Feeling like a single parent

Erin - posted on 09/09/2010 ( 32 moms have responded )

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Hi All-

Wondering if anyone else ever feels like a single parent even when your spouse is home. I actually told my husband a while back that life was easier when he was deployed- at least then I knew I was responsible for everything. Now I need to balance his schedule and our two kids. Cannot depend on him for consitent help with activities since the military owns him. Oh and is anyone else resentful?

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Heather - posted on 12/06/2010

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I feel that way a lot as well. It's not that I don't know he has his job first but it doesn't mean it should make your life difficult too.

Melody - posted on 12/02/2010

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In the same boat, just had a lil girl in Sept and he was great help while we were at balboa for 9 days because she was born 5 weeks early but once we got home things changed. My mom came to stay for a week to help us and then a week after my mom left his showed up. While my mom was around he was always involved and helping like he had to show my mom he was in it and then his mom got here and I love her I do but he completely backed off and would pass our daughter to his mom whenever he didn't want to deal with her. I understand he works all day but so do I, being a mom doesnt end at a certain time, its a 24/7 job and so is being in the military but when he gets home I just want a few minutes where I can take a shower/bath in piece or even just sit down for a few minutes without feeling the need to have to do everything. He was a part of the process of our little girl and should help now that she is here.
We are getting ready for a deployment in a month and everyday this week he has come home grumpy and stressed and won't pay any mind to our daughter or me, its as though we don't exist. I'm hoping maybe after his deployment and being gone 6+ mn away from us he will get it and want time with our daughter and me but until that day a "single mom" I will be

[deleted account]

i am a new military wife and I have the same issue. My mom had the same thing when my dad was military, too. I guess it is normal, but it dosent make it any easier!

Myrlaine - posted on 11/18/2010

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Life is easier when they are deployed, because you know there is no one else her to wash the dishes, or pick up the toys, etc. You are on your own time. I do think though communication is the key. Let him know exactly how you feel (not during in arguement). It sometimes get so hard, I cry. He is barely around, and I tell him I think I am going to lose it and if he wants a sane wife, he needs to help out and I need a break sometimes. And, I think he gets it now.

Myrlaine - posted on 11/18/2010

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You are not alone, girl! The Marine Corp. owns him, basically. My husband is trianing now for deployment and he is barely here. It's a tough tough job to be a military spouse, three kids 6,4, and 2...and doing school online. My husband used to tell me all the time that ,"he would switch with me anyday." So when ever he is home, I would take off, and let him deal with the girls. And now he is like..."baby I know what you mean, and I don't know how you do it." When he is home though, it's great. He helps out a lot and I so appreciate him.

Jenessa - posted on 11/18/2010

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I know exactly how you feel, I feel this way day in and day out.. I shouldn't have to ask my husband to feed our child or wipe his butt or give him a bath and I don't but if i don't ask he doesn't help with ANYTHING. I feel like a single mother and its beyond frustrating. My husband and I have had the same conversation about his being involved with our son a hundred times and not much has changed, now he riles him up which is more than i can say he did before but riling him up makes it worse and harder on me. I give up trying to get him involved I shouldnt have to he should want to, it just saddens me that our son wont even go to daddy for some juice, he always asks me and when I say please go ask daddy he says no i'm scared. Then hubbys mad about it, well hell what am i suppose to do i cant mend your relationship with our son thats your job, you know.. I encourage them to spend time together all the time but nothing ever works. My husband was on a yr long deployment from when our son was one (a few days before) and he came back the day he turned 2. Now our son is just over 3 and still nothing. And all I ever hear is his pissing and moaning about how I don't want him to stay in.. Hmmmm I wonder fucking why..

Patrinah - posted on 10/14/2010

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OMG!!!! I thought it was just me. My husband has been deployed before but not during our marriage. We just has our first child in March and to get him to do anything around the house is like pulling teeth. I feel like I should not have to ask him to do things that I think a husband and a father should do. It is so frustrating, but what I learned when we went to pre marital counseling whas that I need to explicitly tell him what I need from him and the time frame that I need it done. It works, but I guess I'm I just don't understand why he does not get it, because no one has to tell me to take care of my child, or clean the house, or pay the bill because I know it has to be done.

Monica - posted on 10/14/2010

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yes all the time.. i feel lonely with him sitting right next to me like the other day my friend was over with her kid and she spilled cereal on the floor and when they left i saw the mess and then he saw the mess and said i aint picking that up and i was like i never thought u were going to ... it really pisses me off and today he was yelling at me saying i lost his stupid army awards and i didnt when he found them he was like oh... and its like i do everything and i never sleep and he complains about that he gets only 8 of straight sleep i mean he does even have to get up at night and he says he would rather be a stay at home dad but i was in the military before we had the kid and i would prefer to working then do all the stuff i do now

[deleted account]

I'm not *that* resentful anymore. We're on the downhill slide toward retirement though, and that helps. Still, I tell people my husband has a mistress, and it's his boat. (sigh)

Alicia - posted on 10/13/2010

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I do all the time..................Although I try not to feel that way. I have had to quit college twice now, and give up on my career and dreams for my husbands career. I can say at times I'm resentful about that. I get up every morning at 4:30, get my older boys off to school and get my younger ones ready for daycare, work all day, and come home to cook, clean my house, bath the kids then go to bed at 2 just to get back up and do it all over again at 4:30. I think sometimes we don't get as much credit as we should. Its very hard for us women, especially the ones that have children. I love my husband and that will not change, but I'm just wondering when its my turn to accomplish the things that I want to in life.

Nicole - posted on 10/11/2010

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I'm in the same boat as you. My husband works like a mile away from the house yet when he does come home for lunch or the day I dont get help. I am responsible for three kids,myself, him and the pets. I see where you are coming from in so many ways. I too sometimes think it was easier when my husband was gone.

Ashlee - posted on 09/20/2010

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TOTALLY!!!! My husband and I actually had a conversation about this last night..... You are sooo not alone on this one.... I feel like a single parent almost everyday.....

Heather - posted on 09/20/2010

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I feel like that and my husband hasn't been deployed since our first was born in Feb. 2009. I HATE that at his new base/unit he really is married to the marine corps. I tell him too often that it'd be easier if he was deployed sometimes because then there would be reason for me to feel like i was a single mom. He gets upset but he understands what i mean some of the time. I thought i was the only one who felt like that. Just because I agree to marry a man in the military doesn't mean i have to like everything i was getting into lol. We are allowed to be resentful!

Tah - posted on 09/19/2010

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What in the world ladies...did you all shop at the same husband store.....here is the thick of it....you are in essence a single parent in alot of ways...it's at the bottom of the marriage contract....get a magnifying glass..i promise it's there. if i had to sit in the house and wait on my husband to be released from the ship everyday while children mommied me to insanity all day i would go outside and jump off the curb..(love my kids no doubt)...but that is why it is almost therapeutic for military or sahms to have something apart from that..school...work...book club..volunteering....something.....now as for husbands who don't help, sit in front of the T.v all day, play the game all day..next time he walks past you or any of the crying kids...trip him and then sit the kids on his back before he can get up, grab the keys and his wallet and leave.....my husband is the A) work center supervisor B) Command fitness leader(meaning he has to run PT at least 3-4 days a week at the butt crack of dawn) C) career counselor D) member of the multi-cultural commitee...did i mention he works an hour away from home and thats if there is no back-up in the tunnel..and if you are familiar with VA you know what i am talking about,...



he will pick the baby up from daycare if i can't, or even if i can and just want him to do it because i'm cooking or leaving school or work, he will cook, take care of the kids, i am not ashamed to say that he cleans better that i do and enjoys it. he plays with the kids and spoils them. will take them to activities. He washes laundry, folds and puts it away. he just washed my truck so well on his day off i almost thought he bought me a new one, and it smelled like the east side of heaven when i got in, all because i said i needed to clean it because the kids wreck it often and he didnt want me to get wet at the car wash...and i "shouldn't have to wash my car, i'm married"...



Now before we say o he does them because you work..he did them when i was only working 2 weekends a month and hadn't started back to school yet. He knew i had been taking care of the house and the kids all day, he knew what went into keeping sane while paying bills, shopping, dropping kids off and picking them up, teaching them, taking them to the park, making and going to appts etc and when he got home all he wanted and still wants is 30 minutes for a shower and shave and he's all about his family.



Sometimes i could say i hate that he has duty so for one night a week we go 30+ hours without him, i can't stand that when he thinks he is getting off at four he calls me from the ship at 5 saying that he had to go to a unplanned meeting or a captains call, or when he has to leave for days, hours, weeks, months. I didn't know exactly how it would work but this is what it is for us...now for those not married to my husbands or any of his brothers and cousins....if you dont like it change it....there are 2 sides to the bed...the closet...make seperate laundry bags...make enough food for you and the kids, if he can't understand english when you ask for help then you pull out your 7th grade french when he wants something....o you don't have clean socks for work....what a pity....did you want to borrow mine, they are clean and smell like a dream...they may have bunnies on them, but you arent taking your boots off are you....now i will say in the mans defense that when you are a sahm, doing for the household does include him as well. you don't do his job, at least i know i have never been in the horn of africa with a gun trained on a ship full of pirates that have their missile launcher pointing at me for hours straight, so assume for the most part...you ladies haven't either...and since you can't...i can see where he would feel that if you are home then you chose with him or without him to care for the house and for the most part, it is up to you. but he should help...though we can't always help him at work. now with my 3 year old when he can't do what he is supposed to we simply say..you choose or I choose....and he always chooses...to do what we want instead of the consequences...if he is acting like he is 3....then feel free to use that....

Desiree - posted on 09/19/2010

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i understand the feeling and when ive said anything im the bad guy. hell say he does things around here. but i have to yell about it till things get done. im with my daughter 24/7 never a break. never one moment to myself. i even had him tell me the other day when she was crying to take her bc he just didnt want to deal with it. i dnt get that opportunity to have someone else take care of her for a minute. he gets deployed in two months so ik i shldnt complain but i am. he needs to spend more time with her but he cares more about the tv it seems like. sometimes i just wanna scream!

Michelle - posted on 09/16/2010

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I totally know how you feel. I have to do everything around the house pluse im a college student so its very hard when your husband wont help. One day i had a break down because of all the stress and he acted like he had no idea why i had it, well duh maybe if i had help i wouldnt be upset. I know how it is to be a soldier i was on active duty for almost 3yrs till i had my son and ya they have alot on there mind but when your at home you need to be a husband and father leave work at work, it took me a good while to get him to realize that i cant do everything and he helps out a lil more so hang in there.

Amber - posted on 09/15/2010

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Yes, I feel the same way. My husband used to be really bad about putting his friends and work before the kids and me. He still does it sometimes now but not as much. I threw a fit with him and packed up the kids and told him I'm already doing this alone so I might as well make it where they aren't crying everytime he leaves for work because they are scared he won't come back. After he saw I wasn't joking he started trying to help a little more. My husband and I were young when we had our oldest but he wasn't to young to start acting like a grownup. He was 20 and I was 22. It took us 6 years and a lot of drama before he started helping more. I still resent the military and a lot of the guys that work with him but that's because half of them are single and want the married guys to hang out at bars and strip clubs with them and the others that are married just cheat. There are only a few married guys in that unit that are really good guys. Maybe its just the unit tho? You aren't alone on how you're feeling. It sucks being married into the military.

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I usually have to ask my husband to take a STEP BACK when he comes home as I have things running a certain way and him adding his bit upsets the order. He does take offence sometimes but once he has been home a month or so he can realise that all is okay.

Hannah - posted on 09/14/2010

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Rindy: What hours does your husband work? Mine is also a recruiter and he never seems to work normal hours.. Im trying to figure out if its just his office or if its like that everywhere

Megan - posted on 09/13/2010

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I feel like that all the time. My husband doesn't change a single diaper. He barely spends anytime with him. He is in the army but i don't think that is an excuse.

[deleted account]

Military life...it's fustrating. However, I can't be too mad about it. I knew my husband was in the military when I married him. However, I had this vision that we'd be splitting all the parental duties 50/50. When reality set it, I could hear my mom's voice echo in the back of my head 'When you're a mom, you will do most of the work.'. I try not to take it out on my husband, but it's hard sometimes. I think that's the biggest struggle of being in a military family. Stay positive. Try to get some time for yourself (I'm really bad about that). Just know that you're a great mom and your kid(s) will appreciate all that you do when they're grown up. Sometimes I try to take a step back and see my husband's side of things. It's hard, but maybe that will help some.

Desiree - posted on 09/11/2010

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i'm with you. it did/does seem easier when he's away. we visited his parents last month and they told me to make him do things to help out because how they saw it, it was like i had a fourth child to take care of. he does try to help in his own way- he'll cook a dinner here and there and dirty every dish and not do the dishes, or he just won't help out with anything all day, he'll get on the computer for the entire day and play star craft- he just came back from deployment in july, so for a little awhile, i was letting him do the things he didn't get to, and he got spoiled lol now he's gone again for about month...and it's back to doing things on my own again. lol at times i feel resentful, but he always ends up rectifying the situation before i reach a breaking point :)

Jeri - posted on 09/10/2010

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Had this problem too. I couldnt deal with the little amount of time he would give me and his daughter when he was around.. Not working... He had leave and everything and pushed us off to the side before he got 1 year in Japan. And his family couldnt go with him. Lets just say, things didnt work out and he will be home this month. Getting divorced now.

Dorene - posted on 09/10/2010

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It's normal to be a bit resentful; you've been running the show whether or not he's home. We had to make huge adjustments when my husband returned from being out to sea & started shore duty. He has missed so much & it pains him to be reminded. However, we have a had a few conflicts because he can't just be the "fun" parent, but things have gotten better now. He's on recruiting orders now & the hours are irregular, long & sometimes 6 days a week. I saw him more when he was on a ship. I'm a stay-at-home mom & I'm lucky that he respects what I do. However, on the rare occassion he gives me crap, I remind him that when I did work part-time, he asked me not to work any more than 6 hours, because he couldn't do it. :-) Sometimes when I've reached my limit, I do yell that I've managed to run things solo for the last 4 1/2 years! All that said, we all have our ups & downs; however, it is not the military's fault people are unhappy. Personalities would be the same in the civilian world as well. If you're unhappy, do something about it. We discussed parenting styles even before the kids were born; things change, but your underlying ideals do not. Do not blame the military for all your woes; if you're not satisfied with your domestic partner than tell him/her. Things won't change unless you take the initiative. Your life (children's included) is what YOU make it.

Amy - posted on 09/10/2010

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Yes, but probably for different or similar reasons. In my opinion, a lot of the military is who you know... I see and have dealt with Soldiers kissing butt on and off duty. i feel like my husband cannot say no to anyone BUT me. his buddies want to go out and drink, he does, they want to go eat during lunch, instead of coming home, he does.. etc.. so yes, i feel like a single parent all the time. plus, he's gone ALL the time. He got back from his tour in Iraq, then went to AIT (re-enlisted & reclassed), then moved to Fort Drum, where he immediately got picked for sniper upon inprocessing. He is either gone sometime every month, or gone for the whole month. he was in LA training, right now he's in VT, home for 3 days and then off again to AZ, then some time home then off to LA again. all leading up to another deployment in Afghanistan. when he is here, he pretty much ignores our 2yr old daughter and i. doesn't help with anything around the house, and just sits on the computer or phone all day doing god knows what. i want to know, what happened to the "army family" or the values? what happened to the days where NCO's weren't supposed to hang out and drink with lower enlisted soldiers? almost everyone who he works with are single soldiers and he tends to forget that he is married and has a family.

Elizabeth - posted on 09/09/2010

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I feel the same way most of the time. I'm not sure if he just doesn't realize I need help, but I feel as if I shouldn't have to ask for it. I get really upset and he says "All you have to do is ask me!" I understand he has been working all day and wants to come home and relax, but I'm tired too. I will give him credit: He puts the dishes away and cleans up after dinner and get our little girl ready for bed. But everything else I do (getting kids' baths, laundry, cooking and cleaning) and I feel he does the easy stuff. But I'm glad he helps.

Rindy - posted on 09/09/2010

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My husband hasn't been deployed since we've been together and with the job he has now (a recruiter) the hours are somewhat predictable and hes home most every night. still I'm a single parent since he doesn't have any desire to do much of anything for or with our daughter. I just mentioned that to him last night but all ya get is the annoyed face. I will give him props that he just kinda blends at home. This is my domain and its not a huge power struggle to keep the household running. From what i've seen its more or less like this: He goes to work busts his butt to make a paycheck and doesn't want to do anything he doesn't want to do at home.

Kendra - posted on 09/09/2010

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My husband has never been deployed but when he was going through AIT i felt like a single parent sometimes. We just had our daughter at the time and he was in class all day and night and had pt. he wouldnt get home until 1 am. So for the first month or so i felt like i was the only parent. now it is much better but he just mentioned to me the other day how he wasnts to switch his MOS which means more AIT. this time however, i will not be able to go with him and we are having our second child in about 6 months. so when this does happen i will be all alone, taking care of a 2 year old and a 6 month old. this is something im not looking forward to and i am beginning to be resentful when i think about it. but i know this is how the army is and i just have to suck it up.

Erin - posted on 09/09/2010

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Heather- My husband was the same way when it came to the kids behavior when he was deployed. I know he would rather be with his family but in the long run the responsibility layed on my shoulders for everything else. He told me all the time that he wouls switch places with me any day. He just does not realize what he would be walking into!!!!

Heather - posted on 09/09/2010

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My husband and I actually discussed this last night. He is in Gulfport waiting to be deployed to Afghanistan and I feel like a single parent all the time. I have 4 kids at home and 2 step daughters. I feel like it is my job to deal with all the troubles at home alone. How can someone who is 850 miles away deal with a tantrum? Apparently I was wrong. Our 3 year old decided to throw a tantrum about 5 seconds before he Skyped. I answered the call and she was scremaing and no one could hear anything so I hung up the call to deal with the issue. When we talked later after the kids went to bed I learned that even though he is so far he does not feel that it is my job to deal with it all alone. His thinking was he is on there, she can see him, she can hear him, he could have dealt with it. Or at least tried to. I felt bad afterwards for taking that away from him but I also felt a lot better knowing that he didn't expect me to deal with everything by myself. I know that there won't be as much he can do as if he were here but knowing that he still wants to be involved as much as possible made it a lot more comforting.

Julianne - posted on 09/09/2010

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YES!! If I ask my husand to do anything it takes at least a month to even enter into his mind that he might want to start thinking about getting whatever done!!! Part of being a military spouse, I guess? Your not alone!!!!

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