Post # 1
My DH and I agreed that after our baby is born I will be a sahm and after 12 weeks I will go back to work one day a week. I understand as the primary caregiver and homemaker most of the chores/tasks/shopping/child rearing will be my “job.” My DH was waited on hand and foot by his mother until he went to college and I think that gave him a very skewed version of normal life.
He is expecting the house to be spotless, all laundry done and put away, all the shopping done, his lunches packed and dinner on the table every night. I keep telling him there is no way on god’s green earth that I will be able to do all that with a newborn. Am I being lazy for thinking that I won’t be able to handle that without help?
Just an example, he said he will never do laundry again because I will be home all day to do it. Or that he will never get up with the baby in the night because he has to go to work all day. Also we grocery shop for the non-perishables 1 month at a time. It took me over an hour today to put all the groceries away. How will that be possible with a small baby?
I am so thankful that it is even possible for me to be able to stay home I am just dreading the “what did you do all day” if everything isn’t perfect. Am I wrong in trying to explain that I might need help with the laundry, cooking, cleaning sometimes? Any suggestions on how to discuss this without either of us getting defensive of our “job’s” worthyness of being tired at the end of the day?
Post # 3
@princessbelle: While I am not a SAHM, my sister is. For most of it she was a single SAHM (Workers comp after her husband was killed in a work accident) and she manages to do it all herself but not quite to the extent you describe. For example, she’ll have ALL of the laundry done by the end of the WEEK – not every single day.
I agree with some of the things your DH mentioned – getting up in the night because he has to work, having dinner ready, etc. but for EVERYTHING to be spotless is unrealistic whether you have a newborn or a toddler.
I would just have a serious discussion with him about what will and won’t be done. Ex: “I will have dinner ready at night, laundry will be done on saturdays and he’ll help” or something
Post # 4
I’m a SAHM with a 10 month old and am pregnant. I do what I can basically and my H helps out with what I can’t/don’t do. I have a very easy baby so that makes things much more manageable. My first priority is my child (obviously) we do classes and groups during the week so that keeps us busy. I do as much as possible to make my husbands life easier and give us ample family time for the weekend with no errands or cleaning needed. I would not accept your husbands attitude thats for sure!! If I need my husband to do laundry or vacuum he’ll do it no questions asked.
Post # 5
Posting to follow – this is one of the main reasons I’m too scared to be a SAHM. I don’t want to be responsible for everything around the house! Honestly, I would assume that taking care of a newborn constitutes more than 40 hours a week. And if you’re expected to get up throughout the night you should also be expected to nap throughout the day, when you can. So if you’re handling all the baby stuff then that would equal out with work for him so I’d propose splitting chores. It makes sense to split between what is easier for you each to do. For instance, it will be easier for you to do laundry since you’re at home and easier for him to do grocery shopping since he’s already out and about at work. I would imagine that things will ease up a big after the first few months and it might be worth a re-visit at that point. Plus, I don’t think anyone expects a house that contains a newborn to be spotless. If he’s the one that cares about it being spotless – hire a maid!
But I’m pretty darn adamantt that housework/cooking is not “women’s work” and guys need to step up. I tend to get on a soapbox. So I may not be the best judge for this situation.
Post # 6
@princessbelle: Your DH is being a little unrealistic about the first 12 weeks of your child’s life. The first 8 weeks at least, you will be more tired than you have ever been.
We are simply not used to having our sleep interupted so many times at night. During the day, if the baby is sleeping you should be trying to nap also.
That may mean that horror of horrors you may ask him to pick up some groceries on the way home, because the baby didn’t have a good day and it just wasn’t reasonable to drag him out to the grocery store.
I suggest you ask him which days of the week are your days off? If he is planning on doing nothing around the house, it seems only fair that you get the same number of days off. And, could he please also tell you who is going to cook, clean and look after the baby on your days off?
Post # 7
@princessbelle: his expectations literally made me LOL. He’s dreaming….completely delusional.
I was a SAHM for 7 years. I can count on maybe one finger the days that EVERYTHING was done and EVERYBODY was happy. Paaaaa-Leez. And if his mommy somehow magically made it look to HIM like she pulled it all off, then I gaurentee she is or once was half mad with insanity.
Post # 8
I am a SAHM with a 9 month old. I think of it as a full-time job but also with evenings and weekends off. I mean, if my husband doesn’t help at all, that means I am working 24/7, right?
So I do the laundry, prepare food including the baby’s, tidy up the house, take care of bills and banking, most of shopping, and of course, I look after my baby. However, my husband takes the garbage out, sometimes cooks and/or do the dishes, and cleans the house on weekends. I am on night duty most of the time but sometimes my husband is on, usually on Friday or Saturday. Basically, I do chores and take care of the baby during the day, but after I “get off work” in the evenings and on weekends, we share chores.
We had to make adjustments, but it is better now. What works for us won’t necessarily work for everyone, though. Parenthood does change a lot of things in your relationships but it is also very rewarding. Hope you come to a compromise soon!
Post # 9
I think he’s being a little unreasonable, but I also think that you should do more around the house than him because you will be a SAHM. I am going to be a stay at home mom and the way we’ve decided to split things is that I will do all of the chores except for my husband’s laundry, taking out the trash, paying the bills, and fixing things around the house. When he is home from work he will do half of the work of the baby. Ex: every other time the baby cries or every other diaper change until he goes to bed. Then on the weekends it wil be split every other time even through the night. He is also going to be helpful if I ask him to help me do something if I have too much going on. I do most of the chores now because I have more free time than he does and this works pretty well for us. He is also really good about recognizing when I need help.
ETA: Also, things will be harder the first 2-3 months, so he knows he will have to pitch in more then.
Post # 10
@princessbelle: We don’t have children yet but my FI and I have discussed this and are both happy with me being a SAHM when the time comes (and if finances permit of course).
I can’t wait for that phase of my life but I certainly would never let my husband get away with thinking i’m his maid/housekeeper.
Granted, if you’re at home all day you may have more time around the house but with a new born baby, who knows how your days will pan out. You may be lucky enough to have a super easy going baby and manage to have the time to do those odd jobs around the house but you may also not be so lucky and he shouldn’t be putting any extra demands on you.
His attitude definitely rubs me up the wrong way. You guys are a team, you need to work together and make eachothers lives easier. It’s a two way street. Sure you will probably do more things around the house coz you’re there all day but he needs to help out too. And if things don’t get done coz bubs has a bad day, he should be supporting you, not asking why the laundry hasn’t been folded.
Post # 11
Thank you so much for all your suggestions!! I like hearing how different people handle things! I don’t want to paint him in a bad light. We share all the duties now and he is very helpful I just have a feeling he is going to fall off the face of the earth once I stay home.
@playdohpants: I like the idea of having a schedule so I can have a plan and he can get his expectations under control.
@Ballet513: Definitely will have to work on his attitude. I will still be his wife not a slave lol!
He doesn’t stop for ANYTHING after work. He does have a taxing and stressful job but I think if I asked him to stop for groceries after work he would laugh in my face. I will have to revisit that again to see if he would be willing. As it stands now I drive by the store on my way home from work so I usually stop.
@Sweetjennygirl: I try to tell him he is in la la land and everything will NOT be done but I don’t think he believes me!! I think what he forgets is he is the third child. His mom had two older children to help with things around the house.
@Tomato22: I really like the idea of rotating duties “after hours.” I don’t know if he will go for that but it certainly is something I could suggest!
Post # 12
I agree on both sides. Yes, you should be the one up at night with the baby, he is going to work to make money. On weekends he can get up with the baby! I agree with you that the house can not/will not be 100% clean. Laundry isn’t an all day supervised thing, you can put the baby down for 3 mins to throw it in and change it, also fold the laundry when the baby is napping, OR again put the baby down. I doubt he expects a 4 course meal… So until you BOTH get adjusted to the new life, I think some of what he wants is doable, and some things are not doable. YOU WILL MAKE IT WORK!
Post # 13
@princessbelle: I typed several responses but I deleted them. I was pretty ragey at your husband’s behavior. For the record, I asked my husband what he thinks and he said “Oh my god, is he kidding? It is way easier to go to work all day than to stay home and take care of a kid and a house. I get to have lunch with adults every day, you don’t.” My husband does about 1/2 the household stuff and even though our little guy sleeps through the night now, before he did, my husband did most of the night time wake ups.
Post # 14
@princessbelle: I definitely understand being worried about him falling of the face of the Earth. I was also really worried about that happening. We had a long talk about our expectations and it really helped me feel better.
Post # 15
My mom had three kids then was a SAHM for the last two (so 5total). You could operate on that woman’s floor, our laundry was put away and dinner was normally on the table when my Dad got home. That’s because my dad worked 2 jobs sometimes 3 so she could stay at home. He didn’t ever come home and lounge around. My older brother’s had responsibilities around the house/yard, and as we grew up so did we. On weekends my dad also did yard work.
We took naps after school to get to see him later. As my Dad’s career grew and he could stop working so many jobs, and people moved out, my mom’s work load lessened like his did. I would say they worked their butts off equally, with newborns, with toddlers. I guess they really did think of it as a partnership. Why wouldnt you WANT to help your partner so your FAMILY does it’s best?
Post # 16
Uh, your DH needs a reality check. Yes your day will be at home but if he thinks you can just lay baby down, clean, cook, do laundry etc etc and still have a happy smiley baby and mum at the end of the day then he needs to think again! You will be exhausted for the first couple of months, maybe longer depending on your birth (c-section, tearing etc) and he needs to help out during this time. You just pushed a baby out so things like reaching up high, lifting heavy laundry baskets etc are still a risk.
I had a c-section and FI was home for only a week afterwards but he did everything, cooked, cleaned, rocked baby while I had a rest, did tonnes of laundry (we did cloth nappies) and after he went back to work (working 13+hours a day some days, 6 days a week) he would get up at 4.30 to do loads of washing and put it on the line because I couldn’t stretch and put dinner in the slow cooker. Obviously once I was healed I did lots of these jobs but he still cooks dinner two-three times a week and on weekends we have alternate lie ins because our DD is up at 6am. I do not know any mother, SAHM or working who has a spotless house even 70% of the time. Especially once babies get older and you have to do lots of activities to stimulate and help their development. Sometimes you have to choose between a happy baby and a tidy home/dinner.
I get that your DH works a stressful job, but you are raising a human being to be a funtioning part of society so what you do is more important. The child is equally yours and his, therefore the ‘chores’ that revolve around having a family and a family home should be split, if not equally than at least fairly. For instance if baby is sleeping well and DH is having a very long, stressful week, you might get up every night without any fuss to tend to baby. But if baby is waking every couple of hours and DH’s work week is fairly average, it’s completely acceptable to expect him to get up once or twice and soothe baby if he can to give you a break. If you’re constantly exhausted from interrupted sleep and long, busy days doing non-stop housework etc then you’ll likely be suceptible to PND. If you find he is still stubborn about this kind of thing after the birth you may be in for a bit of a divide between the two of you, the first year after a baby is very stressful on parents relationships and if you grow to feel resentment towards him for not ‘helping out’ then that wont make it easier.