How Will Does DH balance Work and Family? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 10-17-2006, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to get some responses and opinions on this delicate topic here.

Just a little background:
I am a SAHM raising our son who is going to be 14 months. I have always wanted to have a big family and I love love kids. My DH works his normal 8-5pm job on weekdays, while I am home with the little one all day. He works in an engineering company but wants to start getting a MBA, because he wants to make more money and his job is getting boring.

I personally don't have ANY problem with DH getting a MBA while working, company will pay for it too.


Here IS my problem though...
Since I am a SAHM, I believe my child is the most important thing in my life of course and I would never ever pay someone else to watch him for me. But I feel like my husband does not feel the same way and doesn't spend enough time with DS now, more like 20% dad, 80% mom...and I am worried. Right now, DS wants MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY, and he even scratches DH's face! (DS is normally not violent). I am worried because during the process of getting the MBA, he is going to be LESS time with his family. And after getting the MBA and getting a higher demanding job, he is going to spend even less time thinking of his family, and more on work.....leading to a workaholic. The reason I am concerned is because my own Dad and DH's dad are both workaholics who don't appreciate their kids as much as a parent should. I just don't want my own DH to turn out that way, I want DH and our kids to have a healthy close relationship up until we are old.

My question is: Am I being unreasonable/reasonable or even paranoid? Also ...how much time does your DH spend with the kids and the family?
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#2 of 15 Old 10-19-2006, 08:08 PM
 
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i don't think you're being unreasonable...but what matters more is what your dh thinks. you haven't mentioned if you've discussed your feelings with him. have you?
i don't think my dh spends enough time with us, and when i say that he gets mad, accusing me of guilt-tripping him. i don't know how else to say it so he doesn't feel guilty...i don't want him to only spend time with us because he feels bad, i want him to want to be with us...
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#3 of 15 Old 10-26-2006, 09:05 PM
 
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i don't think you are being unreasonable. have you talked to him yet about it? our situation is hard because my husband wants to spend a lot of time with our 9 week old daughter but he is at work all day and then for us to make enough for me to be a SAHM he is having to do freelance projects at home. it is tough but we both think it is worth it for me to be able to stay home with our daughter. he tries to spend time with her right when he gets home and in the morning before work and of course on the weekends. i hope things work out.
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#4 of 15 Old 10-27-2006, 12:40 AM
 
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This is a topic close to my heart because I have to work as we are on assistance. I would prefer to be home more with my children as my family is more important to me than any job. I can post more about this topic later when I have mental space to do so, but for now I will leave you with this quote for your DH. It is taken from a dad who writes for Rad Dad, a great zine out of California. "On their death bed, nobody wishes they worked more overtime."

He is missing the most important moments of his own life as well as yours and the children's. If he truly didn't care, then why did he have children? This society places an incredible burden on the men who are fathers. They are expected to be this all providing figure, but because of this expectation they are deprived of their children's lives. It is criminal. Fathers need to take back their time. People need to scale back their expectations of what "necessary" really is. Two SUVs? A 3000 square foot home? Home theater system? All these examples are debt producing and contribute to the cycle of the need to make more and more money. More time away from the home and more time at work. If fathers are deprived of the connection to family, then they are more easily controlled at work. If fathers decided they needed more time at home, this would not benefit their employers, but would certainly benefit their children.

The children need both their parents in their lives. Be they mother and father, mother and mother, or father and father. The child needs nourishing food, safe housing, safe outside play area and healthcare. But, beyond that, the child could care less about stuff. The child needs their parents in their lives. Work is often an excuse to not participate in something the father has been culturally told is not their domain. They don't even want to try, or they are too afraid and don't want to admit it. They are not able to take responsibility for the life they helped to bring into the world, so they hide behind work. They can then say they are being responsible. See, look at all the stuff we can buy for our kid. But, the father is missing from their kid's life. Being there is what is truly necessary.

"To lose the sense of sacredness of the world is a mortal loss. To injure our world by excesses of greed and ingenuity is to endanger our own sacredness."    Ursula K. Le Guin
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#5 of 15 Old 10-27-2006, 04:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Tata View Post
This is a topic close to my heart because I have to work as we are on assistance. I would prefer to be home more with my children as my family is more important to me than any job. I can post more about this topic later when I have mental space to do so, but for now I will leave you with this quote for your DH. It is taken from a dad who writes for Rad Dad, a great zine out of California. "On their death bed, nobody wishes they worked more overtime."

He is missing the most important moments of his own life as well as yours and the children's. If he truly didn't care, then why did he have children? This society places an incredible burden on the men who are fathers. They are expected to be this all providing figure, but because of this expectation they are deprived of their children's lives. It is criminal. Fathers need to take back their time. People need to scale back their expectations of what "necessary" really is. Two SUVs? A 3000 square foot home? Home theater system? All these examples are debt producing and contribute to the cycle of the need to make more and more money. More time away from the home and more time at work. If fathers are deprived of the connection to family, then they are more easily controlled at work. If fathers decided they needed more time at home, this would not benefit their employers, but would certainly benefit their children.

The children need both their parents in their lives. Be they mother and father, mother and mother, or father and father. The child needs nourishing food, safe housing, safe outside play area and healthcare. But, beyond that, the child could care less about stuff. The child needs their parents in their lives. Work is often an excuse to not participate in something the father has been culturally told is not their domain. They don't even want to try, or they are too afraid and don't want to admit it. They are not able to take responsibility for the life they helped to bring into the world, so they hide behind work. They can then say they are being responsible. See, look at all the stuff we can buy for our kid. But, the father is missing from their kid's life. Being there is what is truly necessary.
Well said, some folks really need to think about what really matters in their life and what they might be missing out on.
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#6 of 15 Old 10-30-2006, 12:52 AM
 
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I am also a SAHM and have been for 12 years. When we first got together my hubby was a house painter. After loosing his job he decided he wanted to be a truck driver. So he went to trucking school. We had a really rough time of it. So he came off the road and was head of maintience for a condo comlpex. He decided after a year that trucking was in his blood. So with our support he went back to trucking. When he drove a truck the last time we all lived for the fact that he was on the road. Now here at home we live an ecery day life and incorporate him when he is here. It works out alot better for us. We've now been doing it for almost 4 years.
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#7 of 15 Old 10-30-2006, 11:06 AM
 
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My DH runs his own business and I am a SAHM. DH leaves- well today at 6:30am and gets home usually by 6pm. Sometimes it drives me nuts that he's gone so much. However we've set up routines that help DH have more connection with DS. He plays with James immediately when he gets home, we try to always eat dinner at 6:30 and even though J still nurses to sleep DH reads to him while he's nursing. Lately J has been getting interested in the story and stopping to snuggle with papa and look at the pictures. On weekends we do things together. This means basically I rarely schedule things on weekends unless it's a family activity.
All that being said though, Dh really didn't get super involved until J was about a year old. It's taken him a while. And I've had to really work on stepping back so they can have moments together. I don't know if it's the case with your Dh, but my Dh is terrified of not being able to comfort Ds. He doesn't get the "trial by fire" that us SAHM's get, and for a while was just giving up and calling in mom. Gradually he's getting more confident.

Oh- gotta go ds is up- don't know if my comments are helpful. Best wishes, it can be so hard to find a balance.

Mama to James 4-05 and Leland 7-07, and feeling so privileged to be growing kiddo #3 due in September!
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#8 of 15 Old 10-30-2006, 03:08 PM
 
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Well, when our family is FINALLY joined by a baby, the plan is for me to continue working outside the home full-time and for DH to be a SAHD. He's currently a house-husband (with some freelance and other projects, but we have decided together that whether he works or not is FINE with me; my job, which I enjoy, more than pays for our extremely modest lifestyle). I will be taking as much leave as possible after the birth (3 months at least), and will be breastfeeding exclusively for 6mos to 1yr (depending on the baby's development and medical status as she grows), so the job is absolutely secondary. Still, DH will actually be more involved in the children's lives than I will be, as the logical result of my 40hr work weeks. And that is how it goes. DH is no less important of a parent than I am, and has no less right to be a stay-at-home-parent, though the BF'ing logistics are certainly more complicated this way.

I grew up in the more traditional daddy-works, mom-stays-at-home household. However, Dad never worked more than 40hrs (with rare exceptions) and when money got tight, Mom took in children to watch (home daycare) so that she could continue to raise us full-time and homeschool us while at the same time increasing the family's income. Also, when we kids were old enough to earn money, she would sometimes borrow a lot of what we made, though she wrote it down and always got it paid back to us eventually.

I still remember her sending us out the door on the weekends, admonishing Dad, "Go spend time with your kids." We often went kite-flying or swimming or to the playground or bike riding with Dad. He made an effort to spend interactive time with us, and Mom made an effort to support that, and I will always be grateful to both of them for putting our family first.

Has your DH heard the song Cat's in the Cradle?

I absolutely agree that it's a tragedy that some families are trading time together for SUV's and home theater systems. It's especially tragic considering that there are many families that struggle to make ends meet and to spend time with each other without the fancy lifestyle, who don't have a choice.
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#9 of 15 Old 10-31-2006, 01:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by wsgrl84 View Post
I want to get some responses and opinions on this delicate topic here.

Just a little background:
I am a SAHM raising our son who is going to be 14 months. I have always wanted to have a big family and I love love kids. My DH works his normal 8-5pm job on weekdays, while I am home with the little one all day. He works in an engineering company but wants to start getting a MBA, because he wants to make more money and his job is getting boring.
I personally don't have ANY problem with DH getting a MBA while working, company will pay for it too. Here IS my problem though...Since I am a SAHM, I believe my child is the most important thing in my life of course and I would never ever pay someone else to watch him for me. But I feel like my husband does not feel the same way and doesn't spend enough time with DS now, more like 20% dad, 80% mom...and I am worried. Right now, DS wants MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY, and he even scratches DH's face! (DS is normally not violent). I am worried because during the process of getting the MBA, he is going to be LESS time with his family. And after getting the MBA and getting a higher demanding job, he is going to spend even less time thinking of his family, and more on work.....leading to a workaholic. The reason I am concerned is because my own Dad and DH's dad are both workaholics who don't appreciate their kids as much as a parent should. I just don't want my own DH to turn out that way, I want DH and our kids to have a healthy close relationship up until we are old.
My inital response, coming from a mom of 3 soon to be 4, who's Dh has been in school since 99 (BS, MSW, now law school) I would never stand in the way of his dreams because I do not want to be the reason that one day he looks back on his life and says "OH, I wish I would have done XXX" I truely belive he loves me and his family and anything he does to better himself or fullfill his dreams is FOR US too. Does that make sense? In addition, I would NEVER want to be the breadwinner, too much pressure for me. So if going to law school means he will be happy as an atty and bring in the $$ we need - I support him, In our family, that is his job, mine is to be at home right now.

But I will also say that we talk a lot about each others needs and from Sat Pm to Sun PM are FAMILY time, no work/school allowed. He also either cleans up the dishes at night or gives baths and reads with ODD (on the nights he is home) and gets up in the AM with ODD and gets her off to school each AM so I can sleep in with the little ones. We agreed on this together. He is also as helpful as he can be when he is home, but the brunt of the house/kid stuff falls on me.

Quote:
My question is: Am I being unreasonable/reasonable or even paranoid? Also ...how much time does your DH spend with the kids and the family?
No, you're not being unreasonable, you need to talk about it with him, decide together. The unknown is always scarier then the known. Your concerns are valid.

As far as time, it varies weekly, some weeks he is home every night, some weeks it's only 3 nights.

Oh and as far as your dc only wanting mommy - my 3 yo is my velcro baby - never leaves my side if she can help it, whereas ds prefers daddy, that's a stage and a preference, which may have very little to with Dh's daily involvement. HTH
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#10 of 15 Old 01-03-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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This is a topic close to my heart because I have to work as we are on assistance. I would prefer to be home more with my children as my family is more important to me than any job. I can post more about this topic later when I have mental space to do so, but for now I will leave you with this quote for your DH. It is taken from a dad who writes for Rad Dad, a great zine out of California. "On their death bed, nobody wishes they worked more overtime."

He is missing the most important moments of his own life as well as yours and the children's. If he truly didn't care, then why did he have children? This society places an incredible burden on the men who are fathers. They are expected to be this all providing figure, but because of this expectation they are deprived of their children's lives. It is criminal. Fathers need to take back their time. People need to scale back their expectations of what "necessary" really is. Two SUVs? A 3000 square foot home? Home theater system? All these examples are debt producing and contribute to the cycle of the need to make more and more money. More time away from the home and more time at work. If fathers are deprived of the connection to family, then they are more easily controlled at work. If fathers decided they needed more time at home, this would not benefit their employers, but would certainly benefit their children.

The children need both their parents in their lives. Be they mother and father, mother and mother, or father and father. The child needs nourishing food, safe housing, safe outside play area and healthcare. But, beyond that, the child could care less about stuff. The child needs their parents in their lives. Work is often an excuse to not participate in something the father has been culturally told is not their domain. They don't even want to try, or they are too afraid and don't want to admit it. They are not able to take responsibility for the life they helped to bring into the world, so they hide behind work. They can then say they are being responsible. See, look at all the stuff we can buy for our kid. But, the father is missing from their kid's life. Being there is what is truly necessary.
Wow that was great! Ok, so how do we keep our dh's from feeling overwhelmed w/ family and school when he is trying his hardest to keep family first?
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#11 of 15 Old 01-03-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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augustgirl69 I agree with you, My DH does work a lot but one of his dreams have come true, to put a restaurant and he has it now he spends a lot of time in it, I'm not going to ruin his dream, he spends from 7:10am to 4:20 or 4:30pm and then again from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.
So he's not a lot of time at home, but we go with him that's nice he takes DD from to 6 to 9 with him, and he takes care of her i don't know how he does it but he does and he does an excellent job, in the weekends we go, all the family and on Sunday he closes. My DD is most of time "Daddy,Daddy,Daddy" and she spends more time with me but it's ok lol

I don' think you're being unreasonable, I felt exactly them same way, talk to him
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#12 of 15 Old 01-03-2007, 05:43 PM
 
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My dh is also an engineer. (he is a project manager with a PE license) He leaves for work at 7am and gets home around 530pm. He works Mon-Fri. Currently, his professional goals are on hold. He is waiting until dd is older and wants less individual attention from him. DD is now 14 months old. I am currently a SAHM, but will work 4 hours twice a week starting in a few weeks. This will be in the very late evening, when dd is getting ready for bed and dh is home.

When dh is home on the week nights, the time is devoted to the family. Period. It is very rare that he does anything for himself. Sometimes a friend of his comes over, but the friend watches a movie with ALL of us.

On weekends, most of the time he spends with us. If he isn't with us, he is doing something for the good of the family. (repairing the house or cars, etc) He occassionally goes shooting with a friend, but never leaves for more than 2 hours at a time.

In the future, I think he may spend more time away from us. But right now, he has a strong desire to spend as much time with our daughter as possible. He understands that she will someday not want the hugs and kisses or want to bathe with him anymore. He is really enjoying watching her grow.
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#13 of 15 Old 02-23-2007, 03:47 PM
 
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I'd kill to have a 20% / 80% ratio. Right now it's about 10% / 90%. Somedays when I was in college, I'd leave home before DS woke up, and get back after DS was in bed. That was... depressing.

I spend what time I can with them. Usually five minues after I get home, I have both kids on me, and I'm stuck there for an hour, until I have to bed time away to make dinner so they don't starve.

I'd say I balance it about as well as can be expected, given the hours I work. My son probably disagrees.
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#14 of 15 Old 02-23-2007, 06:45 PM
 
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For myself, I head to work at 7:25am and get home at 6:20pm. But almost all of the time at home then is spent with my DS. My DW is a WAHM and so she has shifts on weekends and I fly solo. It works out well and I get a lot of time with DS.

I don't think the OP is being unreasonable, but the advice to talk to him seems to be the most sound. It's important to convey what you're feeling. The result of not doing so can create a whole host of unpleasant resent issue.
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#15 of 15 Old 02-24-2007, 03:16 PM
 
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He is wanting to do what he feels is going to be best for the family in the long run. The same way that women are expected to be nurturers, men are expected to be providers. His whole life, he has been raised with these expectations. You have to understand, this is how men show their love & concern. They do not do it directly like we do; they're not wired that way. Surely you've read about how the reason men don't seem to like to talk is because they communicate only to share information, right? This is analogous to that. They show their love by working to provide things for you.

My husband is the same way, always has been. He loves his daughters, but he wants me to be able to be a SAHM--I cannot be right now, but we both want to get back to it--and so he's working his tail off to try to provide for us, to get back to a level where I can SAH again. The net effect of this is that he isn't home a whole hell of a lot on the days he works. He's literally working 15-hour days right now, more than he did in when he was in the Navy (for the most part). It's not great for the kids, especially since I'm working full-time too, but we guard his days off quite jealously so we get some time together. (And this is to just make ends meet; we're not getting ahead!)

By all means, express your reservations to your husband, but try to understand where he's coming from too. He is doing what he feels compelled to do out of love for you and your child.

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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