Okay, so I just need someone to tell me if this seems fair. Some days I feel like I do so much more than DH, but some days I'm sure he feels the same way about his job. DH has a labor intensive job, works anywhere from 50-80 hrs a week, and never has time to get enough sleep..he usually gets 5-6 hours a night or so. He like me, needs down time before bed, and will spend an hour winding down rather than take that hour to get more sleep. On his light weeks(50 hours) he helps out with the kids at night, but I always do the dishes, make dinner, and get at least one kid down for the night. I also make his lunches for him(most of the time..if I don't get around to it, he buys it). It's important to me to cook from scratch most of the time, but he could care less, lol. So, I put this as a high priority and spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I am also dealing with gluten/dairy free diet for most of the family. I help run a food co-op where we buy our meat, veggies, fruit, eggs, and some dry goods, and meal plan which takes a lot of work. I do all the housework, laundry and some yard work(water outdoor plants, tend to the garden). He is responsible for getting the trash to the curb, and taking care of the lawn,which if he doesn't have time for in a week, just gets abandoned alltogether, and picking up after himself. The thing is though, if he's not at work, busting his *ss, he's home trying to catch up on sleep, or relaxing (I don't blame him, I'd do the same) and playing with the kids, but it gets tiring being the only one doing everything around the house, without a real "break." This wouldn't be so bad if he didn't then on top of all that start several projects, and never have time to finish them, which just drives me crazy, but again I knew this about him when we met, I just figured once we had kids and got busier, he'd stop, since he woudn't have time. I know this is a direct result of his ADD, and he is medicated for it(he takes it during the week but takes a break on the weekend which I'm sure is how all these projects come about). So basically, during the week, he's gone almost all day, and rarely sees his kids, and by the weekend, he's exhausted, and has a mountain of projects to finish, but no energy to finish them, but also wants to spend time with us, and doesn't help out with the chores because he's too tired. Sunday we have church, and are actively involved, so that takes up about half the day. The other half is spent napping, or watching TV and vegging out(which I partake in as well). Does this seem balanced for the situation we're in? I generally get time to myself when DH is working late, and the kids are in bed, and I'm at my moms house at least once, usually twice a week, so I get help there, but I still often feel like I just can't get on top of all the work I do. I'm also in charge of paying the bills and keeping track of the expenses(which I'm glad for! DH is spendy)
Now, my day involves getting up with the kids, making all the meals, cleaning, making sure 3 year old DS has something entertaining to do besides watch tv, taking care of the 5 month old and all that entails(nursing, diapers, you know the drill), pottytraining, finding a few minutes to myself, running all the errands(which I actually enjoy doing most of the time). I usually get enough sleep because DD sleeps through the night, so I'm well rested most of the time, which makes it much easier to get every thing done during the day. I also have the option of sitting down whenever I want and veg out at least for a few minutes, before getting up to do something else. To him, this might sound easy, but we all know that it's not all sunshine and roses right!? Also, if I'm too tired to do the chores of the day, I don't do them and wait for another day. DH also doesn't care that much about a clean house, so if the bathroom gets put off for days, he doesn't bug me about it. That said, I wouldn't want to do what he does all day either, and then try and balance family time as well. So, my questions is, should I expect him to help out more, or is he doing enough!?
Meals are another story. We both stink at making meals. But I'm the one who wants it done, so it on me to try. I'll say it's a process, adjusting to family life and work loads. If you need more help ask. Your a team. You don't need permission or another mom to say he is not doing enough, or he is working enough already. Even your best friend or mom can't know for sure how your family should run. Maybe you just need help. And if he can't give it right now, then cut back for a bit. Your kids are young and it's a lot of work!
Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10
Wow. A lot of that sounds like my life, ADD, long hours, GF cooking from scratch, and all. Honestly, I don't think I have ever replied to one of these threads to say anything but "yeah, your DH really should help out more. It isn't fair." But, really, I think he is most definitely doing his fair share. The biggest thing is that you say you are getting enough sleep and he isn't. It sounds like you both have very little free time but his is more in chunks and yours is more spread out.
That said, it sounds like you both need some more time to yourselves. Can you hire someone to do some of the lawn care, cleaning, whatever? What about joining a gym and leaving your kids in the childcare center at a gym for a few hours a week while you work out? I know how hard it is when you are doing everything on your own with a hubby who works long hours. You are really lucky that on the weekends when he is home he would rather spend time with you and your kids than do chores. 50-80 hours a week is a lot of time to be away. Your entire family needs some time to just be a family. You can't all grind it out 24/7. I wouldn't ask him to do any more. It sounds like you are both at your limit. What I would do is see how you can each get a little more time to rest and relax each week. Good luck.
Thanks everyone. My friends and family sometimes give me grief about him working less and spending more time with us, doing more around the house, etc. but they just don't see the situation every day, nor do they realize the demands of his job. We make pretty good money because of how much he works, and I know that he could probably work less if he wanted to, but he can work as much as he wants or just do the bare minimum, and he's all about doing his best job, which means working more, which I get. I'm the same way at home. I do my ultimate best work around the house, and push myself even if I'm tired, because I know things need to be done, and I'll feel better about my work load if I don't put things off because I'm tired(although I do sometimes, if I'm really tired). I know that things will get easier when both kids are older, but I also try and balance that "I can't wait until they're older" with enjoying the age they're both at. We also make enough money that I can afford to purchase all the natural/organic foods that are important to me, which I'm grateful for. So anyway, thanks for the feedback. I also wanted to mention, that we both get time away ourselves about once a month(doesn't seem like much, but we don't see eachother a lot, so getting away by ourselves every week makes it that we don't see eachother as much. We probably need to do better at giving ourselves a date night. I think that would help a whole lot! Anyone else feel free to give their input!
These threads are always difficult to reply to cause even though a mom could write a book about her/her hubby's week, we the readers still don't have a complete picture. That said, I'm gonna venture a guess and ask how often you get out with your hubby!? I mean no kids, no obligations, just a night out, or a Saturday lunch out, alone, off duty!? Usually when I find myself getting that feeling of "injustice" or "inequality," I can almost always go to the calendar and see - "Oh, we haven't had a date night in 6weeks..."
For a while I thought I was unhappy at home, like duties weren't shared equally, etc. But after really talking our "duties" through with my husband, I had to admit that I loved my life as a whole, and didn't necessarily want to change any of the tasks, I just missed him!! Not that he wasn't 'at home' enough, more so, that we didn't have each other's *attention* all to ourselves. To go out, to laugh, and remember why chose eachother, to enjoy a lengthy, quality conversation. I don't have family close by (maybe you do) so for us this means an expensive night out, but it's what it takes for us to really be happy and enjoy our roles! And he actually did admit it's nice for him to see me all dressed up and "young again," even if he's in a sweatshirt and ball cap - haha!
He's also one to not talk about his work much, but when we finally did start really reconnecting intellectually, he shared all that he was facing at work and I had a lot more sympathy for all the mental chaos/politics/etc that is always part of any work environment (something I never dealt well with and would weigh on me heavily when I worked).
So, just a thought, especially if you have any family within 45min or so - a scheduled date night might be just what the doctor ordered. But like I said, I might be way off too ;-)
Married: 02/04 - SAHM to Son: April '09 - Pregnant: Due April '12
No, I think you're right about that. We rarely if ever have a date night because when he's home he wants to spend time with me and the kids because he hardly sees us as is. so I have a hard time saying, okay you haven't seen the kids all week, but lets leave them with a sitter and go out just us. you know??
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