Post # 1
I am a stay at home mom to a 9 month old baby. He is a lot of work! He requires constant attention and interaction all day long, and takes irregular naps, so I often don’t get much of a break during the day. At night, he still wakes up multiple times, and I am the one to go to him and comfort him back to sleep. On top of doing all of the childcare, I also keep the house clean, cook, and do all of the errands like grocery shopping, etc.
DH is a very traditional guy and works hard at his job. He gets home at 6pm and either wants to rest or will continue to do some extra work at home. On the weekends, he likes to sleep in and read/relax during the day. He tells me that his job is to be the provider, and my job is to handle the home and childcare. He will watch the baby while I shower or if I need to run errands, but this is only after I ask, and he seems to do it begrudgingly. He told me a couple times that he shouldn’t have to help out with any housework or do anything for the baby, and if he does anything, he’s just doing it to be nice.
His attitude is a source of conflict in our marriage. I think he should help out in the evenings and on the weekends. And I think he should do it happily. My job is extremely demanding and I never get a break! I am caring for my baby from the second he wakes up until the second he goes to sleep at night, and every time he wakes up during the night too. We have 3 pets on top of everything that I also take care of.
What do other SAHMs expect of their partner? Do you believe in strict division of labor, or should partners help each other out?
Post # 3
So your husband is annoyed that he has to parent his own child once in a while? And only when you beg him?? Sounds like he’s not interested in being a father whatsoever. I can’t stand it when dads act like “babysitting” their own kids is some extra job they do for the mom as a favor. Honestly he sounds like an asshole.
Post # 4
I’m not completely a SAHM (I work outside the home 1-2x/week). We have a very needy 5 month old.
DH does the cooking (I suck at cooking) and most of the cleaning. I handle 95% of the baby stuff. I am up with her almost all night, and hold her almost all day. He stays home with her when I’m at work. DH still says I have the harder job.
He is very helpful, and I think it’s important that both parents respect and appreciate the work their partner does. They should be willing to help each other out.
Post # 5
How I would explain this to hubby is that, he has to work 40 hours a week – yet you are expected to work 24/7. That’s not very fair is it? When he is home, responsiblities need to be dividied up a bit more. I would also alternative sleeping in or me time on the weekends. Maybe Sat morn he gets to have “me” time until 12. But Sundays mornings, you do. If you can’t sleep in maybe that means you go get a mani-pedi, or send them off to the park so you can relax?
Post # 6
Bichon Frise: I’m not a SAHM…but I would think it should be more equal on the weekends. I would probably think you should do more at night (like getting up at night obviously) but I don’t think it’s reasonable for him to get a break all weekend while you don’t. He’s a parent right? He should be doing some parenting! You would think he would want to spend some time with his kid at night before baby goes to bed…does he want to do any of that?
Post # 7
When I first went back to work after my maternity leave ended, DH took two weeks of leave to stay home with DD. It was a seriously eye-opening experience for him and I am SO GLAD we decided to do it. Staying home with a baby all day doesn’t seem that hard until you do it. Suddenly DH understood why I would get mad if he was like “oh, I stopped off to get a pint on the way home, hope you don’t mind” … because of course I mind! Him getting home after work is pretty much the high point of my entire day! It’s my only chance to get a break!!
As someone who has experienced both staying home full time and working full time, I can honestly say that working at the office is easier. Perhaps you should convince your husband to take a week’s vacation and stay home with the baby on his own. He will quickly see that he isn’t the one who deserves a rest at the end of a long day — YOU do.
Post # 8
I abhor the attitude of any man who suggests that caring FOR HIS OWN CHILD is a task that he can opt out of.
Now I realise that from a practical perspective it can make a whole lot of sense to divide tasks according to who does, or doesn’t stay at home. Which means that some jobs will always fall to one of the partners.
As an example, when I was a SAHM for a couple of years when my sons were little, I tended to do the housework and daily shopping because I was around to do it. I didn’t expect my ex-husband to come home and be greeted with a list of jobs that I could more easily get sorted during the day. But equally, I certainly did not expect him to come home and excuse himself from childcare either. !
This is 2014. The days when men went out to work and women stayed at home to become little more than domestic handmaidens have long gone. Your job as a SAHM is no less important than his. It takes two to make a baby and he should be helping you out willingly. This is HIS CHILD too!
Post # 9
I love it when men do housework or child care because they’re “being nice”. Um….you eat/sleep/live here, it’s your dirt too buddy.
I’m not a SAHM and we don’t have small children so our situation is different but I think the general principles hold true. I’m the major breadwinner and work very irregular and often long hours. Hubs works too, but generally significantly less hours a week than I do. Basically, we just get what needs to get done, done. Whomever is having a lighter work week is responsibile for picking up more slack at home, very little conversation is required. This often means that he’s doing more around the house, and we both agree that’s fair if I’m doing more work hours.
The way I see it, his job is X hours a day/week. Your job is Y hours a day/week. If Y is greater than X (and in your case it is), then he “owes” additional hours of work to the home/family to balance out your contributions. Now, there may need to be adjustment for how “hard” his work is versus your work, so be it, so it may not be an exactly equal amount of hours.
Conversely, you could go with “time off” as an easier adjustment. ie. He works a full work week and needs/wants/expects X hours “off” for “his time”. That’s fine and to be expected. AND then you need the same amount of time “off” for “your time”.
You could also tell him that if you didn’t stay at home with the baby and instead worked outside the home and sent the baby to daycare, then you each would be responsible for half of the housework and evening/weekend baby care. Right?!? So you could do that and I bet he’d throw a fit and then having some responsibility for child care and home care wouldn’t seem so bad to him.
In all honesty, a man telling me he doesn’t think he should do ANY child care or ANY house work and will do so to be “nice” just irks me to no end. Fathers are not babysitters, they’re parents.
Post # 10
I’m a SAHM to a 16 month-old (well, functionally. I do work 1-2 days a week, and some from home). My DH works full time and also is in a Masters Program on-line. Still, we split child duties 50-50 when he’s home. I mean, day-to-day it changes (he might do more one day so I can get extra work done, or I might do more if it’s finals week), but in general, he pitches in 50/50. Usually this means he plays with little man while I do the dishes or whatever, but it’s still a bit of a break for me, and if I ask him to do a chore, he’s always willing to do it.
I do my best to get chores done when he’s at work, but if I don’t, DH understands that that’s just the way it is some days, and he’s happy to pitch in.
He works 40 hours a week, and you work closer to 70, assuming a good sleeper at night. He needs to be pitching in a bit more.
Post # 11
He will watch the baby for a couple hours on the weekends while I do other stuff, but he will often text me asking when I’m coming back. And then when I get home, he goes up to his office and disappears for a while. He is someone who needs a lot of alone time.
Sometimes it’s not so much about me asking him to do things for his son, but just to spend time with him. He will sit in the same room as us while working on his laptop and will consider that quality time. As our baby gets older and can interact more, DH is starting to play with him in the evenings, but there is literally only an hour or so between when DH gets home and the baby gets ready for bed. That hour also includes us eating dinner.
Post # 12
I should add that DH has started spending more time playing and interacting with his son. When he says he shouldn’t have to do childcare, what he means is he shouldn’t have to change diapers, give baths, do feedings, etc. He will spend time with his son, but he prefers it when I’m in the room too. He doesn’t like being left alone with him, because then the baby needs his undivided attention.
Post # 13
Bichon Frise: We don’t have children yet, but I fully expect DH (and he is well aware of my feelings) to be equal in parenting with me when we do. I refuse to lose myself completely just because I am a mother, and plan on still going out with friends while DH watches the baby for a few hours, and while I plan on doing the majority of housework, I know DH will still lend a helping hand with that as well.
Post # 14
Aggghhh I’m sorry but I hate this kind of attitude. I have a huge issue with the whining over taking care of his own child. You deserve time to yourself as well, and he helped make this baby. I have a friend who’s husband behaves this way and I just cannot believe his behavior sometimes..
As far as division of labor goes, I don’t disagree that if you are home, it’s not unreasonable to keep the house clean, do more chores than he would if he’s working 8+ hour days which it sounds like he is, etc… But he should still be accountable as an adult to do certain things. i.e. does he mow the lawn? unload the dishwasher? are there ANY chores he takes on??? He shouldn’t be spending his free time at night and on the weekends burning a hole into the couch while you bust your ass to be a single parent AND take care of a 3 person household.
Post # 15
I’ve always looked at it like this. While he is at work the baby/housework is my job but when he gets home parenting and housework is a 50/50 split. Granted I do all the night feedings and wakings but he would be willing if I needed help (we still BF so it makes it tough for him to do anything lol). I try not to hand off the baby as soon as he gets home but I expect him to play with him until bedtime, which is like an hour. He doesn’t put up a fight and actually enjoys his time with him. Different personalities I guess. My husband is from a very large family and has lots of experience with babies so I think that helps.
Post # 16
I think being a SAHM means that the house is your domain and your job. I don’t go to DH’s work and help him there, so I can’t expect him to come home and take over once he’s done his day job.
That being said, he’s still a father. That means parenting doesn’t end just because he works during the day. It should NOT be an isse for him to come home, spend time with his child, and perhaps bond with him/her.
In my household, I was a SAHM for the first year of my DD’s life, so I did all the housework. DH never complained when, on the weekends if I wanted to have a girl’s day, he’d look after DD. He also does lots of “manly” work around the house, so it’s not like he was lying around eating bon-bons on the weekend. lol
Now that we both work full time, I will say, until I got pregnant, I was the one still doing a huge amount of the housework (willingly) and care of my DD when we were all home.
Baby #2 is on the way however, and I’ve flat-out told him that he’s going to need to help me out a bit more, especially with me being so sick. Yes, the house is a lot less tidy now, but he knows better than to complain if he isn’t gonna help out.. lol!