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Advice...please!! Take care of everything, but when I'm not there, husband can't handle the kids, house, everything...

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My husband and I have four boys ages 2, 8, 9, 11. Yes I know, chaos! I would like to start by saying that I love my husband more than anything in the world, and most of the time I do feel like I am one of the lucky ones to have such a good man in my life. BUT! I have the luxury of being able to work from my home for the most part. I'm able to make my own schedule and have a good amount of flexibility. Thank god that I have such a great boss. However, having four very active boys in my home who are involved in everything, sports, extra curricular activities, etc. then add school, homework, chores, a toddler that's developing a very independent into everything personality, housework, and all of the work that I do have to get done for my job...there are days that even I don't know how I get it all done. With that said, I find a way. The house gets cleaned, bills paid, things are organized, schedules are organized, homework and chores get done, I get my emails sent, phone calls made, projects complete, dogs to groomer, laundry to the cleaner, groceries shopped for, dinner made, baths taken, bed time on time, then all of that gets cleaned up. Now, it doesn't always go smoothly, ok so often it doesn't, and a lot of times I'm very stressed by the end of the day. When my husband comes home from being in his nice quiet office working in peace and quiet all day, I still try to keep my composure when he's completely clueless as to why I'm on edge. I'm fairly certain that in his mind if something doesn't get done, he has a hard time understanding why because according to him my schedule is "flexible" and I have all day to do things. Right. I ignore the ignorant unintentionally insensitive comments, and we go on with our night...most of the time husband still oblivious to many things going on around him. Fast forward to the times when my job does require me to travel. It's not often, but when I have to go, I have to go. I don't dedicate near as much of myself to my career as I should most days because of the never ending mom/wife duties around me, so when my boss needs me to travel, I feel I owe him at least that. My husband tries I think to act supportive...and as guilty as I feel I look forward to the times when I'll get to actually work with NO distractions. UNTIL, the first night I'm away. It's like, sh*t just hits the fan! I call my husband and he's beyond stressed, kids are fighting, nobody is doing what they are supposed to, baby is tearing down the house, homework isn't done, ramen for dinner because there wasn't time to cook, he's exhausted because somehow he truly believes that things are ten times harder, kids are ten times worse, there's ten times more to do when he's doing it. In his mind things are just easier when I have to do it. It's a conspiracy! So by the time I get to talk to my husband, he's short with his words, saying everything BUT actually saying that I shouldn't have gone out of town because me not being there pretty much just put a burden on everybody involved. Then I feel guilty the rest of my trip, wishing I hadn't left, and praying everybody and everything is still in one piece when I return. Husband and I spend the whole week not missing each other, or saying the sweet things on the phone, or even having much conversation at all because he's so beside himself that things are so out of control and upset that he's having to deal with so much. If I say things like, "babe, I understand trust me, I deal with those things every single day" he huffs and thinks that its somehow impossible, and that its only stressful if he's having to do it. No matter how many schedules I lay out, binders of instructions on how to do everything involved in the daily routine, everything is prepared before I leave. It's like he doesn't see any of that, has no clue how much I've done, how much I do, and instead of appreciating me more while I'm gone, and happy for me to come home so we can go back to our own "duties", its more like a "that week was hell, I can't believe you left, this house and kids are out of control, we need to fix that" then just goes on about his calm and quiet work routine. I feel like I'm rambling but I am so beyond sick of feeling this way!!! I don't know how to get him to just at least recognize or see what all I actually do take care of and deal with, rather than him ignore it day in and day out then tell me how impossible our chaos is when he has to deal with it. I do just fine and take pride in how organized I keep things, and then when this happens, I feel like a complete failure from hearing my husband complain about how awful it is. I don't know what to do. I'm tired of feeling guilty for taking the little time I do to focus on my job, and I'm tired of feeling like I'm an awful person for leaving my husband and kids at home for them to completely hate each other and our lives by the time I get back!! I just want to miss my husband again, I just want him to appreciate me a little more, and not make me feel like I've caused burdens all over the place.
by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Replies (11-14):
CourtneyCS
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 8:43 PM
Wow this could be my life story lol. I also work from home and travel for work. My husband is the same way, I know he tries but I dont think he realizes everything I do every day just to maintain the house. When I go away its like he thinks that it was just a horrible week and that I do more deal with that kind of thing daily. Its like they think that because you with from home that you do not actually do any work.
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buttersworth
by Bronze Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:03 PM

We women just have to be here for each other.

I know many may not agree with me and find my coming comments antiquated, but I'm a past feminist whose come full circle, & also having been Christian. So now I believe we indeed were put on earth to be helpers to our man, just as the Bible says. That is my belief. I'm not preaching to you, but giving you back ground on why my advice will be what it is.

I've tried to for years to get my husband to understand how difficult it is to be a caregiver. He's learned a little but not nearly enough. Even leaving him with the kids only tells him that it's hard - for him- and  I think in my husband's case, he doesn't gain too much empathy for me because he just thinks i'm better with the kids or used to caring for them so for me he thinks it's not that hard. I guess we moms make it look effortless.

So anyway, I've come to see that men will not see the full picture, not all of it, to gain enough empathy, to understand, to be more patient wth their own demands or even to alter their priorities. We're just made different than men. Our curse is to carry this tremendous burden of having the family rely on us for crucial aspects of life that the family itself does not even recognize. A thankless job it is.

I'm a stay home mom, and will be as long as I can, which is getting harder to do, honestly. If you can do  it, do it. Because you will never get rid of your responsibilities to the home, no matter what. But if you can't do it all, then get rid of the job - if you can. If you can swing it, then just think, is it worth all of this stress? Stress eventually costs you money, either in curiing health problems linked to stress or things you do or buy to eleviate the stress, such as , paying a nanny here and there. Is working, at this point in your life, worth it?

Anyway, it just seems we want men to be like us and know. We get mad at them sometimes for being stupid, and resentful because they don't "get" what is obvious to us. That's why I think we are here on earth to help them, which is NOT an insignificant role, because men need us. They can't do all we can. God knew they needed us, so we just gotta do it. We see things more clearly that men can't. Men are like children in some aspects, they just need help. We women have to stick together and listen to one another, because there is no man who will ever understand it. Maybe one who will say he does, to spare himself our nagging!

Mom_to_Lincoln
by Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:05 PM

I know the feeling. That is just how men are. My husband is the same way, everything is "harder" for him, even when he is sick it's like he has it worse then me and both kids put together. UGHH!  Really all you can do is accept the fact that he will never truly understand what you go through on a daily basis and even if he did he would never admit it. lol I say as long as you know they are not going to kill each other when your gone then just let everything else go, don't leave any instructions, Just let them figure it out on their own so there is less stress.

Even when you are home you can start letting the 8, 9 and 11 year old be responsible for their own routines and if they don't do them without being told then let them suffer the natural consequences of that. it's a lot of stress for one person and it's better for them to to be responsible of organizing there own things, homework and chores. You can make a chart for them if you need to but I would try and hand over a lot of that responsibility to them so your not so stressed all the time. Start training them boys now so they are not helpless men someday!! lol

sparklebug86
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Let me sum it up for you..... MEN ARE NOT MOMS!!! 

There is a reason they werent given the ability to have the babies, they cant handle it! Im gone for 2 hrs and my husband is calling me to get my butt home, it never fails! 

Im a SAHM mom that works from home as well watching OTHER PEOPLES CHILDREN on top of our 2 AND im pregnant with #3! Sure stuff gets through the cracks and he handles it well but sometimes he lashes out and in a big way! Once in awhile I sit him down and remind him of how hard I am working. How hard it is to not only raise our two but 3 others as well. To meet THEIR every needs while keeping the house from burning down. In all honesty, you need to get a backbone (and im saying that in the kindest way possible.) Its taken me almost 5 years of marriage to learn that you cant be a doormat for another person, even a husband. Pick your battles but when he is out of line, say something! It helps you grow as a person and shows him that he needs to watch his words. 

HUGS!!

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