How can I encourage my husband to start helping with bath and bedtime?

Meg - posted on 06/01/2012 ( 23 moms have responded )

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He often expresses concern about lateness of bedtime (sometimes as late as ten, but then again the child still naps), but he won't assist with dishes, bath, dressing for bed or teeth brushing unless I ask. And many times he won't do it until minutes or hours after I have asked, which kind of defeats the purpose. To avoid constantly fighting, I just end up doing everything, which i really resent. I am tired from working all day (I am the main earner too!) so when he refuses to proactively and/or cooperatively help, it basically means I don't get as much rest as I need. Help! I am thinking of suggesting counseling to address his very frustrating procrastination!! Any thoughts?

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Maria - posted on 06/05/2012

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You for one should not be thinking of it as Helping you, its his responsibility as well. It really bothers me when I hear about men taking a seat and making the little woman do it all.
Have you tried telling him how burnt out you are and that having him do something would benefit the both of you? If that doesn't work, then I would go with counseling. Raising a child is a partnership, its not a one person job unless it has to be.

Good Luck!

Rebecca - posted on 06/03/2012

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try counseling. Sometimes dads are better when kids are older. In the meantime, it's tough on you. Is he better at certain tasks, something like going to the store or taking your child out? If counseling doesn't help. try reading the Solo Partner by Phil deLuca. take care of yourself as much as you can.Sometimes it is better to do it yourself, or hire someone to help, and quit asking him, but that is not an easy solution.

Anna - posted on 06/13/2012

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Unfortunately, some men just don't get it, no matter how many times you tell them. They act like we're nagging them so it's just easier for me to do things myself too. I work too. In the 2 yrs since I had my son, my husband never once got up to help at night or let me sleep in on the weekends. I look at it as his loss spending extra quality time with my son, my gain.

Steph - posted on 06/04/2012

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im in a similar position with my partner,ive just come to realise he is a dead beat and we are on the verge of seperating after 8 yrs together, he shouts at the kids, doesnt do bedtime,bathtime,play with them etc unless i ask,and im tired of asking as i would do it faster and better myself without complaining from him,im a very strong minded independant woman and ive told him the relationship has reached a dead end,he is no help to me so there fore is no longer required in my life he is just a weight on my shoulders,i feel so much better,my eldest was upset but on hearing that he would still see "dad" every day hes now ok.i wish u the very best with ur problem but i would kick him to the curb personally!

Alison - posted on 06/04/2012

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I agree with trying counseling. We have the same issues here. Except I do everything and we STILL fight! lol We have been to counseling and it has helped. I am also seriously considering a chore chart. I think he needs something visual. I saw a bunch of cute ideas for some on Pinterest. Good luck :)

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Julie - posted on 06/17/2012

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The next time your husband, "expresses concern" simply say this, "If it is THAT important to you then do it yourself. Otherwise, it's not THAT important! This leaves the ball in his court and no one to blame but himself.
Second, don't "ask him to help" Tell him, "You are taking bedtime on blank days, and I will cover the rest." If you have a verbal or even written schedule, the procrastination will be less. If he questions you, remind him of your work load being larger, and his need to pull his own weight. Not to mention spend time with the kids. My husband loves doing bedtime routine because its the only time he can get some nights of the week. This should not need counseling, but I am also not apposed. It can be an alternative to the schedule? He may be more likely to try it your way first :)

Emma - posted on 06/06/2012

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I have a 2 mth old and when I was pregnant my husband didn't even buy 1 thing for the baby i was really starting to get used to doing it all on my own and I worked f/t till my son was 7 days over due the next day I went into labour and after he was born at first I mean for the 1st 6 days he helped not till 2 weeks ago had he ever changed a nappy ,put him to sleep, or even held him for a long period it kills me and I still think every day what will tommrow b like just take it day by day and praise them when they do help my son spent 7 days in the royal children's hospital really sick at first they thought it was a majior heart problem and ever séance then he has changed he helps with lots and always offers to help more but I don't take much many he no's that I won't make him change him it really Jett's that it took so
Something so tragic as we thort we may lose our son for him to show more care/love and they should want to bath there baby at least once in a while the bonding things but in hospital he was great the nerse all told him he was the best dad and he always brings it up and dose things to help and I can tell he feels proud now I really hope this helps hav a talk with him about missing them when there small one day he will wake up and they will b grown these are the days,months,hours that count hav a good chat to him and counseling is a great idea even try find a male one so he hears it from another dad not a women good luck sweety x

Meg - posted on 06/04/2012

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Hey everyone -- our situations are all unique but I REALLY appreciate all your feedback. I will say that a.) i try my best to use positive encouragement.praise and not judge when he does help and it goes a long way. b.) my husband has his own 'business' which is mostly him sitting in front of the computer all day at home while the kid is in daycare so he has to work a lot more hours than when he had a better paying job with benefits, and c.) you're all correct in that it's best not to blow up.

I just try to be really matter-of-fact and say "could you please do X so we can get to bed on time" and then sometimes he does it and sometimes not. I think it's more of a personality thing with my husband in that he absolutely resists anyone telling him what do do... he says it's because I don't like the way he does things (which I think is mostly a convenient excuse) because I really try not to criticize or judge the way he does something (although i am sure sometimes I still do).

To those of you who are splitting up -- my sincere best wishes for your future happiness. It can't be easy. I am not willing to divorce him over this stuff as I love who he is, the way he is, so I guess I am saying none of this is a deal breaker. I will try more positive reinforcement in all kinds of forms ;)

Amanda - posted on 06/04/2012

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For the last year and a half I've made bath time my husbands responsibility. We take turns putting putting our son to bed, (teeth brushed, potty, story time) its worked really well, now instead of just mommy story time we have daddy story time too, and both my son and husband are happy about the bonding time. If something bothers you, address it right away, don't hold it in, you'll end up exploding at your husband.

JERRI - posted on 06/04/2012

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Hello

Good point to bring up!

It definitely is a never ending battle and women usually do more of every aspect. I try to make sure he knows the "routine." ......kids bedtime....snack, vitamin, pj's, hair, teeth, face, book, bed.I sort, wash, dry, fold, laundry and leave on bed, he puts it away. I wash dishes he puts away. His bathroom is his responsibility to clean. And I agree with above comments ......dont complain...SAD BUT TRUE! Any toys or things he plays with children he makes sure they are our away.

He does play well with the toddlers so I don't mind so much because sometimes I just don't want to talk, explain, answer one more thing.

Make sure to say I need you to .....will you do "this" for me as part of the daily routine, I need help......instead of blowing up. While all this sounds like a lot I still feel frustration over him not contributing to all the household responsibilities. It is natural. So pick your battles. What can you live with and what is a deal breaker?







Good luck!!!!!

Sirisha - posted on 06/04/2012

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why don't you have a frank talk,present your view point and ask what he thinks,try to make him understand how tough it is for you,
all the best,love urself and trust in GOD to take u through the tough times

Susan - posted on 06/04/2012

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im the same as you right now im the one that goes out to work and my fiance watches other daughters but when i come home nothing is done :( i need to do everything in the house and pay all the bills ok he gets the girls to bed thats about it & watches them when im at work but im meant to be getting married on 31st aug but not sure if i want to marry him or not if he is going to be like this when we are married :(

Marie - posted on 06/04/2012

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It took me a super long txt msg 4 me 2 get thru 2 my fiance. He's been absolutely wonderful since. U can try it & c if it works 4 u.

Leslie - posted on 06/03/2012

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I withheld sex because I was "too tired" from having to do EVERYTHING and "magically" he started helping out!

Meghyn - posted on 06/03/2012

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I think you should definitely try counseling.. my husband was the same way, only he'd say he'd do it and never actually do it. He never once got up in the middle of the night when our son was an infant or diapers, bath, feeding etc. i talked, asked, begged until i was blue in the face and i told him i resented him and he refused to go to counseling and subsequently we are in the process of a divorce. I couldnt take it anymore. If i was going to be a single mom I was going to do it by myself with out all the frustrations. Do whatever you can to fix it before it gets to the point we're at. I hope you can find a common ground with your husband.

Susan - posted on 06/03/2012

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I completely understand where you are coming from. If you keep showing him you can do it all he is never gonna know that you need help. Don't let it get so bad that you blow up - communication really goes a long way. If he easlily approached just ask if y'all could sit and chat (maybe over a glass of wine/ or beer) and just explain to him that you are overwhelmed and you really need some help (trust in the strength of your relationship - he can't read your mind). Make a list of chores and pick and choose which you would like him to do and which you can do. Don't EVER complain about the way he does things - the goal is getting it done not who is better. My husband and I do it together. We have a schedule and it is fun and we both get to have quality time not stressed out time. We give him a bath about 7:30 - I start the water running and I do the bath, he gets him out of the tub and dresses him. Most of the time I rock him to sleep after reading a few books. Some nights I need a break or to get something done and he will lay him down after a few books. I am currently unemployed so I do the housework and clean up from dinner after the baby is down and he comes in and plays the guitar or his video game. It is hard to make a routine with all of the other days ins and outs, but it is best for you and your husband so you may have quality time together or each doing something different that is relaxing. I wish you well and hopefully your hubby is easy to talk to and things will ease up for you. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Also to make it easier to talk to him maybe counseling would not be a bad idea.

Amanda - posted on 06/03/2012

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I definitely agree with counseling. If he is home with the kids all day, he could be feeling overwhelmed just like us stay at home moms. I know it's frustrating, cause you both probably feel like you more than your fair share. Just learn to recognize each other's feelings and agree to work together.

Jessica - posted on 06/03/2012

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I'm following this because I'm in the same situation. Ty for asking and Ty for replies.

Tricia - posted on 06/03/2012

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Ask really nicely! I know we feel our husbands should just know what to do but they are not mind readers and after years of thinking that way I have learned! lol I notice that when I ask my husband super nicely he does it right away with no problem but if I say it in an annoyed voice he gets annoyed. But my husband is the main provider and I am the stay at home mom so I don't ask him to do much but he does do the dishes, laundry and garbage without being asked so I can't complain there but with the stuff with our son (bath, teeth etc...) I think he automatically thinks it's my job but I don't mind since he does those other things almost daily. But since you are the main provider you need more help...have you sat and told him how you feel? Tried asking super nicely? Counseling can help too but some men won't go without a fight! Good luck :)

Christine - posted on 06/03/2012

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Sure is nice to have it come natural, but UNFORTUNATELY it just doesnt for some... Good luck :(
Maybe try saying something like..''The faster I get the kids in bed, maybe I can have time to give you a footrub( the 1 on 1 time w/ you two is FOR YOU BOTH, so)..'' As we know we dont like bribery, but if it works , yeah :).
I let my husband know when he tucks our daughter in ( helping ) ''how it REALLY made her night & thats priceless ".. its all about not so much 'kissing butt', but showing him other ways you appreciate it, with out harsh neg words if he doesnt help.. Its not done often, but i do need to praise him when he does it.

Ginger - posted on 06/02/2012

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reward his good behavior... lol Focusing on what he does right and giving him positive rewards will encourage him to do more of that.

Katherine - posted on 06/01/2012

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My ex used to do the same thing until I was SO exhausted I started crying. He then would get home from work and let me sleep for 4 hours. Counseling is a great idea. We did it and it helped until he lost his job and insurance. Anyways we made up a chore chart. And on that chart was who was responsible for what each day. It worked pretty well. Maybe you could try that?

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