Tantrums..how To Stop Them

Updated on July 05, 2010
G.M. asks from Austin, TX
30 answers

We have a 16 month old that is throwing tantrums, sometimes mild ones and lately the kind you need an Indian doctor to stop her! She goes red in the face and screams for at least 15 minutes and more. I didn't know what to do and had my neighbor come over, she was able to get my daughter to stop and focus on something else. Since then, the little tantrums are not full blown ones. My daughter will throw them when she doesn't get what she wants, if she leaves the playground or if my husband stops playing with her. The other thing she has been doing is making a screeching sound, at first we thought it was cute, then they got louder and more frequent, for no reason she will start making the sound, the more we tell her to stop, the more sounds she makes and the louder and longer she will make them, she doesn't listen to us at all, we haven't spanked her, or have given her any form of punishment, only because we don't know what to give as punishment and didn't think we needed to do so at this early age...We need help, any and all advise is appreciated.

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answers from Seattle on

Wow. He cleans at ALL? He spends time with the kids? He does ANY of the feedings? He trades sleep in days? He's only out 1-2 nights a week?

He sounds pretty fantastic to me.

7 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

Why did you change your original post? Were you embarrassed that people called you out on meddling in your sister's life?

He IS helping! He sounds pretty great to me! (sounds to me like you're being a trouble maker.... like with the laundry thing. You're making her look at things negatively instead of positively.)

Do you think he's going to Disney World every day when he's at work? He makes great money and provides well for his family so she can stay at home! And he helps around the house a bit. What a huge blessing. And her days sound like typical days. I'm sure your sister is tired. Little children are tiring. That's part of being a good mom and being there all the time. That will change as they get older and go to school. These early years will go by fast and they are a small part of the work of motherhood.

Lots of people have it WAY worse. Like single moms, moms who have lost their husbands to death or divorce, moms whose husbands are unemployed and sit around the house, etc. I always tell my friends who are tired, and frustrated with their kids -- be proud of the hard work you do and be thankful you're healthy and can handle it.

And about the tantrums.... All kids have them. Some worse than others. Tell her to get used to ignoring them.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Seriously, stay out of it. What if you get exactly the answer you want to hear and you bring it to them and lay it all out for him. Is that going to help? No. It will only cause problems in their marriage.

SHE needs to be the one to tell him what SHE needs from him and THEY need to work that out, without any outside judgements or pressues.

It might be the case that he backed off because you were there. It might be the case that there is a learning curve to these things and he has not figured out that role yet. They need to figure it out on their own.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

This is between your sis and him. She needs to speak up if she's feeling taken for granted or over-stressed. Most husbands are oblivious, and most women expect them to see there's a problem and offer to fix it. Ain't gonna happen!They expect us to ask for help, and we expect them to offer without being asked. The result is they think everything is OK, and we simmer and stew until some little thing blows the lid off. Then they think we're crazy for blowing up over nothing! (And we are!) That's why they say a good marriage is not about romance, it's about communication.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

you cant expect him not to go to work functions, that's silly. Your sister needs to be the one to tell him if it's bothering her.

If she really wants him to see that she needs help, she needs to leave him with the kids for the day. If she's breastfeeding, she can leave him with just the older kiddo and take the little one out for the day. He needs to see what she's dealing with.

But, it seems kind of like you're butting in here. unless your sister says something, it's really not your place.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

My husband has a very similar work schedule. Please keep in mind that these men are the sole providers for their families. Also remember that they are home on the weekends and during holidays, not to mention any vacation time they get from their offices.

Sounds like a pretty normal working man's situation to me. Sure... its not ideal. But it is what it is. Someone has to put food on the table, and you can't do that if you're constantly ducking out of work related responsibilities, or other functions, and leaving the office as soon as the clock hits 5pm... it just doesn't look good. Its one great way to get fired.

If your sister is doing well (maybe not loving it, but not feeling depressed and hurt)... then everything is probably fine. Every family is different.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

He sounds like he is doing a great job.
Stay out of it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I have to agree with Peachy23. My husband makes a nice living for us and I know he is under a ton of stress. I worked fulltime many years in corporate America before becoming a mom, and I know it is stressful and tiring.
In my opinion, it sounds like your sister's husband is helping out a nice amount.
This is a rough time for your sister, I understand. A new baby and a 15 month old can wear out anyone. But, that is motherhood. I think they are blessed that she is able to stay home and take care of her children and that her husband has a job that pays well enough to provide for them. Many in this day and age don't have either.
Just my opinion. But to me, it looks like her glass is half full not half empty.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I agree that maybe he felt he wasn't needed as you were there to help. Plus men are oblivious. If you don't ask, they won't do. I had a talk with my hubs last night when I told him I didn't think he was participating enough in our home life. It went like this "honey I'm starting to resent you a little" "when we were both working I did 80% of the childcare and 95% of the household duties, When it was just me working you did 60% of childcare and 70% of household duties but you expected on every one of my days off ,that you would take those days to recoop and I got child, cooking and all household duties, now I am the SAHM and you work, you do nothing no cooking, no house cleaning, no picking up, no real nothing" He looked like a deer in head lights and said "I didn't notice I was slacking so much, you should have said something earlier, what do you need me to do?" seriously I wanted to say how could he not notice, but there is no point. I should of from the get go given him duties that worked within his schedule and rest time. So we talked about it more and as I am typing this hubs is cleaning our bathroom. Tell sis if it bothers her, to talk to him ,and have a game plan ready so when he says what could you possibly need me to do she can rattle off her needs. Also I admire the poster who can do 4 kids and house on her own I couldn't, but if your sis feels she needs the help she needs to speak up.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

Personally, I don't really see a problem here (minus the all day event without telling her). If she is a SAHM, they should have discussed each of their responsibilities. I mean, if your reverse the situation, would you expect her to pick up a part time job just to relieve some of his stress, even though he is more than capable of handling his responsibilities to his family? I am a SAHM and I do EVERYTHING in my home...with 4 children. My husband works 60+ hours every week, and I don't expect him to get up for middle of the night feedings, or handle the kids before he goes to work. His priority when he comes home is to play with the kids for a few minutes before dinner, eat dinner then relax with the family until bedtime. I put the kids to bed. I give them *most* of their baths.

Is your sister complaining about this or is this all your opinion? Many of my friends and family think I'm nuts for taking on so much of the househod/parenting duties, but my husband and I have discussed it and it works for us. Yes, I am tired, but so is he. Neither of us feel that one works more/harder than the other...we just have different types of work and stress. If she's not concerned, honstly, you should just stay out of it. Its not your life and essentially not your concern, as long as he isn't abusing her or the kids.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Could he be a neglectful husband/father? Maybe. But he might also be allowing the help to help while they are there, and tending to a job when jobs are so hard to come by and hang on to is necessary too. A lot of men prefer kids who are a bit older and can toss a ball and the guys are not always so into babies. When the rest of the family is done with visiting and helping out, maybe you can visit again, or suggest she hire a Mommy's helper, or a dog walker, or a maid to come in once every few weeks. They need to manage their own marriage. If someone asks you for your opinion, express you concerns tactfully.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

It sounds like he's trying to help here and there. Frankly, he does more than my husband does, but my husband gets up at 3:30AM for work and has 3hrs. of commuting per day so he doesn't get home until after 5PM. We also own a house and property, so he has other work to do in his time off.

Maybe your sister isn't communicating very well with her husband. Men are NOT hint-takers. They do NOT just see what needs to be done. They do NOT just KNOW what their wife needs from them. You can't just stare your needs into their head, or NAG them in for that matter. Anything approaching nagging is just going to switch his brain off.

You have to ASK them, in a plain, straight-forward and loving manner, to help. And you have to be specific. Men are far more literal than women are. It's doesn't mean that they're stupid or childish, they're just linear thinkers.

She should try saying things like: "Sweetie, would you please change (15mo.s) diaper for me? I've got my hands full with (baby)." or "Hon, I am truly exhausted. An infant, a toddler and a dog is taking it out of me. Do you think we can agree that one of us will sleep in on Saturday and the other will sleep in on Sunday? This way we're both getting to catch up on the sleep we're missing out on." or "I'm feeling a little bit stuck here all day. Do you think you could let me know ahead of time when you have the chance to take some time off work? I'd sure appreciate getting out of the house as a family once in a while."

She should keep her statements "I" focused instead of "you" focused. Men are problem solvers. It's just what they do. She should present a problem she's having to him and ask for his help with it. She should be very direct and she should let him know that she needs his strength to lean on during this high-stress time. Men love to be needed by their women. Just keep it calm. He isn't going to respond well to "desperate" need.

Hope this helps.


Oh and I ran this by my husband and he brought up a point that I agree with him on. Every family is different. Maybe you're reading too much into this. Your sister and her husband have a right to come to terms with what they are both comfortable with WITHOUT your input. Maybe you're interfering too much. And I do agree that she had other help around so he probably just felt like she didn't need as much help from him right then. Put that together with adding another mouth to feed to the household and he was probably feeling the pressure as the sole-provider of the family. He could use some understanding too.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Wow! Did you go to her house and sit there with a notepad and pen, taking notes for a week?! With all do respect here, this is none of your business!

Your sister is a big girl and doesn't need you medling in her AND her husbands business. I'd be furious if my husbands sibling was doing what you are doing. You are causing problems between the two of them and you need to stop it.

At one point, you mention that you are ok with..... You shouldn't be ok or not with anything, it isn't your husband!! Don't you have your own homelife to worry about?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Could it be that since there was help in the house he felt he didn't need to pull the father thing full-time. Maybe that is why he went to the events b/c his house was full and he knew he wouldn't be able to once the help was gone. I'm curious if his behavior may have changed after he got his house back and he felt needed again? I'm not disregarding your concerns, as they are valid - just another point of view...

If you do approach your sister, I would start with asking her how things are going, she may volunteer the same info you have brought up. I would not interject your idea of how his schedule for the day should go and when he should or shouldn't be able to sleep late and what duties he should be pulling - that is for them to decide together. Just share your observations and concerns and leave it at that if you feel the need to.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

First of all, I think you are probably a really great sister. You went and helped and you saw how things could be better, saw how tired and stressed your sister was, and want to see things improve for her. You love her.

I think the important thing to remember is that in most marriages (not all) it takes a lot of communication and compromise to figure out what works best for both parents. If he is doing some things, then it sounds like he is willing enough, he just may not know exactly what she needs. He may not be aware (most working husbands aren't because they are not there the majority of the time to see the changes that take place when a new one arrives) that how things worked beautifully before won't work now.

If she hasn't done it already, she needs to sit down and tell him in a nonconfrontational way what her struggles are and what she needs. She doesn't need to complain or ream him out, she just needs to say, "I am finding the changes to be a little overwhelming right now and I was wondering if there was a way we could do this where we help each other out. I can give you some down time in the evening when you get home from work to switch gears from working husband to daddy. Can you give me some time in the evening to step away and rest or regroup, and can you give me 30 extra minutes in the morning to prepare for my day? If I give you an hour in the evening, can you give me the same and then we can do the rest together? That will give us time once they are in bed to share with each other or just relax. If you watch the kids in the morning while I walk the dog, I can prepare for my day and take a minute to breathe."

I think she will be surprised that he is willing once he knows exactly what she needs and that she values his contribution to their home and family.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Why did you erase your original question regarding your sister and her husband and replace it with this question?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

none of this really sounds all that bad, sounds like a typical household where the man is sort of "oblivious" to needing to help out.

men dont actually realize how much work there is to do until left alone with the baby. and even then, we are better at it, because ....well its more natural to us

i think your sister should ask for help if she wants it, and the husband does not sound unreasonable, although i may be wrong

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

So out of this long post I was waiting for "My sister asks for her husband to help & he refuses". Instead I heard about how you & your mom were talking about how much her husband isn't doing & you cannot believe your sis hasn't said anything & when brought to her attention, BY YOU, she then realizes, yeah he should be helping more.

I hope she doesn't tell her husband that you were the one that interfered in their marriage, that would not make for pleasant visits anymore & may put a wedge between them for a while.

One time my sis, who was living with us & her 2 dghtrs, so should could go to school, called me when I was out with my friend. My hubby was home with our 2 very young children. My sis called to tell me a couple things that she didn't agree with how he handled the kids. It ruined my night. Initially I was irritated with him but then I thought about it & realized that she had no business interfering with my husband & I. She overstepped her boundaries.

I believe you too are overstepping your boundaries. You are there to help her not to meddle in their marriage. They need to figure out what works for them. And him putting the laundry out probably has worked for them for a long time. She will realize that walking the dog may be to overwhelming for her & she needs to ask him to do it or get rid of the dog, but that's their decision. He may not read to his dghtr every night but it sounds like he is spending quality time with her. Heck he even cleans the kitchen.

I know I have to be very specific with my husband about anything I need him to do. I always wonder if he wipes his @$$ properly, lol. But he is a man & he doesn't know what I need or want from him unless I spell it out. For example I finally learned that during family/holiday gatherings I was busting my butt to be super woman. Then a friend of mine told me what she does, she designates her husband to taking care of something so that is one less thing she has to worry about. So this past Easter I designated my husband to take care of our 3 young kids. He was in charge of everything they did or need. He had to get them food, drinks, clean up after them, break up fights, keep them in line etc. It worked so well & he was so proud of himself & yes he bragged but that was ok because he did a great job & it was so much less stress on me.

If you really want to help your sis then give her suggestions or listen to her. But don't tell her to talk to her husband & tell him to step up. If she calls you to complain about him not helping then suggest she get a cleaner or if she complains that he won't walk the dog then tell her to get a dog walker or get rid of it.

Never be invited to someone's home then create problems, because you will not be invited back. Perhaps you can apologize to her & let her know that you were suppose to be there to support her but shouldn't have interfered.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You don't mention where your sister lives, but around here this is very common. The husbands become so focused on their jobs that they don't see what they aren't being paid to do.

Have your sister try the following:
1. The trash - when the trash is full in our house, the bag is changed and then the full bag is placed by the door. Then WHOMEVER is the next adult to go out takes the full bag with them.

2. Time with the 15m - schedule time with him. Schedule for the 15m to have breakfast between 7:30 and 8a with Dad. He has to eat breakfast, she has to eat breakfast...

3. Infant feedings - Schedule the 10p feeding as his. Then Mom can use that time to take a shower, rest, etc.

The reality of it all is that it won't change anytime soon unless you ask and schedule small things. To him it may just be the thought that since he works outside of the home, when he gets home his job is done. Parenting is a 24/7 job, and its NOT just for the one that happens to stay home.

Also, for sanity sake, I would suggest putting the 15m old in a daycare part of the week. This will give mom a break from 2 kids for a bit, and let the 15m develop some out of the home social skills.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I see a "problem." If she is a SAHM, then why would he start a load of laundry? He has a job already, providing big bucks, and he needs to be sharp everyday to keep on earning them.

Being a new mom is hard.There are days when you are ready to jump out of a window because you haven't had "me time" in weeks on end, or even just the ability to take a shower without some kid interrupting. Sleep deprivation sucks. It leaves you moody, wanting to strangle someone, and then you have little kids running around, yelling, throwing tantrums over broken cheese, etc.

Being a new mom is hard.

Being a new dad is hard too. Another mouth to worry about. Another human being you are responsible for providing for. A wife that doesn't want to be touched. Noise. No quiet time. Lots of people at work to satisfy, an unhappy, overworked wife at home with demands on end.

Sleeping in? 7:00 is late in this house. No one gets to sleep in. No one gets time off from "the kids." When daddy is at work, he isn't "off." Yes, he is away from the kids, but he is far from "off."

My point: every couple needs to figure out for themselves what their balance is.It is hard for BOTH parties, and I highly doubt your sister's husband has it any easier than she does. Getting into that argument will only divide, and with a new baby in the house, that is the last thing needed.

Your sister will quickly learn how to do it all.


you really should have asked a new question. As to the tantrums. Your need to ignore, ignore, ignore. Anything you reinforce (such as finding screeching cute) will become a habit. So, when she doesn't get her way and throws herself on the ground, walk away.

Distraction and prevention are 90% of the game. So, when playing on the playground is over, you need to give her a warning. Tell you, you have 5 minutes left, Then 4, then, 3, etc. Do this with any activity you think she is going to have difficulty stopping. Then, if she wants to protest, distract: I bet I can beat you to the car? wanna race?"

You may want to pick up some books on how to handle toddlers. This is just the beginning, and if you handle it wrongly, the behavior will just get worse. I'm a fan of "how to talk to your kids will listen." It's not directed at toddlers, but it has some good advice in there. Or just Google parent effectiveness training.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I didn't read all the previous responses.. but it sounds to me like it's pretty normal. Your sister sounds like she is tired... but all moms are. It's not specific to ones whose husbands aren't helping enough. If he is a bigwig, as you put it, and makes a great income, then perhaps what you might suggest to your sister (instead of pointing out her hubby's 'faults') is maybe see if she could hire some help. Maybe someone to come in once a week, or every other week to help with the house upkeep/laundry.

I did all the things your sister is doing, and yeah, I was tired and didn't have "me" time... but that's small potatoes compared to a mom who has NO husband, or is in an abusive relationship, or with a hubby who spends NO time with the kids... those guys are out there too. My husband is wonderful. He gets up daily, without complaint and goes off to a stressful job, takes care of all our financial needs, keeps himself healthy, makes the kids tow the line at home and school, and encourages me in all kinds of ways. Yes he throws in the odd load of clothes, and even will fold clothes out of the dryer or load/run the dishwasher. He does the lawn and yard work too. But does he know the kids' schedules... not really. That's not necessary for him to know. He knows I have it under control. I take that as a compliment. Maybe your sister should too. If SHE has issues, then she should talk to her husband and figure out what works for them. If she is finding issues b/c you are pointing them out to her, then you need to step back and don't create a problem where none exists. She isn't an abused woman who needs someone to jump in and point out that she is "worth" better than what she is living. They sound very much like a "typical" family with 2 small kids. The glass is half full.

Keep in mind, too, that if they have had a lot of family cycling through the house, he may not have worked out a routine of helping yet. The 2nd one is a newborn. Maybe he is staying back a little to "allow" the visiting family to spend max time with her and the kids. And taking advantage (not in a bad way) of the available help while it's available. It soon won't be. THEN he may behave much differently. But again, that is for him and his wife to decide what works for them. It's a little different in every family. I know wives who get up at 4:00 a.m. to make a bowl of cereal for their hubby's before they go off to work. I don't. And it works for them. It doesn't for us.

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answers from Dallas on

It sounds like her husband provides a nice life and environment for his family.

"Big wigs" typically do work a lot of extra hours, have more responsibility to keep employees motivated to do their jobs. When my husband comes home, I let him know how I appreciate him and the lifestyle he is providing for us. I'm glad he will come home to have down time vs stay away.

Like your sister, we are a plane ticket away from any family. Your sister is fortunate to have family that will come help. Her husband probably appreciated the help and instead of stepping in and being overbearing on "his turf", he stepped back and allowed people to help while they are there.

The key to a solid marriage is COMMUNICATION. Your sister and her husband need to be COMMUNICATING with each other, not basing decisions off of a forum.

I agree with a couple of other responses that it sounds as if you were more interested in keeping tabs on what he was doing and not doing, coming and going and stirring things up between your sister and her husband.

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answers from Redding on

The one thing that stands out for me in your post is that you said your sister was oblivious until you and your mom went to stay and pointed out that her husband isn't helping enough.
They have a new baby, a 15 month old, dad has a good job. The last thing they need is arguing over him not helping enough all the sudden.
You were there for a week. She's had help from your family and in-laws.
Don't take this the wrong way, but it sounds like you spent a week keeping track of her husband and coming up with a schedule for them. He can get up and do this and he can do that....
It doesn't sound like he's abusive and she's completely defenseless. They can come up with their own schedule and flow.
I know you love her and you're a great sister, but did you consider the stress of having people there to "help" and giving their perspectives on who should be doing what and when?
Her husband only took 3 days off. There were other people there. What did you want him to do?
Having a new baby can be stressful in itself and it takes time to find a routine and get into the swing of things.
He doesn't sound neglectful. I'm sure if you sister were to say, "Honey, it would really help me if you would take the laundry out to the washer instead of leaving it in the hall so I don't have to carry it...."
"Honey, if you would take the dogs out before leaving for the office it would really help me"
"Honey, please hold the new baby while I get the older baby ready for bed. I'd really appreciate it."
Men aren't mind readers. They just aren't.
I think he will be happy to do more to help her if she just asks.
Once everyone is gone and they can figure things out for themselves it's much less stressful. And, I'll bet they can work it out in a way that works for them.
Let me tell you, with my first baby, Dad was fine with my mom being around, but he didn't want his mother anywhere near us. He didn't want her at the hospital, he didn't want her at our house. She is so judgemental and controlling and snippy that he banned her from our house pretty much. I got really sick when the baby was a few months old and he refused to let her come stay to help me even during the day. She couldn't keep her comments to herself. The house was too hot or too cold. Why were there plates in the sink? She came through the door griping on a GOOD day.
In times of trouble, he wanted MY mom because she didn't do that.
I'm just saying, be there to support your sister AND support her husband without driving unnecessary wedges.
It could come back to bite you and in the end, it doesn't really help anything.
You don't want her husband getting the feeling that things are fine until you get in the middle and have a plan that's best for them from 3,000 miles away.
Then, you'll have a sister torn between loyalty to you and her husband and it's never a good situation if that happens.

I've been a single mom since my son was less than 2 years old. With two kids. I never had anyone to help me. Not financially, not day to day.
If your sister has a pretty good husband, I wouldn't do anything to cause her to doubt that.
That's the last thing she needs.

That's just my opinion and I mean no offense to anyone.

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answers from Indianapolis on

Just sounds like the guy needs to be made aware of the situation. If your sister puts up with it i.e. does not say anything at the time it becomes the norm and he knows that. If people are not corrected by their behavior they will continue doing it. He may not want to "intrude" on her mommying; he may also be taking advantage of her. Either way if you want something to change you have to be the catalyst for the change by not accepting the behavior. The baby needs to be fed: then the sister tells him to get up and feed her. The 15 month old gets put down without a change the sister asks did you change her? Well she needs to be changed or she'll get a rash. You wouldn't want our daughter to be in pain because of your negligence, right? Don't let him slide on stuff and he won't. Let him slide on stuff and he will. Simple

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

uhhhh, what is the problem you are worried about?
he sounds ok to me, pretty normal, actually much more helpful than my husband!

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answers from Indianapolis on

I hate to say this, but most men just don't get it.......and they won't unless they are made to watch the kids and do it all..............it never ceases to amaze me that a husband can go to the hospital for a few days and the woman gets a little help, but if the wife goes to the hospital for a few days, people come out of the woodwork to make sure everything is done with the kids and looks great...........which is nice, but the man needs to MAN up.

Your sister needs to make a list of everything, maybe even a schedule........then she needs to sit down with her husband, show him the schedule and ask him which ones he wants to divide up for his............put walking the dog early, so he can get his butt up and do it before he leaves for work...........

And I agree, I think your sister needs to find a weekend where she has to come visit you, and only bring the baby...........he needs to find out just how much fun it is chasing kids, keeping the house clean, feeding the family and still managing to breath.

Now with all that said, since I don't know the guy, and I assume he's not a spoiled jerk, then it just may be he really doesn't see it..........and if she explains to him that she is so tired, and she really needs his help, he might be just fine...........if not, then she needs to demand that he help and make sure he understands........and leave the kids with him for even 4 hours......alone....in the house.......let her get out for a bit......it won't hurt him....then she needs to let him know that those 4 hours is her life 24/7.........she has to make her point.........he won't get it if she doesn't........and she may find out he just won't do it.......period........then she needs to decide what to do about it........

Take care and I wish your sister luck and congrats on the new little one....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

This sounds pretty typical to me. My husband works 8am to 6 or 6:30pm (except the night he picks up our son at 5:50 to take him to his martial arts class). Then they comes home and we eat dinner, by then there is barely enough time to get the kitchen clean the kids to bed (we do split that, my husbands loves a clean kitchen and if I have to go back to do it after bathing 2 kids and getting them to bed, the dishes might still be there in the morning at least some of them), have a bit of down time and we go to bed. If the kids wake in the night, I go and get them...I don't have to be fully functional at the office the next day.

Office politics are tough and a "non official" event might just really be you have to go and put in an appearance or it is noted by the powers that be...especially when bonuses and pay raises are discussed.

I am thankful my husband gets up everyday and goes off to work hard so I can stay home with my kids. He has never asked me to go to his office and see what his day of managing an 85 million dollar construction project is like. Thank God...I hear all bout it over dinner...I am glad I am not making $100,000 decisions everyday.

Oh and on the weekends he works 12 to 14 hours a day rebuilding the back of our house that was destroyed due to a major water leak. We see him at lunch and that is it...he works until dark and I already have the kids fed and in bed.

He loves us so much and is working his hiney off to show us that love. I used to complain that I had it so very hard running a house and raising kids...and when they are infants it is HARD...you are sleep deprived, can't even remember to put the milk back in the refrigerator, feel like some one is hanging on you 24/7 and they are hanging on you...but he is working hard too.

She will have to negotiate what she really really needs him to do to help her. Does she need him to watch the infant from after dinner until midnight so she can get 5 to 6 hours of straight sleep? Take out the trash? Let her run alone to the store? He is already putting the toddler to bed every night...wow, that is GREAT!! (The child will survive with out a bedtime story a couple nights a week). She just has to ask him and I bet he will do it for her gladly. Men don't just know what needs to be done...they are strong, smart, amazing individuals, but they do not think like a woman. She needs to just ask him nicely if he would be willing to (fill in the blank), and I bet he would do it.

Don't encourage her to nag or complain about her husband. Encourage her to love on her husband and tell him exactly and nicely what she needs him to do to help her survive this phase of child rearing....going from 1 to 2 is hard. Keeping up with an infant round the clock is hard. Thank God she has you to help her out...what an added bonus...because you being there probably allowed him to have a bit of a break too.

You are a great sister for being so concerned...let her know her situation is very normal and fixable with the right attitude. HUGS!!

Oh, I wanted to add...my husband agreed to allow me to have a woman come in and deep clean once and month...he liked it so much she now comes twice a month...maybe your sister could find someone to help her out with house work if they could afford it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

My husband often reminds me, when I snap at him because I'm exhausted and irritated about the house, that he cannot read my mind. I NEVER think to ASK him to do anything, and unless it strikes him as something that has to be done, he will not do it. He works hard, is a great guy, and does not have the home standards I wish I had. Your sister needs to tell him if there is something she wants or needs him to do. Or, she needs to gently tell him that she is really tired and would love it if he had some one-on-one play time with the toddler while she naps with the baby. He will probably (legitimately) be pretty irritated to find that she has been discussing this with everyone but him, coming up with standards based on other people's relationships and family dynamics, and making up a plan for getting him to help out without checking with him first. Men also relate to their children differently. I am not sure why giving a breastfed infant a bottle at night seems like a good option--bottles are a pain in the rear at best and it is much easier and calmer for mom to feed baby at night. I also know that most men don't care that much about dishes and I would say "woo hoo!" that the bottle even made it to the sink. :)

I have had to learn to let go of certain hopes (like my husband cleaning), but try to focus on what he does do--makes awesome Italian food, takes full-time care of his two kids during the day while I work (no, they don't pick up the house, but they are playing, he puts sunscreen on them, gets them out to the park and library, and feeds them), he works part-time evenings and weekends, and is in school part-time. He has asthma, so we would be in serious trouble if he tried to do the dusting or something (the reason I do the cleaning). He has an unrewarding, exhausting, demanding job caring for developmentally disabled adults which makes him need much more down time at home than I do. I keep going and going until I drop, at which point I might snap at him for not helping around the house, but in the end I won't really care that my house was not super-clean when I'm growing old with my best friend and he is totally in love with his family.



answers from Detroit on

Their kids are very young still and close together so they probably just need more time. It does all of a sudden become alot clearer the effort that is putting in when the 2nd one comes around. Mine were 11 months apart and it took a while before my husband and I got into a good routine where I felt we were both happy with the effort we were putting in. It also took alot of discussion and trial to get it right. I would suggest she make some proposals for a routine and "split" of duties and see if they can try it out and see how it goes. And, of course be prepared to try multiple ways of doing it to find what works best for them. This will also most likely change as teh kids get older too. Maybe she needs more help with night feedings now, but once the younger one is 1 years old, maybe just help with bath time more or something like that. Mine are almost 3 and 4 now and we have gotten very good at modifying as we go along to keep a balance we are happy with. And, I agree with what another mom said, is that husbands really need to be asked (in a nice way of course) for what you need from them.


answers from Dallas on

I agree with the majority, he may not know and just need to be made aware. Also since this is the second baby, she may not have needed as much help with the first baby so he might "assume" it's going to be the same way this time around. I was hopeful that with my first two being 4 yrs and 4 mnths apart that I would not need any help from husband but boy was I wrong.
And then when our third came along, I realized how easy having the two was! : ) but hubby REALLY stepped up with helping when our #3 came along, after many times of me asking and telling him I needed help. However, the main things he does help with is housework over baby work! : ) Now as our kids have gotten "older" I see how much more he does with them and helps and I pretty much take the care taker role of the "little kids" which I'm ok with, as long as he can help "somewhere" with the kids.

My husband and I have been together almost 10 years now and have three kids together BUT I still have to remind him or ask him many times to help and he usually does w/out any issues but I know it can get frustrating having to repeatedly "ask" for the help. We women wish they just had it in them to help but of course that's not the case for the majority of men.

So I recommend your sister making hubby aware of needing his help "more", let him know how thankful she is for what he does help with but that she's just a little overwhelmed right now with the kids being so young and would appreciate some more helping hands around the house. If they can afford it, has she considered a part time nanny or even a maid to come out once a week? I never thought we would EVER use a maid until I became pregnant with my current pregnancy #4 and have just been so exhausted from the pregancy and everything I do all day with the kids. I was almost embarrassed to call and get help but once we did, they have been a life saver. We were using them once a week and now that I'm in second trimester we went for twice a week because the pregnancy has gotten a little easier but we'll probably go back to once a week when baby is born. They do soooo much for me that I wouldn't be able to ever get to me with my normal day to day life, just the added help with them putting clean linens on the beds has been such a blessing. IF we could afford a daily nanny, I'd have one but for now it's the maids and I'll take all the help I can get. : )

Good luck to your sister, let her know things will get easier (even if she never gets much help from hubby) and to hang in there, she's doing the best she can.

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