30 answers

Stressed Out Mom Needing Relief

So I a few weeks ago one of you wrote about how frustated you were that your husband did absolutely nothing to help around the house, left clothes laying around, left dirty dishes laying around, etc. I really thought you were talking about my husband. Then I read the responses and there were several that were in the exact same situation. Some said deal with it or you would lose him to another women which I thought was ridiculous, but that is neither here nor there. My question to my fellow mothers and wives who work full time and have to deal with it is, how do you deal with it? My husband lost his job back at the end of October. He does goes to school 3 nights a week. He does take care of my 4 year old while I go to work, sort of. My 4 year old says he sleeps a lot while I am gone. The house is always a mess while I am away. I work full time, take care of the house, do the household duties and take care of my kids in the evening. How do you deal with it without losing your mind? He does absolutely nothing to help out. NOTHING. I've heard of this yoga thing? Any one out there tried it? Any other options to try to keep the stress level down while working full time and taking care of 3 boys basically? One more thing, he insisted on getting a puppy, which I thought would be great for my kids and they love it. The problem is my husband won't spend time potty training the puppy (which he has all the time in the world to do so) so the puppy uses my room as a toilet, aaahhhh. How disgusting is that. Any stress relieving techniques would be grealy appreciated.

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What can I do next?

Featured Answers

If in the similar position, I would sit down with him, eye to eye with an estimate for a house cleaner, and whatever else you need that he isn't doing, and give him the ultimadum. Either he gets active, or he's going to pay someone else to do his half. Good luck.

I don't think you need stress relief, I think you need a partner that will pull his weight. All the stress relief in the world won't help if you don't have one free minute.

My husband has not lost his job and he still acts like this. He thinks he does his part if he goes to work everyday, walks the dog and cuts the lawn on weekends. I work, shop, cook, clean, do laundry, pay the bills and stil manage to have family relationships outside of the marriage. I think it must be a male thing.

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Was he sleeping all the time and exhibiting the same behavior before he lost his job? My first reaction when I read your post was that he may have some depression, related to the job loss. It always puts men in a mental crisis when they are no longer the "provider", when they are dependent on their wives.

I would suggest you focus on one request initially... potty training the dog... instead of bombarding him with a huge to-do/gripe list. Otherwise, he'll just shut down. Tell him that, if the puppy isn't potty trained by X-date, you all will need to find a new home for the dog because you just don't have the bandwidth for it (and its messes).

As for stress relief, yoga is one option. I don't knock it. ALthough, I don't seem to have time for it either. Instead, when I get a chance, I go walking (for exercise); bubblebaths; momma's night out with a group of girlfriends.

P.S.: It goes without saying that he MUST stay awake and participate when he is taking care of the children. School is almost out and then your 5 yr old will be home too. That's just irresponsible to sleep while 5 and 4 yr old children are left unsupervised. Its dangerous! And if he can't do that, then find a daycare alternative instead of leaving them in his care. You need to have non-angry dialogue with him in regard to this. Seriously. Don't backdown on this.

2 moms found this helpful

My first recommendation is Marriage Counseling if there's any way you can afford it or insurance covers. Make a committment to go once a week until you really start feeling that you're getting somewhere and then once a month for at least a year. Old habits are very hard to break.

If counseling isn't an option:
1.Make a list of all daily chores and all weekly chores that you and your husband have.
2.Each of you write down the things you least dislike (few chores are enjoyable) and write down the chores that you each actually kind of like. (My husband loves to mow the yard).
3.Divide up evenly by starting with taking the chores you don't hate and then go down the list. Clearly your husband should have a longer list on home chores since you are out of the house all day. (NO ARGUING THIS ONE)
4.Explain that when you get home you would love to be able to enjoy time with hubby and with the children without tackling all the chores unaddressed all day.
5.Be specific with how the house should be picked up and by what time as well as how many loads of clothes washed a day,etc.
6.Finally, if he refuses to participate then inform him that he is NOT your child and you are supposed to be a team. If he refuses to appropriately share the duties of parenting and managing a household then you will treat it more independently: You will ONLY wash and care for the children. You will only wash the children's clothes, clean their bathroom,cook for THEM. When you prepare a meal your husband will be responsible for HIS OWN food prep. He may join you and the boys when he is ready to be a partner..not an additional responsibility. If he places his dirty dishes in the sink, place them in a dish pan and simply collect his dishes. Place the tub of dirty stinky dishes in the bedroom on his side of the bed.
Always be courteous and pleasant when around your husband and don't let the children sense tension. However, remind your husband on a regular basis that you are two adults sharing a home and children and finances which also includes DUTIES. Until he treats your marriage like a partnership then you will focus on the boys.There is only so much a woman has to give of herself without losing a sense of her self.
God Bless

2 moms found this helpful

D.,
I'm so sorry for what you are going through. You're doing great! Hears my advice. Your husband sounds like he's really depressed, REALLY depressed. I think that needs to be addressed 1st & foremost. For you, yes yoga works great for stress relief as well getting you into shape (if you aren't already ;) Another suggestion is finding a good church you are comfortable in, if you have Sunday mornings available, then you & your children can go & hopefully your husband will to, if not, you & your children can still go. If you love him, then stick by him best you can until he can heal. See if a friend can watch your children some time & you can go do something with him. Honestly, if he can snap out of his depression, he'll probably do more for/with you without having to be told.
Good luck & God Bless.
H. B

1 mom found this helpful

From my own experience, no amount of Yoga or "stress relief" is going to help you "deal" with it. It will eventually catch up with you, then you will be burned out. I would say you need a "come to Jesus" meeting with the hubby. No sleeping allowed while you watch the baby.

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Yoga is great for stress relief. Family counseling is great for husbands and wives:)

1 mom found this helpful

D.,
I'm one of the one's who said you should deal with it. I'm so sorry - let me back up, that really isn't quite the point. NONE of us want to deal with being treated badly. And your husband is dead wrong about not stepping up to the plate.
My husband behaved the same way - I love him very much. But he did do these things, like sleeping all day, playing gigs on weekends, not help around the house...nothing! He stayed on the computer 24-7 unless he had a gig or was taking us out for dinner, and the only time he was helpful was when someone outside the family needed him! Believe me, I let him know that I didn't like it. I was nice about it, not ___chy. But after a while my disgused and aggrivation was the only thing that he saw - even though I was unbelievably giving and kind and loving to him - he ONLY saw that I didn't respect him, I treated him like one of the kids...blah, blah, blah. If you ever watch "Everybody Loves Raymond" you will see that it is acceptable for woman to treat men like idiots.
Well, I lost him to another woman. Doesn't matter that she's getting sick of him too now, or that he's not that into her and wants to leave her asap. What matters is that he abandoned us.
I was pissed for 2 very long years over this. I treated him even worse. But then a Mamasource Mama sent me a book called "Created to be His Help Meet". And believe me I was the last person who wanted to read about being nice to someone who could do all this to me and our child. Reading it though, brought me peace and made things make sense for a change. Through God's eyes. It's hard to explain, but if you get the chance to read it, and you implement these things, not only will you feel better about who you are and what your purpose is, but you will also creat a situation where all of a sudden your husband will be kissing your feet! It is unbelievable how it works!
I didn't expect to change my husband (yes we are still married), I just wanted some peace for myself. When I found that peace, he IMMEDIATELY changed the way he's been acting for 5 years!
You have to do what you have to do, and we all respect whatever you need to make your life work. I'm the first one on board for making things just and fair. This is just a different approach - really. I'm not some nut case, as a matter of fact, I am quite normal and don't usually buy into this stuff, especially when it means I have to bend even more! But this stuff REALLY changed things for me.
God bless you, and I agree...he needs to pull his weight! But if he doesn't, what's your option??? To raise your children alone? It really isn't a better option. No man ever did better as a man by being dragged down by a nagging, or whinning, or manipulative, or disgusted or controlling wife. No man - ever!
I hope I helped you to understand that I am coming from the heart on this one.
D.

1 mom found this helpful

My neighbor's husband was less than helpful with their young children. She left twice. The first time was for hours when their first child was a small babay and the second time for three days after the second one was born. She told him she would be gone because he was not participating; that she was exhausted and not interested in having a one parent family.
By the time she returned home he got it and became a participant in their lives. The mother chooses her battles and makes sure he feels like he is a winner when he does something out of "his" ordinary.
It has to be more difficult to stay the way one is than it is to change. Then the change comes.
I'm proud to know you are and individual ready to have a participant for a husband and looking for ways to make that possible.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D..
I am sorry for the situation. It is hard to manage so many things at once and to have to deal with lazy husband on top of that. I really think that it is natural for most man not to care about the house. This doesn't mean they don't love us even thow we might feel this way. They are just not so attached to the house like women are. For them the job is their thing. They identify with it. I think his laziness may be due to apathy or even depression. It is hard to lose a job. He may feel angry, worthless, demotivated and a looser. So he really needs your support and respect at this time.
At the same time you definitely need his help and time for yourself. So try to share with him how you feel, and that you are overwhelmed with work and need his support. Be careful to use I messages so he doesn't feel pushed or guilty because this will make him angry and hostile. /He probably already is beating himself up inside/. You can ask him what he thinks he can do to help you with the housework and what he feels comfortable doing. Make sure you praise him for every little thing he does even if it is not a big deal for you. This will encourage him to do more. Man are like children you should ask them more than once and praise them a lot:)
It will definitely help you if you get out of the house at least twice a month or every week. Go to gym, or dance classes, or to a coffee with girlfriends or just wondering out without the kids. This really helps me unwind. And feel like a human again:)
I hope everything works out for you and you get some releave.

Best wishes- Eva

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