September 15, 2008,
P.T. asks from Chicago, IL on September 12, 2008
Do Men Prefer a Working Wife or a Stay Home Mom (Wife)?
My husband and I have been married for 11 years and have a 7yr old girl and a 3yr old boy. In June of 2006 I lost my job due to downsizing and have not been working since. I was making great money working for a large corporation. My little guy at that time was about to turn 1 yr old. My dad and grandpa passed away in 2004 so lots of things transpired after they passed. I gave birth to my son (now 3) in 2005. Lost my job in June 2006 while at the same time my husband got injured a few months after I lost my job. His injury was severe (falling down the basement stairs) and resulted in 3 surgeries to his right foot. I decided to stay home and not work (since I was in severence pay for a while) and tend to my injured husband, my 5 yr old daugher at that time and my 1 year old son. Things were good and we had to change to a slightly different life style we were used to since we now only had one income coming in. It wasn't until middle of 2007 that my husband started to bug the heck out of me about finding a job. There was not one day that he would not ask me; he was literally forcing me to get one. I refused because he wasn't helping around the house or with the kids (this had been going on since our first born). He would just get home and play video games and watch tv. Arguments began and he got me to the point of wanting to divorce him because it was way too much to handle. I realized that our relationship began to change, not enough sex, constant arguments, we tried to avoid each other (at least I did most of the time). I noticed he was a bit different towards me. He didn't respect me as much and put me down at times. As I sit and think of all that has happed I wonder if all men are like this. Do men prefer a working type wife? Does being a stay home mom change a relationship at all? Does a husband view one different if women don't bring money in? Is it only my husband? I appreciate any feedback.
So What Happened?™
Thanks so much for the response. I think we're at the point now, as some of you mentioned, were we need to get counseling. The fact that he won't help around the house and with the kids is what brought me to my decision of not working. When working full time, my day will start at 6:00am, iron his clothes the night before, get the kids ready (1 for school-drop her off) the other to grandpa's house and then drive to work. When getting home at 6:00 pm, I would go straight to the kitchen, cook, have dinner, pick-up after, help my girl with her homework, do laundry, clean up the house, etc..next thing you know it's 10:30 and I'm still up trying to finish the cleaning and getting ready for the next morning. If one of the kids woke up in the middle of the night it was me who would get up to tend to him/her. I just think that it's not fair and I gave up. He never listened about my concerns; so I feel that I did what I had to do. I am planning on going back to work once my 3 year old begins pre-k full time. For now, I will enjoy them as much as I can. I have also made up a list of things he has to do around the house and things he as to do with the kids. We'll see how it works out. Thanks all and I will keep you posted.
K.B. answers from Chicago on September 15, 2008
I have been wondering baout the same thing as of late. My situation is different a little bit. Please I know I am no help but if you get any good responses please pass along. Thank you and good luck.
D.F. answers from Chicago on September 13, 2008
It really depends on the guy. Some couples make the agreement of who will stay home for how long. With kids it can be really hard, just make sure you pray and keep live in your heart with God's help. I truly mean this because my husband and I have been through some tough times. And the future is hard to predict. I am a full-time working mom and wife and I told my husband, I have two kids that are 4 and 6. For us to have another child one of us would have stay home for a short time. We both agree the cost of living is way to expensive to have kids without considering cost and who will make the sacrifice. Just make sure you remind your husband that it is the both of you and you have to work together.
Just trust and believe God, it will work out.
All the Best
1 mom found this helpful
J.S. answers from Chicago on September 12, 2008
No. Not all men are like your husband. Sounds to me like you both could use some serious marital counseling as well as individual counseling. I see many issues here - get some help.
1 mom found this helpful
S.S. answers from Chicago on September 13, 2008
I read all of the mom's responses and I also wanted to mention that the answer can lie in different cultures.My husband came here and became a citizen while married two me. He is celebrating his second year of citizenship! I have always worked but we have found that with the economy the way it is I am not finding an additional job and I do not work as much. Which of course affects our finances. But in his culture, you help out your family. His mother has never worked at a job and is not much older than me and quite healthy, and his sisters don't either. They are saints to him, but he has expected me to work. And then he likes to send them money because he feels guilty about not being there and taking care of his family. His brother's wife doesn't work and his other brother's wife did and left him (hence their fear about their wives working). We have batted this issue around a lot. I have a degree and a certificate and haven't gotten a specific job so work as a substitute. He wants me to make him meals all the time and he cooks when possible and he has worked a lot more lately.AND he expects me to work.Frankly it can be exhausting. He defends his mother and sisters for not working. The excuses are no different than what reason I could not have worked, children, home, etc. But here my husband enjoys a different life than the poor one he had when he grew up so that is therein where he needs me to work. Video games are costly for instance! Cellulars ( he never answers it or calls me with it but has to have one ), we have cars, and cable and obviously internet. We make it, but make it better on my income. So not knowing your background you might examine some of the other stuff. You are working so hard as it is. WE women unfortunately will be batted around about this one for years...
J.W. answers from Chicago on September 13, 2008
You say he treats you differently. The big question is: are YOU viewing yourself any differently since you stopped working? I find it interesting that you refer to your husband's role in the housework and parenting as the one who "helps". Right there, you're sending a message that the household duties are primarily your responsibility. Then you're angry with him for not doing his share of those tasks while also harshing on you about not working. Are you making that expectation clear, or sort of hoping he will put 2 and 2 together?
I say this from experience, as my husband and I were in a similar situation last fall. Our daughter was diagnosed with autism (which, incidentally, came directly on the heels of my beloved FIL's sudden death). We decided it would be best if I didn't return to the workforce, as the kiddo needed WAY more one-on-one time than her child care could provide. Oh, I didn't have a big moneymaking job at the time, I was mostly working on contract, but still. I went through a lot of self-esteem issues from not "working", including feeling guilty about not having the home ec type stuff perfectly managed. Once I came to terms with that personally, my husband (mostly) followed suit.
While the loss of even a pathetic income has been brutal, I don't see myself re-entering the workforce anytime soon. The idea of taking care of a special-needs child all day and then working a job for 20 or 30 hours a week makes me want to lie down in the middle of traffic. I know dear hubby ain't happy with it, but he also accepts the reality of our situation. Hopefully you and your husband can discuss your expectations and options, and work through this rough patch.
L.W. answers from Chicago on September 13, 2008
When I got married I worked full time and had ran aerobic dance classes through a church part time. When I got pregnant, I continued doing both and then after my first daughter was born, I took my leave of absence and realized that I just didn't want to leave her with a babysitter...I fell madly in love! My husband wanted me to stay home - to be the traditional wife/mom his mother was. I knew I needed something for myself but didn't want to work full time. My job wouldn't allow me to work part time, so I decided to join Mary Kay and start an at-home business. My husband lost his job, so I went back to work, taught aerobics and did Mary Kay. I was also in charge of everything around the house. He eventually got a job and when my daughter turned a year old I gave my notice. I then got pregnant with my second daughter, I taught aerobics through that pregnancy and continued buildng my customers with MK. Now my kids are 12 and 10 and need me more than ever. My husband pressures me from time to time and we have gotten into arguments about going back to full time work. If I'm gone from 9 to 5 he would be 'in charge' of picking up the kids, getting homework started, running them to basketball practice at making sure dinner is ready and managing all the 'play dates'. I would get home at 6 and told him I would expect to have things in order and he would be doing a WHOLE lot more than he has ever done. He argues that he would love to be able to stay home and have an 'easier life'. Ha! The women I know who work full-time and have active families are not happy people. They are stressed out, feel that life is passing them by, they're unable to have the freedom because when they get home after a long day, they still have to do the laundry, go grocery shopping, figure out what their eating for the next day, make sure the kids have everything they need for school and projects and IF they have time, maybe try to exercise or do something for themselves. When you have a family, moms focus on everyone else BUT themselves. I think its a blessing that you can be home and give your children what they need - whenever they need it. I also feel and underlying pressure to make more money. I laugh with my girlfriends that men are the ones who have it easy. All they have to do is wake up, roll out of bed and hit the road. My husband is in construction and leaves at 5 am and isn't here for the morning rush, the last minute cramming for a test, making lunches, and the 'I love you....you're going to ace the test...just stay positive...see you at 3!" My kids love that I'm always there and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
Now if I could just get him off my back!
J.G. answers from Chicago on September 13, 2008
I think more of the issue is that perhaps your husband could have an injured ego and perhaps displacing his frustration on to you. Have you gone to counseling? My parents went through a similiar issue when I was a kid. I really hope you and your husband are able to work this out.
P.G. answers from Chicago on September 15, 2008
I am 45 and quit my job in May after 21 years. My job was very physical and I worked alot of overtime. Being home is great but at times I feel like a full time maid. I am constantly picking up after everyone. your kids are younger so they keep you challenged, mine are older and do not need me. My husband said how great is was that I was home and how happy he was for me. Until one day when I wanted us to spend a Sunday with my family from out of town. He wanted to go home and lay on the couch, and I had to leave cause we only had the one car. He made a comment to me saying "Well I don't get to sit around everyday watching the View" It was then I realized that he was indeed jealous of my being home. For us it's not the money we have more than enough to get by on. BTW I've never seen one episode of the view. Now he is going to retire early in Feb I started a yoga class and bowl and play bingo I get out. Start going out in the evening. Let him see the job you do is not that easy. And staying home is a full time job. Don't you ever say to yourself wow how did I do all this and work too. If you can stay home and enjoy your kids I wish I could have when mine were younger. Daycare and baby sitters can be a nightmare, there's nothing better than good old MOM.Like I said find time for yourself in the evening he'll start to appreciate you more. Now your just always there
M.P. answers from Chicago on September 12, 2008
My husband stresses about the economy and being the sole breadwinner and our rising property taxes but at the same time values what I do at home with our children. Not once in the
2 1/2 years that I've been a SAHM has he ever implied that it's not important or of utmost importance. Or at least he knows that if he does I'd be really pissed at him.....He doesn't treat me any different as he did before the kids and we always talk about finances as "our" money and our responsibility not just his. I actually take care of all the bills monthly and set up the bills online. I think it's so important to so many SAHMs to be at home that it shouldn't be mocked or taken lightly. I think the good majority of SAHMs are at home because they want the full responsibility of raising their kids on their shoulders, not shared with a day care, nanny, sitter, etc. Not because they just don't want to "work" as so many people think. It is stressful to have your whole family dependent on you financially but it's also hard to take care of everyone by yourself also. If your husband isn't willing to do anything around the house or with the kids then he's the one with the problem, not you. It's really sad that so many men don't value their wives like they should, whether they work outside the home or inside it. I hope that you guys work things out. If you do go back to work, I hope you do by choice and look forward to it.