Post # 16
queenbre : I like that last option 😂 thanks for the laugh. I appreciate your responses. I think it go something like starting with the first one and working my way down the list of being less nice about it!
mrsssb : I agree, it’s very important for him to learn how to take care of the baby, and not just when he’s happy and “fun” to take care of. While I wouldn’t label myself a control freak, I will admit to “backseat momming” and that’s something I will have to work on so that he can do his thing and not feel like I’m judging everything he does. Part of the difficulty with handing him off is that DH is working nights, so he sleeps late into the early afternoon and is only home a couple of waking hours before leaving for work again.
Post # 17
This sounds so frustrating, and I think a lot of women get caught in this cycle after having children. We are expecting our first baby in a couple months and have been taking a lot about the division of labor in our house as our family expands. Right now, we both work and we both do roughly half of the household work. I do much more of the mental work of keeping our house running — meal planning, money management, trip planning (pre-COVID of course), but he does more physical work — taking dog to vet, garbage, yard work. My husband is amazing, and recognizes that his job is to be an equal partner in running our household, not to “help” me. I think your goal should be to get your husband on the same page, because you are not being unreasonable.
My husband also works nights, but has a few days off during the week because his shifts are long. Is this the same for your husband? When my husband is off work, he will be taking care of the baby during the day, which I think is a great compromise. My husband also is a video gamer, but he will not sit down to play until his work for the day is done, whether that be laundry, dishes, or starting dinner for the day. I don’t have to ask him to do these things, he just does them because he has respect and pride for our home and wants it to be well cared for.
I recommend reading the book “Fair Play” by Eve Rodsky. It talks a lot about division of labor in the house and how to make the situation work for both of you. You both deserve to have a life outside your domestic duties, and he is not allowing you to have that. Him working and you not is not an excuse. Him working nights is not an excuse. I hope he receptive to the techniques in the book, because it is a game changer!
Post # 18
I can see how his schedule would be really hard for routines and helping you. Maybe start with doing that on the weekends and see how that goes 👍
Post # 19
My husband is a reforming slob, raised in a family of very lovable, but very sloppy people. Something that I have seen make a significant impact is all of us (including our son) cleaning together. We turn off technology, turn on some music and go at it, room by room (or with me doling out assignments). It makes a notable impact to the look and feel of our home (which means it’s easier for him to recognize it and understand why it’s valuable for me- moreso than a particular item or task here and there). Also, having an agreed upon amount of time that we pick up at the end of every day (20 minutes or so) has been helpful for him. I would prefer that he be the type of person who looks around, notices a mess (especially one that he has made) and then cleans it up. But he’s inconsistent with that. He does understand – “It’s the end of the night, I spend 20 minutes quickly cleaning up and my wife goes to bed feeling more relaxed and happy.”
If your husband needs time to decompress after work, then there should be an agreed upon amount of time that he gets when he comes home, to transition from work mode to home mode. And I’ve heard that making it a routine can be really helpful for both of you- he comes home, he gets 20-30 minutes to do his destress routine. Then he takes over the baby so YOU get to do your destress routine.
That video games for hours shit is unacceptable, though. I’d probably hide his console or cut his cords or something because the idea of someone sitting on his ass while I work is infuriating – I don’t care how hard he’s working at work- You’re working at home with the baby all day, too and arguably, you get less down time with a baby than he does during a work day surrounded by other adults.
Good luck – I used to get my decompression by handing the baby to my husband and going for walks or getting my nails done. It helped me relax and also learn that he could (and would) keep our son safe, even if I wasn’t there watching him the entire time.
Post # 20
Ok so just because he works nights doesn’t mean he deserves a full “nights (day) sleep and you don’t! When I was on maternity leave, my husband and I traded getting up in the night and early morning with our son. Yes, he has to work nights, but you are taking care of a baby all day AND night and that is much more work overall!
Starting tomorrow, you should institute times that he needs to be responsible for the baby. We trade off days. So, If he usually sleeps 8 am to 4 pm and goes to work at 8 pm – he’s now responsible for the baby every other day from 2 pm to 7 pm (as well as responsible for helping the other day 4 pm to 7 pm). Also, he needs to spend at least an hour a day washing dishes, doing baby laundry, picking up, cooking, etc. Something like that.
Being a parent means that BOTH of your sleep and schedules get fucked up! This is non-negotiable if you want your marriage to survive.
Post # 21
Congrats on your little one! It’s tough, but it’s amazing. Yes, he typically has at least two days off, usually three. Ugh the mental work – that’s a whole other set of chores. I can send my husband to the store no problem and he’ll get what we need, but it’s “Text me a list of what to get” – that’s the hard part! I think giving him a list of things to do and telling him he needs to do them before he sits his butt down to play video games may help, but I can’t help but feeling like his mother doing that – do you chores and then you can play with your friends. I will look up that book, thanks for the suggestion.
my husband will typically help clean WITH me when I ask, but like yours, usually does not recognize a mess (even if he made it) and clean it up without being asked at least once – unless his parents are coming over; that lights a cleaning fire under his ass like you wouldn’t believe. I like your method of nighttime pickup, I might have to come up with something like that for us (since he gets home from work in the middle of the night). Trust me, I’ve definitely fantasized about pouring his whiskey down the drain and hiding power cords!
That’s actually a very good point that I hadn’t really considered. It’s always me that gets up with the baby in the early morning and getting him out of the bedroom quietly so my husband can sleep since he’s working. Before we had established a more regular bedtime, the baby would usually fall asleep downstairs and since he was up late anyways, H would give him a bottle when he’d wake up and then bring him upstairs so I could get a little extra sleep. Luckily the baby is sleeping pretty well, but it’s still me getting up for everything. I may have to make some kind of routine like that because I think it’s the only way that I can really get him to consistently help – it’s just challenging because his schedule is so irregular. Thanks for the tips.
Thanks everyone for your input, I appreciate the advice and validation of my frustrations. Now that I’m a little more confident that I’m not overreacting, I think I’ll write out a list of points so I can discuss this with him and not forget anything. Hopefully this will end up with him realizing that he needs to help out more.