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How do I get DH to help?

Posted by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 4:56 AM
  • 32 Replies
I am currently a SAHM to an infant and a toddler. I don't mind doing cooking, cleaning, laundry.... But I could really use some help with other things, like getting the house and yard ready for winter, general repairs, etc.

Even when I tell DH what needs done, he doesn't do it. The only raked leaves, I raked. DH hasn't cut the grass since at least Aug. I managed to get the front done during baby's nap while dd was at preschool, but I couldn't manage the back. I want to put plastic over dds window for the winter because I noticed it was fogging up after the heat went on, dh told me if I found the roll of plastic he would carry it in for me. That was it.

The kicker though is the flourescent light in our kitchen. It has been partially working for over a month. I bought replacement bulbs but I can't put them in. There will be entire days my big kitchen light doesn't work at all and DH just doesn't fix it. He knows it needs done. I've even left the bulbs right out in front of him. Nothing. And this is how it is with everything.

The only time he will help with anything is if my dad comes over to fix something. Quite frankly I'm at the end of my rope.

Another thing I have noticed is he never takes dds anywhere. If I am even going to run to a store for groceries quick, he wants me to take at least one with me. If he would even just take the girls to the library or park for an hour, I'd try to get some of it done myself but I simply can't do some of it with a toddler and an infant. I don't know what to do as I can't afford to hire help and I'm tired of asking my dad all the time.
by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 4:56 AM
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by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 5:18 AM
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This used to be my husband.  He would work all day (he is Army) then want to sit down and not doing anything.  We have two small children, and I was wokring nights, while the kids and him slept.  I just started not doing anything, and he realized what it is like when I dont do anything.  It only lasted about a week, he has helped ever since then, and that was almost 4 years ago

by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 5:20 AM
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Tell him he needs to help. Start with small things and work up to larger things. Like leave him home alone with both of them and work up to him taking them both out by himself.
If he can't parent them, then he's not a parent to them and not a partner to you. And that's simply unfair.
Talk to him about his behavior is affecting your and how things can be made better between the two of you with a little effort.
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by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 5:30 AM
I have the same thing going on. I work nights and get home at 11 PM and go to bed around 2AM. I also go to school part time. Dh works days. I do all of the cleaning. He may fill or empty the dishwasher, but he does cook dinner monday-friday, which usually is something quick.

I have to get on him about keeping up with certain "man chores", as I call them. I used to do a lot of them and enjoyed it actually, but with the baby and school, plus our 3 older children, I am worn out after catching up on neglected deep cleanings on the weekends.

My latest request was for dh to get all the wires behind the TV straightened out and tied together. It was a HUGE ugly rats nest that I have been trying to get him to organize for many months now. Over dinner last night, I mentioned that I was going to pay someone $20 to do it. When I woke up this morning, it was done.

My husband is a tight wad, I wish I would have thought of that months ago... Hmmm, now to get him to fix the loose stair.....
by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 5:50 AM
DH has all sorts of excuses, but they don't really have any legit cause. I "make the messes". Well yes, if you mean I take out the summer furniture and toys, or pile stuff On the table because I cleaned the ENTIRE rest of the room and that was the remainder I didn't know what do do with because it's him, or there's dishes because I cooked. "It's raining, I can't cut the lawn." Well that's because you set a one time window on the activity and the lawn is there every day, any time. He watched the kids for two and a half hours yesterday while I had a much needed coffee date with a friend and I heard " you owe me two diapers". What? We keep track of that?
by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 5:52 AM
2 moms liked this

OK, I'm going to tell you first how my Mom gets my Dad to do things. Then I'm going to tell you how I get my beloved husband to do things. I guarantee, both work.

First, my mother asks my dad to do such and such-whatever it is she needs done. She tells him she would like him to do it by a specific time. (Dad is a procrastinator, and will put things off unless she does this). If he still has not done it, she asks him one more time to do it, this time in a bit of a snippy tone, and gives him another deadline. After 45 years of marriage, he knows what that tone means, and usually gets the job done at that point. If, however, he still does not manage to do it, she tell him 'FINE, I"LL JUST DO IT', and that means that he gets no loving until he has earned it back by doing all the chores she gives him immediately until he is off punishment. When he starts trying to get frisky with her, she tells him 'Remember such and such? I had to do THAT by myself, so you can just do THAT by YOURSELF!!!'

It works extremely well. I tell her she has his balls on a leash, and she laughs.

OK, this is how I get my beloved to do things that I cannot do around the house. For example, the gutters needed desperately to be cleaned. We had just bought the house and the gutters were terrible, there was a tree, literally growing in the dirt and leaves in the gutters!!! So every weekend, I would ask him to please clean the gutters, and he would tell me every excuse in the book, or he would say 'I'll get to it later', but months went by and the gutters still did not get cleaned.

So I put an ad on Craigslist. One of the respondants was a young woman, very pretty with a lovely figure, who also worked at our favorite expensive restaurant in town. She and I were outside looking at the guttering, which is difficult to get to in places because I have a four story house in a modern style with lots of interesting angles that would take her having to anchor herself with a rope and harness. While we were outside, my husband pulled up (I planned the time so he would come home at the right time). I introduced him to her and her to him, and told him that he didn't have to worry about cleaning the gutters any longer, that she was going to do it since he didn't want to. He looked so shocked, and then he asked me how I had found her, and I told him the truth. She piped up and said that she had plenty of experience, as she took care of many rental properties that were owned by her parents.

Well, he turned red-I think partly because of anger, partly due to embarrassment, but he handed her a $50 and told her 'Thank you' and that he would be cleaning the gutters out himself! Sure enough, he was on the roof, cleaning gutters within twenty minutes! LOL I told him that she was only going to charge $150 to do the whole house, but I do believe his manhood was bruised and he wasn't letting a GIRL do a job he should have done way back! HA!

Now, while my mother gets upset with my dad, I stay sweet as can be when I offer to put an ad on Craigslist. I got my roses put in, my koi pond installed, the driveway done, the lilies stone box done around my chimney, and I never had to ask him to mow or weedeat all summer long!!!

Good luck!


by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 6:01 AM
I have no idea. I'm a sahm and I do a lot but dh still does a lot and he works two jobs. He's also very active with our girls. Have you had an actual conversation with him? A few years ago we didn't communicate as well and that caused more problems. Now we talk almost every night about house hold stuff when he gets home.

I also ask. I don't nag or tell him what to do. Maybe if you mention if he took the kids out you could get things done. I'm just very vocal so I wouldn't just put up with whatever but often it is the approach.

It also just depends on the man you married though too. Dh always jokes that he sucks as a provider (but he does what he has to to bring in money. He just has to work two jobs to bring in a decent income) but he's an awesome father and husband. I think since he does work both jobs and makes the kids a priority he is awesome at both. I don't know if someone can learn that op. It may just be ones sense of self.
by Kathleen on Nov. 11, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Have you sat down with him at a time when neither of you were upset or tired and brought it up then?  I would sit down with him and tell him that things are getting to be too much sometimes and there are some things you are going to need him to take off your plate.  Give him specifics such as mowing the yard, changing the bulbs, etc.  Tell him the things that need done right now and the order you need them done in preferably such as the lightbulb first etc.  Then thank him so much for all he does for you and tell hm you really appreciate him helping out.  Often if they don't feel threatened or nagged and it is all laid out you will get better responses. 

As for the kids, if you need to go somewhere every once in a while just let him know you are headed to the store and that it will be quicker without kids.  Then go.  He will get used to it and it won't seem like such a chore to him.  As they get older he will automatically start knowing how to interact with them more too.  Many men are a bit lost on infants besides the basic holding or changing a diaper here or there.  Give him time and thank him each time he does.  Sometimes men just need reassurance. 

by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 1:23 PM
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I havnt got any advice.  My husband and I are both real busy and there is a ton of maintenance that comes with owning a home aside from cleaning and cooking.  Sometimes my husband is working on projects that I didn't even know needed done.  Things that had I not witnessed him working on I would have never known what he was up too, probably would have thought he was playing video games in his man cave, and not reinsulating the attic.  Sometimes if I cant do something and ask him to he will say hes busy and then rattle off a list of stuff he "has" to do...the priorities are different for us, things he thinks are urgent I dont think are urgent, things I think are important that would only take him 10 minutes he thinks are not at all pressing.  Getting on the same page about whats important is key.  We try to make a list together a "honey do" list.  Its not just a list of the stuff I want him to do or his own list, we do it together.  This way I can hear what he wants to do and he can hear what I need him to do and then we prioritize the list and work off it from there.  If I catch him going out of order I call him on it.  It works alright for us.  We still bitch at eachother sometimes but I figure thats pretty normal.  

by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 3:49 PM
I know exactly how you feel. My dh doesn't help at all, then tells me it's my job cuz I'm a sahm. I pray your hubby starts helping you out.
by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 3:54 PM

I don't have that problem at all but if I did, I would go on strike. I wouldn't do shit for him and if I needed to go grocery shopping or something I would just tell him and leave. He would be forced to care for the kids because I wouldn't take either of them.

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