How to get stuff done and distribution of duties. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 09-15-2012, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD is 8mo. I'm still having trouble figuring out how to get stuff done. We cosleep and she won't nap without me. When she is playing she cries if I try to go do the dishes or do laundry. She doesn't really like being in the carrier in the house. Dad isn't very good at entertaining  her. I feel like I have to do 99 percent of the baby tasks and never really get a break from it. Going a little crazy.

 

My husband won't put her in or take her out of the car seat. It is always my job. I don't ask him to change diapers or dress her very often (like once a month). One time I asked he told me no. Rather than get angry because he won't do it I just stopped asking. He does do other household tasks such as dishes and cooking on his days off, cleaning the cat box, etc. He does have to work full time and I get to stay home. I feel a little grump sometimes because I don't really get a break from the baby.

 

How can I get a few minutes for myself? I have no family or friends locally and can't afford a babysitter. She is right at the age where she freaks out with strangers. She doesn't like Dad much and I feel like he doesn't try very hard. The only thing I can do while she sleeps is watch tv.

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#2 of 5 Old 09-16-2012, 11:23 PM
 
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I have this same issue minus the partner doing anythign around the house. I wills ay now that hes more mobile and can stand and crawl he is more interested in those things and my partner is mor interested in him. I did notice that around 8 months he was super fristrated that he couldnt go where I was or really go anywhere. It will get easier. I sacrafice sleep for some time to myself. I bought a round bee stuffed animal that fits perfect with my son the way he sleeps. He cuddles it and I can come type on here for a little while. GOod luck mama! Where are you located?

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#3 of 5 Old 09-17-2012, 01:25 PM
 
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Hello wafflefish. I’m sorry things are difficult. Here are some ideas. Some may fit your situation, some may not. As always, pick and choose the advice that feels right to you.

1. Value your work at home (caring for the baby) as important. Let’s say your husband is at work for 55 hours a week counting meals and transportation. Meanwhile you’re at home doing equally important work. So far so good -- you’re sharing duties. Now what about the rest of the week? Your husband cleans the cat box and does some of the cooking and dishes, and you do... everything else? Is your husband getting a couple hours of free time every day while you take care of the baby and do chores? Why?

Think of the time from when he leaves to when he gets back as the “busy time” because you’re both doing important work and not getting a lot of breaks. The rest of the time, you should be splitting the work more or less equally, sharing chores and each getting breaks. (Again, this comment may not exactly fit your situation. The key idea is to value the work you do and stick up for yourself.)

2. If your husband consistently refuses to do something that you think he should do, talk with him about it. Make sure he understands the consequences of his decision (like, you’re overworked to the point of feeling crazy, you feel taken advantage of). Ask him what his reasons are. If his reasons don’t make sense to you, say so -- try to work together to get on the same page. If your husband isn’t willing to talk, or if the two of you don’t reach a resolution that you can live with, get additional help. (You say you can’t afford a babysitter, so I’m guessing a paid marriage counselor is out, but sometimes local governments have free mediation services, or if you talk with enough people somebody will know of a good helpful resource. You say you don't have friends locally, but do you know any friendly people who seem like they could help you deal with problems or find support groups?)

3. What kind of relationship does your husband want to have with this child, in the long run? What are his dreams? If he wants a good relationship, you can appeal to that as far as child care is concerned. The best way to have that good relationship later is to dive in now.

It can be intimidating for some people. If he isn’t the type who has fun with other people’s babies, maybe he thinks he can’t have a rapport with his own baby until she’s ___ years old. Maybe he doesn’t realize that if he spends time with her every day, they’ll get to know each other better (Like, what does it mean when she gets that particular look on her face?) and they'll have more fun together.

You say, “She doesn't like Dad much and I feel like he doesn't try very hard.” Can you talk with him about that? Ask him whether he’s uncomfortable with her or doesn’t know what to do? Part of it may just come from putting in the time, smiling, and responding to her in some way.

4. As a practical matter, it will probably help if you assist your husband with learning the ropes of baby care. But if he has trouble figuring something out, don’t let him keep dumping it back in your lap -- because as long as that’s an option, it’s too easy for him to think of it as your problem. If he doesn’t know how to diaper the baby or dress the baby or play with the baby, he needs to take responsibility and keep working at it until he figures it out.

My suggestions here are easier said than done, but I hope they’ll help. Good luck!
 

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#4 of 5 Old 09-17-2012, 04:04 PM
 
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8 months is a hard age, no matter what.  The good news is that it gets a lot easier once you hit 12 months or so.  Hang in there.
 

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#5 of 5 Old 09-17-2012, 10:02 PM
 
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Is joining a gym/ymca an option?  It's not much, but would give you a nice break to use the childcare.  I would imagine you'd have to ease her into being comfortable at the gym childcare, but it's doable.  Also, maybe some playgroups would be fun for you and her.  I agree that a good discussion is in order with your husband about your expectations/needs, but honestly I wouldn't expect someone else to change how they are (hint-usually they won't change) so you have to get creative about how you manage yourself.  Remember that the only constant with babies is that they are always changing, your DH may find it easier to bond with baby when she's not as dependent on you as she is now... Hang in there!


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