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#1 of 16 Old 11-28-2012, 01:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This evening my husband said I'm ill-equipped emotionally to parent my toddler. I've been a SAHM for over 2 years and DD is almost 3. She rocks, by the way, and my husband totally agrees.


But he said this because I make a daily statement or three about my frustrations over DD's nap and constipation issues to him via chat. Stuff like "OMG poop already" or "DD is driving me crazy and won't nap."  and the occasional "i hate this, i can't take it anymore" for extreme days that I am silently screaming on the inside because DD has found all my buttons and wants to push push push. I thought I was letting off steam in a safe place but I guess not. I do swear and I do get upset (via chat, not in front of DD) so it isn't a cakewalk but I was under the impression that it was a good idea to talk to your spouse about your frustrations and feelings. But now I'm thinking maybe not.

 

Also I minimize my time with them both on Saturday and Sunday to complete projects and have downtime to myself. I spend about 3 hours helping out with care or socializing with them while they are both awake each weekend day (NOT including chores like laundry and dishes, etc). But to be honest I'm not feeling so good around my husband so I back off and let him run the show so we don't bicker and upset DD. I get ticked when he wants to go somewhere and he expects me to stop what I'm doing so I can help him pack food and get her dressed or something. I still do dinner, laundry and basic cleaning on weekends but I CRAVE time where I can work on one thing for a couple of hours without being interrupted.

 

I think my husband is being highly judgmental and his statement about me being poorly or ill-equipped was just cruel. I expect some time to myself each weekend and I also think that it is important for him to have his own time with her to play and care for her. Plus I need a break. I can't do the same thing 6 or 7 days a week or I'm fried.

 

What do you ladies think about the comment he made? Anyone else have a similar schedule as a SAHM? Out of curiosity anyone else make their DH in charge of weekends?


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#2 of 16 Old 11-28-2012, 06:10 AM
 
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Yes, my DH is in charge of weekends, and it works really well for us. It gives them quality time together, and gives me a break. That doesn't mean we do nothing together on weekends, just that DH is more the "default" parent and that I can escape more readily if I want/need to. I don't think a lot of other families do things the way we do but it works for us & neither of us is frustrated/resentful/etc.

I don't see anything wrong with you venting to him, but if it bothers him I would vent to friends or here or something instead. It could be hard for him to see things like that all day (I don't know how often that is happening... I do call DH at work maybe once or twice a month when I'm having a really hard day with DS, but for the most part I don't vent to him throughout the day, not sure why, just seems to me it would be intrusive to his work day I guess?)

I don't get your DH's comment. I don't know why he'd say that, unless he was just having a rough day and it came out wrong. Can you talk to him more about it, and find out exactly what is bugging him? hug.gif

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#3 of 16 Old 11-28-2012, 08:27 AM
 
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Maybe a part time would help you and the kids get a break from each other. Putting dh in charge all weekend would foster resentment in my home. He's worked hard all week and deserves some down time, too.
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#4 of 16 Old 11-28-2012, 01:58 PM
 
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Does your husband ever complain about his job? Does his job stress him out on a regular basis? Maybe he's not emotionally equipped to handle his job. irked.gif

OK, no, on a less snarky note, everyone deserves a break. At our house my husband was really starting to resent being the parent on duty all weekend, because he also deserves a break, and he worked hard all week. So I just had to re-prioritize. I don't really need him to take her all day on Saturday, I really just need Sunday morning all to myself. ME ME ME ME ME! Until noon! ME!
We each also had to kind of grow up and remember that play time is over, now we have a baby. (This seems wrong, somehow, but you catch my meaning I hope.) He gets alone time every night when she and I are in bed. I get alone time when he comes home because usually I drop her on him and run out of the room like my hair is on fire.
The weekends are still a work in progress, but you do both deserve a break.

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#5 of 16 Old 11-28-2012, 02:35 PM
 
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In my experience, men tend to be problem-solvers first.  They aren't always the best person to vent to just to vent, because their immediate reaction isn't to listen patiently, it's to analyze as quickly as possible, "Ok, what is going on here and how can I fix it?"  So, while his response hit a nerve (and you should definitely tell him so) that's where I think he's coming from.  You are interrupting him at work to tell him that you are barely holding it together at home (even if that's an exaggeration that helps you feel better, he's taking it as fact), and that's going to have an impact on his point of view, ya know?  I mean, it would divide my attention at work, if I was the WOH parent - I'd be worried about my job, and what's going on at home, and how my spouse is holding up, and whether this arrangement is even working.  So I agree with the PP who suggested maybe venting to friends or on MDC instead.  

 

To what Mrs. Gregory said - DH definitely does vent to me in the evenings about his day, but he doesn't give me a blow by blow during it (does your DH?  Is this reciprocal?).  Being a mom has changed my outlook - for one thing, I notice how DH's complaining actually makes him dwell on the bad points of his day and exclude the good.  I feel (personally) like my job is often super hard, but complaining about it just puts me in a negative headspace - and I'm not complaining about a boss I can villainize, it's my kid!  I just can't afford that - that's been my "growing up" moment.  Around here, if I didn't laugh, I'd cry.  So we shrug things off and clean things up and laugh - ALOT. wild.gif

 

Does venting really help you?  You might try cutting back and see if you aren't able to let the little things go.  Just a thought.  You seem to be pretty clear on the space you need, so I would talk to him about making that happen.  A part-time job may help you, too. 


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#6 of 16 Old 11-28-2012, 03:47 PM
 
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Maybe a part time would help you and the kids get a break from each other. Putting dh in charge all weekend would foster resentment in my home. He's worked hard all week and deserves some down time, too.

I guess it depends on your daily setup. Until recently, I did all the night-time duty (for a kid who wakes many many times a night) while DH gets a full night's sleep every night. He gets a leisurely, quiet, not-overly-long drive to work while I'm carting a bored, carsick kid back & forth from therapy an hour away. He gets an hour lunch break where he takes a walk, or hangs out with friends, or just sits in peace. He just has a lot of 'me time' built into his work week. He doesn't crave time away because he gets a little bit of it every day. I am with DS 24/7, and he's not the kind of kid who plays quietly nearby, he requires constant, non-stop interaction, every last second of the day. So yeah, when I can get a stretch of time to myself in the evening or on weekends, you bet I'll take it, demand it, because no one can be with any kid, and especially not a kid with high-needs/special needs, day in & day out without a break to breathe. I don't resent DH's down time during the week and he doesn't resent mine when he's home to help. I am unclear, OP, whether your DH is saying you take too much down time, or you vent too much to him, and the worries about how much "me time" you take are more self-imposed guilt than how HE feels.

My other suggestion to the OP is to get someone to babysit so you & DH can get away together. It sounds like you could really use some time to reconnect...

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#7 of 16 Old 11-28-2012, 03:56 PM
 
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Yes, free time to do something uninterrupted is fabulous.  So I'd see about taking time to focus on getting that and let some of your other annoyances go (like being interrupted to help get ready to go out, etc) because I've always felt like it makes a huge difference in feeling better about myself.  See if your schedules could work just an hour out (like at the library) during the week, so it doesn't have to all be jam packed on the weekend, maybe.  Maybe plan almost-family-time kind of activities you can drop in and out of a little, that dh is more in charge of (so you're having time together, but some time alone - like kid movie with dad time?, or them making dinner together every other week?).

 

Here we have a drastically different schedule so I can't offer many specific suggestions based on what we do, but most of my 'time alone' ends up due to stuff like I mention above and dh never just takes over childcare for the weekend, or even a day (works nights, random and changing 12 hour shifts - so it's pretty much me all the time for the kids) BUT we do fit in movie outings, out to eat with dh nights, sometimes afternoon hikes or an errand to the pet food store where I end up home alone.  And it's always been easier on dh to be taking the kids out somewhere than being around the house.

 

 

 

Probably your dh didn't realize what he was saying would really mean -- possibly some of your venting could also be reframed too (like "OMG, not napping yet and I am so tired today" or "I need you to bring me a milkshake today, it's been really difficult" or "I need a really big hug") -- after all, he may feel pitted between you and your child which isn't a good place either. 

 

 

And I could absolutely use a good, full 1-2 weeks of being completely unbothered (but I know it's not going to happen anytime).  I try to enjoy the 15-20 minutes while I drink my coffee and people are otherwise occupied most days and that's it.  And keep trying to plan ways to fit a little more in where I can.  Yes, it can totally be a frustrating way to live that doesn't meet your current needs.  Think about those needs and talk about them together -- that'll end up helping you both the most.  

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#8 of 16 Old 11-30-2012, 01:14 PM
 
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My DH went through a period where he texted me 3+ times a day to vent about work, and it drove me crazy. He should absolutely be able to come to me with his problems and for comfort, but when I would get 3 texts saying, "OMG, I'm going to freak out!" and "Ugh, I haaaate work today," when there's not a damn thing I can do to help him and I'm in the middle of a sibling spat or something, it just got frustrating. There's only so many times I can write, "Sorry hon, hope it gets better," you know? I'm happy to listen to him talk about his day in the evenings, when there's more balance and he can say, "A few of my clients were so frustrating today, but I tried a new restaurant for lunch and it was really good, we should go there sometime." But the constant negative venting was just draining and made me feel helpless and annoyed. 

 

Do you balance it with texting cute pictures of what you and the kids are doing throughout the day too? Maybe that would help paint a more balanced, realistic picture of your day instead of just venting about the bad stuff. 

 

As for weekends, my DH and I are about evenly involved during that time. We each get time to ourselves (DH is a distance runner and usually goes for a couple of long runs on the weekends), and we spend lots of time together as a family. We each sleep in one morning on the weekends while the other gets up with the kids and makes breakfast. On weekdays, though, DH is pretty much completely in charge from just after dinner until bedtime. I WAH, so that's my worktime, and honestly although I sometimes am tired after a long day with the kids and don't feel like working, it's nice to be able to change gears and sit in a quiet room and just do a peaceful, solitary activity for a few hours in the evenings. 


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#9 of 16 Old 11-30-2012, 01:24 PM
 
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You say that must carve out some free time for yourself on the weekends to stay sane? Do you carve out or allow DH to do the same?

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#10 of 16 Old 12-04-2012, 04:10 PM
 
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I guess it depends on your daily setup. Until recently, I did all the night-time duty (for a kid who wakes many many times a night) while DH gets a full night's sleep every night. He gets a leisurely, quiet, not-overly-long drive to work while I'm carting a bored, carsick kid back & forth from therapy an hour away. He gets an hour lunch break where he takes a walk, or hangs out with friends, or just sits in peace. He just has a lot of 'me time' built into his work week. He doesn't crave time away because he gets a little bit of it every day.


Exactly.  I still feel like DBF gets his "me-time" by sleeping through the night.  Since I am on duty practically 24 hours a day, I get what I want on the weekends.  AND I get to complain sometimes :) 

 

But, I will say the DBF really and truly does not understand the anger and frustration I can sometimes feel during the day with our daughter.  He really just sees her so much less than me that he can make it through the whole weekend just doting on her and talking about how awesome she is.  And he gets angry at me for getting openly irritated at his darling, perfect, sweet little girl.  I think it's much like the insult I would feel if my sister or someone told me they were irritated with me kid.  I'd defend her awesome little self to the teeth.  He and I just have a very different experience of our child, and I have to admit I'm sort of jealous of how fond his heart gets to be of her due to his absence.  But he, on the other hand, feels like I'm unappreciative of all the time I get to spend with this little person he misses so much. 

 

I kind of lost my point, there, but I hope you get the gist. 

 

Also, our care-taking arrangement sounds almost exactly like yours. 

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#11 of 16 Old 12-05-2012, 10:18 AM
 
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Maybe a part time would help you and the kids get a break from each other. Putting dh in charge all weekend would foster resentment in my home. He's worked hard all week and deserves some down time, too.

 

This is true here, too.  I do take the night shift (which involves hours of getting a resistant HN toddler to sleep after DH passes out, plus anywhere from 2-10 wakeups per night, and permasuckle from dawn on), but I have the option of taking a nap when lil dude naps (if he does) or resting/half asleep in the hours just before he wakes.  That's the trade off for us - we probably get close to the same amount of sleep, since DH gets up so early, and I can sometimes go back to sleep for a bit.  It's a point I've had to drive home with DH, though - I think he finally gets it, that I'm not "sleeping in" all luxuriously, haha. orngtongue.gif

 

Anyway, he does get his drive to work (but gets mad about other drivers the whole way), and often works through lunch.  The only perk he gets is adult interaction, but I get to do cool activities with DS or go to the playground, etc.  If I'm totally touched out, he will take DS outside for a half hour to an hour in the evening or on weekends for bonding time, but more than that would cause resentment - I often use that time for chores.  "Free time" for both DH and I usually involves solo chores (and we can never keep up!).  We spend the vast majority of time DH is home all together.

 

All of that to say, I think you have to find the balance that works for you both.  Different strokes for different folks, and all that. 

 

eta - I think if we had more than one kid (even though the one can be a handful) I would really need more time away to keep sane.  It would probably be a different picture altogether.


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#12 of 16 Old 12-07-2012, 01:12 PM
 
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What your Dh said definitely seems mean to me. I'd be upset, and I vent to my DH all the time. I think your dd age is one of the most draining- I would text my Dh daily when one of my dc were that age and I was exhausted and frustrated and just really needed to vent. Mostly, I needed him to understand why I would be fried when he got home.
This phase really does end though. Just hang in there! Explain to him that your are not unable to care for your child, you are just exhausted/frustrated/upset because parenting a toddler IS exhausting/frustrating/upsetting at times (at least once everyday). But, it's also deeply meaningful work, and that by venting to your Dh you are letting off steam, not yelling, screaming, or scaring your little one. Your Dh should be your support. I think he just said the wrong thing, and was being insensitive, which we all do from time to time.
As for the weekends, if your Dh needs a break too, he would ask you right? I think your setup sounds great. My Dh gets lots of breaks throughout the week and goes to the gym everyday by himself. On the weekends and evenings (and most mornings before work) he really enjoys the time he spends with our dc. During the week I use the time to make dinner, but on the weekends and during weekday mornings I take the time for myself and it feels great! We all deserve/need breaks and we both genuinely love spending time with our dc so that works out for us. It sounds like your Dh enjoys your dd as well, and you both seem to be getting enough time for breaks. He was just being insensitive when he said the wrong thing.
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#13 of 16 Old 12-07-2012, 02:35 PM
 
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Me working part time has been really good for our family. I've had various jobs, from home healthcare to cashier to housecleaning (paid the best out of all of them). I found that these three occupations all allow you to have fairly flexible schedules, AND it has really helped both my DH and I to understand the others' situation better (since I'm the primary parent at home with our son). We appreciate each other more because of it, I think. I didn't work from the time my son was 1-2 and we were both just out of touch with the other and there was definitely some resentment going on, both ways.

 

Not saying that you need to go to work, BUT if there's something important to you, why not take "office hours" for yourself, by going to the library (if you're into reading, plus it's a great quiet space to work or whatever in peace), or, ya know, whatever. Going for a bike ride. Catching up with a friend for a few hours. Doing some kind of art. I think it will help you if you're able to take your head out of the game, so to speak, at home. And in my experience, I need to take that PHYSICALLY. (or locking myself in my bedroom with a notebook/laptop/music whatever).

 

However, I do think your husband was out of line with that comment. The comments you made sound just like what EVERY Mom says when they're stressed. Sounds like he needs some more experience with the wee one. I think his tune will change pretty quickly if you're not there to bail him out. ;) Just my opinion. Hope this helped somewhat. :) xo.

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#14 of 16 Old 12-10-2012, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh thank you ladies. I felt funny airing our laundry but I needed to put it out there to get some help. Normally I don't like to quote what he said but those words HURT.

 

I have stopped complaining via chat so much and censored some of my immediate comments in the same manner that I used to with previous coworkers about stressful working conditions. Thanks for the reminder on how much of a downer that can be. I totally remember this one woman in our office that complained, complained, complained! And while I knew our job wasn't a cakewalk it made it really hard to feel good when she would go on about something.

 

"Free" time is pretty delicate. DH and I are both highly creative people and since he made more money at his I let my job go and maintain a very very slowly progressing studio at home. But I can only do studio stuff at night for an hour or so and a bit on the weekends. DH goes to work but he gets to satisfy his creative itch for 8+ hours a day and play with DD for about 2 ... and the entire time she is so happy to have him do whatever she wants so she doesn't give him any boundary testing and he doesn't have to juggle cleaning, cooking and errands while with her.

 

I gave it all some thought and decided to enlist DH in a project. A family garden project. The last two weekends we've been digging posts and doing it all. He's totally enjoying it and I am too ... but he got a taste of what my time is like when I'm trying to accomplish something when hanging out with DH. He got frustrated ... really frustrated when he couldn't finish what he needed to and had to drop his work to play and be awesome so DD didn't interfere with setting a post I was working on. It was educational, to say the least. He got through it and thankfully instead of making it an issue about ME he asked for a little downtime after we got home to reset his brain. Him asking for time alone is unheard of so I think he's starting to come around to needing a recharge after juggling so much. I've also started boycotting dishes on Sunday and he's picking up the slack. 

 

After all this, though, I actually agree with him on not being equipped. He's right. It was blunt and offensive but it isn't like I haven't tried. My parents were mean and selfish people that I decided to stop contact with them after many attempts at having a respectful relationship. The ill-equip isn't for lack of trying, though. After a bit of discussion I figured out that he was thinking more like I was a truck on safari without adequate options for the terrain. I get it now.

 

Thanks for the information. I know I didn't address each comment but it did give me enough to figure out my feelings.

 

<3


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#15 of 16 Old 12-13-2012, 08:47 AM
 
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Hey lovepickles, that's awesome news!  smile.gif
 


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#16 of 16 Old 12-14-2012, 09:04 AM
 
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Oh thank you ladies. I felt funny airing our laundry but I needed to put it out there to get some help. Normally I don't like to quote what he said but those words HURT.

 

I have stopped complaining via chat so much and censored some of my immediate comments in the same manner that I used to with previous coworkers about stressful working conditions. Thanks for the reminder on how much of a downer that can be. I totally remember this one woman in our office that complained, complained, complained! And while I knew our job wasn't a cakewalk it made it really hard to feel good when she would go on about something.

 

"Free" time is pretty delicate. DH and I are both highly creative people and since he made more money at his I let my job go and maintain a very very slowly progressing studio at home. But I can only do studio stuff at night for an hour or so and a bit on the weekends. DH goes to work but he gets to satisfy his creative itch for 8+ hours a day and play with DD for about 2 ... and the entire time she is so happy to have him do whatever she wants so she doesn't give him any boundary testing and he doesn't have to juggle cleaning, cooking and errands while with her.

 

I gave it all some thought and decided to enlist DH in a project. A family garden project. The last two weekends we've been digging posts and doing it all. He's totally enjoying it and I am too ... but he got a taste of what my time is like when I'm trying to accomplish something when hanging out with DH. He got frustrated ... really frustrated when he couldn't finish what he needed to and had to drop his work to play and be awesome so DD didn't interfere with setting a post I was working on. It was educational, to say the least. He got through it and thankfully instead of making it an issue about ME he asked for a little downtime after we got home to reset his brain. Him asking for time alone is unheard of so I think he's starting to come around to needing a recharge after juggling so much. I've also started boycotting dishes on Sunday and he's picking up the slack. 

 

After all this, though, I actually agree with him on not being equipped. He's right. It was blunt and offensive but it isn't like I haven't tried. My parents were mean and selfish people that I decided to stop contact with them after many attempts at having a respectful relationship. The ill-equip isn't for lack of trying, though. After a bit of discussion I figured out that he was thinking more like I was a truck on safari without adequate options for the terrain. I get it now.

 

Thanks for the information. I know I didn't address each comment but it did give me enough to figure out my feelings.

 

<3

 

So glad to hear it! smile.gif  Just wanted to let you know, your posts helped me to reframe my thoughts as well.  First of all, we definitely had a conversation reminiscent of your garden project experience - DS has dropped his nap, and life is crazier.  I mentioned I was stressed due to no break, and DH commented, "Well, I don't get a break either!  I work at the office all day and come home and help out here."  I thought about this a moment, then pointed out, "Yes, but when you are here, you always have me available for help or back-up."  He acknowledged that was true, and I think it helped him get the difference in our respective time with DS.  

 

DH often says he would rather stay home with DS, but on the weekends/evenings he leans on me alot to help get him ready, out the door, etc. and he does get tired or frustrated more easily than I would at times.  I think the way your DH worded it was definitely poor, but I do see differences in DH and I's personalities that make things easier for me to juggle vs. him - differences in our emotional responses.  And hey, the absence of a village just SUCKS!

 

Hopefully you can get more free time (or creative time) to recharge.  That makes a big difference.  And you've given me a firmer foundation to ask for such, on the grounds of it being a legitimate need/serious itch and my own career path (instead of dismissing it as something frivolous, just because it is often enjoyable, and not immediately lucrative).

 

Thanks! 


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