Fliped out on DP this week. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 12-03-2010, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(Mods, I know this could also go in parents as partners but it's specific to being a SAHM which is why I'm posting it here.)

 

So a little background of our schedule. DP works 42h a week but he's gone more like 57h and busy more often then that. DP buses to and from work. It's a 1 hour bus (if he makes the right bus on time). So he gets up at 7am, gets ready, leaves the house at 8am to be to work by 9. Then he works until 6pm except 2 nights a week when he works until 7pm. The bus doesn't come right when he gets off of work so the earliest he is home is about 7:15 and the latest he is home is about 8:30pm. Then he has band practice here at our house on Wed nights and Sat afternoons. A typical Wed he would be gone 12 hours and then get home and go right downstairs and practice until bedtime. So it's literally a day that I have the kids all.day.long with no break. Needless to say, Wed are my hardest days.

 

DD is showing some signs of SPD and ADHD and she's been very high needs as of late. I also have a 4 month old at home so my day is pretty filled with kid stuff. But I also manage to get a load or two of laundry done, a load of dishes, feed the kids three meals a day, have dinner for DP when he gets home and typically I'll pack him our left overs for his lunch the next day. I also try to get some cleaning done every day. The house usually looks in pretty decent shape, and it get a good cleaning (sweep, vacuum, scrub toilets, etc) twice a week when I know there will be people in my home. I also handle the grocery shopping, meal planning, bill paying, and any other trips or phone calls that need to be made.

 

I'm starting to lose it. If for no other reason, but because I'm feeling that the duties are a bit uneven. I realize that DP has a stressful day as well, but at least he gets to get out of the house and have adult interactions. He gets to do something to feel self confident. Something that's just for him. I'm seriously ready to go out and get a job making just enough money to put the kids in daycare just so I can have some me time. This last Wed I had a melt down after his bandmates finally left at 12am and DP had woken the baby up TWICE after I had gotten him to sleep. It was bad and I realized after that, although I really need DP to step it up and equalize the responsibilities a little bit better, I wasn't actually mad at him. I just need an outlet. A bit of me time.

 

So my question is, for all of you SAHP, how do you balance your duties to the family with your own identity and personal satisfaction? Do you demand some hours of away time? Do you try and sneak it into your day? What hobbies do you have?


Happily unmarried to DP guitar.gifParenting: DD (March '06) energy.gifwaterbirth.jpg, DS (August '10) fly-by-nursing1.giffamilybed1.gifhomebirth.jpg, and our furry kids dog2.gifGuiney Pig, dog2.gifPo the POlice, and cat.gifMrs. Puff. Loving WAHM life in the Mortgage Bizz with DP.

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#2 of 12 Old 12-04-2010, 01:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
So my question is, for all of you SAHP, how do you balance your duties to the family with your own identity and personal satisfaction? Do you demand some hours of away time? Do you try and sneak it into your day? What hobbies do you have?


 

Luckily I don't have to "demand" anything. My DH totally gets that caring for the kids all day is hard, tiring work, and he and I each get two evenings per week to do whatever we want. Usually we choose to spend those evenings together as a family, but it's awesome to know that if I've had a particularly tough day I can just wait for any Tuesday or Thursday and plan something fun for myself. Stuff I sometimes do on those nights are: 

 

Read in the bathtub

Sew

Sit at a cafe with a fancy coffee and a crossword puzzle

Go to the movies or dinner with a friend

Take a walk or, in the summer when it stays light late, go hiking with a friend

Ask DH to take the kids out somewhere so I can play piano uninterrupted

Leisurely browse around the bookstore or fabric store with no kids in tow

Do some errand that's difficult to do with the kids, like bra shopping

 

My DH usually chooses to go running on his nights so that he can get some outside running time in instead of always having to run on the boring treadmill after the kids go to bed. 


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#3 of 12 Old 12-04-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post


Read in the bathtub

Sew

Sit at a cafe with a fancy coffee and a crossword puzzle

Go to the movies or dinner with a friend

Take a walk or, in the summer when it stays light late, go hiking with a friend

Ask DH to take the kids out somewhere so I can play piano uninterrupted

Leisurely browse around the bookstore or fabric store with no kids in tow

Do some errand that's difficult to do with the kids, like bra shopping

 

My DH usually chooses to go running on his nights so that he can get some outside running time in instead of always having to run on the boring treadmill after the kids go to bed. 


I love this whole list.  In theory my bf and I have the same arrangement, but I never take up the offer to do something because we also like spending the time together as a family.  But I am going to refer to this list the next time he says, "Honey, do you want to run out?  To get some time?"


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#4 of 12 Old 12-06-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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is your dh around on weekends? i couldnt tell. i generally have the same complaints as you (lol) and my dh was also in a band for a while,but now he just plays his guitar in the garage. ive tried to change things during the work week, but honestly, as burnt out as I am from the kids, my dh is totally burnt out from work. he really is not much help M-F. sometimes he tries to be, but the drive to work, following other peoples orders at work, deadlines, etc, driving back home all take a toll on my dh. so i let it pass, because if he wasnt at work, i wouldnt be able to be at home.

 

on the weekends, on the other hand, i expect help. i admit, i give him an hour or two to play call of duty, but then i have NO problem passing a child to him when i need it, i frequently ask him to make me breakfast (at first he didnt like this, but after a month or so of me refusing to do breakfast at all, he figured he better start making it lol.) i expect him to take me and the kids places, and when i need ME time, i go into the bathroom and lock the door. once the door is locked, he KNOWS its up to him to hold down the fort. i take a bath and read, or curl my hair and take time to do my make up. little stuff, but it helps me. my hobbies include knittng and sewing, but i save that until the kids are asleep.

 

its hard. SAHP have a full time job. 24 hours. its so hard to get a break. i did sign up for a yoga class though. and i told my dh i need him to help, this one day a week, for half an hour. my ds2 doesnt drink from a bottle so i cant be gone any longer than that.

 

im kind of rambling, sorry.


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#5 of 12 Old 12-06-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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I don't ask for time, I don't demand time, I don't schedule time....I just do it.  I just hand the kids to DH and tell him I am taking a bath, or going to JoAnn's to buy fabric, or going to whatever.  I don't consider it "help," nor do I feel like he needs to be "ok" with it.  They are his kids to and sometimes it is just part of being a parent that you have to be alone with your kids without your partner, regardless of WHAT that partner is doing while away.  That's the gig he signed up for when he signed up to have kids. 

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#6 of 12 Old 12-06-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

I don't ask for time, I don't demand time, I don't schedule time....I just do it.  I just hand the kids to DH and tell him I am taking a bath, or going to JoAnn's to buy fabric, or going to whatever.  I don't consider it "help," nor do I feel like he needs to be "ok" with it.  They are his kids to and sometimes it is just part of being a parent that you have to be alone with your kids without your partner, regardless of WHAT that partner is doing while away.  That's the gig he signed up for when he signed up to have kids. 



hhmm.... i like this. reading the comment i left, and then reading this .... well, i really like this. thank you happysmileylady :)


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#7 of 12 Old 12-06-2010, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone!!! Some great feedback here and I love your list limabean.

 

To answer a few questions:

 

DP his off of work on the weekends. He has band practice on Saturdays. As of right now we have a couple mutual friends who come over that day and we all get lunch and play bingo at the bar and grill right across the street. But granted, I always take the kids with me so it's still not a total get away, but the whole family enjoys it. Then it's back to the house and the boys practice from about 3pm until late. Sundays are our days as a family. We watch the football game and cozy up. I enjoy Sundays as well, but again, it's not really 'me' time, it's family time.

 

happysmileyladie  - I have tried that plenty of times but it usually ends in a fight. It goes something like this:

 

Me, "Here DP, hold DS for a second while I run to the bathroom."

DP, "Uh, well, I was just going to get up and get a glass of water."

Me, "Can't you do that while you hold him?"

DP, "Uh, fine."

Then I hear DP in the kitchen fussing and moaning about how heavy the baby is and how he can't poor the water with one hand blah blah blah. Typically that's followed by him setting the baby down (which is fine but he doesn't pick him back up because by then I'm in the room).

 

It's getting better, but it's taken me really losing my cool now a few times. Sometimes I'd rather just do the baby care myself because I know that DP will complain, making it more stressful for me because then I have a screaming baby and a screaming partner. But he doesn't get that that doesn't exempt him from doing other things. I think I just need more appreciation from him. He does have many sweet moments. He'll make breakfast or go pick us up dinner and movies. The trouble is that he sees that as going above and beyond and I see it as expected so it creates fiction.

 

As a side note about our schedule, DD goes to her bio dads every other weekend. So those weekends I get a bit of a break and DP and I try to spend some quality time together. Aside from those weekends though, it's near impossible for me to actually get out of the house to do something for myself. There just isn't time once DP gets home from work. I would have joined a gym with a daycare months ago if it weren't for our tight finances. Maybe I can get DP to at least watch the kids while I soak in the bath or do a work out at home for an hour.


Happily unmarried to DP guitar.gifParenting: DD (March '06) energy.gifwaterbirth.jpg, DS (August '10) fly-by-nursing1.giffamilybed1.gifhomebirth.jpg, and our furry kids dog2.gifGuiney Pig, dog2.gifPo the POlice, and cat.gifMrs. Puff. Loving WAHM life in the Mortgage Bizz with DP.

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#8 of 12 Old 12-07-2010, 05:39 AM
 
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I'd recommend starting with outside-the-house breaks. And I don't mean to sound bitter or nasty. It sounds to me like DP needs to discover how capable he is, and at the same time how trying it can be to be alone with dc. You might try using his new-found knowledge (baby is heavy) to take the opportunity to, for example, shop for groceries solo one evening a week. Not much of a break, but a good step. And at first, yes, you might get resistance and an unhappy DP, but everything continues to change. Baby is growing, and DP will grow too. Some DPs feel like they are being watched and judged if you're right there, so this is another good reason to be really gone. It may cause an argument, but change is hard for some people. That doesn't stop change.

 

I work PT and my kids are older now, but my dh is out of the house 6:30-4 M-F when he is not traveling. When he is traveling (like he is now), he is gone for 1-3 weeks at a time (no breaks, no coming home on weekends). In addition to our jobs and 2 children, we have a small farm. When he is gone I am on-duty for everything, and even when he is not traveling, I am responsible for breakfast, packing lunches, overseeing homework, chores, hygiene, etc. So when he is home, he really tries to take the greater share of workload. I get a 4-hour window on Sundays when I go to the Y. I also get workout time daily when kids are in school. It's not expected that I would spend every waking moment working, whether in a mothering capacity, or farming or my other job.

 

But as much as he realizes I work a lot, maybe too much and am prone to burnout, I can't take the downtime at home. Part of the reason is that we're "doers." We have DIY projects going, and on a farm there's always another job waiting. So unless it's dark and frozen outside (like now), I can't sit on the couch with a book. For me, the Y is my go-to relaxation, but we have a great library, thrift stores, coffee shops, the yarn shop, and there are so many friends I am always behind on catching up with.

 

Over time, DP will come to realize he is fully capable of the tasks of parenting, he probably even likes it, and at the same time it's a lot to ask of you 100% of the time. But be proactive.

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#9 of 12 Old 12-07-2010, 09:59 PM
 
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After a long hard day at work, dh finds time with dd relaxing and refreshing. Just like I find her most enjoyable first thing in the morning and after her nap and after dh has been with her for an hour or two.

 

Just because something is work when you're doing it for a 14 hour day, doesn't mean it's actually adding more work to the day of some one who was doing completely different tasks.

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#10 of 12 Old 12-07-2010, 10:14 PM
 
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I'm very blessed that DH understands being a SAHP can be draining. When he is home he is very attentive to DS and helps out around the house. Lucky for me MIL raised him well, and he was taught that everyone in the home helps out. Maybe your DP complains because he knows you'll swoop in and take over?

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#11 of 12 Old 12-08-2010, 09:17 AM
 
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Ok, I have been a mama for a long time now.  I can tell you that I have been where you are.  Finally one day I realized that I was being unfair to my dh.  Yup, I was taking over all the time, doing it myself because it was easier.  I mean, he's their father because he helped make them, but any ole man can do that!  He needed to learn how to be a daddy to his children.  I had a hard time letting go of the fact that his way is simply going to be different than mine. That doesn't make it wrong, though.  I realized that I had to be completely gone sometimes to let him do it himself, without his feeling watched and maybe a bit judged.  I think maybe deep down some mamas feel like their husbands just won't do it right, yk? 

 

Your dp complains that baby is heavy?  Introduce him to a sling, show him how to use it, point him to a baby wearing tutorial online, and walk out the door.  If it makes you feel better, set him up w/some easy snacks to feed the kids, a stack of clean dipes, changes of clothes, and just go.  A pp is absolutely right when she says this is what he signed up for.  So go shopping/to a friends house/have a coffee/read a book at a bookstore, but just GO!  Good luck Mama--he can do it and so can you.


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#12 of 12 Old 12-08-2010, 09:30 AM
 
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I have bouts of what you are describing at least 3 times a year.  Just had a major one yesterday.  I work with my husband, and yet it is still mainly my job at home and mainly his job at work.  My problem is always being too tired or lazy to go out by myself, so I am going to make an effort to do so.

 

The one thing I wanted to say is that if I am wanting dh to notice and appreciate all my hard work, what I really need to do is notice and appreciate it myself and reward myself - easier than getting him to do it.


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