Do SAHMs have more marriage problems than working moms?

Melissa - posted on 08/26/2011 ( 41 moms have responded )

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I am asking because the SAHM circle is full of hubby problem questions..including one by myself. Its the same old story. Hubby's expect us to do everything and don't share responsibilities with the children and many hubby's do what they want when they want knowing that us moms are home to take care of kids so we rarely if ever get a break.....don't get me wrong being a SAHM is a blessing and a job I take very seriously but We all deserve a break for our sanity, and want hubby's to be more understanding to our needs.

So while every marriage has its problems, do working moms have the same issues or are they happier because they get adult time?

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Amanda - posted on 08/26/2011

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I have been a SAHM for 13 years. I am very happy. I get breaks, my husband does work around the house, and helps out with the children. I even get to hit a bar once in a while with the girls. This isnt because my hubby is superman, or the greatest hubby in the world. Its because I speak up and tell him what I need in life. I ask for help when I need help.

Alicia - posted on 08/29/2011

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I used to be a working mom and even after I got home from working 8-10 hrs I still had to cook, clean and take care of the kids. Then after that I became a SAHM and I must say the only difference is that I don't go to work, except during the school year I go to school while my kids are at school. I do think working have the same issues.

Tah - posted on 08/28/2011

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my husband is military and sometimes works for 2 days straight with maybe 2 hours of sleep. i am home for the most part, have school 5 days a week and when the scheduler called and says "please Tah, we don't have anybody that will come in"..i usually cave, because i do love what i do..,mostly. there are days at work, i don't eat, i don't pee, the doctor talks to me like im an idiot and family seems to expect you to be a miracle worker and the patient thinks you are an idiot as well..but it is still a chance to be more than just "mom mom mom, she hit me, i can't find my karate belt, im hungry..again, o you mean i can't write on the wall..hmm who knew?"...

my husband though he is gone alot and works long hours will come home and tell me to do homework or lay down and take over, carpool the kids etc, clean the house, but i don't see it being as much his job as it is mine. i like him to come home to dinner being done, or in the making, a clean house and be able to relax. Yes he will come home and take on homework with the 2 oldest and play with the youngest after his shower, but i don't want him to have to come and do things that are apart of what being a SAHM are. yes breaks are deserved and im not saying as moms we don't need them or earn them but when you choose to be a sahm you do give up some of this if not most of it. Now there does need to be some communication, and im not saying he comes home and watches you lose your mind. The community i live is all military and 95% of the wives are SAHMs and i can honestly say, just from what i see here, the sahms are having more problems with their marriages, but then this is limited to what i see. I have also seen some of the wives go to work even part-time and admit they feel better, are happier, easier to deal with and its a break, and helps them focus on them a little more.

Sal - posted on 08/28/2011

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People who have unrealistic ideas or differing ideas to their partner about being a Sahm or a working mum and don't communicate about them have problems. I a
Stay home it was my choice 100% And I see the job aright s running the house hold not just child minding, i am constantly amazed by mums on the Sahm Page who think their bunnies should work full time then cone home and do house work, if hubby is dos. With this well and good but if he is expting a clean house a d dinner and you don't see that as your job there is boing to be issues. If it is working mum and she is expecting help st home and hubby won't then they will have issues to I don't think it is more one or the other but Sahm probing have more time go co
Their probs and working mums chat about it at work with other mums who understand

[deleted account]

If brad worked 13 hour days I would do the same thing emma. Brad is only out of the house for 7-9 hours though.

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Patricia - posted on 09/06/2011

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even when i communicate he says i understad but would do anthing not to do it

Patricia - posted on 09/06/2011

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yes mine will do any thing he cn to et out of helpin out or watcgin the kids he makes me so mad

Stifler's - posted on 08/28/2011

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I think a lot of the "SAHM" community are really into having spotless houses, everything done and stuff or their husband expects that which is unrealistic when they have small kids who pull toys out and don't confine them to their bedrooms all day. Or they've elevated every task to a level of immense difficulty. Because we boil the copper up and use the mangle and get down on our hands and knees scrubbing the floor in 2011.

[deleted account]

yes. i go to school full time and i still do 90% of the cleanings, and 95% or the childcare and cooking.

Melissa - posted on 08/28/2011

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You know for me my hubby works at home...Sooo maybe that is the problem...lol!!!!!!

[deleted account]

I'm not really sure if this was mean tto be a debate or not, but here's my 2 cents. ANY marriage is suscecptile to problems whether there is a SAHm parent, 2 working parents, or 2 unemployed parents. It's simply the communication that plays a huge part on how to force through and discuss those challenges as they arise. If SAHMs feel they have problems and challenges, evaluate their hubby's work schedule. We are long past the traditonal 50's 9-5 job M-F mentality. If 1 parent is out of the house for 12+ hours a day, well then of course a SAHm is going to perceieve that all of the household stuff is dumped on them. Speak up and ask for help. To debate teh other side, as a working mom, I often feel that my house is the very last thing to take care of becasue I am absorbed with work or doing things with my son when not working. But hubby and I communicate really well and we prioritize things. So I honestly do not feel that a SAHM has more martial problems, unless they perceive those problems for themselves. Working moms have marital problems just as much as SAHMs, but it all goes back to communication.

Sal - posted on 08/28/2011

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People who have unrealistic ideas or differing ideas to their partner about being a Sahm or a working mum and don't communicate about them have problems. I a
Stay home it was my choice 100% And I see the job aright s running the house hold not just child minding, i am constantly amazed by mums on the Sahm Page who think their bunnies should work full time then cone home and do house work, if hubby is dos. With this well and good but if he is expting a clean house a d dinner and you don't see that as your job there is boing to be issues. If it is working mum and she is expecting help st home and hubby won't then they will have issues to I don't think it is more one or the other but Sahm probing have more time go co
Their probs and working mums chat about it at work with other mums who understand

Sal - posted on 08/28/2011

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I think people who have unrealistic expectations and dont communicate with their partners have marriage problems regardless of their occupations. I am Sahm And it was my choice 100% I accept that my job (and I do see it as my j

Stifler's - posted on 08/27/2011

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If Damian worked 8 hour shifts he would have to help a lot more. Things would be a lot easier but harder financially.

Stifler's - posted on 08/27/2011

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I think we'd probably have more problems if I worked. I would expect him to cook, clean and get up at night on weekdays if I worked too. At the moment I let him sleep because he operates heavy machinery. I cook because the kids are hungry long before he's due home. I wash because I have 13 hours of the day to do it while he's gone I don't feel the need to make him do it himself just to make a point. There would be way less time to do anything and we'd spend all our home time cleaning and crap instead of spending leisurely time together.

Melissa - posted on 08/27/2011

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Johny it really is soo rewarding and aside form my small 10hr a week job I just took I wouldn't have it any other way...Just wish some hubby's weren't so selfish...maybe they have a bit of resentment about it..i don't know..



Hopefully you will one day be able to find a job that makes you happy and not so stressful....sorry to hear that about your job..Im sure it makes everything harder.

Rosie - posted on 08/27/2011

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i'm sorry you can't stay home like you want to johnny!! :(
when i worked fulltime it was very stressful to me as well, but i got to be away from the tantrums and cleaning for awhile. i do agree that you just have to do that when you get home, but i think that also has a lot to do with how we are expected to do it all, and our partners (general our) lack of helping out at home.

Melissa - posted on 08/27/2011

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Jullianne can you have your hubby talk to all of ours that are being a pain in the butt...lol ...I have to say my hubby never complains when I ask for help cleaning..our main issue is he does whatever he wants whenever and his selfish ways take priority over my wants or desires. Because I am SAHM for the most part its just assumed Ill be there 24/7 to watch our LO.... I guess in my case its a matter of our dynamics

Johnny - posted on 08/27/2011

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Work may be a "break" for some people. For me it is an 8 hour ceaseless slog. I nearly peed myself on Thursday while stuck on the phone with an irate customer whose 2 million dollar order was being mis-shipped by one of our warehouses elsewhere in the country. I'd honestly rather be at home with my daughter throwing a tantrum than be raked over the coals like that. At least at the end of the tantrum I might get a hug.



I guess I'm experiencing the opposite. It is a lot of work to be a SAHM. I'm not trying to take away from that. But for me, it was so much more rewarding and meaningful, and that made never peeing alone worth it. And at least I could pee... that was nice too.



I also had a husband who values and understands the importance of that "at home" work and how much it really takes. So I always felt appreciated and understood. He knew it was important for me to have a break. Now we don't have the luxury of that choice, and it causes tension.

Melissa - posted on 08/27/2011

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Tah: I just started a pt (2 day a week/4-5hrs a day) job and it really really is therapeutic....Just getting out of the house and talking to adults and getting paid for it is a nice break for me.

Rosie - posted on 08/27/2011

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i think men AND women have unrealistic expectations of what it means to be a SAHM. i think they just assume that the woman does EVERYTHING, since that is her "job title" just like he does everything at his job. however, once he gets home i've seen a lot of the time that she is expected to do everything still involving the house. i don't get that, and never will. she works 24 hours, and he gets to come home and relax? yeah, i think that would cause anybody to stress out.

i do think working moms have to deal with this alot as well, i just think that since they get a break from the duties at home, that it is easier for them to relax a bit.
it also has to do with relationship dynamics and how well women talk to their spouse. like i said before i think women have this unrealistic expectation about themselves that they can do it all, and are SUPPOSED to do it all. we aren't superwomen. we need help, from time to time, and we also need to be seperate from our kids every now and then. we are more than just mothers, we are friends, and wives as well. :)

Tah - posted on 08/27/2011

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Having a job where I can escape to a couple times a week or month depending onnwhat I schedule has been beyond therapeutic. I was just talking to my neighbor..pregnant and married to a marine between 17-18..now has three kids, has been a full-time sahm and is losing her mind. She has forgotten or maybe has never known who is she is and it almost ruined her marriage last year but they are working on it with counseling. We literally just had this conversation. Work is my get a way..it makes me a calmer person and if he ever loses his mind and decides to leave or become an..well you know..I have something to fall back on.

I think it heavily depends on the dynamic of the relationship as well. I do think if you are a sahm you take on more of that responsibility, are breaks needed yes, but it's a job and comes with responsibilities. Should he come home and help with the kids..yes..do all of or majority of household duties..no..so I see both sides of the argument of division of workloads..

Becky - posted on 08/27/2011

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It gets easier to get a bit of time to yourself as the kids get older too. Even now, with mine only 2 (almost) and 3 1/2, they will play together in the basement or in the backyard and I can have a few minutes to myself. Of course, I still have to keep an eye and ear out for them, but they're not climbing all over me for a few minutes at least. Sometimes it's even long enough for me to have an iced tea without having to share it! :) Of course, that will all change again in February...

[deleted account]

I don't really have those problems with my SO and i am a SAHM. He gets two days off a week, i sleep in one of those days and he does the other. He exclusively does the dishes and laundry. I do the regular cleaning. Except for on the day i sleep in, he does regular cleaning that day. He takes Gabby for walks/plays with her so i can have some alone time. When she was first born though, he didn't know what to do so i ended up doing most of the work. We worked it out so we could both get me time, date nights, contribute to the household, and have family time too.

Amanda - posted on 08/27/2011

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I am now a SAHM but after I had my son I went back to work full time. I found I did get more breaks and had more of a social life and chance to be "me" rather than just someones mummy. I loved having tea breaks and lunch breaks where I could just switch off from everything and do my own thing. Like Rebecca said, just to go to the toilet on your own, eat your lunch to yourself and drink a cup of tea while its hot.
Being a SAHM to 2 young kids is extremely stressful. I found I was asking for a break and it was falling on deaf ears, I told my husband I was joining the gym and putting the kids in the creche so I could have time out, he had no choice in it. Even now, he doesn't comprehend how hard it is and that the kids are on your case 24/7 and that I do need a break. I have stopped telling him coz it's not worth stressing out about something that just won't happen.

Melissa - posted on 08/27/2011

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Great input everyone...Guess it really just all depends on the relationship with the hubby!

Becky - posted on 08/26/2011

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Yeah, I would be totally stressed if I were working! And since my job was working with kids, although it'd be a break from my kids, it still wouldn't be a break from kids! And I think I get a lot more breaks from the kids now than I would if I were working (because I don't actually consider work a break, my job was hard!), because if I worked all day, I would feel guilty leaving them to go do stuff on my own when I had time to be with them.

Lady Heather - posted on 08/26/2011

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Oi, that's just what I imagine Johnny. I feel like if I went to work I would be working all day and all night. Right now I can get stuff done before Freja goes to bed so I have time in the evening to myself. I imagine this is when I'd be washing floors if I was working. Or my weekends would be totally ruined. Even when we were working before kids I found things more stressful that way. There was never enough time to get anything done and the only thing saving the house from total chaos was the lack of little people to colour on crap and pee on the floor.

My husband has 11-12 hour work days. If I was working 8, you can bet I'd be the one saddled with all the kid stuff in the morning and the dinners and such. Nope, never going to back to work. Call me retired. Ha.

Johnny - posted on 08/26/2011

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LOL. Just reading Rebecca's post. Total opposite of my experience. When I was a SAHM (which I loved) we did not have much to bicker over. I considered the house my responsibility, cooking, cleaning, laundry etc. All good. He did help out with some of the bigger chores or getting stuff done while I was putting her to bed and such. I felt like I was able to get my stuff done, handle the house, and pay enough attention to my daughter & husband.

Now that I'm back to work, I am totally stressed. Up at 6 am to get my daughter to daycare by 7am to get to work by 8am. I don't take a lunch so that I can get off a half hour earlier to pick her up. So no break at work until 4pm and then pick her up by 5 pm, cook dinner to have on the table by 6. Eat, bath, a little reading time and bed by 7:30. Then cleaning, lunch prep, laundry. All the same chores as before but now I have to do them between her bed time and mine. I haven't watched tv in a week. I only have time to post because it's a Friday night. And hubby and I are spending way more time bickering over household chores because we are both so stressed and strapped for time.

I would love, love, love to go back to being at least a part-time SAHM. I found it very rewarding to care for my child and my family. I am hopeful that I can do it again in the future.

I don't really have any real life experiences to compare it with. Only on here. All of my real life friends are full-time working moms. I do not know a single SAHM. So I have no means of marital stress comparisons.

Sherri - posted on 08/26/2011

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Well I am old fashioned. No I think SAHM's don't have more marriage problems. However, I also feel it is my job to take care of the house, raise the kids, and do all the cooking. My husbands job is go to work, take care of outside stuff, and the litter box. Other than that come home relax and play with the kids that is all I expect and want. The rest is my responsibilities.

FYI I have done both and when i worked outside of the home things were much different.

[deleted account]

Having done both, I think that moms that work outside the home naturally get more breaks than SAHM, which is a big part of the tension. As a SAHM, I rarely have even 5 minutes a day where I don't have someone else with me. I always have my kids in the car with me, in the bathroom, etc. When I was working, I would drop the kids off and BAM! I have 10 -15 minutes of alone time on the way to work. I can call a friend and talk interrupted, rock out to the radio, etc. At work, I can actually SIT DOWN and eat MY OWN lunch without the kids whining or grabbing part of it. At work, I had all day where I DON'T have someone climbing on me or pawing me all day. So yes, being a SAHM is different because you have zero breaks from your kids -- it's a 24/7 gig -- it's just not the same when you are working. So I think the SAHM set is naturally more likely to have conflict with their spouses over not getting a break, etc. However, I don't think I was happier as a working outside the home mom because I wasn't happy about the time I was spending away from my kids. I wouldn't trade being a SAHM for anything in the world. ;-)

S - posted on 08/26/2011

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Communication is everything.. You have to voice what you want & need.. Compromise to meet both yours & his.. :) I'm a SAHM & I believe I should do most things around the house but when it comes to parenting it should be equal as much as possible..

Lady Heather - posted on 08/26/2011

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I think we would probably have more arguments if I worked because if the kid was sick we'd have to choose who would stay home (would probably be me since my job wouldn't be the big money maker), we'd have to negotiate the dinners and more of the housework. I don't know if I ever want to work again when I start to think about how complicated it would get. ha.

I don't have a husband that does nothing when he comes home though. I don't know if it's how his mum trained him or what, but it's never even been something we've had to discuss. You can bet I'd be bringing it up though if he did try to get away with that. The kid is ours, not mine. The house is ours, not mine. It's not always possible to take care of the house 100% in working hours, and with the kid of course it's impossible. Why those things would be the sole responsibility of one person in the partnership, I've no idea.

Michelle - posted on 08/26/2011

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I've been a SAHM for the last 18 months and now only work 2 days a week so still am pretty much.
I think the main problem is communication (or lack of). My hubby does heaps around the house when he gets home and on the weekends. He bathes our Daughter every night (because she prefers him to me), does all the laundry and looks after all 3 kids when I go to work on the weekends.
He never walk in the door and has a go at me if the house is a mess. He usually just asks if Missy has had a bad day. He knows that if our daughter is cranky I don't get much done.
We also share the kitchen chores. I cook every night because I love cooking but he cleans up. We did that when I was working and just carried it on when I stopped.

Becky - posted on 08/26/2011

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I can't speak for working moms, but I am a SAHM and I don't really feel we have those issues. Yes, my hubby does expect me to do more around the house, because I am home all day, but he takes a lot of responsibility at home as well, especially for stuff like taking care of the yard and doing home repairs and maintenence. And he plays with the boys, helps with bedtime, and almost always gives them their baths. And I'd say we're pretty equal on how much we get out for breaks. He's not one to go out all the time, and neither am I. We both have our friends and have girls nights/guys nights, but I'd say they're pretty balanced. If anything, I get away more often than he does! He starts feeling bad when he's been out a few times and it's been a while since I have, and does something like tells me to book a day at the spa or something. :) The issue we do have is that we rarely get out together on our own without the kids. But I would guess that's not something that has anything to do with whether I'm a SAHM or a working mom. Well, maybe it does, since we'd have more money if I was working.

Melissa - posted on 08/26/2011

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Good point! Another thing to add to my first question is many many of the SAHMs are feeling depressed and anxiety....and a massive breakdown in communication. Could it be because we are cooped up all day and not being heard....

Sam - posted on 08/26/2011

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Every situation is probably different but in my case I would say it is the same as a SAHM. I still do everything at home as well as work 30 hours a week. Communication is key to a good relationship, I am not a mind reader and neither is my hubby so when I need a break I tell him that instead of waiting for him to realize that I need or want a break and things go a lot smoother !

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