I am usually giving some advice but today I feel as though I need some fresh input that is unbiased and fair.
I am a SAHM with a five year old and a 18 month old and I am now 6 months pregnant. I have no family support and no outside help to relieve the pressure of be the sole person who looks after the children, for example I do not have anyone that takes the kids out to the zoo, or takes them to the park so that I can at least have a coffee in peace and calm down. My five year old is absolutely hyperactive to the point that I sometimes feel as though my nerves are ready to jump out of my body. My 18 month old is just gorgeous but a very very busy 18 month old.
My husband leaves the house at 7.30am and is not home to usually 6.00pm. He has a sporting interest once a week which he goes to straight after dinner.
I have no outlets and do not have any interests. I have however started working on Saturday a fortnight to get out of the house and to give me a little self esteem (and to feel as though I am contributing financially). The financial part is probably a bit of a joke because I earn next to nothing, but it still makes me feel a little important (if you know what I mean). My husband considers this workiing as "time to myself and a break from the children". He considers his work as "demanding work that brings in the income". I feel as though he demeans what I do by saying that. I am with the kids for 13 days straight and get one day at work. He is at work 5 days straight and gets shared responsibilities (with me) with his children.
He has now told me that his sporting interest is going to take him away for one whole sunday every second fortnight. So that weekend the children will only get to be with their father for one day of the week and I will have them for six whole days straight. I don't mind his once a week activity (after work) but I do believe that while the children are so young weekend time should be spent with the family. When I then say "Okay, well every second fortnight I will take a saturday off and go into town and shop do girly stuff" he says that I already get a saturday off once a fortnight (my going to work is considered my time).
This peeves me off because I should then be considering his going to work as time off and if that is the case then he is 20 days ahead of me per a month.
I know this sounds trival, but I am exhausted, run ragged, feel as though I have no support already. And now he is taking off every second sunday and I am supposed to just keep on kicking on at home when all I want to do is pass out with exhaustion.
His oldest son (5 years old) already carries on about him being away at work and not spending enough time with him, and then is upset when he goes to his once a week night thing, and now he will not be seeing him on this sunday also.
Sometimes I just hate being a woman, I hate how the whole responsibility of home rests on the woman.
I want to be a man and feel as though I only have to "help out" instead of being actively accountable (if that makes any sense).
Now I just know everyone is going to say that I am being ridiculous, but can I help how tired I am and how I have no support other than my husband.
I don't think you're being ridiculous at all. Being a mom is a 24/7 job. Is there any way you can hire a baby-sitter or some kind of outside help just so that you can get out and get some kind of breather? Can't your husband watch the children at night?
The grass is always greener on the other side...until you get closer and see that it's astroturf~
You are most certainly NOT being trivial! Your job is 24/7. Your husband's job is what, 50 hours a week? I can't stand when men act like staying home is nothing and it's the easiest job there is.
My children are very similar in age to yours, however, I'm not pregnant with my second. I had this issue with my husband about a year ago. What I did was make a list of all the jobs I do, childcare, housekeeper, chef, chauffer, etc., and went online and found what each of these professions makes in my area. I then tallied it all up and showed him the bill. I said I would gladly work his job if he could a) do mine, or b) hire someone to do mine with these costs in mind. He thought I was exagerating so he spent an entire Sunday with the children while I shopped, got my hair done, etc.. I wanted him to see what I did. I NEVER heard one ill word about it again.
You NEED to speak to your husband again. You should have one weekend day to yourself a week for YOU. Whether you choose to work or whatever is your business, but you need a break. He doesn't get it and you need to find a way to make him hear and appreciate you. It may take a couple tries and a few approaches but I'm sure you can do it.
Please let me know how things go. I'll be thinking of you. Us SAHMs have to stick together!
I love that joke. Men just do not realise what is involved in being a SAHM. I have a friend who took off for a week to leave him to get on with it at home, unfortunately when she got home, he said "I don't know what you are on about". When she probed this comment, she found that he had used all her stores of food (What, shopping, I never had to go shopping), had gone through all her laundered stuff (Plenty of clothes for us), and had coped with cleaning by having the kids play outside all day (A fine spring week, what luck). Oh, well, back to the drawing board for another plan.....! Seriously tho, I really resent the fact that the wife's job is never considered the 'real' work, whether it is in the home or outside. Also that when dad has the kids, it is referred to as 'minding' rather than 'parenting', and seen as something apart from his real life. Grrr!! Sera
... Men just do not realise what is involved in being a SAHM. ...
Most men don't, it's true, but a few do. I personally do and I do a lot to relieve her of her burden. Maybe that's because I am no longer that young...
I was thinking about certain related things the night before, but I haven't mentioned it to my wife yet. I was intrigued that I was unable to find an explanation, if there is one. I am afraid this is slightly off-topic, but here it goes. Maybe some of the ladies can give good hints.
In the past century, at least at the beginning of the past century, married women used to have a lot of kids (one each year?). My both grandmothers had ten or eleven (and most of them survived), and they had very few appliances to help them with the chores. I don't think their husbands were exactly helpful. It's true that some wives had a servant to help, but not all families could afford to pay for a servant. Yet, everything got done rather succesfully, there was apparently little stress and little complaint about a wife's situation.
What was the secret? Were women sturdier? Or didn't they get a chance to speak about the real hardships they actually went through? Does anyone have an answer?
Funny, if not tragic. Now let me find a joke telling about the other side of the coin. If she took a man's place, I doubt a woman would find it is an easier lot than her own. I'll mention three or four thorny points in a man's life, in my opinion:
1) Longevity: Women tend to live longer lives.
2) Sex: Women don't have to worry about performance, and usually homosexuality is not a big issue for them.
3) Dangerous or stressful jobs: truck driver, stonemason, miner, docker, etc. (Of course machines have helped to make these jobs easier nowadays, and not every contemporary man has to do them, but anyway...)
4) War: War affects everyone (women get raped, kidnapped, children lose their parents, etc), but usually men go to war.
As for pregnancy: Most of the time I was with my wife during two of her three pregnancies. I witnessed her nausea in the early moments and her pain in the last moments, but strange to say, her general health was much better while she was pregnant and breastfeeding. And her looks, too.
Pendulum, all this is true as far as it goes..What I find hard to take is that the SAHM's role is so trivialised by some male partners. The OP's husband is telling her that her day out at work is "her own time", and although he can leave his job at the end of the day and go to a sports meeting, she is not given the same time out. He works, maybe eight or nine hours in the day, then claims leisure time; any such time that the SAHM has sis usually at her partner's gift, she doesn't get to clock off and go off duty. This is the perception that women talk about - that there seems to be no given right to take time off unless the partner gives it, and when they don't, there is not a lot that we can do about it; the kids will always be there.
... This is the perception that women talk about - that there seems to be no given right to take time off unless the partner gives it, and when they don't, there is not a lot that we can do about it; the kids will always be there.
I see, Sera. I am not saying that her husband is being fair, though. I think the joke might serve him all right. I hope the OP can make him grow and realize a few basic things. Man and woman have their own specialities, but in general marriage should a democratic terrain for each of them.
It is a shame how trivialized a SAHM's job is. Before my husband's "epiphany" he use to drive me crazy. He would tell me "take the kids here" or give me an idea of where to go. He never realized the work it took to pack lunches, the kids, etc.. and would say "I worked all day while you did this" and never understood why I was exhausted.
My husband was one of the guys who needed a dose of reality. I know not every man is like that though. I urge you to try to switch roles, however, do not have things set up for him. Don't have all the laundry and cleaning done. Give him a list of what you do.
Men sometimes forgot how important our role at home... How important our role in their lives. How difficult it is to all the house hold chores 24/7...
I'm in your shoes too but I guess much more difficult because my SO is working outside the country. I got 3 kids ages 10, 5 and 4 all are studying... I get up at 5:30 in the morning and go to sleep at 11pm or after all my work done here at home.
The hardest part for me is when he ask where I spend some of the money he is giving me... he knows that i don't smoke, don't do gambling nor drink.. I'm not into shopping or goin to parlor... i can't even remember when is the last time I buy a shirt for me.
I'm very sorry to take ur space here... I just want to let u know that there are so many women.. wives... mother who can relate to you.
Hi again everyone! Gee I can really say that I did not expect so many responses, or for people to be so understanding! I actually thought I would wear the wrath of everyone telling me how pathetic I was, and that my husband was only asking for a sunday a fortnight! (Part of my conscience tells me that a sunday every fortnight is not huge) and it is not in the normal scheme of life, BUT when you have two young children who are demanding and one on the way you can't but help feel exhausted.
Some days I am just waiting for him to walk in the door from work so that he can "instantly" take the children were I can not hear their demands or their screaming. I love my kids and I would not change it, but I do believe in the saying "it takes a whole village to raise a child". We as a society are so isolated. Pendulum you were referring to the olden days when mothers had 10 children and no modern conveniences - which is a true comment. But I wonder how happy those women were, I mean those times were not known for the women being outspoken (hence womens lib). But I do think in those days they (the women) had more family support - e.g. grandparents around the corner and still young enough to help out, brothers, sisters etc.
We have not discussed this topic yet (my husband and I). I am tired of arguing and will just take a break with the peace in the house and then when I feel we can rationally discuss the topic I will raise it again.
My husband's argument is that his job is not a "normal" job, he is a managing director for a company that is very demanding and stressful and so he deserves time out from the slug as well. I get that and understand that, but surely being home is time out from his demands. When I am at work (the one day a fortnight) I feel as though I am getting a rest and a break from two screaming darlings. So surely deep down he should feel as though when he is home he is getting a break from employees and bosses demanding something. Neither situations are a true break (me being at work or my husband being at work) but both a are a change. I sort of think when you have a young family there aren't too many opportunities for breaks anyway.
I have mentioned to him that I don't care what he does once the children are down (asleep) which is usually around 7.30pm -8.00pm but he says that is too late for him to do anything as by then he is totally exhausted and ready to pass out on the couch. My argument is that I am also totally exhausted by the end of the day and need him to be there to help manage bedtime etc.
I am can't help but wonder what it will be like when the 3rd comes along and I have two crazy children (who are adorable) and a newborn and a husband who has a sporting interest and also still wants to disappear on the second sunday.
I just wish that men carried the babies, got up to wee all night, woke up to teething siblings, got woken up every couple of hours to breast feed and then still had to perform during the day!!
Don't get me wrong my husband does help around the house, but I sometimes feel as though he really does not have a clue as to what is demanded from a woman (or the stay at home person) when you have to run a house, food shopping (with kids omg), washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, keeping everyones needs met.
I feel as though I am as old as my mother!! Cracked heels, nails chipped, hair stickiing up on end, need to lose a few pounds....what happened to that gorgeous sexy woman that used to exist!!?? I have been sucked dry!!
I so appreciate everyones feedback, I am pretty isolated here and so I sometimes think I am losing touch with the sahm realities!
Boy do I know how you feel. I have a one year old and have been home with her for a year and will be going back to work within the next 6 months. I too get so frustrated of the stereotypical husband versus SAHM and who does the most work. Although I love my husband with my whole heart he just doesn't get it. Us girls have a 24 hour 7 day a week 52 weeks a year job. No breaks. I love my daughter but it's work! I am up at night with the baby so I get no sleep and she is an early bird, and even when I sleep it's light cause I am always listening for her to wail. When he gets home from work all I want is a shower or like 1 hour to be me again, but God forbid I ask. Trust me it has been the focal point of many arguments. He gives us everything we need and he doesn't complain....too much, and he does deserve moments to himself too. But I can honestly say the next time he sighs when I ask him to change a diaper he is going to find a stinky suprise under his pillow.......lol.
Being a SAHM is so hard. I went back to work an year ago because my youngest went to preschool and I love the leverage that working has given me. I am not contributing some money, and hubby seems to respond well to that. I still do more at home than him, but I've asked for much more help since I returned to the workforce. And I get to be around adults again. I also get to buy a few things for me now and then-at the very least I needed work clothes.
Hang in there. The balance of household duties is one of the hardest things about being married IMO.
Honestly, I think this is inexcusible. Sorry, but they are his kids too, and he lives there too, he should be doing what you do. I think it's a cop out to say that " mean don't have to be responsible" or "most of it falls on the woman"..NOT TRUE. I know many many men who do their share and more. It's all about attitude. Your " job" during the day is taking care of the kids, his job during the day is to go to work, after hours and weekends, you are a family and BOTH should be contributing equally. I see it very clearly, your husband isn't pulling his weight because he doesn't want to. He is capable, knows you are doing most of it, but doesn't care. Sorry to be so blunt, but it's not rocket science. Let me put it this way, I'm married, my husband isn't even my children's biological father he is there step father, but he does every thing I do and more. Not only that, but he NEVER ever gets annoyed or angry if I want time out, I go out with friends dancing and to movies, I go on trips with freinds for a few days, and he takes over at home. During the regular week we take turns with everything, and weekends it's the same. I think only you can change things, if you want your own friends and own interests, get them. Don't ask your husbands permission, just tell him that you are going to start taking care of your own needs to. Tell him that you consider marriage a partnership, and you aren't there to be a servant. Just because you stay at home, doesn't mean he is off the hook for chores or parenting duties. I think it's fine that he has a sporting interest, but you should get interests to. My point is, you dno't need to put up with this nonsense, and it really is nonsense, men are just as capable as we are of parenting kids and doing chores, getting up with kids at night, doing baths, cooking, all of it, some of them just get lazy and take advantage ot their wives by acting like children. Sorry to be so blunt, but honestly I cannot understand why men think this is acceptable, and I wouldn't put up with it for one second. Either a marriage is a partnership or it's not, and if not, what is the point? Another thing, if he really loves you and cares about you and respects you, he will care that you are stressed and unhappy, and will do what it takes to make it a happier household and make his wife, the person he is supposed to love, a little bit more relaxed and un-stressed.
Hi to everyone who so kindly gave me their opinions. It has helped greatly and made me realise that I am not as insane as I originally thought I was.
Okay here is the update. My husband and I talked (hmmm a very polite way of saying we argued) about this topic for a few days now and this is what it comes down to.
My husband says every fourth weekend he will take the Sunday off (irrespective of how tired I am). In response I have said that I will take a whole Saturday off also. Which now has us apart as family the Saturday I work, his Sunday of recreation and now my Saturday recreation. Which basically means that our kids will have ONE full weekend with us everyone month. Every other weekend will see us spend on day togeather. I don't think this is fair on the kids (especially while they are so young), but I don't want to be the one sitting at home with three kids compensating whilst husband is out fufilling his recreational needs.
Perhaps I am controlling and terrible and unreasonable (all the things he says I am). BUT I am also exhausted, pregnant and feel as though I can not cope with the pressure of being home all week and having no one to relieve a little of the pressure.
I have said that when I have the newborn that I don't agree to him leaving me on the weekend and that I expect him to be home with me for at least the first four months. I feel the first four months will be very demanding (sleep deprived - because I am breast feeding) and I will need his support. We have argued about this, but if he does not support me, then I will go to formula feeding and he can get up during the nights and see how sane he feels doing that.
Can someone please tell me if I am controlling and ridiculous because I want us home for the kids on the weekend?
Can someone please tell me if I am controlling and ridiculous because I want us home for the kids on the weekend?
You are not controlling and ridiculous because you want your husband to be more involved with your family on his "off hours". However, you do need some down time, and unfortunately, you are only going to be able to get that on the weekends. So you may not be fully together as a family both days on the weekend, but at least the kids will be with one of their parents, right?
I still think your husband is being absolutely ridiculous calling you controlling and demanding, etc.. This is the type of behavior you would expect from a young, first time dad, not a "veteran". He just can't see past his own needs and that is so unfortunate for you.
At least you came to some sort of agreement. Now whatever you do, DO NOT give up your day for yourself! I don't care if you feel guilty for leaving the kids for a while, you need time for you. Also, when he gets home during the week, take an hour to go "shopping" or lock the bathroom door and take a bath (after giving birth, of course). Take what little moments you can get for you. If you don't he isn't going to give them freely.
I do hope things get better for you, but I have a feeling you are going to have to keep pushing him along to get your way. It's too bad my husband couldn't give him an earful!