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August 06, 2015

Comments

Megan

Thank you for this post. It runs true in my life in a dozen ways at least. I have a full time job, night classes, a two year old, cooking, cleaning, shopping and everything else that a "mom" does. My boyfriend is more than happy to help when I ask since he knows how much I do in a day. He works 3 days a week, and the 4 he has off the tot is in day care But then why do I still feel guilt every time I ask for help. Whether it be picking up the tot, or cleaning the living room, I always have a twinge of guilt like I should be doing better. Like I must be doing something wrong. It is refreshing to know that it's not just me having this internal battle. Thank you

Mary Hinrichs

My husband was the stay at home parent for 10 years for our severely physically disabled son and then our second typical son. The hurdles I ran into were similar to the one mentioned in the article - he basically drew the line at certain tasks - he'd do the laundry, but wouldn't fold it and put it away, he'd do the dishes and the food shopping, but not plan menus and cook (and sometimes wouldn't feed the kids unless they stated they were hungry). He'd take the boys to the doctor, PT, OT, speech, etc., but wouldn't do the recommended therapies at home. I ran into the same things at work - the boys defining what they believed "successful" was for their promotability, and leaving the details of the project implementation to the girls on the team.

Until Dad and Mom have the same idea of what "successful" is for the whole family's health, safety and happiness, and are working in concert to achieve it, Mom will still be stuck with implementation.

Shely

As a new Mom of Premature twin boys I have hired a full time day Nanny and part time evening /weekend Nannys and feel very comfortable doing this and don't care what any other mother's think because this is 2015 not 1950 and my priorities have always been since finding the Lord...HIM first, Me next (important to stay healthy ) Spouse Next (Happy Spouse Happy Life) then Children. You see most parents place all the emphasis on just the children and that's when you see failed marriages, unhealthy lifestyles and very spoiled kids. Definition of Parenting : Work yourself out of a job!

Alexandria Zant

Awesome blog! I am the sole provider for my family (including three kids 2, 5 and 15) and am fortunate enough to have a very understanding and fantastic stay-at-home dad! But I too, sometimes feel horrible and guilty that I can't be there to do all the stuff a "mom" should do. I totally agree that I base this on why my mom used to do for me as a little girl, nevermind that my mom was the stay-at-home parent (so of course she was there for me more)! So I try to also remind myself that while I hardly ever saw my dad growing up (he worked nights and slept during the day so I really never saw him during the week), I absolutely love my dad and have the utmost respect for him. Why is this? Because he was still there for me, even if it was only weekends. He taught me how to ride a bike, tie my shoes, speak properly, chew my food well, love football, (the list goes on and on), and never failed to remind me that I'm ticklish. So, I tell myself, it is definitely the QUALITY of time with the kids, rather than quantity. And agree that we all should think of ourselves as "parent A" and "parent B" and however the duties are split is fine if the children's needs are being met. (And yes, sometimes we need parents C, D, E and F too!!)

Joshua

The biggest issue I have is my wife telling me what she wants done AND telling me how she wants me to do it. That control is not healthy for a marriage. But let me back up a bit.
I am a disabled veteran who was medically retired 2 years ago. This means that I collect a pension from the Military and as it stands right now I bring home more money than my wife. I am a stay-at-home dad to two boys. One is just now starting 1st grade next week. I have been home with them for the past 3 years total. And my wife will gladly admit that I run the home much better than she did.

It is my responsibility to run the home, as I am the manager, and she plays the supporting role. It is not about control for me; rather, it is about efficiency. When we both worked she was the manager and I played the supporting role. This worked for us quite well. It was a bit of a challenge for her to relinquish control when I retired and took over the home. This leads me to my first point: She wants to tell me both what to do and how to do it. This does not work at all. It is something we are working on. I have faith we will work it out.

I will never fully understand how two single people, who are 100% responsible for their own lives and the chores that go along with it, will then have difficulty sharing the load of the their shared life and chores. I do think a lot of this can be explained by having unclear expectations and deceptive dating habits. I have seen many men do their fair share of common chores while dating and then relax their efforts and role when they start living together. This seems deceptive to me. I have also seen more than my fair share of women who claim they want a traditional style marriage while dating to only then turn around and resent it and incessantly complain the man is not doing his fair share. That I see as deceptive too.

Bottom line is communication early and honestly. Express your desired roll and your desired roll for your spouse. If those rolls match, then you will save yourself a lot of hard times and misunderstandings later.

"And if they knew that I didn’t know who the best teachers were in the school, and wasn’t actively trying to get my daughter in their classrooms, they’d think I don’t have the right priorities."
- I would agree with her mother and grandmother. Parents should know the best teachers AND advocate for their children to be in those classes. I don't see how this could be a negative thing at all.

"And while her husband wishes he could split the work at home 50/50, she says she’s lucky to get him to take on 25%."
-This is perception at play here. The percentage of the load is entirely objective. She mentioned that she made a list of what she did and then gasped at the magnitude of HER chores. Did she ask her husband to make a list too? I bet he could enumerate quite a few tasks she takes for granted. The best way to compare would be to list activities along with the time it takes to do them. I don't think that writing thank you notes would be on par with mowing the lawn every weekend.

Lastly, what a charmed life she is complaining about. I don't feel a bit empathetic towards her. Anyone that has an au pair has what MOST families do not and can not afford. She counts hiring a housekeeper as a chore that she wants credit for...how about actually cleaning the house yourself like MOST people do? I tell you, rich people problems are not real problems. At least not when compared to normal people problems. More people worry about how to afford groceries than do people worry about hiring an au pair to shop for them.

alice hall

I could relate to all of it. Thank you. I guess wanting to control everything but letting people help is the way to go. I am a mother of three and I work full time. I cant make the practices at 4:00 I wonder doesn't anybody work. My husband always says he does 50% which its not. I am grateful for his help but somehow I feel they dont get it. I am planning the birthdays doing the appts the thank you's to all that help me etc. Nice to know someone gets it. Most of my friends are the stay at home parents and also feel overwhelmed b/c husbands think they have so much free time.
Anyway, thanks for the article its nice knowing others go through the same exact thing. Alice

Brynn

I think you may be directly talking to me! This is how I feel on an almost daily basis. And I don't even work full time,I only work part time! I feel though on my days I am at home,I have to make up for my work days with more work at home! Very well said! I needed to hear these words tonight!

Kristin

Great post, Katie. I always look at the typical list of household chores and think that as long as I've hired a housekeeper and get some cooking / laundry help from hubby I'm doing ok with the 50/50 split. But until you laid it out, I didn't even realize the long list of "other" stuff that I had just assumed could only fall to me and wasn't in the realm of possible shared responsibilities. Definitely something for me to think about.

sam

Awesome article!! I thought I was a little weird for thinking the same way but I'm glad to know others relate.
My boyfriend & I have a 2 year old & we are constantly fighting about who's doing too much or not enough.
I really don't think he fully gets 50/50 Its so exhausting!

Crystal

Love the article, but what about us single parents who HAVE to do it all? With my husband unexpectedly ripped from my life while I was pregnant, I've had to take on every single chore myself. I'm extremely overwhelmed and exhausted in every way. I'm barely making enough money to stay afloat, let alone hire anyone to help. I'm trying to both advance my career and be the best parent to my 5-year-old daughter that I can be. No matter how hard I work I can never catch up and I feel like a failure when I have to let some things slack. Is there any advice for those of us who are struggling to survive and have little wiggle room?

Pamela Savoy

Katie, great article if I would have head more help with this I would not have been anywhere near as stressed as I was. Due to the stress I ended up sick and out of work for several months which put us behind and took quite awhile to get back on track. I did learn to not worry so much about my house having to be spotless and the kids looking like they just came from the beauty parlor.

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