(Closed) How much should DH help if you're a SAHM?

posted 7 years ago in Married Life
Post # 17
Member
47438 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

It bothers me when I see references to fathers  babysitting. It’s parenting! I was a stay at home Mom in my first marriage and I did not expect my ex to pitch in with housework. After the first couple of months when breastfeeding skills are easier, I had no trouble getting the housework done when he was at work, and we had a 5000 sq ft house. If 2 adults put things away after they use them, clean up spills etc it isn’t difficult to keep a house clean and laundry done. It does get easier as babies get older. They really don’t need to be held or entertained 100% of the time.

My expectation was, and is, that he pitches in on household maintenance tasks.

I do believe that Dad  needs to parent when he is home. I think the OP’s husband just doesn’t have enough confidence yet. The more he pitches in, the more comfortable he will be parenting his child.

Post # 18
Member
875 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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Bichon Frise:  His attitude really stinks! I have an 11 month old and am 4 months pregnant. Luckily our daughter STTN 12 hours and takes a quick AM nap and a 3 hour PM nap so doing all the house work isn’t really a big deal for me. The errands don’t bother me either bc my DD loves being out and it tires her out for that PM nap. 😉 That said in the begining when DD was small, not sleeping all night and I wasn’t confident enough to do big errands all alone with her my husband did SO MUCH. Now that I’ve got it under control I prefer to do everything since he works 12 hour days with an hour long commute each way. When he comes home if DD is still awake he immediately takes over. He scoops her up and finishes bedtime, then he picks up the house if needed and takes the dog out. On the weekends he is 100% present for DD. I sleep in on Saturdays and he gets up with her at 7 and does breakfast and everything with her. I’m able to sleep, take a nice long shower and get ready without rushing. He pretty much takes care of her the whole weekend. If there is anything I didn’t do during the week he does it on the weekends during her nap time. The difference is that my husband really wants to make my life easier and help me out and vice versa. I do all the house stuff duirng the weekn bc I can and it frees us up for family time on Saturday and Sunday. He asks me constantly what he can do to help me out. Most importantly though he really wants to be with our daughter and unfortunately that isn’t something you can change about your husband. Have you sat down and talked to him about it? Some guys get more into it once their kids are mobile and out of the baby stage. Do you think this is the case with him? Also my husband doesn’t “watch” or “babysit” our daughter. He’s just being a dad. I have so many friends that aren’t comfortable leaving their baby with their husbands and that blows my mind. Sure my husband may need a reminder on the schedule (like lunch is this time, she gets milk at this time, nap is when) but I could leave for the day and not worry one bit about them together. 

Post # 20
Member
627 posts
Busy bee

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Cory_loves_this_girl:  I agree with this. I think we call each other partners for a reason – we should help and support each other. If my Fiance needed work advice, I wouldn’t say, “sorry, no, it’s not my job” and that would be the same if I needed his help when I was on mat leave. 

I do feel that when I’m on mat leave watching the baby will be my “job.” My partner will be waking up for work and supporting us financially when I’m off, so I won’t be expecting him to wake up with the baby throughout the night. I would take the bulk of childcare while I’m off but I wouldn’t expect him to be resentful if I ever asked him to be a dad (and I shouldn’t have to ask). 

I intend to go back to work so at that point we will share childcare, household responsibilities, and financial obligations. Many parents manage a household, their kids, and work full time and many even do it as single parents with no support. I don’t think it’s fair to expect too much during the work week if you’re home all day but I also think partners should help each when they can (so long as requests are reasonable and respectful).  

Post # 22
Member
2810 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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Ballet513:  I just wanted to say that reading how your relationship works with your DH made me feel so happy inside. You guys sound like you really love eachother, and know how to show eachother you appreciate and care for one another. It’s AWESOME.

Post # 23
Member
186 posts
Blushing bee

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urchin:  I agree basically 100% with this.  I don’t plan to have children, so I’ll not be a Stay-At-Home Mom naturally.  That being said, I have lots of respect for SAHMs.  Like, big time.  But, my basic first reaction to reading this was “You married the guy, presumably knowing he had this attitude…can’t really complain about it.”  I’m not saying you don’t work hard because I KNOW that you do!  I mean, come on.  I can barely escape with my sanity after a couple hours of babysitting my nephew…..but I agree.  You don’t go to his work and help him…and while he should be NICE and not be a jerk about it…and WANT to help with some chores to be nice now and then…if you’re home all the time, it is your job to keep up with it.  You’ve both agreed to this situation, I assume.  So it seems odd to complain about it now.  But, like urchin said…..he shouldn’t view parenting as babysitting.  He should be involved with the baby when he comes home, definitely!  And should want to be!  But if you’ve divided labor this way, you’re gonna have your complaints.  It’s understandable that you work hard and wish to complain about it.  Hey, we all complain at times when we should be looking at how good we have it in some respects….but if it’s his part to go to work and provide and you’re on childcare and house duty…you can expect his ATTITUDE to be better.  Because it sounds like it stinks!  But, that’s what you two have agreed upon…so idk what to tell ya!  That being said, I don’t believe in this type of division of labor a whole lot.  I feel a good partner WANTS to help make your life easier…and is happy to do so.  So basically I’m just saying….this is presumably what you’ve chosen so try to make the best of it and change the attitudes associated with it, perhaps.  But you probably won’t change his ‘traditional’ views….so….don’t let it tear up your marriage.  Best of luck.

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by  SamEatsBrains.
Post # 24
Member
5217 posts
Bee Keeper

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Bichon Frise:  Honestly, if he is working until 6 every night, plus bringing work home with him, then I think the majority of the house work should be your responsibilty. Watching the baby is another story. He should enjoy spending time with his own child while you enjoy a hot bath or run errands. That shouldn’t be putting him out.

I am actually considering going back to school because I would like my husband to stay home and take care of the house. At that point though, the only kids we’d have would have four legs and waggy tails 

Post # 25
Member
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I think, his behavior is completely acceptable. If you had an understanding that he didn’t want anything to do with children, but in order to please you agreed to be a better “sperm donor” who also happens to live with you. <br />So, yeah. No. To me, the job of a Stay-At-Home Mom is to take care of the child DURING THE DAY, just like he goes to work DURING THE DAY. How is it ok for his job to be over at some point, but your job – which happens to be taking care of HIS child – should run 24/4 without any obligation on his side?

 

DD is 8 months old and we don’t have any agreements on who does what. We both just do what needs to be done. Sometimes (more like all the time) the apartment is in a much bigger mess than before, but we both get to spend quality time with DD and that’s much more important to us.

DH has to get up before 5am every day and I get to sleep until 9-10am most days, so if DH is really tired when he comes home, I’m completely ok with him only playing with her for like half an hour and then taking a nap.

But I cannot think of one thing that he would mind doing (other than breast-feeding obviously ;)). He took 4 weeks off work after she was born and basically did *everything*. Even though I was feeling quite well soon after.

Now, he plays with her after he gets home, if I need to take a nap or want to get some cleaning done in peace, he’ll go on walks with her, he used to call himself the “diaper man” and said how he enjoyed that as he couldn’t offer her food, at least he got to spend time with her offering her comfort in different ways when changing her. (I will say this has changed ever since the contents of the diapers has become very smelly lol – now we both find excuses why the other one has to do it ;))

On the weekends, I sometimes get to sleep in till noon because he says I need a break (even though I get to sleep much more than him anyway).

So I don’t agree to working men not being in charge of taking care of their child as well.

Actually, next month I’ll go back to work and he’ll be a stay at home dad for four months before DD goes to daycare.

Post # 26
Member
875 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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urchin:  Thanks! Thats so nice to hear! He loves me so much that he’s out in the rain getting me Dunkin Donuts munchkins….aren’t Friday nights w children so exciting lol. 😉

Post # 27
Member
1463 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

In my opinion it’s not about who works more or whose job the housework is, it’s about being part of a team and helping each other out so everybody wins! And working outside of the home doesn’t absolve anybody of their parenting responsibilities!

I’m a Stay-At-Home Mom myself and whilst I’m cool with doing the bulk of the household stuff and childcare I definitely expect DH to help me out when I need it (and I’m grateful and appreciative when he does!) because we’re partners and we want to make each other happy.

Post # 28
Member
3370 posts
Sugar bee

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Bichon Frise:  I have 5 kids who are now between the ages of 7-17. I have been a Stay-At-Home Mom, a working, married Mom and a working, single Mom.

I’m sorry, but I think you’re expecting too much. When I was a working Mom with kids in diapers, if he was not working and I had to get up in the middle of the night when I had to be to work in the morning I would have been livid. That’s ridiculous. I had to get up for work! That never would have flown with me. Can you try to imagine if the roles were reversed? When I stayed home I never expected him to cook or clean, that was my job. I didn’t work outside the home because working in the home was my job. Does he ask you to come to work and help him out? When I was a working, single Mom EVERYTHING under the sun was my job and I managed to do it.

I’ve had needy kids and I’ve had kids who would play by themselves for hours without so much as a whimper. With the exception of my first child who attended daycare for 1 year, none of my kids ever went to daycare or had a nanny and I also had no family anywhere nearby to help me out. Either way one baby is a lot easier than a workplace. Time for the tough love…I think you need to suck it up a little bit.

That said, he should help a little. But not do 50% like other posters have said. I do not understand this logic. Have women all turned into wimps who can’t handle anything or is it just that they don’t want to? The fact that he has the baby while you run errands, takes trash out and what-not is helping out.

Have you considered the fact that he’s a man and men are often uncomfortable with babies? I would think that once the baby starts walking, talking and is able to be played with (in the rough house way that men play) his father probably will spend more time with him. My father was so confused about changing diapers, when my mother left him alone with me one time and I had a major poop explosion, his idea was to wrap a t-shirt around me and tie it up with a shoelace. Did that mean he never took an interest in me? Nope. I remember all through my childhood playing ball with him, going to games, etc. Things that he knew about and was comfortable with. He’s a dude, ya know?

On the flip side, there was a time when my ex-H (while we were married) had lost his job. So I went back to work and he stayed home (at that time we had one school aged child, a 2 1/2 year old and a 6 month old infant). During that time everything at home was his job. He actually changed 90% of our daughters diapers during that year. I didn’t clean or cook or get up during the night because I was the only one with a job.

 

I understand that you’re frustrated and that you feel like he’s not paying attention or putting in enough effort. Motherhood is a serious job job. I think the bigger issue is that he’s not giving you the hug you need, telling you what a great job you’re doing and noticing when you need a break (all of which you should have a serious, sit-down conversation with him about so he can get the picture). But you really can do this and men are dense sometimes. You (and every woman) are much stronger than you give yourself credit for and you do not have to do everything right this second. If you’re having a frustrating moment and you need to walk away from that fussy baby to collect your thoughts that doesn’t make you a bad mother. You are not at your child’s beck and call, so don’t teach him that you are. Try and have fun with motherhood. Join a mommy’s group or  take a walk. And really, it only gets easier the older they get. I promise!  

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by  jadlnc.
Post # 29
Member
2183 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium

I’m home with our fourth month old. She sleeps through the night and manages one good nap per day. I do most of the house work… Laundry, cleaning the kitchen, etc. but, my husband plays with her when he gets home, and we have family time, too. Weekends, we spend time together as a family. As I said, she sleeps well, so we do individual and couple things at night. He plays video games while I cook, and theN we play a board game together or watch some tv. He recognizes how hard I work during the day, so he’ll pick up the living room without my asking. We joke that he has more free time at work than I have with dd. Also, he still changes her diaper if she happens to wake up before five, and then he brings her to me to nurse. He’s happy to help, and I appreciate his desire to be a dad. We focus a lot on loving her while still loving each other, if that makes sense. 

Post # 30
Member
3376 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

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jadlnc:  Ummm, I’m sorry, no.  Nope, nope, nope.  The whole “Oh, men are so hopeless, they have no idea what to do with babies!  How cute that they’re such idiots about childcare!”  attitude kind of pisses me off.  How does anyone learn to do all this stuff?  By doing it.  Women are not innately pros at changing diapers and giving baths – they learn how to do it, and men can learn just as well.  It’s great that your situation worked for you, but is it ideal to have to do everything without any thanks or help from your partner?  No.  And really, I think that’s the difference here – it doesn’t sound like your husband was a partner in parenting.  If a woman is OK with that….well, I feel sorry for her.  But for most of us here, marriage is a partnership, and parenting is too.  I don’t think the OP is saying every household responsibility needs to be split 50/50 (and neither are the commenters) – if you’re a Stay-At-Home Mom, it makes sense that most of the household work is your job.  But childcare after work hours is both parents’ responsibility.  They’re both parents – so one shouldn’t get an easy out of the work of parenting or be put out when they have to care for their child.

Post # 31
Member
3370 posts
Sugar bee

Ummm, ok? When did I say it is ideal to have to do everything without any thanks or help from your partner? Actually, what I said was this (I’ll type it again here since you obviously didn’t read it the first time)

“Motherhood is a serious job job. I think the bigger issue is that he’s not giving you the hug you need, telling you what a great job you’re doing and noticing when you need a break (all of which you should have a serious, sit-down talk with him about so he gets the picture).”

I also never said I didn’t have any help. Also when he stayed home and I went to work he did the majority of everything. Motherhood is a job, but you’ll never convince me that 8 hours at work is the same as 8 hours at home with an infant. I’ve had 5 of them, been there, done that. 

I’m not sure why you need to bark your opinion at me. You disagreed with my opinion. And? Type your opinion to the OP, not me.

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