Mina - posted on 03/25/2014 ( no moms have responded yet )
I am a physician and dad who works around 55-60 hours a week at a very intense job. I work weekends, evening, and sometimes 9pm to midnight. I am the primary breadwinner and bring home 5 times as much as my wife who is also a physician mainly because my specialty is more demanding and pays more. My wife's career is very important to her and she works about 23 hours a week. We have a 17 month old and a 4 year old. We have no family suport.
I am a very dedicated dad and spend a lot of time with kids. I give them baths, brush their teeth, tuck them in when I can. I play with them all the time. I'll take my daughter out of the house to fun places such as the beach, park, botanical gardens, etc. Recently I've been able to take them both out as my son is easier to handle now that he is 17 months. My wife just went to spain for 1 week with her family while I had the kids. I've taught my 4 year old daughter to read at a 3rd grade level by spending 30-60 minutes teaching her every day. My sons first word was dada and when given the choice will come to me over mom. It's just in my personality to be a very engaging, active dad. Lately however I haven't been a very good husband and am getting frustrated with my wife.
Childcare has always been issue every since our oldest was born. At that time she worked 3 days a week but sent our daughter to daycare 5 full days a week... I could tell that childcare/homelife isn't my wife's cup of tea and she doesn't enjoy it as much as some other natural moms or even me. It actually stresses her out more than work in my opinion. Why else send your kid to daycare on your day off? When my daughter was 2 we had a full time nanny.. she worked 5 days a week at the time seeing patients in the morning but no afternoon clinic... if she were proactive she would have come home around 2 or 3 but instead she would come home at 5.. she did have other responsibilities but not enough to justify coming home by 5. I personally think the will to come home and spend as much time with our daughter just wasn't there.
Taking care of the home can not be part of the problem. We have cleaners come every 2 weeks so there is no heavy cleaning. She does do the shopping. Nanny helps some with house works such as dinner prep and laundry. I actually help a lot too but now only cook occasionly.
After our son was born we have been using a full time nanny. Initially she was 40 hours a week all during the day... She dialed it down to 35 hours to study for law school. At my insistence I got her to have her come one evening so I actually get a break. My wife was so considerate she first had the nanny just come during the day while she was off and during the days she worked. Didn't even think about dad working 55 hours and constantly helping at home.
Currently my nanny works mon 3-8, tuesday 7:30-5:30, thursday 7:30-5:30, and friday 7:30-5:30. Wife works Tuesday 8-5, thursday 8-5, and friday 8-1. so my wife basically gets a break from the kids monday 3-8 and friday 1-5:30. We even use an occasional sitter for Thursday nights because she is exhausted after work and on Saturday mornings. I was getting my break Monday night. On weekends and evening I help out but we have come to terms that she should do more. I don't have time for any "manly chores" such as mowing the lawn just because I'm expected to help out with the kids. Personally I don't mind our current arrangement and like being with the kids. The occasional thursday and weekend help helped a lot as I felt like I was getting help too... not just my wife.
Here is the new problem. Our nanny is about to leave for law school. Kids are old enough for school. My wife wants to put them both in school 9-3 on the days she works and just the older one on the days she is off. She want to hire a $15/hr nanny to get the kids ready in the morning and pick them up on the days she works (3 days a week). On some of the days she wants to pay the nanny during the 9-3 period to do housework. To me this is a ridiculous waste of money. We should be able to do a before/after school program and have the kids in school 8-5. We should be doing the drop off/pick up and save the $100 a day nanny. We should not be paying the nanny another $100 on some days just to do laundry, load the dish washer, and prep a dinner. If we just suck it up and drop off/pick up on the days my wife works we can use the saved money for evening/weekend help.
My wife doesn't think she can get ready for work and also drop the kids off. I offered to do it just to prove to her that people can do this and do it all the time. What's even more annoying is that her work might be flexible enough for her to change her hours... she could work 11-5 2 days a week and 8-5 one day a week and easily be able to drop of the kids 2 days a week. She could even make it 9-5 2 days a week and 10-5 on day a week the other day and drop off every day. She eats what she kills and she will kill the same amount no matter how she breaks up her 23 hours. It doesn't even occur to her these common sense solutions. The solution is always to hire a nanny or get dad to help!
This is a common problem I think with Indian mothers. They are not as do it yourself or strong as other american moms. They have the money to hire help and do it all the time to make their life very easy. I know stay at home indian moms who have day nannies, evening nannies, weekend nannies, cleaners.. I know stay at home indian moms whose mothers or mother in laws live with them and help out. My wife actually works harder than these other moms.
Any advice? Should I just not care and spoil my wife? I have the money. Shouldn't i just be happy providing all this help and giving her the good life?