I guess I am just looking for some feedback here. Basically, my partner doesn't fully support my choice to stay at home with my 3 children. He thinks it is for the best, but tells me on a very regular basis that I "do nothing". He's well aware that I take very good care of the kids, ages 8, 6, and 6 mos. And of course I do ALL the cooking, cleaning, errands, childcare, etc... All the things SAHP do. But this is considered "nothing" around here apparently. Because of course, I am not earning a paycheck. I was having a conversation with him last night about how insulting it is that he not only does not appreciate what I do, or is even neutral about it, but actually tells me that i do nothing. His response was to wipe his fingers across the top of the refrigerator, which were then of course covered in dirt and says, "This is insulting." So I guess I was wondering if the top of everyone's refrigerator is clean? I mean, I have 3 kids to take care of, including a 6 month old and all the household duties and have no help from anyone, no friends, no family. We don't exactly live in filth, but I guess I don't clean as thoroughly as I should? Am I the one who is crazy here?Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.
The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.
In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a Cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.
In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.
He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened.
He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.
As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.
He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"
She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?"
"Yes," was his incredulous reply.
She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."
Oh my, no you are not crazy. I hate to say it, bit I agree that your husband sounds like a jerk. Where does he get off treating you like that? Does he want healthy, sane kids? Then the top of the refrigerator might be dusty. And seriously, I have NEVER cleaned the top of the fridge. I say leave him with all three kids on weekday and let him see how much time you have for cleaning the fridge.
Sounds like you and your husband could benefit from couples counseling. I say that mostly because my husband has said similar stuff (though not *quite* as blatantly rude and condescending! But he called me things like "ineffective". Grr.) and, so far, a few months into counseling, we (he) are doing much better. The first thing we tackled was how our families of origin gave us our knee-jerk reactions to how family life "should" be. My dh has/had this idea that a wife and mother should be able to maintain a perfect house, kids should behave perfectly, etc. The message we are getting from counseling is to look at where we get these standards and ideas from, and then move past it and see that husbands and wives are DIFFERENT people, different from each other and different from our parents, and we BOTH have legitamate views. And we can try to invent our own new way of being that is a mix of both people. That means that he needs to let go of his standards and understand and welcome mine. And, yes, I need to look at what is important to him and try to meet some more of that, we have to figure out which things are most important. It has actually helped us, and life is happier this last month or so. It's a beginning anyway. If you can get a babysitter for an hour or two a week - it's worth a try for you.
And no, I have almost never cleaned the top of the fridge. Never in this house that we've lived in for three years, actually.
Um, the top of my fridge has been cleaned twice in almost 8 years. Yup. And who cleaned it? My dh. After work. Without bitching.
No, it is not right for him to be condescending towards you. No, he likely does not understand what you do all day. No, he may never "get it", but he can try to be more understanding. Yup, the way to do that is to either don't do a damn thing for him (do for you and the kids) and/or leave him with them for a couple of days and see how he does. Then you could of course try telling him that he needs to go make more money instead of wasting all those hours sleeping every night. You are not his child. You are his wife and how would he like it if you spoke to him that way? You deserve a team here. Support means helping and being uplifting, not rubbing your face in the dirt on top of the fridge.
The top of my fridge gets cleaned every few years. I do know people who do keep theirs cleans, but that's rare and most people do not. And the ones who do, well, their house is uncomfortable to be in and you're scared to eat or drink or have kids in their home! I do keep our home pretty cleaned up but there are certain spots that I let go. That would be the fridge, our standup freezer, and our bedroom. All junk ends up in our bedroom piled up somewhere. I think your husband would benefit from hearing other husbands who understand this kind of thing. I know my own husband has had talks over the years with other guys whose expectations were too high in different areas of their marriages.(or husbands whose wives are pregnant for the first time...men can get pretty flabbergasted by our emotions lol) I'd like to see your husband stay home with the kids for a couple of weeks and do all that you do, and see how freaking clean the top of your fridge is. Or maybe that would be the only thing that was clean at the end!
I am about to have a baby in the next couple of weeks (I hope!!) and I know the housework is going downhill. I've been keeping it pretty cleaned up more than ever here lately. I don't expect to be judged by my husband whatsoever. And he works more than full-time AND helps big-time with the babies so I don't expect him to be doing much housework, either. That's what we have teenagers for. As long as there's food, and the kids and pets are taken care of, there are times in life when that's the best we can do!
Thank you so much for all the comments and support. I've been a SAHM for 8 years now, and before that I worked 50 hours a week and was the breadwinner in my home, however, that was when I was married to my ex-husband. I know which job is harder, at least for me it's staying at home. Don't get me wrong, I love it and wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm saying I know I'm right and he will never be able to convince me otherwise. I love what I do and frankly, I've always felt like I was very good at it. I would like to say that this gentleman is not my husband. I divorced my ex-husband for being a jerk, but he at least supported me completely with the SAHM thing, always respected and admired what I was doing for the family. I expected more from my boyfriend, he was very respectful and sweet for the first couple years. Things have really taken a nose dive since our son was born. Is it really a big surprise that having a baby is time consuming? Especially since he is exclusively breastfed? I also didn't mention that he also has an 8 yr. old daughter from a previous relationship that stays with us every weekend. And who is cooking and cleaning for her? Me, of course. He just doesn't know anything about having kids in the house, his daughter went to daycare since she was born, so yeah, I guess if there's no one in the house all day, it doesn't get too messy! Plus, the way he and his ex raised their daughter was the complete opposite of how I raise mine, I'm very AP, their style was pawning the kid off on whoever is willing to take her. As long as the kids are leaving you alone, they're being "good". Personally, I had children to raise them and spend time with them, guide them, enjoy them and just love the hell out of them! So, if that means the top of the fridge gets dirty, I'm willing to make that trade-off. It's just becoming very clear how different our parenting styles are and how we are going to clash. I don't see either one of us budging. I know I'm certainly not. I've always followed my instincts and while my children are not perfect, they are kind, generous, well behaved and intelligent. Meanwhile, his daughter is literally the worst behaved child I have ever seen. That makes the weekends an absolute nightmare, not a time for me to rest or relax with my family, which it should be.
Ok, this has turned into quite a rant. I just needed an outside opinion. I know in my gut and my heart I am doing the right things, and I won't change. It's just very hard and I haven't been enjoying my mothering nearly as much lately because I'm constantly being put down. And of course, since I don't do anything, I'm not getting any help from him when he is home. We are also really struggling financially, but when he comes home from work, I don't put him down for not earning more money. Nope, I better call my family and borrow money. Also, we're on foodstamps right now. Well, me and my kids are. But that's what feeds him and his daughter. And my parents paid our rent last month. And all the child support I receive goes toward the house and kids, so how is this not contributing??? Thank you for letting me vent!
And yes, I am wondering who he thinks he is talking to me like this. I asked him, "Are you my Dad? My boss?". And I'm 2 years older than him, I should tell him he needs to respect his elders! Counseling is not an option for us unfortunately. We don't have the money and he's the kind of guy that would never consider it. It's just very upsetting because he was never like this before. He always treated me with the utmost respect. That was one of the reasons I fell in love with him! I wouldn't have given him the time of day if I had known it was going to end up like this.
<hugs> that must be so disappointing for you, to have your relationship turn out differently. I wonder how long you have been together, and maybe he'll sort of "grow out of it". If you hadn't been living together long, then had a baby, there's alot of adjustment I guess for him. That doesn't make it ok for him to talk to you that way!
I wouldn't say abusive, but I do see what the previous poster is saying. I am picturing your children growing up in a house where this attitude exists. What does this say to your children? Will they develop the proper attitudes about SAHP?
I know on a message board it is merely armchair psychology, but I'd take a long look at what I want my kids thinking is normal.
Yeah, I agree. I just can't picture living that way. I am a happily married woman and we have a very traditional household but I could never live where I was picked on. I don't go to my husband's job and tell him what he's doing wrong. I consider myself my own boss and I am probably more critical on myself than anyone else (when it comes to housekeeping). I want a clean and tidy house but I can't always have it. There are times I choose to sit down than get another thing done. I am not a maid.