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How much help do you get from your partner (if applicable)?

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Hi. I'm new here. I have four kids, 2, 4, 11, and 12.

My husband works full time, and I stay home. All four kids are in school, at least until 2:30. To complicate things, I have some chronic conditions that I try my best not to let get in the way of daily life (but they do).

Anyhow, I am wondering what do you think is reasonable to ask for help with, particularly with the kids?

How much help do you get? With what things is particular?

It's not so much that he's not willing, but I have an internal struggle asking him for help and often feel guilty, like I should be able to handle it all.

Come to think of it, when I've taken the kids on a trip without him, it was a lot of work, but is was actually freeing because of the lack of emotional turmoil.

Thnk you!

by on Sep. 16, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Replies (21-27):
by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 2:48 AM

Make him a list of things you need help getting accomplished.  Tell him one or two things he can do in the evenings when he gets home that will help you.  Example: After dinner, get the kids ready for bed and read them stories while you clean up from dinner or vice versa. 

If you need a night out with your friends, tell him you need a break and plan your escape!  I go to the sauna once a month with my bff.  It's definitely nice to get out of the house.  It kind of sounds like he expects you to direct him in his interactions with the kids. 

My dh takes care of our kids all the time, if I have to work (I work evenings and weekends when I have clients), if I want to go out with a friend, if I just need a break and want to go shopping or to the gym with my mom...he is always willing to give me a break.  Just like I give him opportunities to go jam on his guitar with his friends, volunteer, or go rock climbing at the gym. 

Don't feel guilty for taking care of yourself.  If you don't fill up your own cup you won't have enough to share and it sounds like with your health issues you need a break every now and again.  :)

by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 4:04 AM

My husband helps out ALOT. We agreed before we had kids. That I would stay home with the kids and he would work. Well now im a SAHM, our kids are in school. So I do have a small amount of time alone. But if I need anything he is right there.

He sometimes comes home and will cook dinner, help with laundry, tuck the kids in at night or help with homework Just whatever I need help with. I just have to remind myself that if I need help I have to let him know. Because he is not a mnd reader. He is an amazing man, Im very blessed....

by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 8:42 AM

My situation is kindof similar but different I guess.  My husband and I only have one child HM and he is 13 years old.  I am originally from Kentucky and moved to PA 22 years ago and lived in Northern PA for 18 years.  My husband is stuck in the era where the woman stays home and takes care of everything.  Now keep in mind we are in our EARLY 40's.  My husband does work really long hours.  Sometimes 5 am to 8 pm.  Well actually he doesn't work that whole time but it is an hour and a half drive to work and home from work.  Usually 6 days a week and then sometimes 7 days a week.  But I do everything.  My son when he was elementary school well the school had issues with him.  Only because of immaturity not anything else.  They wanted me to medicate him and I told them no because I had taken him to an acutal child psychologist and they told me he did not have ADD nor ADHD he was just immature.  For 6 years I literally went through hell with the school to the point where it was interfering with my job so I had to quit.  I had I couldnt tell you how many meetings and my husband only went to one and he told me I can't go to these I will end up in jail.  So ever since my son has been born I have been it.  My husband never really did anything with him either.  Now my son is starting to act like him.  Demanding me to do things instead of asking, expecting me to do everything.  I just don't know how to fix this.  I have explained to my husband a million times how I feel and he tells me he's not taking advantage of me.  I tell him, I wish I had your life, not having to do anything but go to work  and everything being taken care of for me.  I write the bills out even though I'm not on the checkbook, he won't even pick up a paper towel if its laying on the counter and through it away.  He says Its not mine.  So I was going to leave him but of course I chickened out.  I went to visit my family for 2 weeks in Kentucky and I took my son with me.  He loved being down there.  He couldn't believe the difference between my family and my husband's family.  My family adored him and were so excited to see him and celebrate his birthday with him and my husband's family lives 3 1/2 hours away and never have asked if he could come and spend the night nor a weekend nothing.  My family would want him every weekend.  I do everything.  And Im just very very frustrated and not sure what to do anymore.  My husband never listens to me.  I told him this morning, if Im going to be writing bills out then I need to be put on the checking account otherwise Im not doing bills at all.  And worst of all, because I really do feel like a single parent, I am really miserable.  And my husband also feels that since I do everything I do, that if I want or need something its ok to buy it but first I have to ask him to make sure we have the money.  But if I need gas money he gets mad because of running and doing errands for him and my son.  I feel like Im always caught between a rock and a hard place.  My husband controls EVERYTHING.  And its to the point that I have to ask for grocery money etc I tell him all the time, he feels more like a dad than a husband.  Oh and he expects sex 3-4 times a week on top of everything else.  Someone please give me some advice.  I feel so lost anymore.  And when my son and I went to Kentucky for 2 weeks, sad part is, I didn't miss my husband at all.  Also, because my husband is the way he is, my son doesn't feel he needs to do chores either. 

by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 8:44 AM


by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Thank you for your feedback.  But see thats the problem since we have moved to Northern PA I don't really have any friends.  I have a couple of acquaintances but I would have to drive to see them.  It would only be about 10 minutes but the point is, my husband wants me to be home and not have friends.  He hates when I have friends.  Its almost like he wants to keep me all to himself.  He doesn't have any friends at all.  But I let him do whatever he wants.  I have never held him back from anything.  But Im never allowed to do anything.  And did I mention he calls me 20-60 times a day.  If I don't answer, he worries that something happened to me.  He thinks the worst all the time. 


by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 9:01 AM

My dh is an excellent husband and father. I stay at home and I'm due with our second in a month, our dd is almost 7, but he is always a big help. Obviously I try to do the majority of house work and that sort of thing. But for example he loves to cook, so he quite often does cook if he's home. He works a full time job and a 25 hours at a part time job. He gets up early in the morning so he can get dd ready for school and so they can spend time together. He drives home in between jobs for an hour and a half most days just to see her and I and spend a little more time with us. He loves to include dd while cooking (honestly he's better at it than me) and has been including her since she could walk into the kitchen. He has always loved playing and being with her. He is just as much of an active parent as I am. Again house work I try to do the majority, but if I need him to do something, like this morning, getting some boxes out for me to sort through, putting up the fryer (it goes up high and with my bump it's out of my reach) and getting the trash cans to the curb, he does it without complaint. I'm always polite, just like he is with me. This is a partnership and he's just as much the parent as I am. He contributed 50% to these kids, so in my opinion he needs to contribute 50% to the parenting.

I think the reason my dh is so big about being a father was that his dad worked two jobs and while he tried his best to be around he wasn't. He didn't want to make the same mistake with our kids. Does it suck to drive an extra hour a day just to come home and see us? Yes. Does it waste some gas? Yes, but it's worth it bc he hears about dd day, mine, and we hear about his and spend time with him. He helps with homework or follow up homework in the morning. Etc. Let's put it this way, if I died tomorrow, my kids would be okay. Would it be hard for dh, absolutely. But he wouldn't be lost. He can do pony tails, brush hair, cook meals, clean, etc. My dd train of thought is often way different than mine, she's just more emotional than I was, bursting into tears bc of whatever. if I struggle with something and talk to him he helps me rethink things to try and get her (I guess he was similar as a kid, which is hilarious bc he wasn't even close to emotional when we met). I may provide a little more consistency and rules but that doesn't mean whatever goes with him either. When we made up a chore list for dd we made it together with her. When we change rules or make new ones, we discuss it, make sure we agree and move forward. If dd and I struggling with behavior (which is rare, but hey it happens, talking back or not in the best tone was the most recent thing) then he will follow up with her and just say hey you need to not do that. We absolutely back each other up and appreciate each other. I think dd is all the better by what we both give her. I'm not saying I'm unemotional or anything but I believe in a lot of consistency and that sort of thing and dh is good at balancing things for her. If he wasn't there, I'd have to really do some deep self thought to get to the information I get just from talking to him.

I don't think you are ever at a point where you can't say, "this isn't working, we need to renegotiate how our relationship is working." Kids need their father, period. Can you make it through childhood without one, sure, but you'd be better off having two active and loving parents. Op, I also suffer from health problems and so there are many physical activities that I just can't do. Dh is 11 years older than me and he does everything. Last night at dinner dd and dh were discussing who would be faster in a running race and then on the way home from our evening walk (Tuesday was his one night off this week) they are running to our house from a block away. This is a 45 year old man, in fairly good health, who had worked 8 hours on his feet all day, came home made dinner (bc again, he likes to) and then went on a mile walk. He just does it. The best thing I can recommend is communication, bc that's the only way your dh will know you are definitely unhappy and you can work together to change. Best of luck.

by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 9:07 AM

You are a very luck woman.  I wish my husband would help me.  He constantly tells me how great a life I have.  And yeah its not bad finanacially but emotionally it sure is.  But see even when our son was born, you know how when you have a newborn and they cry during the night, he got mad one night because I couldn't get him to stop crying and yelled at me, " you better get him to shut up cuz I have to get up and go to work tomorrow." And being a new mom that mad me really nervous so I didn't go to sleep that night, I sat and rocked my son all night.  My husband's mom did everything for him and even at 18 years old she was still putting his food on his plate till we moved out of the house.  Then he expected me to do all that.  We both worked full time and I didn't have time to do all that.  His best friend even said to him that he needs to start waiting on himself instead of expecting me to do it.  All I want is for him to be a little considerate and help a little. He tells me well I don't expect you to change the oil in your vehicle.  Also, our family hunts for food during our hunting season.  Well when my son was old enough to go through Hunter Education I told him I would go too.  So we could do it together.  I knew what was going to happen.  My husband used to take my son hunting and that was their time together.  Well guess who has to take him now, because hubby is always working. You guessed right, me.  I just get very very frustrated with my life.  I sit back and think to myself, God didn't put me on this earth to completely wait on my husband hand and foot.  There has to be something else for my life.  Maybe I am being selfish, I don't know.

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