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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After some lengthy discussions about the stressed state of our marriage, DH has requested that I pay more attention to him in the evenings. ITA that it would be in all of our best interest if we both put some more effort into our relationship and staying connected. Problem I have is that I can't switch out of house manager (for lack of a better term) mode.

If we're watching TV together...I want/need to be folding laundry. (He would rather that we take turns giving back rubs or cuddle on the couch.) Or at every commercial I want (and trust me...I don't really mean "want"...I mean I feel obligated) to pick up a few toys....write thank you notes....throw in a load of laundry...tidy up the kitchen etc. I am pretty much always in multi-tasking mode until I collapse in bed.


I want to hang out with DH more and be able to relax more but I just feel like my "job" is always right there staring me in the face...taunting me that if I don't do it now I'll have to do it tomorrow when the kids are awake and everything feels 10X harder.

Maybe I could talk to DH about both of us doing a quick sweep of the house right after the kids go to bed so at least the clutter wouldn't be shouting at me while I'm trying to relax and catch up with him.


Does anyone else have this problem of feeling like you are always "on"? How do you leave your job behind when your job is running your home?

Oh and I realize that there are some SAHMs for whom running the house is not part of their role....so I guess this is more directed to SAHMs who are also the homemaker/house manager.


Thanks!

~Erin
 

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I know how you feel. It's like trying not to work when you're at the office. Perhaps you might try going on a "date" away from the house. The change of setting might make it big difference in your being able to focus on him and not on what needs to be done.

Or if you must stay home (maybe you don't have someone you trust to watch the kids), clear the room of anything that you might want to "do." I mean, have one clutter free room that allows you to relax. Have special clothes that you wear only when relaxing and not doing housework (I use my pajamas for the a lot!).

Basically, change something in your physical world to help your mind make the switch. You may have to experiment a little to figure out what to do, but it can be done.
 

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I used to feel that way too!
Until Dh and I decided to go a quick clean up after DD went to sleep for the night.
We were amazed! Including dishes, it only took 15 minutes to pick up the whole place!!
I slept better that night knowing the house was in order and DH was happy that I could just chill out for 5 minutes LOL
 

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Heh, I'm totally reading this one! My DH is always tryin to cuddle up to me and spend time with me and I'm always folding laundry/picking up toys/meal planning/letter writing. He asks me "when do you stop?" I say "Never!" and really I think it is because my workplace is staring me in the face 24/7. At least with a job-job it would only stare at me while I was at the office


Namaste, Tara
 

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I used to have this problem but once I realized that DH would rather spend time with me than have a perfect clean house, I gave myself permission to relax once the basics were done. Before Libby even goes up to bed we put all the toys away so its done before I come back downstairs. I make sure all the leftovers are put away and then I walk out of the kitchen and leave the dishes for tomorrow. Laundry is the one thing I have to fold at night (because Libby likes to help) but as soon as its done its cuddle time. Even if the laundry isn't done at 9pm I am off the clock so to speak when it comes to household chores.

You just need to ask yourself:
"Will the house fall apart if I don't do this last chore?"
If the answer is no then sit down relax and enjoy your DH
 

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One thing that has worked for us is me having as much done before dh comes home. I clean the living room, clean the floors ect and do as much for dinner as I can before he even walks in the door. He helps as much as he can too though. If he's home in time he gives the boys a bath which frees me up to do a million things. He's even been known to eat dinner while giving them a bath so we can do our own thing when the boys are in bed. It was hard for me to turn off the "mommy meter" as I call it, but now I'm so used to doing nothing with dh in the evenings that it would be hard for me to start again lol. I have good friends who have lost their dh and kids when they were young. Every one of them has told me that they wished they'd done less with other things (projects, housework, ect) and more with the person they loved. I try to keep that in the back of my mind. I hope you and your dh find time to snuggle
.
 

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someone posted earlier about giving herself a quitting time just like a regular paid job. When 6:00 rolls around (or whatever) she stops work (mostly) and whatever isn't done gets done the next day - just like a paid job. Would something like that work for you?

Perhaps, in addition to you paying more attention to DH, he could pay more attention to the household tasks to give you both time!
 

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yeah, He's got to come home and switch modes to Dad and husband which means helping out a bit. You are not the slave right? And let him know somehow
that doing dishes and folding laundry etc. is quite sexy to a wife and mother! -Who would have guessed??!
Than you go right ahead and declare quitting time!
 

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I was going to suggest that you make a list of what you need to have done before 5pm in order to relax in the evening, and then work off that list during the day. But then I was just noting how young your kids are. Its going to be really hard for you to get tasks done when you are alone with them, you know? The kids being in bed, and/or him being around to help with them is them is really the easiest time to get these things done. He needs to understand this, and to recognize that it won't last forever. With a baby in the house, it is possible to just put the intensity/intimacy aspect of your marriage on hold for a few months. Also -- working together can be a bonding experience. If he were to sit beside you and fold the laundry with you, for example, he might find that it can intimate in its own way. And it would get done faster too.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lauraess
And let him know somehow
that doing dishes and folding laundry etc. is quite sexy to a wife and mother! -Who would have guessed??!
Than you go right ahead and declare quitting time!
This works for me! DH will procrastinate about mowing the yard unless I keep on him about it. I'll start out with "Gee, the grass is getting long", then "The grass needs mowed", then "The grass REALLY needs mowed
:", then "The yard looks like CRAP!!! but then "I think its really sexy when you mow the grass"....and it gets done


I love the idea of quitting time! I think I'm going to try that.
 

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I don't know if it's the same as 'quitting time' but, I generally don't do any housework when ds is sleeping. I started this from day 1 when everyone told me 'sleep when the baby sleeps, trust us' and I did and thanked them for reminding me.


Naps and after bedtime are for ME. I read, lounge, hang out with dh, write in my journal, whatever. Exceptions might include something quick that will take longer if put off-like if I forgot to get hte leftovers put away, I willd o that rathe rhtan leave them overnight to go bad and attract bugs. Laundry in the washer may et tossed int eh dryer so it doesn't mildew and need to be washed all over again. But the general rule of thumb is that if ds is sleeping, mommy is not 'working'.
 

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I often give my husband a couple things to do while I am nursing the baby. Then we also do a few minutes of cleaning when the baby is in bed. That way we can both relax for a while.

I have definitely found that saying "can you help me clean up" gets me nowhere with him but saying "can you clean the counter and put the dishes away" works very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks so much for all the great advice mamas!


I tried to explain the situation to DH like how would it be if I came into your office and tried to get all romantic with you while you had piles of work on your desk but I could tell by his
: that my suggestion had a very different effect than I intended (probably doesn't help that our relationship started as an office romance).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dharmama
Thanks so much for all the great advice mamas!


I tried to explain the situation to DH like how would it be if I came into your office and tried to get all romantic with you while you had piles of work on your desk but I could tell by his
: that my suggestion had a very different effect than I intended (probably doesn't help that our relationship started as an office romance).

Silly mama
How about:-- he's finishing up this great hot rod that he's redone himself and is about to enter it in show and you come in and need him to Rub your feet.--... I mean you cant suggest 'romantic' because their idea of romantic is different than ours and if you are trully trying to hypothetically trade positions than you would be looking for intimacy of a less direct kind than him, right?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lauraess
Silly mama
How about:-- he's finishing up this great hot rod that he's redone himself and is about to enter it in show and you come in and need him to Rub your feet.--... I mean you cant suggest 'romantic' because their idea of romantic is different than ours and if you are trully trying to hypothetically trade positions than you would be looking for intimacy of a less direct kind than him, right?

: laughup can you tell i think thats funnY??? perfect example for my dh (and a previous BF).

all in all our dear spouses/SO come home from jobs and they can "turn off". BUT they are SPOUSES and FATHERS and they need to turn that on!! i wish dh would WANT to be closer to me, spend time with as I feel like he doesn't love me as he used to (huge thing i will try not to get into). lists seem to help my dh TREMENDOUSLY. it MUST be written....forgettful mind if it doesn't involve car parts
. great idea to have him do xyz before you and me=loving.
 

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I find that I have to "simply" turn it off when DH is around. While this is not easy and could even be annoying sometimes to DH because (like right now) if he's home quite a lot (as he is now because he's out of work) it could seem like I do very little around the house.

This "turning off" was not something that came easily, but after focusing on NOT doing house stuff with DH around I have become quite good at not even allowing myself to SEE the things that need to be done when he's home. Now, during times like that which we're in (he's not working so almost ALWAYS home) I end up doing SOME stuff with him around, but that's generally while he's otherwise engaged.

I also have to give myself permission to devote time to our relationship. While that may seem silly to some, I have found things feel MUCH better between us when I turn off my "eyes" to seeiong the house and just have eyes for DH and DD... MUCH of the time it's not even interaction between the two of us (DH and me) that he needs. I've found that he often needs/wants me to watch him play with DD and he wants/needs to see that THOSE interactions make me happy... so I'll often sit on the couch reading and watching them play and smiling contentedly and he checks for my attention FREQUENTLY and is SO happy to see me happy.... I don't know if other ladies have this experience, but I think it's WONDERFUL because we're bonding as a family during these times AND DH feels like a good husband AND Daddy!

Anyway... it really just boils down to a force of will to let things go... to not obsess about how my house looks all the time and to choose to spend time with DH and DD rather than focus on the STUFF to do.
 

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After we get our boys to bed and the kitchen dishes are cleaned up, I "turn off." No more laundry or chores unless there are special circumstances. I can appreciate how difficult it is to get anything done during the day, though! It helps me to jot down a list in the morning, then work from it all day long. I really get a lot more accomplished this way. It also helps define priorities. If I happen to finish my list (ha!), the next chore I notice doesn't bother me. I can note with pride how much I already DID that day! Whatever chore is starting me in the face will have to wait its turn. My list is a running list usually, so items not crossed off stay on for the next day. I also have a loose plan for my week, so that I know all the cleaning will get done in the week, just not in one day like before! My list is roughly:

Mon - Downstairs floors vac & scrub, clean bathroom
Tues - Change sheets, dust & vac upstairs (all the bedrooms)
Wed - laundry catch-up day (I do laundry all the time, but I try to get more than normal done this day)
Thurs - dust downstairs, weed outside
Fri - water plants, clean off porch and deck

Maybe you could try especially hard one or two days per week to be finished with household stuff, so that you can really relax with your dh. I second the idea of having the area right around you tidy, so that during that day or two per week, you have fewer temptations to multi-task. Our night to always spend time together and relax is Thursday - after we both have really long days because my dh works late that day.
 
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