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Seeking Advice As A New SAHM

Posted by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 11:32 PM
  • 14 Replies
I've been with my husband for 5 1/2 years. For the first 3, I was the primary breadwinner (and, for a long time, sole breadwinner). After having our son and struggling to juggle the demands of motherhood, domestic management and consultant, I put aside my career to be, for the first time in 32 years, a SAHW/M. Lately, I've been struggling with my new-found role. I adore motherhood, and feel fortunate to be able to stay home. However, my days that were once filled with adult conversation, pop trends, water cooler conversation have been entirely replaced with dirty diapers, cartoons, cleaning, and being subservient to my husband in all of his new-found power ("You want help with what? I go to work. That's your help.")

I have no idea what it is to be a single mother - but for the past several months I've felt alone in all parenting and domestic duties: put down when expectations aren't met, constantly reminded that I could "get a job," - although, as he's expressly stated, despite having an advanced degree, I could only consider a nights/weekends job, such as waitressing/bar tending (FYI - I did BOTH for many years and am NOT saying I'm above either!) because his career comes first.

Since I only have 4 IRL friends with kids (1 works, while hubby stays home, 2 stay home, and 1 just had her son and will be putting her son in daycare when ML runs out), I wanted to ask how CM moms handle domesticity.

I have had a lot of resentment lately (toward hubby, NEVER son). For almost 3 years I paid all of his bills, travel to see his daughter , family vacation costs, etc, before baby. And when he was at home, I still cleaned, cooked, or paid for meals out. Now, I feel like I'm expected to fill Donna Reed's shoes. Am I programmed wrong or have I "programmed my husband" wrong? How do SAHMs out there in cyberland juggle parenting/domestic obligations?
by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 11:32 PM
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Replies (1-10):
kirita323
by Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 12:11 AM
1 mom liked this

I know how you feel and it sucks. And your husband is programmed wrong. Maybe I'm not the right person to ask, but I grew up in a household where my dad helped out and I expect the man to help. This is 2013, no 1950. I'm a stay at home mom because it's important for my daughter, because I don't want to put her in daycare and my husband agrees. I don't spend all day cleaning, we do things during the day. My husband understands that he's lucky to have someone clean his house (I do the majority), cook him good food and raise his daughter. Although we still struggle with who does what, he knows that he needs to pitch in. A lot of relationships change once a child is thrown into the mix because there's an imbalance. There's a lot more work to do when a child is involved. And work a part-time job. I wouldn't want to bartend/waitress either, I've done that and it's hard, but you need to have an outlet and it should be something you care about. Once I started teaching Spanish in an after school program (he gets home early from work) and my husband got a taste of my every day life, he realized how hard it is and has stepped up. Eventually you guys will get into a rhythm but it sounds like you guys need a discussion.

ScarletRose4488
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 12:13 AM
1 mom liked this

Well for starters you need to put your husband in his place.  You are not beneth him.  Being a SAHM is a full-time job and one that men rarely handle well.  You have an absolute right to be upset with his comments and attitude especially since you have pulled more than your own share in the past.  But even if you had not done that - the fact remains that you are his wife not his maid, cook, ect.  you are his wife, his equal.  

Personally, I won't take that crap from my husband.  I will respond with the "What?  You can't do both like I did all those years?" or  "I know you are working hard and I am so greatful.  It is so wonderful to have a husband who is the provider for the family."  or  "I know money is tight & since you do such a great job of providing for our family I am sure you will find a 2nd job very soon.  Would it help if I searched for some open positions for you?" or "No problem.  Why don't you go lay down.  It must have been a really rough day if you are not capable of doing the dishes."   or "I couldn't agree more... Thank you for offering to make the bed"   Sometime I will even do a "Yes, your majasty" if he is really being a pain in the ass and he gets it quick.

Yes, I am direct.  You can be subtle or not say anything.  But you have given him the "out" for years.  The only way he is going to change his attitude is if you stop taking the attitude. 

I also think it is important that you give him a taste of your day.  On a Saturday or Sunday - perferably any day that has a football game, race, ect. - get all ready to leave the house, tell him he deserves his day off which is why you are going to take care of all your important things for him, hand him a list of chores & things to be done for your son, and walk out the door before he even has a chance to say anything.   Then enjoy your day.   Oh, and don't forget to forget your phone on the kitchen table.

Best of luck!

Jen
~ I speak from the heart because the truth is always the best - even if you don't know it yet. ~
redcarnelle
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 1:02 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree with these moms. I am struggling similarly to you and if I was not overtired with baby sleep
Issues right now I would write more. My dh just got back from a work trip & he's snoring now while I'm rocking our baby ... Message me if you want to chat
SFLMom33
by Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 1:13 AM
You have a brilliant plan - save for one flaw- and here's an example. He was up with neighbors/friends until 5 am Sat, drinking, being macho, etc. Sat morning, I woke up with baby, 15 months old, and woke him up to watch baby during his morning 30 min of TV (Diego - he gets 1 hour/day). Hopped in the shower so I could meet a friend to go green marketing (5 min Max - as you know showers become post-baby), and heard a strange banging when I got out. Raced out of our room to find our toddler playing IN the guest bathroom (he had apparently removed the baby gate and forgotten to put it back), with toilet brush in hand, open toilet, and a nearby bottle of Clorox toilet cleaner (in cabinet). I almost had a stroke.

Hubby was asleep on the couch, completely unaware of his son's whereabouts.

In 15 months, he's been left unattended 3 times (and i mean 5 min Plus) with our son. #1, my good friend had had her baby and I went for a 30 minute visit 1.4 miles away when my son was 3 months old. Came home to find baby inside with fever (flu shot that day - I warned him to please watch his temp) and him on porch relaxing with neighbor. #2, I was asked to watch same neighbor's mother who has advanced Alzheimer's for 2 hours (2 weeks ago) because his wife was leaving to visit family and he had to work. Came home to find my son playing with a broken glass vase bc he took him out of "baby gate" (our living room, family room, his nursery, my office and our BR are all meticulously baby proofed - rest of house is gated off), and let him play in the guest room because he had to respond to a work email after hours. My son had 4 cuts and was bleeding from both hands. The third I explained above.

I don't want to seem ungrateful - because I have the luxury of being at home, but I feel like leaving my son in his care punishes my son more than him...with potentially serious consequences.

carolina_gal
by Bronze Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 8:02 AM

 I agree as well.

Quoting redcarnelle:

I agree with these moms. I am struggling similarly to you and if I was not overtired with baby sleep
Issues right now I would write more. My dh just got back from a work trip & he's snoring now while I'm rocking our baby ... Message me if you want to chat

 

atlmom2
by Ruby Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 8:07 AM
Do not let him make you feel you are Donna Reed. I stay at home and hire a housekeeper. It does not relieve him from helping too. Set him straight fast. He can do anything you can do.
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Bleacheddecay
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 10:05 AM

I don't blame you for being resentful. He needs a wake up call. Just watching the kids IS a FULL time job. Doh!

rHOPEb
by Silver Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 10:44 AM

There's no programming gap here there is a communication gap!  You need to tell hubby that tho you are keeping house and doing all things domestic you still need 'adult' time.  Whether that time is spent with him (alone on a date) or with girlfriends.  You can also set up playdates with said-friends too.  Go to the library and do storytime, go to the park, or do other things to meet other moms who are in the same boat.  

Our house runs a lil different.......from the doorstep IN is my responsibility and the doorstep OUT is hubby's.  If I need help I ask for it.  I was on bedrest and had to have an emergency c-section with our last child, and he stepped up and did chores and laundry.  He works 12hr shifts at night and I make sure when he comes home that he shouldn't have to do any extra 'inside' the house.  Now if the lawn needs mowing or the cars need washing or such that's his job!  

Anyway...........what I'm saying is that you need to tell him how you feel before it gets too out of control.  

OliviaW.
by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I've been a SAHM/W for going on 3 years. While even when I was working I did all of the cooking, cleaning and laundry. What most men don't realize is that being a stay at home parent is work and sometimes even more than going into the office cause there's no break. I would sit your dh down and have a little talk with him. While he is home he needs to be a parent as well. 

redcarnelle
by on Feb. 2, 2013 at 4:08 PM
I agree. He needs to be a parent too as soon as he walks in the door. I hope you can talk it out with him & get more support. It sounds like he needs to mature some too. My jaw dropped when I read about how he left your baby unattended. If he won't step up and help you, use his earned money to hire a house helper (babysitter who helps with housework). Use that time to do things just for yourself. Go have a massage, coffee with a friend, catch a movie, whatever. Just so you have some time alone to think. I talked with my dh and he agreed that I get a 3 hour break sometime on the weekend. Fortunately I trust him to properly care for our dd. You may need to hire someone for that until your dh can man up and properly care for his baby.


Quoting OliviaW.:

I've been a SAHM/W for going on 3 years. While even when I was working I did all of the cooking, cleaning and laundry. What most men don't realize is that being a stay at home parent is work and sometimes even more than going into the office cause there's no break. I would sit your dh down and have a little talk with him. While he is home he needs to be a parent as well. 


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