How Do I Explain...

Ashlee - posted on 03/05/2010 ( 34 moms have responded )

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My husband and I have had this argument at least a dozen times. I am a stay at home mom and he works. From time to time he comes out with the comment that I don't do anything at home. Apparently, in his eyes taking care of his kid, doing laundry, cleaning, etc is considered nothing. He thinks it's an easy job. How do I explain to him that it's more work than it is play. My daughter is almost 5 months old and already starting to become a handful constantly wanting mommy's attention. He says he is jealous that I can stay at home while he works. What can I possibly say for him to understand?

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Jessica - posted on 04/09/2010

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Have him take a day off and take care of the house and kids. I didn't have that problem, but I was not feeling well one day and my husband took a day off and took care of everything for a day and decided he could never do it.

Ashley - posted on 04/09/2010

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make him do it for a weekend, top to bottom what you do every day!


A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.
Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.


He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?' She again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?' 'Yes,' was his incredulous reply. She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it.'

Leisel - posted on 03/19/2010

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I tell my husband what I do every day. Seriously, I start at the beginning and tell him...I tidied the breakfast dishes, did a load of laundry (or three) got a few rounds of snacks and juice inbetween....etc the lot, up until the point that he walked in the door. Somehow, he has never tried to suggest that I do nothing, in the face of that much evidence it would be pointless!

Shivaun - posted on 03/19/2010

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absolutely nothing can be said to a man who does not see the bigger picture, my ex husband complained about this each and every day. hence that being one factor behind me leaving him, anyway, sounds like he needs a huge dose of reality, and to grow up, i say leave him with baby for day with a list of all the things you do each day, and see how he has got on when you return home. prehaps and with fingers crossed he may have a new understanding of what it is you do each day at home. good luck.

Zatonda - posted on 03/18/2010

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My husband won't never stay home, he tired it and about went crazy, he would hire a maid service or nanny before he ever tried to do it on his own. On your day off tell him you have to do something very important and leave him a must do list. Most men think they married their mothers so even if things are perfect some how they still find a way to argue about it not don't like the order or how you may do it vs how it was done when they were growing up.

Ashlee - posted on 03/18/2010

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Wow! Thanks for all the responses! :) All in all, most of you suggested that I take a weekend and do something for myself and leave him with all the responsibility. Well, as much as I would love to do that, I'm not sure I could. A few weekends ago I went out for a few hours one night. All my husband had to do was bath our daughter, put her PJs on, & put her to bed. THAT'S IT. Nothing that would really overwork him. I come home to find her still in her daytime clothes & not bathed. SERIOUSLY. All he could say was that she was taken care of what more did I want. I could've killed him. I have a routine that we follow every night. She is used to this routine and I really don't want her out of it. ONE NIGHT is all I wanted and I was counting on him to do things right. FAIL.

We have this argument all the time about me staying at home. He thinks that it's piece of cake and that he could do it. I try to tell him that my job doesn't stop at the end of the day like other people who are out there working. I still have to work overnight when my daughter decides she wants to get up 2-3 times. It's a 24/7 job with no breaks, no time off, nothing... I can't call off when I'm sick & I certainly don't get paid for it. He tells me all the time that I don't appreciate being able to stay at home. I don't tell him all the time I appreciate but I show it by making sure things are kept clean and his daughter is well taken care of. I'm the one who feels very under appreciated especially when I do work hard to keep it clean and he comes home to dirty it!

I really think it's time for him to take a walk in my shoes.

ALANAH - posted on 03/17/2010

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stop cleaning for a week no cooking cleaning ect just care for you and bub, and see if he misses cook meals ,clean clothes ect or try the weelend away and leave him with the house and children thats what i would do anyway

Sharon - posted on 03/17/2010

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i understand that situation completely.!!!!!! I went out and left him with the children for a day. When i returned he said:( i dont know what all the fuss is about its easy)!!!! but he hadnt washed up, hung out the washing, didnt vacum etc. he had just sat playing and washing t.v all day...... Priceless.

Gina - posted on 03/17/2010

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I hear a lot of moms saying leave dad in charge of baby and home for a day or 2 ...i totally agree with this! But in the same breath- if her husband is anything like mine...when she gets home the kids will be dirty,the house in shambles, and no clothes or dishes will have been touched ! And in my case, the table will have 3 empty pizza boxes on it. I looove my hubby,but I just don't think men will ever fully get it!

GOOD LUCK TO YOU ASHLEE! WE ALL KNOW JUST HOW U FEEL.

We moms have the most thankless,stressful job on earth but it's also the most important and rewarding one -now if only we got PAYED!

Lucy - posted on 03/16/2010

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Point out to him that if you suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth he would have to employ 3 full time staff to fulfil your role to the standard that you do- A house keeper, a nanny and a night nurse.

If this doesn't sink in, present him with a detailed time table of what you do during the day and when, and then leave him to it for at least 48 hours!

Amanda - posted on 03/15/2010

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I wouldn't explain anything other than you are going somewhere for a weekend and he's in charge of taking care of his child. That's all it took for my husband.

Bridgett - posted on 03/15/2010

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my husband was the same way until i started working weekends he has them all day every saturday and sunday....he cleans house and sees about the kids and by sunday hes ready to pull out all his hair, he has a new view of how hard i work...so now i have his respect and help all the time and i get to get out of the house twice a week and make some extra money for myself, so i would have to say find a way to make him see how hard it is, by letting him handle them for a couple days a week and i promise he wont complain anymore plus it might sound crazy to enjoy going to work but it gets me out of the house and for those eight hours i am stress free no kids to see about and no bills to worry about just enjoying the company of my friends i work with and our customers.

Wendy - posted on 03/15/2010

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Asking him to stay home a day or two can work better if you leave a schedule for the kids (what you do for/with them everyday, their needs, etc) and a list of the things that you get done EVERYDAY along with a list of things you would like to get done if you got a chance. And tell him, he needs to stick to the schedule and get the DO list done (dishes, laundry, meals, tidy - whatever it is that you DO everyday) and TRY to get some of the would liek done list done if he has extra time.

[deleted account]

I've never tried this (as I don't have this problem) but I read this story before I had our oldest baby and I thought while I was reading it "I'm sooooo gonna do this if I have this problem with my husband!!!" A woman was always having the same argument with her husband that you're having with yours. He saw her job as the easiest thing the world, and didn't understand why (in his words) nothing ever got done around the house! So for a whole three days she did NOTHING!!!!! She didn't bathe or dress the kids, she didn't feed or bring her older kids to school, she didn't dress or shower herself, she didn't clean up after ANYBODY, didn't make meals, didn't do laundry, didn't do dishes, didn't clean the bathrooms, didn't do any yard work, didn't go get groceries. All she did was literatly sit in bed AAAAALLLL day! The way she wrote it was quite humorous and I was laughing so hard by the end that my husband came into the room and gave me a weird look!!! Needless to say by the end of this woman's three day strike her husband was begging her to come back to work! Maybe you should go on strike!?!

Christy - posted on 03/15/2010

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I would like to say that sometimes the day off thing doesn't work. My husband just sits around with the kids and when I get home all the toys they played with are everywhere and all of the chores are undone. I just don't know if some men can understand the stay at home mom life. My husband knows that I work hard and constant, but he can get a little snide sometimes as well (Some of that is just his upbringing). He has told me that he doesn't want my job and he would never choose to stay home with the kids, but I think he is jealous of the relaxed schedule. If I do not get to something, I don't have to rush for the deadline. And if it is a gorgeous day, I can postpone some chores and head out for a lovely day with the kids. There are definitely perks to staying at home.

[deleted account]

Tell him to stay home for a week and you can go somewhere!



I'm lucky cuz my husband tells me all the time that I'm a wonderful mother and that I'm doin SUCH a wonderful job with our daughter......his words......it makes me blush!

PAULA - posted on 03/15/2010

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My hubby used to think the same way too like house work is nothing and our 7 month old baby is easy to handle until he got 2 weeks vacation which he used at home and before the 1st week was done, he was asking me the question, "how do you do it?" He told me our son alone is 1 days work and to do all the house work in addition to him, he said he couldnt do it. Now he sees things differently. Just get him to spend a few days in z house or a weekend n let him see how difficult it is.

Wendy - posted on 03/15/2010

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My hubby was a bit like this after our first son was born. He worked full time in the field so he was gone 8-14 hours a day! Then he would come home and wonder what had I done all day with our little baby - watch tv? play? cuddle and sleep and do nothing? Well I certainly don't have to tell you how wrong he was!! When I had enough of hearing it frequently, I left for a day (weekend, when my hubby doesn't work), and left our son with him - with only minimal instructions (what his feeding schedule was, when he usually slept, etc) and asked the house be tidy and dishes done when I got home, along with the laundry at least in the dryer. ONE DAY. Well when I got home late that evening, with baby still awake and crabby, dishes on the counter and the house only half tidy - he apologized immediately and only rarely does any comment relating to being a stay at home parent slip - and then I suggest he can stay at home and I'll find a full time job (I do miss bringing home a paycheck from time to time). He again immediately apologizes.
Now, with our son almost 18months, and our second due early this May - he helps out more when I ask him to, doesn't complain when I ask him to change a diaper at the end of the day, and is more willing to give me a break on the weekends! There are still times when he doesn't do a small thing I ask of him around the house, or I don't get something done he asked me to during the day - but we both remember we are both working all day and both have a lot to do!

Christy - posted on 03/15/2010

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I think everyone is right, husbands really do not understand until they do your job for awhile. My husband use to say the same thing until my mom became ill and I had to leave for a few days to be with her. I was gone for about three days and he had to take time off work to be home with our two kids. By the second day he was calling me begging me to come home. He was desperate to get back to work because he thought his job was now easier than mine and he is in law enforcement! When I finally got home, the laundry was piled high, the dishes hadn't even been touched and the house was a disaster. My husband had this look on his face like he was lost. I haven't heard a negative comment out of him since, and that was almost a year ago.

Felicia - posted on 03/08/2010

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Trade places with him for a day....he'll change his tune. Or better yet, one day, you should actually NOT do any work around the house. He'll get the hint.

[deleted account]

Leave him to take care of your daughter and the house for a week if possible then he'll get the hint! Yes being a stay-at-home mum is rewarding but it's not all plain sailing either!

Sarah - posted on 03/07/2010

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I use to have the same problem with my hubby, he realised it isn't as easy as it seems once I started leaving our two girls with him for a couple of hours at a time. It was then he saw for himself that if you don't constantly pick up after your little ones, while cleaning and cooking and multi tasking the entire day the house gets absolutely trashed. When he looks after them now he doesn't do any of the cleaning or cooking just plays with them but I'm ok with that, at least he knows that it is a hard job. =)

Penny - posted on 03/07/2010

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i know what you mean and how you are feeling, when i ask my hubby to help he sais 'i work all week" which makes me think well what do i do all week sit on my bum watching tv. he thinks that what i do but my house is always clean, dust free and tidy, bar the toys. he doesnt cook, wash up anything. and he thinks he doesnt have to help because he works !!!!

Rebekah - posted on 03/07/2010

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Give him the baby for the day and write him a list of EVERYTHING you do around the house and leave him at it and pamper yourself.

[deleted account]

LOL.. These are all great replies. I agree, take a weekend off & leave him home alone with the baby & everything else. When you come home after your weekend alone, be sure to point out to him all the mistakes he did & all the mess he didn't get done..... My husband also thinks you should. My husband has seen me in action & has a great understanding for what I do.:-) I hope this will open his eyes & he will give you more credit.

Valerie - posted on 03/07/2010

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I think you should find something to do one weekend and leave him with it all. When he realizes that all he really has time to do is take care of the baby and the house work is pretty hard to fit in between that, maybe he'll get it.



Or, you could do like the email that went around a while back...just don't do anything for a couple of days. Only take care of the baby, do nothing in the house. He'll get the picture pretty quickly when he has no clean clothes to wear and no clean dishes to eat from.

Jessica - posted on 03/07/2010

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I agree, let him spend a day or two in your shoes if possible- go out and leave him with baby and chores. Let him see how much work it really is! Also, I don't know if this would help but I wonder if you could wrote down hour by hour what you do every day, maybe it would help him to actually "see" it?

Kristin - posted on 03/07/2010

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You can't really say anything, you can show. Take a full day, 24 whole hours, at least and leave him in charge. Do not do laundry before you go, do not clean either. Tell his you want to try something ad the arrange to do this on a weekend for his sake and tell him that you love him and will be back at a specific time. Good luck.

Judy - posted on 03/06/2010

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What is really his beef? He's jealous of what....changing diapers being constantly "on call", having a thankless job that obviously even he does not appreciate. Doesn't he like having clean dishes, clothes, food etc. Maybe what he sees though is that HE is missing out and that is what he is jealous of. Maybe he needs a dose of reality weekend. What is it like to "try" to shop, cook, clean or basically do anything adult with a little one tied to you. don't get me wrong....I love my job as a sahm BUT my hubby throughly appreciates the work I do and understands that when I have worked my hardest are the days when the house is in complete disarray.

Christy - posted on 03/05/2010

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Take an entire day, and if you can, a weekend to get away and leave the baby with him. Also, leave a to do list, make sure he does a couple of loads of laundry, bathes baby, cooks, cleans a room or 2, etc.

Sarah - posted on 03/05/2010

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I do day care from my home at sometimes my husband will make a comment or two about my job being easy (he is pretty understand and does realize that what I do does take a lot of work). Sometimes he is just joking. I will sometimes joke about him not working also (I know he does work hard also). Sometimes when he says that he wishes he could stay home I think it is more his way of saying I miss out on having that time with our children and that he wishes he could have that time. I do understand that. If I was the one going to work and he was staying home I would feel that same way. I would miss not having that time with our kids. There are times though when I will need to be gone for a doctor's or dentist appt. during the day. My husband is very good at being willing to cover my day care duties so I can go to that appt. Sometimes I will try to make it easy on him and have the appt. over naptime, so he really does not have to do anything. Other times when I think he needs a little reality check I will schedule it over one of my busy times when everyone seems to need me all at the same time. This does help him to get a little insight on how my day goes and the stresses that exsist in my day.

Carolee - posted on 03/05/2010

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Have him take a week of vacation from work, then go out during the day and leave him to do everything you do.



Or, you could go on strike. Do only what you absolutely have to for you and your daughter, but do nothing for him and do nothing that's "extra" (like cleaning all of the dishes or doing more than one load of laundry a week). Make sure to not wash any of his clothes while you're doing the laundry you absolutely have to do, though.

Christina - posted on 03/05/2010

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well let's see, maybe on his day off you guys should switch roles while you go out and have some "me" time, he can stay home with your baby and take care of the house. Same thing when he uses a week of vacation (he gets vacation time right?). When he has a day off does he help with everything or does he play video games/work in the garage/watch tv etc etc....I think the best way for him to understand is for him to have to do it himself for one day. Good luck, I've been very blessed with a husband who is supportive and fully understanding of what I go through on a daily basis with our 3 girls....the second he comes home he is helping me out with everything!

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