Frustrated Dad

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2009
Frustrated Dad
2943
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 3:28am
I really need some opinions on my situation. I am a 30 year old dad with 3 children. I work 10-12 hrs a day 5 days a week and every other Saturday. I am pretty much a homebody, the only time I really go out is on Sundays during football season to watch the games. I do what i need to in order to support my wife and kids. But I am at wits end with my wife and need some help.
My wifes day is as follows. She wakes up any where from 10am - noon (which means 2 of our children (11 and 7) wake up feed themselves and walk to school) at which point she will got downstairs to the kitchen to light a cigarette and call her sister or best friend. During the 1/2hr to an hour that she is on the phone she will make (for herself)and drink about 3 cups of coffee. At around noon when the baby wakes up (11 months) she'll feed him change his diaper and set him on the floor and mostly ignore him as she calls her mother. Usually around 12:30 she'll head out to do errands leaving me with the baby until 1:30 when she'll get home so I can rush out to work where I'm 20 minutes away from and need to be in by 2.
Heres the thing i have no problem being the sole financial gainer in the house hold but I expect certain things. I guess thats the reason for this post to find out if my expectation are to lofty. I expect her to get up in the morning with the children make them breakfast help them pick out cloths make sure they have their homework and send them off to school( I would even help in the morning but i got sick of waking up in the morning while shes still sleeping when i was the one at work last night). I would like breakfast every once in a while made when i wake up i don't expect it but it would be nice. I would like the baby up before 11am I just don't think he should be sleeping that long. i expect laundry the be cleaned, folded and put away! The laundry in our house gets washed and dried them it usually ends up on the dining room table for half the day then it makes its way over to the living room where its folded and left on the couch for a day or two (is it to much to ask to have it put away). I expect the house clean! Cleaning the kitchen for her consist of of doing the dishes and mopping the floor! Cabinets, frig, counters, stove maybe once a month. Cleaning the dinning room consist of her wiping the table and vacuuming one area of the carpet. Bathroom, living room are cleaned in the same manner and the children's room and bedroom upstairs can go months without cleaning! I expect lunch made before i got to work! No breakfast and lunch not even a packed lunch/diner!I expect a home cooked diner for my children! Not pizza, macaroni or canned spaghetti!!! Is this to much to ask? i expect diner when I get home, real food not something she sends me on yoville or farmtown, which she's on until 2am!! DO I EXPECT TO MUCH? I thought these where to things a stay at home mom did? Are my expectations to old school? I need answers I feel like I'm being taken advantage of and I don't know how much longer I can last.

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Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
In reply to: daddy_gil
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 4:10am
That does sound pretty bad all around. But let me ask you if you have ever discussed any of this with her. I don't mean as in a fight or nagging or whatever, but a reasonable and adult discussion of how you both would like your house and your family to run and how you might accomplish that.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2007
In reply to: daddy_gil
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 7:29am

A sahMOM is a MOM first and not your personal nanny, cook, maid and washerwoman.

What time does she go to bed? Is the baby sleeping through the night? If not, do you get up with the baby ever?

If you expect her to be up waiting for you with a home cooked meal at 2AM AND expect her to be up with the sun at 7AM to get the kids off to school, when can she sleep?

If the 7 and 11 year olds are able to do their morning thing by themselves without repercussions, why does she need to be up with them?

Why do you get a free ride with regard to the household duties? Are you not part of the household? What are the 7 and 11 doing to help with the housekeeping activities? My children are expected to put away their laundry and will soon be required to fold it too.

Your post sounds like you want a fulltime nanny, fulltime cook and fulltime housekeeper and not a life *partner*. I only see negatives in your post, what are the positives?

My DH and I discovered that we had different expectations regarding the cleanliness of the house. Our solution was to have an every other week "maid" come to clean. It has been money well spent.

It sounds like you are expecting her to do ALL of the household work while you are Lord of the Manor. You stated that your job was 10-12 hours per day. But it sounds like you want your wife to be on duty from 7am until 2AM. That is a very long day.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2006
In reply to: daddy_gil
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 9:39am

there's two sides to this.

 

Avatar for mommy2amani
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: daddy_gil
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 11:32am

I'll say up front that I'm a WOHM, never been a SAHM, but FWIW, here's my opinion.


I do not think it's okay for a 7 and 11 yo to get themselves up and ready for school with no adult available.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
In reply to: daddy_gil
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 12:03pm
It sounds to me as if your wife might be clinically depressed or something. She needs at least a thorough physical.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2000
In reply to: daddy_gil
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 1:46pm

My thoughts exactly.



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2008
In reply to: daddy_gil
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 2:36pm
Hi. I think I've only posted here once or twice, but I periodically lurk.




Has your wife always been like this, or is it relatively new? Has she seen a doctor recently? There's always a possibility of an illness--mental or physical that could be dragging her down. She may not even realize something's wrong.




Does your wife want to be at home? Would she, perhaps, be happier working outside the house? If that's the problem, even a part time job may help. If that interests her, and yuo don't want your children with an alternate caregiver, could you cut your hours?




If there's nothing medically wrong with her, and she wants to be at home, I really think she should be a little more appreciative. I am a stay at home mom of a nearly two year old. My husband, like you, works long hours, often overnight, so I don't have to work. He doesn't
love his job, some days he doesn't even like it, but he does it because it pays the bills, and it's important to us that our daughter is with a parent. (Initially, I tried working part time opposite his schedule, but for us, that was more difficult than me just staying home. It wasn't that important to me to work, and it actually put more stress on him.)




We're both very active with our daughter, but in the early days, there wasn't much he could do, other than play with her. I breastfeed, so he couldn't help with feeding for the first 8 months (when we started solids, although, when we did, that became his domain, by his choice) and couldn't get up with her at night even if he could help, as he was working. Now, there's really not that much work to her--it's mostly fun, and we both enjoy active roles.




Outside of killing spiders, and heavy lifting, I have very few household expectations for him. I would absolutely not expect him to come home and clean the kitchen or scrub the bathroom any more than he would expect me to show up and pitch in at his job. He actually does do little things around the house pretty often, but I'd never expect it. He has his job, and the house is my job, and frankly, I have the easier of the two. We both make it a habit to regularly thank the other for our hard work.




The primary reason I'm home is for our daughter--the house comes second. That said, it doesn't mean I can let the house turn to a pigsty. I keep things picked up and tidy throughout the week, and do a nice through deep clean once weekly when he has time with our daughter without me. I tend to clean as I go, so counters are wiped after each use, dishes are done and floors are swept daily, and toys are picked up as we go along. My laundry is folded the same day it's done, and while I don't always get to putting it away that same day, it's neatly folded, in baskets in the appropriate room. If my husband has ever noticed this, he's never said anything, but I highly doubt he'd be thrilled to find it all on the table when he came home to eat. The kitchen and bathroom get wiped down daily, and a good scrubbing once a week. My daughter's room is picked up as needed. Dirty clothes are put in the appropriate basket as we take them off. Our bed isn't made unless we're having company, mostly because he's sleeping in it. Would you be satisfied with an arrangement like ours?




Providing my child with quality, made from scratch meals each day is a huge part of my responsibility. I imagine he'd be livid if I habitually fed her macaroni or canned spaghetti (although we regularly have wheat pita pizzas.) We make it a point to have at least one meal as a family each day. Most days we eat together in the morning, when we get as well as before he leaves for work. Sometimes this means I make two different items at the first meal--breakfast for daughter and I and dinner for him. Not a big deal. Some days he gets home around 4AM. On those days, I'll throw something in the crockpot before I go to bed, or make something easy to reheat, that will still taste good. He does not expect me to get up at 3AM to cook his dinner. (Although, sometimes I do.) Would that be acceptable to you?




I do let my daughter sleep until she wakes up on her own, and consider not having to wake her early one of the benefits of being home. That said, she usually wakes on her own around 8 or 9. What time does your wife put the baby to bed? Does the baby sleep through the night? If the baby is going to be early (my daughter goes around 9:30) and sleeping most of the night, I'd look into why he's sleeping that much. I'd also be concerned with her level of activity with him. If the reason she's home is to care for the baby, she should be caring for him. Unless we have a morning event, it's unusual for us to leave the house early, but when we're home, we're playing, doing chores together, reading, or whatnot. It's not time for me to smoke, drink coffee, and chitchat on the phone. We also make it a point to (barring any special outings) be home an hour before my husband has to be to work. He only works about 15 minutes away, but this means he leaves calmly, and we're able to spend a little time with him, and see him off. Our ritual is to wave and blow kisses from the driveway.




I definitely see how you could feel taken advantage of, and while some of your expectations do sound like a bit much, I'd bet that ties into the feelings of being taken advantage of. For example, would you complain about the baby sleeping late if he was actively engaged when he was up? Or if the laundry was not put away, but was neatly folded and in reasonable places, rather than strewn across the table or couch? Or if your children were well fed, but you had to reheat the meal for yourself when you got home? I've found that my husband gets nit-picky and extra demanding (not just with me, with anyone) as a way to compensate when his basic and reasonable expectations aren't met. Would it help if she was meeting you part way? If I'm completely off base here, just disregard.




For what it's worth, I definitely feel knowing your children are well cared for, and coming home to a reasonably tidy house, and decent meal are well within the range of reasonable expectations. I'd sit down and have a long talk with your wife. Try not to nag or criticize--just outline what changes you'd like to see. Ask what you can do to help her. When she does clean, acknowledge it and thank her. Maybe find out if you do anything that bugs her.




Hope this helps! Best of luck.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2009
In reply to: daddy_gil
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 7:31pm

I was thinking that too, at first.

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Ducky

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
In reply to: daddy_gil
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 8:30pm

A baby who sleeps until noon? How old is he? That is very, very strange, as most babies awaken on their own very early because they are hungry. Unless your wife is feeding him at dawn, then going back to sleep, I would worry about a baby who didn't wake up earlier.


Now on to your real questions. You obviously resent your wife and I don't blame you, but rather than hashing it all out here and getting fuel for your fire, you should take it to a counselor. There is a lot that's broken in your home. Your wife may be depressed, and I can't imagine your kids are very happy either. They live with a smoker, two parents who seem to be like ships passing in the night, and even if they can get their own breakfast and lunch together, they still need a

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
In reply to: daddy_gil
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 8:47pm

"I do not think it's okay for a 7 and 11 yo to get themselves up and ready for school with no adult available.

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