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Dealing with role reversal stay at home dad working mom

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We are lucky really my husband is able t stay home and be with our newborn son. Of course this gender role reversal has its hardships. My husband doesn't seem to be able to multitask like I do so while I am at work the baby is being looked after but no chores (laundry, dinner, cleaning) is being done. When I try to bring this up my husband is just so overwhelmed he gets defensive and feels inadequate. I am working ten hour days when I come home I watch the baby I'm breast feeding so sleeping isn't happening and weekends I'm on baby duty too. Dinners have been either up to me to cook (he can't cook) and I'm exhausted. I just don't know how to make the situation better i am constantly on task work or home and my husband is constantly overwhelmed... Suggestions? 

by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Replies (31-40):
by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Not sure what your budget is...but hiring some outside help to do the cleaning may help?

Also...put that crockpot to use! I discovered the other day that thisd site is not only a great source of entertaiment..but it is also a great place for tips on organization, cooking, etc.

Pre-planning up after yourselves as you go..things like this should help.

Just remember..the newborn stage is the EASY guys need to get your plan together and stick with it if you are going to survive the toddler phase;)

Good luck!

-If for any reason you feel an urge to correct my grammar, spelling, or punctuation, please suppress this urge. You are not important enough to me to spend time editing before I post.  I will just laugh at you-

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM
1 mom liked this

When DH took over the SAHP role he had a lot of questions and devised a totally new schedule for our entire household. At first I was skeptical and was kinda offended but after giving it a shot and realizing it worked really well for him I adapted it completely.

I had never been a SAHM and we had both worked really hard to help out domestically and be each other's support system when it came to parenting, household duties and errands. But I am fortunate enough to have a husband who has always been a great multi-tasker, an amazing eye for detail and a great organizer. He may not do things the way I would but most of the time he does them better and more efficient.

The first thing we did was a "schedule" that allowed for us both to feel as if we were contributing, getting enough R&R and gave us a sense of structure. I know it sounds silly because you both are no longer teenagers and he should just be able to see that the laundry needs done, the dishes need washed and dinner needs cooked but the overwhelming responsibility of being a dad can be, well, overwhelming.

Make him a note, a simple note, that reminds me him that when the baby is napping to start a load of laundry, or load the dishwasher or take out something for dinner. Remind him that he can put the baby in a bouncy chair while watching TV and fold a load. Make a list that details what days you'll cook and on those days make batches of extra soup or casseroles so when it's his turn he has to just make a side dish.

After awhile he will get the hang of it and it will turn into his second nature. My husband was a work-a-holic before becoming a SAHD and it was a huge change. Granted our DD was no longer a baby and that of course made it easier but the household responsibilities are still the same. Buy him the move Mr. Mom with Micheal Keaton and remind him that you love him and are forever thankful for all he does.

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:54 PM

 teach him to babywear (and please don't use a crotch dangler!). get him a simple crockpot meal book. plan the meals together around what he thinks he can handle and then have him just put all the ingredients together. you can even make up ziploc baggies on the weekend and then have him just dump it in and turn it on each day. agree to takeout once a week if you can afford it. set things up so they are easily organized. a basket with all the diapering supplies. (restock it each night as you see the supplies dwindling.) set up a chore chart. monday is wash day. tues is vaccuum...etc. guys can't see what needs to be done like we can but if they know what to expect each day it's much easier. leave a list of extras that need to be done. my dh watches our son twice a week and when i leave a list it is much more likely to get done. setup time to be a couple. even if its just pizza and a movie at home. he needs to feel like a man around you. and you need to feel like a woman around him. :) hope this helps.

by Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM

i just want to say i am the sahm in my relationship and i cnt cook so hubs cooks every night after work, i clean and he does the yard and sometimes i cant get it all done and i feel inadequate too, i think these are all normal for having a newborn GL!

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:01 PM

im in the same boat as you hun.  lol

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:08 PM
1 mom liked this

When my children were newborns the house when to hell in a handbasket for a few months so cut him some slack in that department.  One thing I found helped me was a list of things that needed to get done so I could cross things off the list as the day went on.  Sometimes when you're tired and you have no idea when that baby's going to need something AGAIN everything starts looking overwhelming because there's just so much to do.  

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:12 PM

ANYONE can cook, they just might not be able to cook complicated things. The hardest part of cooking is timning all the components of the meal so that nothing gets burnt, cold, underdone or overdone. To avoid that challenge, casseroles and slow cookers are the way to go. Stir it up, throw it in a pan, bake it as long as the recipe says and voila, dinner is done. Go to Amazon and you will fine a gajillion recipes books for beginner cooks with exactly that sort of recipe.

Does your DH babywear? If not, it might be worth a try since he could then have your DS close by but still manage to get some housework done.

When My DD was new, I found it incredibly helpful to make myself a list in the morning or night before of the things I needed to get done. Life can get so crazy with a newborn that it really helped to have something to refer back to. Perhaps this might help him. Maybe he could set a goal like get three things done each day.

Taking care of a wee one and being  a stay at home parent is all about finding a routine. That can be hard to do, especially if you are transition from a school or workplace environment that had a day already structured for you. Time management is a tricky skill to master.

Be organized. So much easier to keep a house clean if everything has a tidy place to go to

Set goals. Perhaps he would do better setting a specific day for a chore, like Tuesday is laundry, Wednesday is shopping, etc.

Teach him how to organize errands, so that he can combine multiple stops in one trip out based on proximity of stores. Saves time and gas.

Get him a beginner recipe book and go through it together to make a list of the most common nonperishable ingredients. Buy them and have them on hand. Then choose three recipes together that sound easy but good and get the perishables to make them. Have him help you make them one weekend so that he can see how it's done.

Make double portions of every dinner. Leftovers are a new parent's best friend, either as a tasty lunch or an easy dinner next night or so.



by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:13 PM
1 mom liked this

Haha I'll never forget when I was in this position, the first time I heard myself say, "Is it really too much to ask for you to just do a quick clean-up before I get home and have some simple meal prepared? I've been working all day to provide for this family!" I sounded just like all my friends' husbands who we constantly complained about. lol

So...why should she have to teach him how to cook? Can't he step up and watch a few Rachel Ray reruns while the baby naps, or ask his mom over for a day? She's already working 10 hours a day!

I agree with your advice to make sure he has his guy time, etc. But I'd caution against taking on the mothering role by teaching him how to do things that grown human beings can and should take the initiative to learn on their own, if it's part of the job they've chosen. That only leads to resentment, harping and belittling. 

Quoting Bleacheddecay:

1.) If you were staying home how would you feel about him judging you like you are him? I see this happen all the time. I think it's unfair. I know when I was staying home with my first child I was exhausted and depressed. I got very little done.

2.) How do you expect him to cook if he doesn't know how. Teach him.

3.) Spend a day showing him how you would manage, maybe you'll inspire him if you are helpful and nice about it.

4.) Let it go and be glad at least one parent can stay home with your child.

5.) Make sure your husband has some alone time, friend time and yes, date time with you. Otherwise you are likely to see someone who loses their identity and self worth.

6.) Look for a part time job he can do when you are home. Idk why but just feeling like strangers value you can boost you up when you've been staying at home with the kids.

by Silver Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Anyone can do crock pot dinners, give him a recipe. Then give him a list starting with top priority tasks that you really need done. Praise him a LOT when he gets stuff done! Tell him he doesn't have to hold the baby all day your son can entertain himself too, swings are great!

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Mine was a stay at home dad for the winter seasons, he has always been an excellent cook so dinner was never a problem. Cleaning the house on the other hand was a battle. He's been helping a lot more right now since I am pregnant and I am so very grateful for it. 

Looks like making frozen dinners and premade items will help with dinner. There are some great suggestions going on here to. I would suggest to him to take 15 minutes when the baby naps to pick a spot be it kitchen, living room or bathroom or laundry and work in that area for 15 minutes and see what he can accomplish int hat time, kind of making a game out of it. If he has another 15 minutes later in the day than have him try it out again in another part of the house. Maybe this will help encourage him to clean even if is only for 15 minutes.Good luck, enjoy your baby and hopefully things get easier with time.

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