I know this is a common issue of SAHMs, and unfortunately this is my second go-round (I was a SAHM with my two babies for the first 2 years in a previous relationship- it was a very unbalanced, difficult time), and now again with a toddler and 3 school aged children. This time, DH is a wonderful person and we get along all the time, and he works hard to support all of us. He is my best friend and an amazing father and step parent to my older children.
However, it's happened again. The longer I've been at home, the larger the "gray area" of what is my "job" has become. To the point that everything at home/ regarding the household/ children (that isn't fun/recreational stuff) falls in my domain only. A few years ago after we first combined our families I confronted him about not helping much in the house- at this point I was working, going to school, etc... His excuse was that it wasn't his mess. You know, the dishes from dinner, laundry, sweeping vaccuuming, anything. We had a long discussion about that.
Fast forward: He works a pretty standard 8 hour day, typically m-f and sometimes does side work (all computer-based stuff, so sitting at a desk or on the couch with his laptop). His job is fairly high stress mentally, but not physically. I handle all the meals, cleaning, laundry, transportation, household projects, managing the kids. I get up early with them and try to keep them quiet so he can keep sleeping. I also work 10 hours a week (I know it's not much), do etsy sales here and there, and get some child support for my older children- so I do bring in some "income". Actually about as much as I would make working full time and paying for child care sadly! So I am busy feeding, bathing, clothing, playing with, caring for, trasporting, and cleaning up after a family of SIX (one of whom has autism). I do not get everything done. And because I never finish the little things, I never get to the bigger things. I almost never have any money to send on myself because things are tight and I put my children's needs first.
Over time DH has stopped helping with anything other than actual interaction with the children. He used to do his own & his first child's laundry, and I discovered that was my job only after he kept getting mad their laundry wasn't done. When i met him he helped with meals, doing dishes. Now after a meal everyone gets up and leaves- including him- without even clearing his own spot! He's sitting ten feet away browsing his smart phone as I clean up after him. On weekends now unless I come up with a plan like going on a nature hike, he will veg out and only interact with the kids to snap at them about something. We only have our older children during the week and every other weekend- and he acts like the kid weekends are almost intolerable. The kids are great! They're kids, they get obnoxious and loud sometimes!
Slowly it's just eating away at me. I will set garbage out for him to take to the curb and he'll just leave it- passing by it ten times and then i take it. He gits almost no exercise and he pays a kid to mow the lawn when it gets bad and then doesn't follow up with any weedwacking, weeding, etc. I try to do it, but I have so much on my plate it's hard. I always try to problem solve on my own before getting confrontational, asking myself "how can i better manage my time? What can I stop doing so I have more time to do this?" instead of seeing that it's getting really imbalanced. I'm at a point where I have no more wiggle room. I need help. And when i tried to bring it up two weeks ago he got really upset and I just gave up before even getting into it. Now it's time to bring it up again- We have a comfortable relationship, and we both avoid confrontation and are pretty easy going people, but I feel like it makes him indignant when I DO have something to talk about.
A huge issue is technology. 90% of the time he is not helping or not interacting with the kids he is on his smartphone, laptop, or watching tv or playing a video game. I've tried to drop hints about phone use and family time (articles, videos, etc) and it just doesn't have an impact whatsoever. So this is the combined issue of DH leaving all non-job related work to me, spending excessive amounts of time with technology, and also Just worrying about his health and wellbeing- his stress levels are high, he is grumpy about the kids a lot, he get's zero exercise and sits at a desk all day. i worry he is depressed or just needs to get more active and his mood will improve- but I worry bringing it up will make him feel like I'm trying to 'change him' or something :(
So I just need support. Or advice. Or encouragement. Or someone to comiserate with. thank you for listening!