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Husband Thinks I Don't Contribute Enough Financially

Does anyone else have a husband who thinks you don't contribute enough financially? And if so, how do you deal with it? My husband knew from the very beginning I would never put a child in daycare full-time. So when we had a baby, I quit my full-time job and found a part time job where I work 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 4 days a week. I contribute $900 a month, which goes towards nearly half the mortgage, and all of daycare for our one child. (God forbid if I was a stay-at-home mom and contributed $0.00.) On top of that, I do most of the caretaking for our little one.. bathing, cooking, cleaning, dressing, etc. I am criticized at least once a week for not carrying what he considers to be my part of the "financial weight". It is a constant sore spot in our marriage. We'd both love to have a second baby, but we can't even have a rational conversation about it without it escalating into a horrible fight about finances. And me being condescended to. I'd like to know if anyone else has had this problem, and how you've dealt with it. Thanks so much.
Addition: I forgot to mention in my original post that he does pay for everything else we need - health insurance, food, bills, gas, utils, etc. He just complains about the financial burden being mostly on him. And complains that he does all the yard work, handy-man stuff, etc. He is very tit-for-tat. I guess I need to start keeping a list of every single thing I ever do. Also, we *are* living from paycheck to paycheck. We don't live an extravagant lifestyle by any means. I just wish he would accept the fact that this is what it takes to have a family, and I will never make the same as he does.. that he needs to suck it up. I garantee you my dad never said to my mom: "You're not contributing enough financially." He won't even open his mind to looking for a better-paying job, or moving close to my parents so my mom could do the daycare. Just has tunnel vision and thinks the problem is all me, and my refusal to work full-time. He should have married someone else if he wanted 50-50 financially. Sorry.. now I'm starting to go off.. anyhow, thanks for all of the advice, sincerely!

What can I do next?

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I would contact a therapist NOW. Wait before you have another child (at least in my opinion). Sounds like you have a good reason to be frustrated, but I would try and resolve it before things get worse. Sometimes a neutral party can help with this type of situation.

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Would you BOTH really "love" to have a 2nd child!? There is NO way I'd do that with him. Sounds like it would make matters a million times worse.I would seriously reconsider that.

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List all the things you do at home and add up the cost of hiring them done. Perhaps make some actual inquiries of cost of child care, housekeeping, taxi service, etc. I also suggest counseling. You go even if he won't go. Condescending indicates a greater problem than being concerned about finances. Sounds like he discounts "women's work."

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Hmm, I'd like to get $225 extra a week ($900/month). Sorry but your husband is an a*shole. You sound like you contribute a LOT. Working, paying half the mortgage and all the daycare, on top of stuff it sounds like he doesn't even do. All the caretaking, etc. When I got out of the Marines I was pregnant and when I had my daughter he said something to the effect of your hubs comment one day. Lucky my daughter was sleeping in the other room, I let him have it. I did all the cleaning, laundry, dishes, taking care of the baby. I think he changed 3 diapers in the months he was in her life. Meanwhile he goes to work, where I KNOW they do nothing but goof off most days, which I know because I worked for their unit for several months during a busy time of year (and they still did nothing most days). Personally, I stopped cleaning and told him he should hire a maid if my cleaning is not considered a "financial" contribution (financially free with me). Dishes piled up, laundry piled up... he finally got the picture. HE cleaned up everything that day and shut the hell up about my "financial contribution". That was the one and only time. It's not my fault I didn't get paid for being a stay at home mom. Ugh, some men. Cry when you make more than them and cry when you don't make what they think is enough.

Go to marriage counseling, tell him that financial arguments like that are the number one cause of divorce. I could never live with someone who condescended me. Plus as Hazel said, childcare eats up a lot. I go to college full time on the gi bill and if I got a job, daycare would take my whole paycheck so there'd be no point unless I made over $20/hour.

Addition: You know, it is stressful to live like that. My parents do. They moved from SC, sold 2 houses (1 was a rental they had) paid off ALL their debt, moved to UT and my mom ordered new credit cards that they had just paid off and ran their debt back up. Now they live month to month, should my dad be furious? yes, totally. Is he? yeah. Does he complain to her and blame it on her? no, because he knows that isn't going to help their marriage. They sit down and do a budget and figure out what goes to what and if he gets mad he will step out of the room for a little while and calm down (99% of the time, he's not perfect by any means lol). Even with the stress of financial hardships you have to know how to communicate and it sounds like your husband does not know how to communicate at all about his frustrations. It seriously sounds like you need marriage counseling or he needs to go to personal counseling or a communications class. Sounds like maybe you need to save up and spend the extra money to go to a communication marriage/couples seminar. This is a very serious situation that if he keeps beating you in the head with money money money and doesn't see the value you are to the family, it could likely break up the marriage or your child could grow up thinking it's okay to condescend to people. It honestly sounds like the whole problem is your husband. If he can't see that he is nagging and degrading you as a human being than it may break up the marriage or at least make the marriage very hard to keep.

It does NOT matter WHO pays what because when you are married you shouldn't be keeping tab that is NOT marriage, that is a business partnership or a roommate situation NOT a loving marriage. The money, know matter WHO makes it, is OURS not mine or yours. That is what creates failed marriages, is that selfish it's mine/it's yours mindset.

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Look up the costs in your area for a cook, maid, etc and price that and ADD that to your bring-home! Cause if you were not there, who'd be doing that stuff?? *L*

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You ARE contributing.
In money and in 'labor' caring for your and HIS child.
You are not 'paid' for doing Mommy duty/labor.
You are saving him money.... and he does not have to pay for childcare. Because YOU are paying for it, too.

Your Husband, has to grow up.
Sorry.
His attitude about it, is immature and childish.
He has a child. What is HE doing for his child... on a DAILY basis????? Does he help in the house and with baby? Does he buy his child clothing/soap/toothbrushes/diapers/food/shoes/toothpaste/shampoo/socks/jackets, etc.?????

Having a child, is not only about who puts in more money.. .it is about, PUTTING IN labor and DOING child related care, for your child.

A person puts in, financially, what is proportionate to their income. It is not 50-50. It is proportionate to what their income is.

And, what about your own expenses? I bet he does not even help you? What about hair cuts? Doctor co-pays? Your personal items???
He is treating you like a 'room-mate.' Not a Wife.

AND HE IS NOT BEING A 'DAD.' Because, his contributions to his child, are, not even. YOU are doing it. All. And working too.
He is NOT contributing.

How is he caring about you? And his child?
It is not only money.

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Your husband is a jerk. Sorry, did I actually write that?? Yes I did.

Sit down and do some real research. List everything you do for your family and find out how much it costs for someone ELSE to do it. Then present his highness with a bill. Tell him that you expect him to pay you for it and then you'll deposit said payment into the bank.

If THAT doesn't work, make him go to counseling with you. Your husband needs a wake up call before you two split up.

I really mean it.
D.

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I'm so sorry that your husband doesn't value what you do. I've had to deal with this in some of my husband's more neanderthal moments, and it has only come up when $$ are tight and he's stressed, and therefore perhaps not thinking. When it has come up, I've started by taking a deep breath and counting backwards from 100 by sevens in my head so that I don't tear his head off with my bare hands. Then once I have calmed down (since people don't really hear what you say when you're shouting) I remind him of a few truths -

1. He knew when he married me that I was in a career field where my top earnings would be about $40,000 a year. My staying home to raise our two children produces a larger cost saving than that annually. And if I go back to work now (if I can even find work in my field at 44 with 10 years out of the job market) I won't be earning at the top of my field. Getting back to those number would take 3-5 years. Worth it?
2. Part of the deal when we had kids was that I would not allow my babies to be raised by strangers. So, what part of his schedule was he going to change (he works long, irregular hours, partly by choice since he is a coach) so that I could go back to work?
3. Which did he want to do, pay a maid service or pick up the toilet brush? Right now I do the bulk of the housework (sometimes not too thoroughly, I'll admit), the yard work, the shopping, the food prep and clean-up, the child care, and the scheduling and management of lessons, doctors' appointments, etc. If I go back to work, he needs to step up at home, and not just by cherry-picking the household jobs he likes.
4. Right now I am homeschooling one, at my husband's request, because she did not do well in the public schools here. This year at home she has shone! Does he really want her to have to go back into a disastrous (for her - not slamming public school, ours just didn't work for her) situation, or would he prefer to pony up for private school tuition?

Equal contribution adds up to more than money.

Please, for your own and for your family's sake, do NOT have another child with this man until you have resolved this.

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Any time there are recurrent arguments about one subject, you need to get to what is really driving it. It may take a neutral third party (counselor or coach) to help the two of you get out of the pattern of this argument and get to the bottom of it.

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Every couple has at least one issue that is recurring in their marriage and can't seem to be worked out between the two of you. If this issue is causing you huge conflict and keeping you from being able to move forward with other decisions (ie- having a second child), I would really recommend counseling. Personally, I think all couples should have some sort of counseling at various times in their marriage.

Good luck!

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Perhaps he is feeling a lot of pressure being the primary breadwinner. He may worry about how you will survive if he loses his job or is injured or even dies. I would try to discuss whether these are real issues. Do you guys have a financial plan for these eventualities? Disability and/or life insurance, etc? Perhaps setting up a plan will help. Also when you say he knew you would never put a child in daycare FT, did you actually discuss this? Or was it an assumption that you believe he knew how you felt. If it was not openly discussed, you probably owe it to each other to discuss your working FT with an open mind. Perhaps on different schedules if you feel strongly about FT daycare (maybe one of you work weekends/evening so the other can watch the baby when not working).

I am a bit confused by all the comments about how it 'costs' women money to work. It seems that all the single moms on this site work and don't feel that it would be better for them to stay home because child care and a maid would cost more than it's worth. On the other hand, we all assume that a woman who is married can't possibly provide enough $$ to make her working make sense. Because it is the man's job to work and support not just a child/children but another adult? It seems we all have open minds about women who decide they would like to SAH, but not about men who decide that they don't want to be the only one financially responsible for 3+ lives. Doesn't seem fair to me.

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Every time you cook or go to the grocery store or buy clothes, etc., make a note of how much you have saved in your family finances by doing things the way you've done them. Present it to your husband, and show that even when you don't bring in the paycheck he does, you are still contributing to your family finances by being wise with the money your family earns.

Honestly, though, it's about as absurd as telling a SAHM that she doesn't work because she is home with the kids. We all bring something different to the table, you know?

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We had the opposite problem. I was nervous that I wasn't contributing enough, especially since I'm staying home AND I'm the only one w/ student loans.

We sat down and had a talk about everything I do...laundry, cooking, cleaning, the time I spend finding deals or coupons or just planning our grocery trips efficiently.

In the end, we were both very clear that maybe I'm not getting a paycheck but everything I accomplish in a day more than makes up for the conveniences we might substitute if I was not at home - like pre-packaged food, or spending more on our grocery bill because I'm not able to price check, or just going to the bank during the day which gives us more time in the evening to get other things done.

I'm sincerely sorry your partner isn't seeing these benefits right now. I hope he will soon. A paycheck is NOT the only means of financial contribution, by any stretch of the imagination.

As for another baby, I can say our second was actually quite a bit harder on our finances than our first. We were caught off guard by that so I'd say it's a great thing that you guys are including finances in the discussion.

Good luck. Money is a very hard topic for so many people.

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We must be married to the same man, except I'm a SAHM to three kids since my 2nd child was born (she's now 8 1/2). I don't "contribute" enough because I'm not "working." Trust me, buddy, I work I just don't get a paycheck with my name on it to validate my work.

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When my children were toddlers, I was working full time. After paying daycare and gas to drive to work (with a carpool) I realized I was earning the same amount of money as our daycare provider.

When we had our Income taxes prepared, we asked if my income was putting us into a higher tax bracket. After a bit of figuring we learned that my income pushed us into a higher Income Tax Bracket. After doing the math, we both decided I couldn't afford to work!

I'm wishing you the best!
A.

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Wow, he WAS aware you were going to go to part time, what has changed? Are you guys super tight on your monthly expenses?

When did he start making these comments? Right away? What does he think the solution should be? If it is you going back to full time, does he realize it will cost you money?

Definitely, do NOT have another child until this is solved. Maybe save as much as possible so you can show you can save money. But if you have 2 children will you stay home full time? Or will you continue to work part time.

These are tough times right now. My husband is more stressed than I have ever seen him. He is not happy at his job, it is very stressful because he is trying to run a dept with less than half of the employees and find cuts to meet a smaller budget. He wants to find another job, but it is virtually impossible.

I do special events and it is feast or famine. We are watching every dollar.

Maybe your husband is totally freaking out about how to support all of you AND save money. Men are wired to be breadwinners, when they feel like it is out of their control, they freak out. Find a way to speak with him ALONE, so the 2 of you can have a full and complete conversation about this.

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Why do you think your husband would love to have another baby when he is so dissatisfied with the current situation? I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt and think that money is tight and he is just stressed out and dealing with it innapropriately. Have you talked to him about your feeling and listened to what his worries are? I think often when people are upset or stressed about something it comes out in very wrong, rude ways. You are doing what you can and putting your child first. I stay at home with my son and my husband loves it. He would never pull that B.S. with me.

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I would contact a therapist NOW. Wait before you have another child (at least in my opinion). Sounds like you have a good reason to be frustrated, but I would try and resolve it before things get worse. Sometimes a neutral party can help with this type of situation.

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I hate to break it to you, but you aren't doing your child any favors. Your child is already used to these people and I guarantee you, they can't tell time when young. By 1pm it's time to put them down for a nap. Does it really matter if they are napping at home or at daycare? When they get up they have a snack, play a little longer, maybe go outside or have a learning time. Then it's time to go. 8-1pm is more than half a day. In fact, you obviously are very lucky to find a provider willing to charge such a good rate. Most providers would consider the schedule you just gave us a full-time schedule and charge accordingly. I would be earning 520 per month for what you are working. That wouldn't leave much out of what you are making now. But I wouldn't charge any more for a longer day. So paying 520 for one child for full-time hours would leave the additional money you would make working full-time in your pocket.

You could start a daycare of your own if you are so sure that daycare is harmful. Maybe you could do a better job than what you believe the rest of us are doing. I don't know anything about the laws in Montana. But it would be very easy in most any state to replace this income watching 1 or 2 full-time children.

Being a stay at home mom is nice. But it's not a right. It's a privilege.

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The way your husband has handled this isn't great, that's for sure.

But I don't understand all the replies about getting quotes for housekeeping, personal chefs, etc.

I have always worked full-time, and do all of that other "mom" stuff. And we have two kids that I still manage to spend plenty of time with. Room mom, field trips, etc. I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm bragging, I am by no means "Super Mom"...it's just that we've never had another choice. We wanted to live a certain lifestyle, and provide our kids with the lifestyle we both had growing up - everything we needed and a good bit of what we wanted. And I have always been aggravated by people who feel sorry for me because I have to work. I enjoy my job, and I enjoy the fulfillment I get from it.

My advice to you is this: settle this before you have any more kids. Another child will only make this bad situation worse.

Find out where he's coming from. It sounds like he responds to seeing it all written out, like my husband. Write down what you do, and show him what will have to change with you working full-time. Does he like to have a meal hot and ready when he gets home from work? He may have to change to helping you out when you BOTH get home. There are many things my husband had to change when we had kids, and he didn't necessarily like them at first. But now we enjoy cooking together at the end of the day.

Talk to him, present him with where YOU are coming from and ask him to show you where HE is coming from. Try to do it at a time when neither of you are tired (HA!) and will be able to talk to each other calmly. That's a lot easier said than done, I know, but it IS manageable!

Best of luck to you. I hope you can get this sorted out where both of you are happy.

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You don't say if you are struggling financially (not that that would make it OK).
If he's complaining because you guys aren't making ends meet, it's one issue, but if you are, it much much worse. You sound like not only are you having to cover the "cost" of something regarding your child, but you're also doing most of the care for your child. It doesn't sound like you are a shop-a-holic credit card abuser off buying cool baby stuff every day instead of working (and even if you didn't have a paid job, you'd still be working).

This sounds like his life philosophy, sort of even steven, 50/50, you're not earning as much dough so you're slacking attitude that he must have been raised with. It's very old fashioned for men to want to be the providers with the understanding that the wife is invaluable at home. There are still men like this, but lots are not. Women's lib did it's job in that respect.

Telling him he'd have to hire a nanny at $40,000 JUST for your kid duties and a maid on top of that for chores and an accountant on top of that if you do household administrative stuff if you weren't there would give him an accurate illustration, but it probably won't change his flawed gut belief that you should be earning as much as him even if you're doing more at home. It's really really sad. I hope you get some good advice here.

My husband actually has that tendency way down buried deep (thanks to his MIL who is always commenting how I should work-and she's never worked a day in her life and I worked full time for 15 years before "taking a break" to have kids), but I've kept it a bay forcefully. He travels most of the year so it's technically impossible for me to work and earn as much as the daycare would be, and also I do EVERYTHING 24/7, 8 months a year from kid stuff, to shoveling, to mowing, to bills, to master shoe string budgeting, ALL HOUSEHOLD EVERYTHING and more.

Once in a blue moon he'll make the comment, "well if you had a salary" and I'm like, "OK, let's examine that thinking. I have a list of about 30 daily around the clock responsibilities while you have one: travel and let your salary keep a roof over our heads from afar. If I now have to add 'salary' to MY list of standing obligations, that puts us PRETTY unbalanced, so you'll have to quit your job, come home, get a local job, split everything else with me, and we can both juggle jobs and kids and home stuff equally." And then he shuts up.
It could be much worse, but I just wish he was one of those rare guys with the provider "mentality" who didn't keep having to be REMINDED it's OK that he's the bread winner and I'm still WORKING HARD.

Graph out everything you do. Graph out everything he does. Try to explain that while you are imbalanced in earning, you are not imbalanced in work load and see if you can come up with something better or show him an alternative where he SPLITS caring for your child more if you worked more if that's even possible.Try to make him realize this is already fair and he shouldn't be hassling you. But it's hard to change the heart of an adult.

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List all the things you do at home and add up the cost of hiring them done. Perhaps make some actual inquiries of cost of child care, housekeeping, taxi service, etc. I also suggest counseling. You go even if he won't go. Condescending indicates a greater problem than being concerned about finances. Sounds like he discounts "women's work."

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I am a full time mom of a 20 month old and newborn. Both my husband and I wanted it that way...he has never said anything about me not "contributing financially" so I don't have any advice on that. On the other hand with me being at home, I have alot of time to work on our finances. What I did was a few simple things to help cut down on our expenses.
1. Refinanced our mortgage (savings $250/month)
2. Refinanced my car (savings 200/month)
3. Looked for interest free credit cards on our remaning balances of our high interest cards.
4. Paid off our credit cards (savings 300+/month)
5. Clipping coupons.
6. Checked into cheaper electric companies, phone/cable/internet companies, insurance and pool service (savings 200+/month).

Making a few simple changes might help the way your husbands sees you contributing. My plan at least has lightened the financial burden some.

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Sorry but I think your hubby is an a-hole. Not cool at all to have that attitude. I have the exact same opinion as you do. I am NOT having kids just to put them in day care. I work 3 days a week from 8:30 to 4:30. Job is 1/2 hr away so it is 8 to 5 child care. This costs us $100 per day, aka $15k a year. Since I only work part time that is a BIG chunk of my pay going to that. I would absolutely LOVE to stay home and not work and hubby and I are working on that so by one year from now I can. (I'm on maternity leave right now till Sept). Best solution is try and have a real financial sit-down and get to the bottom of it. If you can't get this done yourselves, get someone in on this that you both trust and respect. Someone with good financial sense.
FYI we would be ALOT better off financially if I worked full time, and we are REALLY REALLY short on money *understatement!* but my hubby totally understands where I am coming from on raising our kids rather than working full time and he is willing to work with this. He loves how much I do with the kids and how well they are doing. He is so proud of them and truly admires me for a super important job I am doing of being a mom. Please address this before you have another child. It will get worse if you don't!!

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If you are living frugally and within your means, then yes, counseling is a good place to start. It might be that he's hung up on the numbers and not what they mean. For example, a full time job also requires full time child care, which usually charges more (especially if you look at quality of life as part of your family's objective picture). He might be hung up on what you used to make, and be forgetting that this will be eaten up by childcare costs as well as a loss of the conveniences he's come to expect ( more relaxed dinnertime, having you doing housework and keeping up with those household chores that don't just 'do themselves' ha ha) ; even increasing your hours might cause you to 'break even' in the same way that part time work does.

Are either of you wanting more material expenses? More vacations, more 'toys' for the grownups (vehicles, tvs, etc.) ? That might also stress him out.

That said, I think your $900 contribution is significant and being well-applied. Hopefully a counselor can help you learn how to talk respectfully and calmly to each other about this issue. If my husband condescended to me about 'how little' I make,I'd be righteously PO'ed too. My job ends in 4 more days, and my husband keeps telling me he *can't wait* until it's finished. Go figure.

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are things tight financially? if yes then i think he is stressed & feeling the burden of being the main provider.

so he new you didn't want to put your child in daycare full time but if the finances have changed (for the worse) since having a child then again i can see how he could be stressed about money.

a lot of times people don't know about the financial burdens of having children, so when you *agreed* not to put your child in daycare full time he may have not known the ramifications of *agreeing* with you.

i say try to be as compromising on this subject as possible. maybe you can agree to cut expenses somewhere. and flat out ask him what he wants from you. and let him know that it's 'cheaper to keep her', so he needs to be fair too.

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My first thought was "what a jerk!" He KNEW your position on day care before you had the baby...what did he expect!?

My second thought was "he's probably stressed about a financial something...is there more to the story?"

With those two thoughts "on the table," my next big question is, can you two rationally sit down and discuss the finances from the point of view of cutting costs? Take a good hard look at your budget and see where cuts can be made. For example...

1. Do you have both cable and Netflix streamed to your tv via Wii or Playstation? There's so much good stuff on Netflix for $10/month, do you really need $60/month in cable, too?

2. Could you switch to store brand items at the grocery store, rather than name brand?

3. Do you need so many "extras" at the grocery store...soda, candy, chips, alcohol, cookies?

4. Are you using your cars/gasoline as efficiently as you can...running errands 1-3 times a week, instead of every day?

5. Do you eat out more than you should? Can you find a similar item to make at home? For example, pizza is my family's first choice of "mom not cooking" food. But, at $20+ a pop that got costly. So, new we buy frozen pizza. It's not quite so yummy, but my kids gobble it up anyway...and I don't have to cook for $10 less a week.

It may sound silly, but even small cuts add up after a while. Perhaps this would take some of the financial pressure your husband seems to be feeling down a notch or two?

My third thought was to have you sit down and "run the numbers" on what it would cost the family for you to work full time, when you factor in day care, clothing, gasoline and all the things you wouldn't be able to keep up on at home. I've been a full-time working mom for the last 17 years, and I can emphatically tell you there's a huge trade off for working those extra 20 hours a week. Would your husband be willing to step up at home and help you "cover" all the things you do now in your at-home hours? Housework, child care, time off work for school and/or extra-curricular activities, like sports or dance or music lessons? If he's not in to that, then he better appreciate what you contribute a whole lot more.

For the last ten years, I've been the primary wage earner in my family. It used to really bug my husband that (maybe) the world saw him as a less than great provider for our family. And I admit there are times when I feel like I'm working really hard so he can "take it easy." When I feel this way, I take some time (I teach so it's usually school breaks) to do "day in the life of daddy." I just tag along and see what he does. This man IS NOT taking it easy! Being underemployed and working three jobs to meet his financial obligations PLUS being really involved with the family is far harder than my full time teaching position! For us, the trick was appreciating all both of us contribute to our successful family, both monetary and non-monetary. Instead of whining to each other, when we start feeling the financial stress, we sit down and say, "Babe, I'm feeling financially stressed. We need to make some adjustments so I'm not so crabby about this." After 20.5 years of marriage, this is a verbal cue to shut up, listen up and act NOW.

I know this doesn't quite address exactly what you're after, but it might provide a point of view with reversed positions. However, until you work this out DO NOT have another child...even if you want one because 2 babies is a whole lot more expensive than 1. And don't fool yourself into thinking the end of day care, formula and diapers will make everything ok. The expenses are just different.

Good luck.

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He's a super jerk!!!
Get on the phone and start calling cleaning services, laundries, day care, or find out how much a full-time maid or nanny would cost you. I am sure the amount will astound him. I remember when I got my divorce in 1980, my attorney explained to me that the household stuff I did on a daily basis would have cost my ex $20,000-$30,000/yr in 1980 dollars if I had died and he had to replace me with help. Tell hubby if he thinks you don't contribute then he can pay someone to do what you do on a daily basis, then show him the numbers.
See you are contributing, you work for free.

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Is he responding to something else? I doubt that you would have picked a jerk to marry. It really sounds like he is stressed about something. Does he know how much you appreciate him and how he provides for the family? Does he feel respected? Or is he being told by someone else (perhaps in his family or at work) that he is not doing enough? Whenever he criticizes you, is it during an argument and he knows that is a painful dagger? (We all know what gets our spouse.)

Each time he says that to you, just calmly ask what is really bugging him. Is he stressed about having a family and not being financially independent? Who is when they have a young family? Just reassure him that you are happy and that is more important than having things.

Or is he stressed at work and feeling underpaid? Tell him how much you appreciate him having a job that he doesn't enjoy but is willing to do what it takes to pay the bills.

I'm sure you get the point. Just find out what is bugging him and then be his number one cheerleader. Don't let his comment hurt you. Just try and figure out what the real issue is.

Don't argue about finances (or anything). It takes two to fight. Don't be the second one. Just change the subject if it starts getting heated. Don't bring up a second baby if it is going to start an argument, no matter how much you want to talk about it. Instead work on building your relationship right now. Build up your man. He needs to know that he is everything to you - your knight in shining armor. Become the person that he can't wait to come home to. Money will less of a sore spot when your marriage is exciting and fun again.

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Would you BOTH really "love" to have a 2nd child!? There is NO way I'd do that with him. Sounds like it would make matters a million times worse.I would seriously reconsider that.

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I didn't read the replies, so apologies if this is a repeat.

On the surface, he sounds like a jerk, but I think most husbands have a financial freak out every once in awhile. Especially when income levels go down significantly.

Do you know where all the money goes? Do you or he or both carry a lot of credit card debt. Do you have a budget? How are your finances structured? Do you have one household account or hold separate bank accounts? Do you have an Emergency Fund account? Do you each get an allowance to spend money how you see fit or are you scraping from paycheck to paycheck? Does your husband like to gamble? Maybe he has more debt than you realize, which could explain why he's being condescending towards you. He wants attention drawn away from himself.

If you have more discretionary spending, he's probably resentful.

Obviously you don't need to answer those questions here, but if you don't know what's going on with the bills, you can't possibly say why your husband is asking you to contribute more financially.

Good luck.

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I found this really interesting as I have it in reverse. I work full-time and am the breadwinner for my family. I recently had to have the serious talk with my freelance husband who contributes $0 most months, and doesn't do much regarding housework or our care for our 7 month old tot other than play breaks.

I agree with all the posts that this type of conversation significantly breaks down a marriage as ours hangs by a thin thread. My hubby's line of freelance work is making no money and he refuses to try something else or to look for a 9-5 job. It's not his 'thing'. Our monthly budget has become precariously hard and family have had to step in to help at times.

I personally think that you are pulling some financial weight and he has tunnel vision. Do up a true cost list if you had to pay for everything such as full-tine child care and give him. Do not have the second child before you resolve this. It is too important.

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Why is he freaking out about money? Are you constantly struggling to make ends meet? Can he at least explain his expectations and the reasons for them? Also, it is possible he missed it when you discussed not putting your child in full time childcare. Many times I tell my husband something and think I am being clear and he misses the point. Sometimes I'm not as clear as I think I am and other times he is distracted.

I agree with others to find out the actual costs for someone else to do what you do and the hidden costs of you working full time.

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Before the birth of my first (I was planning on quitting my job to be a SAHM), my husband suggested I keep my job after baby because he fell in love with a big fancy house he wanted to buy. These were my words to him; "I would rather live in a two bedroom apartment, drive our used cars until they are ready to be scrap metal, and never buy another designer pair of jeans again than put my kids in day care." He got the message and he manned up. Not only did I express how I felt, but I let him know I was ready and willing to have less to be home with my kids. He really needed that sense knocked into him and now that we have two beautiful girls he adores, he is greatful that I stood my ground.
Its a problem with modern "men", they don't really like to be men. Its scary to take care of a family, they like the idea of sharing that burden with their wives. All I can say is make sure he knows you are happy with less and encourage him to be as well.
My sister's both had husbands like this and both my sisters were the bread winners. For different reasons (one had a new born and one needed to get herself checked into rehab for alchol and drug addiction before she killed herself) they simply quit thier jobs and announced to thier husbands that they (the husbnads) would need to take care of them (the wives) for a while and litterly dumped it in thier laps to sink or swim, putting houses and everything on the line. It was a crash course in manhood.

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Yes, I had that problem. So I went to work nights so that DD would be with him and not in day care and I could stay home with her all day. We divorced 2 years later and I had to get a day job. I ended up earning roughly 3 times what he did and then he criticized me for being too much of a "career woman". I'm not recommending that, of course. Thirty years later, I realize that he was young and scared to be financially responsible for a family. Try to have a rational conversation about what each other's expectations are/were and what you want as a family. Does he place a high value on having a SAH parent for the children or is that your value? Did his mom stay home or work? (My ex's mom always worked, my mom was a SAHM. I really assumed I would be staying home after kids, and he assumed I would be going back to work.) Is money tight? Can you temporarily return to full time to pay off some bills or any compromise like that? To me, this is a big issue that you need to get on the same page with or it will continue to be a sore spot until it's a wound.

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It is his problem, he needs to open his mind and try to see every angle of finances and family time, including your point of view. You two will probably have to meet a middle ground. And of course your working [more] will take away from other things, like doing his laundry, just sayin'.
The one thing that really stuck out is it seems someone thinks this is one person's problem. It doesn't work like that in a marriage, at least it shouldn't.
There is nothing really "wrong" with living paycheck to paycheck and trying to make ends meet. In my marriage the plan was both incomes pay the bills and whatever was left over was for vacation/savings. I never expected incomes to be 50/50 either, let's be real. There was no "my money" and "your money" it was "family money" (we have kids). I think your husband is lucky to have you and I'm actually a little jealous of him because I knew where "my money" went; to pay for a family. "Her money" could not be accounted for, I later figured out it was going up her nose. Your husband has nothing to complain about comparatively. And he expects your income to match his? I never expected that in my marriage. Sure it's possible, but very unlikely.
I hope you two can come up with a new plan and stick to it. That's what it sounds like you need. I hope he can be open-minded to that because it's a marriage, not Wendy's®. You can't have it your way.

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I think you both need to sit down and involve a third party (financial planner) if necessary and put together a budget. Certainly you can not contribute equally in the finance arena. There are sacrafices you both make as a result of raising a family. I also suggest a bit of counseling. Finances are a sore spot in our marriage as well but for different reasons. My husband has never done this to me as he makes way more than I make. Get it worked out!! tit-for-tat doesn't work unless you both are working fulltime making the exact same.

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if you were working full time, either you would have to split chores 50/50 or pay a housekeeper. that would cost HIM more time and money. the kid would have to be childcare full time. that would cost HIM money. all errands would have to be done on the weekends. that would cost HIM time either running the errands or watching the kid while you run them. YOU would be exhausted and miserable, cuz you'd probably still be the go-to gal for house and kid stuff because that's how moms are seen by society and by many husbands. then HE would be more exhausted and miserable because YOU are more exhausted and miserable and because you are both working so hard. and after all the financial considerations, WOULD you have more money in the bank? if so, would it be worth it?

(not to mention that someone else would be raising your kid most of the time. how does he feel about THAT?)

good luck mama!

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Didn't have time to read all the posts but I feel for you. I am a SAHM right now because I lost the part time job I took when we started having kids. I can't get another well paying job until I return to school. My husband said it would be ok with him to stay home until the kids are in school-not for their all their growing years mind you just until they start kindegarten. Didn't turn out to be true. He feels burdened to provide all the support. I get flak for not supporting our famiy financially. Not only that, but he expects me to return to school and get a professional job (as he has). Not just any job will do. I actually like raising my kids (although it has it's very trying times) and wish I could do it until they are grown. I think if I put it that bluntly to him, he'd divorce me. I really value being able to raise my kids.I have a hard time at almost age 42 going into 30 thousand dollars or more debt, not to mention the toll it would have on my kids. We might be able to pay it off in time to retire! I came from a home where my mom stayed home-even when the kids were grown. It was ok. My husbands mother constantly went to school to earn her degrees, and worked ALWAYS. Very different role models. I have no answers for you. I hope someone else here can post some good advice for you.

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I did not read the other response...

However, yes, I was almost in this same boat years ago...with a boyfriend whom I was considering marrying, and he let it be known that he wanted to have 4 kids and wanted me to work full time and contribute equally to the family finances. I left that relationship in a heart beat.

I am now married to a great, supportive, man and am a SAHM and not even once has my husband ever said I don't contribute enough financially. I contribute $0.00.

My husband constantly tells me what a wonderful mother I am and thanks me frequently for raising such wonderful, well-mannered, loving and compassionate children. But my husband also sees the flip side of this professionally and sees horrible parenting and the negative consequences in the children's lives...So coming home to good kids is hugely important to him.

I am sorry you are in this horrible demeaning situation. I would not put up with it well at all. There would be not rational conversations as his comment is not reasonable. I would honestly in a state of being tired would say something vulgar....like FU...

You sound like a sound, reasonable and very contributing member of your family. Your husbands bitterness probably comes from somewhere else. Did his own father speak to his own mother this way??

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All I can say is that this will only get worse. Then what are your options going to be. Getting a divorce will make you have to go to work full time and use child care full time. Pleasing your husband will make you have to go to work and use child care full time.

I think you should either find a full time job and stop arguing about it with your husband or open a home child care so you can stay at home all the time. That way you can be full time employed and still stay at home.

He sounds rather reasonable. If you want more children he says you have to go to work. I have a friend who felt the same way as you do. He divorced her and took full custody of the kids. She had shown she had no interest in leaving the kids in child care so she could work too. He won his case.

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Remind him that if you go to work full-time as well, you will need to hire a cook and maid. Or he will have to get off his ridiculous rear-end and start contributing to the household...

I feel for you. I get the sneaking suspicion that my DH feels the same way but he hasnt brought it up yet in so many words. I really wish men would be real Men again and not demanding pricks. Best of luck.

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I would be very hurt if my husband disrespected me like that. It sounds like he's not at all respecting the fact that you have always planned on not doing full-time daycare with your kiddo and he doesn't want to put forth the effort to pick up the slack. And, I get so sick of the view that taking care of kid/home is somehow a lesser job! It sounds like he doesn't appreciate it.

I think it would be helpful to talk it out, even if you need to use a counselor of some sort. There's no harm in that at all! I think you need to stick to your decision to not put your child in full time daycare because that is clearly something you've always wanted and planned on. Then work on a solution for the financial problems. It's not okay for him to treat you like that. It's not like you've sprung this on him at the last moment. Can you move into a smaller/cheaper place? Can you lessen payments elsewhere (cheaper cars)? It sounds like you could use a bit of outside help to work through it. Things like that are rough! I'm sorry.

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First, I will start off by saying that I don't think that your husband's approach is constructive or respectful at all.

That said...if you're not making ends meet...and he's already working FT...and you're not...then I can see how he's leaping to the conclusion that that if only you were willing to work FT then your financial problems would be solved. Basically you're working 20 hours a week, or 1/2 time. Would your childcare costs double if you worked FT? In most cases, it's not a linear set up where you're paying by the hour. For example, I pay $110 for 2 days of daycare ($55 per day) but would pay $225 for 5 days ($45/day). The difference between 20 hours at the part-time rate and 40 hours at the full-time rate is a 63% increase in childcare costs, but the difference in 20 to 40 hours of work would be a 100% increase - so you could be bringing more home.

As in all financial decisions, let the numbers do the talking. Put together all of the scenarios and see what the numbers say. Another thing that struck me - and I mean no offense by this - is that you're monthly earnings end up being $11.25 an hour (after taxes, I'm guessing?). Is there the possibility that if you were open to working FT, you could earn more? Or could re-train for something that pays more? Honestly, I'm the breadwinner in my family and am fine with that (and knew that going into the marriage), but there is no way in hell I'd let my husband take a job that paid under a certain earnings threshold. Does your husband have different expectations of what you're capable of earning and are his expectations reasonable?

Finally, I know that you two agreed to your not working FT when you got married, but the economy has changed a lot recently and things are scary out there. Lots of couples are finding out that they need to tweak their financial plans. It's not entirely unreasonable to say that what you thought would work a few years ago doesn't work today. This doesn't mean that he is right and you're wrong, but you have to put everything on the table and see what the numbers say. You can't hold on to your position if there are not other good options and the only reason in your corner is "I said I'd never work FT." That's immature. You're not doing your kids any favors by living paycheck to paycheck, spending more than you make and accruing debt. You are one crisis away to being really up a creek financially and you are just as responsible as your husband for getting onto more solid financial ground.

I hope you two are able to get to a place where you look at the numbers as a team and figure out what you can do to get your balance sheet moving in the right direction.

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Nothing is ever perfect. You should look into figuring out why he feels this way. You may be comfortbale with your current situation since your bills are paid at the end of the month. It sounds like your husband would be more comfortbale if he had more of a cushion each month instead of maxing out. Paycheck to paycheck just is not cutting it for him. He also might be having a hard time at work. Do you all talk about his work life? What is going on there? He could be channelling his agression/feelings from somewhere else towards you.

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I think that you need to call different places and have them actually come to your house and give you quotes for "cleaning your house" for example - get a price for a "personal chef", and anything else that you do - a laundry service - then add all of those costs to the pay you make and then show him how much you are actually contributing to the finances of the marriage. Just because he is not having to pay for those services doesn't mean that they come free. If he wants to have a bad attitude like that, then I think you need to show him the value that you bring to the marriage. You could even get quotes for having someone do the lawn and whatever else it is that he does and add it to his income just to be fair to him, and I bet you would still end up contributing more in the comparison......just a thought......

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Well he sounds like a big ole' baby in this area, sorry! But I am sure he has many other very admirable qualities. Since he is so bent out of shape about this, can you guys agree maybe that once your child is in school you will work more hours? Maybe if he knows there is a deadline on your being home he will settle down? Or if you do decide to have another baby, maybe the same deal, once the kids are in school you can work full time? I stay home myself, so I haven't been in your shoes really but one time before our first was born my hubby was freaking out about money and I did tell him that I would go back to work if he insisted, but I did let it be known that I totally did not want to and if wasn't what we agreed on. In the end, he was ok, he was just stressed at the time. So maybe get with him and try and see what you two can negotiate. Good luck, that's tough!

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My husband told me I needed to start contributing more - I did a chart that shows how much each of us pays & what percentage of our paycheck it accounts for. Because we each pay seperate bills within the household I was able to show that he makes more than I do but he pays a much lesser percentage than I do toward the household. In my situation it has always been a battle when it comes to finances, we stopped using a joint account about 6 years ago because I would put money asside for something specific and when I would go to use it the account had been wiped clean by my husband on frivalous items.

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To keep your marriage in tact and demonstrate respect to your husband. I recommend responding to his quip "You're not contributing enough financially", with asking him to specify "How much would you like me to contribute?" or "For what purpose, would you like me to contribute more?". The heart of the conflict is in unaligned financial goals and expectations. You seem fine with how things are, but he obviously is not. So, before you can even attempt to resolve the tension, you MUST understand where lies his dissatisfaction. Who knows...he may be justified.

Schedule a time/day, go to a comfortable public space like a coffee shop, and make it a goal to outline each of your short-term and long-term financial goals. Once these are in place, you need to agree on a common set of short- and long-term goals. Then, look at the details of how (more income vs. less expenses) you can accomplish this as a team.

Good luck!

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Assuming that you are carrying the load of child care and housework, your husband is way, way out of line. You are doing your part. Your work has value, even if it does not result in a paycheck. Get some marriage counselling.

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What does he want you to do? What are the options of the table?

Since it is not an option to let jr be in child care full time, is he going to cut hours so you can add hours? Is he willing to do the housework so you can work more? What is he willing to do so you can work more? With a 2nd child even working full time isn't going to cover child care costs in some areas, so what then?

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Perhaps sit down with him and ask why the sniping comments in a really neutral tone. Hopefully that will open up a good conversation, maybe he doesnt realize he is doing it.

The only thing I can think of, and there isn't enough info in your post to tell, but did you discuss the plan to quit with him ahead of time? If you didn't, maybe he is resentful that he didn't have a say. But if you did, I don't see why he should be bitter about it now. Good luck!

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I could see if you are not living paycheck to paycheck maybe not working full time but times have changed from when women could be stay at home moms and still be finacially stable. I work full time, my kids go to daycare full time, husband works full time and we have plenty of debt. We learn to budget the money to be able to pay the bills every moth and still have a little left over for incidentals. We would not be able to make it if I told him I was only going to work part time to not pay daycare. Sometimes in life we have to do things we really don't like to do but for the sake of your marriage and keeping your household running you might have to work full time to get out of debt and get some money into savings. I would talk to your husband and create budget, plan what not to try and work things through. Good luck.

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Your husband's approach to this situation sounds terrible. But not liking his approach doesn't solve the problem. Which is your finances. Living paycheck to paycheck is something that needs to be changed if possible - what happens if you guys have to incur a big expense, like one of your cars needs $1000 of work or your furnace dies? Property taxes or insurance rates shoot up? Not sure what you have in the way of savings but I'm guessing not much based on what you've said. I suggest a few things.

1) Your son is at least 2 - is he 3 yet? He's old enough now in my opinion to be in daycare 4 days a week for the full day. I know it's not necessarily ideal for you, but if you love the place where you have him, there shouldn't be a huge concern about him being there a few extra hours the days he's there. It's not like you're leaving an infant there all day.

2) Find out if your job will allow you to work 8-4 instead of 8-1 on the days you are there. That's 12 extra hours a week, or about 540-675 extra monthly, based on the # of weeks in the month.

3) Sign up for mint.com or other free money management site to track exactly where your expenses are going and set a budget.

I also think given that $ is so tight in your house that your husband could be looking for a job that pays more. But I don't know the whole situation there. It does sound like he's very stressed out about having to be the one who has to make sure most of the ends meet, and that's a lot for anyone to have on their shoulders. The 2nd baby conversation just makes that more stressful. Instead of fighting about it if I were you I would try to contribute more financially...once your husband isn't so stressed out about money, I'm sure the tit-for-tat thing will go away because everyone will be happier. I would feel differently about this if you guys weren't so worried about money and he was just being a jerk about it. But he may have a point, although I think he's handling it like a 5 year old.

Why don't you try to extend your hours and increase your monthly income - see the change in your husband and then look toward having that conversation about baby #2.

Good luck.

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Well, I think when one spouse earns more, it often results in bit of a power shift BUT if you're both on the same page...you can work it out.
Do you guys have a good budget in place so both are aware of where ALL the money goes each month? That would be ideal.
IF the money being tight is a constant situation, and you want to have another baby and stay home, maybe downsizing some things (house, cars, extras) would help?
It's certainly a battle no one wants to fight. Before I had my child & started working PT, my husband & I were equal earners (with him slightly out-earning me when his OT factored in) but now things are a LOT different. We ended up paying off our house which took a HUGE burden ff of us financially.

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Has he told you what he expects from you? Did he make it clear what his expectations were before you wed and had a baby?

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Find out cost estimates for what a housekeeper or nanny would run. Make a list of everything you do for the family, and find out what it would cost if someone else were to do it. Also, do the same for full-time childcare. He seems like a numbers guy, so give him a number. Find out financially what you ARE worth (even though the rest of us know you can't put a price tag on what you do!!!!).

Sometimes (especially with guys) I find that feelings can come out sideways. Maybe he is really having a hard time with something else but is blaming it on you and the finances. I know men, no matter how much the woman works, feel responsbile for their family. Maybe he feels bad that he doesn't make more and wishes he could provide more money for your family.

Your situation sounds so identical to mine. It sounds like even though he knew you were not going to put your child in daycare, he was betting on something different. With so many mothers out here working full time, I think it makes your husband believe you should do the same. No matter what other say about him not understanding all you do for your child, in his mind you are not doing all you can do for him and your family. That's the bottom line. So I see him being bitter about it, distant about it, and losing love for you because of it. This is hard to hear, but I'm talking from experience. He may also be money driven, wants more than just the basics, or is thinking about the future. Think about it.

Um yep! I had a great paying job, good hours and very good (and cheap) insurance. When we got married he said he wanted to have me stop working and he would take care of us for me to stay home with the baby. Don't get me wrong I love being home with my lil sugar but she is now 4 and will start schhol next yr and I don't know what im going to do! So with all the whining he does about never having enough money you woud think he would encourage me to get back out there and make some money? Nope. On one breath he's griping not enough money is coming in on the other, he doesn't want me to work? I guess if I brought money in too he wouldn't have nothing to gripe about! Boohoo!

You sound pretty grounded and confident even with the constant berating about not contributing enough. He does need to consider the options you mentioned...that is a contribution in itself! You're trying to think of ways to improve your finances and he's unwilling to bend. I don't blame you for wanting to stay home with your child and that is part of the deal he signed up for! I'm not sure what his age is, but what he is doing right now is what the majority of men do for their families with children. It is a lot to bare on his shoulders, but that' tis life dude, suck it up is right (as you put it). I'm hoping your husband matures and gets beyond this. Hang in there!

First of all, you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and your self-esteem is still in tact, at least for now. I would do like the other lady said and see if there is anywhere to cut expenses to make things more manageable. I did have one of my children in daycare but we believe he might have been sexually abused there so we reported the incident to licensing and from that point on I vowed to not put any of our other kids in daycare. There are many good ones but it is all a roll of the dice. People who are Pro Daycare will say, well they do background checks on everyone, that is nice but many perpetrators have not been caught yet so they don't have a record which was the case of mine as a child, you can't protect children from people you don't know are sexual predators. One thing I did when I was young, 20's and wanted to be home with my kids, was I babysat two other kids for other moms, they loved me as I am very careful and cautious, I made more than I would of working out of the house and got tax write offs, later on I went into Nanny work when all the kids were in school and made big money doing that for Professional Families. I now have my own business with products that are Green, good for the family, good for me and good for the environment. My husband has always been supportive of me no matter what I do but my first husband was a lot like yours, it was all about the money. Show him what you are worth on paper according to what you do and then look for ways to save money. If babysitting isn't for you---write me and I can give you information on a business that is great for moms that want to be with their kids but earn money at the same time while educating others about whats actually in the products they are using. Many moms are surprised to know their favorite products contain formaldehyde! I know I was. Most of all do not let anyone put you down, acknowledge that you understand his stress over finances and you will help as much as you can w/o compromising your own beliefs about it. He also needs to look into what he can do to better himself and perhaps earn more to support his family. When I first met my husband he was in construction and not making much money $7.50 an hour to be exact, this was 20 years ago but still , it was not much at all but I asked him what else he thought he would be good at and he said auto mechanics as he rebuilt a few engines on his own. We got him a few tools and he started changing oil and Nissan and Toyota both trained him and sent him to schools ---which now they have schools for all that, but he has been the top money maker in both companies over the last 22 years! So it is just a matter of putting your heads together and getting creative. Good luck to you both.

Um, yeah, he doesn't get it. You have three hats. Wife, Mother, and PT Worker. I think you are doing plenty. Don't know what to tell you except that I think he's wrong. I don't know how you'd teach him, but hopefully some realization will come to him about the important role of a Mother and how great you are doing.

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