* of a physical/hormonal experience to bring you into mothering but for the man, its just life as usual plus another person suddenly he doesn't know how to care for, and who probably has a clear preference for you. Most people don't give up comfort (sleep) willingly, even if they SHOULD. Its animal. (I heard on the radio that a crying baby was the top thing that would wake a woman but didn't even make the top 10 of things that wake a man.)

A friend of my dh told him that even if he is just going to work, his activities when he leaves the house will always be regarded like he's out having fun. Dh told me, to make the a point to me...but I think he has begun to understand that even the chance to walk down the street for a coffee alone IS fun.

I'm not making excuses for dh, just sayin' there's only one way to get through this and that is deep "putting-yourself-in-the-others-shoes-work." No one wins in the "I do more than you game." Life IS unfair. Stay at home mothering is an unappreciated, and misunderstood vocation. But, it does get easier, because you will hopefully come to appreciate yourself, even or especially when no one else does.

You are still in a hormonal soup, the sleep deprivation and lack of support is probably causing you a lot of physical and emotional upheaval in themselves, regardless of the prince your dh is, or isn't. The man doesn't get it. Maybe he's selfish...maybe he's clueless. I know the things you are asking for should be self-evident, but they are not, apparently. Puddleduck's suggestions are right on IMO. Say what you need, time after time after time. The more you do those things, the more routine they will become, and one day, dh might actually do them spontaneously. Don't ask if he wants you to take the baby if you are not ready to have the baby back.

Don't sweat the chores or take the bait from him or yourself about laziness. Do you think you are lazy? Transforming into a SAHM is a process. Staying at home is more like 3 jobs, not 1. People who haven't done it DO NOT understand that. (My dad, a CEO said to me recently that he could never stay at home with the kids--like I do--and "do nothing" all day...ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!) Take the position that dh goes to his job, caring for your baby while he is gone is your job and running the household (and the allotted sleep) is split between you and dh--laundry, cooking, dishes, etc. If you can't get him to split with you those things, hire out.

Sleep when your baby sleeps. Force it. Hire a mother's helper to come hold your baby while you take a bath, or a nap, or a walk. Or a cleaner to clean the bathroom. Can't afford it? Can't NOT afford it. Give yourself 1 hr. $15! You will be amazed at how much better you feel with a little rest. I can't say dh will be less disappointing, but, it could pass more easily. When your child gets older, dh may (probably will) have more to contribute. It may make dh pay attention better to what it means to run the house. If you REALLY can't afford it, make a chore/sleep chart.

In dire situations, when no one is throwing you a rope, get up, make yourself a rope, and climb out. Yes, a prince in shining armor is more fun, but, here on Earth, we women, do what we need to do. O.K., enough with the analogies.

Mama, love thyself.
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#4 of 14 Old 12-23-2009, 08:55 AM
 
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Horizon

I go through something very similar with my DH and this is our third child. You'd think he would "get it" by now. My DH also works from home so he is here all the time making the resentment harder for me. I do have my own vehicle so that part is okay but I don't like taking a 3 mos old on most of my trips due to all the stuff I have to take and not knowing what kind of mood she will be in while we are out and about...and DH always sighs if I ask him to watch her so I can go places or even do anything around the house. He's usually just sitting at the computer anyway so I don't see what the problem is? I, however, always have house work to do or something to do with our other children.

So I basically feel your pain Horizon. I hope you can e-mail your husband or write him a letter and tell him how you feel. I've had to do that in the past with my DH and things would get better for a while.

Proud *single* mom to 3 amazing kiddos
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#5 of 14 Old 12-23-2009, 08:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleduck View Post
Does your dh have any other father friends to talk to, so he can see what is expected of him is normal? DH always tells new fathers " when you get home from work take the baby, even if you have had the worst day, take the baby, your wife will love you for it".
this is something my DH has never done, even after almost 15 years of us having a child of our own. When we are around others that have children he will shy away from any type of convo that revolves around child care or babies. In fact, if we have a baby in the home we rarely do anything with other people until the baby is a few years old. I think my DH "knows" he isn't doing the right things to help me out and is afraid another dad will make him look bad or make me get on him even more to help me.

And yeah, as a mother of two older children, this too shall pass. I got through it with my other two children and will get through the infant months with this one too. I will get over it, I know I will because I did in the past. But that still doesn't make it any easier to deal with in the here and now.

Proud *single* mom to 3 amazing kiddos
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#6 of 14 Old 12-23-2009, 10:04 AM
 
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Our transition with my first baby was really hard, too. I had a car, but my baby HATED it, and he screamed bloody murder the whole time. Which made it so that I only went places when I was desperate (I sometimes was!). My dh travelled at the time, and he was gone 2-3 nights a week.

What saved me??

Like PP said, just handing the baby to dh, saying, "he's yours for 2 hours. Don't wake me before then." And just letting dh figure it out. Your baby can survive for 2 hours without you. Dh loves that baby, he just isn't sure what to do with him yet. Give him time to figure it out. The baby will know that he's with someone that loves him. They'll figure it out.

I sleep in on Saturdays. Still do, and that baby turned 3 in September. At the beginning, I'd nurse the baby, then hand him to dh, and I'd go back to sleep. Now, the babies are bigger (we have 2 now), so dh gets them up and deals with them while I sleep.

Occasionally, at night, I leave. Last night, I knocked out some shopping that was impossible to do with my kids along. I was gone for 2 hours, right at bedtime. I have no idea how he got them to bed (I usually handle bedtime). But you know what? They survived. I got some time to myself, some chores done, and even though I paid the price with an early wake time this morning (they both wanted to see me, cause I didn't put them to bed), it was worth it. Sometimes, I meet friends for dinner, or I go to the library for an hour to read magazines, or I run get milk at the store. If I need to leave, I do, as soon as dh gets home. Luckily, he comes home every night in the current job (no travelling), so I get that luxury. And, when I have a tiny nursling, I will nurse before I leave, and I don't stay gone long, but I still leave.

I really, really worked on bedtimes. 3 am would NOT cut it for me. It just wouldn't. I'd be a sleep deprived mess. There are gentle ways to get a baby to sleep earlier, by about 4 or 5 months at the most. Elizabeth Pantley's book, The No Cry Sleep Solution, has some ideas, as do other books on the importance of sleep. Sleep is important for everyone. And, even in a consensual household, if it isn't working for one member, it isn't working. Sounds like staying up until 3 am isn't working for you. You can change this. Yes, it might be hard. But, it will be worth it.

We are an early household. I aim for babies to sleep around 7pm until 5am (waking many times in there). But, I start aiming for 7pm pretty early. It is doable. And, I find that they sleep pretty well from 7-10pm or so. That gives me some "off" time. After baby bedtime, I don't do chores. I'm off. I relax. Dh has a quitting time, and so do I. I have to work all night long feeding a baby, but I certainly don't have to do laundry during that time! LOL

The other thing that helped me is to have a bare minimum of clean standards. I do have things I like, but I also let others slide, especially with a little baby. If something is bothering you, have dh hold the baby while you do it, or (even better), tell dh to do it. He'll probably step up. If he's like mine, he just isn't sure where to start, and he doesn't want to "mess up", so he just does nothing. I tell him what to do, and he does it. This isn't the ideal, egalitarian household management style, but you know what? It works for us, and it makes us happier. I see SAHM as the household manager, too. I don't do everything, but I sort of make it happen. Sometimes by telling him to do it. Find what works for you, even if it doesn't look like other marriages.

You'll get through this!!! Babies are hard. They knock your world apart....but they are very worth it.
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#7 of 14 Old 12-27-2009, 05:21 PM
 
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I've been here, and it is SO hard. I'm incredibly lucky in that my husband is very into parenting and is involved far more than the average father. Even so, if I don't keep pushing him, he will have me do about 95% of the parenting. Whenever this happens, which has been about twice in the past 6 months, we have a fight, he realizes that he's messing up and fixes it. There was a period where I didn't get any sleep and barely ate for a few weeks and about had a breakdown. We fought/talked, and it got better. Last night DD had her first bad cold and we took equitable shifts of caring for her. We're both exhausted, but better that than if only I was up all night with her.

Talk to your DH. Yell if you have to. You absolutely deserve help and a break and it is absolutely his responsibility to provide it.

Ashley, Pagan treehugger.gif mama to E (6/09) and my beautiful hbac.gif baby T (4/3/12)
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#8 of 14 Old 12-27-2009, 09:14 PM
 
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could have written this myself. but i haven't because i'm convinced it wouldn't do me any good.
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#9 of 14 Old 12-28-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chiara View Post
could have written this myself. but i haven't because i'm convinced it wouldn't do me any good.
Many a time.


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#10 of 14 Old 12-28-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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There's lots of great advice and support here. I just want to add regarding:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horizon View Post

When you do take the baby, minus the 1 day that you let me sleep in(1 day in nearly 3 months), you only take him for a brief time before I end back up with him in my arms.

...

When you do hold K you will give heavy sighs, this indicates to me that you are not enjoying it. When I ask if you want me to take him, you say "you can if you want", which translates more or less, "yes take him", since that is your response every single time and you don't tell me to just take it easy for a bit, or at least this is how it makes me feel, like you don't even enjoy holding him whatsoever.
It looks like you are reading into things that your DH says/does (the sighing, etc.) and continuing to put his needs before yours by taking the baby back when he says, "You can if you want." Tell him you DON'T want to! Let him hold that baby a while longer! I encourage you to tune out the sighing/moaning/subtle signals of discomfort and take him at face value of what he says. Stop worrying about whether he is enjoying himself or not--he'll survive! More practice will make him feel more comfortable.

It might help both you and your DH if you can write a list of specifics of what you need from him, anything from taking over nighttime parenting for a certain time, or even just stating that you want his attitude to change when he is caring for baby (no sighing or impatience, but focusing on being helpful without being resentful about it.)

One last thing; have you taken up with your doctor or midwife the fact that you are having trouble sleeping? Maybe your care provider would have some suggestions for things to help you rest when you get the chance. You might also check out what other moms of newborns on this board have done when they have trouble falling asleep, maybe more natural remedies that are safe in case you are breastfeeding.

Good luck.
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#11 of 14 Old 01-04-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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Wishing you peace, Horizon. Though it's to a much lesser degree, I understand a lot of your issues. Sigh.

Every single one of your feelings is valid. In the interest of atually making progress with dh, though, I suggest approaching the issue in a much less combative way. Being accused of things makes people instantly defensive, so you end up with a heated argument instead of a productive discussion.

Letters are good because people can chew on them and don't necessarily react with their instant emotional response. However, putting things in writing is also dangerous as it can be pulled out at any time and held against you. Not that anything in your letter is untrue, I'm sure. But the tone of it is bound to make him defensive, angry.

Before we had kids we never realized that just getting outside, going to work, having the autonomy to do what you want is any sort of treat. Your dh still doesn't realize this. In his mind he is working hard so that you can stay home with your son.

As an excercise, if you can stomach it, I'd try to rewrite the letter with a less accusatory tone. I'll try the beginning, for instance...

Dear DH...I am writing to you our of frustration. I have tried to discuss my frustration with you, but I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere. Please read this letter and try to understand.

Being shut in the house all day long is really difficult for me. I have no transportation and can't get away at all. I miss fresh air and other people. It is very difficult to try to take care of ds all by myself, with no support, especially since I am still bleeding and am not supposed to exert myself. I am still recovering from the birth. I need to take care of myself in order to be a good mother to ds, but I feel cooped up, frustrated, resentful...


I would write more but I have to fix lunch. It sounds like your babe is very new. This is a very, very hard time. I am NOT defending your dh, but I will venture to guess that he has no intention of making you feel this way.

Most men are really clueless, alas. But it is a rare human being who responds well to angry accusations, no matter how true they are. Your feelings are valid, mama! But, to get them addressed, I think you need to take a deep breath and approach him in a more neutral manner.

Best wishes, mama, for rest and peace and healing and joy. It does get better!!!
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#12 of 14 Old 01-07-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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HUGS. I have so been there, and there are some days when I am still there .

I will second, or third or whatever, the advice to just give him to DH and let them figure it out together while you sleep or bathe or clean the kitchen if that's what you want to do. I never left my first DS with DH, partly out of fear that DS would cry and DH wouldn't know what the "right" thing to do was. It made DH so unsure of himself around the baby that they, essentially, didn't have a relationship until DS was over one year old. Plus, I got really resentful that I was always the one up at night, I was the only one who could comfort him, I was the only one who knew where clean dipes were kept, etc. It sounds like your DH needs to learn how to be a daddy and the only way he can do that is with hands-on experience.

If you want DH to get up with the baby, wake him up and hand him the baby. Tell him you are tired and need sleep and it's his turn to be up for a while. Men can be so clueless, just assume he has no idea that's what you need. It's time to start putting your needs right up there with his. Chances are that he honestly has no clue what you need from him right now, and he needs you to tell him in a very blunt way.

I hope things get better for you. Just remember that your DH is not a mind reader and in order for you to get what you need, you need to tell him what to do for you.

Sarah , wife to Tyson :, SAHM to Landon (5), Coleson (3), and new baby boy due any day!

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#13 of 14 Old 01-07-2010, 02:37 AM
 
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I totally understand and sympathize. Lots of great advice here. I second the advice to just hand him the baby with blunt, clear expectations.

Quote:
The becoming-a-parent, my-mate-is-a-disappointment syndrome.
Well put!

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#14 of 14 Old 01-09-2010, 02:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Horizon View Post
I have been bleeding since he was born, I can not do tasks like I was able to before otherwise I start bleeding again. This is not my fault nor a reason to be 'lazy', YOU were there when i went to the hospital, you seen how critical it was that I go, and in no way do I want to end back up in the hospital because I *overdid* it.
Have you talked to a doctor or midwife about this? I take it you mean lochia (the vaginal bleeding)? I know the length of time a woman bleeds post-partum can vary a lot, but three months seems like an awfully long time.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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