Mariah - posted on 11/13/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )
So numbers wise this is where we sit: currently spending about $600-$700/month on daycare [includes gas/food/time to pick up & drop off] we only have one car and he can't drive a standard so transportation is all on me. After taxes & deductions he earns about $1200/month if his hours are steady or closer to $800/month if not, I earn $1800/month on salary. I have type 1 diabetes so I need insurance. He is healthy and doesn't like paying for his insurance out of his checks as they are slim as it is. Our daughter is on CHIP so we don't need to worry about her insurance.
He is going through a period of not working due to an injured hand. With no short term disability or worker's comp insurance we took our daughter out of daycare because we just couldn't afford it. He's been doing great with her and seems to be enjoying the role of a SAHD for the most part. I can see the difference in her as she is on a more regular schedule with eating, napping and sleeping. We both felt guilty that someone else was raising our daughter and have been looking for a way to make it work where one of us was at home with her. Also when he finally sat down to look at the numbers we both agreed that it doesn't make sense for us both to be working. I've suggested to him that he should stay home. If he were to stay home I could easily take on more hours to make up the difference in income and we would still qualify for more assistance food stamp wise as we only get WIC right now. I could even go back to school so I could better my chances of finding better employment if the need arises. He wasn't completely adverse to the idea but still wants to return to work at least until the end of the year. In the mean time it's back to taking her to daycare, adding an extra hour to my commute each way.
The thing that has been bugging me is the argument we had over the housework not getting done. He wouldn't do the dishes for several days because "I didn't make those dishes, so why should I clean them?" I feel that if someone is home all day it is their responsibility to keep up with cleaning a few things each day and not letting it go until everything is dirty and unusable. He is of the opinion that everyone should clean up after themselves and he will not lift a finger to clean anything that isn't directly his mess. Now I might leave a bowl or cup out for a day but I am pretty good at getting my dirty dishes to the sink and rinsed. Everyday I come home from work and immediately take over baby minding. Then I clean the kitchen so I can cook & serve dinner, afterwards I bathe our daughter & put her down to bed. So to me it seems reasonable that I would want a break on cleaning up the dinner dishes.
I even asked him at the end of the argument if he would expect me to keep up with the house being clean if it were me at home. He said "Yeah I'd expect it but it probably wouldn't happen. I mean it took you a month to wash a load of my pants." He was basing the first part of his statement off of a time 3 years ago when I was unemployed for 5 months and all I had to look after was the 2 of us. I thought I had done a good job by keeping the house presentable, cooking dinner for him every night, keeping up with the dishes and not letting them pile up, and getting the laundry taken care of with no help from him. What he saw was that there wasn't anything I was doing because he never saw any mess and always came home to me on my computer. I was on the computer because I had finished my chores and was looking for work online or taking a break and playing a video game. The second part of his statement was in regards to the last 5 weeks when he was home and I was expecting him to take care of things like doing laundry, dishes, and general clean up. He thought that all he had to do was mind our daughter until I got home. His attitude towards cleaning also leads to the common rooms getting unreasonably dirty to the point that it ends up being me that cleans them because I can't stand it anymore. Regardless of the fact that it's his dirty laundry all over the place and the dog's hair all over the floor. I made an appeal to him for us to work together as a team to stay on top of keeping the house clean and that I'm willing to help out by doing one of the chores that he absolutely hates [laundry] and cooking or buying dinner after work.
The other major issue that I've seen come up is that I spend my weekends getting up early with our daughter while he sleeps in and I pretty much spend the entire day with our daughter. The last part is the highlight of my day but also hinders me completing all my chores and leaves me with no real social life to speak of. Meanwhile he goes off with his friends to do the things we used to enjoy together but now he never wants to do as a family unit because it's too much of a hassle or he doesn't want to be 'that guy who brings a baby' to [inset restaurant/park/place]. I practically have to twist his arm to get him to do anything just the 3 of us and when he does agree it's because there is something of benefit to him by going.
I want to know if there's any different ways I can approach these issues to get us to a happier medium.