S.P. asks from Omaha, NE on February 11, 2009
My Husband - Omaha,NE
I feel like I need counseling for my husband and I, but he won't hear of it and he says just talk to me, but I can't talk to him. I feel like he doesn't think I'm worth anything. I feel like he feels I am stupid and incompetent at times. He's never said that, but it's just the way he makes me feel. I stay at home with our 2 kids and he works, but he acts like I don't work near as hard as him and what do I have to be tired about at the end of the day? I hate the way he makes (in his eyes) harmless comments about the laundry not being done or the house not being clean. He acts like I don't do anything all day when really I hardly even sit down, usually I'm eating my lunch at the same time as doing something else. I have no car so, I have no way of getting out. He works usually till after dark. We don't have normal conversations anymore, it's usually always an arguement. I used to be quiet and calm, now I yell and I'm wound so tight I just want to cry from the stress. I don't know what to do. He doesn't spend as much time with the kids as we would like. I don't even feel like I get to spend hardly anytime with my kids either, cause I'm trying so hard to get all the daily chores done, I usually don't have time for them. He's not a bad guy he just doesn't know how to approach things...I need help!
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
First of all, I'd like to thank you all for your responses. Most of them were great! I swallowed my pride after reading all your suggestions and I approached my husband one evening after the kids were in bed. I told him how I feel and that I just need help sometimes and that, coming from me is Big and he knows that. He told me I just need to tell him when I need something and he would help me out as much as he could with the kids and the house. When he said that I thought, ok, lets see how long or well this will work, but he has really been helping me out. It has been a little over 2 weeks and it's just becoming a way of life around here now. Everyone picks up after themselves and Mom doesn't have to do it. He has picked up after himself, helped with the kids, baths, the house and he's got our 5 year old to pitch in a little more too. It has helped me out immensely. He has taken the mornings off on Friday so I could take up a class to get me out of the house for about 3 hours and that has also worked wonders. I feel like things are running so much more smoothly around here and I'm not killing myself getting things done. Today, I even took a nap! My husband and I seem to have become closer because of this. I heard him the other day tell my 5 year old that we need to pick up our messes cause we don't Mommy to have to do everything around here and that Mommy needs a break! It was great to hear that. I guess in my own head I felt like I would be less of a mother if I couldn't do it all on my own so I never told him anything. It's amazing what a little communication can do! Thanks again
R.D. answers from Omaha on February 12, 2009
My heart went out to you when I read your post this morning. I have been married for 31 years. My children are 29,25,14 and 11. I have definitely walked in your shoes. First of all, being a mom is the most important job in the world. Your husband should just stay home a few days without you there, to see just how important it is. Believe me, you blink and they are already 29...and 25! Second of all, no matter how many years we've been married, or the number of children....the laundry is ALWAYS there. Laundry is never-ending. Laundry is not as important as raising wonderful children. But many years ago, when my "big kids" were little, I decided to make Monday laundry day. I did ALL the laundry on Monday. That way, you feel better the rest of the week, a little more organized. I still do laundry on Monday's. I don't profess to be an expert housekeeper, but again when the kids were small, I cleaned 1 room a day. When it was finished, I moved to another room the next day. This might help with your husband's support. I also suggest a date night with your husband to help you re-connect. It sounds like your 5 year old might soon be entering school soon, this will definitely help with the 'craziness' you are feeling. Just spending time with your 15 month old, will feel like a vacation. I also suggest you look into a play group with the 15 month old. This connects you with other young Moms, going thru the exact things you are experiencing. I realize transportation might pose a problem, but girlfriends help other girlfriends, right! Hang in there! You are blessed to be able to stay at home with your girls, always know that. Without a good relationship with your "grown" children, you will be lost. And when that time comes....Guess what? The Laundry and dust bunnies will still be there, but your children will not be. I will be thinking of you!
2 moms found this helpful
L.N. answers from Minneapolis on February 12, 2009
Your husband seems to have no understanding of what it is like to be a stay at home mom..... Perhaps you can get away
for a day ( week end ) and have him take care of the kids
and the household. I believe this would shed a whole new
light to his eyes on what your going through. Also it
sounds like your husband maybe a little controlling? Perhaps you could drop him off at work so that you could
have a vehicle from time to time to be able to get out and socialize with other moms or playgroups. I understand what your going through...... If your husband values you and your
marriage and his family he really should consider counseling because sooner or later you will lose your respect for him and therefore chip away at your love. It's
time to refill those "love units" If your faith in God is
strong perhaps you can start at a church counseling program.
1 mom found this helpful
D.G. answers from Lincoln on February 12, 2009
Most men think that their wives have it easy when they stay home. Mine never asked me outright what I did all day but he'd come home and complain about the house not being clean. So I went on strike, didn't even cook supper. It didn't take long before he started helping around the house.
When I worked he told me that I didn't keep the house clean enough, (His ex stayed home with no kids and their house was spotless.) I informed him that I worked just as much as he did and if he didn't like the way I kept the house clean then he could get off his butt and do it himself. That ended that arguement in a hurry.
I would tell him that I'm going out as soon as he got home and tell him he needed to feed the kids and put them to bed, if the take a bath before bed he needs to do that too. Go to the store, go to your friends house, go to you mothers, just get out of the house. Let him take care of it for a while. You also might want to point out to him that he can leave his work, but you can't because your work is at home 24/7.
You have one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs on the plant. Getting your husband to understand that may not be easy, but it can be done. It just takes a while to get through their thick heads at times.
1 mom found this helpful
L.W. answers from La Crosse on February 12, 2009
First of all, there are a lot of women who feel the same way you do - or at least have felt the same way at some point. You are not alone.
Now, you do have to tell him how you feel. Get a sitter and get out for Valentine's Day and pour your heart out. It won't change things immediately, but men aren't good at figuring out how women feel. They need to be hit over the head with it!
For yourself, and your sanity - you need an outlet. Something you do just for you. Read a book, join a class, get a massage or pedicure/facial. It will change your perspective. Life is all about perspective - if you adjust your attitude (and that takes a lot of effort on your part) your husband's attitude will change as well.
Marriage is work, no matter what stage you are in life.
Lisa - married 15 years, mom of 4 boys
1 mom found this helpful
S.M. answers from Eau Claire on February 12, 2009
You've gotten some great advice already. Taking an evening or even a few days off to help him understand what you do each day is a great idea.
But what I would suggest is writing him a letter. It gives you time to think out everything you want to say without any interuption from him. It also helps you work out in your own head what things are bothering you the most and a good way to say it.
Often people get automatically defensive in a one-on-one sort of discussion/confrontation, whereas a letter is a less emotional route to take to bring up concerns while still bringing up serious issues. I would also suggest giving him time to think about what you wrote before having a discussion so he has time to absorb all that you have to say.
Good luck, and I hope some of the advice from all these wonderful ladies will help you regain control and confidence!
1 mom found this helpful
L.M. answers from Minneapolis on February 12, 2009
Get a relative or babysitter to take the kids for a few hours. Tell your husband that you need to reconnect with him, and you just can't concentrate on talking or HIM when the kids are in the picture. Get yourselves somewhere quiet and peaceful, relaxing. Out of the house. And, don't try to have a good talk after the kids are in bed. After bedtime, if you're like most parents, you're ZAPPED - not good for really tuning in to a conversation.
Print out the note above. Give it to your husband to read the day or so before your quiet time together. Your thoughts are clear in the note; it'll be a good place to start. When he asks what you want, how he can help, have two or three specific requests.
For instance, "Honey, I need to hear you say during the week that you think I'm a good mom." "... that you appreciate the dinner I made." "...that you value the job I do parenting the children all day, every day - on top of groceries, laundry, pet care, meals, doctor stuff, etc." Whatever verbal feedback you'd really love to hear him say to you. Spell out what you need to hear.
Identify three daily tasks/chores. Ask him to choose one and "own" it.
Ask him to take over parenting duty with both kids once a week, on a repetitive basis. For instance, my husband gets up with our toddler daughter on Saturday mornings, and they spend the whole morning doing "their own thing" until naptime. I may either "hide out" in the bedroom alone, or I may leave the house, whatever. But, for those few hours, he's in charge of the kid, and I'm OFF-DUTY. It's a real Balance and Sanity saver for me.
Your husband won't be able to improve, help you more, or you feel better if you keep your thoughts, worries, feelings inside. Don't hope/expect that he should read your mind, or view things from the same perspective as a woman would. They just don't get things they way we do. But, it sounds like he's a good guy that you know has a compassionate heart. So, tell him your worries, ask for his help, and BE SPECIFIC (though certainly open to his ideas about the particulars).
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M.S. answers from Sheboygan on February 12, 2009
this is some old Ann Landers advice, but it works. Ask him to go to counseling with you, if he doesn't--go alone. The counselor will delve deeper into these problems with you, and with any luck, your husband will be forced to come home from work early to watch the kids and he can get a better appreciation for all that you do. I hope he eventually comes to counseling, because it sounds like you both have issues with communication. Hope this helps.
B.B. answers from Minneapolis on February 12, 2009
That sounds awful. It's a never-ending battle between men and women - who works harder. I know how hard stay-at-home moms work. It's NOT easy!!! And you shouldn't have to spend all your time working on the house. You need to spend quality time with your kids. It does sound like you need counseling. Has he ever spent a day home alone with the kids by himself, spending quality time with them AND getting a bunch of work done!?? He would know it is not easy. I have a 2.5 yr old and an 8-mo old and I gave up keeping the house clean a long time ago! My husband is fine with it. We agree that taking care of and spending time with the kids is #1. I hope you get through to him!!! Good luck!