Im currently working night shifts as a nurse. I only returned to work 6 weeks ago following maternity leave. ( Although the first 3 weeks were extra shifts as I had accrued annual leave that I was able to use before returning to work, so worked 3 weeks of extra shifts whilst on annual leave).
My boyfriend and I have a gorgeous 9 month old who we both adore.
My boyfriend is unemployed and has been for the last year, he cannot support us financially because hes not entitled to any contribution JSA, and im earning, so he cant claim income based JSA, housing benefit etc.
My problem is he's very selfish, even though I've returned to work, my spare time and days off are spent clothes washing, cleaning and looking after our baby.
Meanwhile my boyfriend plays computer games. When ive asked why he doesn't help around the house while im at work...his reason is he's busy looking after baby, even though im able to look after him and clean at the same time!
Anyway, the final straw came this morning when i returned home following a busy night shift.
Both he and baby were awake but still in bed and cot. Baby was due a bottle. I asked if he minded that I got in bed because i was exhausted and he feed baby.
Bear in mind, it was only my second night on a week of night shifts, so after my first night shift, I crawled into bed after not sleeping fpr over 24 hours. Id woke up at 8am the monday morning, worked that night, then got into bed tuesday at around 10am, awake at 2pm. Back into work the same night, hence being exhausted today.
Anyway, boyfriend was fuming that I'd asked him if he would feed baby, said he'd only had a few hours sleep, and was tired himself and wanted me to stay awake and feed baby while he stayed in bed for an hour. We argued, I said to him that at least he'd managed to get a few hours sleep (personally I think it was more because baby usually sleeps through the night) meanwhile i'd been on a 12 hour busy night shift and was exhausted. His reply was to say to me that id managed to get 4 hours sleep yesterday, which is more than he'd got the previous night while I was at work and he was at home with baby.
Anyway, after saying i'd feed baby, boyfriend then argued that hed get up and do it, which he did. I managed to get 3 hours before boyfriend comes into bedroom to wake me up, hands me baby, and straight away plays games on his computer while im with baby. Don't get me wrong, I love my baby very much and hate having to leave him while I work. But i am the only one earning to support us so I have to work. I just thought that Id be getting more support from my boyfriend and he'd be more understanding. Particularly as Im very supportive to him. When im on afternoon shifts, I tend to get up with baby in the morning, leaving boyfriend in bed for a couple of hours. I just feel so used and hurt that he's not considered how im feeling.
I feel that he's quite happy to carry on, me working, paying for all the bills, food basically everything, and him staying at home playing computer games, and looking after baby when he absolutely has to. Any advice would be appreciated. What do people think, am I the one being selfish for expecting that he would help more?
It's perfectly normal to feel exhausted and frustrated when you're dealing with a demanding job and a baby at the same time, and I know how hard it is for a mother to leave her child at home in order to work. You are not selfish for wanting support during a difficult time; that's what everyone wants.
However, your boyfriend probably has a lot of the same feelings you're having. You are working hard and you dislike it, but he's stuck in the home all the time and work probably seems glamorous to him at this point. Even while he plays games, he has to stop whatever he's doing constantly to take care of the baby, answer the phone and take care of himself.
You both need a break. Is there a way you can give each other a day off, or even half a day off? Make the sacrifice to take the baby on your day off, and he can take the baby all day for your next day off. To make things go more smoothly on a day-to-day basis, maybe you could work up a schedule for watching the baby and doing feedings? Then you can look at who's dong what on paper and make sure it's all balanced.