Feel like a single mum!

Ok, Niamh is now seven months old, which has gone way too fast! Initially my boyfriend Paddy was amazing and occasionally he still is. He will get up through the night but only when I ask him, he'll feed or change her if I ask him, he'll do anything if I ask, but recently he's finding more things to do away from the house, helping friends fix cars, going out with his mates, etc, and he doesn't understand that I need him home a bit more. I've tried explaining that I can't do it on my own (respect to any single mums, you are amazing!) I shouldn't have to ask him to help. I get up through the night, do Niamh's breakfast, often forget my own as then I have to wash up and sort the clothes washing to be done while she has her morning nap, I might get to have a coffee after that before she wakes up, but then its play time, then lunch time which we do have together generally, then another nap where I try and hoover, tidy up the house, make the bed etc, but she only has half an hour nap here so i very rarely get anything done, then its whingey crying baby all afternoon until tea time, which she doesn't want to eat, just throws it everywhere. And paddy comes in from work and tells her off for making a mess, so she cries more until bath time, when I have a bath with her, bottle, cuddle, story and bed. He will usually help with bath time, but he makes out he's doing me a favour. And this is seven days a week I do that, he has her on his own one half day a month when I go and get my hair done or something.

Any suggestions how I can broach this with him? every time I've tried, a few weeks later its the same again.

Sorry for the whinge! πŸ™ˆ I'm meant to be back at work this week and am worrying I'll have work, studying to complete my accountancy qualification and Niamh to sort all on my own.


34 Replies

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  • Unfortunately your not alone. Too many of my friends have the same issue because husbands/boyfriends think how hard is it to look after a baby. The only thing to do I sit him down and talk to him and see if he will take her for the day so he can see first hand that your not sat on your bum all day, which oddly is what they all think! It may not help but know your definitely not alone. Good luck xxx

  • Firstly you are not alone, I have two children and a frequently absent husband due to working away from home or having to work late and he's definitely doing me a favour by bathing the kids when he's actually here! You are in his eyes supermum, you've managed 7 months and been totally awesome, going back to work is a game changer and maybe he hasn't thought of that.

    Could you write a list of chores that have to be done and suggest you share them out (that way he feels as if he has some control over the situation and you're not just nagging him).

    Could you give your little one food that she can feed herself for breakfast and eat at the same time as her? I had to get my first ready for preschool so my second had to feed himself from 6 months, I started off giving him some shreddies which had been in milk for 30 seconds or so, they were wet but not soggy on the table in front of him and he fed himself.

    In the afternoon when lo is cranky, can you find a way to get her to sleep for longer? I know it doesn't help you get things done but could you take her for a walk in the buggy, get some fresh air for both of you. Or do you babywear? I used to and still now get things done by popping whichever child is grumpy in a sling on my back (yes, I still carry my 3 1/2year old, so your 7 month old isn't too big for a sling if you find the right one). If you don't have a sling, find your local sling meet and try some different ones on to see what suits you, get some advice from the sling consultant or peer supporters on how to do back carries - a complete life saver.

    Do the essentials, leave the rest, babies are only small for a short period, then they become more self-sufficient and you can get them to help you do chores. My son loves pulling the washing out of the washing machine, my daughter helps put her plastic plates, cups and bowls away.

    Keep going supermum, you're doing great!

  • I'm going to put a slightly different angle on this just to play devils advocate so don't judge me!!

    It sounds like you're doing an amazing job so hats off to you. However, it sounds very much like you and Niamh do everything together and your life centres around her (understandably for a 7 month old). Could I ask if you and Paddy have any time for yourselves? Date night or do something special together when Niamh is in bed? Do you think he could be feeling a little left out given that supermum (you) is handling everything all by herself and he's now a bit of a spare part and a bit left out?!

    Perhaps instead of asking him to do something just because you can't you could allocate certain 'important jobs' to Paddy to make him feel needed and involved?

    I also agree as a previous post that returning to work is a total game changer and an ideal time to even things up - perhaps sit down together and tell him your concerns and figure out how you can work together as a team so you can share in your baby girl together and still have your own time too?

    I appreciate this might not be a very popular response but might be worth considering?

    In our house we find a team work approach helps us feel that were each doing our share and supporting our family together....don't get me wrong, it's not all roses all the time but it does help!!!

  • We never get any time together. We aren't massively close to any family that are able to help with babysitting and I don't know how I'd feel leaving her with someone else. πŸ™ˆ

    I love the idea of paddy having certain things he is responsible for actually!

    You've given me some great ideas! Thank you!


  • Good point made here :) Hubby is in charge of baby after he's taken his cycle gear off when he gets home from work - it's his job to bathe, brush teeth, give last feed and settle lo in cot. I usually go and walk the dog and clear my head and catch up with another mum who does the same ;)

  • Communication is the key to many success stories. We have 'family meetings' in our house when all 5 of our children lived at home. Sometimes like you said you can have a chat but then things end up being just the same. My husband worked away for the first 15 years of our marriage, came home at week ends to play football :0 (3 little girls at the time)

    But there came a time (working full time also) when I woke up and smelled his roses and said how things were not right. I asked my parents to babysit one night and I told my hubby we really needed to talk without any interruptions. I think he was thinking all sorts because after our meal out and a serious 'it cannot go on' tone, our lives changed. After the talk you can feel yourself going slowly back to square 1 but that can be your own fault, thinking 'o I'll do it, it'll be done quicker', be disciplined also and even if things aren't done to your standard, don't say that and continue to pursue both roles to your partnership. Also, now is the time for 'the chat' your going back to work and things HAVE GOT TO BE DIFFERENT!

    We have been married 27 years in June ( we had 2 gorguous boys since) and he has been an amazing dad since our talk, but you have to continue to talk, LAUGH, and enjoy your beautiful baby.

    Hope work goes ok

  • I am a single mum, and mainly for similar reAsons you're talking about. I always had to ask for his help, when I went to work he would say he would look after Noah for me... Etc... It's his bloody son! Men!!!

    But as dublin77 has said, do you guys have time to yourselves to be a couple? Not just parents. It's so important. I think a lot of times men feel like the 3rd wheel, you are there all day everyday, you and Niamh have got your routine set and he just comes home from work for the short time till bedtime. I don't know how you can broach the subject Other than just saying I expect more help, and throwing him in the deep end and leave him with Niamh each night after work, so he does bath time on his own and bedtime with her while you go visit a friend for an hour or just cook the two of you a nice dinner. It automatically gives him responsibility and maybe more confidence and patience for the future to look after her more.

  • Wow! Ladies you are fab! Thankyou!

    I'll make more time for him and make him do more. I do totally just do everything because its easier than explaining it to paddy, only for him to mess it up. πŸ™ˆ I never used to be like that!

    Maybe writing out Niamh's routine and sticking it to the fridge, Then whoever is free, knows what happens next. I won't have to remember everything. 😊

    I will try and find a babysitter I can trust too so we can have a meal out at some point.

    2016, I'm coming to get you! πŸ˜†


  • Good for you!!! I'm loving the positive attitude!!!! Trying to work together is the key I find!!!xx

  • Go away for a full day and then a full weekend and leave him with baby and turn off your mobile phone. Unfortunately men just don't get it until they feel the pain first hand. And it will probably do you the world of good too to understand baby can survive without you for a little while xxxx

  • I'll be going away later this year as my dad has been awarded an MBE so I'll be going to London without them, so that will happen! Oh I'm getting excited about this new freedom in going to have! Haha. Xx

  • You definately are not alone, my husband is exactly like this if not worse sorry to say for myself lol He works doing hospital security so he does 4 days/nights on then sometimes overtime on his 4 off.. He is a BIG gamer, i mean to the point he will bring himself down the stairs in a morning, i have 3 children, 2 girls, one 8 months, other is 2 years 10 months, boy isn't really a problem as he is 6 years 11 months (different dad) anyways more to the point, his 4 days or nights at work i do not expect him to come home after 12 hours at work n help me i just get on with it for those 4, he will usually come in and go to bed if he has done nights but if he does days he will go straight on the ps4 when he gets home around 7pm stays on it til bed time, i just leave him to it, on his 4 days off however, this is where my problems begin lol he has gotten himself into this when its his days off they are for him because "he works" thats all he can ever say, he literally sits on the couch in the living room taking up the tv for the whole day on the ps4 talking to his friends just getting up if he needs a quick cold drink or the loo, LITERALLY i am not even joking. I have had digs at him in the past tried the whole talking about it thing he just does not seem to care n i just ended up getting on with it, it really gets to me though, to be in a house with 3 children and a husband yet feel so lonely and run down, he very rarely may do the pots, i tried giving him the job of just the pots to wash when he is on his days off that didnt even work, i would say somthing about them and he would say will you stop nagging if you just stop nagging i will do them in my own time but then he leaves ALL the pots from that day til the next morning so i just feel i may as well do it all myself it irritates me just being sat there, anyways i finally was at a breraking point, i felt like crying most days because i didnt feel wanted by my own husband i always ask for us to have time together watch a film or somthing even if its planned he ends up staying online with his friends, actually rediculous there is liking games (i do) but then there is just being on them all day or any min you get a chance! Doesn't even do anything with the kids anymore :( If he even just asked if i needed any help or just volunteered to do one thing a day i would be greatful, i ended up messaging him whilst he wa at work the other day and told him this cant keep happening its not fair, i wait for 12 hours for him to come home, i have washed cleaned cooked looked after the kids had his tea ready when he comes home i look forward to it for him to just sit eat his tea say a few words then be online with his headset talking to his friends he cant hear me if i speak n he has them on, so i told him anyways that we need a few hours on his days off n that i do everything i would be happy with him gaming the majority of the day as long as he took the time and the effort to jusdt care enough back to dedicate just a few hours to me and the kids instead of his friends constantly.

    Oh and btw, the whole mking him stay at home with the children, i have done this, he just sticks my 2 year old in her room (stairgate on) with a dvd or sky on and same with my son, he will kepp baby next to him and just game n nothing else lol so thats been a massive fail for me plenty of times through the 5 years i have been with him! He says to me i dont see why you get so stressed when youre at home with them just put them upstairs and let them play then you relax! Hahahaha yeah only he can do that because its me who has to worry about the house n everything in it not him! Hacks me off really does sorry for the rant lol just finally nice to know i am not on my own! xx

  • I think you have it harder than me! I would have thrown the ps4 out the window! X

  • Haha i have thought about it many a time believe me lol. X

  • Sorry your husband really sounds so immature I would either tell him that he or the Ps4 goes! I wouldn't put up with that. He's acting like a teenage boy! :(

  • I know sad isn't it, i tell him at times he is really just a big kid! Thing i find funny is i will ask him to do something and he will say in a min i will say i am asking you now please he will say you're not my mother, i just say funny that coz i may as well be your mother i do everything else for you and you only have something to say about it when i am asking you to help me out a little. Like i am asking him to clean his room! Men!

  • I think you need to put your foot down. If he's not contributing anything to the relationship you may as well be own your own or with someone who treats ok right! Life is too short x

  • You know what things do need to change you're all right. Thinking about it i am not happy most the time feel down more times than happy but love him so much and believe me at times i do wonder why myself lol xx

  • What advice would you give a friend if they said their husband acted like that?

    He's a grown man he doesn't have time to be playing computer games all day. A portion of time yes but what you describe sounds crazy! There are better men out there or even being on your own wouldn't sound much different! You deserve to be treated well. I would have a talk with him x

  • You are not on your own. My partner and I don't live together so he is here a couple of weeks then home a couple of weeks. It is really hard sometimes even though this is my choice as I had a very abusive relationship with my ex husband and am so scared to take that final step

  • Well we had a chat this morning, which went surprisingly well! As my boyfriend starts work really early (6 or 7 depending on the weather - he works outside) I will have to deal with mornings on my own, which is fine, but we have agreed that on days I'm at work, he will pick Niamh up from the childminder and take her home to play for a while. Then I can concentrate on getting home and making tea for us all. After tea we all play together, do bath time together, take it in turns to do story, bottle and bed, and take it in turns to get up through the night (or do controlled crying at some point when I have more energy!)

    Days I'm not at work, obviously, as they are now, but with evenings same as above except one day every weekend he will take her out, or I will go out so I get a break for a few hours, even if its just the morning, if it happens each week I should be fine. And once a month, babysitter depending, we will go out just the two of us.

    The routine is written out, and magnetted to the fridge, so he knows what happens when.

    Now lets see how long it lasts!


  • Great news...good for you. I find the more we focus on sharing things/responsibilities the easier it feels. For example, you do bottle and bed and I'll start dinner for us etc... Good luck!!!xx

  • LottyB you have done brilliantly at broaching subject & negotiating team approach - be proud.

    Have definitely had similar moments over last 8.5 months ladies & can be hard when get in pattern of hubby / BF working & "avoiding" care or household responsibilities due to long working week with mummy solely responsible for care of lo & chores / shopping, etc. (I have had times where didn't eat til 4 or 5pm or did chores while lo napping & got resentful of hubby dossing / playing Xbox but also had freedom from going to work myself). Have had to have the talk couple of times in last few months.

    Team approach is defo way forward as am going back to work Wednesday 3 days a week. Things improved since we make time for time out (both date nights & solo free time - eg I had manicure & polish early Dec, he has Xbox time or we have time with friends & meal out just us a few times last couple of months), but still feel I need more support with tea times & bathing / bed routine & he still feels overwhelmed by work & helping sometimes.

    You are doing brill LottyB - we lucky my in-laws live near & are brill. I recommend sitters.co.uk tho - looks great then u can do date night, etc.

    Madnessreturns2016 I can relate a bit with the gaming, but think he is either taking advantage or feels left out & nagged at rather than negotiated team approach - you are being let down as result. I recommend suggesting it is marriage counselling sessions or you hire sitter so you can go out for evening, have date & plan new supportive of each other team approach. If he refuses both (reckon he will go out rather than do counselling) then separation (& follow thru) is your only option as no one should be gaming constantly - not healthy - even if NOT a parent. There has to be give & take in a relationship after all. While there, explain how you feel & ask him for suggestions on how things could change so you're both happier - then use his replies to come up with plan of action. Hope this advice helps, good luck πŸ˜€!

  • Thank you for taking time to give me some advise, unexpected but i appreciate it :)

    Yeah gaming can be addictive, i play a little, well i have done mainly only one game i have ever been on but if i went on it it would literally be if i had an hour free a day if i didn't have spare time i wouldn't go on it. It's just over time he seems to have gotten into a nasty routine. Like i said i think the main time i get annoyed is the when he is not at work for the 4 days, mornings/late on the nights, mornings because i, like most people, would like to come down to the tv and watch something any old crap and have a brew would be nice but i can switch the tv on and the min i go to make a brew n he sits down he switches to HDMI2 for ps4 n then that is him for the day, It can be so irritating and on a night when the kids go to bed i can be waiting and waiting for him to come off and want us to watch something together but if i don't say anything he would never suggest it, if i do say something he gets annoyed, he is happy, i sort kids out do nappies feed them feed him breakfast dinner and tea make him brews i am like his personal waitress! Lol he just doesn't get that i never get a break, ever, he has never once got up in the night with my 8 month old he did a few times with 2 year old but far and few between n he was in a dif job back then and she was his first baby, i had c-section with both and have never been offered a lay in by him, we split up for a whole like 12 hours when my 2 year old (nearly 3) was just 6 months old for all the same reasons i am talking about on here now, but back then he also use to ring me and have a go at me coz i was with family whilst he was at work, in the end i had enough of everything and i said if you don't like it i can go home and pack your bags he said fine do it so i did lol it was really hard i love him so much but i couldn't be with him the way he was being. He wanted to go out with his friends when he wanted after work but would tell me off on the phone whilst i was in front of fam members just at their houses. Anyways i laid down rules when he came crawling back next morning, but as you know reason i am writing this is because the gaming has slowly taken over again x

  • I would do what these lovely ladies have suggested for me, arrange a date night, get a baby sitter, take and hide the power cable to the ps4, hehe 😜 say one of the kids must have hidden it. πŸ˜†


  • Haha I tried that one before, i am not good at keeping straight faces lol he did his crazy security moves on me n pinned me down til i spilled the beans :(

    Glad to read you're on the way to getting your lives on track though :) i really hope it works out for you xx

  • Well now I feel like a complete b*tch....

    I really don't have it as hard as some of you ladies.... Mind you, Nathan really doesn't have that much of a choice as we have the 2 little people not just the one. But he still does have his moments where the girls will both be crying and he will just be sat watching television or on the iPad or whatever and if I haven't got a little person in my arms... Heaven forbid he does a nappy!!!

    But like I say I don't have it anywhere near as bad as some of you. Like you said Lotty, take my hat off to single mums. Although I really struggle to even formulate a routine for the girls at the weekend when Nathan is off work so sometimes I am really thankful of the time I have alone with our little ladies.

    All I can say Lotty is weldone on your negotiating skills. I struggle to be that diplomatic! Hehe

    Hope everything is working smoothly xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    P.s. I found you!!!!!!

  • I've booked onto a course of exercise classes to get me out, so once a week paddy does bath time on his own. Hehe. Xx

  • Call down and bread. It can be stressful being a mum24/7 and the bad thing is that you have someone how could help you.

    If it was me I would tell him, you are going to the supermarket and leave him with the baby for a couple of hour, so he can feel how is taking care of a child alone.

  • Lotty B, your post has become very popular as you are not alone. Hubby was starting to play that silly game of my days off I take the big girls out a couple of hours and the rest of the day is mine. Coming home and watching movies or dodge any house work. I become assertive and put my foot down. When hubby comes in, I started welcoming him with a hug and a kiss, make him a cuppa and after spending fifteen minutes with him, hand over the baby and spend time pampering myself, cooking or anything else. He does lots for baby now but started communicating more as also a hard day at work means when they return they are knackered. kids are put in bed on time, well the big girls and baby is into a routine except when she is ill or teething then we are both a team . Ladies make time for your husbands, sometimes the kids take over and then there is no time for Mum and Dad. Men become resentful and start to create other activities for themselves. Once a week, Hubby gets a message and also ensuring Intimacy is not neglected. As Mums we have to make time and stay strong well as putting our foot down. I am lucky mine are well spaced out, 19, 8, almost 5 and 10 months. I have found that once Hubby realized that he was actually missing out by not participating with the house work then he changed. He watches action movies or horror which I dont like after a bedroom round sorry T.M.I to ensure we both are happy, closer and stronger to face any challenges. Communication, communication and communication is the key, not yelling. In the right place at the right time. All the Mums out there, you are doing a fantastic job, all the best

  • Also when chubby cheeks started sleeping a lot better, I changed my old nighties from the boring ones to some interesting ones. I ensure that I make time for myself and also time for hubby. Now I dont have a problem as hubby offers a lot with everything, as he also knows when am happy he will also be well looked after. just thought I should share............. Make them happy and they will soon realize where they are going wrong hopefully and change

  • First day back at work today (Wednesday), and I can't get to sleep, its 1.30am. It's going to be great isn't it. Haha. And we haven't even reached Niamh's witching hour yet. πŸ™ˆ ahhhhh. X

  • How'd the first day back go my lovely? Not too stressful I hope xxxxxxxx

  • Ok. Didn't do much. πŸ™ˆ back today too. Just taking it easy. Trying to remember how the computer systems work and everything. The hardest bit is organising Niamh in the morning. Haha. Xxx

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