To work or not to work

Sarah - posted on 04/21/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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So I have a 3 1/2 month year old son, I stopped working when I was 2 months preggo, I didn't want to have to work until he was at least 6 months old, but my hubby is all of a sudden making me feel like I don't do anything. If we get into an argument and I tell him how stressed I am because I never ever get a break he tells me neither does he becasue he works all the time then says at least I don't have to go to work. How do I make him understand that I am working 24/7? Things just seem to be getting harder since we had my son, is this normal?

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Tracy - posted on 04/21/2010

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Wow, this is an age old problem, Sarah! Back in the 1950's men expected their wives to stay at home and for her to look for work was somehow a criticism about his ability to provide well for his family. When the husband got home from work back then, he expected to be waited on hand and foot; wives were cooks, waitresses, maids, masseuses, bar tenders, and then also were expected to have energy for the bedroom. Women didn't really get to say anything about being tired because their husbands were providing a house and the money to buy food and clothing.



In the 1980's women were heading back into the work force, and leaving their children to be raised by nannies or grandmothers. Husbands were asked to share the housework because wives were contributing to the family income. In some ways this was good because women could finally feel worthy of being tired! Wives had a little more leveraging power in the home. Sometimes wives made more money than husbands and thus was created the Mr. Mom (stay at home Dad.) Men could finally see what we are talking about - that the work doesn't end.



Now, with more moms wanting to stay home and be solely responsible for raising and nurturing their children, our society has seemed to swing back to the mentality of the 1950's. Men of today's younger generation don't see all the work that goes into keeping a house clean and keeping the children clean, fed, and educated. So to help with this wives need to declare a day off (say, on a weekend when hubby is home) and let him fend for himself all day while they go to a movie or shopping or whatever. Leave a list of all the things that need to be done and see how many of them get done when you get home. Explain what the plan is so he can give his best effort. I think with the shoe on the other foot for even a day, husbands will get a good idea of why we are tired when they get home! They may not help that much around the house after the day off, but they will at least stop wondering what we've done all day!

Sarah - posted on 04/21/2010

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I think that is very normal. You are both adjusting to being parents and also different job roles. I learned that often times we would argue because we felt like the other person did not understand what the other was going through. I had to realize that my husband has a lot of stress (which I knew, but did not totally understand). He had the stress of work, which we all can understand and have been there. But he also had the stress of his family. He was the only one bringing in money, so all the financial needs feel on him. This was stressful for me too, but he was the one that if money was needed he would need to figure out where it would come from. For my husband he needed to understand that being home and taking care of a newborn is not always as fun as it looks. We both had to understand what the other was dealing with and realize that eventhough our stresses were different we both had stress. He would often times say that he wishes that he could stay home. At first I took it as if he thought my "job" was easier. I came to realize that he did not think my job was easier instead he missed the time with our son and wished he had the time that I had with him. I am sure after a few days he might be glad he gets to leave the house for work, but I also understand his feelings of wanting to be there during the day. There are many enjoyable things that I was able to be a part of because I was at home, but that he missed because he was at work. I would say when he says something about at least you don't have to work instead of trying to make him see your side acknowledge his feelings and let him know you understand where he is coming from. I found that when I did that he would feel like I understood what he was saying and it was easier to have him understand what I was saying. Hope that helps.

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Kc - posted on 04/21/2010

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My husband and I have three kids. The older two are school age. and untill 8 months ago I was working in a pharmacy for 10 hours daily, never seeing the kids or getting to go to their games. The youngest is 2 yrs old. My husband works off alot, and we just moved to a new town so I became a sahm. At first when he came home from being gone for weeks, he would say that I was just hanging out playing on the computer and having a vacation. I quickly set him straight. And went back home for a visit,leaving him to watch the kids while he was off. I came back and the kids were dirty the house a mess and he changed his tune,lol ! It will get better.

Sarah - posted on 04/21/2010

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Sarah, you are definitely not alone. I went on maternity leave about 2 weeks before my baby was due. I hadn't made up my mind if I wanted to continue working or not once he was born. Honestly, I didn't want to...I wanted to stay home with my little boy. I went back to work when he was almost 3 months old, but only to put in my 2 weeks notice. I don't think my husband was very thrilled about the idea, but he went along with it. I was working on an online program to be a Medical Transciptionist to hopefully work from home, but I ended up quitting. It just became to much with a newborn. Plus...I was pretty burned out on school. He was pretty upset that I quit the program & made me feel guilty for not doing it. He said it seems like I have no motivation to do anything in life. It hurt when he said that, because obviously, my motivation is my son & taking care of him & being there for his every need. I LOVE being a stay at home mommy. It's the best job in the world, in my opinion.

We are doing okay right now financially, but he still holds it over my head that we probably won't go very far in life without me working. Which I don't think is necessarily true. I just don't think he understands that when you're a mom, you are pretty much working 24/7/365. When he gets home from work, he plops down in front of his XBOX for the rest of the evening. Well, a moms job doesn't stop at 5:00.

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That's life after baby--you both work 24/7. But in the heat of the argument, you might remind him that he gets a lunch break everyday, he gets to talk about his interests with other guys, he gets to listen to music and relax during his commute. Do you get to do any of those things? I personally didn't when my son was that little, so those are little things I've learned to cherish as rare luxuries and your hubby should too.

Veasna - posted on 04/21/2010

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I'm having same problem. It's really stressful to stay at home and can't get a job.

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I am going through the same thing I quit working when I was 7 months pregnant with my first son and I havent worked since and that was in May 2007. The comments have cooled down a little but really gets on my nerves when I bring up i'm tired, can you help...and he says if anyone is tired it is me i've been at work making the money to pay the bills. I just want to say if you paid me for everything I do...the cooking, cleaning, daycare, bills....you couldnt afford it! But I have learned to stay calm and just make sure he gets plenty of babysitting days with all the kids just to see what I go through. Men don't understand that we hear the crying and the whining and the diaper changing, feedings, along with everything else moms do and they get to come home from work a couple hrs before bedtime...man I need to quit sounds like im venting...lol..so it is normal at least for me and all my friends

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