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Old 10-02-2011, 10:48 PM
 
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I hate the perception some ppl have that it is their job to go to work and make the money, and it is our job to manage the home and raise the children. I disagree with this strongly. If i just wanted my husbands pay check i would leave him and collect child support. We both made these children, we both need to be raising them. As far as i'm concerned he should bust his butt at work for the better of our family. I should bust my butt at home while he is at work, and we should share the responsibilities equally during the evenings and days he is off work. Not saying that's what happens here, but that's how i feel it should be.
Since our 3rd came along 5 months ago, he has gotten a bit better. He helps more with the 10 and 3 yr. old since i am attached at the hip ( or boob lol) I have gotten a little better at expressing my needs. If i need him to take the 3 yr old outside because she has been whining and waking up the baby all day, then he usuallt will..on his own time of course lol, cant expect a miracle!
That said, he does leave the house 2 or 3 evenings per week to play hockey, which drives me a little crazy, and NEVER cleans anything, but we r working on it
I feel ur pain!
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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Oddly enough, I have these issues on weekends, not on weeknights.  Weeknights run smoothly, generally, as long as I'm specific as to where I need help (without being naggy about it).  Tone is everything - "Hey will you watch him while I cook dinner" is very different from "I can't do everything myself, give me a break and watch the dang kid."  When he comes home he gets a few minutes to adjust and switch gears, but then I delegate.  Some nights I'd prefer that he cook, most nights I'm ready for some time without ankle-biting so he baby-wrangles while I cook.  Bed time is a long process, DS has a hard time transitioning, so it's at least 30 minutes of nursing down, and DH joins me in bed so I have some company, and usually after DS is asleep DH goes down to do dishes while I read (and I'm usually asleep shortly thereafter).  He also usually does a round of tidying before he leaves for work in the morning.  All of those things have become habit after I've specifically requested them, multiple times.  Now it just flows.

 

Weekends though, yikes.  He really likes to watch sports...all sports...all teams...and while I don't want to take that enjoyment away from him, I've had to explain many times that it hurts me when I'm trying to fold laundry and baby-wrangle while he watches the game.  Or if he takes the baby and then just holds him while standing in front of the TV.  For me it has less to do with feeling overwhelmed and overworked (though that's definitely a part of it) as it is seeing him enjoy a hobby when I don't have any anymore.  DS is also high needs, needs so much touch and constant, constant interaction, and he nurses about every hour still (he's 10 months).  I can't leave him on the floor to play while I cook - with everything, I either deal with him fussing and clawing at my legs, or I do it when he's asleep.  So nap times are not rest and recharge times for me, they are frantic catch-up times where I try to do as much as humanly possible before he wakes back up.  Seeing DH play video games and watch TV is really hard - I can't do those things.  I don't sew or knit anymore, I don't write anymore, I don't keep up with the news.  I'm actually really okay with that most of the time, it's been a pretty easy transition into identifying as a mother first and foremost, but when it's right there in my face it's hard not to get a pang of jealousy.




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Old 10-07-2011, 04:23 PM
 
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I so resonate with your post luckiest! I experience the same feelings of jealousy (maybe it's bordering on resentment now :)  when my hubby flops down on the couch to watch TV or goes out riding. I could have written your post---my little one (17 months old) is also very high needs, demands almost constant attention (especially now that he's more mobile and active) and makes it nearly impossible to get chores done when he's awake. My son is still very mama-centered---he enjoys playing with his dad, but when he gets worn out or overstimulated, nursing or being carried on my back in the ergo are the only ways of calming him down. We're also in a particularly rough phase right now (terrible two's times ten) and my hubby gets frustrated and overwhelmed pretty easily, so I know it's important for him to have his down time and activities outside the house. But at the same time, I can't help but feeling envious that he gets a break and I don't! I know it's something we need to talk about more honestly and that I need to make more of an effort to carve out "me" time because I'm definitely feeling close to a burn-out. Glad to hear that I'm not alone in this!


~may all beings be free from suffering~
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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I am also the parent who comes home after teaching all day.  When I get home, DH usually has the house fairly clean and supper started.  I take our DD right away and then we eat together.  I spend the next 2-3 hours together until she goes to bed, and DH works (he works from home and has flexible hours).  After DD goes to bed I usually have marking or planning to do.  We definitely let the house go during the week, and I have learned to not worry about it so much, and we take one morning/weekend for a really "good" clean.

 

I have to say that when I first went back to work I was really resentful about having to take DD as soon as I walked in the door.  I was exhausted, and just wanted to relax for a few minutes.  We had a few discussions about it.  He had to make me understand that he really needs a break, and I realized that this is the only time I have with DD as she is normally still asleep when I leave in the morning.

 

I think the thing we had to realize was that we are both completely exhausted at the end of the day, but we both need to find the energy to do what needs to be done.  We have also had to let go of many of our pre-kid priorities (a clean house and super nice meals from scratch every day lol!) It works for us, and while we are both still tired, at least we feel that the work and child care is shared equally.

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Old 10-08-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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Gitanamama I'm glad I'm not alone! This may be fodder for another thread, but I think the high-needs thing puts a whole different spin on being a SAHM and work equality. For the longest time I thought my parenting practices were to blame for DS's neediness, and even then it took me a while to realize that not every baby is like this. DH and I will talk about it every now and then, and for a while things will be great but inevitably taper off and I have to bring it up again. I think he finally gets that with our baby, I do more work than the average mom of one, and he needs to do more than the average dad, too.

I went through borderline burnout while DS was teething. Tears everyday, no one was happy. Currently my issue is "I never get to do anything fun" and it makes me feel like a whiny baby. But it's true - in the last month, DH has been out drinking with our friends, to a wedding, and he's currently at a friends house sobering up so he can come home. I was at the friend's house earlier, but DS will *not* nap anywhere other than home (something our friends don't understand), so when he got tired I had to leave. I know that DH needs more of that friend time than I do, I get that, but the inequity is glaring. Part of the problem too is that I refuse to leave DS with anyone, except maybe my mom and not for longer than an hour, maybe two. He nurses so frequently and is so attached that his behavior changes noticeably and he's clingy and insecure for days afterwards. Not worth it. Oh, and he nurses all night, so I can't get alone time then either. Sigh.



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Old 10-09-2011, 08:31 PM
 
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DH and I go back and forth struggling with this.. Sometimes hes great, jumps right in.. other times wow save me Im drowning and hes sitting on the couch..

 

The way we had it worked out when he was here (hes overseas right now so its just me 24/7) was that if he knew he was going to need some time by himself for any reason he would e-mail me and tell me so I could distract the kids and let him get some time alone. Usually it happened when he was handling ammo (hes an ammo tech for the Marines) and had to shower since ammo crates have a lot of chemicals on them you don't want to expose children to. Sometimes if he had a particularly rough day with one of his Marines hed tell me he needed to talk so I would give the kids an activity and sneak back to talk for a few minutes. Usually 5-10 minutes and he was good to go, other times I sat down with the kids for a meal without him. It does work out in the end because there have been days that I had a bad day and he would come in and take over without even taking off his uniform blouse. I do sometimes wish he would take time during the weekend to go do something fun without me and the kids. He doesn't spend any time with friends unless we are there, no hobbies, rarely reads or does anything similar. Everyone needs some me time once in a while.

 

When he gets back from overseas we will have to rework things. Hes working with a different unit now and will be working hands on with ammo a lot more so basically he will need to shower every night before he can go play with the girls. Ill have to find a way to distract them while he slips in. Im sure it will all work out when he gets back. Honestly just having another adult in the house at night will be great, it gets way to quiet over here after the kids go to sleep.


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Old 10-13-2011, 05:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by youngspiritmom View Post

When my working spouse comes home....

 

...I'm dying for him to occupy the kid(s) for a while, take them outside to play, and give me a break and some quiet! I want help with the dishes, help bathing the kids and putting them to bed, and want someone (an intelligent, compassionate adult!) to talk to after a day of my mind being on a toddler's level.

 

...He's dying to get away from everyone, exhausted from work and commute, just wants to lie on the couch or bed for a short nap before dinner, after dinner wants to watch TV or play video games or check email or just chill and have some alone time to himself. Doesn't want to be nagged by me.

 

 

Do you have a similar dynamic in your home? How do you reconcile these two conflicting wants/needs at the end of the day? HOW do you get your working spouse who is pooped to still help at home and be supportive? How do you get yourself to not resent your spouse's need for space and really understand and provide it?

 

Thanks!!



 

I don't really know  what to do except have a talk about how you both need 30 minutes or so to unwind each day and divide up the required evening tasks so you both get what you need.

If he absolutely won't do anything then you just have to change things from your side. Get someone else to come help you every so often- babysitter, mother's helper, parent, friend. Get a timer and start teaching your children to self entertain for awhile- I tell my dd when I need a break or some alone time. Lower expectations for dinner/house.

 

Dh spent more time entertaining dd when she was younger. Things are different now.

It is better in some ways now that dd is older but we also homeschool, have a bigger house,  6 pets and dh has work and school.

Dh doesn't do much around the house or with dd on a typical weeknight.  Dh comes home from work and hides in the bedroom or attic if dinner is not ready right away. He comes out to eat and usually goes back into hiding to work on homework until bed time. Some days it is hard and I just want to stop but I still have things that need to be done to keep things functioning. I can't not feed the dogs or skip taking them for a walk. I can't say I never resent it. He isn't really having fun either though. This is the last year so I am just being patient. I expect him to do more after he graduates.


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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Old 10-13-2011, 06:07 AM
 
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DH and I took turns being the stay at home parent when our kids were young, and now we have equivalent of two full times (a full time for one and a part time combined with own business for me) so I've been on both sides of the fence.  The tricky thing about this is that the kids are a part of the equation, too.  Despite DH being a very involved father, the kids primarily, even now, are more likely to demand time from me than from him.  So sometimes it's as much about being clear with the kids that they can also ask for homework help from their Dad if they see I'm busy, or that I need one cup of coffee and a few minutes to read following work before I'm ready to converse.  DH does understand this, but it's the kids.

 

Also, division of labour is not just about "equal" but your own skills and preferences.  Cooking with kids around (until about a year ago when the two older ones both started helping cook family meals more) was always very stressful for my husband.  If I was working late, it was OK that he cook something simple, and if I had time I did the cooking when I got back.  I could moan about it not being fair that I mostly cooked whether I was working or home, but on the other hand, he does all that annoying phone errand stuff that drives me crazy and keeps up the bill schedule, and I don't want to do that, so I can handle cooking!  He also does physically difficult tasks like cutting wood, that he may spend less time on, but it is difficult and I don't think I could be nearly so efficient.

 

We both do plenty of messy house but not to the point of being hard on the health or the head, and letting the small stuff go.  The most important thing is having time as a family.  I think if you are feeling resentful (which has occasionally happened to both DH and I in the past) it helps to be very direct about what you need without making assumptions about the intents of the other person.


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Old 10-13-2011, 06:56 AM
 
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DH and I took turns being the stay at home parent when our kids were young, and now we have equivalent of two full times (a full time for one and a part time combined with own business for me) so I've been on both sides of the fence.  The tricky thing about this is that the kids are a part of the equation, too.  Despite DH being a very involved father, the kids primarily, even now, are more likely to demand time from me than from him.  So sometimes it's as much about being clear with the kids that they can also ask for homework help from their Dad if they see I'm busy, or that I need one cup of coffee and a few minutes to read following work before I'm ready to converse.  DH does understand this, but it's the kids.

 

Also, division of labour is not just about "equal" but your own skills and preferences.  Cooking with kids around (until about a year ago when the two older ones both started helping cook family meals more) was always very stressful for my husband.  If I was working late, it was OK that he cook something simple, and if I had time I did the cooking when I got back.  I could moan about it not being fair that I mostly cooked whether I was working or home, but on the other hand, he does all that annoying phone errand stuff that drives me crazy and keeps up the bill schedule, and I don't want to do that, so I can handle cooking!  He also does physically difficult tasks like cutting wood, that he may spend less time on, but it is difficult and I don't think I could be nearly so efficient.


This is so true. DS demands way more of me than DH (and as a result, it's easier/less exhausting for DH to spend extra time with him than for me to). DH has way more tolerance/patience and is the one that cooks with DS. On the other hand, he cannot handle having his sleep disrupted, so I've always done virtually 100% of the nighttime parenting -- and this kid requires a LOT of nighttime parenting!! And I need time in the evenings to wind down, preferably without DS close by, so DH takes DS most of the evening, while DS & I spend 8+ hour days out together multiple times a week so DH can get time to himself. It's all about balancing our individual needs, tolerance levels, schedules, etc. and it took us quite a while to get to this point of both of us (usually) getting the time we need. Sit down with your DH and hash it all out. Ask him when he is MOST in need of down time, and compare that to when you most need it. If it's at the exact same time, you'll have to get creative, but often if you are each getting the time you need at some point during the day/week, you won't hit that "I'm DONE" point simultaneously any more.

One thing that would help me in your shoes is if my DH came home just a bit later & took his time to himself BEFORE arriving home... whether that's stopping at the gym or happy hour or taking a nap in the car... Once he's here, it's harder not to hand DS over immediately, it's like someone dangling a cup of water right in front of you when you're in the middle of the desert -- just can't resist it when it's RIGHT THERE.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:28 PM
 
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I think there have been many great suggestions, and I definitely think you and your dh need to figure out a resting time slot and then assign a few tasks for him on weeknights. I think that all parents have to figure how to make time together, time alone, and time with the family. This may not be an option in your family, but I find that getting up early before children do and having alone time helps my dh feel better prepared for tasks with children later in the day. He uses that time to collect his thoughts,  lift weights, or catch up on some reading while drinking his morning coffee. I do this too once in a while, and it really makes my day more relaxed.

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Old 12-01-2011, 03:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Don't hate me, but on the days your husbands work... are you stopping by to help him get things done?  Do you show up for a few hours and do his job? 

 


  Actually yes, I do. DH and good friend of ours have a contracting business that, until I was pregnant with DD, I played a significant part in, and even now (DD is just now 10mo) when they have a particularly hard deadline or something goes wrong, the wrong product for the job gets shipped to us, or they just need that extra set of hands to make everything work as it should I DO show up to help - with DD strapped in the ergo to supervise the rest of us! lol. There have been days when (after working 15+hr days for two weeks straight) I've made him skip a day and gone in his place.

 

But I don't think he sees it from my point of view. He looks at my situation as I wanted to stay home with DD so I can't complain that it's hard work. But that isn't the point. It's not that I didn't expect it to be hard, but at the end of the day when he gets home and I'm trying to do things that are hard to get done with DD and directly benefit him (i.e. cook a hot dinner, take 5min to make sure everyone had clean pants for the next day, etc) he always plays the martyr for taking DD for 20min so I can get this stuff done. I do appreciate what he's doing but I don't think he should get "extra credit" for it. it's just one more thing that needs to be done.


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Old 12-01-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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Same here. My dh jumps right into the thick of it most nights. He takes them out to the park in nice weather, plays board games, lego, leads the scouting groups, takes them to dads' community events, etc. He is more of the "fun parent" and i'm more of the cooking/cleaning/organizing parent but that's fine with me! If it helps, he did come more into his own as a father as the years went by and he does still nap on the weekends while i never do ( so y'all don't get the idea that everything is perfect winky.gif), but on weeknights we are definitely a team!

 

I would talk and explain how you ladies feel. Men are not exactly perceptive and most have no idea what we go through in a day. Spelling out the obvious might make a big difference! Ultimately it's their own choice of what kind of dad and husband they want to be though.

 


This is us to a T, except for the park part- DH doesn't do the park. But he plays endlessly with them each evening. Honestly, my DC wouldn't have it any other way. They hear our garage opening and are waiting by the car for him to get out :) If he wants time to himself he goes to lunch during his workday and the gym. Early evenings are for family time. 

 

Want to add that we have always had early bedtimes for our DC. When they were very little and exhausting, we put them to bed even earlier. So DH knows that his relaxation will come each evening. It's just more on our terms. 

 

This may be something to consider, OP if you don't have this in place already. Personally, I couldn't work hard all day and come home to work more unless I knew an endpoint was coming. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

I would highly recommend to those of you whose dh's aren't so helpful...on his day off, go out and leave the kids with him for a whole day! Leave a messy house. Expect the house to be cleaned and the kids ready for bed(or in bed, depending on when you come home). There's no excuse for dads to be so unhelpful. I know and understand that we all want time to ourselves, and working's not exactly fun, either, but as adults, we do what must be done.


I agree. And I also think men are better at taking the time they need for themselves without feeling guilty or getting upset about it first. I used to get bummed out that DH always gets to be the fun guy while I'm stuck cooking, cleaning, or directing everyone to the next part of the routine. Now i often kiss him and go retreat into my room for a bath. Or I let him know I'm heading out for a yoga class that evening. Or I curl up with my laptop and tune out after dinner and dishes before bedtime routines. 

 

Everyone needs a break :) he gets plenty too. 

 

 

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Old 12-01-2011, 07:00 PM
 
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This is  not the dynamic in our home. When DH gets home he usually entertains the kids for a while as I finish (or start) dinner. As much as we are both ready to collapse at 6pm, we both realize that it's the time to gear up for the last push of the day between dinner and bedtime. Downtime for both of us happens after the kids are asleep. It's also the only time he gets to connect with the kids during the week, so if he were to go off to the bedroom for a nap he would miss out on that time with them. He also gets a 30-45 minute commute to relax after his busy day - I luxury I do not get.

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My job is never over, why should he come home and get to check out just because he works out of the house? We are a team and partners in our our family.  DH jumps in for the push to the finish line AKA bedtime. 


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