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How do I get my husband to help more?

Posted by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 9:46 AM
  • 4 Replies
I love my husband and he is definitely the light of my life but right now I am just so frustrated. Background: we have two beautiful girls and have been married six years. Up until the beginning of this year I have always worked but until I can find another job I am a stay at home mom. I watch my 2 year old niece for part if the week as well. My husband work requires him to be away a lot. At times he is working 7 days a week. I know he is doing this for our families benefit and for that I am entirely grateful. However, I do everything else. He is a great father to our oldest and he adores our baby (10.5 months) but he does not help at all. He doesn't change diapers, give baths, put to bed, anything. Especially if it has to do with the baby. He doesn't even sleep with us (I co-sleep with baby). He says she gets excited when she sees and won't go to sleep. Which is probably true, but this baby wakes up, on average, every 2-3 hours and he has never helped out at night time. It has been over a year since I have slept more than 2 consecutive hours, I have to ask to take a shower, and I get ZERO time to myself. I don't go out because he gets frazzled by the baby. The baby is still nursed occasionally to which he reasons that he just can't do anything for her.
Mind you, he was unemployed before our youngest and I still took care of most of the housework and parenting. When I wasn't working I was taking our oldest out to the zoo, etc (he says I did this only because I felt guilty that I was gone during the week and was over compensating). Because he has been working so hard I also make sure he gets at least one night a month alone. I take both kids to my moms to spend the night so he gets some alone time. However, I get NONE. I can barely go to the bathroom uninterrupted! I am frustrated beyond belief and starting to get resentful. Even when I ask, it falls on deaf ears or he assumes I am attacking him. I just feel like especially when it comes to the baby, its all my responsibility and because I'm not contributing monetarily right now, that I really don't have a reason to complain.
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 9:46 AM
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Replies (1-4):
Isabellas_Mom
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 10:58 AM
Idk all the ins and outs of your relationship, but my dh was like this for a short time. What made it change? I told him that it would be the same thing taking care of her/raising her in OUR home as it would somewhere else(which meant without him). He snapped too after
that.

I really don't have any advice other than that. Have you talked to him about it?
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Lauren5280
by Bronze Member on Dec. 3, 2011 at 12:13 PM

It sounds like he's been this way for a long time and isn't going to change.  Many men aren't comfortable with babies.  It doesn't sound like he's a bad person, just one who isn't going to be participating with the babies. I'm assuming that you've talked to him and still nothing has changed. 

If he's working 7 days a week then the household responsibilities are on you.  If you need some time to yourself and can't afford a babysitter then start a babysitting co-op.  Playgroups were a lifesaver when my kids were young. 

Maybe it is time to get the 10.5 month old sleeping on her own and stop the co-sleeping.  It sounds like it's not working for either of you if she hasn't learned to sleep all night.  By that age she should be.  Once you can start getting full nights sleep you'll feel better and have more energy. 

Good Luck.

Married to my best friend and mom to 3 amazing girls, 22, 14 & 12


Rvm_fletch
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 1:38 PM
I have talked to him a few times but the last thing I want to do is come off like I'm nagging. I know how hard he's working and I definitely don't want to sound unappreciative. During the week, I watch my niece so I can't really do a baby-sitting co-op. I would love for the baby to sleep in her crib but she won't. I tried for 3 weeks to get her sleep in her crib but to no avail. She can scream for hours and will not go to sleep without me. She nurses every 2-3 hours (I have lookers, not sleepers) so for me to get any amount of sleep at all co-sleeping works best. I just thought after he had spent some time as a stay at home dad with our oldest while he was unemployed that he would appreciate me from a different perspective. I was wrong. He helped out a lot more with our oldest but by this age she was sleeping independently and taking a bottle. I definitely want our marriage to be a priority but I feel like I'm giving and giving while getting so little in return. I just feel so overwhelmed and under appreciated. When I bring it up he really does NOT see my point of view and is dumbfounded how I could even suggest that he help out more. In his mind he feels he does everything and has a lot more on his plate than I do.
Iconoclast
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 1:50 PM
1 mom liked this

Help your hubby realize that he can contribute and that there isn't a specific way things have to be done.  Men sometimes fear doing something wrong so they do nothing.  Sit with your hubby and let him know that you need his help.  Let him know that his role in the kids' life is almost more important than your own.  When we found out that I was pregnant I asked my hubby if it was intimidating to know that he shapes the way our daughter sees herself, see men in general, how she carries herself and how she will choose a guy to spend her time with when older.  He told me he never thought about it that way and that when he pondered it he realized that his role although a tough one needed to be hands on.  Try to set up times where your hubby knows what to expect.  with my hubby and me it was days trade off.  Every other night was my night to get up with the baby, every other weekend was my weekend to get up with the kids.  This assured us that we would both have time to sleep, recoup and have a day off (weekend) that felt like an actual day off.  You can't do it alone and you need to let him know the things that you write here without the need to put on blame or accusations.  Maybe a talk will help you understand his side and him yours.  good luck.

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