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SAHM & surviving spouse's unemployment?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I don't mean financially, although of course that's a big issue too!!

But how do you deal with a spouse who is home ALL. DAY. LONG????

At first it was fun. It was nice to get a bit of a break from being solely in charge of DS's care. It was nice having company during the day. It was nice being able to get my WAH work done without worrying whether DS would sleep long enough for me to get my hours in.

Now, it's just annoying. Either DH is doing his own thing, and I'm resentful that he's not helping out when he has nothing else to do anyway, or he's taking care of DS, and I'm resentful that I'm a SAHM but feel useless since DS has DH.

And just being around each other day in & day out... we're getting on each other's nerves.

I do leave the house a ton. DS and I often go out for most of the day (playdates, library, etc.) DH really doesn't leave the house, unless he has an interview or something. He has no friends of his own, no real hobbies, is a real homebody. There are tons of little (and big!) projects that need to be done around the house, but they aren't getting done... I've encouraged him to go job search at the library, or attend morning services at our church, or do XYZ, but he isn't really interested. I don't know, I'm just frustrated.

I miss DS & I having the house to ourselves all day. I miss having a consistent & predictable flow to our days, I miss getting out of the house quickly (don't ask me WHY having an extra adult to help DS get ready somehow makes it take twice as long!!) I miss going out & doing things without worrying that DH is home bored and lonely or feeling guilty that I didn't invite him...

I know this is just as hard on DH (maybe harder) and he misses working etc. but still... I guess just wanted to hear from anyone else who's BTDT... I hate letting my little annoyances get the best of me, especially when I know this isn't easy for him.
post #2 of 6


You guys need to talk.  Now that the sparkly newness has worn off (for both of you), it's time to take some time to talk about things, negotiate a schedule, ect.  You can even (hopefully) laugh about being underfoot with each other a bit too. 


If he's a homebody, trust me, he does not want to go to all of your activities anyway and he's not bored and lonely when you go out.  Do you keep a central family calendar?  That was helpful for us (DH works at home and has for the last 12 years, I've been a SAHM for 10);  also, if there was some project around the house, I learned really quick to actually verbalize it and ask for it to be a priority rather than pout and stew because he was "ignoring" it (he wasn't, he just didn't think it was important because he didn't know its importance to me).  It's hard to share your "turf", but it can also strengthen your relationship because you MUST (if you're not a glutton for punishment) work things out ASAP and actually deal with annoying stuff rather than just ignoring it until he leaves again.

post #3 of 6

 I enjoyed it even though money was very tight living in a high cost of living area at the time.  Dh was jobless the first 6months of our daughters life. 

post #4 of 6

We've been there and it was hard!  Well, he wasn't unemployed exactly, but he was on parental leave when our son was a baby.  It was hard on both of us, I expected him to be like another me, and he thought it was going to be like a vacation but found it depressing...  Sometimes he works at home and I find that is also hard, since he is around and looks like he isn't doing anything, but is not available.  On days when he is home I have to be really clear on what I need from him, and I usually ask him to take the kids to the park for a bit, and then later to do something around the house, but I have to be really specific ("can you wash the dishes so I can start dinner" or "can you clean the litter box and take out the garbages").  If I just ask for him to 'do something around here' either nothing gets done or we are likely to get in a fight about it.


Would it help to send dh out with ds?  Maybe to the library or park?  If you helped with set up or getting supplies, would that help motivate him to start the projects that need doing?  I find that both dh and I like doing things around the house and projects but often lack the umph to actually start, so things pile up and feel overwhelming.  Maybe you can have talk about what a good opportunity this is to do certain things and make short term goals (this week, lets get X project done or attend X activity)

post #5 of 6
I did NOT enjoy DP being home when he was unemployed. He was mopey and depressed and drove me batty. And it was hard to feel like he was disrupting "our" routine. What I did was got my fill of me time. I went out frequently, ALONE, to read to surf the net or whatever. It was wonderful. His unemployment coincided with a major bout of depression for me, so it was nice to have him here to do the housework and watch the kids so I could do my thing. I hope your DH finds work soon!!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys!! We are doing better, I posted this at a low point & we've since had some long discussions & things are going better already. I think part of the problem is we are always together but hardly ever get to really talk. DS is quite intense and even with both of us home all day it's still hard dealing with him (in some ways HARDER than if it were just me & DS!) But I think I also realized I was intentionally trying not to get to comfortable with things & enjoy it too much -- because eventually he'll find a job (I hope!) and then I'll be on my own again & overwhelmed even more. I think I will try the list idea too, because DH really does like to have things written down, he doesn't keep mental lists like me so he kind of forgets what the priorities are sometimes!
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