Need advice-husband vs. children - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a mother of 3 - ages 7, 5, and 2 and would like to start homeschooling them this year.

I, unfortunately, am at a crossroads right now with my husband. He is at a major turning point in his life and would like to reduce his weight, fix his health and diet, exercise consistently, be less stressed about work, etc., and he adamantly states that he needs my full support in these endeavors. This means that I need to be by his side everyday whenever he needs me and whatever he needs me for, whether it's to reduce his workload (he is self-employed, so I help him with whatever office work he needs help with on any given day), or exercise, or giving him emotional support and advice.

I have absolutely no problem in helping him in any way he needs, because obviously, he is my husband, and I love him dearly. But he feels that homeschooling will interfere with my ability to help him. He feels that homeschooling is very time-intensive (for me especially, since I am the one who will be their main teacher), and having the kids home all day will interfere with his ability to improve his life with all the things that he would like to change about himself and his work (especially because he can set his own schedule, so there will be days when he will be at home versus at his office).

My question is should I listen to my husband and send my kids to school for at least one more year (although that pains me a lot, because my son, in particular, has had a lot of negative experiences just in the year he's gone), or should I go against my husband and try to homeschool them and hope that things turn out okay in the end? I thought, perhaps, that if I really try to focus on him and get the kids to go along and help me, then maybe I can still succeed at homeschooling as well as helping him.

Do you think I am holding out too much hope by believing that I can do it all (because my husband certainly thinks so - he doesn't believe that I can successfully homeschool the kids as well as help him in the manner he wants me too)? Should I just put my kids in school for one more year so that I can salvage my relationship with my husband and help him?

I just don't know what to do - I feel like I am being pulled in opposite directions, and don't know which way to go.

I would really appreciate any advice. Thanks so much...
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#2 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 06:33 AM
 
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Umm...hrmm. Please take this advice with a grain of salt, because I'm not you and this might be geared more for someone who is more like...me?

My first reaction when reading your post was, "Is helping your husband a full-time job?" Honestly, I really don't see how an adult could need so much "help" getting his health in order when he's not up against serious, debilitating health issues. How are you going to help him exercise? Does he need so much emotional support and advice that it's going to interfere with your daily routine? Office help, ok, to a point. But otherwise... isn't your husband's health his own responsibility?

I do think homeschooling should be a joint decision, but I wouldn't put it off to devote my days to helping my husband lose weight. He can do that on his own. I think his expectation that you're going to dedicate yourself full-time to his health is a little bizarre (which is why I said to take this advice with a grain of salt--I have a feeling your relationship is a bit different than mine!), and not being willing to do that doesn't mean that you love him any less.
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#3 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 11:06 AM
 
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well, let me first say, i fully believe in supporting our spouses. however, what your husband wants isn't really what he needs. in my opinion, he is setting up the situation with unrealistic expectations on you. not to mention, if you *fail*, then he'll also fail (possibly dragging you into the blame). your husband does need support. i agree 100%! but with health and weight loss, he will find the best support is with others on a similar journey. there are so many free forums, blogs, and networks that your husband could join to accomplish this goal, making friends along the way. my cousin just lost over 100 pounds. he blogs about it and has thousands of followers on FB and his blog. there is a "family" of people there. your husband should check it out: www.344pounds.com

in my opinion, *your* role should involve helping to prepare good meals, keep junk out of the house, encourage him with your words, and support him when he works out, etc.

as for homeschooling, well...imho, support in a marriage is give and take, and sometimes we can't all be doing what we want (as one person's dream may require sacrifice from their partner). BUT in your case, i really believe that your family can & should accomplish all that is desired. with some time management, your husband can obtain his goals, and you can still homeschool.

your in a difficult situation, and i'm sorry. i pray your husband comes around to recognize you just shouldn't have to give up everything and do all that he is asking.

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#4 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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My first response was, "This man needs counseling." I understand the need for support while trying to change habits, but what he wants is more than support. He wants you to do the work. Also, he is putting his needs before the needs of the kids. If you think homeschooling is best for the kids, then that needs to be first priority. So, tell him to join weight watchers and if he can't reset his priorities, tell him to see a counselor. Maybe it would help if you saw a counselor to help you figure this all out.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#5 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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Is he expecting you to put the 2 year old in day care too so you can be at his constant beck and call?

I see two things, one he is expecting too much from you. It's just unrealistic to expect you to get him to work out or whatever. Two, sounds like he doesn't have an accurate view of homeschooling either. If he needs to talk to you about whatever, he can. Your every waking moment is not going to be taken up with busy work and classroom lessons in front of a chalk board.
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#6 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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I think that if the idea of giving your husband the kind of "support" he's asking for appeals to you, then great. But if you would rather homeschool your kids than spend your days acting as your husband's personal assistant, then the two of you ought to be able to work together to figure out a way to work toward both of your goals. If your husband is content with asking you to abandon your goals so you can devote yourself exclusively to his goals, this is bigger than the decision to homeschool.
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#7 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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I think your husband sounds wildly demanding. It sounds like he wants a personal secretary trailing him rather than a wife?? I'm not "seeing" what a grown man would need his wife to do all day long that would nix homeschooling.

That said, I'm sure some peopel would say I'm at my dh's beck and call. I'm happy to drop anything to go help him out (also self employed) and I participate with some of the office-work aspect of the business, but the fact is he doesn't even ask me to that often and homeschooling hasn't interfered with it, nor it with homeschooling. I *love* homeschooling because we are super-flexible, and the kids have gotten to come along on business related-stuff that is part of their real world education. They've been there for signings on investment properties and chatted with the lawyers and my oldest wanted to be my "lawyer" when I went in to appeal taxes on one property.

At those young ages, schoolwork takes maximum 3 hours, and that's if we've really got our noses in books, or are pushing hard. The rest of the day we're *free*.

You could easly participate in other things, and support your husband. Because of that I'm thinking that this is just a front for him, a way to get around being honest that he has deeper objections to homeschooling.

I'd say it's time for a heart-to-heart.
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#8 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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I'm a little bit confused by exactly what he wants from you.

I agree with him that it's impossible and impractical to make major life changes without the support of your family, unless perhaps you have a will of steel. A poster above mentioned some ways you can help, that that list was a good one. He needs your help, and it's good that he's aware of that. And it's good that you're aware of that.

But he's a grown adult, and if he wants to exercise more and eat better, the onus is on him to improve his life. You should certainly help him wherever you can: by cooking healthy meals, by buying healthy food, by cheerleading him on his journey, by celebrating when he reaches goals, by (if this is what he wants) nagging him when appropriate. But none of that is a full time job, and I completely fail to see how being his cheerleader is supposed to be a full time job. Are you supposed to actually accompany him to the gym and stand next to his treadmill timing him? Because treadmills have clocks these days.

There is something very strange going on with him. My first thought, I hate to say it, is that he's already decided that he's going to fail and that it will all be your fault. If only YOU had done just a little bit more to help him, he would have succeeded. But the way that he's described the situation, nothing would ever have been enough. That is completely unacceptable. He is an adult, and if he wants to get his life together, that is his responsibility. I agree with the above poster who said that perhaps he should talk to a counselor about what's going on here.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#9 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 12:19 PM
 
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I think I would approach it as needing a lifestyle change for the family. Regular exercise with the kids sets them up for a life without the issues their dad has faced. Modeling good eating habits, tackling how to balance work and life and personal care are all great things for kids to learn. Not to mention that time spent with dad while fixing healthy snacks or going for a walk will provide your kids and your husband with connections that are good for all of them.

While I agree that a spouse should support their significant other in important endeavors, it is important for both to realize that while they can be supportive they cannot 'fix' what ails the other. I would encourage you and your husband to seek outside support for his lifestyle changes as well. Even if it is just friends to meet with and share struggles and accomplishments. It could be a counselor. There will be times that you are too spent to be his total support. You both have kids to raise, you can catch a cold, you can just burn out and need a day for you. He needs to have back up other than you.

Lastly, as someone who has been working toward a healthier lifestyle, I think with any plan you must be prepared to deal with failure. Life happens. Exercise plans get pushed aside, homemade meals get replaced with something quick, someone gets sick or work gets intense for awhile leaving you tired and sleep deprived. Knowing how you will deal with these setbacks are key to long term success. If you can accept them as temporary and not beat yourself up, you can quickly get back to the plan. If instead your husband blames these setbacks on your lack of support or the fact that the kids need your time as well - it just won't ever work. He will always have you to blame and never work on how he deals with his own setbacks.

Good luck with your discussions and decision making. While it must be tremendously stressful for all of you, it also could provide a great opportunity for a wonderful future. Support your husband the way he needs it - help him see he needs other support beyond you. Help him as best you can but don't ever accept responsibility for his struggles.
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#10 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 01:50 PM
 
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I couldn't read all this and not post something. It sounds to me like your husband is asking you to put both yourself and the kids on the back burner so he can accomplish personal goals. His goal of health and weight loss is just that, a personal goal that he has for himself. Your support is important to his efforts but not at the expense of your children.

Constant spousal support is not needed for weight loss. I lost just under 100lbs. over the course of a year with minimal support. At that time I was staying home with two kids, was more than a 1000 miles from our closest family member, had a husband working 12 hour days away from home when he was home, and was doing it all through my husband's deployment and away from home training schedule. All of DH's free time was spent with the kids, not giving me special support in my efforts.

It sounds like your husband already has things pretty easy as far as weight loss goes. He doesn't have to do his workouts with a couple kids in tow and he doesn't even have to make all of his own meals (let alone meals for the kids!). There is no reason for him to need a full time cheerleader. Even if it works what will happens if you are no longer able to provide such constant support? Will he just put the weight back on if he has to manage it himself? If so, what was the point?
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#11 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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Umm...hrmm. Please take this advice with a grain of salt, because I'm not you and this might be geared more for someone who is more like...me?

My first reaction when reading your post was, "Is helping your husband a full-time job?" Honestly, I really don't see how an adult could need so much "help" getting his health in order when he's not up against serious, debilitating health issues. How are you going to help him exercise? Does he need so much emotional support and advice that it's going to interfere with your daily routine? Office help, ok, to a point. But otherwise... isn't your husband's health his own responsibility?

I do think homeschooling should be a joint decision, but I wouldn't put it off to devote my days to helping my husband lose weight. He can do that on his own. I think his expectation that you're going to dedicate yourself full-time to his health is a little bizarre (which is why I said to take this advice with a grain of salt--I have a feeling your relationship is a bit different than mine!), and not being willing to do that doesn't mean that you love him any less.

ITA with this poster!

Consciously mothering 3 girls and 2 boys
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#12 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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Well as a stay at home mom with a husband who is about to be deployed for a year, I think it is unrealistic of him to think he will need you SO MUCH to change his health that you won't even have a few hours a day to homeschool. I fully plan to exercise and lose weight while my husband is gone... and I don't know anyone I trust to use as a babysitter either.

I get his needing help as I am a Food Addict and have a hard time getting started on exercise because it feels so... impossible. I get needing a cheerleader and someone who shares the journey, but I really don't get his need for you to be there every minute. I even understand job stress and needing help if the spouse can help in anyway... but again, it shouldn't become YOUR job instead of his.

I really think that first, you two need to discuss what exactly it is he needs from you. If you are the cook and the shopper, than you can easily control his diet and he can easily give input to make meal planning more simple. Maybe he just needs someone to feed him healthy food so he can't even be tempted to eat, say, chocolate cake and chips. If he needs help with time management and fitting in exercise with the demands of his job then you two can sit down and make a schedule together for him to follow. Maybe he needs help reorganizing his job so it is less stressful, or finding a way to cut back a bit... maybe he needs to be told it is OKAY to do some sort of meditation or get massages or aromatherapy or whatever y'all might think up for stress.

He definitely doesn't need you doing things for him so that he can blame you if/when he fails. He needs to understand that he still needs to do the work and put in the effort... you can only get him so far.

Then, you two need to sit down and talk about homeschooling and what it entails. Especially on time management. I don't HS but from what I understand, it definitely doesn't take as much of the day as PS takes simply beacuse there isn't a class of 20-30 kids to try and teach when they all have different learning styles and abilities. with just three kids, one of whom doesn't need schooling yet, you could probably finish schooling stuff considerably faster and you have the added benefit of doing it at any time of the day or even on weekends... whatever fits your family's schedule.

I definitely agree though that he is putting too much on YOU for HIS health. It is his health and he needs to be responsible for it. You are getting set up to be the scapegoat should he fail and that isn't fair to you at all. Especially if your son has issues with public school, it is time for your husband to take the reins on his health and be more responsible so that his sons needs can also be a family priority.
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#13 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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I would approach this as a great time for a full overhaul of the entire family's lifestlyle. Everyone in the family is due for a change towards what you want your lives to be like: healthy, active, positive, supportive. See if you can help your husband realize what a great learning experience his new lifestyle can be for the kids. You, as their teacher, can show your kids how to choose and prepare healthy meals, your entire family can become more active together, etc. Your kids need to see you and your husband living healthy lifestyles and it will become part of what they crave as well. I would just try to not make this DH vs. The Kids. You are a family, all for one and one for all!

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#14 of 26 Old 08-07-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by shyrose View Post
..... he adamantly states that he needs my full support in these endeavors. This means that I need to be by his side everyday whenever he needs me and whatever he needs me for, whether it's to reduce his workload (he is self-employed, so I help him with whatever office work he needs help with on any given day), or exercise, or giving him emotional support and advice.
So, basically he is demanding to have you all to himself, and for you to put his needs ahead of your children's needs ?

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But he feels that homeschooling will interfere with my ability to help him. He feels that homeschooling is very time-intensive (for me especially, since I am the one who will be their main teacher), and having the kids home all day will interfere with his ability to improve his life with all the things that he would like to change about himself and his work ......
I don't know any nice way to say that his attitude seems to be incredibly self-centered.

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My question is should I listen to my husband and send my kids to school for at least one more year (although that pains me a lot, because my son, in particular, has had a lot of negative experiences just in the year he's gone), or should I go against my husband and try to homeschool them and hope that things turn out okay in the end?
Frankly I think you have bigger issues to deal with that whether or not to homeschool. I would be very, very angry if I was put in this type of "me vs them" situation over unreasonable demands on my time and doting attention, especially when one of the children needed something to change. He is an adult. The children are children, dependent on their parents, and you and your husband are their parents. Turning points in our personal development are great but they don't constitute a life-or-death emergency situation that requires our partner's 100% full time attention. I think it is sad for any parent to put themselves first in a way that means his dependent children may not get what they need.

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Do you think I am holding out too much hope by believing that I can do it all (because my husband certainly thinks so - he doesn't believe that I can successfully homeschool the kids as well as help him in the manner he wants me too)? Should I just put my kids in school for one more year so that I can salvage my relationship with my husband and help him?
I don't see how doing what he wants would salvage anything. Is it bad to the point that it needs salvaging ? Does he have you believing that if you don't do this for him, your relationship with him is done ?

Another thing to consider is this...if he is at home during the day, and is opposed to you homeschooling, would the environment of your home be conducive to homeschooling ? Would he make demands on you that took you away from school time, distract everyone, be overly demanding of your time and energy during the evening, or sabotage your efforts in other ways ?

I think it is very sad that you have been put in a position to feel you must choose between doing what you feel is best for your children and your husband's excessive demands that all of your time and attention should center around him.

DS1 March 2003DS2 Sept 2005,
and 3 , in our happy secular
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#15 of 26 Old 08-08-2010, 01:34 AM
 
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Wow. My husband would never ask me to put him before our children. He WANTS me to hold my children as #1, because he wants his children treated that way.

I think your husband could probably use some counseling; something just doesn't sound right.
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#16 of 26 Old 08-08-2010, 06:50 AM
 
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Um .. wow? I'll just go a great BIG to all of the previous posters. Seriously, he's a big boy, support does not mean he needs you at his right hand 24/7. Therapy would be good. I'd just try telling him that homeschooling the children would be a lot less work than 'supporting' him sounds like it would be... maybe THAT job could be hired out instead

Pagan  lovin'  WOW playing mum to 5 boys in the wonderful land of Oz ... FOR THE HORDE! hehehe
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#17 of 26 Old 08-08-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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I really agree with everyone above, so I am almost hesitate to mention this, but in case it helps....

Your husband may have incorrect expectation of how much time you can give him if you school versus homeschool. I have done both - and in some ways I actually found school to demand as much of my time and other resources as homeschooling.

Example: 7:3-8:30 100% devoted to getting breakfast and kids out the door
8:30-8:45 getting kids to school
8:45 - 2:45 free time! Assuming no one is sick, has an appointment, and there is no school meeting of any sort.
2:45 - 3:00 get kids
3:00-3:30 talk about day, look through bags, etc
3:30-4:30 homework. some have less, some have MORE. unless they are older or independant - you get to oversee this.

In short, you are looking at 3 hours or so of intense devotion to children's activities if you put them in school. With homeschooling, the kids are there more often, but the time devoted can be more relaxed.

Giving your husband the benefit of the doubt - maybe you are overly busy and he does not feel like you have time to be a support person - so he has latched on (erroneously) to homeschooling as the thing you can get rid of to have more time for the relationship? There might be other ways to rejig your scheduels so you have more time for each other.
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#18 of 26 Old 08-08-2010, 12:02 PM
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My first thought, I hate to say it, is that he's already decided that he's going to fail and that it will all be your fault. If only YOU had done just a little bit more to help him, he would have succeeded.
My thoughts, as well.

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I have done both - and in some ways I actually found school to demand as much of my time and other resources as homeschooling.
Yup. Kids aren't actively learning and working the entire six hours they're at school. You could probably have most of their lessons done in less than two hours, total, at home.
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#19 of 26 Old 08-08-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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Oh my goodness. Your dh can do what many people do. Get up an hour earlier, take a walk/run and eat less. You can help by keeping wholesome food in the house and limiting tempting treats. But really, this is his responsibility.

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#20 of 26 Old 08-09-2010, 05:02 AM
 
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IDK, but I have a feeling that the OP's dh is probably running one of those completely time/energy-consuming, overly demanding, round the clock businesses.

In that case, he's probably in desperate need of hiring someone to relieve him of some of the work but for whatever reason- can't or won't. And without that extra help, it's impossible for him to dedicate any time to eating properly or working out. Yet, he believes that if shyrose takes on homeschooling in addition to all that she already does plus assisting him, she'll burn herself right out.

Otherwise, of course, I agree with the others that his request sounds totally absurd, but I really think that there's more to it.

shyrose, am I way off?
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#21 of 26 Old 08-09-2010, 05:11 AM
 
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My first response was, "This man needs counseling." I understand the need for support while trying to change habits, but what he wants is more than support. He wants you to do the work. Also, he is putting his needs before the needs of the kids. If you think homeschooling is best for the kids, then that needs to be first priority. So, tell him to join weight watchers and if he can't reset his priorities, tell him to see a counselor. Maybe it would help if you saw a counselor to help you figure this all out.
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Wow. My husband would never ask me to put him before our children. He WANTS me to hold my children as #1, because he wants his children treated that way.

I think your husband could probably use some counseling; something just doesn't sound right.

:

I was in shock reading your post... I think your dh sounds like he needs to take responsibility of himself....

He is an adult, your children only have you as their guide..... If you feel homeschooling is best, putting them in public school so you can put all your energy into your husband sounds like a really unhealthy cycle to me.

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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#22 of 26 Old 08-09-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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I think your dh is being selfish. Your job is not just to cater to him, but to raise the children too.
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#23 of 26 Old 08-09-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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Just sharing a perspective..

My DH is a SAHD and primary homeschooling parent, but I do schooling with DD (almost 6) also.

I work from home full time as a telecommuter in high tech. I also have many health issues and am dependent on DH for a good many things. I probably am pretty high maintenance because of my issues.

That being said, it's still super duper easy to homeschool.

I honestly think he doesn't have a clue what it will take to homeschool.

Holli
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#24 of 26 Old 08-09-2010, 02:34 PM
 
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It sounds to me like your DH is putting the burden of his lifestyle changes on you AND like he doesn't want you to homeschool and is using this as his excuse.

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#25 of 26 Old 08-09-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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In general, if given a choice between a man and a child or children, the child/ren need me first. They're children and he's an adult!!!

I don't quite understand why your husband needs you "at his side all day long, with whatever he needs you for." That just seems selfish to me. The only way that this POSSIBLY makes sense is if he needs full-time office help with the home business. Doing office work with 3 kids in tow is certainly more difficult than doing office work with no kids around, but being home with one toddler isn't really that much more work than being home with a toddler, a 5yo, and a 7yo.

The main difference between having the older two in school and homeschooling them is that you'll need the 2yo's nap time to focus on intense learning with the older two, rather than using naptime to recharge yourself or get work done (housework or home business.)

But 2yos are so distracting anyway, that it might actually work more smoothly having all 3 home, as the older ones can entertain the 2yo while you get housework done, and the 7yo can watch the 2yo while you learn with the 5yo and the 5yo can watch the 2yo while you learn with the 7yo.

I also know from experience that, if the child's needs aren't being met in school, they still need to be met at home. A full day's worth of parenting gets squished into the times before and after school, plus you need to help kids with homework and spend time talking to teachers about why the child isn't doing well. Homeschooling is easier in these cases!

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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#26 of 26 Old 08-09-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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Shyrose~ I hope you weren't scared off I think most everyone here was taken aback by the demands your husband is putting on you. If roles were reversed, would he drop everything and be at your side if you needed the same kind of support?

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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