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#1 of 111 Old 07-13-2005, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Note to mods--I'm putting this in SAHM because the main issue for me is that I don't know if I'll be able to handle everything while at home. Please move if needed! Thank you!

Okay, DH and I have pretty much agreed to start TTC next month (although he's still frightened about this, so it may be pushed back a bit). The idea is that I will work my current full time job until baby is born, then be a SAHM or babysit a kid or two.

The issue I'm not sure about is the amount of housework and child involvement DH is going to have. He has said that he wants housework to be my primary responsibility since I'm going to be home. He'll still do garbage and car stuff and the outdoor stuff, but I'll take over doing the dishes (his job currently), doing his laundry, which he does now, and the vacuuming, which we both do. I already do pretty much everything else.

Since I'll only have the one small child and our older DD (who has chores and is quite helpful), I think this is reasonable. I said if I end up babysitting though, that we may have to renegotiate, and that was fine with him. He also said he wants diapers and nighttime feedings to mostly be me. Well, I knew about the feedings, because I'm going to bf (of course), and I figured that would be the case with the diapers--he has poop phobias, can't even clean a bathroom without gagging. :LOL

All this sounds fine to me. Honestly, I was a single mom with no support at all until DH and I moved in together when DD was 4, so I know what is involved there, and he's an awesome dad with her, so I just kind of figure it will work itself out. With DD, I do most of the driving around and homework and stuff, but whenever I'm not around he just does whatever needs to be done with her. He has no problem with me saying "I'm going out and I'll be back in a few hours" while he's home with DD. I can't see that being a problem with another child either.

Am I being ridiculous thinking I can handle most of the child care and household stuff without getting resentful? To be honest, I'm relying more on my observations of how he is with DD rather than what he is saying. But when I ask "okay, will you be as involved with this kid as you are with DD?" he says of course he will. He just doesn't think he's a very involved dad now, and I think he doesn't give himself enough credit!

Thanks for any advice!
Rebecca

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#2 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 09:30 AM
 
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For me that's too much - childcare alone is a very full time job with a baby. Your older dc may be able to help some but you will still need help around the house unless you have an amazing energy level IMHO. Just my 2c.
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#3 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 09:47 AM
 
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I think you'll need more help from your dh. I think you may be suffering from a case of mommy brain in which you forget what it was like to have a newborn! :LOL Happens to everyone sometimes. My younger dd is now 8 months and I am able to keep the house straightened, clean the bathrooms occasionally, and keep up with the laundry. My dh helps with most of the real cleaning... we do the vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing, etc on weekends together. Our basic view is that his job is to go to work and my job is to take care of the children, not do housework. I happen to get more done around the house simply because I am home more. And I definitely do not consider myself lazy... I think I'm a pretty average sahm.

Good luck in ttc and with your new baby!

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#4 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 10:46 AM
 
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Honestly, the nightime parenting is the biggie I'd question (though the housework deal would be pretty unaceptable in my family too). You and your dh will BOTH work hard during the day and so you BOTH - you included- need your down time. Why does he get to work 8 hours a day but you have to work 24 (or at least 12 - till kids are in bed)? Is it because he (and maybe you too) don't think that your work is hard enough that you should need to be off duty any at night?

BTW, being a single mom of one is different than taking care of three people. And single motherhood is hard enough (do you really not remember? )

I'm a big believer in valuing childcare work. Expecting you to take care of children (which does include cleaning up the messes/dishes ect that you make during the day) WHILE you take care of a house is not valuing this work (it is so easy and unconsequential that you should have lots of time and energy left over to clean and grocery shop and do the laundry etc). IMO, routine chores should still be split 50 50 - afterall, you are working hard during the day just like he is.

Good luck. I wouldn't sign on the dotted line for this one.
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#5 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 11:15 AM
 
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It sounds fairly reasonable to me. I think you'll need to agree to both be willing to renegotiate when the baby actually arrives. You may get a really high needs baby. There will be days when you really need extra help with the routine chores. I think being flexible is key. It is soo easy for me to start feeling resentful when I've got my hands more than full and there's an able bodied adult just sitting on the couch. So I think the key is agreeing to pitch in and do what needs to be done sometimes.
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#6 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 11:21 AM
 
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i do consider most of the house work my responcibility. for one thing if i left it up to dp it would never get done. he procastinates cleaning until it's a monumental task and then he thinks it can't be done. i value the house being picked up and neat all the time so i figure it's my job. also i do a little bit at a time all the time. if things get put away in the first place... (oh, god i've become my mother.)
and because of bfing i do take care of most of the nighttime parenting. dp has a hard time sleeping and it is easier for me to get some extra sleep during the day if i have to. plus i don't really need that much sleep. although dp does take dd if she's up but not nursing so i can get some sleep.
but dp cooks! not every night , but he'll cook up a pot of sauce or roast a chicken on sunday so it's easier for us to throw things together during the week. he does cook probably two nights during the week. he changes diapers (even the surprise poopy ones) and entertains when he's home and on weekends. he takes dd for walks so i can have some alone time.
i was also taught by my SAHM to take down time during the day. naptime is my time and not for house work. park day is just as much for me as for dd. i can read while dd plays on the floor.
and something else that i've been thinking about lately, dp is at work all day so most likely i'll be the one who sees her crawl for the first time, and walk and say her first word. dp hasn't seen dd splashing in the wading pool at the park. i have to remember to value that. it must be hard to see everything second.
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#7 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 11:27 AM
 
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I think you're an adult.

That means you may not be able to control how you feel.
It does mean you're able to control how you act.

I think your husband's request is very reasonable. Everybody works -- you at home and he at his job. Moreover, you'll have the one older DD who will be able to take care of much of the mess she makes herself, so mainly, it's an issue of dealing with an infant. Sounds very do-able to me.

Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccalizzie
Note to mods--I'm putting this in SAHM because the main issue for me is that I don't know if I'll be able to handle everything while at home. Please move if needed! Thank you!

Okay, DH and I have pretty much agreed to start TTC next month (although he's still frightened about this, so it may be pushed back a bit). The idea is that I will work my current full time job until baby is born, then be a SAHM or babysit a kid or two.

The issue I'm not sure about is the amount of housework and child involvement DH is going to have. He has said that he wants housework to be my primary responsibility since I'm going to be home. He'll still do garbage and car stuff and the outdoor stuff, but I'll take over doing the dishes (his job currently), doing his laundry, which he does now, and the vacuuming, which we both do. I already do pretty much everything else.

Since I'll only have the one small child and our older DD (who has chores and is quite helpful), I think this is reasonable. I said if I end up babysitting though, that we may have to renegotiate, and that was fine with him. He also said he wants diapers and nighttime feedings to mostly be me. Well, I knew about the feedings, because I'm going to bf (of course), and I figured that would be the case with the diapers--he has poop phobias, can't even clean a bathroom without gagging. :LOL

All this sounds fine to me. Honestly, I was a single mom with no support at all until DH and I moved in together when DD was 4, so I know what is involved there, and he's an awesome dad with her, so I just kind of figure it will work itself out. With DD, I do most of the driving around and homework and stuff, but whenever I'm not around he just does whatever needs to be done with her. He has no problem with me saying "I'm going out and I'll be back in a few hours" while he's home with DD. I can't see that being a problem with another child either.

Am I being ridiculous thinking I can handle most of the child care and household stuff without getting resentful? To be honest, I'm relying more on my observations of how he is with DD rather than what he is saying. But when I ask "okay, will you be as involved with this kid as you are with DD?" he says of course he will. He just doesn't think he's a very involved dad now, and I think he doesn't give himself enough credit!

Thanks for any advice!
Rebecca
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#8 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 11:35 AM
 
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I dunno. The problem I see is that all of your responsibilities are open ended and revolving -- and all of his are distinct and require a set amount of time. In other words -- none of your jobs will ever be finished because babies never stop pooping and eating and homes are never completely clean, and yet he will have a point in each day where he is "done" and off duty. You may be able find snatches of time through your day to rest -- sometimes. But not predictably or reliably. I think you may be committing not only to too much - but too much of a certain sort of 24 hour a day never-finished chores.

DH and I do better with both of us doing what sits in front of us and needs to be done, and neither of us are "finished" until all the work is reasonably caught up.
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#9 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 11:36 AM
 
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Thinking about this thread and the part about your dh reluctance to TTC. Just want to make sure that the subtext of this isn't "Since it's you who really wants a baby, you're going to have to do all the baby work."

May be that isn't AT ALL what is going on, but wanted to throw that out.

No matter what, you do need to have the ability to renegotiate chores and parenting duties once you know how reasonable the work load is. So no, "this is what we agreed to before we TTC, so this is what we'll stick to." Get that "option to renegotiate" clause in there
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#10 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 11:49 AM
 
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I agree that your plan sounds reasonable. This is pretty much how things are around here and I don't find it to be too much. I am busy most of the time but I rarely feel like I'm over doing it and even more rarely feel resentful (and that's usually over administrative chores like calling credit card companies or something).

When DH is home he is very good about keeping an eye on the kids when I need him too. He understands if the housework isn't in tip top shape especially now that I have a new little one.

I don't really mind housework though, it is like meditation to me and I appreciate clean and orderly spaces.
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#11 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 11:50 AM
 
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I do it all with no problem. When all I had was my dd the house was always clean and stuff always done with time to spare as I sat picking my nose. with each next baby things got more complicated. Of course while i was doing daycare the house was always spotless (but I paid myself for the time i spent cleaning) because that is just how it has to be with daycare. Dh didn't ask me to go to his job site and clean and I didn't expect him to have to clean at mine.

Sh has never changed a diaper, never done a feeding, rarely (2 or 3 times) cooked a meal (and remember my oldest is 8 and a 1/2) and only does laundry when he is absolutely out and then only does his stuff. he used to clean a little but now now. i am also the one who does all the yard work, and am getting more proficient at home repair. And we homeschool Dh works 16 hours or more a day so he gets off the hook but even when he wasn't working that much I was still the one doing everything around the house. he watched TV, went out with his friends and played video games. BUt I don't care. my guess is even if i worked outside the home I would still have to do all this.

the feeding, laundry and regular house keeping are not that big of a deal. its when I got bored and would try to start a project that things got messy. It is when they get old enough for toys and you acumulate to many. that sort of thing.

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#12 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 12:13 PM
 
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I think it's reasonable too. It is the same arrangement we have except I do alot of the summer outside stuff too(my choice and I get really po'd when dh gets in my garden unless it's to pick weeds,lol). However I do not do all the deep cleaning on a weekly basis, but even when we were both working outside the out the only time that got done on a weekly basis was when we lived in a tiny apartment so it only took an hour.lol

I've been a SAHM for 7 years now and the only time the cleaning issue has been a problem is when I don't clean something when DH thinks it should be cleaned. The thing is I swept the floor the other day and my 6yo washed it(when she was out of the room I went over it again,lol). Dh didn't realize that I had swept or washed it. If I clean the outside of the cupboards he doesn't notice. If I wash all the dishes and put them away he still doesn't like it if there is a dish on the counter. He has issues but I remind him that I"m not going to do things when he thinks they should be done and the more he pushes it the more I'm not going to do that. I've gone as far as cleanign but not speaking to him because we had been time warped into the 18th century and i wasn't allowed to speak until my chores were done. He got the hint for quite a while after that one. Okay we both have issues.lol

I understand where dh is coming from, I've been in his mothers house. My house is usually tidy minus the toys. I know it could be cleaner than it is, mostly getting rid of the piles which I do every few weeks.

I do hate cleaning, I'd rather be outside doing the summer work than inside cleaning. I dispise the tub because dh works around oil and I have yet to find a natural cleaner that gets that off. The dishes get done once a day, laundry 2-3 times a week though it may not all get put away(usually the girls clothes), kitchen is swept once a week unless it is really bad though with 3 kids, 3 adults(we have a border, I don't suggest those for extra money they're a real pita), and 2 large dogs it doesn't take much to make it messy again. Vacuuming is done once a week unless it is really bad. The floor gets washed once a month, along with the dusting(that's up with the tub).
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#13 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL, so half of you think I'm insane, and half of you think it's perfectly okay :LOL

I do think a lot of good points have been raised, which is basically what I was asking for. DH has always been a reasonable person, so I do kind of figure that if we end up with a high needs baby, or if I'm doing day care and can't handle it all, that he'll step in. mamawanabe, I completely see your point, but I don't think that's the problem. His ambivalence is mostly about money, he's scared to death that we won't be able to make it on his salary.

I would love to give him at least some of the night time parenting, but I don't see how it would work anyway, since I'm the one who has to feed the kid. We're going to get a co sleeper, so hopefully most of the night stuff will entail picking up the child, latching, and going back to sleep! That's what I often did with DD unless she had a really nasty diaper of course. Again, if we end up with a high needs child, we'll just have to work it out together.

We also have pretty low standards when it comes to calling the house "clean". As long as it's picked up, vacuumed, and dishes are done, we call it clean. I do most of the major cleaning anyway because he does all the "guy jobs" and is as busy as I am working around the house on the weekends. We completely didn't mean to do the traditional gender roles thing, but it just worked out that way.

And of course I have completely forgotten what a newborn is like! Does anyone really remember? We'd quit reproducing if we all remembered every detail, all I remember is not sleeping and how cute she was

Thanks for your thoughts and advice, it's appreciated!

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#14 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF
I do hate cleaning, I'd rather be outside doing the summer work than inside cleaning. I dispise the tub because dh works around oil and I have yet to find a natural cleaner that gets that off.
OT...we get this nasty greasy residue in our shower stall because DH has extremely oily skin. I use Dawn dishwashing detergent on it, and it works great. I know that's not natural at all, but maybe regular natural dish soap?

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#15 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 12:45 PM
 
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I take care of all the domestic duties and childcare. I have never been resentful. It just depends on the person. Sure being a mom is a 24 hour job, but I don't work all day, maybe 5-6 hours total, it's just broken up. where he usually works 10 hour days straight. He gets about 4 hours of freetime a day (a lot less than I get) On the weekends he leaves and goes to the house we bought and works on it in sweltering heat (sometimes as late as midnight) while I get the luxury of doing whatever I like in an airconditioned home. I actually go out of my way to do extras for him to show him how much I appriciate him.

I never make DH care for the baby at night, he works in a semi dangerous job and he needs to be fully rested, I can sleep in until 9 in the morning while he gets up at 5. Besides the baby only wakes up a couple times to eat and be changed, not much DH can do anyway since I'm BFing.

I do get out though, I leave the kids with him and I go run around to get away for awhile.

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#16 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 12:47 PM
 
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We split chores up in this house. Due to food sensitivities, I seem to literally be in the kitchen all day.I cook everything from scratch. I do a lot of housework during the day, but often the house still needs help by the time dp gets home.Since I do the cooking... he does the dishes.(rarely!!)No not rarely ,but not often enough. The housework takes a ton of time to do with a couple of small children around.
As for projects making a mess.... I see the projects as part of the job being a stay at home mom (with the kids etc.) I Cant just do housework all day.... I would go crazy. On the days when I get into a cleaning frenzy I could do chores all day. With two messy little boys I can run around behind them cleaning all day. I know that this stuff needs to be done but it is much more productive when my partner and I tackle it together.The way I see it , we would still have had to come home and do chores "after work" whether we were single or together without kids.
My job is to keep the kids happy and healthy, the home happy and healthy, (meaning not disgusting), and me happy and healthy ( which if Im talking about mentally healthy, that doesnt include "doing it all"). When my partners work day is over, so is mine. Everything else we tackle together.
We'll say it this way.... I don't like cleaning. It was not part of my job description. When I clean, no one is having much fun. I don't want to compromise the family having a good day and a fun time just so that our house appears clean.
As for the nightime routine and diaper situation... I wont even go there... I guess my dp is one of those "new age dads"!! I couldnt have done it all myself. We are a family, and we do it together!!!!!! But that is me.... and everyone is different.
In my opinion, whatever help you feel you need to be sane, is reasonable.I would take on a crapload of stuff for my partner if it ment that he wouldn't lose his mind.

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#17 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 06:32 PM
 
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I think it also depends just what you mean by nighttime parenting. DH comes home from work, cooks dinner, and then takes DS for most of the evening (about two hours or so after dinner) he also takes DS for two hours in the early AM. That means I get a real break in the eves and a little sleep in the morning and makes it totally possible to take the whole night. I also think that it sounds like a fine plan for after the first few weeks, but that you might want to discuss the early weeks seperately or plan to ease into more responsibilities. The first few weeks we hired a house cleaner!

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#18 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 06:42 PM
 
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I think a lot depends on how big your house is, how efficient you are at cleaning, how much of a slob/ or how neat your DH and DD are. Also if you have complications with the delivery that make recovery harder, and/or breastfeeding problems, you could also have trouble shouldering all the housework. Also, if your baby is high needs/ fussy, you would be lucky to get even a fraction of the housework done. Honestly, HE should plan on shouldering all the house work for at *least* two weeks if not a month after the baby is born.

What bothers me more about your post is that he seems to have sort of a bossy attitude and doesn't seem to understand how much hard/ exhausting work being a SAHM is.
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#19 of 111 Old 07-14-2005, 10:59 PM
 
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I say: don't set anything in stone yet! You just never know!

I like doing housework and stuff, but ds is more of a high-needs baby and it's exhausting. I feel like I'm never "done". Sometimes it makes me pretty resentful. DH and I are still working on this!

I think that the overall attitude is more important than anything else. If either of you get overwhelmed and need help with "your" chores than the other person should be able to jump right in without any attitude ("I'm not doing that, that's YOUR job"). Ya know? I think that sets the stage for a workable plan more than anything else. HTH!
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#20 of 111 Old 07-15-2005, 12:01 AM
 
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My older DD was a very easy baby and I thought I was super mom.

My 2nd DD screamed for the several months. She didn't sleep and she couldn't not be sat down -- ever -- even long enough to pee -- without screaming like someone was chopping off her arms.

If you have a baby like my first DD, your plan is great. If you have one like my second, it won't work.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#21 of 111 Old 07-15-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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I think it is great to have a plan to start with. However, just make sure that there is an element of trust added with that. You must know that dh will trust your dedication and work with you if you have taken on too much.

I have told dh that in addition to meeting the daily needs of the children, I will do dishes, normal laundry (not his work clothes), and general tidying. The other stuff, (dusting vaccuming etc.) is a team effort.

Taking care of children requires a lot of time. Often I find I have spent the day doing playdates, cuddling an upset child, and basic feedings and cleanings, only to realize dh has arrived home and the dishes are still undone and laundry is piling up. I try to finish the housework when he comes home, expecting him to "take over" with the kids. He sometimes resents this, and the house becomes chaotic as he takes it out on the kids, and is grouchy and short tempered.

Other days, I make it a goal to have "all" the housework done, only to feel that I have cheated my children.

Ya never win when you are a SAHM.
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#22 of 111 Old 07-15-2005, 10:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaduck
I dunno. The problem I see is that all of your responsibilities are open ended and revolving -- and all of his are distinct and require a set amount of time. In other words -- none of your jobs will ever be finished because babies never stop pooping and eating and homes are never completely clean, and yet he will have a point in each day where he is "done" and off duty. You may be able find snatches of time through your day to rest -- sometimes. But not predictably or reliably. I think you may be committing not only to too much - but too much of a certain sort of 24 hour a day never-finished chores.

Me: Isnt that the summation of the SAHM's problem?? If i was smart enough to know I was committing to this....uh well?

DH and I do better with both of us doing what sits in front of us and needs to be done, and neither of us are "finished" until all the work is reasonably caught up.
Hmmm. WE are just never caught up. He works long hours, Im always making piles, and really, there is no time for him to help much. He comes home, helps me get diner on the table sometimes, eats, gets kids ready for bed and then that's it. Over. Im exhausted at that point.
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#23 of 111 Old 07-15-2005, 11:13 PM
 
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No, I don't think of it as a summation of the sahm's problem. At least not if you and your dp agree that watching kids for 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, and woh for 8 hour a day, forty hours a week, is equally draining, difficult work - thus home/childcare work required AFTER those 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, needs to be split 50 50.
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#24 of 111 Old 07-16-2005, 02:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rebeccalizzie
He also said he wants diapers and nighttime feedings to mostly be me. Well, I knew about the feedings, because I'm going to bf (of course), and I figured that would be the case with the diapers--he has poop phobias, can't even clean a bathroom without gagging.
Can you imagine if a mother, a woh mother, said, "I want a baby, but I have poop phobias and so won't be able to change a single diper."

I don't want to pick on your dh, but no mother, even if she woh 10 hour days, could get away with that.
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#25 of 111 Old 07-16-2005, 12:02 PM
 
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I just don't get one thing - why is he giving up doing dishes and laundry? How does you being home change that? I guess I could see it if your staying home required him taking a second job and wouldn't have the time for it. But, you'll be home with a newborn and taking on stuff he willingly does now? Aren't you supposed to get more help, not less, with a new one?

I agree it sounds a little like a previous poster said - you want the baby, you have to do more work for it. Just having the baby will be a ton of work (harder in my opinion than 90% of any outside the home job) and now you get some stuff he is doing added to that? Why?

Just curious. I hope everything works out for you!

"Home is where the heart is, no matter how the heart lives." - PP&M
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#26 of 111 Old 07-16-2005, 12:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sparkprincess
I say: don't set anything in stone yet! You just never know!
...
I think that the overall attitude is more important than anything else. If either of you get overwhelmed and need help with "your" chores than the other person should be able to jump right in without any attitude ("I'm not doing that, that's YOUR job"). Ya know? I think that sets the stage for a workable plan more than anything else. HTH!

I agree. I saw a situation like this on Dr. Phil (and, no, I can't BELIEVE those words are coming from my fingers :LOL). Thus husband and wife had clearly outlined their duties before the baby was born in a manner much as you've described. Shortly after the child came, the mother began to find it impossible to keep up. She was totally wearing herself out with her 24-hour/day job while her husband was coming home from his 8-or-so-hour day, taking a nap, 'working' (read: playing games) on the computer and then going to bed at a reasonable hour. He wasn't willing to re-negotiate and she was absolutely miserable. As Dr. Phil said, she went into the deal not knowing what it was going to be like. She had no idea how life would be with that baby.

It's so true. What if you have a baby who isn't a fan of sleeping? What if you have a colicky baby? What if you have a baby who loves to sleep and is all smiles all the time and your older dd has a surprisingly difficult time adjusting? What if your older dd adjust just fine and, still, you find yourself becoming resentful that you're keeping up all of the housework for your husband and he gets to just come home and be the playmate (while you're basically the workhorse)?

I'm a single mom now and can tell you that it's QUITE a different feeling than being partnered and responsible for all of the housework. Of course, it depends on your personality - specifically, how much you're willing to let slide off your back. As a single mom, when the dishes pile up in the sink for 3 days, there's nobody to resent because there's noone else in the house who's really capable of helping. When ds' dad was living with us and would let the dishes pile up in the sink for 3 days, you bet I became resentful. He's an adult and not washing his own dishes conveyed a lack of respect.

I just have to be perfectly honest with you here. The fact that your husband is saying already that he wants you to be responsible for all of the nighttime parenting would be setting off major alarm bells with me. Basically, what he's saying is that he wants to only be responsible for about 3 hours of parenting a day and that his sleep is more important than yours. He may not be thinking those thoughts, exactly, but they're certainly in there somewhere. Otherwise, he'd more likely be saying that he knows that you'll be up feeding the baby, but he'll support you in any way he can (getting you water, helping out with diaper changes, etc).

And I agree with mamawanabe about the "poop phobia" thing. Unless my partner had full-on anxiety attacks complete with hyperventilation when confronted with poop, I'd expect him to suck it up. For all the problems ds' dad and I had, he really did belly up to bar with this sort of stuff. He has the most sensitive gag reflex of any person I've ever known and he still managed poopy diapers when I was zonked or just needed a break. It's just part of being a parent.

Good luck. I do think you're wise to be negotiating how things are going to go now and I hope that your partner truly is flexible enough to be open to major renegotiation once the baby is here.
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#27 of 111 Old 07-16-2005, 01:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamawanabe
thus home/childcare work required AFTER those 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, needs to be split 50 50.
I think that is easier said then done.

If a DP's expectation is that the bulk of the cleaning, cooking, laundry and shopping should be done during the 40 hours a week that they aren't home, they could less than helpful and down right snarky about making an effort to help with the parts that are left to do when they get home.

For us, I stayed home to be with the children and I made an effort to do as much of the other stuff as possible, but at times I really couldn't do much of it while caring for the kids. We did it in the evenings and on weekends. I think that it would be foolish to agree to be the maid as part of the "deal" of *getting* to be a SAHM.

So much depends on your baby's temperment -- when I just had 1 easy child, I could pretty much everything. When I had 2 and one was high need, I could do nothing. My DH had to learn to be very flexible and helpful, but the path of getting him there involved a lot of yelling. :

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#28 of 111 Old 07-16-2005, 02:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dragonfly
I just have to be perfectly honest with you here. The fact that your husband is saying already that he wants you to be responsible for all of the nighttime parenting would be setting off major alarm bells with me. Basically, what he's saying is that he wants to only be responsible for about 3 hours of parenting a day and that his sleep is more important than yours. He may not be thinking those thoughts, exactly, but they're certainly in there somewhere. Otherwise, he'd more likely be saying that he knows that you'll be up feeding the baby, but he'll support you in any way he can (getting you water, helping out with diaper changes, etc).

And I agree with mamawanabe about the "poop phobia" thing. Unless my partner had full-on anxiety attacks complete with hyperventilation when confronted with poop, I'd expect him to suck it up. For all the problems ds' dad and I had, he really did belly up to bar with this sort of stuff. He has the most sensitive gag reflex of any person I've ever known and he still managed poopy diapers when I was zonked or just needed a break. It's just part of being a parent.
Yes! I actually agree with everything Dragonfly has said--but especially these parts. It sounds like you are the one wanting this baby and wanting to be a SAHM, so you are willing to give up his role as a full participating parent to get that. I personally think that is a recipe for disaster!

With your husband coming into your previous child's life he may be use to taking the backseat in parenting to you, and thinks he wants to keep it that way to make it easier for himself. I don't think this is a healthy attitude to start out with--and may lead to major problems down the road.

Lest you think I do not understand--my husband has a very high powered career and works many hours above the norm each week. He is gone at the crack of dawn in the morning and home around 8:30 each night (and often has homework on the computer). So I know what it is like to have a a partner who needs to focus his energies elsewhere. But I also would be able to say to him when he walks through the door "help! Change the baby while I take care of X". Or if I am beyond exhausted I can ask him to get up with the kids at night. This is not some part of a negotiation--it is part of being married human beings who work as a loving family unit. Having a parent who thinks they can opt out of parenting duties because they drive to an office each day rather than stay home is putting a line of seperation down the family that could wreak havoc later on.
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#29 of 111 Old 07-16-2005, 04:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
I think you're an adult.

That means you may not be able to control how you feel.
It does mean you're able to control how you act.

I think your husband's request is very reasonable. Everybody works -- you at home and he at his job. Moreover, you'll have the one older DD who will be able to take care of much of the mess she makes herself, so mainly, it's an issue of dealing with an infant. Sounds very do-able to me.

Good luck!
You think it is very reasonable that he ask her to do:
1. virtually all the housework
2.asks her to do all the diaper changing
3. asks her to do all the night time parenting
4. while she cares for a newborn and another child *and* babysits a couple of kids?

Sounds very UN-do-able to me. How long have you been doing this as a stay at home mom? I would find that set up to be very unequal as far as a division of labor between two co-parents.

Also, I don't know if you have any older children, but just because they are older does not mean that they don't need care and interaction. So this would not be a case of only the infant needs care. All children need care and interaction--no matter the age.
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#30 of 111 Old 07-16-2005, 07:08 PM
 
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His ambivalence is mostly about money, he's scared to death that we won't be able to make it on his salary.
Take this time that you are TTC to use as much of your paychecks as possible towards paying down/off any debt you have and creating a savings account(if you don't have one). Once you are pregnant take the rest of your paychecks to buy stuff(clothes, toys, diapers) for the baby, stock up a few months/years on whatever you'll need. Also take your checks and add to your savings account. Make a 2nd savings account and add money to it for presents/vacations/school etc so when you are no longer receiving paychecks you have money socked away for that type of stuff.

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OT...we get this nasty greasy residue in our shower stall because DH has extremely oily skin. I use Dawn dishwashing detergent on it, and it works great. I know that's not natural at all, but maybe regular natural dish soap?
Thanks, I ended up using comet(blech) today. It took me just about 2 hours of elbow grease.

Nighttime duties. I did them unless I sept through and the baby woke dh up, but he'd just bring her to me so i could do it. I'm not sure what happened to dh with diapers though. He changed them with no problems for #1 and #2, but when #3 was around 1 he started having problems and would start gagging and throwing up so I got the rest of those until she trained. Her bms were no different than the other 2, in fact she was bf'd the longest and delayed the most in solids. I just think it's weird that he could shove his arm up a cow to pull a calf but suddenly can't change a poopy diaper.lol If he had the kids and I was gone he would, but that didn't happen often until she was around 2 to 2.5 because she hated dh before that. Dh seems to have a problem with throw up too now. With both situations he's changing the diaper while throwing up into the toilet. he learned to take the kids into the bathroom if he had to change one.


I have a friend who's kids are 11, 7 & 5. Her dh has never changed a diaper(wet or poopy).

Quote:
You think it is very reasonable that he ask her to do:
1. virtually all the housework
2.asks her to do all the diaper changing
3. asks her to do all the night time parenting
4. while she cares for a newborn and another child *and* babysits a couple of kids?

Sounds very UN-do-able to me. How long have you been doing this as a stay at home mom? I would find that set up to be very unequal as far as a division of labor between two co-parents.
You didn't ask me but I feel compelled to answer. This is all do-able. I do all the housework and garden(after kid #2 we stopped putting a garden in the first year of having a newborn), did the diaper changing/night time parenting while caring for a 3.5yo, 12month old and newborn and going for 3mile walks 7 days a week. Before getting pregnant with the youngest I babysat anywhere from 2-5 kids for 3 years. My youngest was/is a high needs baby. She hated dh until she was over 2 and would not go to him for anything. She has many developmental delays including speech which made things harder. She had reflux and could not tolerate any amount of dairy and screamed all the time. I had to sleep sitting up on the recliner until she was 1. At the time I was dealing with my own health issues, lots of pain and numbness and having zero energy. I also opened my own business when my youngest was 1 1/2. Yeah I was exhausted, especially with my health issues and things piled up a few times but we got through out. Now the kids are 3, 4, & 6 and things are different. I know I'm jixing it but my 6yo has been helping out(without complaint!!) so much since school let out.

The way we do things works for our family. I hate it when dh tries to help out, he gets in my way and messes everything up. He harvested my garden one year and I just about had a heart attack.lol

If it works for their family and nobody is getting hurt then there is nothing wrong with their arrangement. I agree with everyone(which I thinka ctually was everyone) who said that you never know what it is going to be like until the baby comes, who knows perhaps her dh will decide to help out or take care of the baby, etc. He may not be a baby person, not all people(especially dads until the baby arrives). he may not know what to do with a baby and that's why he doesn't want the responsibility. It doesn't make him a bad father, it could make him a great father for the baby when it gets older and can be more interactive.
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