I'll try to be brief.
I am American and my husband is Mexican. I never thought we would have cultural issues, but they came to the forefront after our son was born. My husband works very hard during the week. Sometimes he's gone 6:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., sometime he comes home at 4:30. He's a landscaping foreman and I know how difficult his job is because I did it for two years.
I do all the house work. All of it. We don't have a dishwasher, so I wash everything by hand. I can count four times that he's washed dishes since the birth of our 15 month old son. We cloth diaper, he's never washed a load. I cook everything from scratch and then am left with a mess to clean up. We also homestead, which means we raise chickens for eggs and meat, this is my deal, so I do all of that. He does cut the grass and after I stopped washing his clothes, he washes his own. I work every Saturday, other than that I stay at home. I understand he's tired, so I am I. His only responsibility is to get our boy to bed at 7:30, something that rarely happens. Tonight he went to bed at 9:00, after I mentioned it at 8:30 because I had a screaming baby crying at me while I took the laundry out of the dryer while his dad watched TV.
It's impossible for me to get anything done in the evenings ( like wash the dishes or in this case color my hair ) because my child wants to be with me and his dad's too busy watching television, so I often am stuck doing dishes at 10:00-10:30 at night while everyone else is asleep. I'm resentful and have stopped having sex with him. I feel like it's just one more thing he's taking from me. When I try to talk to him about getting our son to bed earlier it's like talking to wall. I mentioned when our son was about 4 months old that I needed some help and he said "But I work all day". I told him I would be thrilled if he could cook one meal during the week and wash the dishes once during the week and we could split duties on the weekend. IT'S NEVER HAPPENED. I feel very disrespected.
He is a good father. He loves our son and will watch anytime I need to run an errand. But, if it's in the evening after work, I'll oftentimes find myself cooking over a hot stove with grease spattering and our toddler wrapped around my leg crying and I'm trying to remind my husband for the millionth time that he should be in the kitchen with me.
He's asleep now with our son. The kitchen is a wreck, I need to color my hair, his lunch for work needs to be packed and to top it off he says as I'm closing the bedroom door " Put my clothes in the dryer ".
I feel like a fucking maid. I'll be damned if I'm going to be a prostitute too. I'm tired of it. I love him, but he's changed so much.
yeah i could have written this. before we got married we used to joke about those couples at the laundromat (the man would sit outside reading a car mag, or smoking while the wife looked after the 3 kids and folded all the laundry. if he would help they would get out of there faster, but noooo!)
All I can say is, I am sorry! I've been in a similar situation too. It's since changed but it wasn't because of anything I did or said. My husband was working in landscaping and coming home to myself and our newborn. I did all the cleaning, housework, taking care of the baby. All I wanted him to do when he came home was take care of the baby so I could have 30 minutes to an hour of "recoup" time due to being a new mommy and having no idea what I was doing. I also overwhelm myself easily. It got to the point where I would wait till he was out of the shower and clothed, I would hand him the baby and say "I need a half hour." and then walk out of the house for a walk around the block, hop into the shower myself, etc.
Our situation changed because my husbands job changed. He was out of work for almost a year (during which he helped out with the baby and the housework a lot) and then *finally* got into a trucking school. He's now trucking and away from the house for 4 weeks at a time. He comes home for 4-7 days and then leaves again for another month. When he's home I try to give him as best a "vacation" as I can, preparing special meals, trying not to ask for too much time to myself, etc. He's usually pretty good about giving me a little bit of a break now too. Plus my son is so happy that daddy is home, he's usually glued to daddy instead of mommy.
I am sorry about your situation. I know how much it sucks.
Oof! Painful. I can relate some as my husband is much older than I and still has some "traditional" values to let go of....
Have you ever talked with him about where your backgrounds are clashing? Often, in cultures where a man does all the work outside the home and the woman does all within, she's got a nice big extended family of aunties and grandmothers helping too. Maybe asking him about what his life was like growing up, and then pointing out the differences, could be a place to begin?
Maybe throw the TV out too! Ha.
But with DH, I dont think its so much a SAHM vs. him working kind of thing. He has never, ever liked to clean. He was a messy roommate long before I married him, and I knew it getting into the relationship. I just thought it would get better, not worse.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
Life's going to get a bit easier for me. My husband fixed the dishwasher. While my 16 month old and I visited family in another state for the past week, he also cleaned and organized the house from top to bottom. It looks wonderful. He even reorganized the closet. I think we're both just exhausted and losing focus, is all. And yes, his culture does include aunties etc that live together and help out. That makes a tremendous difference for them. I'm unsecretly very jealous. I've been exhausted recently and a doctor's visit discovered I'm anemic. I think it scared my husband and I both a bit.
I think I need to let the dishes thing go. That's my big thing that I need help with and that's the one thing he doesn't like to do. He does all the outside work when he can. He will load a dishwasher, just not wash the dishes. And since he's fixed the dishwasher, it's a non issue now. I can deal with everything else knowing the mountain of dishes can go in a dishwasher now.
I'm grateful my bad days are fare fewer than my great days.
Hi...I can totally relate. My husband and I are both Mexican-American. I was born here and he was born in Mexico(moved here when he was 5) and we have a major cultural clash. It's mainly due to how we grew up. My mom was very independent, always worked and wasn't much of a cook or house-keeper, while his mom stayed home, did EVERYTHING for her husband(washing, cooking, ironing, etc.). We've been married 7 years and have 2 kids (7 and 2) and although things aren't exactly how I would like them to be, they have gotten a bit better....I guess I don't really have much helpful advice...just wanted to let you know I understand and it does get better. Perhaps being specific about what you want him to do would help. I think men sometimes don't understand when you just ask them to "help out"...you need to ask them to do "x" and "x"
Men! haha, I am so glad you posted because this is my boyfriend to a T....
My BF is a stone mason and works similar hours so, I get it!
I BF'd for a year, still doing cloth diapers after 1 1/2, I cook many meals from scratch and we don't have a dishwasher!
The truth is I don't know what it is that makes them flip completely around like they do. For example, my BF came all the way to Colorado, from OH, because we took a break 1/2 way into our relationship about 3 years ago. We get home, moved into a house, I got preggers and he wouldn't have drove 2 miles to see me for the entire pregnancy!
Maybe it will get better and he will 'see' the light. I would maybe find new ways to tell him how your job is hard too, only you don't get a break like he does because you are always home! I don't make his lunches anymore, I tried to as sort of a kind gesture and it was just ignored like everything else, so I said forget it. I would be happy now if he just didn't make any MORE mess when he came home!!
i am so right there with you right now. i just became a sahm, and dh (who was not into helping with chores before, but at least would try) has stopped helping me with ANYTHING. omg! i didn't realize how much work being at home would be. i'm 7 mos pregnant, i homeschool my oldest dd, and my 2.5 year old is very high spirited and refuses to potty train with this baby coming, and is still up 2-3x per night. UGH! we live in a tiny apt that needs to be constantly cleaned up, and the only one who helps me at all is my oldest dd- and she can only do so much. she has autism and gets confused/ frustrated easily. i try to talk to dh, or ask him to do things gently, and i get a snotty response. he did the dishes this am, which i thought was AMAZING- there was a big stack. i did them yesterday morning and he uses so many dang dishes they were just piled way more than usual up by this am. i thanked him super nicely, i was really, genuinely grateful, and all he says is "well i HAD to do them. there was nothing to eat off of" @@. he made it very obvious he wasn't doing it to help out his tired preggo wife. and this guy doesn't work a 9 hr a day landscaping job. he works 7 hrs a day as a cook, and is home by 2:30 every afternoon. he also has many random days off because he works for a school. he gets home and gets right on his video games and doesn't really talk to any of us for the rest of the night except to play with dd2 for maybe 15 min. i won't even get started about the money he blows through, either. i work really hard to budget our money, and he doesn't take me or our bank acct seriously at all. UGH!
omg, sorry this turned into a total rant, too. i'm sure we will come to some sort of understanding eventually, but geesh. i was not expecting this when i made the switch to becoming a sahm. it's nuts!
Wow i really needed to vent im feeling better letting out
I'm sorry, I needed to get this out there. My Mom spent years doing everything while my Dad would watch TV and just lounge
letting her work hard and do all the work. She would even go to work, as my Dad refused to go to work or even leave the
living room. Us kids weren't allowed access to the living room or the TV.
I just wanted to let you know, your child growing up seeing his Dad acting like that is not healthy. I should know, I have
needed years of counseling and therapy because I have major trust issue's with men. I can never get over the way
my Dad was to my Mom, and even us kids. He was bitter though because he had 4 girls and all he wanted was a boy.
Because we were all girls he took no part in our lives, now that I have 3 boys, 1 girl, and soon 1 more boy he's trying
to be involved with me now.
I have never been able to get over or forgive my Dad for being so secluded from my life while growing up. I don't suggest
any child to go through what I went through. My Mom is now completely worn out from him doing what he did to her for 25
years of her life. She's so worn out in fact she's in the hospital and lost her foot, has diabetes, and probably wont be able
to walk again. I do blame my Dad because to this day he believes everyone else was meant to take care of him because
he was in the army for 8 years. He was not in the army anymore and had retired when I was 9 months old; we then moved
provinces and he continued his selfish lazy ways, and wouldn't work. He would leave us kids unattended. I had to take care
of my own little sister for years. I clothed her, fed her, changed her when she was a baby. I'm 3 years older then she is, I didn't get a
childhood. As I said, I never forgave him for it and cannot because to this day he still makes excuses.
I feel your pain. I can't get my husband to help around the house either. Every time i ask him to help, he brings up how he does everything already. Which is not true at all. I have to take care of 90% of everything around this house. He gets so mad at me for asking fr help that he actually starts a fight about it. I am sick of it myself. If you find the magic trick of getting your man to help out. I am sure all the women would want to know about it. Cause so many man I guess think it is easy to clean the whole house without any help. I also have to feed all the animals, cook all the meals, wash all the clothes, and the list goes on and on. While all my husband does is watch tv, play video games, drink, and sleep. He doesn't get out and work, he brings in disability. But he says he works really hard every day lol. That makes no sense to me.
Some men really seem to be missing some kind of hormone or gene that makes them understand how much work it takes to run a household!
My man responds well to an occasional reminder that I would do just fine without him, that I have plenty of people who would help me out if need be. Luckily he loves his DD's (and me) enough to show up for them, so at the very least I have some free childcare right now. But honestly ladies, if that's all there is, what's the point? Do you love these guys? Do they love you? We tend to make excuses for people, seeing them in their best light, when really we-- and they-- may be much better off dissolving the illusion once and for all. Easier said than done, I know.
" rel="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/familybed2.gif"> DD1 12/05, DD2 12/08
Computer Engineer- I write better in 1's and 0's. ;-)