Husbands Need To Take Responsibility For Their Children

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007
Husbands Need To Take Responsibility For Their Children
9
Fri, 11-02-2012 - 1:25pm

I believe I have mentioned this before but after years of providing all for my kids and having to step up for hubby's kids I am going to have to disengage and steer hubby in stepping up and taking care of his own when they visit. I have a special needs child who is a handful and keeps me extremely busy. I do everything for my own two and I have always felt like when my step children come to visit that their dad needs to step up and do some cooking. For years I've busted my butt making huge meals and doing all the clean up of the kitchen and around the house and now I resent it. I should not have to do all for mine and all for his. I've mentioned it and he has made snarky comments like I know you hate cooking for my kids. He doesn't get it. I have tried and tried and explained that he should step up and help and do more. I have tried telling him things like the kitchen is closed this weekend, what are you going to make for dinner, etc. We just end up arguing over it. He says stupid things like you hate my children, which is a lie. He has extreme guilt issues and parents with guilt and expects me to just do everything.  Well this weekend I am taking off mid day on Sat and Sun and won't be around to cook and clean. I'm sure we will again get into another arguement but I don't care. They are bringing a friend over too this weekend. We have very little space. One gets the couch, the other the floor and I suppose the third can sleep in the hallway. We have now become a hotel for his daughter's friend to come and see her brother in town. The last time she came up she ate me out of house and home. I'm tired of it. I don't mind cooking and doing for others but because I do everything for mine, I resent also having to do everything for his. He will be in a bowling tournament all day Saturday and has to work on Sunday. I'm not going to sit around and entertain all three guests. I've made plans to go out and do things and I wasn't even asked if we could have a house full this weekend. Tired of doing and doing and not receiving much. I need to put myself first for a change and let dad step up. If I always do then he's got the excuse that he doesn't have to. Let him get McDonald's and pizza and play hotel for a weekend. The cook, maid and bottle washer has the weekend off!!

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

So sorry this is still going on! 

My SO never expected much out of me when his kids were over.  Can't say he didn't have some level of expectations, but nothing like you have described on the board. 

I mean, if we usually cook dinner for 4, then of course we will then cook dinner for 6.  But I don't think that is what you are describing.  Cooking or doing something for your family is different than doing for others what they are able to do for themself.  Like lunch, snacks, dishes, picking up after themselves, etc. etc.

Finding what works for you to avoid those resentments is important.  We should do things around the house for our family to be of service.  If we do things for our family with resentment, something needs to change.  The change may be within your DH, or it may be within the kids, or it may be within you!   We can't do everything and then complain.  KWIM? 

Enjoy your weekend and keep us posted!

Serenity

 

Serenity
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

So sorry this is still going on! 

My SO never expected much out of me when his kids were over.  Can't say he didn't have some level of expectations, but nothing like you have described on the board. 

I mean, if we usually cook dinner for 4, then of course we will then cook dinner for 6.  But I don't think that is what you are describing.  Cooking or doing something for your family is different than doing for others what they are able to do for themself.  Like lunch, snacks, dishes, picking up after themselves, etc. etc.

Finding what works for you to avoid those resentments is important.  We should do things around the house for our family to be of service.  If we do things for our family with resentment, something needs to change.  The change may be within your DH, or it may be within the kids, or it may be within you!   We can't do everything and then complain.  KWIM? 

Enjoy your weekend and keep us posted!

Serenity

 

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

When I was married to 2nd DH, I was never in the situation of having stepkids over for the weekend--my DH was a widower so I gained a stepdaughter 24/7.  I didn't look at it like "I am doing things for your kids that you should be doing" since she was another household member.  I think that maybe in order to get your DH out of the mindset of "you hate cooking for my kids" that maybe you should point out to him that the division of household labor is unfair--it's not fair if you are doing all the cooking & cleaning every day and he is doing nothing, if that is the case.  Maybe you wouldn't mind cooking for the kids if he was doing the laundry, food shopping or some other chorse that need to be done.  I do wonder why the kids are even coming over if he is going to be out during most of the time he is there--isn't the purpose of visitation for them to spend time with their dad?  I was in the other situation w/ my kids who did stay with their dad EO weekend (only Sat-Sun) and visited him a couple of times a week for dinner.  If he was going out & doing other things while they were supposed to be with him (which sometimes he did do, like choosing to play softball on weekends) I would just pick them up & bring them home.  They like their SM but they aren't going to have visitation with her.  I figured if their dad didn't care about spending time with them, they might as well be home, which is what they preferred to do.  I know I gave up doing a lot of things that I would have liked to do for fun because of being the custodial parent and I think that if a dad can only spend certain days with his kids, then he should be spending time with them & taking care of them.  Maybe it's different if he really has no choice but to work, but does he have to go bowling?  What kind of message does that send to his kids?  I do agree that you should go out and leave him to deal with everything.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010

  I agree with everthing Serenity and Music said.  If kids are visiting their father, he should BE there.  Let us know how it works leaving your dh in charge of  his own kids. 

  I had a similar situation with dh's 4 year old grandson who stays with us EOW.  I finally told dh that since I work full-time, I was NOT getting up early with DSG4 or changing any plans I might have to babysit him.  Dh has a bond with him I don't, so feel HE can take charge and he has.  Dh HEARD me (whether he liked it or not) and made the changes.  I find though ME still having to say to dh...hey, let's do this or that with DGS because dh doesn't really play with him or DO anything with him.  I always have to be the one to make suggestions.  UGH  I'd be happy seeing him once a month, but dh would go through withdrawal. 

Anyway, best of luck and keep us updated!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002

Hi DP----

I wonder if your issue could be addressed without involving "his kids/my kids"-----as he seems to be *hearing* all of this as you being resentful of doing (the extra) for *his* kids------------when, from my reading,....what's really happening is you feel overwhelmed with doing all youre doing daily for he/you/your kids...........and when his kids roll in (with NO extra help from him)---it's like the straw that broke the camel's back--------really it's not the ____ amount of work for his kids, as much as it's the COMBINED work of ALL of that ON TOP OF all you're doing all week long.................

I guess what I'm wondering is, ...say, for meals.....during the week/his kids gone----how much/what does he do towards that?  Who shops? Who cooks? Who sets table? Who cleans up?  Is it: DP, DP, DP, DP?  

I guess I"m thinking, if DAILY/during week/when his kids are gone......say, he set the table and cleaned up (at least did all the dishes while you put left overs away)....AND continued his role as such on weekends when extra crew was there............you would be alot happier/less stressed/less resentful.  Yes, you're cooking for more, but he's cleaning up for more.............you're in it together---not only are you supporting meals with HIS kids, but he's supporting meals with YOUR kids.

I think you're trying to be helpful by not asking him  to do alot for *your* kids............but then he's not reciprocating the same way,............so you feel resentful/used.  He's not *changing* to see things/act along your way (eg: each take responsibility for own kids and not burden the other with *my* kids needs)...........so, maybe switch to *his* way of seeing things----------eg, what you do when only your kids there is same you do when his kids there also-----BUT HE NEEDS TO BE DOING MORE WHEN ITS JUST YOU AND YOUR KIDS THERE---EG, on a daily basis.

This could refer to laundry also---what's his role in the laundry getting done?  If he were to help you fold/put away during the week, AND when his kids are there, then it's not that horrendous of "extra" work when his kids are there, KWIM?

I dunno...........I just know that you'll never win any battles once the guy feels you "hate" doing stuff for his kids..........I think it would be of benefit if you could switch that dynamic somehow.....

BEST WISHES!

Keep us posted!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007

Laurena, yep, you hit the nail on the head! I have always done all the cooking, and for the most part all the cleaning. He does his own laundry. I do mine and the kids and on occasion he will throw some of mine or the kids in to his. To his credit he does all yardwork, takes out the trash, does maintenance on the vehicles, cleans the litterboxes and does repairs around the house. My deal has always been with dishes. I feel if I cook then he can put the dishes in the dishwasher. When his kids are with us it is A LOT of extra dishes. His daughter one time made a snarky remark about when she is a grown up with a family she will wash everything by hand. I told her if she worked 40 hours a week and came home and did three hours of homework with a special needs child then had to do all the cooking and laundry and cleaning that she would welcome putting dirty dishes in the dish washer! I bust my butt, I really do with my kids. Just the daily homework alone takes hours. Add that my daughter has special needs and I AM NOT COMPLAINING HERE but just pointing out a fact that it is a lot of extra work for me. Thus yeah, when his kids are here I expect him to do for them. Again, to his credit there are times when he has to work a fourteen hour day. He has his own business. I get that and I do pick up the slack and take over his duties when he either has very long days or business trips. I just have always felt like non custodial days should do their part for their kids when they have them because they do not have to do the day to day care for kids like custodial moms do. I can't ever get sick, nor do I have down time. When I had pneumonia a year ago I dragged myself around the house and cooked and cleaned and then dragged myself back to bed. There are men who do pick up the slack and who do their part, then there are others who do not. Vocalizing does not work for me. I guess actions speak louder than words so I need to just pick up and go at times and let him do for his kids.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007

Laurena, yep, you hit the nail on the head! I have always done all the cooking, and for the most part all the cleaning. He does his own laundry. I do mine and the kids and on occasion he will throw some of mine or the kids in to his. To his credit he does all yardwork, takes out the trash, does maintenance on the vehicles, cleans the litterboxes and does repairs around the house. My deal has always been with dishes. I feel if I cook then he can put the dishes in the dishwasher. When his kids are with us it is A LOT of extra dishes. His daughter one time made a snarky remark about when she is a grown up with a family she will wash everything by hand. I told her if she worked 40 hours a week and came home and did three hours of homework with a special needs child then had to do all the cooking and laundry and cleaning that she would welcome putting dirty dishes in the dish washer! I bust my butt, I really do with my kids. Just the daily homework alone takes hours. Add that my daughter has special needs and I AM NOT COMPLAINING HERE but just pointing out a fact that it is a lot of extra work for me. Thus yeah, when his kids are here I expect him to do for them. Again, to his credit there are times when he has to work a fourteen hour day. He has his own business. I get that and I do pick up the slack and take over his duties when he either has very long days or business trips. I just have always felt like non custodial days should do their part for their kids when they have them because they do not have to do the day to day care for kids like custodial moms do. I can't ever get sick, nor do I have down time. When I had pneumonia a year ago I dragged myself around the house and cooked and cleaned and then dragged myself back to bed. There are men who do pick up the slack and who do their part, then there are others who do not. Vocalizing does not work for me. I guess actions speak louder than words so I need to just pick up and go at times and let him do for his kids.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

I am just curious DP,

I forget how often your kids go to their dads, and how often your step-kids are at your house?  I also forget if there is inequality in chores between your children and his children.  Not sure to what degree or level your DD's special needs are. 

I guess I just wonder if the world would really end if the dishes didn't get done.  KWIM?  You work hard, your DH works hard, if you kindly ask the kids to load the dishwasher and leave the room, what is really the worst that would happen?  Since this seems to be the real kicker for you, dishes that is, I really don't see what is wrong with asking the kids to clean up the kitchen before you all get up from the kitchen table.  Unless you think they will get violent, I say give it a try.  They don't do it?  Well, then you don't cook until they are done.  They still don't do them, then I guess they can eat cereal out of serving bowls or eat sandwhiches off of papertowels.  They may actually have to rinse off a knife or spoon!

I know, sounds good in theory, right?  Then they probably go back to their moms and you of course, can't let the dishes sit for two weeks and you end up doing them.   But I am sure you get my point. 

What consequence there might be for them not doing the dishes, I don't know.  But seems that would be one thing you and your DH could agree on, I would think? 

Just a thought.  If I remember right they also sleep on the floor, so I am sure it is tough all the way around.

Keep us posted!

 

 

 

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I think you should have invited your DSS to wash all the dishes by hand that night & try it out.