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Division of parenting responsibilities - Page 2

post #21 of 62

Yeah, I agree.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsKatie View Post

Here's how I see it: Each partner is responsible to give 100%.  Overall, I know I give 100% and I know DH gives 100%.  Some days that doesn't look equal.  I guess it's more of a feeling than an actual, quantifiable thing.  I let DH sleep in pretty  much daily (and he'll sleep till about 1pm most days cause he doesn't get to bed till 4am or so - he's a bartender).  He also spends a lot of time on his computer, because he has lots of projects he does on it, and a lot of plans that involve making a website, etc.  Anyway, he NEEDS those things.  Sleeping in, having x number of hours on the computer.  However, I don't feel that his getting those necessities costs me any of MY needs.  I am fortunate that baby care comes very naturally to me, and that I have a very easy baby.  That's just luck of the draw.  I also know that if I ever truly hit a wall -- and I have -- DH will IMMEDIATELY pick up the slack.  There have been a handful of mornings (maybe 5) when I've woken him up at 7:30 and said "Take the baby, I can't do it this morning."  And he immediately gets up, takes her out of the room, and lets me sleep till she needs to eat (usually till 9:30 or 10 - heaven!).

 

I could write many pages on how our household duties actually break down day-to-day, but what it comes down to is that I know DH is giving me and KJ everything he's got, and I give him and KJ everything I've got, and in there we also give ourselves the time we need when it's necessary.  DH needs more time to himself than I do, and again, that's just a luck-of-the-draw thing that I don't need as much "me-time" to feel like I'm thriving.  It makes for a pretty harmonious balance.

 

I don't know how it would be if KJ woke more often in the night, or if DH hated his job and were miserable, or if we had a colicky or spirited baby.  Overall, for first-time parents, we truly have it easy.  And I also don't feel like taking care of the baby is keeping me from other things I want to do -- in my life, all I've ever wanted was a baby, and now that she's here, all I want to do is be with her.  That's just my personality - it isn't right or wrong.  And I also feel insane gratitude towards DH for working, because I want to be a SAHM more than anything and he works his you-know-what off to make sure I can have that dream.

 

 

 



 

post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsKatie View Post

Here's how I see it: Each partner is responsible to give 100%.  Overall, I know I give 100% and I know DH gives 100%.  Some days that doesn't look equal.  I guess it's more of a feeling than an actual, quantifiable thing.

 

I could write many pages on how our household duties actually break down day-to-day, but what it comes down to is that I know DH is giving me and KJ everything he's got, and I give him and KJ everything I've got, and in there we also give ourselves the time we need when it's necessary.


Katie, I love that you sound so healthy.  You have had some really sage words lately!  And you've truly had an excellent transition to parenthood.  Not only do I applaud you, but I'm totally jealous.  I am so NOT how you described yourself (mothering and its sacrifices do not come easily to me) and my babies do not appear to be like KJ.   But your outlook is commendable and something I know I could take to heart more.  I do think that dh and I are both giving it everything we've got, but we aren't really able to give ourselves all the time we need nor are we really able to give our relationship the time it needs so things often feel out of balance.  And I don't really think that it's a dh vs. me thing anymore.  When I typed out the division of chores, parenting, etc. it was clear to me that we both do so much and it doesn't look unbalanced.  That was a good exercise, I think.  Thanks for prompting me to do it, Joanie!  smile.gif  I think it's just that our spirited kids NEED so much from us that we run out of time and energy for ourselves.  I just keep telling myself that next year when dd goes to school all day things will change and every year as the kids get older things will get easier and easier as they get more and more independent.  Of course I'm not kidding myself that there won't be crazy challenges with older kids, too, but I think more so the burden is lifted from the body and having my body and the space around back will be such a positive change.

post #23 of 62

I don't have time to read all the posts, because I'm nursing and it won't last long... I just wanted to give my input.

 

Conner is our first child and I found out I was pregnant one week to the day before our wedding, so we never really got to figure ourselves out as husband and wife before we became mom and dad. I think that affected our communication. Both of us grew up in unhappy households so arguing is the absolute last thing we'll do. Seriously- In the 3+ years we've been together, I can count our arguments on one hand. That being said, since we don't argue, we normally end up biting our tongues and don't say what we really feel because we're both afraid it'll turn into a fight.

 

That made the first few weeks of Conner's life hard. He told me time and time again that if I needed help, to let him know, and he would do what he could. But I was so afraid of making him feel bad for not helping enough, that I rarely said anything (Sometimes he'd wake up and I'd be crying because I was so tired, so he'd take over, but that was pretty much it).

 

I never even really thought about doing everything. I never even really gave him the option of not helping, to be honest. We are both in school full-time, work full-time, and can't/don't want to afford daycare, so the routine we're on now literally has us splitting house and child duties 50/50. I go to class in the morning and Jeremy takes care of Conner, does dishes, walks the dog, takes out the trash, picks up the house, whatever. When I pick up Conner in the afternoon after work, I take care of him, walk the dog, fold laundry, and do any "deep" cleaning that needs done.

 

As far as nighttime goes, I've always gotten up with him (BFing, I thought it pointless to wake DH up with me. I didn't see a point in both of us being sleep deprived). So since I was getting up with him the middle of the night, DH would get up with him in the morning and let me sleep. DH did say though that if I ever wanted to sleep all night, I could just pump before bed and he'd get up with Conner, but I deemed that a huge waste of time. LOL

 

Now that Conner's older, I go to bed when he does, wake up and hang out with DH when he gets home from work so we can have some "us" time, then I get up with him in the morning to give DH a little more sleep. So I get more sleep in the evenings, he gets more sleep in the mornings.

 

As far as the underground household things (Appts., bills, etc.), I do that. I do that by choice though, personal preference. He would if I'd let him but I'm too controlling to NOT be in charge of that and DH is just fine with it.

 

I tell him time and time again that he's an amazing father and that I don't know how I could ever do it alone because I'm so used to him being there. I also give LOTS of kudos to women that DO have to do it alone, because it's exhausting with help. I truly don't know how you guys survive.

 

My point is... You need to communicate with him. Yes he works. Yes he brings in the money, but helping you out shouldn't be considered a "chore". Ya know? It's his child, too. He should WANT to help...

post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDsMom1031 View Post

 I also give LOTS of kudos to women that DO have to do it alone, because it's exhausting with help. I truly don't know how you guys survive.

 

 

yeahthat.gif

 

I too can't even imagine and just want to say how amazing all you ladies really are for doing it all. Superwomen, for reals. ETA: Especially those of you with spirited kids. Just wow. 

post #25 of 62

This is an interesting subject. This time around, with our second, things have been so different. I made it a huge priority with DD1 that DH be able to meet her needs. He helped with nighttime parenting, walked the floors with her when she wasn't sleeping, he gave her the occasional bottle so she would be used to him feeding her. I made sure he had the opportunity to figure out the little tricks that would keep her happy. I wanted her to bond with him as much as she bonded with me because I wanted to know she would let him care for her when the need would arise. And I was home with her full time. This time, he has had to take over much of the responsibilities with DD1 and I have taken care of Greta's needs. He doesn't know the little tricks that work with her like he did with DD1 and that can be bothersome at times. I worry that they won't be as bonded as him and DD1 are because of this. Greta is okay with DH, but you can tell she isn't as close to him as she is with me or even with my sister who baby sits her while I'm working. She doesn't smile at him as often and definitely has a mommy preference when she's upset or sleepy. I know that's all normal, but I made it such a big priority with DD1 to make sure they bonded so I do worry about the difference in their relationship. 

 

I took DD1 clothes shopping last Saturday and left Greta at home with DH. It was an all day shopping excursion to get the girls set on spring/summer stuff. I didn't really leave DH with any instructions other than the last time she ate before I left. I think it was a good learning experience for him. He only called me once to get my opinion on whether or not she should be ready to eat, so I guess that means things went well. We're really very lucky that Greta is, overall, a very easy-going baby so she didn't seem to mind it much. Although, she was super excited with DD1 and I got home!

 

I've also always felt that when it comes to his parenting, I have to let him figure it out. I don't give him a cheat sheet to make it easier on him. I know she will respond differently to him than she does to me, so he has to figure out what works for him when it comes to her. I think it helps him get to know her more instead of me just giving him step-by-step instructions that he doesn't even have to think about. It was the same with DD1 and still is. Although things with her are becoming more complicated now that discipline is becoming a bigger part of parenting her. We don't see eye-to-eye when it comes to discipline which can cause some disagreements between us. But that's a whole different issue!

post #26 of 62
Mal, I like what you said about giving them a chance to bond. That is definitely why my DP does so much.

My brother told me that when he is home he takes care of the baby anytime he isn't hungry. Their baby is 3 weeks older than Shay. He knows exactly how to comfort him and keep him happy. One evening he took Shay and, like a natural, demonstrated his multitasking abilities.
post #27 of 62

Each partner giving 100%--yes!  I think that is the best way to describe it, since each family's situation is so different.

 

My dd is quite spirited!  It seemed she stayed in the terrible twos until she was 7, seriously.  But she's now 11, and is wonderful.  Right now, she has a play date, but she's taking ds around the yard, so papa and I can drink coffee and wake up with our computers.

 

My dh helped out the first two weeks, but it took him a while to bond.  He went through an agonizing couple of days wishing he were not needed all the time.  But after he got through that, he bonded with the bub.  I agree too, Mal, that papas need to figure out their own relationships with the babies.  Sure, we have the boobies, and sometimes that's the only thing that works.  But there are a lot of tricks to getting along.  That's the route I take with my dd and her father as well.  It's hard to see them arguing, but at the same time, they gotta figure it out.  I spent years stepping in to mediate, and it did not improve their relationship at all.

 

I too grew up in a family that fought a lot, and the verbal fights often ended in physical fights.  But fortunately, dh is quite good at stating his needs and preferences, without malice or accusation.  It's easy (well not always!) to talk things through until we are both satisfied.  But also, it makes it a lot easier for me to state my needs and preferences.  Takes some getting used to, if you grow up in one of those SHUT UP families.

 

carey

post #28 of 62

I think a few people mentioned their me time/ alone time needs. Mine is actually really high. I need a lot of alone time. Unfortunately, there is really no way for me to get that. The best I can do is kick dh out of the room when I put Jasper to sleep. Then, I can at least read a little. It sucks. Dh does not need any alone time. Zero. He loves to be together all the time. He's also sensitive. So telling him I need time to myself would hurt his feelings. Sigh. I just have to turn it around in my head and be grateful that he loves me so much. 

 

He also has zero need for baby free time. Recently, I tried getting him to help a little with putting Jasper to bed. See, Jasper falls asleep around 8:30, but isn't ready to be in laid down alone until 9:30. I try to lay him down, but he will wake up within 10 min. Then, you have to be careful not to let him fully wake up or he'll be up for two more hours! So I told dh that I would put him to sleep initially and then he can get him and bounce him back to sleep at the first wake up. This does not work at all because dh does not think it is a big deal that Jasper gets 10+ hours of sleep a night. He also thinks it's cool to let Jasper hang out with us until 11 each night. It totally does not bother him at all for Jasper to lie in between us in bed while we read, work, talk, whatever at night. So instead of putting him  back to sleep, he just starts playing with him. Sigh. He'll say, "What? I want to hang out with my little buddy!" and pout when I try to put him back to sleep. I know, that is a bit adorable, but at the same time I NEED kid free time. So I had to give up on bedtime help. Oh well! 

post #29 of 62
Haha, Amanda, your DH is either brilliant or adorable.

I think when one person works outside the home, it's easier to be cool with baby all the time. I don't need baby free time or me time, really. But I have 4 hours a week of commute and listen to the radio or aidio ooks or whatever.
post #30 of 62

Amanda, your dh sounds great, but I also understand what you're saying.  My dh is the opposite.  I practically have to beg him to hold the baby at night after he's put ds1 to bed.  He flops down in his recliner and is basically off duty unless ds1 wakes up.  So I sit there nursing and holding, holding and nursing until Avery finally falls asleep for good.

post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by seraf View Post

Haha, Amanda, your DH is either brilliant or adorable.

I think when one person works outside the home, it's easier to be cool with baby all the time. I don't need baby free time or me time, really. But I have 4 hours a week of commute and listen to the radio or aidio ooks or whatever.

Lol! I think he's actually sincere, but that would be a brilliant plan. No one tell your partners!

I think it does make a difference that he is gone during the day. He already had plenty of alone time, in a way, and def had kid free time.



Jaimee, that's not cool. After my ex-h moved out, I thought I would lose my mind. I had to be hardcore about getting the girls in bed by 8 so that I had some alone time. I still have that mindset, thought it's 8:30 now. Anyway, I think that part of the reason dh is the way he is is due to not having a baby for 14 years. It's so new to him. Now, if we had another baby, I'm not so sure it would be the same.
post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by seraf View Post

Haha, Amanda, your DH is either brilliant or adorable.
I think when one person works outside the home, it's easier to be cool with baby all the time. I don't need baby free time or me time, really. But I have 4 hours a week of commute and listen to the radio or aidio ooks or whatever.


I don't need baby-free time either, probably because I'm going to work. I just can't wait to be with him. I don't miss my me time which surprised me a little. J is an easy baby and I feel fortunate that baby care has come easily to me.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mal85 View Post

This is an interesting subject. This time around, with our second, things have been so different. I made it a huge priority with DD1 that DH be able to meet her needs. He helped with nighttime parenting, walked the floors with her when she wasn't sleeping, he gave her the occasional bottle so she would be used to him feeding her. I made sure he had the opportunity to figure out the little tricks that would keep her happy. I wanted her to bond with him as much as she bonded with me because I wanted to know she would let him care for her when the need would arise. And I was home with her full time. This time, he has had to take over much of the responsibilities with DD1 and I have taken care of Greta's needs. He doesn't know the little tricks that work with her like he did with DD1 and that can be bothersome at times. I worry that they won't be as bonded as him and DD1 are because of this. Greta is okay with DH, but you can tell she isn't as close to him as she is with me or even with my sister who baby sits her while I'm working. She doesn't smile at him as often and definitely has a mommy preference when she's upset or sleepy. I know that's all normal, but I made it such a big priority with DD1 to make sure they bonded so I do worry about the difference in their relationship. 

 

I took DD1 clothes shopping last Saturday and left Greta at home with DH. It was an all day shopping excursion to get the girls set on spring/summer stuff. I didn't really leave DH with any instructions other than the last time she ate before I left. I think it was a good learning experience for him. He only called me once to get my opinion on whether or not she should be ready to eat, so I guess that means things went well. We're really very lucky that Greta is, overall, a very easy-going baby so she didn't seem to mind it much. Although, she was super excited with DD1 and I got home!

 

I've also always felt that when it comes to his parenting, I have to let him figure it out. I don't give him a cheat sheet to make it easier on him. I know she will respond differently to him than she does to me, so he has to figure out what works for him when it comes to her. I think it helps him get to know her more instead of me just giving him step-by-step instructions that he doesn't even have to think about. It was the same with DD1 and still is. Although things with her are becoming more complicated now that discipline is becoming a bigger part of parenting her. We don't see eye-to-eye when it comes to discipline which can cause some disagreements between us. But that's a whole different issue!

When I was practicing leaving J in preparation to go to work I didn't give DH too many instructions so that he could just figure it out himself and start to feel competent. And I think it has worked out well since he does the baby care two days a week for the time being. I did give him a cheat sheet of ways to try to soothe when I went back to work because he has less patience than I do and I wanted to set him up for success as much as possible.

 

It's so interesting to read what others do.
 

 

post #33 of 62
Thread Starter 

It's been over two months since I started this thread and things with my DH and I feel like they're right back where they were before at that time... I'm angry. So angry with my DH. I just don't know what's worth it anymore. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it to sacrifice my happiness so my daughter has her daddy in the house with her, or if it would be better for us to live apart and split custody. I deserve to be more respected, appreciated, noticed, and happy. DH and I aren't compatible anymore. When he first said that to me, I thought he was just being a jerk. Now I'm starting to agree; how did I ever fall in love with this man? Things are that different now... I thought he was finally putting in the work and being a better husband and dad. But maybe he was just doing it again when our relationship was threatened, and now he's relaxed again. I don't know. I just always know that things have fallen apart again whenever this arrangement is back to me taking care of the baby 95+% of the time and it feels like he's just babysitting her instead of parenting. He got more sleep than I did last night but was tired and still had an attitude with me today. We had agreed weeks ago that Sundays would be my "day off" so to speak... He'd take care of Sora when he was awake so I could get a much needed break. Well today that amounted to about 2 hours max, spaced out in chunks at different times. That's not a freakin' day off for me! But he was tired and irritable. Boohoo. I have no sympathy anymore. I called him out on things and it just made things worse. He doesn't deserve to be selfish to this extent anymore. I'm just sick of the selfishness and lack of empathy. I interviewed for a part time job last week. If I get offered the job, I'll be working on the afternoons/nights he has off from work. He'll have to watch Sora and put her to bed himself. He talks like it's fine and he'll be okay with it. Well why the heck won't he step up and help me more when I'm NOT working a job outside of the home? Why do I have to work 24/7 (whether it's mothering, school, AND/or working outside of the home) in order for him to step up? Why do I have to be burnt out before he'll realize how much help I need? Almost all of my evenings after Sora goes to bed are now spent on me working on homework for this class I'm taking. I've been staying up until midnight many nights to get stuff done. I am literally working all.of.the.time... and I was okay with that... except when he turns into a complete jerk again. Ugh. I just don't know anymore... I'm tired of being completely taken for granted. Am I asking for too much? I question myself all of the time and tell myself to suck it up. I know so many women that do that. Is this really how it's supposed to be? I don't know a single relationship where both partners put in equal work. It is always the woman who puts in more. Much more. And is taken for granted. Is this a product of our generation of husbands/fathers? I don't get it.

post #34 of 62

Oh Joanie... hug2.gif and greensad.gif. I am so sorry you're going through such a sh*tty time with your DH.  That sounds so, so hard.

 

To answer some of your questions... no, it is not your job to "suck it up."  No, you are not asking for too much.  No, it is not OK to sacrifice your happiness so Sora can live in the same house with her father.  It breaks my heart that you don't know a single relationship where both partners put in 100%... and perhaps that's why you think somehow you shouldn't expect 100% from your DH.  But those equal relationships DO exist.  I grew up in a household where my mom and dad shared the workload equally, and I absolutely expect (and receive) the same in my own marriage.  Your feelings are valid and cause for major concern.

 

At the very least, go to couples counseling.  I don't know what lies ahead for you and your DH, but this is a serious problem and you both need to take action immediately.  I wouldn't say pack up and move out yet, but please get help.

 

I'm so sorry.  I'm thinking of you, girl, and sending you lots of love and support.

post #35 of 62
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Katie. hug2.gif After sleeping on things and now sitting in contemplation with my cup of coffee, I have some thoughts about what I need to do next for an action plan. I'm just not sure how to proceed.

 

First, I am not giving 100% to my relationship. I am giving 200% to my baby. While my DH should be helping me more so I have the energy to give HIM more, I tend to forget that he is not the initiating type and falls astray when he hasn't been nurtured by me. He is the type who learns by example and gives more when his needs have been met. I hate how unfair it is that I always have to be the one sparking new life into our relationship, but it is what it is. The class I've been taking in school is a Leadership course, and it has really made me realize how much I am the leader in our household. That is definitely a problem if I'm not wanting to be the leader. But I am just as guilty of putting myself in this position as he is. It's my personality. I want my husband to step up and lead, but then at the same time, I am not the following type in a relationship. DH is the laid back one. I'm the go-getter. I always liked that he was so laid back to balance out my anxious personality. I suppose I should stop wishing for things that are impossible. I think I have a lot of internal conflict about what I want and don't want in many areas. *sigh*

 

We are lacking in consistency in behavior. Neither DH nor I grew up with good structure in our lives. I always try to implement some and it doesn't last. And well, he just doesn't even attempt. Plus his work schedule especially makes it hard for him (us) to stick to plans. I'm worried about this affecting Sora since her spiritedness calls for more routine in her life, and as parents we are failing miserably at providing her with that. But that's a topic for another day. For me and DH, I'm wondering how I can start planning more into our lives to keep us connected so we stop hitting this wall where we contemplate separation. It's happening on a monthly basis now! It's horrible. Last time this happened, I came up with a bunch of ideas for an action plan and didn't follow through at ALL. I didn't even write down what they were. Ugh. They sounded great at the time. I just know one of them was to download audiobooks for DH since he hates reading. By the way, we've done years of couples counseling. We don't have the time or resources to do it anymore.

 

  • How do the rest of you find time to stay connected with your partner when your busy lives get in the way? (If I get this job, we'll only see each other for a handful of hours per week, and that's not baby-free...)
  • What kinds of activities could we do to center our marriage again? (I'd kill to be able to do a couples marriage retreat...)
  • How can I get my DH to learn how to treat other people better? He has a complete lack of respect for authority. He answers to no one. He pretty much raised himself and had the worst upbringing. He never learned proper social skills. He does well in a work setting but outside of that, he's a mess. He is pretty much a loner. He doesn't talk feelings to ANYONE. Not even me. Therapy takes wayyyy too long to produce results. I know. He was doing it for 2 years and nothing stuck. Are there other meet-up groups of some sort that he could benefit from? I just feel like there has to be some way besides years of slow-going therapy to help him develop some of these skills and get him living life like a responsible adult instead of remaining in this independent adolescent stunted mindset he has...

 

The teething baby wants me so I'll end this here. Any thoughts are appreciated.

post #36 of 62

Very well said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsKatie View Post

Oh Joanie... hug2.gif and greensad.gif. I am so sorry you're going through such a sh*tty time with your DH.  That sounds so, so hard.

 

To answer some of your questions... no, it is not your job to "suck it up."  No, you are not asking for too much.  No, it is not OK to sacrifice your happiness so Sora can live in the same house with her father.  It breaks my heart that you don't know a single relationship where both partners put in 100%... and perhaps that's why you think somehow you shouldn't expect 100% from your DH.  But those equal relationships DO exist.  I grew up in a household where my mom and dad shared the workload equally, and I absolutely expect (and receive) the same in my own marriage.  Your feelings are valid and cause for major concern.

 

At the very least, go to couples counseling.  I don't know what lies ahead for you and your DH, but this is a serious problem and you both need to take action immediately.  I wouldn't say pack up and move out yet, but please get help.

 

I'm so sorry.  I'm thinking of you, girl, and sending you lots of love and support.

 

In my situation, my dh and I both work very hard, but we do totally different things.  I do 98% of the household stuff, including taking care of the kids.  My dh earns an income and does all other household projects and yard work.  He will watch the kids when I need him too, but I've NEVER had a whole Sunday off.  If I get 2 hours off to go to the store, I'm happy.  I suppose it's all about expectations and personal relationship dynamics.  My hubby rarely spends time sitting on the couch or watching tv, he's always busy doing or building something, which I count as him giving 100%.  Childcare just isn't his specialty, especially the baby.  He will watch the older kids while I do things, but they're decent at entertaining themselves for a while. 

 

The only real advice I could give is to make sure that you and your dh are getting some quality time together.  It's easy to drift apart if you don't dedicate a little time each day to snuggle and chat.

post #37 of 62

Your post was very insightful.  My dh also needs a lot of attention and affirmation from me, which is hard for me to give.  I need way less.  One big thing I do is to make time to dtd 2-3 times each week, even when I don't feel like it.  It really helps keep us connected.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • How do the rest of you find time to stay connected with your partner when your busy lives get in the way? (If I get this job, we'll only see each other for a handful of hours per week, and that's not baby-free...)

 I personally wouldn't take a job (if you don't NEED the $$) that would minimize the time I had with my dh.  We only get a hour or two a day that are kid-free.  It's really important time for us.  Perhaps you could just get a sitter for a couple of hours a week and go do something alone?  That way you'd get some time for yourself, but it wouldn't cut into the time with you hubby.

 

 

  • What kinds of activities could we do to center our marriage again? (I'd kill to be able to do a couples marriage retreat...)

We really don't do anything special.  We watch 1 series at a time and generally sit down 4-5 times a week and watch a show together.  Once in a great while we go out on a date, but that doesn't happen often during the first year we have a baby.

 

  • How can I get my DH to learn how to treat other people better? He has a complete lack of respect for authority. He answers to no one. He pretty much raised himself and had the worst upbringing. He never learned proper social skills. He does well in a work setting but outside of that, he's a mess. He is pretty much a loner. He doesn't talk feelings to ANYONE. Not even me. Therapy takes wayyyy too long to produce results. I know. He was doing it for 2 years and nothing stuck. Are there other meet-up groups of some sort that he could benefit from? I just feel like there has to be some way besides years of slow-going therapy to help him develop some of these skills and get him living life like a responsible adult instead of remaining in this independent adolescent stunted mindset he has...

Does he want these skills?  There is really no way to change someone's personality unless they want to...  I don't have any great advice, sorry.

post #38 of 62
Thread Starter 

Good points, Abra. I don't mind giving 100% to the household, childcare, marriage, etc if I feel DH is putting in 100% on his end like you mentioned happens in your relationship. He definitely puts in 110% in the work arena, and he's been doing a lot in the yard and around the house. But relationship-wise, I'm starving. I kind of always have been... and he spends a lot of time on his nights off from work playing video games, playing on the computer, watching TV, etc. Nothing character-building. Mindless fun by himself. We're talking probably at least 20 hours a week of this. I recently saw that there's a 1st shift position at his work in a similar field (neuro), something he could grow into doing daytime work (since the sleep field obviously doesn't allow for much growth into working days). It turned into a huge fight between us because he doesn't want to apply for the job. I told him forever that I didn't want to be married to someone working 3rd shift forever. It's the biggest damper on our relationship. He had always acknowledged he'd need to get a day job eventually. Well, he has passed up at least 4 job opportunities in the past 3-4 years for day positions... and they do NOT come around often. I finally got him to admit that he values his alone time too much and needs it to wind down on his nights off when he can just do whatever the heck he wants to do. I got angry and flat out told him he doesn't get to look at just his needs anymore. He's married with a kid. If he wanted to just be single and independent forever then he shouldn't have led me on. Then he says he wouldn't make as much money working days in a different area. Well that's true, but I would rather get a job myself to make up the difference than live with an absent husband the rest of my life. Know what I mean? He didn't bite. MAJOR source of contention.

 

We don't have the time to dtd these days. When I'm awake and ready to go, AND the baby is asleep for a few minutes, he's either asleep or too tired. And vice versa. I "scheduled" for us to dtd on Friday and it never happened. I told him I was mad he didn't stick to our agreement. He approached me the following day and we dtd but I was totally not in the mood. It was forced, I got no "connected" feeling out of it. I used to be all about intimacy, wanting it all of the time. Now? We do it maybe twice a month. He doesn't ever talk to me about it. I know from past discussions he really doesn't care about having sex more.

 

I don't know if DH wants to grow in those aforementioned ways anymore. He used to tell me he did and he worked in therapy for a while. Our therapist had told me in her 30+ years as a psychologist, she can count on one hand the number of husbands who were as eager and willing to improve themselves as he was. She said usually the guys won't even make it through the door in the first place. But we haven't been to therapy in a while. And lately he's said he doesn't think he can change in the ways he needs to. I think he has given up. greensad.gif

 

Maybe if I get this job, he'll realize how hard it really is to take care of the baby since he'll be forced to do it more. I don't know. I want to take the job for my own happiness. Plus we really could use the money. My unemployment compensation ends in 7 weeks and then we'll be living paycheck to paycheck and using up part of our savings every month. I'd rather not see DH anymore than still see him and feel neglected as much as I do...

post #39 of 62

A couple of thoughts:  I read this article recommended by my therapist and it TOTALLY changed how I view relationship dynamics.  I thought DH and I had a really good, healthy relationship before, but now it is even better (he read it too)  http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201112/are-you-the-right-mate
 

Also, this first year is a HARD time especially as far as the parent relationship goes.  It really does get easier as the kids get older, at least in our experience.  When the kids' needs shift to less physical needs (diapering, dressing, etc) and more emotional, mental, etc, it is not as physically taxing on the parents.  KWIM?

 

I do think you need to nurture, respect, and love your husband.  And I think when you do, he will return the love.  But I would make sure he is reciprocating.  I don't always think you need to be the one initiating that cycle either.  Even if he isn't the "type", he needs to learn how to be present in the relationship and be a good partner.  

 

I think from what I know about your family, you are providing an exceptional level of routine and structure for Sora.  She has naps, she has bedtime routines, you are in a stable home, YOU are always there with her as her home base.  That's what she needs.  Routine doesn't have to be 100% regimented.  It's okay to stray here and there for special occasions, visits, etc.  It teaches a level of flexibility, you know?  Just don't be too hard on yourself in that area.  And Sora did great at the hospital!  She is obviously okay with change here and there :-)  I was just reading an article about stability/change with regard to secure attachment.  I'll see if I can dig it back up.

 

I would be mad, too, that he didn't want to work a day job especially because it seems so much healthier for your family dynamic, and you want to be working too so it doesn't seem reasonable to have two parents working on two different shifts.  I know people do it, and I am sure it works, but in your situation it doesn't seem sustainable.  
 

 

 

  • How do the rest of you find time to stay connected with your partner when your busy lives get in the way? (If I get this job, we'll only see each other for a handful of hours per week, and that's not baby-free...)  We talk when the boys are sleeping, or we use that time to wind down individually.  We don't have nightly chats (DH works super early so he goes to bed at 8pm! But that will be changing soon.)  We watch shows together, we are going to start reading a parenting book together, we go on dates- my therapist recommended scheduling those well in advance, and making it a regular occurrence.  I don't get a "day off" either, like Abra mentioned.  2 hours alone is awesome!  Haha!  I make good use of the time that both boys are napping.  I also get to sleep in with DH is home on days off.  Sometimes I spontaneously leave for a bit if the boys are napping or content and DH is home.  The other day I went to lunch with my neighbor while the boys were napping :-)  Anyway, those examples aren't so much about DH and I connecting- but I know that when I feel freedom to leave here and there I am a happier wife and mother, and I don't feel so bogged down.  I stopped being a martyr and started taking care of my own happiness.
  • What kinds of activities could we do to center our marriage again? (I'd kill to be able to do a couples marriage retreat...)  Try reading a book together!  Can he read while at work? Maybe on a lunch break?  That's enough to read one chapter!  You could read a couples book, or a parenting book, or a book that you think might inspire him.  DH and I are going to be reading Parenting from the Inside Out.   :-)  You could also schedule date nights.  We have our neighbors watch the boys- they are right next door.  I am planning to stay here for some of our dates.  Then we are right by the boys in case they need us, and yet we will have the house all to ourselves! I love cooking with DH so it will be really fun to make a nice meal together and chat.   Perhaps you could do something like that so you aren't so anxious about how Sora is doing?
  • How can I get my DH to learn how to treat other people better? He has a complete lack of respect for authority. He answers to no one. He pretty much raised himself and had the worst upbringing. He never learned proper social skills. He does well in a work setting but outside of that, he's a mess. He is pretty much a loner. He doesn't talk feelings to ANYONE. Not even me. Therapy takes wayyyy too long to produce results. I know. He was doing it for 2 years and nothing stuck. Are there other meet-up groups of some sort that he could benefit from? I just feel like there has to be some way besides years of slow-going therapy to help him develop some of these skills and get him living life like a responsible adult instead of remaining in this independent adolescent stunted mindset he has... I really think he has to want to change and he has to be in charge of this area.  I had a terrible childhood.  I am still working on social skills and feelings and all of that :-)  I have come a LONG way but it was all me wanting to be better and also I realized that who I was, things I said/did, etc hurt other people but also hurt me.  Therapy has helped me a lot with this, but also a few books.  Let me think on what resources helped me the most and I'll come back to this.

 

 

post #40 of 62
The first year with a new baby is really hard and families are more likely to seperate. I personally would do what I could to avoid separation the first year because it's a crazy, busy, hormonal time.

If he is really laid back, just say, "take the baby, I need to study."

I'm sorry you're having a hard time.

I can say I am giving what I have but my partner still feels overwhelmed (I'm totally the more laid back one) because it's an overwhelming time. Between 4 kids she doesn't feel like she gets enough of my time, so I have no real advice.
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