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<p>First off, I am 30 weeks pregnant.  I'm not saying all of this is irrational but please feel free to say, "Gee, pregnancy hormones may have blown all of this out of proprotion."  </p>
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<p>So, DH (who is a wonderful, caring, sensitive, supportive, agreeable, loving, respectful husband to me) has a birthday next week.  I was trying to order some things online for him for presents and make some hotel and activity reservations.  I am the world's worst internet shopper.  Seriously.  Like, reordering dog food takes me *hours* when it takes him less than 5 minutes.  Anyway, I was having a tough time finding what I wanted and getting anything done.  DH decides to play X-box while he is waiting for me to finish.  </p>
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<p>I ask DH for the address of where we are going for his birthday.  He says to look in his email.  I search his email.  I don't find it.  I ask again.  He nevers stops playing X-box and the whole while I am hearing gun shots and something like "Hill redirected" over and over and over.  I am getting more and more frustrated and thinking, "Seriously?  I'm going to all this trouble and expense and you can't even look up the stupid address?"  </p>
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<p>And then I start thinking about *my* birthday last year where I did all of the cooking, cleaning, and DH ordered me a food dehydrator off of Amazon.  His birthday last year I took him to Chicago for a 48 hour whirlwind museum and restaurant trip and got him the giant tv he plays Xbox on.  This year we are going to go to the Space Museum in Alabama and I have show tickets.  Well, if I could have made a hotel reservation, gotten the museum checkout thingy to cooperate, and found the theater that was the plan.  </p>
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<p>I'm not saying I need him to spend money on me or be as effusive a birthday thrower as I am.  But SERIOUSLY???</p>
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<p>So I slam the computer shut and walk into the kitchen where I realize that the grocery bags from where *I* went to the grocery store along with some of the groceries are still out.  So I slam around and pick up.  (This is not usual for me btw.)  All the while the resentment and frustration keeps growing.</p>
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<p>Then I see the list on the whiteboard of everything that needs to be done by tomorrow.  And I'm feeling all this pressure because I have all of that stuff PLUS work stuff to get done by 2pm tomorrow.  And HE IS STILL PLAYING XBOX.  </p>
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<p>Now, if I said, "DH please call the insurance company from the accident on Thursday."  He would say okay.  And 85% of the time he will eventually do it.  </p>
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<p>Then I start thinking about the fact that it is 5:30pm and if we are going to have dinner I have to figure out what it will be and cook it.  Or I have to say to DH, "I don't feel like thinking about this.  You take it."  And he'll say okay and do it.  But SERIOUSLY I wasn't finished with my pout/snit/crying jag until like 8:40pm and he never once said a word about dinner or made anything.</p>
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<p>So, instead of making dinner I decide to tackle one of the things on the list because maybe that will make me feel better.  But then I'm just ticked that I'm "working" and he is playing Xbox and that if I want something different I have to dictate what that will be.  Anyway, I go upstairs and work on a quilt I'm trying to finish and cry.  And I'm not paying very good attention and sew two extra pieces of fabric onto the project that is almost finished.  So now it is pretty much ruined.  I pick the stitches apart, cry, and think about how every single thing in our lives requires me to say something or do.  Housekeeper- I have to tell her what needs to be done because DH won't.  Groceries- I have to make the list and decide what we are eatting.  Cars- I have to either remind him to take the cars to the shop or do it myself.  House- Picking up the house he is happy to do what I ask him to but seriously things could sit for months/years and he wouldn't take the initiatve.  Yard- I talk to and pay the guy who does it.  Bills- I pay them and make sure we have enough money in our accounts.  EVERY.SINGLE.THING</p>
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<p>And now we are having a child...OMG I cannot imagine how this is going to be.  Sure he'll be happy to change her diaper when I say something.  Or pick her up when I say something.  Or take her on a walk or to the park or buy a birthday present or give a bath...   </p>
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<p>EVERY SINGLE THING REQUIRES MY MANAGEMENT or just doesn't get done.  Calgon take me the f*@k away!!!</p>
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<p>Anyway, I sit and cry for a long time.  He comes upstairs and wants to hug me.  I say something like, "I am not asking for a hug.  I do not want a hug.  Do you want a hug?"  He follows me out of the sewing room and into our bedroom.  I take a shower and cry some more.  I get in bed to sleep because I'm tired.  Finally at 8:40pm I decide I have to go talk to him because he will be going to work soon and I don't want things to be unsolved between us.  </p>
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<p>So I give him the synopsis of what happened and why I am upset.  He apologizes for playing Xbox when I needed the address and empathizes about the quilt.  But not a word on the "everything requires my hand in it" part.  *Finally* at 9:15pm I say, "So, what can I make you for dinner since evidently I am not imagining the fact that I have to think of everything."  I wasn't being nasty.  I was being sincere.  He says, "Oh, what can I make you for dinner?"  And there it is.  This perfect example.  A cheerful, willing partner once I have come up with the idea.  Seriously, I think he would have starved tonight had I not mentioned dinner.    </p>
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<p>And that is how everything goes...and we had this conversation about 6 months or so ago.  Granted, I was pregnant then too.  I know that part of it is that he works nights and sleeps as soon as he gets in which means he is beginning his day as most businesses are closing. </p>
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<p>I know that I have a great life with a good man.  I am fortunate and blessed.  I know on some level that this just isn't that big of a deal...</p>
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<p>BUT I just hate that everything is on my shoulders.  I don't want to be the hyper responsible one all the time.  I want fun birthdays.  I want things picked up.  I want someone else to come up with the items on the to do list and make sure they get done.  I want to not be freaked about having to manage all child stuff 24/7 along with every other thing...</p>
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<p>Sigh.  I'm still mad and teary.  I'm not really problem solving the situation very weel.  Mostly because I don't want to be the one to fix it.  Which probably isn't fair but I have so much else to do...</p>
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<p>So, if this dynamic existed or exists in your relationship how did/do you fix it?  Or do you just make peace with it?  Or is this just pregnancy stuff?  Is this resentment?  If so, how do I fix that?  I hate being out of sync with DH.  I find it just about as upsetting as what happened tonight.  I have to find a way back to harmony with him.  But I'd also like to be able to suggest some ways to solve this..."Dh get your head out of your blah, blah, blah" probably wouldn't be helpful and is about the only thing I can think of that isn't me directing everything...which is the problem!</p>
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<p>Oh, and he doesn't have ADD or ADHD so it isn't some medical issue.  He does have a mother that did/does everything (and I knew that going in).  He is just laid back and not spurred into action it seems except by request.  But he was a bachelor for years and able to have a functional life and apartment.  And he fed himself regularly.  So there is hope!  </p>
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<p>Sorry this is so long and probably way more info than anyone actually needed to give helpful advice...thanks in advance for your time and wisdom!!!</p>
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<p>Jenne</p>
 

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<p>Well, I think there are some pregnancy hormones at work here, as indicated by all the crying. But you have reason to be upset.</p>
<p>In a way, this sounds like a pretty typical man/woman situation. We have it here too. DH makes the money but I manage every single thing in this household and with caring for our son. DH plays with him and does have some papa afternoons when I work (lately once a week but sometimes less). But even then I have to make sure our baby is dressed and changed and the bottle is ready in the fridge and the diaper bag packed before I leave. And I always come back to a poopy diaper. Somehow it's just typical isn't it?</p>
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<p>Have you had an honest talk with him where you tell him how it makes you feel to always be the one to do everything and never have anything done for you? Sometimes DH has to remind me how it makes him feel when I forget to ask how he's doing or how good it would make him feel if every once and awhile I just went up to him and gave him a hug. Honestly, I get so involved in our baby and my other things that I just forget him. It has nothing to do with him or m< feelings for him, I just forget. When I see how it makes him feel (and he tells me), it does help to remind me. He even once put a note over the changing table 'Hug DH every once in awhile' Maybe you could try something like that?</p>
 

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<p>If you're willing to put in a little extra effort/managing/directing for a little while, you might be able to get to a place where you don't have to have your management hat on 24 hours a day. My DH and I were a total mess when we first moved in together. We both thought that we were each doing 100% of the work (or at least well more than half), so we designated chores and responsibilities around the house. Now I know that, for example, I'm responsible for ordering the groceries, putting them away, and making meals. Every time. But I also know that he's in charge of putting food away, cleaning the kitchen, and taking out the garbage. It works because we both know that we're pulling our fair share, and it prevents a whole load of resentment -- there's no, "I have to put the groceries away AGAIN," or "Who's turn is it to do laundry? No, I did it last time!" </p>
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<p>So maybe something like that would help you and your DH? With some people/personalities it's too vague to just say, "You need to do more." It needs to be something like, "You need to cook on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays," and "You do your own laundry now", stuff like that. If you know that he's forgetful, it might be better for you to keep in charge of things like the bills, but if he KNOWS that he has to do the dishes every night, it's not as easy to forget when they're sitting there, filling up the sink. Chores that are in-your-face might be better for him. So this way you have to do the initial management--you have to tell him, explicitly, that from now on he's responsible for all of these things that make up about 50% of the workload, but if he's as willing to do it as you say, you shouldn't have to keep on him much after the initial adjustment period.</p>
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<p>As far as the birthday thing, I wish you were my wife! It sounds like you plan awesome birthday extravaganzas. So why not plan them for yourself? I know it sounds lame, and it doesn't address the fact that you'd have to do all of the management, but hey, there's little in life I like to do more than plan an awesome getaway for myself! Then you don't end up disappointed AND painfully aware of the fact that you're managing it all -- instead you're managing it all but having the time of your life and buying yourself awesome birthday presents. So that one issue I would take out of his hands entirely. Plan your birthday exactly the way you want to.</p>
 

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<p><span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="width:22px;height:15px;"></span></p>
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<p>Well, I think there are some hormones flying.  I noticed in your description what i do a lot.  I call it horribleizing.  I start thinking about one thing, and that leads to me thinking worse and worse and more and more negative until I'm a complete wreck and I don't know how i can go on living.  'Course, I do go on living, and a year later usually look back and wonder why I was sooooooo upset. I have learned that I need to stop at the one issue, and deal with it up front, rather than simmering in it until the pressue builds up and I explode all over my family. </p>
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<p>But I can understand how you're feeling.  Now that there's a little time between that incident and now, do you still feel that *everything* is on your shoulders?  If he's working, that's a pretty big load off your shoulders.  But even so, I know that the minutia of home/life management can seem endless and overwhelming.  And while he may seem clueless to you, even when you were very down about him and your life, you describe a man who is more than willing (and cheerful) to do things that need to be done when they're pointed out to him.  I think clear, frank communication is really going to be important.  He may never think like you, or anticipate needs like you do, but you can say "Hey, I need you to do this, and also this", and that is fine.  I think you do need to accept that you are two seperate, different people, who approach things differently.  He is not you, so if you want things done the way <em>you</em> would do them (birthdays), that is something you need to communicate with him, and not expect him to do without prompting.  One of the mistakes I made early in my marriage was thinking 'If he <em>really</em> loved me, he'd know what I was thinking, and understand all my feelings and feel them himself"  It took me a while to realize that he is not me, and never will be.  We both have strengths and weaknesses, and many differences from each other, and we can either focus on the weaknesses and be miserable, or look at how we balance each other out and help each other with the things that are a struggle for us. </p>
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<p>One thing I wonder, too, is if you are maybe putting way, way too much on your plate.  Stuff that doesn't need to be there, really.  Super-high expectations can be a killer.  But some of us (self included) get a little self-esteem boost when we are in that 'Doing it all' position, even while it's stressing us out and making us unhappy.  I know I feel guilty and lazy when I'm not roaring around getting stuff done and being efficient and managerial, but at the same time I often feel resentful of others in the household that it's *me* doing all the roaring around. </p>
 

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<p>My mother has a similar problem with my dad. He won't take any initiative. She's responsible for everything. If he had a car accident, then he won't call the insurance unless she tells him to, just like you said. He is reasonably agreeable to doing what she tells him - she'll tell him to do the dishes and he'll usually get up and do them. Though longer-term stuff like "please call the insurance company in the morning" is really iffy - he'll do something "now" but if it's later, then it will probably get dropped.</p>
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<p>ANYWAY I don't have a complete response for you, only a small thought. I wanted to write the above so you knew that I do in fact sympathize with your position, and what I'm about to write is not "oh, you just need to chill." At all. But other than sympathy, this is the only interesting thought I came up with.</p>
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<p>Your DH most likely is less stressed about stuff and has fewer expectations. Not so much that he expects you to take care of everything, but his standards are lower. If you didn't take care of something, he'd probably be fine with that. Frustrating, yes, but also understandable. You said that if it were up to him, you guys would have starved instead of eating dinner. I bet he was probably fine, and if it occured to him he was hungry, he probably would have made a sandwich. And if he thought about it, he'd probably just assume you weren't hungry ("she's pregnant, she probably doesn't feel well"). He wouldn't be thinking "what a jerk, she didn't even make dinner." But the point is, he would have been fine if you didn't make dinner.</p>
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<p>He also most likely likes your extravagant birthdays - but he would have been perfectly happy with the equivilent of a dehydrator. So it's hard for him to imagine what you want for your birthday when he's happy with the basics. So he gives you the basics. Sure, if he were more aware he would think "gee, she sure does go all out... maybe birthdays are really important to her and she would like ME to go all out." But it's a rare person who really gets that.</p>
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<p>So my point is, your husband is happy with less. Sincerely. You want more. If he came down in the morning and found the groceries still weren't put away (except for the fridge/freezer ones of course) it wouldn't bother him. He might even get around to it eventually on his own. But not until long after it drives you up the wall. He may not be MAKING you do things, but simply just happy getting to them on his own timetable. I just offer this because it's a little different from him *expecting* you to take care of everything - it's a difference in your expectations.</p>
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<p>Now, I do think that some stuff needs to be addressed no matter how laid back you are. Call the insurance promptly. Put away refrigerated groceries promptly. Acknowledge your wife's birthday, on time. But the rest is not cut in stone, there is no reason why a dehydrator is inherently not acceptable as a birthday present (honestly, in my house that would be going way, way, way out - those things are EXPENSIVE).</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Jenne</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281278/i-need-problem-solving-help-please#post_16067573"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><p>So, if this dynamic existed or exists in your relationship how did/do you fix it?  Or do you just make peace with it?  Or is this just pregnancy stuff?  Is this resentment?  If so, how do I fix that?</p>
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<p>For context, DH and I are in our late 40's, married 24 years, kids are 17 and 21.</p>
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<p>Our household responsibility give and take turned out to be something I only recently learned to handle productively.  It took me a long time to finally convey the problem, because for years DH said that if I'd just let him know what I needed done, he'd be happy to do it.  I finally got through to him when I told him *that* was the problem -- that I had to let him know, every single time, and that he'd wait until I did, and that his lack of initiative was doing a lot of damage.  (And, yeah, it took me decades to realize that!)  Our dinner dynamic became a lot more collaborative once I began to take the approach of doing only what I could.  Days when I was pushing myself to physical or emotional exhaustion, I started paying attention to my limits.  Those are the days I make sure the kids are fed, and even make sure I've grabbed at least something healthy if not prepared a dinner, but have to tell DH that I'm sorry, I've blown my wad and am unable to figure out what to pull together this evening.</p>
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<p>That sounds horrible on re-reading it, so I'd like to stress that we always have canned / frozen / reheatable quick healthy options available.  This isn't me deciding that if I'm pissy on a given day, or if he doesn't toe a line I've delineated, he can go hungry.  But it *is* me realizing that there are circumstances in which I absolutely have to tend myself rather than getting in line behind an adult capable of tending himself -- and, at times, me as well.</p>
 

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<p>Thank you *all* for the wealth and variety of responses!  I sincerely appreciate the time and energy y'all took to help me figure this out!  To respond to some of the points:</p>
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<p>Yes!  What a lovely term!  Horriblizing was exactly what was going on and it is atypical for me.  I can usually stop and promptly address the one thing going on and move on.  Last night was just so different feeling and I was essentially powerless over it.  Which is why I was pretty sure it was hormonal but I also thought there was some substance to it...</p>
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<p>The idea about planning my own birthdays...I'll have to ponder that for awhile.  That is what I tried to do this past year and was explicit with DH about what he needed to do to assist.  And in the moment it was good and just what I wanted.  Maybe the issue isn't my birthday but the extravagance I go to for his birthday.  He would absolutely be content with a new sci-fi novel and some well wishes.  But he is so great and wonderful that I just want to shower him with birthdayness and he is so appreciative because it isn't something he got growing up (he was the middle kid with the December birthday and remembers his older and younger brothers birthday bashes but the overshadowing of Christmas expenses when it was his birthday) and it was/is something in my family of origin to celebrate and was planned months in advance and it was a *deal*.  He and I should definitely talk about this.  Although in regard to Christmas we have been talking recently because we have had similiar issues...hmmmm....yes I can see how our Christmas talks relate directly to birthday as well.  Thank you!!!</p>
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<p>Yes, I am probably putting too much on my own shoulders.  Part of it is feeling like I have to get everything done and together prior to baby girl's appearance when all time and energy will be sucked up by 8 or so pounds of wonder.  On some level I realize life will eventually move on and closets cleaned and work done but if it is already taken care of pre-birth I won't have to worry about it.  YIKES!  That is all true but it isn't really me.  I tend to be more laid back then that...nesting?  hormones?  motherhood related anxiety?</p>
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<p>I am the main bread winner running a company with several contractors doing health care related things (DH works so that we have health insurance ironically!) and the home manager so there isn't ever a time I'm "off".  DH and I have had conversations about the stress I feel with that and how sometimes my not wanting to make a decision about something silly (like what to eat for dinner) is really about not wanting one.more.thing to be in charge of.  So sitting down and talking about a system making sure the essentials get done could be a big help.  </p>
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<p>Thanks for all the validation that this is normal two people living together stuff.  My own parents have a bizarre system of delegation that really works for them but took them 20 years of wrangling and hashing out to come to.  (They each have things they are responsible for paying for and handling...Mom buys all the groceries, plans all menus, and does all the cooking.  Dad pays when they go out to eat unless it is holiday/special occassion related when she pays.  And yes, frequently they write each other checks to pay the other back!  They have everything house wise nailed down like this.  It is overly complex to me but it works for them!)  I guess we just need to work on it again.  And that's okay today...last night it just seemed overwhelming.  It is amazing how much better everything seems in the sunlight!</p>
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<p>Again, thank you all for your help!  I sincerely appreciate it.  </p>
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<p>Jenne </p>
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<p>I'll be back with some thoughts for you.  I've been and still live many days in your shoes.  My husband is your husband's twin.  He truly does need less as a previous poster said and I want more.  You plan for him what you want for yourself and since he doesn't need it, it's not in him to plan it for you.  And that's ok.  Like I said, though, I'll be back with some of the things that we have done (thanks to counseling) that are working for us.  And it does include deciding who is responsible for what chore and the frequency with which it gets done and we now trade off grocery shopping and making dinner.</p>
 

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<p>I just wanted to add some practical things we've done to try to even out the dynamic. We use lots of lists. Cleaning lists (though those don't always get followed). I assigned each category of laundry a day of the week and posted it on the fridge; until very, very recently, I worked two or three nights a week, so if DH came home and saw that the day's category of laundry had not been done, he'd do it. I've also been known to hand him a partially filled out menu for the next ten days and say something like, "See those four blank days? Those are yours to fill in. Cold cereal is not an acceptable meal for the kids. Decide what you want and let me know." (I'm happy to cook it, because I'm much better at it than he is, but I get tired of deciding WHAT to cook when I'm pregnant and nothing sounds good to me anyway!)</p>
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<p>I also have a list on the fridge of what goes in the diaper bag; DH can usually manage to pack it without referring to the list, but it's there if he's feeling forgetful. I used to have to write down the kids' bedtime routine, until he learned it. I realize a lot of this doesn't take the management completely off your plate, but the more I delegate, the less I have to manage. He's actually arranged babysitters a few times over the past year (which he NEVER used to do, he'd leave it to me or we'd stay home, even if it was a work function of his that we were supposed to attend!)</p>
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<p>Anyway, pregnancy definitely makes it harder. But if there are things you truly don't want to be responsible for, tell him. Let him forget to pay a bill or call the insurance or whatever and live with the consequences. It sucks when it impacts your family budget, but sometimes we all need a dose of natural consequences!</p>
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