My DH is very helpful in and around the house and a good dad, but still frustrations seem to build up. He is very tired, needs naps in the weekend to make it through the day (dispite being healthy, he has a office job so durning the week he sit a lot and thinks in the weekend he is more active then he is used to) he finds it tough to be with both kids (5 and 1) alone, which makes it harder for me to run out by myself, the kids and I are so into a routine durning the week that the weekends with DH seem chaotic dispite trying to stay into somewhat of a routine. I feel like both of us are relieved the weekend is over, which makes me sad, it's never the way I imagined my marriage with young children would be like. I resent my DH a bit for finding our familly to much to handle ( I'm mean I do it 24/7 and yes it's hard work, but not impossible or not enjoyable) I make it sound now that he is hopeless and not happy being a dad, but that's not the case, I think he is just feeling overwhelmed. I hoped the years with young kids would be the most happy as it is something I've always wanted to do and I do enjoy my kids more then words could discribed, but feel like I'm loosing my partner along the way. Getting closer to forming a team with the kids instead of us and the kids. Like it said I'm just pointing out the bad now, its not that my marriage is on the cliffs, but different then I hoped dispite me trying very hard.
I was wondering the other night if being a SAHP would be harder on a marriage. It's nice to have work around the home done and dinner ready after work, but I feel it did maybe made our lives more different then before we had kids. People who both come home after a day at work have more sameness teaming up against the work and kids. For us it also doesn't help that we have no familly anywhere close and with a nursing 1 year old who is very shy of other people we don't get much alone time. I guess if your child would be in daycare that would be easier for them to get dropped of so you can go on a date.
Wondering what others think?
Hi DutchAnna, sorry you are feeling so frustrated and disappointed! This sort of issue has been discussed here before: when dad seems out of sync with family life and mom feels overworked and abandoned. So don't worry that it's just you.
Childrearing years do end eventually and you and your husband will be friends and lovers as before if you can pull through. A lot of what you are describing is just natural for the stage of life, I think.
You are both tired, but going out to work in order to be the same sort of tired as your husband is just swapping burdens, to me, but if you want to work and feel it would be best for you and your kids, then that may be an improvement.
I don't think you can expect your husband to fall into your routine or even to have much of a household routine when he is home. Why don't you make a different routine, Routine B, that you follow on weekends, snow days, and school breaks, where the time frames are general and people have more individual freedom.
If you husband decides to sleep through his Afternoon section of the routine, you can let that up to him. Best case, he really needs the sleep; worst case, he's "hiding" from family life, and that's pretty poor, but maybe he'll change his thinking once the kids are in a different stage, or once he starts feeling left out!
If you're doing most of the parenting due to this situation, make things as easy on yourself as you can. Start by letting your husband steer his own ship. You have enough to do :)
I know what you are saying, I felt the same way ; we were in entirely different and unhappy orbits for years. However, looking back on it, we built a strong family & marriage bond that we are enjoying more recently.
Marriage is work of all kinds, if you can manage each situation as a team with flexible styles you will come through difficulties. Focus on getting the results you want and let everyone do what they can. People grow and change over time, you may not view this situation as terribly important in the future, knowing it's a phase, and you and your husband can develop new ways of being a couple. Hang in there :)
I definitely understand how you feel!
When my husband and I were in college and had first a toddler and then a toddler and a baby, I was the main parent and a large portion of that was because my non-school job was home and kids and nursing, my husband's non-school job was a literal job. (we both did work to help start our farm however he was and still is the "main" farmer so that was there also.
We did have daycare for our girls but I think they both have a pretty naturally outgoing personality. If you want to try and find a regular or semi-regular sitter, definitely start with a mom's helper type situation at first but make it clear to the sitter and to your kids and yourself that while the sitter is there, the kids are essentially theirs. you're home only during the trial first few. Sometimes, even with daycare, I had to sneak out once my daughter was distracted with other things going on. sounds terrible, but in most situations, even when they do realize you're gone, they're usually so busy with all the new stuff they don't mind much.
Since college however, the last 3 1/2 years or so, my husband has become the primary parent in addition to the main farmer while I worked part time or full time or two jobs to make sure our bills are covered (mostly) while we get our farm up to the point of supporting us. I still do more of the house cleaning chores (not that we do more than the very basics like laundry, don't let me fool you!) and up until the last year a good portion of the cooking and shopping. One of the hardest things my husband has had to learn to remember as the parent is that there needs to be a lunchtime other than the snacks I make available as much as I can.
The result in this switch is that my husband had developed his own set of routines and rules with the children that I have a hard time adapting to. The girls often tire me out and I have a hard time maintaining discipline and getting them to listen to me. part of that is my lack of parenting skills for our girls at this age because i didn't learn with them like my husband did and part is that they are used to Papa instead of Mama.
Having lived both sides and watched as my husband adapted much faster to being the primary parent because he asked for and insisted on my help and being frustrated because I never got that much help from him because I never asked, I do have some advice.
Ask him to make a part of his routine being the primary parent for the kiddos. Whether it's he puts kids to bed every night or he is the main parent all of saturday or for the mornings on weekends it doesn't matter. Whatever you and your husband find works for the two of you. It'll take a while for that to become the norm and during your transition to whatever new routine, I'd suggest you disappear and become much less accessible to the kiddos. Go to town or hide in your craft room or whatever or even say in some form "Sorry, Dad is in charge right now, go ask him". Kids will eventually learn that at certain times of day or on certain days, Dad is THE parent.
Parenting is a 24/7/365 job but there is no reason why you can't work with your husband so that you get a break and time off also. It will lower your resentment towards your husband/kids/etc and make you more sane. That's why we only have a 5-day work week, right?
Wish you all the best!
It does get easier. I remember those stages very well. It seemed like, because my husband was at work all day, he sometimes forgot how to "be with kids". My day was also very free-flow and his work day was very structured. So he'd come home to this free time and not be sure how to "entertain" himself or the kids. I'll admit, those early years were tough and I did most of the work. I was just blunt, but kind, when I needed his help. He wasn't NOT willing to help, he just didn't always know how. So I would have to say directly "Please watch the kids so I can run out to the store or jump in the shower." I might suggest things he could do with them, but really, he's an functional, autonomous adult... he can figure it out! :) As they got older, he got better at it- wrestling with them, going to the park, etc. I was always unsympathetic about partner fatigue, though. I mean, I was tired, too. Unless we were going to tag team a nap, I just wasn't nice enough to be tolerant of my husband napping unless he was sick, had a late meeting, etc. I guess I'm just mean like that!
Now they are older and my husband and I have things we like to do together and we mostly support the kids in their endeavors. We can also go out sometimes for a drink and things just aren't so hectic and exhausting like they were before. Older kids have their own unique challenges, but it's not the same as when they are younger. We have a strong marriage and have been married for 15 years.
I did go back to work. Now, the kids were older but it was TOUGH. I HATED it and quit after 6 months. Being a SAHP is much better, IMHO. I was always exhausted when I worked. Like REAL exhausted. Not "drink a cup of coffee and put Sesame street on for the kids" exhausted. Husband did do a lot around the house and he had lots of fun with the kids, but I was always sick, always tired and it put a strain on our marriage because I really couldn't keep up. I was still the main person in the house, dealing with discipline and keeping things cleanish. He helped, but- and this is my issue completely- I wanted it cleaner.
Sorry I can't offer any real advice, but I do totally know where you're coming from. I felt a disconnect for a while but it didn't last forever. :)