SAHD- FT Mom's! Need Your Opinion!!!

Updated on January 22, 2014
O.S. asks from Portland, OR
18 answers

Hi Ladies!!!
I am a FT+ working mom, I work at a hospital great pay, benefits and so forth, absolutely love what I do and wouldnt have it any other way, other than to work less hours and not rely on my income for bills, family and life in general.
My husband has been a SAHD for around 5 years now, when we have our baby #2 we mutually decided it would be more cheaper for me to pick up hours instead of him working and paying childcare.
Then we had another baby and now both older kids are in school during the day, and its a lot cheaper and easier to get day care for 1 child vs. 3. But now, since my husband has been unemployed it seems so difficult and almost impossible for him to get a job anywhere!!! At this point, its not even about the money any more, he just needs to get out there and feel like a man and do something. But everywhere he applies, several interviews if he gets lucky and nothing.
I am just getting fed up... he says he cant keep up with the house, kids, homework, laundry, dishes list goes on and on. And it frustrates me to tears at times, that finances are on me and not only that the rest of the house is as well..... ugh!!!
Sometimes, I seriously just cant take it anymore, and tell him that he needs to get a job and bring some money in and contribute financially but then again, it just creates more drama between us and arguments. It almost seems right to not mention anything to him. Any thoughts???? Please respond if you've ever been in that situation, if you dont have a SAHD or your husband is never been him, please dont bother telling me things I already know. Am just so torn right, upset and at tears!!!!!!!

What can I do next?

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answers from Dallas on

Taking care of kids is a full time job and yes, you do not always get the house done. Is he good with the kids? Does he spend a lot of time with them? Are they always on the go? Give him a break. If a man was saying this about his stay at home wife, people would be pissed off T him.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Hi there! I don't know what to tell you, except that you are doing better than I am because mine can't handle the kiddos full time, so I can only work part time too! How did you get him to apply for jobs and go to interviews?

I feel for both of us! and I don't know the answers, but if any one on here is able to give you good ideas, I am glad to hear them. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone, that you have good company, and finding a compromise is hard.

Keep on smiling! I know its hard, but we can do it right? They'll all end up in school eventually right?

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Los Angeles on

Wow. Welcome to equal rights for men and women. I'm sure there is much more to your situation than what you have written, but I think you should go a bit easy on your husband.

I am a SAHM and my husband is the sole provider. (We are divorcing, but that is beside the point.) Our agreement was that I would stay home with the kids and take care of the house while he brought in the paycheck. I took care of EVERYTHING on the home front except for taking out the trash and mowing the lawn. I was quite fine with this arrangement, even though a lot of my friends and my husband's friend ribbed us for having a 50's type marriage.

I will say that it really is a lot of work to keep up with the kids, homework, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, pick-ups and drop-offs, and trying to take care of my own needs too. If my husband would have complained to me that I needed to contribute financially on top of everything else I did, I would have divorced him even sooner! Being the sole provider is a lot of stress. No question about that. But it's not like your husband is watching TV all day and eating bon bons, right?

I gave up my career as a law enforcement officer to marry my husband and start a family with him. Now that we are divorcing and I am beginning my job search, I am seeing exactly how unemployable I am right now.

Try to take deep breaths and work WITH your husband to be more organized with the family budget. Then maybe the two of you can talk about how he can bring in some income. I really feel for you. Being the main breadwinner is so much stress. But we women were fighting for this privilege, right? I hope you can feel a lot of pride in your ability to take care of your family. Good luck and hang in there!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My husband is a SAHD, and I am the breadwinner. It feels slightly unnerving to be the sole provider for the family doesn't it? I told my husband that if he was going to stay at home, he would have to contributed financially in other ways than bringing in an income. The main way was to renovate our home to increase its value. This worked, we sold our home, and now we're moving into another (cheaper) home. He has to renovate this one too, to increase its value. While it's not bringing home the bacon on a week-to-week basis, it is contributing to our wealth and security. At least I know that we'll be able to sell it for more if I lose my job!
Maybe your husband could start a lawn-mowing or handyman business while the kids are at school or in care. Then he wouldn't need the interviews.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My husband isn't stay at home but he's done things like his own company that cost us money... And I've always made way more plus done way more at home. I was furious a lot too but it got easier as the kids got older. But I think you have to remember he is trying. You said he goes on interviews etc. this is hard for him too. when I would get frustrated I would remind myself my husband wasn't sitting around all the time. There was just a lot to do. My friend's husband stayed home and tried to get a job about 6 years later and no luck. I don't know if he can ever get a job again. If your husband is looking, that does take time. Another sahm friend complained a ton about her life when she was job hunting bc of the time it took. So I think it's natural he has less time for home. And I assume you were on board to have a third child knowing you were main breadwinner. So you have to own that decision. My husband never stayed home btw bc of his ego. Men's egos are annoying but hard to get around. This is likely super hard on your husbands ego. Do you want him to take any job? Like a Burger King? You need to sit down and clearly outline the situation. "Just get a job!!!" Is an understandable sentiment but is it that easy unless you are talking a minimum wage job? Is he no longer doing anything at home? Try to differentiate the situation vs him.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

He sounds just as conflicted as so many stay-at-home moms - "need to feel like a man" means earning money (?) but staying at home is frustrating because the work just piles up. Housekeeping and child care can get "old", and even with "just one" the other two still come home from school and contribute to the mess. They also have homework and activities and play dates, and there's a lot of running around just when the youngest is getting tired and cranky. How about all the men who criticize women who stay home "and do nothing" all day while the kids are at school?

You and your husband are going through what many other couples go through, but with the roles reversed. The working spouse doesn't feel the house is kept up to appropriate standards and that the work isn't all that hard, and the at-home spouse is frustrated because it's not always so stimulating or it's "getting old" or it's not fulfilling or there's too much isolation, or a zillion other things. It may be harder for your SAHD because fewer employers are less sympathetic to or interested in men who have been out of the job market for a while. And jobs can be tough to some by in a lot of areas anyway.

Doing a temp-to-perm job might be great, if you can manage the extra expense of day care - that would have to be arranged on a daily basis even though there might be days when there was no actual work available, so you'd have to budget for the added expense up front. You'd probably have to have someone in the house for the baby as well as for when the older kids get off the bus.

Getting "any" job isn't always something that makes the returning-to-work spouse feel particularly valuable or contributing, and it's worse if he/she is at the stage of feeling that the stay-at-home job wasn't done so well. He could be depressed - and one of the key symptoms of this is inertia, not being able to decide what to do next. Task completion is very tough for a person with depression, and so is sorting through available job postings.

So to start, maybe the two of you can cut back your expectations of how "done" the house has to be. Maybe the 2 older kids can take on a little more responsibility - maybe put 3 baskets or bins in the public rooms (family room, living room, whatever) for all the kid stuff - toys, stray gloves, etc. Everybody takes 5 minutes to do a "sweep" of the rooms and everyone's stuff gets put in the right basket. One kid can set the table, another can dust the end tables. Kids can sort their own socks and maybe fold their own laundry. Everybody cooks together on Sunday afternoon to make at least 3 meals for the coming week.

Maybe it's worth investing some money with a career or life coach, or someone who does resume preparation for someone returning to work. I have a friend who does resumes, for example, for about $350 - that doesn't mean just typing it, it means really digging to put in the most important info that employers want to see. For another $150 or so, she adds in services like writing a cover letter that is focused and in tune with what employers are looking for. Resumes today are scanned by HR people at a ridiculous rate - something like 12 seconds. So there are resume prep people who have a very high success rate, which is defined as getting you the interview. There must be someone in your area, although these coaches work across the phone and the internet as well so you might find someone he likes who is at a distance.

My husband has worked at home for many years and he was a hands-on dad. He was laid off when I was in labor with our son, so we had little warning. His company went out of business shortly thereafter, and the whole industry was hurting, so there were no jobs. I was in no condition to be helpful or even emotionally supportive. It's not the same as what you're going through but we had our stresses. We each went through a time of high expectations and of wanting the other one to do more. So I think I do understand a lot of the feelings you both have right now of being overwhelmed. After a while we figured out that counseling would be beneficial, and we took advantage of that. I was diagnosed with depression and it helped to know that that's why I could barely sort through the mail and recycling in the course of a whole day. I found ways to deal with that. But my husband and I also became more of a team and acknowledged each other's fears and problems.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

You sound just very frustrated and is it possible you're just in the thick of 3 little kids and that's part of the problem? You say you love your job so why is it a big deal that your income is the one you rely on? Is it not enough? Are you worried you're going to lose your job? Or is it the principal of the thing - he's not earning money? Then - is he not keeping up well or he's ditched everything at home? And if he's not doing stuff at home is it bc he's watching TV or job hunting? You say it's not about the money anymore. He needs to work to feel like a man yet you tell him he needs to bring home money. There are a lot of contradictions in your post which says either you're unreasonable or more likely just stressed and frustrated and he's kind of a good target for your anger... If he's looking hard for a job - that's the hardest job in the world people say. And yes - I have been sole breadwinner so I can get where you're coming from. However, we had a nanny so while my husband wasn't working, he wasn't doing A THING around the house... But finding a job was THAT time consuming. It's hard to have it both ways. Look seriously yet have enough time to do everything at home still. So try to remember that. I think you need to sit down and outliine priorities and what is realistic. I"m sure he's frustrated too and probably embarrassed. It's really hard to get back into the workforce sometimes. And sounds like you mutually agreed he'd quit so don't blame him now... It'll get better. REmember you like your job and sounds like you have enough money to live on ok so things could be much worse.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I'm sorry you're going through this. I don't have a SAH husband. You will get posts from people who don't, by the way. No getting around that...

There are SAH moms with kids who can't keep up with the house. It's a hard job.

He is probably burnt out with the house. He does need to get a job. It will be hard, just like it's hard for women who take a long break from the workplace. However, more companies understand women taking family breaks. They have a harder time understanding with men. Not fair, but true.

Could training and education help him? This is what SAH moms do who have been out of the work force for a long time.

As long as he WANTS to get a job, and isnt just hanging out at the house refusing to try, there's hope that he'll find something. He might actually try a temp agency. It would give him a chance to work at different kinds of companies and see what he likes. It's also a chance to slide into working again without taking on a new job all at once. When he finds a good fit, perhaps they'll hire him on full time.

Good luck to you both.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

First of all, cut the guy some slack. If everything is overwhelming all of a sudden, he could be depressed. I totally agree with the poster that said if this was a husband complaining about his at home wife, he would be ripped a new one. Staying home with the kids and running a house is not easy.

Maybe he could find a job at your kids' school. I worked two part time jobs (in in the school lunch room and the other was a work from home gig that was seasonal) just up until last November when I finally got a full time job. It took me two years to find a full time job.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Whenever I needed a new job, I signed up with temp agencies, but telling them I only wanted jobs that had the possibility of going permanent. Your husband may just want to try temping for a little while to get his feet wet, if nothing else they always helped me streamline my resume and gave interview tips.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I don't and he's not.

Just wanted to pipe in and suggest picture being in his shoes. What would you like him to do or say? Suggest?

And I second the temping suggestion! He could be working in a week!
Good luck.


I don't and he's not.

Just wanted to pipe in and suggest picture being in his shoes. What would you like him to do or say? Suggest?

And I second the temping suggestion! He could be working in a week!
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Until I was laid off in August, I was in your position. It is very annoying to be in charge of EVERYTHING. Don't get me wrong, my husband did do stuff around the house, My kids are 14 (3 of them), 5 and 2. My older kids have chores and they do not always do them. They have to be told over and over. My husband would call me at work to say they HE swept the floor, not them. Really? Very frustrating. Then I would come home, do dishes sometimes just so I can cook, get supper going, try to do some cleaning and still be up until 1 or 2 am trying to clean. Now that I am home, it seems that it has gotten worse, Granted he has now gotten a job delivering pizza but it is extremely annoying, frustrating and yes makes you want to scream. I have been trying to make changes but they are very resistant. Too bad, I am going to push and push until I get what I want.

BTW, when my oldest were born, we had a lot of issues finding a sitter. I had insurance so he switched things at work. I worked daytime and when I got home, he went to work. He did great with them but I was still in charge of laundry and cooking and dishes etc. He would get comments from people about being the man etc and he would get comments about how hard it must be. But since I am the mom, I never did.

It has been studied and shown that men do not handle multitasking as well as women. Now if they could just study how to get them to do it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

It is very trying and frustrating. My husband and I have switched back and forth on who's the home parent and who is working. For us it doesn't matter which is which, both are stressed and feeling overwhelmed. I have come to decide that its normal to feel this way when your a parent. Maybe I'm wrong, but for us its normal. Some days are great and others not so great.

As for employment, it has been hard for 5+ years to find work. He should not lose hope and keep trying. Is daycare an option, now while he's not making an income? If it is, he should do that so he can focus on finding employment. If its not do able full-time, can you afford 1 day a week? Even spending 1 consistent day a week on a career search will yield better results than fly by the seat of your pants time. 2. Find an employment center to help, I suggest
It is run by a church, but its available to ALL job seekers. Going there will help him receive current job seeking strategies.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Tell him to take any job he can find and HE can hire someone to come and an clean for him. And please don't go home and clean house....that only shows him that you are more capable than he is. If it gets dirty enough he'll finally clean it up or get a job and hire someone to do it for him.

My ex would work a job and decide he didn't like it. So he'd quit and he'd walk to every convenience store, gas station, mom and pop restaurant, Taco Bell, Long John Silvers, Aldi, and fill out applications. Within 24 hours he'd have a new job.

Did he ever stay with any of them more than a few weeks? Not at all. BUT it kept money coming in and he was working nearly every day.

He kept looking for the higher pay better job and eventually he worked his way up the pay scale, working at Tinker, FAA, and now is working a job where he makes over $30 per hour. It took him years to get there but it's because he took any job he could find and kept looking.

Is your hubby applying for jobs that require a degree? have special skills that he may have done in the past but not currently? What is he looking for and applying for?

For example, if he's applying at fast food he won't likely get hired because he's not a teenager who'll work all night and still be bouncing and happy at 6am...

Finding anything temporary and keep filling out those applications and sending resume's out is better in my opinion. Also, if he's hunting for a specific professional job he might consider going to a local college and taking a couple of classes just so he can update his knowledge AND network with the professors and head hunters that come in.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Not in that situation but I know a woman that just went back to work after being a SAHM for 7 years. She said at first she didn't get any interviews but then she tweaked her resume to have no gaps over the 7 year period she was at home by listing all the volunteer work she completed over that time frame. She said she then started getting interviews and landed a great job.
Good luck to you and your husband.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I live your situation almost exactly. I sent you a PM.




answers from San Francisco on

First, tell your hubby that working moms keep up with the house, kids, homework, laundry and dishes so if they can do it, so can he. He just doesn't WANT to do it. Big difference.

I understand about him not being able to find work. It is tough out there and with such a gap in his employment history, it makes it even harder. I agree with Gamma G that he should just get out there and apply for anything and everything. Sometimes our dream jobs come in a form we didn't expect. At the least, he'll have somewhere to go to get out of the house and have a break from the kids.

My hubby is employed, but business is so slow, we're lucky if he even gets enough hours to consider it a part time job! So, like you, the financial responsibility is resting on my shoulders. It's a heavy load to bear, but we're women and we are strong and we CAN do this. We may not WANT to, but we CAN.

I would continue to talk to him about it, but you have to keep in mind that he is trying, it's tough out there and you don't want to completely immasculate him.

Good luck. Just keep plugging away and things will get better.



answers from Detroit on

I've seen both sides of your situation. I used to work 40+ hours and he works a seasonal job. He used to be good about helping around the house during his off season. But, not ideal (just helped).
Then I was laid off from my job and he felt the stress of being the sole provider.
I HATE not working-but the countless job interview are depressing after a while. I'm a full time student and mom and wish I could work too!
He probably needs you to boost his morale. Trust me-going on interviews that you think went well to get passed by another (younger) candidate doesn't feel good.
I prefer To do the house myself anyway. I let the kids try to help-but have no patience for him to do them wrong!

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