Post # 1
So my husband and I got married recently and we have talked about kids before and after that, and we both want to have them relatively soon, thinking of TTC in January or September (next year).
The problem is, I’m really not sure my husband is ready to have a baby. He struggles to make any effort with chores (I cook, do dishes, take out the garbage, mow the lawn, wash the cars, grocery shop, pay the bills, manage the finances, look after the cat) He does these things occasionally, more often than not though its when I mention that I always do them, then he’ll cook a meal once or twice that week, load the dishwasher, or grab a few groceries I need on the way home. About 80-90% of his free time he spends either playing games, or watching Anime. Sometimes I leave a few dishes out overnight (he works until midnight) and I wake up and they`re still there, along with dishes he ate dinner on, and he goes to bed around 4:30-5am.
I know he likes kids, wants them and would enjoy PLAYING with them, but I don’t see him ready at all for the responsibility of one. I don’t want resentment to build, but not sure how to either push him towards being responsible, or just distract myself until he really is ready.
My friends tell me that if I wait until my husband grows up then Ill be waiting forever, and they laugh saying no man is ever ready, but none of them actually trust their husbands to do anything for the kids or the house and they do everything at home with the help of a nanny. Im looking to see if the same theoryfor men applys to women that can actually rely on their husbands to do something…
Post # 3
@Elky: it is hard to judge if he is ready bcz some men pick it up and run with it, others get scared and sheepish. Really even the most ready guy hav emotional meltdowns about the bby. My daughters father at first was terrified to touch her. The first couple weeks I did everything and then he snapped out of it. He adores her and is soooo extremely active with her I’m grateful for that
Post # 4
@babypearls: I know he’ll have an emotional meltdown at some point, he really is more sensative than he’ll admit to his father, but I’m just worried that he’ll stay in “Teenage Gamer”-Mode and wont pick up any responsibiliity. Even if he’s terrified to hold the baby, if he could cook, or do a load of dishes…
I’m worried that bringing a child into the mix before he “matures” will just result in an extra load of work for me, and no help with everything else.
We are 25 so there is no biological clock or anything, just my personal “baby fever” I guess??
Post # 5
I can see why the chore thing would really put you off. Those things are so minute compared to raising a child and having to jump everytime they need something in those first couple of years.
My FI does chores, but for a while it really took some prodding. His parents made him do things around the house, but they always had to ask. So every Friday its like, ‘take out the trash’ rather than him just doing it on his own. I’ve broke him of that for the most part, but sometimes I still have to ask him to do something and it drives me crazy.
With your FI it might just take actually having the baby to force him into taking responsibility and doing more. Have you had serious discussions on what each of you should be responsible for in the house? I feel like he should at least be doing half of what you listed – that is A LOT just for you to do on your own. I’d sit down and seriously tell him how you feel and why his behavior makes you a little hesitant about the baby issue. I can understand not wanting to confront him and start a fight, but if you don’t address it then I wouldn’t expect him to change much.
What does he do until 4-5am?! Does he work overnight??
Post # 6
@adoc86: I think you’re right that we might need to really sit, I am worried about it spawning a fight, which is what happened before when we first moved in.
He doesn’t want the division of “I cook, you take out the garbage” he thinks things should just be there and we each do them, but I’m not sure how to broach the topic that that way of doing things really isn’t working…
He is the youngest of 3 boys, 8 years apart each, and they’re a traditional Lebanese family where the wife/mother does the domestic chores for the most part. He knew that wouldn’t happen with us but it seems its happening regardless. Although his father does the garbage and yard work etc, what are the traditional “male chores”.
He gets home around midnight (because he has a company vehicle, he gets paid for the drive time home so that’s why I originally said he works until midnight) And I’m not sure what he does until 4:30-5am! thats why I’m driven so crazy. 🙁 I wake up and find the house worse than when I left it at bed time and part of me just wants him to do SOMETHING, but I don’t know how to tell him without him getting defensive…. We may need to just discuss that we need a better division of chores, since I tried things his way for a year, we should try a new way….
Post # 7
@Elky: How was his Dad as a father? Involved or distant? I think he’ll continue to display what he saw in childhood.
My DH was a major video game player until I got pregnant. Next thing I knew, the games and systems were gone. He’d sold them all! And bought pregnancy books. And “Going to be a Daddy” books.
Post # 8
@Elky: Why do you continue to do the lions share of the work? Assuming you both work full time jobs, it sounds like its way past time to have a sit down, serious discussion about the division of labor/chores. Come to some kind of agreement. He’ll either step up or he won’t. If he doesn’t, and you proceed to have kids with him, then do so with your eyes wide open that his contribution will be limited to financial and as occasional playmate.
I, personally, would not choose to have children with a man-baby I couldn’t trust them with so I think your friends advise is stupid.
Post # 9
@Elky: How long have you guys been living together? I ask only because DH and I have lived together for about 2 years now been together for about 7 and he is only now JUST starting to help me out with chores. He’s also 35 and old enough to know better. However, while I might take the reins when it comes to cleaning the house and deocrating it and making it a home, I know that he takes care of all the house finances and manages our money (so well that I can go buy myself nice things more often than I probably should ;-p) he fixes anything I ask him to and takes care of my car appointments. He also takes care of more “behind the scenes” house stuff such as switching out burnt out lightbulbs, fixing computers, buying anything I ask him to pick up on the way home from work for dinner… those things add up too.
So can you think of things that he does take care of? If you can list a fair few things that he handles completely by himself that you don’t have to worry about then I think its ok to broach moving forward. If not, you might want to sit and talk to him about your concerns. Also understand that truly, NO ONE is ready for the responsibility a child brings, mostly because until you have a child, you just aren’t sure what to expect.
Post # 10
My FI has talked about being a stay at home dad. I make a lot more than he does and he HATES his job. But I feel the same as you. He does stuff around the house when I ask him to, but rarely does it on his own. And acts like he deserves a prize whenever he does do anything. I’m worried that he’ll be home all day with the kids and I’ll get home and still have to make dinner and clean. I don’t want to resent him for staying home, even if everything was perfect I know I’d be jealous he got to be with the kids all day. I’ve been trying to press on him that staying home would still be working, just working at home. I’m not sure he believes me and still thinks he’d be sleeping in and playing video games all day.
Post # 11
@BrandNewBride: Not necessarily. My DH father was not the best and that inspires him to be the opposite and be the best father he can be. Not all display what they know from childhood 🙂
Post # 12
I definently would address this soon. You are going to need a ton of help with a new baby, from cooking, LOTS of cleaning and laundry, waking up at night, diper changes etc. I would start by stating that youve been thinking about the responsibility of a baby and are worried on how the work will be divided since now you are already doing more work. My SO is a chef and gets home around midnight too and then stays up late, often times he leaves dishes and things meaning to pick up in the morning but I beat him to the punch since I wake up earlier. But he always jumps to help out with whatever he can and holds his own weight so it’s not an issue.
Post # 13
@BrandNewBride: He has a good realationship with his father, but often his father/mother were out starting new businesses and he was left with other family.
Its good to know that some gamers are able to do that, makes me think it might happen with him…
@Zhabeego: Probably because I’ve always done that? haha… I grew up thinking it was easier to just get things done, than argue with siblings to share the load, and that translated to my relationship? We do need to sit and talk I think…
@the_newlymintedmrs-s17: We’ve lived together for a year, been together almost 6. I’m trying to think… he vacums when he gets mad enough at the cat hair, does that count? haha. Its nnormally followed by a rant at me as to why I haven’t been doing it though. On a regular basis I can’t think of much that he really does beyond sweeping the kitchen floor, and even that’s fallen to the wayside and become like the vacuming. He’s great at doing things when he has the motivation for something he’s passionate about. Eg. When he wanted to start selling Japanese figures, he went out and bought the supplies and built the shelving for the office closet, ripped out the child-closet organizers in the spare room and created a customized storage solution for his side business. Maybe he would be passionate about a child and have the same focus and is just not passonate about home-care? We swapped lights for the LED ones so they wont burn out for 20 years so I’m not sure about that stuff, he replaced a toilet when I agreed it was in the budget for him to get the one he wanted, but keeps telling me he doesn’t have the time to put in the toilet in the other bathroom that I want to get… I donno just seems like if he wants it, he’ll do it no questions asked, but if he doesn’t he’ll whine and complain and ignore it/put it off. maybe its more of a question if he realllly wants a kid and would be willing to do more for the kid?
@MrsSmitty: OMG he does that too! I make more than twice what he does so he assumes that means he can be the SAHD, but I’ve made sure he knows that I’m not cool with that, if I have to go to work everyday, so does he…. Maybe we have twins that were separated at birth? lol
Post # 14
@Elky: Yeah, I think you need to stop doing that. He has some nerve yelling at you for not doing a chore when you’re already doing the lions share. That says to me that deep down, he does see the housework as your responsibility. He doesn’t want an established division of chores because he doesn’t want to have to be held accountable for getting them done. If I were you, I’d tell him he either needs to step up on an ongoing and consistent basis or there needs to be a set agreement about who does what, when. If he says he still wants things to just get done as needed, that’s fine – but then you need to stop picking up his slack and let him deal with the consequences of stuff not getting done. Lets face it – your current arrangement of you doing most of the chores works just fine for him. Why would he change it? The longer you let this go on, the harder it will be to change. Nip it.
Post # 15
I have to ask my FI to do things, but the he immediately hops to it. He works from home, so I respect the fact that he is “working” when he is there and not doing housework, but all I have to say is “could you unload the dishwasher today” in the morning and it will get done. He has even occasionally started to do it on his own. We just started living together in March though, and I set the rules down pretty firm – we both work, so we both do housework. I know I do more because I’m pickier about it, but he’s on board.
Also it just took a while for me to get him to put dishes in the dishwasher. I achieved that through a lot of praise. I don’t want to come home to a mess.
Anyhow, nip it now, it won’t get better after you have kids. Tell him you are a team and that you guys need to work together to build your life.
Post # 16
@BrandNewBride: I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. DH’s father was very emotionally and physically uninvolved with MIL’s pregnancy and his own children all throughout life (even still). He feels like he works so she has to do the chores in the house and take care of the kids. If she asks him for help, he either tells her to do it herself or tells her to ask someone else. My DH isn’t like that at all. He is eager to help out and be a dad.
@Elky: Perhaps its just not real for him yet OP. Some men can be the types that don’t respond to fatherhood until the child is actually born whereas some fathers pick it up right away. I think before you have kids you just have to sit down and tell him that you need help around the house right now. Once he picks up on helping, he will get into the habit so it will be easier once you’re pregnant. Hopefully he sees this as anequal partnership and helps you out.