- topicStay At Home Parentstagged by mamazee, 8/31/13
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8 Misconceptions About Being a Stay-at-Home Mom
Last edited: 10/24/13
- Where The Heart IsLast edited: 7/3/13
- A Mama's Peace
DH has much less patience - Page 2post #21 of 424/15/13 at 11:28amThread StarterNo problem, g! I am glad we can all communicate. I guess my biggest struggle right now is that I have to determine what I can live with for the sake of our children. We did a lot of fun stuff together before we had kids... I don't know that I could say we were good friends though. We had fun together but didn't talk about really important stuff. Now that we are finally trying to communicate and understand eachother better it makes me wonder just how much we have in common besides our kids. That said, before we even had kids I wondered what I was doing and if we should continue on with the tradition order of things, marriage , kids etc. we were married for 4 years before trying for kids and I think there is a reason for that! I decided to stay because how else am I supposed to know what it's like to have kids with him if I don't do it. We were on he rocks in some ways before even having kids. Sad now that I write it all out. I think once our kids are grown it will be an adjustment but we can at least do our own thing at that point and live together peacefully. Before kids we both worked. He worked 50-70 hours a week and I worked 50. And he always said since he works more he shouldn't do any of the housework. I also did all the cooking, even though I sometimes got home later than him. I obliged but never thought it was fair. Or maybe I was just trying to convince myself that he was right. The only thing he does around here is sometimes work on household projects and sometimes mow the lawn but at the same time starts many other huge projects that he rarely ever finishes our house and yard is in disarray because he can't manage his own time and cant finish the things he's started. (adhd symptom I know, doesn't make it less frustrating) he also has lots of hobbies that are expensive and take his time away from the family. I perceive that work is the most important thing, sex, sleep, his own downtime, hobbies, then me and his kids. This is my perception, and I'm not trying to say that's how he actually feels but that's certainly what it feels like. I know that a lot of this is related to ADHD... The fact that he can never seem satisfied with what he has. just so sad and depressing writing it all out. I would much rather work it out with him but as the years go on it seems like ill have to give up a lot in order to make that happen. We're going to try counseling thoughpost #22 of 424/15/13 at 11:59ampost #23 of 424/16/13 at 5:52amThread StarterWe had a good talk last night. I found this home study course that is supposed to help marriages where one person has ADHD. It's a lot cheaper than formal counseling and we can do it in the comfort of our own home. He let me know something last night that made me sad. He said most of what he got out from our conversation the other day was that he is a bad father, and that he needs to change or I'm leaving. I of course apologized for making him feel that way and that my point was not that. My point was that we are not a parenting team, and that his way of doing things is detrimental to their well being. He then said he gets frustrated when he's gone all day and expects him to come home and help out with the kids and doesn't give him an direction on how to deal with them peacefully. I asked him what he needed from me and he said he needs me to show him exactly what to do and coach him I'm the midst of it so he can learn. He said I can't blame him for resorting to yelling when I don't teach him what I'm doing that works as well. I guess that means that I can't rely on him to figure it out himself. I guess probably one of my weaknesses is that I tend to avoid confrontation and I told him I would feel like a nag if I was constantly telling him how I feel about things especially on how to parent our kids so I save everything up and spill it all out at once. He told me he'd much rather me just speak what's on my mind at the moment even if it feels like nagging. I kept bringing the conversation back to the fact that we don't understand how to communicate with eachother without attacking one another and we need help. Marriage counseling should help that as long as we are both willing to do the work. I compared it to working on a car. Every car starts out working great, brand new, shiny, and then needs regular maintenance from then on, and that marriage is not much different. I told him to think of counseling as maintenance rather than deaths door! He got that and has agreed to the home course. I am really trying to find a counselor that specializes in ADHD because there are things that we deal with in our marriage that I know are specifically ADHD related, and having a marriage counselor that is familiar with those things can make all the difference in the world. This home course was written by the leading expert in ADHD marriage. So yay, progresspost #24 of 424/17/13 at 5:00am
Very glad that you are feeling positive about this and I hope the course helps you both.
I myself would not accept the responsibility to teach and coach my partner. After all, I didn't (and you probably don't) have the luxury of a coach who is giving you play-by-play directions on how to parent. Parenting itself is hard enough without having to carry your partner too. But if you are willing and it works for you then I hope you see the improvements you are seeking!
Pumapost #25 of 424/17/13 at 6:28ampost #26 of 424/17/13 at 6:51amThread StarterWell Puma, thanks for your input. It's certainly more ideal that he would figure it out for himself but he's clearly not going to do that. The alternative is to suck it up and do all the parenting, or give up on the marriage, and that sometimes sounds like the easy way out from difficult situations, but I'm not willing to go there if he's willing to work at it. Would that really be a deal breaker for you?? Or would you just assume all the responsibility yourself?post #27 of 424/17/13 at 6:55amThread StarterOh and by the way, no, I did not have play by play instructions on how to parent but I do have lots of other mom friends, forums like this and my family(specifically my mom and sister who has 4 kids who parents peacefully) to help me figure out how to deal with my kids when I'm having a hard time. Maybe it's not fair for me to have to coach him but if it works and he learns that way, then I think that's a much better alternative. I'm not trying to gain your approval or anything I just want to tell you all my reasoning and point of view in this matterpost #28 of 424/17/13 at 9:15am
I'm in the same spot MrsBone. It would be ideal if DH could get it together and figure out how to deal with his emotions/temper and how to parent peacefully-- on his own. But I don't see that happening. He is willing to work on it, but he seems to need "coaching." In some ways it makes sense-- he has no experience with kids, I have tons. He's been controlled by his impatience and temper his whole life (I highly suspect he has ADHD) -- I have an outside perspective and can offer ideas and solutions for dealing with them more productively (but only if he's open and willing to change, of course.) As long as he's wiling to make an effort, I'm willing to help him make that effort-- if that makes sense.
It's not the ideal dynamic-- I already feel like I mother him more than I would like. But it is what it is. Like you said MrsBone, the other options are to give up on the marriage or to do all the parenting alone. And while separation often seems like it would be easier, I know that it comes with its own struggles.post #29 of 424/17/13 at 12:38pm
I did parent alone although I stayed married.
I was not by any means going to be an enabler to two adult males in addition to my other challenges. I basically don't think it's a woman's responsibility to create fatherhood. That should be the creation of the father under his own initiative, IMO.
I'm extremely disappointed in the lack of initiative, motivation, and effort that most men (not all, of course) put into raising their children and the burden that they put on their partners in the traditional family structure. This is a very typical problem. It's a societal problem. I have been investigating solutions through researching family law, feminism, and nontraditional family structures ever since having this experience myself.
The most important discussion, I think, should take place on fathering sites, where men work together to develop their skills and offer support to each other. We could have a male-designed concept of fatherhood rather than patriarchy as the dominant paradigm.
I like to encourage women to look critically at the situation and consider options rather than just cope with the current paradigm. Which I did here, and I think that it was a good discussion. This discussion may be read by others and it may help them too, men and women alike.
Even though you are taking a different approach than I would or did, of course I'm genuinely glad for you if you feel that you have a potential solution for the frustrations that initiated this thread.post #30 of 424/17/13 at 12:57pmI love this thread and have to read it through a few times to absorb it all. We all certainly have our unique challenges in this journey.
Gitanamama - I just wanted to comment on this because it leapt off the page (screen) at me :
' I can see myself happily parenting with a group of women, "coupling" with DH for a certain part of the day, and DH getting support/stress relief from a group of male friends, allowing him to parent DS more patiently. '
This is an awesome vision you have and I can feel how peaceful you are about it. Can you find ways to have some of these things in your present life by becoming more involved in your community? I don't claim to have marriage figured out but dh and I do put a great deal of effort into our personal growth as well as our marriage and parenting and we have seen the fruits of our labor. Most of that in the past year, year 10 of marriage. We are both involved in groups in our community and talk on a regular basis about making sure the time spent in/outside the family is the right balance. He is involved in entrepreneur mentoring and networking events and I'm involved in a knitting group and homeschool group / moms nights out. For each of us this helps recharge us and fuel our creative energy, which does translate to more patient parenting.
And one thought I had - The one thing dh and I do that helps everyone is to bite our tongues and remove ourselves from frustrating situations. There is no rule that says you need to react to anyone's bad behavior in the heat of the moment. Our children do receive consequences for bad behavior but depending on the situation it may be after I went upstairs and paced around or listened to music. I started doing this myself because I have a tendency to lose it and yell, but I also asked dh to try it and it works for him too. Keeps the kids from seeing this as an okay way to act and keeps you from regretting it later.
Edited by Gracecody - 4/17/13 at 1:08pmpost #31 of 424/17/13 at 1:43pm
Puma- I agree that current paradigm is totally off-base. We still cling to this vision of the perfect nuclear family from Leave it to Beaver, when that doesn't seem to work for most of us. But it sure is hard to break free from that mindset!!
Gracecody- I'm trying to figure out what changes we can make so that our lifestyle can be closer to my "vision." We live in my hometown, and after 4 years here, DH still doesn't have any close friends (or any friends at all, actually!) I know this contributes to his stress but I don't know what to do to help. Our hope is to move back to DH's home country in the next few years-- he has lots of friends there, I have support from his mom and a few friends (although not as much as I have here, living close to my family) and life is just much more communal-- closer to what I think would work best for us. But financially, I don't know when we'll be able to do this. It's looking more like 5 years away-- and I wonder if we can hold onto our marriage as is for that long. We do spend 2 months a year there, which helps as a stress-relief valve, but it's not enough....
I know that DH would be happier if he had friends here, but it's similar to a lot of factors in our relationship-- I can see that he wants friends and needs to reach out to make that happen, I can express that to him, but beyond that, I can't do anything. I have to accept that he's responsible for his own happiness and mental health, which is hard, since his unhappiness and stress affects us all and might ultimately break our family.post #32 of 424/21/13 at 4:07pm
This is a great discussion. I struggle with the same issues. The book, 'Why talking is not enough: eight loving actions that will transform your marriage' by Susan Page, is really helping me get in touch with how I want my love relationship to be. And helping me come to terms with what I do not have control over.post #33 of 424/23/13 at 10:34amQuote:
This was a very big issue for me.
It seemed that as a woman I was supposed to be the torch-bearer and sacrifice for an ideal that no one else believed in.
It worked better for me to live realistically. This meant abandoning ideals that were not realistic, such as "the man who is my friend and lover will also be a good father."
I wish I had had more support in raising my child, and I used to feel that this should come from the father or men. Now I believe that this should come from *whomever is best able*, such as a group of women as g-mama describes. I think she has given one of the most promising concepts of child rearing that I've seen in awhile.
I only came to this realization half way through the process and there was a lot of suffering for me and my daughter because of it. I wish I'd been able to do things differently but I was unable to realize what was happening. I was entirely absorbed in the paradigm and how it worked/didn't work. Not in how I could raise my child and live my life beautifully and well.post #34 of 424/24/13 at 6:49am
Just saw this in the news today:
During an interview earlier this month, Mrs. Obama accidentally described herself as a "busy single mother" before quickly correcting the record, and adding: "You know, when you've got the husband who's president, it can feel a little single -- but he's there."
Obama said that while he was busy campaigning in 2012, Michelle "was still working and having to look after the girls. And she definitely, I think, understands the burdens that women in particular tend to feel if they're both responsible for child rearing and they're responsible for working at the same time."post #35 of 424/25/13 at 7:55amQuote:Originally Posted by PumaBearclan
I wish I had had more support in raising my child, and I used to feel that this should come from the father or men. Now I believe that this should come from *whomever is best able*,
I only came to this realization half way through the process and there was a lot of suffering for me and my daughter because of it. I wish I'd been able to do things differently but I was unable to realize what was happening. I was entirely absorbed in the paradigm and how it worked/didn't work. Not in how I could raise my child and live my life beautifully and well.
The heat of our "rough" patch has passed, and as I've sat with all of this for the past week or so, it's become clear that I need to reach out to other support systems-- like you said Puma. DH is a great father and husband a lot of the time-- he's been stellar this week-- but I don't think either one of us excels, or is necessarily content, with the nuclear-family life that we've fallen into. We both miss community on a deep level-- so deep that it's usually not evident as the source of our tension. It's easy to feel impatient and strained when you're parenting and partnering in a vacuum. I also suspect that DH battles with ADD or ADHD-- although it's never been diagnosed and he won't even consider the option.
I'm struggling with how to grow our community and support system. Both DH and I are really introverted-- we each have a few close friends (his just happen to be halfway across the world...) but struggle to reach out to new people. I love the idea of a communal living situation, but I don't know how to make that happen. My goal for the next month or so is to get out more-- family trips to the farmer's market or a stroll downtown in the evenings-- and more date nights! I think even just being around other people might help us feel less isolated and tense. Definitely not a solution, but something.....
I've also been reading Byron Katie's work and trying to absorb it. I can recognize that my thoughts are what make me suffer-- I want DH to be different (more patient) and when he isn't, it drives me crazy-- but I have a really hard time letting go of those expectations of him.
How are things going MrsBone? Have you guys started the home course?post #36 of 425/4/13 at 12:58pm
I have gotten some good inspiration from Byron Katie. I don't agree with all her positions, but acceptance is at the heart of all Eastern and many Western spiritual systems. I followed much the same path as you are treading.
I have used Nature and Archetypes as support systems. To this day my daughter and I are very rooted in both. By Archetypes I mean the holy Mother and the eternal Father in whatever way you identify with them.
Good luck and best wishes always
Edited by PumaBearclan - 5/4/13 at 1:24pmpost #37 of 425/6/13 at 6:02pmThread Starterpost #38 of 425/23/13 at 8:31pmThread StarterWe are on week 2 of the course. There's a lot of recommended reading and a lot of homework. We haven't followed it to a T but we are listening to the audio and are currently working on getting our 4 year old to stay in bed all night so there's some sleep deprivation going on right now. We agreed that getting him to stay in bed all night will help with his patience with the kids. Every time DS wakes at night he comes in our rooms, wakes us both up. I get up with him and DH wakes and has a hard time getting back to sleep, so by the end of the day he's cranky and tired and has little patience. By the weekend he's so tired that he doesn't want to take his meds because they'll force him to work on projects when he should be sleeping to catch up so he is ADHD dad on the weekends and isnt getting stuff done because hes too tired. DH is having a hard time with his relationship with DS because he's so full of resentment with the lack of sleep he's getting and it's effecting their relationship negatively. So the counseling course is certainly improving our relationship and communication and understanding of eachother. And we're working on DS sleep issues to help everyone be in a better mood. Overall, progress!post #39 of 425/23/13 at 8:51pmThread StarterI also wanted to me to mention that I shared a lot from our past with DH that I never shared with him before. It was very eye opening for him to know my state of well being a year ago compared to now. I told him I was depressed and I believe he was too and that a lot of our symptoms were a result of our circumstances and that lead to depression, and probably was the reason that our son had so many behavioral problems. Maybe it was because he was 3, maybe not. The point is, we are communicating better and were both working on it.post #40 of 428/27/13 at 7:01pmThread StarterWow. So many changes. Our son is now sleeping in his bed all night and we've just discovered that he is ADHD just like daddy. No wonder they butt heads so much!! His behavior had only gotten worse over the past 6 months and I knew something had to give. I haven't had him diagnosed, just did some research online and started a regimen of supplements and essential oils and he is like a different child!!! DH has always told me that DS reminded him a lot of himself as a child and that he thinks I've been in denial about DS being ADHD, but I've finally accepted it and we are making. Lot of changes. The mood of our house is 3 zillion times better and DH can actually have a conversation with DS now without it turning into yelling. Anyway, just had to share!!
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