"It's the Mommy's Job"

Updated on January 29, 2009
D.A. asks from Carlsbad, CA
95 answers

So I have heard this countless times from my husband. Some days are just not so good with him. On his days off he feels that he should get time to do whatever he wants to do instead of helping care for our 6 month old. It's crazy because he LOVES our son sooo...much, but he has selfish tendencies that come out sometimes when I ask him to alter his schedule to suit our son's naptime. He is a surfer so I have asked him to surf while our son naps and that way when our son wakes up my husband will be home either before or shortly after our son wakes up instead of leaving right when our son wakes up from a nap and then coming home after our son goes down for his next nap. I just want him to spend as much time with our son as he can when he is around. I have no problem with him going and surfing, I know it's his way to relax, so it's important that he gets that time, but it'd be so much better if he could do it when it is convenient for both of us. My husband tends to get a little short with me after I ask him to do something like this and complains that I am always trying to control his time. I laugh when he gets mad because I never get a break, yes our son takes naps, but no that doesn't always allow me to do whatever I want to do during that time. I have house to clean, food to prepare, laundry to do, not to mention trying to squeeze in a shower and a meal for myself before our son wakes up. Never once have I been able to go and do something for myself while he takes care of our son, something fun that is, that isn't going to the grocery store or something really quick. I love being a Mom but sometimes it'd be nice to just have a little help. Some days my husband is on it and I couldn't be happier but then there are those other days where he just wants to leave and surf for as long as he wants. He is super grumpy in the morning and hates to get up so I try to give him a little bit more time to sleep so I usually wait an hour after our son wakes up to go in and ask him to help out (so I can go to the bathroom, make our breakfast, etc). He'll usually get up (grumpily) but some mornings he fights it and says that he should get to sleep because he goes to work for us. Now this part hurts because he acts like, because he goes to a job and gets paid that what I do at home doesn't count and I should be the one do everything around here to do my part including letting him sleep when he wants and leave whenever he wants. Now I am all for doing my part around here, which I think I do very well. I keep the house, do the bills, take care of our son (morning and night), make the meals, laundry, etc. PLUS, I work too, but it isn't consistent, I'm a web designer and only work when I have jobs, but I am managing to be a mom, wife and owner of my own business. And all he can say to me when I explain that he should spend time with our son and help out at home as well is "It's the Mommy's Job to do all those things". UGH...it is so frustrating...
Now my question is, am I being super sensitive or what? Is there any recommendations of things I could do to help this situation become a bit better? Partly I just needed to vent and see how many other Moms out there have to deal with this and what they do to cope.

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So What Happened?

So I have read everyone's posts, thank you for taking the time to voice your opinion.

I wanted to update when I had an update to give. My husband and I have had a couple chats about my issues that I have been having. I think a part of him finally gets it and for the past week and a half he has been SO much more helpful around the house. He has helped me put our son to bed, fed him his dinner AND the best part, he has even started asking when it would be a good time to go surfing (hopefully this part doesn't have something to do with the fact that the surf has been pretty small lately). Whatever the case may be it has been a good experience.

He even went to the Quail Botanical Gardens with me and our son on Tuesday, which is totally not his thing but went anyways because I had asked him if he would join us for our "walk". In agreement, he had asked if he could go surfing when we were done and that was totally acceptable and so we have been compromising.

I hope this continues, I know sometimes things get good for a while and then things have a tendency to get back into a rut, but I am going to try and make it known that whenever he helps me it is the most appreciated thing in the world. I think boosting his ego, praising and respecting what he does for our family goes a long way! The promises of "adult time" probably makes it easier for him to want to do things as well.

Thanks again...I hope that this is a turnaround for us and that things will get better...plus as our son gets older and is able to do more, Daddy time will probably happen more often.

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Jenifer K. had a great response and I wholeheartedly agree with her advice! Good luck and remember everything has it's ups and downs. He may change and be great and then seem to revert back to his old ways, but don't give up! Marriage like parenthood can be lots of work, but is well worth it!

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K.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

No you are not being Super Sensitive. Maybe you coudl try going on strike when it comes to doing his laundry and cooking for him, etc. Tell him you are busy doing "mommy work" and don't have time to do "wife work".

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C.S.

answers from Reno on

ok so I'm not trying to be rude here but think of it this way....at least you have some help! Try being a single mom....you get to do the "job" of both!!!!!!!!!!!

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Well, it seems like HE is the child, not your son. You have TWO 'babies" to care for.

Okay, first, your Hubby irks me too. I live in Hawaii, this is the SURF MECCA of the world. Almost every 'dude' surfs. THEY are the most FAMILY oriented guys I have known. MANY of my friends surf... AND THEY ARE DEVOTED TO THEIR FAMILY, CHILD AND WIFE. THAT is their joy. TELL your Hubby this.
Your Hubby is childish. Point blank. And lazy. Sorry to be so direct, but my opinion.

NEXT, when I take my daughter to school everyday.... TONS of Dad's are there taking their child to school too.... and get this- THEY ARE SURFERS. One of my friends, a Dad, is even a "Pro" surfer... and HE takes his kids to school, watches them, takes them to their lessons, spends time with them, RAISES them, AND LOVES THEM. Not only loving himself.

My gawd... your hubby is the 'stereotype' surfer.... like on tv. Tell your Hubby to get real. C'mon... he can either be a 'loser' surfer... or a top-notch 'surfer' who has a life.
MANY MANY MANY "real" surfers do many things- family man, Dad, business owner, hard worker... AND they still manage to go surfing too. The KEY here is... THEY MANAGE THEIR TIME, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THEIR FAMILY AND CHILD AND WIFE. THIS is what a real man and surfer is.

I'm sorry...but surfers like your Hubby, at least in my town and among my friends... are not regarded very highly. Because they are seen as being "not there" for their wife or baby. One of my friends... is a surfer... and a designer and going for his Master's Degree and has a wife, and cooks dinner, and takes care of his baby, and even cleans the bathroom, and changes diapers, and LOVES every minute of it. And yah, he STILL goes surfing when he can.

Now, your Hubby does not seem like he is a part of anything....he rejects his wife and her needs, he rejects his baby and being a "Dad', he rejects helping in the household, he rejects ANY form of RESPONSIBILITY. What a dude! Geez. Get real. Tell him that. He has no excuse.

If he thinks all of this is "The Mommy's Job..." then what about Brad Pitt with all his kids- is your Hubby 'cooler' than him? What about Laird Hamilton? What about Matthew McConaughey? They all surf AND have kids. Or, what about ALL the pioneer PRO surfers who made it big AND have a family? Duh. Now, how is your Hubby better than them? THESE guys... REAL "men" actually PRAISE their wives and give credit to their babies/children for making them the Awesome men they are now. And yah, they still surf too. Because they are responsible real surfers.

C'mon. Your Hubby needs a reality check. There is NO excuse for his attitude. He can either be a 'loser' surfer... or a 'real' surfer. Not a poser.

Tell him that. I know, I live in Hawaii among real surfers and have known many all my life. They ALL make time for their wives and children and families AND even help out in the house. Your Hubby is either a PART of the home and family...or he is not. Maybe he should pay YOU rent... and rent for storing his surfboard in your home.

Sorry for being so blunt... but gee, your Hubby needs to get on board. No pun intended. And you....are needing to pull rank with him... YOU seem to the the "leader" in the home, not him.

Just because "he" goes to work "for you..." um, that is a cop-out. I'm a SAHM... my Hubby works, and he never give me that attitude. Your Husband is a "Dad" and a "Husband." He is just blowing off those responsibilities with circular logic. It does not hold water. YOU work too... and take care of HIS life and his son's... THAT is 'real' work. Your Hubby should take Parenting classes. You can't just be a "Dad" and "Husband" when the surf is flat.

There will come a time, when he will have to realize... what is more IMPORTANT? Himself? Or his Wife and baby son. Even waves aren't there for you all the time.

Good luck,
Susan

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M.

answers from Las Vegas on

I would absolutely protest. Stop cooking and cleaning for your husband. He sounds like a chauvinistic pig. My husband tried to pull that with me in the very beginning. After staying at home for 9 months, I decided to go get a part-time job and leave him home for hours alone with the baby. That cured him very quickly. He saw how hard I worked at home. We now have 2 kids and we share everything. We do equal diaper changes, feedings, etc. My hubby and I give each other alone time too when we need it. Your husband is treating you like a slave. Raising a baby and maintaining a household is not a mommy's job exclusively. Marriage means that you are a team in every aspect. He needs to share the responsibility with you when he is off work. If you are nursing exclusively, then he can get the diaper changes. You two can work it out however it is best for you, but you certainly are entitled to a little break every now and then as well as some appreciation! If you don't address this now, you will resent him later, especially if you have more kids. I love my husband so much more today because of the amount he helps out. It takes away so much stress when you have help. Why should you struggle like a single mother when you have a husband there to help? I really hope you find a way to get through this!

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S.A.

answers from Honolulu on

My friend's husband used to be like that too sometimes. One day her mother-in-law saw this (because the husband didn't wanna change a diaper, and said "that's mommy's job") well, his mother got mad and said to him "listen, you help make them, you help care for them, that simple! Your dad did it for you, and now you're gonna do it for your kid".
And it's so true!! Maybe your husband just needs to hear this too...

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R.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

My husband tries stuff like that periodically. I finally told him that I need help. We couldn't afford a housekeeper or babysitter, so we sat down and worked out a schedule of the stuff he does and the stuff I do. Then I don't do his stuff. If he doesn't do it it doesn't get done, which is maddening, but not my job. Also, we alternate who gets up with our little girl. Though that doesn't always work the way I want. He won't always feed her breakfast, so When I get up the hour later, all of a sudden I am fast tracked into breakfast without my morning wake-up routine. So do be very clear on what is entitled in the morning routine. but now my husband will give our daughter a bath, then I put her to bed.
My suggestion: Draw up a list of things you would like help with. put EVERYTHING on the list, from diaper changes to window washing to whatever. Then ask him to pick out the ones he is willing to do. put the schedule up in a central location and don't do what he has picked.
If your son is sleeping when your husband comes home from surfing, you could always jump his bones. I found that even if I wasn't interested, it helped me feel better to get some attention. Or, you could tell your hubby that you have some errands to run, and leave him with the sleeping baby (with a reminder to pick up crying baby, and change wet baby), then take yourself off to the bookstore or the coffee shop or the gym or what ever you do to relax. You are gone maybe 1-2 hours and get a break, and he gets some alone time with the baby...
Don't fuss, don't fight, be calm and collected. Just tell him that this is what you need to be happier.
My husband watched our daughter a couple of days, where I came home late from a job, and his whole attitude changed, so maybe leave him alone with the baby more often.
Good luck.
R.

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.:
What your husband is doing, is what a lot of irresponsible young fathers do. They down play,or belittle all your contributions and hard work,to justify their laziness,or unwillingness to help out.(ITS THE MOMMY'S JOB) He heard the same (Lame line) coming from his fathers mouth, when he was growing up.JUST ASK HIS MOTHER! He needs a reality check, and your just what the Dr ordered. Help him see it. Its that or your going to be carrying the ball till your son graduates from High school. Tell you what i did. I broke down, began tearing up and told him, that I couldn't take it any more. I told him I felt like I was alone. I was raising my sons all by myself. I told him, if he wasn't going to help me raise our son,and be a partner in the marriage, then I'd get someone in who could help me.I went through the yellow pages, and had him make a few calls. House-cleaning service,and child care. Let him see, first hand, how much he would be forking out for all the work I did. I can assure you, if you got payed for what you do seven days a week, your husbands income would be (CHICKEN FEED). That should enlighten him a little. Ask him....When do I get a rest? A break? some free time to myself? I don't complain about your surfing,and taking time for you. Tell you what...It's entirely up to you. you can spend some quality time with your son,or,pay for someone to be with him, so i can get away for a few hours a week. I need to know what you want to do, soon, because either way, I'm going to start enjoying some free time for myself. After a while, allow yourself a few more hours,He'll start insisting on watching his son,rather than to pay for someone out of pocket.D., It all has to do with growing up,acting like a responsible adult,and learning to be supportive.It has to do with respecting, the important role you play as mother to his child and showing consideration towards his wife, his partner. I wish you the best D.

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B.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Donnell,
What a great time to for you and your husband to figure out and establish your “family life” and find somewhat of a balance that works for both of you. The goal is for both of you to be involved in every aspect of being a family. This is a time when husbands often begin to feel neglected, left out, unappreciated, insecure. Wives feel all those same things. So much resentment can build up and quickly. In our home, my husband and I share most every responsibility. We both own our own businesses, with me working from home. I have an at-home preschool, so I have to clean most every room every day of the week. However, I feel just fine asking my husband to run the vacuum if I don’t get to it, and he vacuums. There are times when I say I have a lot to do, and he asks what he can do. We do the dishes together sometimes just to chat and be together. We share driving our daughters to dance and gymnastics every day. We work really hard to make everything work for one another and for our family overall. We focus more on how we can spend our time together, as a couple and as a family. Your husband likes to surf – great, let him surf when he wants, and then you schedule something for you either before he goes surfing or after he returns home. That gives you time for yourself without shopping, and it allows him time with your sweet baby. He likes to sleep in – who doesn’t?! – so let him. He sleeps in on Saturday, and you sleep in on Sunday. You both have to work at making it work for one another. With a child, it is now an ever-changing world, and you both need to be willing to go with the flow. I see so many families stressing out and arguing about housework, whose “work” is more important, whose contributions to the family & household are more valuable…it is so sad. Focus on being a happy woman & a happy man, and that leads into being a happy wife & husband, and that leads into being happy parents. Remember that is natural for us to try to be these supermoms, superwives, superwomen, and it can leave our husbands feeling quite inadequate. Let him know how important he is to you and give him a chance to let you know how important you are to him. Lead by example; lead from your heart. Peace to you and your family.

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J.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Here's a different approach. Yes, read 'Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands' so you can realize the power you actually have over your own situation. Then, schedule the "me" time and tell him, "On Saturday I have a pedicure at 11:00 then I am having lunch with ____". Or are going to the gym, or are going to a new yoga class. This way he is on notice that you have the time scheduled. Then, after you tell him that, serve his favorite meal so he feels grateful. Being sweet and making my husband's favorite foods goes a long way. Who knows why this works so well, but it does! After dinner, hand him the baby and say you need to take a shower/bath/run, whatever. Just do it! Don't ask! You have as much say so in the care of your baby as he does. I was never able to shower in the mornings again after my first son was born. Tell him you just need a few minutes, then take an hour! Even he gets a lunch break, right? If you ask his permission, you are giving him the power to say no. Just tell him what you are going to do and when so he can prepare himself. He is looking at it as he does his job at work, you both agreed this would be your job for now and now he has to help you with your job when he gets home from work as well. Find a way to make him appreciate what you do and still appreciate what he is doing. Finally, when you return from your break, don't rag on him is if the house is a mess or the baby's diaper is on backwards. That will just make him not want to do it for you again. Thank him and kiss him sweetly for the "much needed break". There is plenty of time to teach him how to do things 'the right way'. :) Don't spoil your relaxation with nitpicking. I have found with my husband, who is much like yours, that I attract a LOT more flys with honey. When I am sweet and appreciate what he is doing (that stress about taking care of all of us is real!) he appreciates what I do. After several years of doing this he asked me what it must have been like to give up my identity as a career woman to wipe butts and noses and how grateful he was that I did. I've come a long way, Baby!

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K.N.

answers from San Diego on

Oh honey, it's time to set some boundaries! Don't ask him to watch the baby, just tell him you're going to lunch on Saturday and will be gone for a couple of hours. Or sit down with him and set a montly schedule where you get at least 1 or 2 days (out of the entire month!!!) to get a couple of hours break. I work part time and I am soooo much more tired when I am home with my 1 year old all day. If he doesn't want to help with the housework I have a great housecleaner that comes 2x a month and she's very affordable. He can pay for it! You are absolutely not being sensitive, he is definetely taking advantage and unless you want the rest of your life to be this way it's time to start sticking up for yourself.
My husband definetely started to do more things with my daughter as she got older. Maybe he won't mind so much as your boy gets older. But you need a break every now and then!
Hope this helps! K. Newton

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C.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

D., my husband was much like yours when our kids were babies. I could tell you stories..........but I won't. You've gotten very good advice so I'm giving you this email I've saved. You should let him read it. It's called:

WHAT DO YOU DO ALL DAY?

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still
in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers
strewn all around the front yard.

The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and
there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the entry , he found an even
bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded
against one wall.

In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the
family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the
counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor,
a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by
the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of
clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that
something serious had happened.
He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the
bathroom door.

As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn
over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been
smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed
in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked
how his day went.

He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"
She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home
from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?" Yes," was his
incredulous reply.
She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

D.,
Honestly, you need to pack a bag and take at least 3 days off and allow your husband to experience what you go through in a 3 day period. I don't mean this in a mean way at all... I experienced some of the same thing with my husband, but the only way for them to truly know it is to go through it. You need to make sure you talk to any friends or relatives that would help him out in a pinch and let them know that they all have to "have plans" that can't be broken so that he can't just drop your son off with someone else. Granted, the laundry will not be done and there will probably be dishes in the sink when you get home, but he will have a whole new appreciation for what you do and how much you do and hopefully an even deeper bond will have developed between him and your son. Make sure you mention to him as well that if he surfs during your son's naps and you are able have a bit of quiet time - then you're happier and more well rested and it might pay off for him... in the bedroom. :)
It just sounds to me that he just doesn't understand your side of it, but there is no better teacher than experience so... let him experience it. Parenting is a two person deal. There is no "Mommy's job" or daddy's job. There will never come a time in his life where he will look back and say, "I'm so glad and proud of myself that I let my wife do all the parenting and household stuff on her own." He'll feel so much more rewarded and proud if he can someday look back and know that he was there for ALL of it and supported and help two fabulous people in his life. Good luck to you.

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L.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Let me say this first: you sound like a very accomodating and considerate wife and a great mother. Good for you! Now - let me also say this: you've gotten some good advice and I would try everything mentioned that resonates with you. I would also add that getting a "mother's helper" might be a great idea for you. I mean a girl of about 13 or 14 who can come over on any day that suits you to stay with your baby for even an hour or 2 so that you can go get coffee, visit with a girlfriend, get a manicure, whatever. In your neighborhood you might want to take note of the young girls that come home after school and befriend them, or at your church or community center. You'd be surprised how many young girls would love to "play" with your baby and if you're close by for just an hour it might be what you need to feel like you're getting a break because you do need one. They aren't expensive - 4 or 5 dollars an hour. Your husband might change or not, but putting pressure on him will probably not work. God bless you!

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M.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Even though I haven't read any other responses, I am pretty sure they will be similar to mine. It sounds like you are a VERY good woman, mother and wife. Sometimes (some) men do not understand how much it takes to care for an infant 24/7. While it is too late now, you probably should have had a discussion about the child care duties before having a child. It sounds like he has expectations that differ from yours in that area grately. It seems that you both might benefit from sitting down and discussing how inequitable this relationship has become. It really sounds like he is still growing up in ways and wants his the best of all worlds. Well, who doesn't? The reality of it is that you should NOT be doing everything...even as a (mostly) stay at home mom. My suggestion is that you are gently honest with him and let him know what your needs are and what you need for him to do in his Daddy role. Good luck!

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J.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I was on that same boat. I worked part time and went to school full time, but since I was getting paid as much as he was and I was home a lot of the time, my husband assumed that I should take on all of those responsibilities for our son. My ILs also believe it's "the woman's job". I'll vent a little myself. I worked part time, but I was a full time student meaning I brought work home and needed time to get my school work done, clean, cook and look after our son. BUT because there wasn't a paycheck coming from school, it didn't count. Frustrated the hell out of me. I had this problem from the moment my son was born up until maybe a year ago. My son is almost 7. What I realized from my experience and from the advice of many wonderful women in my life is that I was doing too much. I remember going to class one day (finals week), going to work running to the day care to pick my son up, running home to make dinner and clean and feeling so overwhelmed that I felt like crying. He came hoem and I handed him the baby and he got very upset stating that I don't give him even an hour to relax after a long day of work. WHEN THE HECK WAS I GOING TO GET MY BREAK!!!!!!!! He didn't see that. I put my son down and went to the bathroom, locked the door and cried. I know your situation is different, but I had school responsibilities, you have home responsibilities. Same thing, you're busy and you need a break.
Anyway, slowly but surely I learned to stop doing so much and thinking of me and what made me happy. I communicated very clearly what I needed and just stopped driving myself nuts. Many months and arguments later, we worked through it. We now have a daughter and my husband cooks, cleans, changes diapers (still complains, but I'll take what I get) and is a hands on dad. If I need some time, he'll grunt about it, but will give me my space.
RECOMMENDATION: Find some girlfriends your trust and take some time for YOU and the girls.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to work hard to get there.

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B.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

:Your letter is very sad. You didn't say how old your are. It sounds as if your husband is a teen age boy.
You can't change him. He might "grow up" or he might not.
You could leave him and someday perhaps meet a man who loves you and wants to be a family and finds this the most important thing in his life.
You must face what you want.
Don't feel guilty what ever you do.
Good luck,
B. v. O.

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A.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am sorry to say that I have absolutely no advise for you, I am really only writing to let you know at least that you are not alone out there. I have an almost 2 year old and I deal with the same thing exactly. Her father works and pays the bills with that money and apparently thinks that the money also covers what should be his responsabilities. I stay home and do it all, even after he gets home. He's helpful sometimes but when he is he acts like he should get some sort of prize for going above and beyond what he should be doing as though his responsabilities start and end at the office. I have done all the communicating in the world to tell him that I think his thought process is rediculous. I have gone from one extreme really nice and trying to explain my point of view to the other where I am probably super snappy. I have actually given up and think it will tear us apart someday, but I am trying to keep us together for her sake. Maybe that's horrible but I don't know what else to do. You know men, they know it all, and there's nothing you can say to change their minds.

I am really sorry I can't be of more help. I just didn't want you to feel alone. Your man is not the only one in the world who thinks it's his job to take care of himself and himself alone.

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L.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
Congrats on the baby! I have a boy also, who is six years old now. He is great! The older your son gets the more fun you'll have.

I think your husband needs to go to some parenting classes or counseling with you. This is not the 1950's. You cannot do it all yourself and you will get to a point where you are going to just lose it. Venting is good!! The "mommy job" is actually giving birth. Everything else can be shared 50/50.

I work full time and my husband is freelance. He is the one who takes care of our son during the day when he is not working and he cooks and cleans and shops. As soon as I get home we eat dinner then I spend the rest of the night playing with my son, checking homework, giving him his bath, reading and doing bedtime. When we're both working, we get a sitter to pick up our son at school and then we both take care of household chores.

Occassionally, one of us wants to go do something fun with our friends and the other one covers all the parenting duties - but this is decided ahead of time and it is not the norm.

I hope your husband comes around. You can't be a parent and be selfish. The family unit has to come first or it won't work and everyone will be unhappy.

Good luck!!

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J.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Whew! You obviously struck a cord- people get all worked up when it comes to advice! I just want to say I feel you...you are not alone. My husband doesn't come out and say things are my job- but when it comes to the baby...somehow it all is! Even if I want to get away for a couple hours...which has happened once or twice in 14 months...I have to plan the meals before I go- tell him what to do... AND the worst part is I always get a couple phone calls asking stupid questions. My husband loves my son lots..but everything baby- in the end- is my job. You'll work it out with you hunny and you'll also get more used to the idea of having no personal freedom just for you...Hang in there.

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A.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,

No, you are not being over sensitive. I had the same problem with my husband. At first he was very "hands on" and loved spending time with the baby. Then he started to complain that he wasn't getting "his" time. Then the hours of playtime went down to a handful of minutes. He would get angry at me that the house wasn't spotless or that I let the laundry pile up. Forget having time to shower let alone go and get my hair done. I put a post here asking if I was being over sensitive. The husband is in a strange spot....he sees his life being dramatically changed in a short time, we had 9 months of the baby growing inside us to get used to the idea that our lives would never be the same. I sat down with my husband and told him how I felt about being a mother, his behavior and how that made me feel. It was rough but well worth it. We now share the responsibilities and he is more willing to help out. Let your spouse know how you are feeling and that you need his help and support. Good luck.

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A.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I think I'm in a similar situation to yours... it really hasn't gotten much better and our first is 3 1/2 and the younger daughter is 7 months. I get a lot of grief for being at home and he has to work. I totally get all the work your doing... most of us are. I am grateful when I can take a couple of hours to go to the grocery store. He is strong willed but not good as a primary care giver. Sure he loves them and can be cute and play sometimes, but I still have to tell him when I need to take a shower and would that be alright? blah I don't really have a solution but I wanted to let you know that you're not alone. Try to ask him at least to wake with the baby on Sunday so you can sleep in.

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N.S.

answers from San Diego on

Hi D.,

You are not out of line to expect more from him, however, he sounds like a very selfish man......and one who has not grown up enough to now be a grown up Dad.

I would urge you to find a good counselor so you can save your marriage. If you let this continue you will be filled with resentment.

Best wishes

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J.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

You are FAR more patient than I would be. My husband changes 99% of the diapers...in fact, we had 3 homebirths and I went to change #2's diaper after he was born and realized that he was 3 days old and I hadn't changed a diaper. He gets up with the kids in the middle of the night, starts baths and he even makes breakfast nearly every morning. Don't get me wrong, I do a bunch as well, but he never hesitates on taking the kids, giving me some breathing time, etc. In return, I force him out of the house for drum lessons or whatever he needs.

He's 50% of the reason your son is here, so he should be doing 50% of it, unless YOU give him a repreive.

And no, you are not being super sensitive. I would leave him for an entire night and day and let him see how easy it is.

It's all about perspective. I would make breakfast, lunch, dinner, do everything - the laundry, clean the house, run errands, pay bills and when he'd arrive home, he'd ask, "What did you do all day?" I'd want to hit him with a pan. When he quit his job 5 years ago to be a stay at home dad and I'd come home and the house was a sty....I'd look shocked and asked, "What DID you do all day?" He would look at me in shock and say, "Do you have any idea how hard this is?" I would laugh and say, yep, I kinda do - but my house was clean and the laundry was done - oh and the kids were fed. He finally got it. He can't really undrestand until it happens to you. Give him some perspective. ;)

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M.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
Let me start by saying that I understand how you feel, and recognize that stay at home moms often don't get much needed time to themselves, no matter how hard they work.

The bottom line is that both of you are working all week long, and both of you are needing time to yourselves (that does NOT mean scrubbing the floor while baby takes a nap).
The truth is that time to relax, rejuvenate, or whatever is a healthy thing to do. Rather than anyone being made wrong over it, I would suggest a conversation to acknowledge those needs for the both of you, and creating some arrangement to accommodate that. If your hubby is not wanting to take turns with the baby alone to accommodate you time off, then you might consider a babysitter. Perhaps a babysitter on a day during the week so that you can get your time, and then when the weekend comes, you can give your husband his time.
Men don't adjust the same way as women do to having a child. Once a woman gets pregnant, she has a 24/7 reminder that her life has already changed. Men don't get the message the same way, and tend to struggle longer with accepting that life is different.

Let him know that you understand that he needs him time out, and that it's a healthy thing for each of you to do. Perhaps you might even include a date night once in a while, besides your solo times.

Remember, healthy parents make happier parents. If it's too difficult to both come to agreement about the appropriateness/deserving of time out, then it might be valuable to have a few visits with a family counselor who can help with healthy parenting and self care perspectives.

Take care,
M.

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S.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

It absolutely positively is NOT the mommy's job to do anything - except give birth and breast feed. Granted women are more prone to instinctively do more, while men seem to need to be told, but still - he needs a wake up call. Make a list of all things that need to get done in a day. On his day off, give him the list and tell him to pick half the items to do that day. Make a list of the days off in the month and decide whether you each get a half day to yourself or if you'll take turns - mark the calendar and stick to it!

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A.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Do you want to stay married? Then I recommend you not approach your hubby like he is a child. These life lessons are not learned by our husbands in the first 6 months of fatherhood. You have a long way to go, but identifying your needs, breaks, parenting styles is best way to start. Carve out about 1/2 hour and approach him with the subject that has been bothering you. Nagging at him everytime the issues comes up will go in one ear and out the other. He's a man..they just dont work like that. Men have a harder time adjusting..most of the time, their lives stay the same and we do all shifting. We're mom's that's what we do. He can do more it's just going to take a while before the old habits start to SHIFT. Talk about it. Should it get worse..invest in 6 months of counseling. He will start to see the light. Have faith and remember why you married him..soon he'll be taking your son out in the waves and you will have some down time yourself! good luck and be patient..they are only MEN!

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S.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Wow. You are certainly not alone. I wanted to throw in that as my son has gotten older and more interactive (and more fun), my husband has taken a more active role. Maybe it'll get better. What I really think might help open his eyes is if you could get away for a weekend. Tell him up front with plenty of notice that you could use a break and go stay with someone out of town (so you can't come rushing back if it gets too hard for him). I first took a couple of days when my son was your son's age, and while I missed him intensely, I came home to a more appreciative husband. It was so worth it; not to mention the added benefit from "me" time. Best of luck.

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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D..
My daughter is 1 1/2. I think that when she was about 6-10 months that was the hardest time. No longer a newborn, so a lot less sleeping. But not quite mobile so very limited in how long they can be entertained by just sitting somewhere and "playing". I felt like I had NO time for myself! And pretty much the whole first year I resented hubby could just go about his business and do what he wanted all day long while I could barely get any time to myself.
So, I think you are in a difficult time right now, but it will get better. A lot of your complaints I think many moms will relate! And I certainly have had talks with my husband about this kind of stuff (after about a year, he got better about taking more responsibility off me and appreciating all the personal time he gets). What helped was, whenever I did get him to do something and I actually got some "me time" I RAVED about how great it was, and how much I needed it and that it was SO NICE to relax for a change. I think he eventually got the hint from this (rather than from my complaining and nagging). And I did this for the little things, Eg: I usually take her out for a little stroll in the evenings to pick up the mail in our complex. One night, hubby did this instead and I had the living room to myself for a whole 15 minutes. I made a big deal about not knowing what I was missing and that wow, he should do that more often it was so great to have a small moment of peace.
Anyway, keep trying to get the mesage across but try to do it in a positive and grateful way. It takes awhile to get these men on board sometimes, I completely understand where you are at! And, again, this 6 months or so age was the hardest time period for me, so that could be part of your frustration too.
Hang in there and don't give up hope!

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K.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

I can relate. I have heard those same words come out of my husband's mouth. But it is just as much my fault. My husband is far from perfect but he is learning

My advice. Keep loving your husband and help him to learn, and be proactive for yourself. We all need a break from ALL that Motherhood asks of us. Work with him and be his teacher. It is important that he's willing to learn. Be proactive in the areas where he doesn't get it. Schedule a girls night out or plan a date that I am really excited about or go for a workout. Tell him what you need. He can't read your mind-those guys only exist on TV.
You did marry your husband for a reason and you can't focus on the negatives. We all have negatives. Love him into being a better husband and Dad. Teach him and you will ultimately benefit.
I wish you ALL the best! And when days are tough you have a bunch of Mom's that are here for you :)

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J.C.

answers from San Diego on

It is very stressful to be a new parent. You are still coping with mood swings, etc. for awhile. You should just sit down with your husband sometime and talk about your needs for alone time and his needs. Being a stay at home mom is hard at first. You should swap out childcare with him so that you can get alone time. Continue to work on your marriage also. Do things as a couple and talk about expectations you have for each other as parents, then compromise. Best of luck to you.

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E.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have dated many a surfer in my time, so I can relate to the feeling of being the 2nd woman in his life sometimes! My advice is to find a moms club or group in your area and get some time with you and your son. The interaction with other moms is great fun and the kiddos enjoy it, too. The best part is the moms nights out - and evenings are better b/c Daddy is home and not itching to hit the waves. Daddy will really start enjoying his time with his son once he gets a chance to really hang with him. Put Endless Summer in the dvd player, plop jr. down in Daddy's lap and make a beeline for the car. I did that one Sunday morning with my husband and my oldest. He was miffed at first but he got it and now he is a big supporter of my moms nights out!

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J.A.

answers from San Diego on

I know you've had a ton of responses, but I just want to add a little more! My husband (like a lot of men) had a really hard time transitioning to being a father (even though we chose to become parents). I was enraged when my son was born and my husband was supposed to stay home from work for a week or 2, and he spent most of the day working from home. I learned that a lot of men freak out once the baby is born and pour themselves into work to make sure they can provide for their family. As a result, they feel like they need more down time when they are not working. My husband adores our son, but it took several months for their bond to strengthen (esp because I breastfed exclusively the first 6 months). When my son was around 4 months, I realized I was doing all the baby work and not getting a break. Finally one night, I explained to him that I was exhausted and that I needed some time to myself everyday in order to recharge so I could be a better wife and mother. I asked him to take over bath time every night and he agreed (and I stayed out of it completely---no advice or instructions, and stayed in the other room). That became such a bonding time for the boys and such a much needed break for me. Also, I had to explain (nicely) to my husband that my job was 24/7 and that I did not have any built in breaks whereas he had the "luxury" of having a start and end time to his work day and could even take a lunch break if necessary. I told him that I don't get to leave my job and leave work behind me the way he does (Don't say it as a comparison of who has a harder job...rather as an explanation of your perspective since dad's don't always understand the mom's schedule this way). When you become a parent, you time is not your own anymore. Even though it is obvious to us moms, that is not obvious to the dads. Explain to your husband where you are coming from and how tired you are while acknowledging all the work he does for your family and his need for down time/recreation as well. He needs to understand that parenting is just as much his responsibility as it is yours. I think it's not a natural tendency for working dads to come home and take over the household responsibilities (they are in job mode so much of the time, it's hard for them to switch gears), so they need gentle reminders (and maybe a mutually agreed up chore list or schedule). My husband has selfish tendencies too (and he's a surfer too), so I have to remind him a lot that even though he wants to hold onto the life he had before our son was born, life changes when you have kids and you give up certain luxuries you had before (namely, exclusive rights to your time) in order to love and provide for your family. I also remind him that these sacrifices are TEMPORARY--that before we know it our kids will be self sufficient and we'll want this baby time back. We realized that we BOTH need to have alone time everyday (even if just for 15 minutes). Also, be sure to continue to nurture your marriage. Good luck!

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R.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D. -
Your needs and time are just as important as his. You both need and deserve time for yourself and I encourage you to demand it! Or just go do it and leave your husband with the baby. You are NOT being super-sensitive.
ALSO - you work too - you are taking care of a child and a home! The baby belongs to both of you, so you both have to make sacrifices. NOT just the mommy. Since you are home with the baby all day, you especially need a break.
I go through this with my husband - he spends all of his time cycling or staring at the TV when he's not at work. It makes me crazy. And, he used to be under the impression that he got to sleep late every weekend while I got up at 4 a.m. And so forth. BUT after some very heated conversations, in which I was VERY, EXTREMELY CLEAR about my feelings, he finally understood that I was VERY SERIOUS that he should pitch in more, and has been more helpful since. (Not perfect, but better.)
Also, I am scheduling family time and fun time with friends and telling him well ahead of time to set his expectations. For example, this weekend I will meet my friend for brunch, so I told him a week ahead of time that I will not be home Saturday morning, so he will have to watch the baby, period. It's not an "ugly" conversation - it's just like, now it's my turn to do something, and you can have your turn on Sunday, so it's fair.
I think the guys sometimes just don't get it - think about their moms and dads, and who did what, and what kinds of friends they have (do they have kids?) and so forth. They have no idea what to do. So I think you have to set boundaries to be happy and to be a good wife and mommy.
Hang in there D.! I feel your pain.
-R.

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S.O.

answers from San Diego on

You are soooo not alone! Welcome to the world of being married and having kids. I think all moms can relate to you here.

And you are not being selfish or sensitive. Whenever DH says he doesn't have enough free time, I tell him neither do I.

We have come up with some compromises though.

DH LOVES to play basketball. He used to play all afternoon on Sundays plus during his lunch break during the week. I was okay with that when we had just one child. But now with two, I nixed the Sunday afternoon playing. I told him he had to choose: Either come up at lunch and help out (he works only 10 minutes from the house) or give up Sunday basketball. He chose to give up Sunday basketball. And since our kids are in bed by 730pm, he gets plenty of quiet time at night where he can go to the gym or play his video games.

For the past year, I take my "Me time" and leave the kids home with him on a weekly basis and have gotten over feeling guilty about it. Every Thursday night my best friend and I meet up and go grocery shopping together and sometimes we have dinner too.

Usually two Saturdays a month I go yard saling, shopping, or do something by myself and leave the kids home with DH.

I used to feel guilty about it, but I don't anymore. I figure my time away from the kids serves two purposes: It rejuvenates me and gives me a break and it gives my kids a chance to have one on one time with their Daddy. And my kids deserve to have that time with him.

And once a year my best friend and I go on a Mommies Weekend Out and the Daddies have to take care of the kids for 3 days and 2 nights. I have two kids, she has 3 kids.

But I must say, that even though both hubbies did some complaining at the beginning, they actually really like being home with the kids since they both work FT and only get to spend a few hours a day with them. So we are blessed that way. Both our hubbies would rather come home and be with us 9/10 times than go out or be with their friends. Unfortunately both hubbies like to play volleyball and video games.....

Sounds like you and your hubby need to come up with a compromise. Can he surf in the mornings before work? Or maybe on the weekend? I.e. he gets to surf on Saturday mornings, and then you can do something in the afternoon? It is important for you to BOTH have some alone time.

Or maybe all 3 of you could go to the beach together sometimes? Daddy can surf while you and baby play on the beach? I do find that if I support my hubby and show interest in the things that he likes, that goes a long way. We often go to see my hubby play basketball or volleyball.

Also you have to realize that most men don't view a 6 month old as that exciting like us Moms do. With my hubby, he always loved our kids. But it wasn't until they both reached the fun age of about 2 that he really started doing stuff with them. Most guys just don't have any idea what to do with a baby and quite frankly I think they think of them as boring. KWIM?

As for everything being "Mommies Job"...that's a load of junk! Sounds like your hubby is just being lazy. Sorry to sound so mean, but it's true. Yes, it's true that since you are home more, more of household duties will fall on your shoulders. But your can and should help you out when he can. Although my DH is not perfect he usually does dishes a couple of times a week, will pick up the living room for me about once a week, cleans the "Boys Bathroom" once a month, takes out the trash, maintains the yard and pool, and usually runs the vacuum cleaner about once a week through the house. And he changes diapers daily, will cook for/feed my kids if I am sick or not there, will pick up stuff at the grocery store for me, will pick up dinner on the way home if I've had a rough day with the kids, will switch out or run a load of laundry for me about once a month, and everyday he bathes my son, brushes his teeth and puts him to bed while I do the same for our daughter.

Mind you it's taken us almost 4 years of raising kids to get DH to this very involved state...but I am grateful that he is willing to do it most of it without too much complaining. But the first 3 years we had some tough arguments and had to iron out some compromises on both sides to get here. So my best advice would be to be honest with your hubby about your feelings and figure out some compromises that work for all of you.

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S.Z.

answers from Reno on

My husband tends to be the same way, because it's the way he was raised. His dad believed that bringing home a paycheck was the father's only responsibility. My husband does much better than his dad, but still gets frustrated at what I expect him to do on his time off. If you both work hard at it and express your feelings without blaming the other person, it will get better.

Also, especially with a first baby, men become terrified that they will never have fun again, that they'll be buried under responsibilities and that they'll lose their identity. That also gets better with time, but only if they see that being part of a family doesn't erase who they are. You might occasionally have to say, "Hey, we don't want a roommate with money. We want somebody to spend time with. That's why I picked you, because I have more fun with you than with anyone else."

Good luck! :) Life is hard, but that's OK!

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V.I.

answers from Los Angeles on

LOL you are not alone girl! You left out the part when the man comes home and flops infront of the tv and says ' I'm tired' . Thats classic for me, i start letting my hubby know that he does not what tire means until he's mommy fulltime. Men sometimes are a little slow with realizing the true duties of parenthood. Soon hubby will catch on and before you know it, they adjust thier schedule, they let you nap, clean the home, etc. Just keep on communicating what you need. As baby gets older it gets easier. At least for me it did. My girls just turned one years old and its odd to see my husband now not only working but doing alot of house work and arranging his life around our baby girl!

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J.M.

answers from Honolulu on

Your husband is not being a equal participant in your family. It sounds like you are a very generous partner (at your own expense) and he knows that. He's in denial that your job is as hard as his, even though he knows that and that's why he doesn't want to do it. Yes, he probably works really hard all week at a crummy job, but that does not excuse him from the adult responsibilities of being a husband and father. Many guys are not mature enough to be good husbands and fathers. I have a lot of girlfriends and they ALL have major problems with their husbands (drinking, being lazy, being a jerk, etc...). Seriously, only myself and one other girlfriends have guys who are natural family men. Not that that excuses your husband, but thought you might like to know that.

You have to look at your options.. . You chose to marry and have a child with this person. You can leave or stay. I'll assume you are no where near leaving. You will probably struggle with this situation in your life for a long time. You can write down your feelings/ organize your thoughts and have a heart-to-heart with him or go see a counselor. Know that very few people change because you want them to, but maybe you'll see results. I think the best thing you can do is accept this part of your husband. Love him for his good qualities and find something for yourself to replace whatever void he's giving you. My husband also surfs, but he always asks permission. When he does go surfing I have a long list of mommy friends to go have a playdate with.

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V.T.

answers from Honolulu on

My husband and I will be celebrating our 38th in a couple of weeks. A long time ago...a very long time (smile), my husband also had that attitude. His vacation was HIS. I didn't really argue because I have been around two wage earners all my life and felt rather lucky to be able to stay at home with my babies for as long as I did.

One day, while on vacation, he was trying to explain why this was his time to a nephew he had taken out fishing...He came home and told me that he was wrong, that this was OUR vacation. And after that, whenever he'd come home from work, he'd give me an hour or two while he played with the kids. "You're not just their mom or my wife, you're YOU and you need time to be you."

This allowed him to get really close with the kids and they all think he's the greatest father in the world.

You say your husband loves your son...give him time, he may come to the realization that you and your son isn't taking anything from him, just giving him loads of opportunity to be and do more to be something special in two lives.

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E.M.

answers from San Diego on

Wow- I feel your frustration!! My husband used to be almost as bad but now he has come a LONG way from that 1950's attitude!!! He is a surfer too and is great about going when our son naps. He needs regular exercise and doesn't mind if the waves aren't perfect as long as he can get out there and then be home to hang out with our son.
My best advice is to figure out what approach works best for him. When I need help, I always give my husband a choice-for example- Ill tell him that "our son needs a bath and bed and the kitchen needs to get cleaned up- which would you rather do." it works REALLY WELL for us!! I still have less time for myself and my own exercise than he does but I am happy with the progress we have made. Also, I have learned that I need to schedule my 'time off' with my husband-- like to go meet my girlfriends or shopping or else all care falls to me by default. Basically- I have to leave the house for him to assume the primary care giver mode!!
Good luck!! I am sure he will come around!!

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K.C.

answers from San Diego on

Hi D.,

I am so glad that you wrote about this. So many women carry the entire world on their shoulders working 24/7 in a relentless occupation called "Home-making." I ran across this website and thought you might enjoy this info as well:

"Are you wondering what mom should be paid for her work as mom? Salary.com has valuated the 'mom job' of both the Working and Stay-at-Home Moms! Based on a survey of more than 18,000 mothers, Salary.com determined that the time mothers spend performing 10 typical job functions would equate to an annual salary of $116,805 for a stay-at-home mom. Working moms ‘at-home’ salary is $68,405 in 2008; this is in addition to the salary they earn in the workplace. (Taken from "Mom Salary Wizard")

"The job titles that best matched a mom's definition of her work are (in order of hours spent per week): housekeeper, day care center teacher, cook, laundry machine operator, computer operator, psychologist, facilities manager, van driver, chief executive officer and janitor."

My husband and I still squabble over who should do the dishes. As a mom of 10 month old twins, sometimes I spend all day in my PJs and feel like the dirty dishes in the sink are on "auto refill."

Doesn't it seem that once you finish one thing, three more duties replace it? One particularly notable breakthrough I had with my husband was when both babies were teething. I had the house in order before I left for the whole day. When I returned in the afternoon, the place was in shambles & the three of them were knocked out on the living room floor. That night, as I made dinner for us, my husband looked me in the eye and said, "You know, I think I finally understand what you go through every day." That moment was so blissfull. The truth is, no single human being can handle 10 careers...which is what the average mother takes on whether she works outside the home or not. As a human being, you need a day away. I strongly suggest that you ask your husband for a "day off." See what he thinks about that...I let my husband golf at least once a week (he's been gone since 5am...and won't be home until around 4pm). But when he is home with the kids, he's learned to be a team player. It's daddy's job to help mommy and play with his children. Isn't marriage a partnership? There is no "I" in team!

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C.T.

answers from San Diego on

I just wanted to say a couple of things. First, definately see "Fireproof" as already mentioned and get the book "The Love Dare." It's from the movie. Anyway, a huge part of me just wants to say welcome to motherhood. Haha. I am a stay-at-home mom of two girls, ages 4 1/2 and 3. I've been a SAHM for most of their lives. I have certainly had times where I felt as if my hubby just didn't do enough and didn't get it. However, from what you have said I don't think I've ever had it that bad. Still, I have had days and weeks that I could just scream. My husband is in the military, so that doesn't help much. Anyway, one thing I would like to say is that you cannot compare the amount you do at home and for your son to the amount your husband does. Been there, done that. I can guarantee doing that will be setting yourself up for failure. Men are just made differently. They see things different. Now, that certainly does not excuse his not helping at all. Maybe he's having a hard time with this transition. Maybe he's not as ready as he thought he was to be in this role. Obviously, he's going to have to get over it but perhaps you could help him in that respect. Maybe make it a point to thank him and be truely appreciative for the things he does do. Try not to nag as it's not going to help. Oh and here is something for future reference if you don't need it already. Be very careful not to correct the way he does things with/for your son just because it's not the way you want it done. Dads are different than moms and are going to do things very differently. Moms have a habit of getting worked up about the details and then they want to correct the mistake. Trust me, in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter if he forgets to use a bib or doesn't wipe his face right away, little things like that. If he's helping, let him help. Don't nag as it will make them feel like they aren't doing a good enough job and then you can bet he wont want to help. So, just keep that in mind. As for what's going on now, he should help out for sure. Just remember that dads are different and sometimes it has to bite them on the nose before they see it. Try explaining your feeling instead of nagging him for his help. Let him know that you need his help, not because you want to cut into his fun but because you really need it. Make sure not to make him feel like he's a bad father. Validate the fact that he does work outside the home and that you know he is working hard for you and your son. Let him know you are proud of what he does. Remember that men, even the ones who try to act all tough, are often insecure when it comes to their role. They often feel like they are not doing enough to provide. Maybe just rub his ego some, but be sure to let him know how your feeling and what your needs are (in a respectful manner of course.) Just some thoughts.

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Having raised three sons, I do have experience. I used to feel like you did and it only caused great stress in my marriage and in myself.
Ultimately, the children are yours whether you like it or not. Your husband doesn't want to help with a baby. Stop insisting that he does. You want help, you need help, that is correct. Get help, just not from your husband. Stop resenting him and take care of yourself. On the weekends, get a sitter to come and stay with your son while you go do something for yourself. This will take care of the problem.
My husband loved our sons and spent much time with them when they were a little older. I had my free time then and it balanced out.
Your marriage is a priority and your husband, right or wrong, doesn't want to help with the baby. Work with that and stop fighting it. Loving him and stop nagging him and he will be more inclined to help.......Good luck.
Welcome to marriage and motherhood.

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J.P.

answers from San Diego on

have you seen the movie "fire proof" there are so many resources out there. he obviously did not have that example growing up. he needs to be retrained.

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M.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

you have every right to vent.... Believe me...most Moms understand you!!

Most men feel that babies are very tiny and breakable. Most men get scared to take care of babies, period. Then there are some men, like my husband, who can't get enough of the holding, cuddling and bathing.

When your son is 5 years old, Daddy will be his hero and you will get your break. I am a Mom of two boys and Daddy is the man they want to be. I used to be upset that they did not "idolize" me, after all I have done to nurture them, but Dad is pretty cool and I am happy if they want to be just like him.

Mom, still makes the best meals.... Dad makes the best pancakes...

Enjoy your little one. Ask your husband to be a team player. Arrange your schedule on the refrigerator. Sounds like you need to put a "date" night on there and have your baby watched by Grandparents. On another occasion, have his Mother over with your husband and get away with the girls. Maybe he is afraid to be alone with your little one. His Mom might be a good person to "break him in".

Congrats on your little guy... enjoy those rocking chair moments!

Just be tender, gentle and loving.... Even though you are frustrated. Set your limits now!!!

M.

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C.S.

answers from Honolulu on

Hi D.,
It's a big transition to go from doing what you want, when you want to being tied down with an infant to care for. Moms just "do it," but men seem to fight it more. I think your letter was really well written and perhaps you can share a version of that with your husband, so he'll understand how you feel. Maybe he was raised with his Mom doing everything, so this is his expectation of you - you might have to explain that you thought that he would help more and be very specific in asking for what you want. Men don't really "get it" a lot of times, unless you are very specific and ask. So keep doing that. But, remember, the demanding phase of infancy will pass and things will keep changing and your husband is likely to get more involved as your son grows. A lot of men feel really inadequate and even nervous to care for an infant and are much better when the child gets bigger. All the best!

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C.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.!
I understand how you feel. It sometimes does feel unfair at the division line! However, its easier to get what you want in a non-direct way. Men need to feel respected just as we need to feel loved. I would suggest that you tell him so. "Honey, I really respect you for being a good provider for our family, and that I am able to stay home with our son." Watch his demeanor change....perhaps he'll stand a little taller even. Men are simple creatures compared to us women. Try it! I promise it will work! When we show our
husbands respect (even when we feel they don't deserve it) they will naturally respond in a more loving way to us.
If you like to read, I'd recommend a couple of great books
on how to "work" our marriage to both partners' advantage.
"LOVE & RESPECT" by Dr. Emmerson Eggrichs and "Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" by Dr. Laura Shlessinger.
These books have been very helpful for me to better "deal" with my husband! He even helps clean the house sometimes. The more respected they feel by us, the more they want to be around us. Sounds strange, but its true.
Blessings to you and your family!
C.

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

first and foremost he made the choice also to have this sweet baby. he needs to learn tht when your a prent you never get a break from work. my hubby tried to do this to me too. so what i did was took my daughter from him. he wasnt allowed to change bathe dress hold or really even talk to her. i did this for a month. id leave the house after we both where ready in the morning and i didnt come home till it was time for bed. (i went somewhere where she could nap at a friends house). my hubby puts me down a lot like yours does and seems to think i sit around all day. yet he wont try my job for a day. what he would do is run to his mom and dads and have them take care of her. my daughter is 22 months old and when i ask her if she wants to stay with dadd its always a NO!. what i would do one morning your hubby is off is get the baby ready like you usually do and when he goes down for his first nap tell your hubby youll be right back and take off for a couple hours and enjoy the peace. he needs to step up and sacrifice things time to time. good luck.

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M.C.

answers from San Diego on

Your husband sounds like a very immature selfish guy.
The fact that he is so hard to get up in the morning makes me think he may have a drinking or drug problem.
I think you went way beyond venting in your letter. You made it very clear you are seriously concerned about the path your lives are taking, as well you should be.
In fact your husband doesn't even sound like he loves you.
Your lives seem out of control. Don't expect to be in control where there is a man or baby concerned. I will be praying for you. I feel sorry for you. Your life seems like a nightmare. Good Luck. I'm 57 and have raised two kids and my husband was the sole breadwinner. He was always there for me and the kids. In fact he never hesitated to be the one to sit up in the middle of the night rocking a sick baby so I could a breather.

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J.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

First of all, you tell him that he's being childish. Then, create a schedule of when Mommy gets time off from her job. Just like HE only works from 8-5 or whatever his hours are, YOU will only work certain hours. Mommy deserves a "lunch break" say from 6-7 or 7-8pm when Mommy can go out and do whatever she wants. Just like HE gets to go surf whenever he wants. Tell him that your girlfriend J. from Mamasource says to GROW UP and quick being so SELFISH.

On the other hand, and I know some people will say not to do this, but I have and it's worked for us, you tell him that MOMMY will not give it up until she's had some time off. She's tired from HER JOB and will not waste precious sleep time on HIS SELFISH needs. Now, be careful, because it could backfire, but in my case, my hubby realized that if he helped out: loaded the dishwasher, gave the baby a bath, etc.; suddenly Mommy wasn't so sleepy at bedtime anymore and had the time and energy to devote to his manly needs...

I'm sorry you're dealing with this, but if you HAVE talked to him honestly and openly (read: NO SUBTLETY OR ANGER, just straight-talking), then I think it's time to draw the line and give him the ultimatum.

OR, if he's being a jerk, then take a week off and go visit a friend or relative. Let him have his "time to himself" which includes you not being there to cook/clean/cater to his every whim.

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N.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

When my boys were small and I had to work on Saturday, I actually had to hire a babysitter while my husband was home! That did change as the boys got older and they spent quite a lot of time with their dad. By the time our daughter came along, my husband was much more comfortable being a hands on dad. Your husband may actually be coming from a place of fear. Try leaving him alone with the baby awake for short stints, even if it is only long enough for you to take a walk around the block. However, I seem to notice more men are like married bachelors. They take longer to get with the program. Please don't become a martyr as it just lets him off the hook. Do you do things all together on the weekends, like park outings and such? For my family it just took my husband longer to be more involved, but in the end, there wasn't a father out there who spent more time with his kids. Good luck.

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P.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have been so fortunate that my husband has been so helpful and considerate. When friends of ours got pregnant after us, I made sure to talk to their husbands and tell them how much work it really is and how much she will love him more if they helped out a little. I fell in love with my husband all over again. Before our son was born, we did talk about how and what I needed help with or just that it would be great for him to do. Since our son was a newborn, my husband has been giving him a bath. I do help out, though. He does all the bed time routine. He's awesome. It's a great time for them to bond. I told him that he was on diaper duty in the evenings and weekends. Yes of course I would help out when needed. Our son didn't really nap much as a baby and that made it really difficult for me to get anything done. He just wanted to be stimulated. He is now 4 yrs old and my husband still is very helpful.
The key is communication and understanding. Sit down and talk to him. Let him know that this is something great for him. To be a hands on daddy is wonderful. Most friends that I know of are, and they are so happy and love helping out with the kids.
Also, take a day or two off and let him see how much work it truly is. This is your full-time job and though he may be the bread winner, this is his family too and his responsibility to help out. Your children will appreciate and learn from seeing daddy helping mommy out.

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K.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I did not have time to read all of the responses, so sorry if this is repetitive. Here is my two cents. Having you first child in infancy is a dificult time for stay at home moms/primary caretaker. Ignore the dismissive comments about being lucky to stay home, it has great challenges in itself. You will be able to see your luck when the baby is a little older. Your life right now is focused, diligent, endless/continuous and a bit isolating. So I am sure that any frustration and tiredness is being reflected back at your husband. You are being sensitive, and that's okay. You have needs and expectations that are not being met. But your husband also has needs and expectations. Be loving and willing to compromise and talk to your husband. Talk about the care and feeding of your baby and the roles each of you play in it. Acknowledge what he has said his needs are and kindly and sincerely say I need "this" it makes me feel like surfing makes you feel. Maybe he can take care of the baby half a day on Saturday and and one evening a week, and you can get out and do what you want. Just knowing what the schedule is expectations can be put in check and you can both appreciate what the other does. It is a two way street, but it is hard to live up to the 50/50 thing. Some weeks is 80/20 and the next more balanced. That's life.
When you do have time make it for yourself, no grocery shopping! You do that with the baby. (I personally loved shopping with an infant. It was great face to face time). You need to make your time not routine or chore related. And I would highly recommend getting out of the house. He can learn how to be alone with the baby, and you get to miss them both and come home feeling happy to see them both.

In short get the needs and compromise discussions started with love and respect for who both of you are, and get the expectations in check. Eliminate nagging (women do this but it's never helpful in the long run. Men may end up doing what you want, but can eventually lose respect for us). Hopefully you and your husband can hold each other in respect to stick to your agreement.
Love, Respect and as much appreciation as you can express. I works for us and diminishes the stressful times.

Good luck, and it does get easier as the baby grows older.

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L.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

I want to add that WHEN you do 'plop the baby in front of him' and go out for a girls night or your own time - leave a parenting book that you use beside him. I like Dr. Sears 'the baby book' b/c it addresses dad's role and how he DOES need to help out. Let him read the same parenting stuff you read and develop his own style with the baby. When you are at home together and he has the baby DO NOT tell him how to handle the baby or how YOU change the diaper or how YOU hold the baby - unless he asks of course. You figured it out and so will he. You have to let him have his own style - which will be totally different from yours especially in the beginning. Don't say a word how he should do it differently. Let him know he is doing a great job and you are learning from him. Lead by example and sometimes a little hint, "oh, I am so glad I just read about this new technique in 'the happiest baby on the block' making this shhhhh sound - it really works for me - and how was your day dear?" By all means start plopping the baby in front of him NOW. He needs to build this relationship now with his son - it doesn't get easier to start later, yes the boy will be more interactive later but the habit and patterns will be more difficult to break. 6 months is the PERFECT time to start handing him the baby - by now he knows he can't break the baby and he'll get to experience some of the magical moments when the baby is developing something new which at this age is like every day! OK my two babies (5 and 2) are awake and oh, by the way my husband left at 5:30 to go surfing! So I've got to get going and get the family ready. Please don't let it get to the point where you resent him and the situation. It is so negative and you want to fill your soul with positive right now so you can give your son your radiance and soak up his littleness and perfectness and joy. They don't stay little for long really. Oh and when your partner has the baby find awesome things to say about it, like, 'I could have just melted when I saw you giving him raspberries, IF I had the energy I'd DO you right now!' and that is a good point - men and women are very different - he wants sex you don't...let him know that you find him sexy and give him lots of lovers hugs. Let him know that the sex life is very different now but it comes back. The guys talk about it when they're out and dad's admit they're not getting any. One trick I learned was changing my internal dialogue during sex from, 'oh geez OK go ahead take take take thats all you do now I have to service you too..' to ' this is for me too, this can feel great, we are a couple...' We found that 'quickies' were just about the only sex we had for about 3 years - thats just how it is it is a time and energy thing and a physical need thing for the guy - try to find the humor and reality in it. Just make sure that you get yours too sometimes - he'll be more than willing - even if you have to talk yourself into it!!! lol

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,

Girl, my husband is the same way. Our son is now 3 1/2, but when he was a baby, he had a MUCH harder time "pitching in" to help. Taking care of an infant takes ALL of your time, and it's very exhausting. Now that our son is older, my husband is able to play games with him, take him to the library or out for ice cream, etc. He still needs "his time", and I just have to remind myself how lucky I am to be able to stay home with my child every day. When I needed a break, I would take my son on a walk or a trip to the zoo (using the stroller, of course!) and it would be a small break for me. You need to get out and see things - don't stay couped up in the house or you will drive yourself crazy! I totally understand the need to just "vent" as well. That's why this site is so amazing... use it to vent whenever you need to! Or feel free to email me... I need to vent to someone, too!

Keep up the good work and God bless!
D.

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E.G.

answers from San Diego on

You probably have more then you want to read here... but what about going to the beach WITH your hubby and the baby? just ditch the house chores for the time he's out in the water. you and the baby can watch daddy surfing, you get out of the house, and man - babies are surfer magnets at the beach. my husband and I went to the beach a few weeks ago, and probably 5 surfers walked by and stopped to chat, or wave at the baby, ask how old.. all that stuff.

I also agree that you need YOU time as much as he needs his time off. set up a weekend day where you will be unavailable, and go do something for yourself.
I also like the option of giving him a choice of 2 of your chores to do, and letting him pick which he wants to do.
cook dinner, or give the baby a bath... change the baby, or take out the trash.

best of luck!

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M.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Oh, boy. I'll bet this sounds familiar to a lot of moms. It's completely unfair and infuriating but it seems to happen a lot. Your husband clearly hasn't learn that having a child means you can't have the same schedule you had before having kids and that it affects EVERYONE in the family. (My husband's big problem after we had kids is he refused to sacrifice any of his sleep so I could occasionally get sleep. It took years to get past the damage this did to our marriage.) In a calm moment, when your hubby is not on his way out the door too surf, explain to him calmly that you totally understand his love of surfing and his need to have his relaxation and way to blow off steam and you do not want him to give up surfing and you're not trying to minimize his surf time. Then point out that you're simply trying to ensure that YOU get a break from being a mommy/housekeeper all the time and that even though those "jobs" don't earn money, it is still work, it's still tiring and frankly it makes you really brain-dead sometimes. Ask him to imagine how down he would feel if he NEVER got to surf anymore. Then point out that you NEVER get to go do something fun for yourself without hauling the baby around. It might help to pull out a family calendar and actually schedule days/times when he gets to surf and days/times when HE must watch the baby so you get to go out. If the whole appeal of surfing is that it's spontaneous for him, then scheduling it might backfire, but if that's the case, maybe just schedule what days/times YOU plan to go out on your own and he will have to watch the baby. He can work out his surfing time at any other hour as long as you get that scheduled time to yourself. If this doesn't work, start hiring babysitters like crazy (some men finally wake up to your needs when they realize how much money it's costing for them to shirk their parental responsibilities.) If money or trustworthy sitters are really, truly, seriously an obstacle, find some friends to exchange child care with. It means you'd be burdened with an extra kid sometimes but it would also get you some time off. Finally, if absolutely none of this works, demand that your husband go to marriage counseling with you -- because if you're carrying the full load of parenting/housework and he's unwilling to bend, then your marriage is in trouble and the sooner he realizes it the better chance you have to improve things. Hopefully he'll wake up before that. Good luck.

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R.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Wow, did I write this or did you? Hello...my EXACT situation! Our first child is 6 months old, I not only do all the household work and take care of child, but I also have to work from home 32 hours a week. I'm up at 5AM and have every minute of the day jammed packed in order to fulfill all my duties. Not only that, but my husband is a grad student and doesn't make that much money. He has a very similar attitude as your husband. If you ask me, men are slower to adapt to a changing situation such as the addition of a child. He came home from the hospital and returned to his exact routine without a conscious thought as to what he might need to do differently (he has never once gotten up at night even though we both work equally and I get up at 5AM while he sleeps in). We've had some serious talks and luckily he has been listening. I know for my husband I have to point out the obvious. Don't assume that your husband has realized on his own what you are going through...describe it to him in great detail. Be specific about what you want...on Sat I want my time from 10AM-12PM...on Tues I want to go to a yoga class from 8PM-9PM, etc. and agree on your limitations. Let your husband also say what he wants...on Sun I want to surf from 9AM-1PM.

I get upset when I feel that my husband takes advantage of the fact that I'll get everything done without complaining about it. So, rather than going out of his way to help, he just assumes it is taken care of. You should read Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus. Your husband needs his cave time (it's in the book) but he also needs to think about what your needs are.

My final point is...YOU ARE NOT ALONE! This is a huge transition time which is difficult for everyone.

(Happily married but working through the kinks)

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I.T.

answers from Bakersfield on

Hi there,
I feel that the only way for it to change for the better and be permanent is for you two to attend counseling. He needs to hear form a third party who does not take sides that his behavior is not acceptable. The more You try to tell him, the more he's going to resent You. I would suggest you ask Him to chose the therapist so he doesn't feel like you are setting him up. (We all know that he's being selfish, but without hearing it from a totally uninvolved person, he probably just gets defensive anytime it's brought up.) Good luck to you and your little family.

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Z.W.

answers from Las Vegas on

sorry, honey, but i have to call this as i see it....dump the loser............

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L.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, D.,

Your story sounds a bit like my mother's story. (My father surfs, swims, plays tennis, runs, sings, etc.) After 44 years of marriage, the marriage is still imbalanced in terms of free time. I recommend addressing your situation now--in a direct, diplomatic, respectful (to your husband, your child and yourself) way. If all women did this, I think that women, in general, would be taken more seriously and treated much better by men.

I would probably approach this problem as a business problem as opposed to a domestic (emotional) problem. I recommend writing down your schedule, down to quarter hour detail, for a day or two. Add up the number of "work" hours. Apply a pay rate to each hour of work. For instance, if the going rate for cleaning is $15/hour, apply $15/hour to each hour you clean your home. Add up the money. Multiply by 30 to get your monthly income or 365 to get your annual income. Highlight the amount of free time you get. (I'm guessing that you won't have anything to highlight, which will make this part of this activity easy.) Now, calculate how much time your husband spends doing "extracurricular" activities without you and your husband. If this marriage is to be equal, you are entitled to that amount of free time. Indicate that to function as a sane, healthy person, you need the same amount of free time he gets. To allow you to be a sane, healthy person, he can (a) split his free time with you (e.g. spend half of his currently free four hours per day, or two hours, cleaning house, cooking, bathing/changing baby) or (b) hire someone at the going rate to free you to take care of yourself (e.g. pay someone for 2 hours/day * 7 day/week, or 14 hours/week, to clean, babysit, etc.) You are not asking him to quit surfing or doing anything healthy, fun or recreational. You are striving to be as healthy as him and enjoy your life as much as he enjoys his.

Another thing you could do, is tell him that you have two things to do at any given moment and let him choose one of the two things to do. For example, because I have two babies, I often need help to take care of both of them at the same time. I let him choose whether to take our elder son to the bathroom or feed our younger son.

If you get nowhere with either of these suggestions, get good marriage counseling, if you can. Go by yourself if your husband won't go or actively participate in counseling.

I've noticed that when I've insisted on respect and decent treatment, the men in my life have seemed to feel more affection and attracted to me. Being a doormat doesn't pay.

Good luck,
Lynne E

G.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I see that you have gotten 86 responses so far. Wow! I WILL be reading them when the children permit, but what I really wanted to say is

OMG! Are you married to MY husband???

Hang in there! I'm sure that at least a few of the 86 have something constructive to say that we will both be able to take away from this.
My husband HAS gotten better with time (2 1/2 years and a second baby later) but I still occasionally will get my "job description' thrown in my face. Some of them are just that way. I think they feel frightened and inadequate by the very little babies because they cannot relate to them (no matter how much they behave like them) but worse yet they can't "fix" them. Men want to be able to solve problems and fix things. Babies are mysterious and therefore, "Women's Work!".

Good luck to you and at least you know you're not alone. :)

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S.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Wow, D., I feel for you. It is hard when the man you love all of a sudden becomes this selfish man and digs in his heels even though you are suffering. I think the idea of some marriage counselling is good--if he won't go as a couple, then you go alone (with baby and toys if necessary). That will help alot. Also, the idea of a babysitter is also a good one. If you can't afford one, do you have any friends who will share babysitting? You watch hers, she watches yours?? If not, get hooked up with a moms club asap so you can network and make some friends with other stay-at-home moms in your neighborhood/area. Here is the link to locate a chapter near you. http://www.momsclub.org/join.html That support will help you tremendously! They have age appropriate playgroups (so you'd be in a playgroup with the other moms with babies in your age range) that meet weekly as well as a weekly park date for all the moms and a monthly mom's night out where they do different things---movies, dinner, pottery making, etc. All activities are totally optional. You attend as many or as little as you like. Okay, now that I'm done trying to sell you on that, back to your dilemma. Your husband sounds a little like mine--the more he's pressured, the more he digs his heels in. Sadly, he's being selfish, but you won't be able to change him with your words. Back off, get the counselling, get the babysitter and let it be. Are you exercising? (I know, when??) Join a gym and put baby in the childcare for an hour so you can work off your stress. If you can't afford that, put baby in the stroller every day, grab your ipod and go for a fast walk or slow jog. You will feel so much better!! Buy a weight training dvd and work out with weights at least twice a week, more as baby gets easier. Maybe after 3-4 weeks of you not asking/nagging hubby, you can give baby to dad while you're fixing dinner and see how that goes. I totally feel for you---you're in a tough situation. Good luck and God bless!

P.S. Sorry about the nagging word---I heard Dr. Laura tell a husband caller one day that his wife wouldn't have to nag him if he would step up to the plate and do what he needed to do. It was great!!!

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L.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

My first thought was the surfing sort of depends on the tide, swell, etc. and that may not be in line with your sons nap... so maybe not all your hubby's fault on that!

I could totally relate to a lot of the things that you said and I think what saved me was doing some of the things you mentioned (laundry, picking up, etc) while your child is awake. You could get a sling or place him in a bouncy chair near the sink while you do dishes, etc. Let his naptime be your time to take a shower, read a magazine, catch up on tivo'd shows, etc.

I find that getting to a matinee or a pedicure is enough break for me. So early in the week I ask my husband if he'd mind (of course he doesn't) but let him pick which day works best for him.

Try it out - and make sure to enjoy that baby of yours!!

S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

you are definitely not being too sensitive. my hubby was just as selfish as yours sounds! its somewhat in a mans nature to be selfish!

i used to live in a very close knit community and complained about him a lot. most of my friends that were married for longer than i was told me that their hubbies were the same way at first. it takes time, patience and a strong woman to help shape her man into a great one. especially if you are fairly young when you got married. it sounds to me like you guys are in your early to mid twenties? they all told me that after the fifth year of marriage, their husbands began to change their selfish ways noticeably!

my hubby was so selfish after we had our first child that i felt like a single mom for the first three years. he was nowhere to be seen when it was time to change diapers, feed, nap, or bathe. they played together once in a while in between my hubbies homework and time with his friends. my hubby hung out with his stupid friends more than his own son, that frustrated me so much.
we were in school full time as well, that didnt seem to make much of a difference to him because for some reason his education was more important because he was the one who was going to go to get a job with his degree. that made me so mad, i said, "well what if i want to be the one who works and you be the stay at home dad?" of course that was like a joke to him, like he never heard of it!

so i put up with him because i love him too much and was very patient person. of course i wouldnt put up with everything. i expressed my feelings constantly, until he would understand. and eventually he would.

after we were married for three and a half years and after my son was two and a half, i gave birth to a daughter. he seemed to realize his life calling then! he changed her diapers a lot. got up with her every night, and barely hung out with his friends anymore (of course moving helped a lot). but he was a new person, he realized he was a dad.
it was better but not the best. i took some time off of school to stay home with my son and daughter for her first year, after that i went back to school and things were going okay, once in a while he would get really selfish again, but then i would have to take some selfish time as well. i told him that if he gets two night a week to hang out with friends then so do i. then he started to get jealous, of not having me around as much. so he would compromise. and compromising is so great with a selfish hubby!
well after we were married for six years i found out i was pregnant again! and my hubby go into grad school and we moved and he started to do more for me, he would take my oldest to school. he took my daughter to go shopping for groceries. he took me out on dates more (we were also getting paid more so that made it a little easier)
he did the laundry, still does all his own laundry! he is realizing that being a mom and housewife are two different full time jobs and that it is very hard to do both very good at all. also after he would do one or two things for me i thanked him so much that he felt really good about helping me around the house!
i gave birth a year ago and now i am pregnant again!! and my hubby is starting to do a lot more around the house, i got carpal tunnel syndrome and couldnt clean anything. my hubby tried to help but it was just so much he didnt know what to do. it got so bad that i enlisted the help of some friends who offered earlier. after my hubby came home and saw how clean the house was he was so relaxed, and felt so bad that he couldnt help me more! what a wonderful transformation!
the last week he has been waking up early to make breakfast for us! and a few days ago he agreed to do the dishes after dinner and every dish he uses!! what a fantastic victory for me!! we have been married over seven year now and i have been trying to get him to do that for like five years!

so basically what i am trying to tell you is that you need to be patient, be calm, love your hubby, men are a weaker species, and it doesnt matter what his hobby is (my hubby was a computer nerd) he is going to use any excuse to get away from something he doesnt want to deal with. dont forget to communicate your feelings with him regularly. and give him a chance to speak his thoughts, and let him know that sexism isnt going to work in this case! there are very few roles that only a mother can do and very few that only a father can do. most of this stuff is a shared package deal. its going to take a lot of time, which is why you need the patience!

good luck! <3

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K.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
You are not alone in your frustrations. I don't think some men understand how much we give and although we are happy and thankful to be SAHMs, we need little breaks! I have found that planning ahead is key. For example, you can talk about the plans for the w/e and both share what personal things you would both like to do. He would probably say surf and you need to have something in mind- plan something nice for yourself. That way you can say " that's great DH, and from x to x, I will be doing x (whatever it is, try to get out of the house)". That way you establish that you are happy to have him do what he enjoys but you need that option too. This is just a start! It's not "mommy's job"- parenthood is a shared joy and responsibility. My husband became much more helpful as our children got older and there was more interaction (when they became more "fun" for them). Good luck to you!

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L.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

WOW-Look at all these responses! You sure did strike a cord with all. I saw some posters say are u married to my husband? HOW FUNNY! My DH is like that in a way. I SAH and he always says how can you be tired-you are at home all day? Yeah home with a 3yr old and a 2yr old-when do I get a break? He thinks I can take a break when I want-When-I do everything here-he does not even take out the trash.He will change diapers, but sometimes I just do it myself-Like they say if ya want something dome right-do it yourself. And I am all about schedule which he respects and when I want something done I want it done when I ask-not tomorrow-my husbands philosophy is-it is not going anywhere-it will be there later. Also he likes to fish and when he goes I get upset sometimes because I do not know many people here and I definetly do not know anyone with little ones my age-so I feel isolated and feel like when do I get a break and he tells me-well you picked to stay home-which we both would not have any other way since I will not do daycare so this is something we both decided, but there are days I wish I did work.Anyway know u are not alone. I wouls suggest what some others did-I did not read all the posts, but maybe go to counseling-IT HELPS! We r doing counseling for a whole other reason(MIL), but it makes a difference. Good Luck! I didn't notice, but did u get a response from the lady who posted about being a LUXURY to be a SAHM? L.:)

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G.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

If your husband is willing to make a schedule with you so that you have your down time, do it. Otherwise, suggest to him going to see a counselor or do it on your own. I started seeing a therapist when my daughter was 3 mos. old. When she was 9 mos. old, my husband and I had a huge fight and made a schedule to even things out. We still ended up seeing a counselor a year later because of other issues.

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L.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

yes you are being super sensitive and homonal. for surfing the tide is right at certain times. some times when a baby naps. if he is working hard so you can stay home with the baby yeah for him a REAL man. lighten up greet him happily when he comes home and stop pushinig the baby at him. right now you are the mom and the food source. dad will be there. right now he is providing what the baby needs most HIS MOM AT HOME.

want him home more? stop nagging and being his mom. he is a grown up and so are you. partners with different tasks to handle. if you want him to be there for the long haul change the attitude and most likely if you married a stand up guy, his attitude and priorities will change towards family, instead of pulling away because of the nagging.

while baby sleeps read PROPER CARE AND FEEDING OF HUSBANDS. its out in paperback. i keep it handy to remind myself and am surprised at how easy it is to turn my man around with kindness and love. and then i get exactly what i feel i have been missing.

good luck

L.

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C.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

Your husband needs his eyes opened...Go get a job outside the home, then he will know how much it costs to have someone taking care of the baby. Or Hire a babysitter parttime just to give you a break. A High School Kid is great after school. Just when you need a couple hours to yourself. Good Luck

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D.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have had the same problem. My husband use to think that the weekends were his time to do whatever he wants and he could sleep in til 10, watch whatever he wanted on TV, go out with his friends, etc. I was working full time as a teacher when our girls were younger and I wanted to sleep in and not get up with them. I always took them to the sitter, picked up, etc. Two years ago my husband got laid off and was off work for 7 months. He then took on the running of the household, shopping, taking the girls to school, picking them up, etc. For awhile he was understanding, now he is back to work and I am home. He is back to his old ways, but every once in a while he does something with the girls so I can sleep in. I don't know how to get your husband to help, but I understand your feelings. Good luck.

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V.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I feel for you, D., I really do. A lot of what you said is so familiar of my situation too. I am a SAHM of a very energetic, independent 3 year-old girl. It's really taken this long to get my husband to understand my "job", what it's like to be home with our daughter every day and to manage the household also. I hate to say it takes time, but it just does. You're home with the baby all day and have more of an opportunity to adjust to your new role, new schedule, but I think it takes them longer. Especially if you're breastfeeding, there just isn't as much for them to do the first few months. Some first-time dads have hard time relating to an infant who just lays there, but as your son gets older, he does more. My husband now works out either early in the morning, or on he weekends at naptime. I just really had to be clear about what I needed help with around the house as well as the need for me to take time for myself to go out with friends, etc. The earlier you "train" him on all of this the better. I think he just needs to get more into the new routine. I've definitely had to give a little more than I wanted to also. Occasionally I will let him work out while she's awake if it's been several days that he hasn't been able to go to the gym. But, in a nice way, I make sure he's appreciative that he got to do that. The good thing, as your kid gets older, he'll be the one asking Daddy to play with him since he's at work all day. The kid will do some of the work for you. Good luck -- hang in there. It's not easy, believe me!

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S.B.

answers from Visalia on

Hi D.,

Your story really hit home!!!! I used to be married to a man just like that! Only I was a race mom instead of a surf mom. Sadly he just never got it until we split up and by then it was too late. Get marriage help! If he won't go to a therapist go by yourself. You are not being over sensitive! You have to have some balance!

I had so many of the same feelings as you and tried the exact same things like letting him sleep in hoping that would get me more help. It never did. There was no reciprocity and I began to depise him. I was so hurt that he would not help and that he belittled the importance and difficulty of my jobs as the mom. When we finally went for help he still just didn't get it and it actually got worse and he wouldn't go anymore. Utimately I divorced him. If I knew then what I know now I would have just scheduled my stuff (fun stuff for you!) plopped the baby down in front of him and said I'll be back in 3 hours! I knew he would take care of him! I needed to give myself permission cause he was never going to! Ultimately it took a long time for me to figure out who I was again and what was even fun to me.

I am now married to a man who takes the kids to school, makes their lunches before bed, gives baths, changes diapers w/o being ask on and on. On Satuday mornings he packs all the kids up (2 of which are not even his) and takes them off to do stuff so I can do whatever I want. He recognizes and edifies the job I do and we are a team. it is so wonderful to do it together and ultimately allows me to love him even more and do nice things for him! Equality.

I kissed alot of frogs to find my prince! Now I am not recomending a divorce for you this was just my expierience! However I have seen the same story over and over amongst my friends and if you want it to work GET some help! My heart goes out to you! You can do it!!

Smiles,
Steph

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

20 years and 3 kids later I've learned that there is no way to force someone to do what we want (sadly!) He's made it pretty clear where he's coming from - sounds like he's feeling a bit imposed upon and entitled to his free time. In a quiet moment explain to your husband that it would be super helpful to you if he could be flexible, but that if he can't instead of him getting angry with you would he please just say no. No doubt a good therapist would help. If he's not open to that perhaps a clergy member? If he won't go with you, go yourself, it will be very helpful to you. This is the time to set a good foundation for your marriage, and it sounds like it's time for your husband to grow up. Without some hard work this situation will not change, only get worse and more entrenched.

I would not count on him changing his response - perhaps you can put your energy into finding another way to solve your realistic need for personal time. Maybe a day time babysitter on a fixed schedule, day care, a family member?

I work full time as well as have 3 kids under 13. I totally get where you're coming from and am not saying I think it's fair. Hopefully your husband will realize that he's missing out on a great time with your son, but you're not going to be able to force it on him. Good luck.

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R.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,

Sometimes you can't get a person to listen to you talk, but you can get them to listen through a letter. Take the one you've written to this group and restructure it for your husband (he doesn't need to know that you've "shared" here if it would cause more problems). State your needs, recount how you spend your time, and state firmly that you need a little down time by your self and with him, too. Childrearing is a very difficult job and everyone needs a break now and then.

If he still refuses to listen, get a sitter 1 day a week and take a couple of hours off to take care of yourself doing something that's NOT household related. Is there's a grandparent who can pitch in? Most would love too! How about getting a local teenager who's taken a babysitting course to come in for a couple of hours in the afternoon or on the weekend to be a mother's helper? Check with the Red Cross and your local Girl Scouts council on how to find qualified sitters. (BTW, Junior, Cadette, and Senior girl scouts can all earn childcare-related badges and may welcome the opportunity to help out at little to no cost to accomplish this.) Another alternative is to join a play group or nursery school co-op and take turns with other moms babysitting so that each of you can get some me time. If there's not one around you, START one. I'll bet you could find a half dozen moms easily through this website alone! You can do the same thing with joining or starting a meal-making co-op.

And btw, there's nothing wrong with putting baby a playpen so you can take a shower or go to the bathroom! You can bring the playpen into the bathroom with you if your son gets anxious, but there's nothing wrong with him learning to entertain himself without anyone else around. In fact, there's great value in this! You can even bring your son into the shower with you in a tub seat and "kill two birds with one stone."

Back to your hubby: some men have a hard time relating to babies -- they just don't know what to do with them. Some are afraid they'll be too rough and hurt the baby. You can try modeling baby-play behavior for your husband, then leave the room in case he feels silly or unmanly making goofy faces and engaging in baby play. There's a great book called "Games Babies Play" (and another one for toddlers) that can give your hubby ideas about how to play with baby. But keep in mind that he just may not be comfortable enough sharing time with your son until he can interact a little more. By the time your son is two, Dad is sure to be more interested in doing "guy things" with him -- throwing a ball, play wrestling, playing with cars, duplos, etc. Your son will want to enter Dad's world and do whatever he does, at least for a while. If and when that changes, Dad (and you) will have to learn all over again how to keep the relationship and communication going by being interested in your son's interests (OK, I'm skipping to adolescence here, but you can save this advice for 12 or 13 years!)

Good luck with this -- I hope you can find some resolution so your relationship doesn't explode.

R.

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T.M.

answers from San Diego on

ok either I wrote this or your married to my husband too!! :)
My son is now 25 months and it is still the same, sometime my husband will be a great dad and play and spend time other, well I bite my tongue a lot. He does the same comes and goes, I do all the above in the home that you mentioned plus take care of our son 24/7. My wish is the same by him spending a little one on one with his son such as going to park or simply turning the tv off and reading a few books would allow me my mommy time. Weather it is finishing some house work or actually getting time to go to the gym would be a great compromise. I don't know why he doesn't see it that way. It's a double edged sword. I wish you luck! But your not alone, I cherish being home with my son, just wish the hubby contributing a little more to the help of raising our son then just the fun playtime once and awhile. He can be a friend and a father both. Anyway, we love him and my son and I still think he's a keeper!! ;)

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T.B.

answers from Visalia on

Oh, D.,

Welcome to motherhood. It is, and always will be, YOU who takes care and nutures your child with life. Men dont, men wont(if they do it's temporary), and double standard is alive and well...despite the protests of many that think it's changed, deep down when it comes down to it, it is WE the women who are the rock, the center, the anchor, the giver of life. You have to shift your way of thinking and spend your time with you baby as if it'a all you had, and husband can go take a hike. You are bending over backwards for an immature "man" who is not responsible. You cannot, however, change him. Time and time again I see this when people marry in a vision of equality, and when baby comes, there goes Jr(husband/boy)out the door or window if he has to. Shift you thinking honey for your sanity, and life will go on so fast, before you know it, the baby will be walking and talking and running and then school and you will miss "baby"so much your heart will ache. Leave you husband out, of the time you are blessed with, with this God given baby, YOURS, all the more for YOU, forever.

Let me know in a while and blees you. I cherish being a mom, and I DO understand you. I have a teenager and a three yr old "baby", by myself; single mom.

Wendy

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A.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Try something simple to start: tell him "Mommy needs a day off from her job". Pick a day, and leave the house. Don't go back all day, but let him know that you expect him to have dinner ready. Go get your nails done, sit in a coffee shop, get some exercise, whatever!

I guarantee that when you get back he will be beat. Be sure to let him that that that's what you do everyday, all day. Passive aggressive? Sure. Impactful, you bet.

Other than that, you do need to sit down with him and let him know that yes, this is your "job", but since he's also a parent, he has responsibilities. I think for a lot of men, being alone with a small baby is a bit scary. Once your son gets more mobile, it should (hopefully) get easier.

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B.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

My husband is the EXACT same way! I suffer from resentment and anger and frustration and and and...And then turns around and expects sex...and not just sex but the whole shibang! I'm sorry I'm a little tired! YOU are all rested up and ready to go, but that's all he cares about. He loves our son so much and my son is now 2.5 and married 4.5 years. So I know exactly how you feel! I wish I could give you words of encouragement or say things like it will get better, but when dealing with selfish men, I don't know the solution! Since my son is now 2.5, my husband feels more comfortable keeping the baby occupied for a while, but is soo anxious about when I will be back...its such a huge responsibility and men tend to avoid that and wait for mommy. BUT YOU are doing a fantastic job as a mother and a wife! Keep it up and all things will fall in line as they should!

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S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello I am in the same boat as you and just moved here to the area which makes it worst since daycare is so expensive. For your sanity get he baby bijorn and put it on you when you do your chores or put a jumparoo right near you when you have stuff to do don't always hold the baby so you can get stuff done as for shower try to do that first thing after baby eats and you put him in a bouncer seat. This was the only solution for me once i got fed up and just made sure to do it. And go out with the baby and have fun. If you need help i have 2 1/2 year old very active and would not mind i know it sound wired but people out here are differnt and i use to be in military and colorado where people offer if so email me at [email protected]____.com or if you need the bijorn you can barrow mine.

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A.G.

answers from San Diego on

Hello D.,
I am in the same boat! I have 2 wonderful boys, 4yr and 6yr old. I do everything at home and I also work full time. My husband acts the same way and the bad part is that he only works part time. I have tried talking to him about it also but he only gets frustrated. He say's that he is not a "nannydaddy". Other moms that I have talked to feel that this is normal and it is a woman's job. I don't agree. When your son gets a littl older, maybe it will change your husband and he will be taking him surfing and spending more time with him. So enjoy your time with him now because things change constantly as your children grow. Your husband will change too. Hang in there and have patients.

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Y.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D....you are not alone...my bf does the same thing..he will bring my 14 month old to me and say "her diaper is dirty" or "i think shes hungry" or "shes ready for a nap"...takes no initiative.
I do stay home with her, right now, mind you; he and i have been together for 7 yrs now...and ive worked and provided as well...he will sometimes throw that he provides and works hard to support us.
Sometimes, us mommies, need a break! Or to even offer would atleast make some kind of effort.
Our significant others sometimes dont realize what we do for our children and for them...i guess thats what we have Mothers day for. ;)

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A.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

hun you have it made! Oh what I would not give to be a stay at home mom/ work from home part time. To be with my son all day would be the most awesome thing in the world. My hubby doesn't help me very much, especially when my son was newborn. He always said he didn't know what to do and he could not take all his crying. He still can't take his crying! Don't stress, guys are just like that. They need their personal time. They don't have that maternal instinct that we do! Just enjoy and if you don't get some of the daily chores done, oh well! that will let him know that you need a little help or the house will just be a little out of place:)

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S.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

D.,
Obviously you've touched on a hot topic here. I beg of you do not listen to Lorrie A.'s response. You are NOT being overly sensitive, your husband is being selfish. Take care of yourself- you have lots of good suggestions from other ladies here. I've worked out scheduling with my husband we have 18 month old twins- we split time off. If he wants to golf Saturday morning, in the afternoon I go get a pedicure or just LEAVE. Find a babysitter and try to spend time with just you and your hubby at least once/week. It is tough but you have to get through this together, and it's so much easier when you can remember what you liked about each other in the first place. And remember, you BOTH work full-time right now- if anything you work MORE on 24/7 duty.

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C.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Okay-so what is the daddy's job? seriously. My husband can be lame when it come to house stuff-but, he is a way better 'fun' parent than I am. Daddy's job had better not be to "bring home the bacon". Is your husband old? or in a time warp? it isn't called babysitting when your the dad. It's called being a dad. I feel for you.

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K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

That's what happens when you marry a surfer! (I used to surf and have dated a few. I got over it real quick!) I am sorry...your husband should be helping you out a lot more! Maybe if you offer him an incentive like he could go on a long weekend surf trip down to Mexico with his buddies if he pitches in more, lets you go to the spa (or whatever) and just helps out a lot more for a month. Make a "deal" with him...

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D.L.

answers from San Diego on

Your not being overly sensitive. I got frustrated just reading your request. I see you have a lot of advice, but I will add that my husband - wasn't quite as bad - but he definately started off thinking that his time should be his time when he was off and didn't quite get the fact that OUR lives had changed. He seemed to think that it was just MY life that should change. Even after I went back to work. I think that might be common for men when they first have kids. I don't know what the solution is for you, but you need to do something, like sit him down and talk to him otherwise it will build and you'll become more and more exhausted and probably even resentful. Things changed for us after my husband got layed off and we had to live off of my income. Now he does all the cooking and cleaning and spends a lot more time caring for our son. Not sure what will happen when he gets a job, but at least I think he gets it now. Anyway, good luck to you and hang in there. Hopefully your husband will get it one day too.

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J.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

You've already received some great advice. I think you should get a babysitter and have a nice dinner with your husband. He may be more willing to listen when the baby is not around and you are not both tired and frustrated. Explain to him how you feel and try to compromise. Ask him to watch the baby for a few hours once a week so that you can have time for yourself. This will help keep your sanity. My husband says the same thing "It's a mommy's job" My reply is, "It's a Daddy's job too!", but that just annoys him. My husband and I go out to have a special dinner every 3 or 4 months to talk about our family and about how we can be better parents and a better husband and wife. I think it's also important for you to take a weekend getaway or just one night at least once or twice a year with your husband. So your husband feels important too. I've already got a couple friends who divorced because they were frustrated that their husbands didn't help with the kids and the husbands felt neglected by their wives. I wish you the best. And good luck!

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M.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Well D., You are experiencing what we all go through at some time - the great imbalance of the wife/mother/HOUSEWIFE thing! I am able to be a loving and supportive wife, a caring and careful mother - but then pile housecleaning and home management and a JOB on top of that . . . no way! So, I put an ad in Craig's List, and I have daily household help - 2 hours a day to help me do the dialy grind chores - dishes, laundry, make the beds, sweeping, etc. This helps the household a lot - the house is cleaner and more organized, I am calmer and can think more clearly, my husband is happy because who doesn't like a clean home and a less stressed wife. Maybe it would help you too - a burden shared is a burden halved, the old saying goes, it doesn't say who you have to share it with. Go outside if there is no one in your family (your husband) willing to share it with you.
As for your husband I think he is a new dad, probably a little selfish and a little intimidated, and afraid that a family will cramp his style and turn him into a salary drone, he won't get to be the cool surfer dude he really thinks of himself to be. LEAVE HIM ALONE. Your insisting and nagging will turn him against you. Take care of your home and your child as you can and welcome him when he decides to participate. Take stock a year from now and then see if he really is a hands off dad or if he isn't more interested once his baby is more active and more interesting. He will not change - he will not help, so go get yourself some help from elsewhere; household help, MOMS club, your church, your family - that is what I did, and it helped us a lot.
Good luck!

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K.B.

answers from San Diego on

Let him read this post!!! Sometimes it is hard to verbally express your feelings to your significant other so I would just let him read this so maybe he will understand! Good Luck!

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L.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

D. ~ Initially, I was not going to respond to this request as I am not a stay at home mother and never have been. Both of my girls are grown. One is in college and the other living on her own. After reading your responses, I have decided to add my two cents, for what its worth.

You are the mom. You are very fortunate to be a stay at home mother. I was a single mom for 10 years, but prior to that and during that time and even today I've always thought I wanted the "luxury" of being a stay at home mom. I do everything you do and for 19 years did it while working a full time job and working overtime at that full time job. When I left work I would say, now I have to go home and do my "real job".

What you cannot do EVER is keep score as to what you do compared to what your husband does. What you MUST do is find a solution to your situation. Getting a babysitter for a couple hours a week is a great idea and one you should consider. If your husband has a problem with it, tell him it is your solution to allowing you both time to relax and get away from the strains of your day to day life.

Your husband is not going to help you. You have to deal with it. If someone tells you to leave him, ignore that advice. It's your family! You have to do what works for your family. Being mad at your husband for not putting forth the effort you expect from him is not good. He is who he is and I am sure there are a lot of positive things about him or you would not have married him. Just find a solution to this one thing that does not involve him changing who he is to become something he is not.

You can designate one day a week where you have someone come in to the home and stay with your baby while you go to a movie, get your toes done or have coffee with another mom. You could even share the babysitter.

Take the baby to the beach and watch your husband surf. This way you are all three together. You can incorporate the baby into your lives, instead of changing your lives to incorporate a baby. A family should be together and have fun together. You don't need to stop having fun and doing fun things because you have a baby. Take that baby with you. Enjoy your husband. Enjoy your family. You are fortunate to be a stay at home mother. The grass is not always greener and there is a price to pay for everything you do. Nothing is wrong with you or your husband. This is natural as new parents. You now need to find a way to resolve this. Unfortunately, it is one more task added to your list, but I would put it as a priority and make it work.

I really hope this helps. My most sincere best wishes for you and your famiy and your quick resolution to this dilemma.
L.

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D.D.

answers from San Diego on

D., you are not being super sensitive. You have every right to request your husband to make some adjustments in his life. After all, look at all the adjustments you have made!!! I have gone through the exact same thing with my husband. My whole family actually. My son takes a nap at the same time every day, but they insist on doing things that he can't do during his awake time, and then want to do other fun things during his nap. So I stay with him while he is awake and then again while he is napping? No. It needs to be a family adjustment, and this is the new timing for things. He is not only excluding your son, he is excluding you, too. And I feel like I really can't complain because my husband works so I don't have to and can stay home with our son, but REALLY! I need a break sometimes, too. And so do you. It has taken a while to get it into his head that he can pull a bit of weight around home as well. What really helps is when I schedule something to be out of the house all day and leave our son with my husband. I give instructions if there are specific reminders, but then I just leave. (You need time for yourself in order to be the best mother you can be for your child! Don't feel bad about it!) I usually come home and my husband says, "Oh Yeah, this is a lot of work!" Yes, after a long stressful day at work he needs to unwind, but you need to unwind, too. You also have to stick up for yourself for what you need. I have gotten to the point where my husband puts our son to bed every night and gets up with him every morning, and that helps so much. But it took a long while of diligent working on him without yelling at him. And we still have our battles, he just needs reminders about how things are now, and the realities of our family. We take time to talk about how each of us can get our wind-down time, and both know our son in the process. And that raising a child is a joint effort, no matter who stays home with him during the day. And our son is 14 months now, and it does get more and more fun for all. I hope this helps, knowing that you are not alone, and I hope you can find a perfect balance for your family!

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K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Sounds like you need a heart to heart - maybe a date night out with your husband. Yes .... your job is at home with your little one while he goes out to work, but he needs to respect that you need some time as well. He might be entitled to a little surfing now and again, but ... you are entitled to a manicure or lunch with your friends. If he doesn't see it as a job to watch your child, then he should have no problem watching him himself, however if he insists it is your job, that is when you demand a day off as well. Being a parent isn't easy .... and SAHM's tend to not get breaks away, which they need. Your conversation is going to need to be honest, sincere, and matter of fact. When two people bring a child into the world, those two people promise to love and care for it .... not just one of those people - especially since you are married, have a good relationship, etc. I am sure the conversation won't be fun, but it is necessary to have for your own sanity. Just be sure to be completely honest and sincere. Your post was just that - not complaining, not whining, just sincere. He has to respect that.

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A.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

D., my husband is in the same boat as yours! Sounds like a Lazy Male chavanist!! Unfortunately your husband and mine are actually another "child" that you need to manage. And sounds to me like a fellow spoiled child!!! Question-does your husband go out at night with the fellows to blow off some steam? Does that have anything to do with the fact that he doesn't like to get up in the morning? My suggestions are as follows 1)keep a journal datebook and record the hours you are putting in and what you are doing vs what he is doing (ie-record every morning when your son wakes at 6am and you feed etc, until your husband wakes up, is gone surfing etc. (Two weeks should give you enough of a general pattern of how little your husband does vs what you do, and how much time he has to himself and how little time he is actually spending w your son-(the good news is as the baby gets older and more interactive, it gets easier and your husband will probably want to spend more time w him). Once you have your evidence-maybe 3 weeks of documentation, if he is a stickler. Then you need to have a discussion with him: regarding his childish, selfish behavior- remind him that he wanted children and that he needs to be a good father, and a good husband and he needs to pull his weight around the house and help you. Unfortunately the more you do the less he is going to do. Stick up for yourself, tell him that you need some time to yourself too, and that he can pick morning or afternoon 3 hour chunk of time (and if he really is a surfer-he should be picking the morning. Remind him that its 2009 and you are not in the 1950's and that you cook and clean all week for him, he needs to cook for you on saturday nights. (Steaks on the barbie are fine!!). I would also wake him up on the weekend mornings with the baby and the bottle and walk out of the bedroom and get in the shower- stop letting him walk all over you!!!! Who the hell does he think he is??? Obviously if you can afford it, then hire a babysitter on Saturdays for 3 or 4 hours and you both get out and have ab break and it will be good for BOTH of you. But it sounds like dear old dad doesn't want to grow up and face his responsibilities, and you need to remind him in a kind way. I am telling you if you don't get some time to yourself you will crack and it will cost a whole lot more to fix than having a babysitter for 10 hours a week.... Good luck

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S.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

It sounds like he needs to grow up. You are going to need to just stop making it so easy on him. Make plans to go out on the weekend with a friend during the time your son is awake, when your son wakes up, nurse and hand him off to dad. I suspect you are the one getting up at night, etc. I think sometimes it is harder for guys to give up theirpre-baby freedom becuase their initial attachment to their child is different, and they don't have fun with babies the way they do with older toddlers and preschoolers. My husband became much more involved as our kids got older, I had to do a bit of pushing to get him to do more, especially with our first baby.

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