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Advice...please!! Take care of everything, but when I'm not there, husband can't handle the kids, house, everything...
by Hdayton
January 22, 2013 at 11:56 AM
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.


  • MissyMom3
    January 22, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    I know exactly how you feel.  Unfortunately, I haven't figure out any solutions, either.  I just had this episode of "why the hell am I doing EVERYTHING?  I thought we progressed past this 1950s thing where Mom does everything & Dad just works & pays some bills" today.  I am in charge of the house, dinner, my job, the kids (2, 6, 10--all with ADHD), the dog, the cat, the extended family (birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, Christmas, etc.), school, gymnastics, swimming, tutoring, school conferences/concerts/events/projects, groceries, and somehow I am still supposed to manage to find time to go to the gym, shower, groom myself to be pretty, & feel like something resembling the woman he married.  Yeah...right!  Hubby has no clue, b/c all this stuff just gets done.  So he gets pissy when I am not "in the mood" or I burst in to tears for no apparent reason...b/c I am stressed out of my gourd & my hair is falling out......

    God bless him, I love him & he's a good man, but I really thought we had all gotten into this 21st century partnership thing where it was all supposed to be 50/50....and we haven't.

  • MissyMom3
    January 22, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Oh, and I get the appreciation thing.  I just don't want "you did a great job, hon.  The house looks amazing.  I don't know how you do it."  I want HELP!  How do we get them to do that without causing a major fight?

  • Purple3000
    January 22, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Oh my gosh! That sounds like the mirror image of my life, sort of. I also work from home. I am very very lucky to be able to do this and have only been doing this for about a year. Before this, I went to work at a hospital and was stressed beyond belief with the crazy schedules. I have 3 kids, 7, 3, and 8 months. My oldest is autistic and I am sure that if I did not find this job, his development would not have been so good. My husband also does the same thing. He thinks that everything he does is so much harder and I am convinced that even if he did nothing, he would still have something to complain. He is just a that kind of person. There are times when I do travel for my job, those times, I have my mother come and help. Thank goodness! Otherwise, I would not be able to travel. Hubby would of said no he cannot...even though I know if he really tries he would be able to do it. That being said, I still get nervous when I am not there. That being said, I pretty much set up everything before I leave for my mother. My oldest is on a special diet, so I pack 5 days of lunches for him and put it in the refrigerator. As for homework, only my oldest has homework and the teacher gives a months' worth so I either help him when I get back if it's earlier in the month or help him do it before I leave. So, although I cannot compare my mom to your husband, my mom does not have to work and she only does it every once in a while. Would it help if you set the "stage" so to speak? Can you do as much as you can before you leave so things don't fall apart when you leave? I know it is so unfair that you have to do that, but that may help everyone else and in the long run....maybe you can slowly "unstage"?

  • Quinn525
    January 22, 2013 at 6:47 PM
    My dh was raised by a mom that made him cook and clean. We always split household jobs, took turns cooking, and working with the kids. When my ods was 3 months, ds was laid off. He became a stay at home dad until he got another job (a year later.) when I had back surgery, my dh had to do every chore since I couldn't even wash dishes or sweep for 4 months.
    Currently we both work ft outside the home, we have 3 kids (13,10,&6)& a big dog. Dhs schedule varies throughout the week so there are some days he works nights and some he gets off at 3. We have homecooked meals at the table every night with dh and I taking turns cooking. He does the laundry and I do dishes, but the rest of the cleaning is split with the kids doing some as chores or punishments. I think part of it was just who he was when I married him, the fact that we both work ft and its both our responsibility to get everything done.
  • funhappymom
    January 23, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    The first thing to do is remember that men are built differently than women. They aren't as easily able to multi-task as we are. They're not wired to understand the women's way of life and how hard we work.

    Have you tried taking an evening alone with him and talk to him about how you both are feeling? If not, you should try that.

    Just an idea but when you go out of town, maybe sit down with him before you leave, go over everything and plan out meals-or pre make food that just needs heated up. When you get back, spend some time alone with him and review what went on at home and figure out how to deal with those things together.

  • Bmat
    by Bmat
    January 23, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Hire help.

    The work should be evenly divided, including time spent commuting (if any) and at jobs, including car care, household repairs and cleaning, child care, meals, shopping. If he isn't doing his fair share, then tell him that you have a concern and suspect he isn't doing his fair share and could you discuss this together to make sure everyone is doing their share. The boys should be able to help with some chores and cleaning also.

  • atlmom2
    by atlmom2
    January 23, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Most men don't want to. 

  • MissyMom3
    January 24, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Yes, this would be my husband.  He doesn't want to know how hard I work.  He just wants to say, with a concerned look, "I don't like you being so stressed."  But he doesn't want to really talk about helping.  He feels he does his fair share, he's tired & so what if it doesn't get done, he has a lot on his mind....blah blah blah.  He will admit that cleaning the house is part of his responsibility, too....but he won't actually do anything about it.  Once in a while he does some laundry, or the dishes, and he tries to be better about helping, but it only lasts for a week or two.  Then we are back to me doing most everything.  And he still doesn't really want to be involved iwth the  kids & their school.  The thing that gets me is that he has this ability to totally tune the kids out & think he doesn't actually have to watch them...he can just be in the house somewhere...but he doesn't hear them, so....and if I do try to brooch the subject of "I really need your help & I don't much get it when I ask,"  he accuses me of saying he never does anything & he really does help out, I am just being a nag.  So...yeah, he doesn't want to talk about it, & I don't want the fight.  So I just do things without pushing back.

    And unfortunately I can't hire help, and I have no family in the state....not his or mine.

    I should sign this "Stuck".

    Quoting atlmom2:

    Most men don't want to. 

  • rstuart66
    January 25, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    I've only got one child and I feel like i'm run ragged.  You are a super mom and deserve some time to yourself, even if it's just a few hours.

  • Acid
    by Acid
    January 25, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    I can't read that without paragraphs and proper punctuation.

    Judging by the title it's another 'my husband is a wonderful guy but he's so lazy and he won't help around the house' whine. 

    Then, I'm guessing there are replies that go along the lines of 'all men are like this and I don't know why'.

    After that I'm sure there is a reply that says 'he wasn't always like this'.

    Sit him down and tell him he needs to help out more.  Then, sit yourself down and ask why you expected a guy to change even though there were signs you ignored.

    Then, you might get your answer.

    And, no, not all guys are like this.

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