How much should a Dad do?

Sarah - posted on 07/01/2010 ( 51 moms have responded )

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Ok, so I kind of stole this from the Welcome page, but it seemed to provoke some debate, so thought I'd ask here!

If you're a SAHM, should the Dad get up in the night too, or should he get the full nights sleep so he can work the next day?

Does that change if both parents end up working and baby/toddler still wakes up?

Also, does the man's job always come first? For example, is it always you that phones in to work if the kids are sick?

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Sharon - posted on 07/01/2010

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Its common sense.

Parenting is a 24 hour a day job. Both parents are on call all the time. If the baby has colic, then the mom is gonna be burnt out and dad needs to help out, if dad works all day he needs a break but so does mom! She's been working all day too. But hubby is answerable to someone else if he doesn't show up bright eyed and bushy tailed first thing in the morning.

If both mom & dad work outside the home, then night duties need to be split.

If dad has to be at work early, then he can't do a whole lot at night.

the higher paying job is the one that gets priority.

Jodi - posted on 07/02/2010

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Oh, and just for the record, it is amazing how quickly you learn to do the handy little jobs around the house, and pay the mechanic to fix the car, and so on, once you are on your own. It's not that difficult when you HAVE to do it, you just get it done.

C. - posted on 07/02/2010

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"And if God forbid I ever lost my husband then I guess that useless ol' me will just have to take it to a mechanic."



Oh geez.. Please tell me that you didn't think my whole point of posting to you was b/c of a car??? I was talking about other things around the home that your husband would do instead of you.. Not just stuff about cars.



For instance, do you know how to plunge a toilet if your child flushes a small toy in it? Or what about when your toilet won't stop running? Or what happens if you go to change a lightbulb and something happened to the threading that you didn't realize before you had put that lightbulb in the socket and the lightbulb broke when you went to remove it (yeah, it's happened to my mom before with our old house- one of the outside lights- And she knew exactly what to do.) Or what about if your sink starts to leak.. Things you could spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on to get someone else to do it when your husband isn't there, but is simple to learn how to do. THAT was my point, Elisabeth.. Not just whether or not you'll take the stupid car to a mechanic. And it is simple to learn, I'm not just throwing that word out there. You don't have to be Superwoman to do it.



Based on your previous comment and then your reply to Shannen..



"And also in my opinion parenting and relationships are not 50/50, they should be 100/100."



I don't think you know what everyone was saying.



Just as Shannen Power said, you give 100% of effort in all that you do, but you share the responsibilities 50/50, meaning no one gets the easy way out when it comes to kids, cleaning and cooking (depending on if your partner cooks). Or you could swap that out. You cook and your partner clean the kitchen afterwards. 50/50..

Christa - posted on 07/01/2010

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I think it depends on each individual situation. Right now I work from home and we have a p/t nanny that comes, but usually I'm working and mommying at the same time. So my husband does help out a lot with chores because I just don't always have the time or energy. PLUS I'm EBF right now so I'm always up with the baby so we feel it's fair that he does a bit more chores. However when I was on maternity leave, I did more. I think the distribution will change as the kids grow and demands change. There are also things I always do and things he always does. Like I take care of ALL our financial things, bills, insurance etc. He takes care of all the outdoor stuff, trash, lawn etc. I do think it works better when the man is willing to pick up some of the household chores, after all he makes messes too. :-P I don't know what I would do if I was married to a man who didn't know how to do laundry, or dishes or operate a vacuum. I feel for women who are married to men like that and have to carry too much of the burden by themselves.



On the sick days, his job comes first, but that is because we are hoping to get to a point where I can be a SAHM, so it's more important for him to be at work.

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Ashley - posted on 07/24/2010

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It really depends on the situation and the people involved. I'm a SAHM for the time being. And my husband works 9.5 hours a day, and sometimes Saturdays. So I generally do more. Dipper changes, nap time, feeding, ext. But because I am with my son 24-7, and I seem to be a person that needs more sleep I got very agitated when my son was still waking up through the night after he didnt need his night time feeding anymore. My husband could fall asleep very easily after being up with him and I couldnt. So even though my husband works early in the morning he is glad to get up with him through the night if my son wakes up. I am sooooo grateful for that. It makes me realize just writing this how lucky I am.

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Wow this makes me realize how lucky I am. When we moved in together I was still in uni so my hubby cooked and cleaned when he got home from work (I worked 30+ hours a week plus full time uni).

Now I am a SAHM so I do the majority of cleaning although if I ask my hubby will clean/ tidy up, he does not do the laundry though that is my job completely (he once boasted that he'd done the ironing while I was at work - turned out he had managed 3 things then stopped because his arm ached poor baby lmao).

My hubby does DIY and gardening because I hate those jobs (and he is a tradesman so it's not really DIY he is trained in everything but electrics and we have close mates who are electricians).

We share the cooking because I hate cooking - I do the majority of it being as I am at home but he cooks breakfast on the weekend and cooks me tea too.

As for Ethan when he was born my hubby had 3 weeks paternity leave so we were both up every couple of hours with him (I express BF for 3 wks so hubby got the pump and stuff steralised) - when my hubby went back to work I did most of the night times (he generally sleeps though now) but on a couple of occasions my hubby got up with my son because I was ill or just needed sleep. As for everything else (nappies, feeds etc) if my hubby is home he does his share - my hubby cannot wait to get home to see Ethan. We take turns at putting Ethan to bed because it allows a little bonding time with him for both of us and we take it in turns to have a lie in when hubby is not at work.

Danielle - posted on 07/23/2010

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My fiance works full time...even when I was in school full time I still got up with my son at night...my fiance never has. I basically just accepted that my fiance sleeps like a rock and will never get up in the night with our babies. He did get up first thing in the morning though so I could play catch up on some sleep. Also, I do all of the house work except for garbages. He knows that's his job. I make formula and sterilize bottles too...although once in a while my fiance will give me a break and do it without even being asked. I also do all of the cooking and feeding baby. I can't really complain either way because if I ask him to do something he always does. I don't ask very often though and I'd say 90% of men don't do things unless they're asked. Also when I need to get housework and cooking done he's very good about keeping my son entertained and happy so I can do it in peace without my 15 month old underfoot.

Jessica - posted on 07/13/2010

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Ok, I actually thought Elisabeth's 100% comment was a good point! Its just a good thing to remember sometimes about being in a relationship... I know I'm not always the best at remembering to give it 100%, but DH always does. So its just a good thing to remember sometimes :)

As for the original question. I really think it depends on the situation and who's working how much. Our situation isn't perfect but its getting better. Right now DH works 9-5 M-F and I'm a SAHM. Its been that way since a few months before DS was born and I got laid off from my job. From the beginning, I was nearly always the only one to get up with DS at night. He was breastfed and obviously I had to do that. And I respect the fact that DH has to get up early for work every day and needs some sleep for that, so I mostly never got on him about it. I get the majority of the housework, and making dinner.

When he's home though he's pretty good about helping, especially with DS. I'm glad they get the bonding time. He gets up with him every morning (DS has been waking up at 6:30--7 am) and lets me sleep in until 8 or so when he has to get ready for work.

Cyndel - posted on 07/12/2010

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I think it just depends, my husband worked with heavy dangerous machines so I took nights so he would be rested and safe at work. Also I'm willing to let the house work go for a nap, while my husband was unable to nap during work. It is simply a matter of what kind of job he has, etc.
As for both parents working, I don't know The only time I worked was a paper route and my son came with, so it hasn't been an issue.

Tah - posted on 07/11/2010

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everything, and i am blessed that has been the case, my husbands job comes first though as he is defending the country and all..(pin a rose on your nose)..lol..so when the children are sick, or need to picked up or getting out early or have an off day, it is me that has to call out or miss class(i try not to do that often) but he gets up still with our 3 year old when he wakes to potty, he wet the bed a few weeks ago and my husband had awakened, bathed and put him back to sleep before i even woke up. I only knew because he didnt have on the pj's i put on him. and my husband has to leave out by 5:45-600am. I dont usually work days during the week, when i work weekends it's 700am and usually 12-16 hour shifts and he takes the kids to the pool, park, barbques, walks the dog, cleans and anything else that needs to be done.



I think even if he works he has to realize that he has more than one job and daddy is one of them, Now i will get up more often(if im feeling charitable) but if he never does that just means that his job has end time and yours does not..now that's no fun is it?..like i say...if mommy is happy, then so is everyone else...

Kimberly - posted on 07/08/2010

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I'm a SAHM at the moment and yes I do all the night feds because a: my daughter is still breastfed and b: my husband works huge days and his job is dangerous so he needs his sleep. Dont get me wrong if I asked him to get up he would no worries and has when she has been really bad at night. I do mostly everything around the house as well for the simple fact that I am home all day so I do thing here and there or my husband will take our daughter so I can do all the cleaning and washing at once this way it gets all done and he gets to spend one on one time with Gracie. Plus even though I'm still doing work I dont have to worry what she might be getting into and can just focus on what I'm doing. When I do go back to work I dont think it will change as my job is pretty easy and not as demanding as his. Dont worry he does help out by letting me have sleep ins when he is off and changes her but I would say that I do most of the stuff and it doesnt worry me. He also looks after all the yard stuff and walks our two dogs as that is one job I cant do with a pram and baby( they are way too big). This works for us and we are happy with it.
My husband job will come first too as it makes all the money for us and once I do go back to work my job is easier to have a day off from.

Sarah - posted on 07/08/2010

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My husband and i are 50/50 most of the time.
When we first moved in together, 2 months before our son was born, it was always me that did the house work and he helped out occassionally with pots and cooking dinner. When our son was born, i breastfed him and my husband hardly did anything and i felt so alone, especially during the night feeds when i was wide awake and my husband was fast asleep. I had difficulty breastfeeding so feeling incapable and not a real woman didnt help either. I ended up formula feeding him when he was a month old. Once he was on the bottle, my husband had to give him his bottles until my milk had gone. And my husband didn't have a problem with it. After that, we shared everything. He did every single night feed, i stayed awake with him as well so we kept each other company.
Now we have 2 kids, it's even more important to stick together on the house work and caring for the children.
I bath both children every single time as i do it before my husband gets home from work. I always change my daughter (my husband doesnt feel comfortable with changing a girl which is fair enough) I dress both kids, unless i ask my husband to do it. I do all the washing, drying and ironing. I tidy and clean during the day, i do the food shopping, i make sure all the bills are paid and i buy us all our clothes.
My husband gets our son into his pjs, reads him a story at bed time, works his bum off at work, gives our daughter her last bottle at night and first bottle in the morning and puts the bin out when it's bin day.
We share the pot washing, the cooking, the bed making, tidying and cleaning (at weekends), bottle washing and sterilising. My husband plays with the kids as soon as he walks through the door and doesnt stop until they are in bed asleep. We do alot of things as a family.
When our daughter was born, my husband had to do everything around the house because i had a very bad tear and when i came out of hospital the house was immaculate. He took on both our roles and he was fantastic ! He also gave our daughter her bottle when she woke up during the night. He's fantastic and i couldnt wish for a better husband :)

Jennifer - posted on 07/07/2010

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Well, I think I do most things. My hubby is a SAHD, but once I walk in the door, the baby only wants me. Even trying to hand him back to dad will result in a full-blown melt down. I only hope this gets better with age. I feed him in the middle of the night b/ he's breastfed, but that only involves me rolling into an optimal feeding position.

What I've realized in these last 9 months is that working full-time is the easy part. Caring for the baby is much harder and emotionally draining than working for 8 or 10 hours a day. Maybe it'll change in time, but this is my experience with an infant.

My husband has recently started to learn to cook b/c I have to hang out with the baby all night. But as far as picking up and laundry, I do most of it. He has a much higher tolerance for mess than I do. Asking him to pick up would result in me constantly nagging him. He pitches in, too, but I think he just doesn't notice it much of the time. Of course, once I'm totally immobilized by the baby, he serves me hand and foot. Lol.

I would like for him to do more, but I'm satisfied with things as they are now. Eventually, the baby's going to want to hang out with daddy, and hubby is slowly getting better at doing more around the house. Taking a interest in cooking was a huge step. :)

Andrea - posted on 07/06/2010

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I'm a SAHM and I usually have no probably doing the cleaning, cooking, taking care of the kids. I was the only one that got up in the middle of the night with our daughter never had a problem with that. He does help sometime but not very often with changing diapers, giving kids bath, he also at time takes my sons to work with him if he see's that I am stressed. For the most part I don't mind the house and the kids being more of 80/20 deal. What I have a problem with is when I need to cook something to eat for everyone, take a shower, and give the baby a bath and I have a certain amount of time to do this in order for use to leave to go somewhere. I asked my boyfriend if he start cooking so I can take a shower. He say's I shouldn't have to stop doing what I'm doing to help you (he was playing a game on the computer) we were an hour late. Yeah I'm still mad about this.

Lindsay - posted on 07/06/2010

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We are pretty much a tag team...always have been. When we were both working full-time and we had limited time to do things, whoever got off work first and got home would start dinner. When the other got home, they would jump right in to helping with the kids and tidying up. It wasn't really planned or thought out, we just both did what we needed to do to reach our ultimate goal of each night...kids' bedtime and relaxation.

Now I am home with the kids everyday while Josh is working. I do more of the housework and cooking and such for no other reason than that I'm home and it needs to get done. I am a student by night so 3 days a week, Josh works a 10-12 hour day to come home and get the kids by himself. I try to have dinner ready when he gets in so that we can sit down together and have dinner only for me to rush out the door and leave him with the kids and the mess of a kitchen. It's like magic ♥...I come home from school to a clean house, and my kids nicely tucked in their beds and fast asleep.

The key for us and not keeping a tally. We both acknowledge what needs to be done and we do what we can to help each other out. We both have enough respect for each other not to place greater importance on either role. We are a team and we are in it together, so we do it together.

Hannah - posted on 07/06/2010

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oh, and about staying home. I stay home with the kids because I get paid time off and my husband is on comission and doesn't get paid if he takes time off.

Becky - posted on 07/06/2010

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Oh yeah, I am a SAHM, but if I was working, I would be the one staying home with the kids when they were sick. Only because my husband is a sub-contractor, so does not get paid sick days, whereas if I went back to my old job, I would get 10 paid sick days and 10 paid days of personal leave - which includes family illness - a year, plus 4 weeks of paid vacation, so it would only make sense for me to be the one to stay home.

Hannah - posted on 07/06/2010

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I would say that I do the majority of everything and it bothers me. I have told my husband numerous times that I would love it if he would help me. We both work full-time, therefore I think everything should be 50/50. I always tell him that if I cook he should do the dishes but he just sits on his arse and watches t.v. I think it is because it doesn't bother him to have dirty dishes. I like to have the kitchen cleaned because I hate to cook in a dirty kitchen. He did help clean this weekend because we had a b-day party at our house but that is usually the only time he really chips in. He rarely changes the kiddos diapers and never gives them baths. On the weekends, he will be up with them and get them breakfast, change their diapers until I wake up. That is one thing I do appreciate that he does. He handles all of the outside stuff and maintains our cars, oil changes etc... I think he is scared of the dishes, the few times he has done them, he wears gloves. LOL!!! Like the food will eat through his skin and he will die...

We just got into a pretty big argument about this and he has been trying to do better. I could use a little more effort though.

Krista - posted on 07/06/2010

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We're pretty balanced at our place too. We both work full-time, so we divvy up the housework pretty equitably, I think. We base it more on our own natural inclinations. I'm more of the tidier and organizer, whereas he's the one who will always notice first if the fridge smells. I tend to deal more with the administrative stuff with our son (doctor's appointments, immunizations, etc.), but that's due to logistical considerations. I work (and Sam goes to daycare) in the same town where the doctor is, whereas my husband works near our home, which is a 40 minute drive away. So it's not fair to expect him to drive out here to take the baby to an appointment, when I'm less than 3 minutes up the road.

As far as sick days, he's good though. He's actually home with Sam right now, dealing with Baby's First Ear Infection. He's struggling, as staying home with a sick baby is altogether different from staying home with a well one, but he'll manage.

Now when we decide to have a second child, I think he's going to take some time off for paternity leave, so that'll be great.

Oh, and I'm usually the one who gets up in the middle of the night, just because I'm a lighter sleeper. But on weekends, my husband will get up with the baby in the morning and let me sleep in until 9am. So I consider that a fair trade.

Tania - posted on 07/06/2010

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I have this arguement with my husband all the time. He would say he worked all day and has to get up early in the morning.
I would say will what do you think I do sit around and pick my arse.
You have kids to me it 50/50. Why should I be taking care of the baby 24/7....he's there too.
The arguement does not stand with me and it never will.

Becky - posted on 07/05/2010

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We're pretty balanced in our house, I think. I do the majority of the getting up at night with the kids, partly because I breastfeed and partly because my husband gets up at 5:30 am, sometimes earlier, for work. And I function a lot better on little sleep than he does. But he doesn't refuse to get up if both kids are up at the same time and I really need help.
I tend to do the majority of stuff with the kids, but part of the reason for that is that we have a couple of mommy's boys! they both want mommy to do everything! They're ok with daddy if I'm not around, but if I am, well, forget letting him do anything! Our 2 year old is getting better, but he still only wants me to put him to bed, for some reason. I think it's because I'm more of a softy and will cuddle with him at bedtime and my husband doesn't. But, my husband makes up for that by taking on a lot of responsibilities around the house. He cooks as often as I do, does dishes, picks up when he needs to, and even irons his own shirts when he needs them ironed. (I don't iron unless it's absolutely necessary!) He also does the majority of the yardwork and the handyman type stuff. I run most of the errands, do grocery shopping, laundry, regular cleaning up, and like I said, most of the kid stuff. The one area where we're not 50-50 is diaper changing! My husband cannot handle poopy diapers! So, unless I'm not home, that's my job! But, when he's home, he does clean up the puke. That's one I have a hard time with!
Oh, and we both deal with bugs. Lucky for him, I am not in the least afraid of bugs. :) Mice, on the other hand.... if we had a mouse in the house, I'd move out until he got rid of it, lol!

Elisabeth - posted on 07/02/2010

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Well thats one thing that is 50/50 for us haha. Whoever has the shoe ready does the squashing! I remember once when my ex went to squash a spider and it jumped at him and he screamed like a girl and jumped so high he fell over the back of the couch, landed face first and broke his nose. I know I shouldn't laugh but...bahahaha.

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I also hate spiders and the kids seem to find them... But i have also gotten tot he point where i can put something over them and keep the kids away until dad gets home to get rid of it!

Sarah - posted on 07/02/2010

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Spiders are my husbands job too! I'm petrified of them!
I've only just got to the point where I can put something over them.....he has to get rid of them though!
He refuses to kill them.

Jodi - posted on 07/02/2010

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Another thought - I kill all the spiders. My husband is terrified of them. I don't like them that much either, they creep me out, but you won't find me bailed up in a corner when there is a Huntsman on the wall.....

Sarah - posted on 07/02/2010

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Just thought of something that ISN'T 50/50 in our house, and that's dealing with sick! That is 100% my husbands job! hahaha!
I just physically cannot clean up sick.

Now my eldest is old enough to make it to the toilet and be sick there, it's fine, I'm good at holding the hair back and all that stuff. I just can't clean it up from the floor......or especially if one of them is sick in the car! EURGH! I still get travel sick myself, so I just can't do it! gqtm.

Jodi - posted on 07/02/2010

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LOL, my eldest's father was crap too....

I think the divorce came not long after he said to me "you are the woman, it's YOUR job to be in the kitchen and have dinner on the table for ME" after I walked in the door from work at 6:30pm and he'd been home for 2 hours already (I was also the primary income earner at the time).....as you can imagine, that went down really well!!

Sarah - posted on 07/02/2010

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My husband was pretty crap with our eldest, I did pretty much everything. Until I got so burnt out that he HAD to help out!
With my youngest, he was much better, but then she was a WAY easier baby!!

I do most stuff around the house, but he does help out when needed. Especially since I went back to work part time.

I don't know how to unblock a toilet, or fix the car or any of that ''man stuff'' lol, I don't think it really matters though, it doesn't make a weak woman or lazy, it just means I haven't had the need to do that stuff.
If I did lose my husband, or we broke up or something, then I guess I would learn some of it! I mean, I didn't know how to change a nappy before I had kids, but I soon learnt!!!
I really don't think it matters if I know it at the moment or not.

Elisabeth - posted on 07/02/2010

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Well yes I do know how to do all those things, I have done all of them except the light bulb example and I'm sure I can figure it out if it happens. I was once single and had to do everything by myself. I remember once the Air con broke, I thought maybe the filters were clogged in dust because it haden't been cleaned since last year. So I climber up on the roof, took the filters out, cleaned them and stuck them back in. Still didn't work so I called an aircon mechanic. Turns out the motor was completly burnt out and stuffed, had to get the whole thing replaced and I wouldn't of been able to do that without the help of an expert sorry. When I'm talking about handyman jobs I'm not talking about small jobs like unclogging a toilet, I'm talking about replacing the whole toilet for renos or something. I could help my husband do that, but probably wouldn't be able to do it by myself, not only would I not know exactly how but probably not strong enough either. If neither my husband nor I knew how to do something then we would have to bring in an expert in that field, wether it be a plumber, electrician or whatever.



I know your post wasn't all about a car, I was just using it as an example.



And with the 100/100 comment, I didn't mean offence to anyone. I just think sometimes it is a nicer way of looking at things. Sometimes it can give me a little bit of motivation to do some things a little better. "Have I given 100% of myself today to make everyone (including myself) happy." I understand the 50/50 thing about house work and so on, thats just not the way I like to look at it. I'm not forcing anybody else to feel exactly the same way, I was just trying to show that sometimes there are other ways to see things, thats all. I wasn't aiming it at anyone or trying to offend. 8-)

Jodi - posted on 07/02/2010

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In our home, as long as I am still doing housework or taking care of kids when my hubby is here, he is also contributing toward those things too. I work at home, so I don't always get the housework done. By the time I get my work done, do the things I volunteer for in the schools, do school drop off and pick up, plan meals, do the shopping, organise dinner, help kids with homework, listen to reading, there is very little time in the day to do a lot. I do what I can in the way of housework and cleaning, but it isn't a lot.



So when my husband gets home, he helps out with bathing our youngest (the others are capable of looking after themselves) while I finish dinner, and then he contributes to cleaning up afterwards, folding washing, etc, whatever needs doing. Then, on his days off, he will help with the bigger stuff, like cleaning bathrooms, washing, vaccuuming, changing bed linen, and so on, or mowing the lawns if it needs doing, and helping with the little jobs around the house that I need his help with.



I can't say what percentage each of us does. We don't really question it. We just get it done (or not, if we are busy with work, there are things that wait!!!).



It has been a long time since I was regularly woken by kids at night. But that was always my job. Not because we believed it was my job, but because my husband, once he is asleep, wouldn't wake if we were hit by a bomb, LOL. I was always the one to hear the kids, and once I was awake, I wouldn't have gone back to sleep anyway until the baby was settled, even if hubby did it, and there is no point to us both being awake.

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Elisabeth, I just didn't like your comment about the 100% thing.
I haven't posted on this post til just now i was refering to one you started ages ago.
I do know that it wasn't directed at me.
As much as i like to think the world revolves around me...lol...JK!
I'm not upset or offended Some of your views On this topic of husbands and what they should do and what we as wives should do etc. just annoy me.

Elisabeth - posted on 07/02/2010

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Thats fine if thats the way you feel about your situation. I was just talking about what I do in my situation and my home. As I wrote every situation is differant. Everybody does things a little differantly and there is nothing wrong with that. I never said that you didn't give 100% to your family, I haven't even read any of your previous posts on this thread, nothing I said was directed at you or the way you do things, I was only refeering to my own situation. I'm sorry if the way I do things in my home for my family has somehow upset, offended or annoyed you.

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Elisabeth, You really annoy the heck outta me with this topic.

( not the 1st time i have come accross your views on it)

I do give 100% Of myself to everything i do that involes OUR lives and i am sure my husband does the same thing. But the whole 50/50 thing is that he doesn't get out of having to do anything with the kids or house just cause he works. Our lives became 50/50 when we moved in together.

50/50 means sharing everything 50%. Kids, Cleaning, Hanyman work, Looking after the cars. And if my husband is home you know what? You can bet your bottom dollar i would expect him to put them to bed. Because he isn't usually home so its something he does for them which in turn helps me.

I don't think it's fair that he would get the fun stuff when i sure as hell don't. Why should i be the only one to feed, bathe and put the kids to bed? Not to mention the endless discipline that is needed.

Elisabeth - posted on 07/01/2010

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@ Christina.

I'm not saying no women can ever learn those things I'm saying there are some things I just don't know how to do. I can change a light bulb, but my husband can rewire the whole light switch and circut. I can change tyres, check oil and ect but my husband is a mechanic and can do anything to a car (and he enjoys it), he just finished putting a new exhaust on one of our cars and I would have no clue when it came to something like that. Of course a women can do anything she puts her mind too, it's just that I don't know how to do some things and I was giving an example of myself when I was writing that. The obvious reason is that if the car was broken down I would probably do more damage then good if I tried to fix it unless it was a really simple problem. And if God forbid I ever lost my husband then I guess that useless ol' me will just have to take it to a mechanic. Sorry I'm not superwomen.

C. - posted on 07/01/2010

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"I do everything except handyman jobs and fixing the car, for obvious reasons."



Um, maybe I'm missing something.. What are the obvious reasons? You DO know that it IS possible for women to do those things, right?? It is possible to do a lot of things a man does.



Heck, when my mom was a SAHM (of 4 children, mind you), she did a lot of the handy work around the house b/c my dad had a full-time military career AND she did the cooking and cleaning, ironed my Dad's Blues (AF dress uniform for special occasions- Of course, she had also been in the AF, so she knew how it was supposed to look). There is never an excuse for a woman not to learn how to do those things, IMO. What happens if you (God forbid) lose your husband or something happens where YOU have to take over for a little while? You might as well learn now!



Anyway, back to the topic.



I have to say, I agree 100% with what Sharon Grey said.



The higher paying job always takes #1 priority. If the dad's job pays less, he can call in when the kids are sick. If they are about equal pay, then I think it should be split 50/50.



My husband is military and when he's not deployed, he works about 12 hours/day (works about the same when deployed, but I'm talking about when he's home). When my husband comes home, he does take over for a good portion of the night so I can have 'mommy time' or get some things done around the house and most nights I would be the one to put our son to bed and things like that, but my husband does help out a lot when he's home.

Elisabeth - posted on 07/01/2010

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And also in my opinion parenting and relationships are not 50/50, they should be 100/100. You should always give 100% of yourself, your time and your effort to your partner and expect it in return. Just a little thought...

Elisabeth - posted on 07/01/2010

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BTW I'm not saying that when someone asks for help that they are nagging, there is a differance. I know plenty of people that ask for help but I also know plenty of people that just nag and nag (and then they wonder why their husband is always at the pub or busy in the shed, but thats a whole other debate). 8-P

Elisabeth - posted on 07/01/2010

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I am a SAHM. I do everything except handyman jobs and fixing the car, for obvious reasons. And thats the way I like it, my husband works VERY long hours, 12 - 14 hour shifts for 12 days in a row then 2 days off. I don't want him to wake up during the night because I always think to myself, "What if something happened to him because he was too tired." He works in mining which can be very dangerous and mistakes can easily be made when tired. I love to clean and cook and do the gardening and spend time with my children. I would never ask him to help unless I really needed it like I was seriously ill, which thank God hasn't happened yet. When he gets home he does send time with the children, but playing and having fun. I want him to be able to come home and have fun with the children instead of washing dishes or mopping floors. He works very hard to provide for our family and one way I can show my appreciation is by having everything 'in order' and not nagging (and yes he does sometimes offer, I always so no go and rest I won't be long and he often says how much he loves me because I never nag him and always have everything done for him). But every situation is differant, if both partners worked for example it would be differant, but in my case I think it's my responsablity to clean the house, do paperwork, change nappies, look good, cook dinner, mow the lawn, whatever needs doing, I'm more then happy to do it all and with a smile. 8-)

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I feel very blessed to be a SAHM with a supportive husband. Obviously, I do all the housework and day to day kid stuff. He can't. But when he's home he takes care of the yard and occasionally likes to help cook. He's a great cook! And he never hesitates to play with the kid or take care of her when he's home.

Like Sharon said, it's common sense. And you have to work it on a case by case basis.

Here's how it should NOT be. I dropped Eliza off at one of my friend's house, because we trade babysitting services. Her three kids were in the tub when I showed up. She got the youngest out of the tub, answered the door with the baby naked in a towel and the other two yelling, "MOM!" from the tub. Now I had to drop my kid off and talk to this girl. Her husband (who worked all day, yes) sat on the couch letting the kids scream while his wife tried to help me get my daughter settled at their house. There is no reason he couldn't get off the couch and watch the kids in the tub for two minutes while I dropped my kid off. It made me feel bad for adding to her burden. And that is one small sample of something I've seen in that home.

Charlie - posted on 07/01/2010

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Im a SAHM .



I keep the house in order , pay bills , cook meals , clean as well as the day to day parenting ect and Jamie works a physically demanding job but when he gets home he jumps straight in there and baths Cooper , feeds him , changes nappies , reads him books , Jamie really enjoys doing all these things and generally when he is doing those things i am cooking dinner or doing laundry , sometimes its just so i can have an hour of free time to read or go online or sleep as ive been doing a lot at the end of this pregnancy .



Jamie is under no impression that my job is easy or that it ever ends and i know how physically draining his job is which is why he always gets a massage to unwind from me , he is very understanding and really takes on his role as being a father and not just the paycheck or playmate .



When i was breastfeeding and Jamie was working i would pump into a bottle for the night feed and Jamie would do the night feeds for Cooper , he really loved that quiet bonding time he had with cooper , if i didnt pump any milk and i got up to B/feed Cooper he would sit up with me and just cuddle up and watch us , i would get up at the crack of dawn and let him sleep in when he wasnt working and had done the night feeds .



For us its really about making it as easy for each other as possible and respecting each other , Jamie does a lot , a lot more than a lot of fathers i know personally in RL i am so thankful for that and because of that i like to really make him feel special , i do tend to dote on him and Cooper my boys are spoiled but purely because he does the same for me and our son .



Jamie has actually said it would be his dream to be a SAHD and send me off to work and i would do that but he makes a lot more money than me .



Its really up to each individual family as to how they operate and how they are comfortable.

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I'm a SAHM of 2 very very soon ( around 1 week) to be 3.
My hubby Works his arse off for little pay. So i try to do the same and make sure the house is clean and he has a meal on the table when he gets home. This doesn't always happen and when it doesnt he doesn't care, he will just fix himself something when he gets home.
With a new born in the house I try to make it through the night as there isn't much he could do anyway as i BF, But come 5 in the morning if the baby has been difficult then i usually pass baby over for a couple of hours so i can get some sleep. Although i'm not to sure at how this will work with baby number 3. hubby was out of work when number 1 came and then had just lost his job when number 2 came along so he was home for all the newborn stuff. This time it going to be me with a 2 yr old and 4 yr old i guess we will have to take it as it comes.
With the sick children i would assume if i was working that i would be the one to take time off to look after them but then again it would come down to where i was working and where he was working. He currently works in retail as a manager and i am ( once baby is born) going to go to UNI to become a Nurse. It would also depend on how sick.
But i do believe parenting is 50/50 and i am lucky enought o have married a brilliant Man who sees it the same way. :)

Rosie - posted on 07/01/2010

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i feel he has to help, obviously, it's his kid too. however, i feel it should be a little bit more of a burden on the mom. not too much more, but with any good marriage there is compromise, and you also know when your partner or yourself needs more of a break, and go by that, it doesn't necessarily have to be set.

of both parents work, than whoever has the best benefits (my job has no sicktime) so someone who can actually get paid for the day of would be a wise choice. if both do, or don't than whoever gets paid more goes to work.

Sara - posted on 07/01/2010

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I work full-time, and I expect that my husband do as much as I do as far as parenting and general upkeep of the house. We have a pretty good system worked out and try to make it as fair as possible. When I was on maternity leave, I got up with her at night when he had to work the next day, and we trade off on weekend days. She doesn't get up in the middle of the night much anymore, so it's kind of a non-issue.

Angie - posted on 07/01/2010

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My husband is very involved with raising our children. When he is home I don't want him to worry about what is for dinner or cleaning up. I do want him to spend as much time as he can bonding with our children. We do a tag team with our children at night, I usually take care of our 2 month old and he takes care of our 2 year old. We all hit the house pretty hard at cleaning up my eldest daughters toys. Other than that he is going to work and taking care of our children and me financially so I think it is my job to make sure things are holding together at home. He is the head of the house, but I am the neck that turns it. We respect each other and when I am having a bad day, he has no problem taking over...vice versa.

Joanna - posted on 07/01/2010

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I'm a SAHM, and when Paige was born my husband was working awful long hours (with his commute he'd be gone from 5 am to 11 pm some days, 6-7 days aweek, this lasted for a couple months). At that time I didn't make him get up at night, unless I needed to use the bathroom or something I'd have him hold her for 5-10 minutes. But when he was working his normal 8-5 hours, he would get up and help with one of the night feedings. Then one day a week on the weekends, I'd do all the night feedings, then he'd get up with her around 4 or 5 am, and I'd take an Ambien and put in some earplugs and sleep for 5 hours. It really helped me catch up on sleep.

But now if she wakes up (she's almost 3), it's usually because she had a nightmare, is sick, or has growing pains, and she would ask for me anyways if my husband got up with her, so I get up all the time now, regardless if the husband is working or not.

LaCi - posted on 07/01/2010

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SAHM here.

I got up every night, voluntarily, because he worked and he has had a terrible shift most of the last 2 years. Diaper changes, feeding, bathing, etc are my job, and I view this as my full time job while he works. He helps with cleaning in the evenings and on weekends. We have fairly traditional roles I guess, at the moment. When I graduate and start working we'll be passed most of the crappy stuff, middle of the night wakings, diaper changes, etc. So it really won't be a big deal to share the household duties and the work duties. Although we have been considering reversing roles and I'll work while he takes care of Nico and finishes school.

It's not as though he comes home from work and just sit on the couch all night though lol. He does a lot of stuff, "man-stuff" you know, heavy yardwork, things I won't do because it may involve giant spiders, fixing things, blah blah blah.

I think it all just depends on the parents and what they're comfortable with.

Isobel - posted on 07/01/2010

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My situation is a little different cause my boyfriend isn't the kids' natural father...the way we run things around here is that I try to do as much as humanly possible parenting wise, and he picks up the slack when I run out of steam...house cleaning is fifty fifty though...whoever cooks doesn't have to do the dishes, and whoever does the laundry doesn't have to fold it or put it away...He tidies and I clean, blah, blah, blah

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In my home, parenting is equal 50/50. Always has been right from the beginning. Even when I was only teaching part-time, I was also a grad student and very involved with my research. Even for those first 6 months when I was home, I had a difficult time adjusting to SAHM status. Even when my husband works his ass off with overtime, he always helps. I have to say that my husband is truly an equal partner in marriage & in parenting. I do feel bad for so many women who don't have that kind of husband/partner support. I personally don't think it is fair for that the man is a parent only on his days off and fails to contribute to the household. JMO though.

ME - posted on 07/01/2010

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I work about 30 hours a week, my husband works about 15, and I STILL do way more at home than he does. Part of that is because he doesn't care if there are dirty socks in the living room, and two day old dishes in the sink...and part of that is because I often find that I have to redo a lot of the things he "cleans"...I would LOVE to have more help tho...I am constantly exhausted...it takes a toll...I am the one who gets up in the night for the baby, but she is EBF right now, so I don't have much choice. My hubby gets up if Miles needs something. That doesn't happen too often, but it's still nice that he does it. Right now MY job comes first, because I don't get paid if I take more than one day a semester. I think if my husband had a more full time job, I would probably be the one to stay home more...but Miles seems to want me more when he is sick anyway...

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