Married Yet Feeling like a Single Parent

Updated on January 12, 2009
N.H. asks from Belleville, MI
7 answers

Hey ladies. I am a stay at home mom who just had a baby 3 weeks ago (a healthy full term, girl). I want to hear from other stay at home moms on how you divide responsibilities with your husband. I have been feeling like a single parent for quite some time (even before baby #3 arrived) and I was wondering if it is "normal" for dads who are the sole bread winner to do minimal at home with regard to cleaning, helping with homework (we have a first grader) and interacting with the kids WITHOUT the tv on.

If some of you were able to get some help at home, how did you get to that point? Thanks!!!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi N.,

I am also a SAHM, as are many of my friends. We have had many conversations about our husbands and their help, or lack of it, around the house. It is common for the husbands to "check out" of the duties around the house. I think the most important thing to do is to ASK for help. Men do not see the things around the house and with the kids that need to be done, or if they do notice - they don't realize that they should help. Ask, be patient, don't expect it done the way you would do it - but be happy that it is done. Then know that you will probably have to ask and remind again :-)
I sat down with my husband and explained that while he left his job at the office, my job surrounds me 24/7 and that it is impossible for anyone to work 24/7. He has picked the things that he is better at or enjoys doing - cleaning up after dinner, for example.
One last thought - as hard as it is sometimes, be assured that you will get back more if you give more. What I mean is that the nicer you are to your husband and the more you can give him - the more you will get back from him. It can be infuriating, I know! We shouldn't have to pamper husbands in order to get them to help out - but it is the way it is! Don't fight it - be smart and work the system.
Remember that you have a newborn and that is really hard and will get easier before you know it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

we also have 3 kids and i am a stay at home mom, but i have a daycare. my hubby doesn't do much when he comes home from work, "cuz he worked all day and its tired" but since i stayed at home( yeah with 5-6kids) i have plenty of time to get everything done, and plus i can sit down all day and watch tv (yeah thats what he thinks) iam up at 6:30 to get our dd up and ready for school, i will unload the dishwasher, laundry, shovel snow if needed and more all before dd goes to school or before the daycare kids come. i will have daycare kids here until 6:30 pm some nights. so when he comes home he will either take a shower, or go and play on the computer until dinner time. help "clean" up from dinner, put the kids in the tub, but won't wash them up, and then after they are done in the tub he will watch tv in the bedroom. yes its me who does laundry, dishes, cooks, shovels, and everything else that i needed in this household. if one of the kids are sick its me who takes them to the doctor either after all the daycare kids leave or i find someone to come in to watch then so i can take then, since he "can't" get out of work. does it bother me Yes but can i really do much, no. i have talked to him about it and then he does help for awhile then he will go back into the same ole habits. our youngest gets tubes in his ears in feb, and he has to work that morning because "no one" can work, so my dad is going with me. i know my hubby grew up with no father in his life and maybe thats why he is the way he is. one day he will be really good with the kids and play and very helpful around the house and then the next day hes a lump and in my way all day. i know i inlist my older two to help when ever i can and we have a marble bowl or each child, when they are caught being helpful, or nice to each other and such they get a marble and when they get so many they earn things like maybe a trip to the dollar store, extra books at bedtime and such, but if they are not being so good they loose the marbles. and we also have a money jar, when they are playing well, or doing good teamwork they get a penny or something and when its full they can take the money and buy something that they both agree on. they both like the marbles and the money jar and that has helped me a bit. but let your hubby know that you need a little bit of help maybe he will start to help. good luck i know its a tough battle to fight sometimes.


answers from Kalamazoo on

I feel that as a SAHM that I am responsible for most of the housework. My husband takes out the trash, mowes the lawn etc, but most of the housework falls into my job category. He does help though when I ask, like loading the dishwasher after dinner (or emptying it. This is just our arrangement and it works for us. However, spending time with his own children is completly non negotiable. Actually, I usually end up cleaning up after dinner, so that my husband has time to play with the kids before they have bath etc. He works hard all day at work and I work hard all day at home. It seems fair to me. There are also days when he has to work all day and I take the kids to the beach!! Don't feel like a single parent. Single parents aren't usually lucky enough to stay home with their kids!



answers from Detroit on

I also am a stay at home mom with 3 kiddos...
Hubby and I have had our own discussions (most of them ending with me deciding its not worth the fight when he pulls out the " I work a 60 hour a week job and drive 2 hrs a day... etc" card. (I don't fight stupid battles... Noone wins and it causes issues)
I am blessed with a hubby that does help out.
He helps set the table and occupy the kids while I am cooking. He also helps clear off the table and he puts the food away.
We have a 7 yr old that earns her allowance by setting the table and clearing it off... He supervises.
Other wise, I am incharge of all the laundry and ironing, cleaning, cooking, daughters homework, phone answering and appointment making, dog walking thru the week, kid care and picking up thru the week, grocery shopping, and car pool for DD school, taking cars to get maintenence on them, cat care, fish care,vacuuming, snow shoveling thru out the week, and all other odd and end things like putting furniture together and unclogging drains.
He is a blessing to me because he does help with the table, putting the food away, he puts the kids to bed, walks the dog on weekends, does weekly maintenance on our vehicles to make sure they have enough fluids in them, helps pick up after the kids on weekends, changes diapers (even the poopy ones) Builds very nice furniture if we need it (fish tank stand, and bed frame), shovels the paths thru the snow on weekends, changes the cat litter box, and the biggest of them all is occupies the kids when mommy just needs 2 seconds of no slobbering on her.

If you look at the lists mine is the big stuff, his is little things. But I also don't have the pressures he has while he's at work or the commute. I don't HAVE to get up at 4:30 am to get to work on time, and arrive home just at dinnertime. And honestly, I would probibly just get upset at him for not doing things "right" aka the way I would.
Hubby realizes that mommy has different stresses on her than he does and sees when I am getting frazzled.
I look at it as one of the things most stay at home moms have to deal with. But don't worry, your oldest child is getting old enough to help out a bit. My 7 and 4 yr olds LOVE helping mommy in the kitchen and our 7 yr old is incharge of putting HER clothes away.
You have just had a baby so your work load is heavier with an infant than it will be as the child ages. Take one day at a time and orginization is a must! Practice makes perfect and unless your hubby (or you) are OCD you can let things slip a bit. I do not dust more than every few months. (hubby will do it before I will)

Sit down with hubby and tell let him know that you need some assistance since the baby has come. (You can even use the hormone card) ASK him specific things to do. Then let him do it his way. Communication is the key.



answers from Detroit on

My husband has crazy hours, yet he get up every day and makes breakfast for the kids. Thats his time with them, since he frequently misses dinner. Also - im terrible in the morning, so that gives me a break to get my eyes open.

He also does some laundry, and other odd jobs that fit into his schedule. Most of the housework is on me, and most of the kids stuff too-- but hes good about things if he gets a specific list with not too many things on it. Sometimes I just say "I need a break' and he will take over.

Sit down, and explain you feel overwhelmed, and try to work out something specific, Like " I need you to help me with 3 loads of laundry a week" kinda thing--- rather than 'I cant do it all" statements.



answers from Lansing on

I was married for 34+ years and my ex was the same way. I stayed home with 4 children, did a day care business, at times with a total of 12-14 kids in the house, and sold Tupperware. I did all of the outside and inside work and when I asked for help ex would respond, "You are home all day doing the work and you can continue doing the work when I'm home". Then he would take off and be gone for hours, sometimes days at a time. The children never learned anything from him because he never helped, and when he was around he would critisize them and yell at them. I walked on egg shells when he was around. To this day he doesn't attempt to make contact with them. I believe he was jealous because he had to go outside the home to earn a living and he took it out on us by not helping, being gone for long periods of time, having affairs, etc. I wish you the best in getting your husband to help.



answers from Detroit on

you know what i have that same problem and i just sat him down and told him that i really need help around the house and with the baby cause i know that sometimes when i'm to stress i tend to not do anything around the house so just sit down and talk to him to see why hes not helping if it does not work then look for in home nanny

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches