Do you feel like you're slacking if DH is watching the kid(s)? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-10-2010, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm posting this in SAHP's because I feel like that's a big part of the issue, being the primary caregiver...

Right now DH is outside with DS. Most days when DH gets home, he is at least 60% responsible for DS (I still nurse & play some but mostly it's DH) and I spend some time online or whatever. But the thing is, I always feel guilty. I guess I feel like DS is *my* responsibility, because I am the one home with him all day, I'm the one that nurses him, I'm the one that researches all our parenting choices, I'm the one that does all the night-time parenting. But I know that's silly (especially because I also WAH 20 hours a week but also because um OH YEAH he is DH's son too right?!) but I don't do housework (I have a chronic illness and I just don't have the energy to do stuff) so I just feel like a bum. DH is sooo good about doing so much to help me & DS but I never truly enjoy it, I always feel like he must be thinking how LAZY I am and how I should spend less time online etc. (He swears he never thinks this so I guess it's just me projecting thoughts onto him).... am I nuts?!?!

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:56 PM
 
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I guess i'm of the school of thought that it's our family, therefor we share the responsibilities of kids and house almost equally. Not always, but for the most part it's as 50/50 as we can make it. And it's an arrangement that works for both of us. So no i don't feel guilty when dh is in charge of the kids or helps out with cleaning, even though he works outside the home. I have also worked outside of the home, so we both know how it is while working and parenting.

Why not sit down and have a talk with him. See how he feels about it and if it's something that you should even be feeling badly about?

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Old 05-10-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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I look at this more as personal therapy for control issues, than slacking.

Yes, when my DH is caring for the kids, HE is actively parenting them without my supervision and control. This was very hard for me, a control freak, to deal with at first. First I wanted to micromanage him...but when that was soundly rejected, I made excuses for myself by guilting myself. Really, it has the same root--my need to be IN CHARGE. The boss. The buck-stopping place.

Thank goodness my DH cheerfully and lovingly is able to help me balance that aspect of myself--because really it's inappropriate.

Not saying this is your thought process, just throwing it out there.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
I'm posting this in SAHP's because I feel like that's a big part of the issue, being the primary caregiver...

Right now DH is outside with DS. Most days when DH gets home, he is at least 60% responsible for DS (I still nurse & play some but mostly it's DH) and I spend some time online or whatever. But the thing is, I always feel guilty. I guess I feel like DS is *my* responsibility, because I am the one home with him all day, I'm the one that nurses him, I'm the one that researches all our parenting choices, I'm the one that does all the night-time parenting. But I know that's silly (especially because I also WAH 20 hours a week but also because um OH YEAH he is DH's son too right?!) but I don't do housework (I have a chronic illness and I just don't have the energy to do stuff) so I just feel like a bum. DH is sooo good about doing so much to help me & DS but I never truly enjoy it, I always feel like he must be thinking how LAZY I am and how I should spend less time online etc. (He swears he never thinks this so I guess it's just me projecting thoughts onto him).... am I nuts?!?!
Hell to the no.

I do all of the stuff you do, too (stay home, boob-feed, reads the books, wakes up at night, takes her to the doctor, etc.). But she's not just MY kid.

She only sees him during the week for two hours a day. He gets home around 5, she goes to bed at 7. Usually dinner is from 5-5:30. So from 5:30 to 7, he plays with her / watches her / changes diapers / etc.

It's okay to take a break, darlin. No one should be expected to be on-duty 24/7 (although lord knows with parenting when we're not on duty, we're on call, haha).

I don't see it as "Oh, I'm being lazy by MAKING my husband play with his child," it's "It's wonderful that my husband has a chance right now to play with and enjoy his daughter, like I get to do all day while he's at work."


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Originally Posted by Aka mommy View Post
Why not sit down and have a talk with him. See how he feels about it and if it's something that you should even be feeling badly about?
I second this whole-heartedly.

Kelly (28), in love with husband Jason (38) and our awesome babies:  Emma 4/09, and Ozzy 8/10

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Old 05-11-2010, 12:21 AM
 
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I wonder if re-framing this a little would help.

I do feel like I'm slacking off when DH is handling the kids, because I am. Because I am so much more the primary parent than he is, DH makes a point of taking the kids now and then specifically so that I can slack off. Ours are in daycare during weekdays, but I do most of the heavy lifting on evenings and weekends, and all of the nighttime parenting. This takes a huge amount of physical and emotional energy, and if I didn't slack off sometimes, I couldn't do it.
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:23 AM
 
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I wonder if re-framing this a little would help.

I do feel like I'm slacking off when DH is handling the kids, because I am. Because I am so much more the primary parent than he is, DH makes a point of taking the kids now and then specifically so that I can slack off. Ours are in daycare during weekdays, but I do most of the heavy lifting on evenings and weekends, and all of the nighttime parenting. This takes a huge amount of physical and emotional energy, and if I didn't slack off sometimes, I couldn't do it.
Good point.

I guess I see it not as "slacking" but as taking a break, just because I don't see it as a negative thing, and "slacking" kind of carries a negative meaning.

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Old 05-11-2010, 01:51 AM
 
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I think of it as: my daughter really really really wants to see/spend time with her daddy. It's not about us trading off 'work' it is about her getting to have full relationships with both of us. So yeah, I'm not slacking if they get to be together. I am staying out of the way of them developing a great relationship so that she knows she has TWO wonderful parents instead of just one.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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Old 05-11-2010, 07:24 PM
 
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I'm right there with you. I feel guilty, but I know it's nonsense. DP thinks I'm crazy because we both know that I do 95% of the childcare and housework. I think it started when DP got a raise at work, and I felt that he somehow started "doing more". It's irrational on my part. I'm working through the exact same feelings so I can enjoy a little time to myself.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:40 PM
 
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Slacking? Guilty? Dh "watching" his son? I am unfamiliar with these concepts.

In my world, only babysitters watch children. Parents parent them, the way they are supposed to. This includes times when the parent's partner, who has primary responsibility for the child, is taking a well-earned break. That is not slacking, nor should it be an occasion of guilt.

It is appropriate to be grateful for a partner who cheerfully takes on his parental responsibilities - especially when messageboards provide so many horrid examples of partners who don't. It is appropriate to let one's partner know just what a swell guy he is, just as he should (and from the sound of him, probably does) let you know what a catch you are, too.

But guilt? No, no, no. Enjoy your breaks.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone! I have talked to DH several times about this & he insists he's not thinking any of the negative things that I seem to project onto him. After some more thought, I think a big part of my problem is that *I* am not happy with the amount of time I spend online, I seriously think I'm addicted. I'm also not happy that I'm not able to do the housework etc. that I'd like to do... I am hoping when I go to the doctor's next week that he will have some good news & a solid treatment plan for me so I can feel physically better, and in turn I'll be able to do more housework & pursue some hobbies or something instead of sitting at this darn computer ALL DAY LONG.

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Old 05-19-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
I'm posting this in SAHP's because I feel like that's a big part of the issue, being the primary caregiver...

Right now DH is outside with DS. Most days when DH gets home, he is at least 60% responsible for DS (I still nurse & play some but mostly it's DH) and I spend some time online or whatever. But the thing is, I always feel guilty. I guess I feel like DS is *my* responsibility, because I am the one home with him all day, I'm the one that nurses him, I'm the one that researches all our parenting choices, I'm the one that does all the night-time parenting. But I know that's silly (especially because I also WAH 20 hours a week but also because um OH YEAH he is DH's son too right?!) but I don't do housework (I have a chronic illness and I just don't have the energy to do stuff) so I just feel like a bum. DH is sooo good about doing so much to help me & DS but I never truly enjoy it, I always feel like he must be thinking how LAZY I am and how I should spend less time online etc. (He swears he never thinks this so I guess it's just me projecting thoughts onto him).... am I nuts?!?!
I could have written your post! Except for the part about the chronic illness - instead I'm 37 weeks pregnant. I feel a lot of guilt for not helping around the house, doing all the housework, the cooking, childcare, etc. I too feel like DH is constantly thinking "Why doesn't she get off her fat lazy butt and do something around here?" He's never so much as said anything remotely like that or insinuated that he feels this way, so i'm sure I'm projecting my guilt onto him. You are not nuts at all - if you are, then we're in the same loony bin together! DH constantly tells me that in order for me to be a good parent, I have to take care of myself, which is a lesson I'm still struggling to learn. I think our culture really doesn't like it when women put their own needs first. That thought pattern is so pervasive in our society that it becomes a bragging contest to see who got less sleep the night before, or how long it's been since we ate, showered, etc. It's a sad state of affairs that women are made to feel guilty - by themselves!! - for needing extra help. We are not super-moms who should do everything themselves. A wise woman once told me that no marriage is 50-50 - some days it's 30-70, other days it's 80-20. But life evens it out over time. Right now you need childcare and housework to be 10 you -90 him. Maybe in other areas, you are doing 90 and he is doing 10...Be proud, mama, that you made a good decision in being with this man, a man that understands what you need and does it with no issues or complaints! that's a good man to find!

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Old 05-19-2010, 09:08 PM
 
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DH is not "helping" you. He is parenting his child. As it should be.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:10 PM
 
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I used to feel the same way, right down to feeling addicted to the internet. However, after several years of attachment parenting and the addition of #2, I feel zero guilt in having DH step up to a more equal role . The children are and should be my priority--they're why I'm home, not so we can have a clean house. He's got the kids right now so I can catch a break. For me, getting breaks=being less stressed=being a more patient and loving wife and parent.
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:15 AM
 
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It sounds as though you are unhappy/sick and are projecting your feelings on to dh. This is something you have to come terms with yourself, it is your issue and really has nothing to do with your dh. Try not to make an issue where there isn't one. I know it is easier said than done.

He isn't doing you a favor or helping you out. He is co-parenting and that is his job. Let him enjoy the short amount of time he has with his daughter. Let them do some father/daughter bonding. Reframe your thinking, this is a positive thing for all of you. Now, go enjoy a little break and get those negative thoughts out of your head.

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Old 05-20-2010, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I posted this a week or two ago & since then I've realized 2 things:

1. The main issue for me is I'm not happy with myself & my inability to do the things I want/need to do. And I'm not happy with spending hours online. I started getting books from the library so I can at least read during my down time instead, which I enjoy more, but I definitely have to work on some things.

2. DH really IS thinking some of the negative things. You have to know my DH to understand sort of... I am constantly having to guess what he's thinking & 'draw it out of him' -- which is frustrating and leads to a lot of misunderstandings. But he is afraid to hurt me (and rightfully so, I feel pretty upset when he gets mad at me for not doing something I can't physically do... that hurts) so I know we need to work on getting him more comfortable to express himself, which obviously won't happen overnight.

Most days I feel like DH is 'picking up the slack' etc. but some days when I think about it I feel like I'm doing a lot (or at least as much as I physically can). DH is only even here from 5:30pm on & he 'checks out' by 11pm or so (i.e. falls asleep, and I do all the night duties and all day long while he's at work) but I also WAH 20 hours, which is half his hours but I HATE my job so it takes a lot out of me. And often I resent that he gets to leave the house all day long. He gets a quiet (though rather long) drive to & from work, and he gets to have a nice lunch break with no kid screaming at him or flipping over his plate etc. He loves his job.

But he told me the other day that he doesn't really like coming home to us. That broke my heart. He likes seeing us, he misses us, but he's not happy at home. I get it, I really do, but it still hurts.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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Old 05-20-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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crunchy mommy- your update provides a lot more insight into your situation. From what I gather, there is a lot of personal unhappiness and some unhappiness in your marriage also.

You work 20 hours a week plus take care of your child full time. You have a lot on your plate. A LOT! You need to cut yourself some slack.

The first thing I would do in your situation is work on getting myself back on track emotionally. You need to find what makes you happy, what fills your cup, and DO IT!

You can't fix a troubled relationship when you are broken. Fix you first!

Then maybe you and dh could go to couples therapy, or even work through some of stuff on Marriage Builders. It's not all about infidelity.
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/

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Old 05-20-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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nope. not in the least. when he takes over, i think to myself, what a great daddy that said, we mothers are hardwired to feel guilty. even if you didn't feel guilty about that, you'd feel guilty about something else!

*sorry, i wrote the above before reading your update. i'm sorry that's what is happening in your home.

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Old 05-24-2010, 10:21 AM
 
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See, turn it around. My H "watches" the kids only if I have a doctor's appointment or something. Even though he's here the rest of the time, I am the one on-duty or on-call 100% of the time. It's not by explicit choice but it is what it is. When I am sick no one takes up the slack, either, so if I don't do the housecare, no one does. It will get filthy and he will complain about it but not actually fix it. I would be so happy if he "watched" the kids now and then so I could get some time off. Just a little time. A few hours in a month. I say be grateful that your H does. Not all do.

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Old 05-24-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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No I don't feel bad at all.

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Old 05-24-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
DH is not "helping" you. He is parenting his child. As it should be.

Yes, this. Your DH needs to have some time to bond/play with/care for your children too. He's not "watching the kids" or "babysitting", he's parenting.

I'm sorry that you and your DH aren't on the same page...that must be hard.

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Old 05-24-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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Nope.

I am the hearth-keeper...cooking, cleaning, shopping, childcare, homeschooling. But I can't do it all alone, nor would I try.

The time my children spend with their papa is less about what time I need alone and more about them having a relationship with him. If he isn't responsible for their needs (when available) as well as having fun with them then they will grow up without that connection.

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Old 05-30-2010, 09:47 PM
 
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See, turn it around. My H "watches" the kids only if I have a doctor's appointment or something. Even though he's here the rest of the time, I am the one on-duty or on-call 100% of the time. It's not by explicit choice but it is what it is. When I am sick no one takes up the slack, either, so if I don't do the housecare, no one does. It will get filthy and he will complain about it but not actually fix it. I would be so happy if he "watched" the kids now and then so I could get some time off. Just a little time. A few hours in a month. I say be grateful that your H does. Not all do.
ditto. :/

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