Anonymous

Family/friends gatherings, outings

I want to start off by saying that im a sahm and my husband does all the parenting stuff and he is a great parent and loving husband and we are in a great place in our relationship albeit with our own shortcomings. He chages diapers, feeds the baby (20 month old only child), puts her to bed etc whenever he has time/can. But when we are out or we have people over, especially multiple families, i feel like im constantly doing stuff with the kid (feed, clean, taking care of her in general) throughout the day or i have to constantly ask my husband to do something (feed her, give her a snack, check her diaper etc) or he'll keep asking me if its the right amount of food, where her pants are at etc. Even when im catching up with family/friends i haven't met in a while, playing a card game, watching a movie etc. I have to go help him with her and come back to it. I dont mind it at all. But my husband gets uninterrupted periods of time where he goes on for a while playing with his friends or talking with them or watching a game etc where he is able to completely disconnect. This is especially true when we have people over, i mean he is also the host. I feel like i do most of the stuff, cook, clean, prep and clen the house before we have people over, shopping and make sure everything is stocked up etc. He will do it if i ask him but i have to ask him to do something every single time. If i ask him to empty trash before guests comeover. I have to remind him till he does it and then do it all over next time we have people over. And thats just one thing. How do i communicate with my husband about being more responsible when we have people over, without sounding as if he is not doing enough. Also, im 'expected' to go and help the lady host in the kitchen/with kids when we go over to friends/family house. Again, i dont mind but it feels unfair that women are 'expected' to do it. Men also do stuff but no one bats an eye if they just chill with the beer on the porch talking about how the raptors won. But if i do the same im sure ill get some looks. Or am i just putting pressure on myself to fit to these norms? Do you ladies do it/or feel the need to?

  • Anonymous
    Jul 05

    I feel the pressure too. I am my mom’s only daughter so she actually raised me to believe that we are stronger than men in so many ways - this being one of them. We carry such great responsibility and are expected to and are able to do it much better than men. If the roles were switched, they would screw it up and create more work. I do see how this is a social norm and how it’s unfair to women so I want to be part of the change... and make men more responsible. But it’s kinda hard when I do try to put some of the mental, emotional and physical load on my husband that everything crumbles. So I’m thinking the change will start with my son (I hope I raise him right!) I really just keep telling myself that as much as my husband thinks he’s the leader of the house and the strong guy - that it’s really me. Without me, a lot of the stuff will fall apart. My mom passed away two years ago.. and since then, I have felt that my side of the family has fallen apart. My brothers and dad have all drifted away, the family business has gone downhill. She was our glue and compass. It’s unfair.. but maybe for a reason because we women just have the stuff necessary to keep things going right. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Also, have you heard of “mental load?”

  • Anonymous
    Jul 05

    I'm actually surprised to learn that it has a term. Thank you! I looked it up and found some good articles. There is one article that includes a survey and it reports 53% of working women feel burnt out from the stress. It saddens me. I'm going to clearly communicate with my husband to get at least a few (3-5) of the stuff completely his responsibility. I might not change a lot but it's a start.

  • anonymous mom
    Jul 06

    Ugh I hear you. It’s called mental load I think. I have no idea how to combat it but it’s annoying as F. We just got back from a mini break and I feel like I did everything the whole time. From the packing to getting us there in one piece to planning every day to coming home. One morning while away my husband took our 21 month old for a walk so I could “sleep in” and he acted like a hero for it. I mean it’s nice but I do that kind of thing all the freakin time and don’t expect any accolades. It’s so annoying and I have no idea how to even address it because I’m sure my husband will get angry if I do. He’s a great dad but that’s it. He’s not trying to remember drs appointments or immunization schedules or summer camp registration forms or sunblock for the beach. He doesn’t monitor the mild skin reactions she gets he only comments when he notices them and then I feel like he’s judging me. Blah. Anyway I’m not sure what to say but I’m sorry you’re going through it too.

  • Anonymous
    Jul 06

    http://jamieglowacki.libsyn.com/boundaries If you like podcasts this one has been helpful for handling my kids and husband alike. She puts it in a pretty matter of fact perspective. If you want someone to do or be a certain way then you need to express your expectations. Otherwise if you assume they should just KNOW what you want because it may seem obvious then you have no one to blame but yourself, and that this is how resentment builds. My husband is by no means perfect, but I have realized if I want something specific I need to make it clear. If your family or friends are coming over I think it's totally reasonable to just say "look I'm really looking forward to seeing my friend and I would like some time to relax and talk to them. Can you please watch baby, and we can set out everything you will need for her ahead of time so there is no confusion, and when your friend is here I will be totally okay with doing the same for you".

  • winter
    Jul 07

    unfortunately, this is a male/female stance. not saying there aren’t sahd’s out there, or that men don’t pull in their weight, but almost ALL of the expectations always fall on the female. It’s a lifelong struggle to get passed.

  • Katie
    Jul 08

    I think this is a normal complaint. My husband tried to help but didn't truely "get it" until I started a new role at work where I work 12+ hours on the days that I am there. When I am there, I am essentially unavailable and my husband is on his own... when I come home, I eat and basically have to go straight to bed. I CANNOT go to work over exhausted because my work is very dangerous; we both work for the same Steel Mill so he fully "gets" my work life. My husband now alternates who does the meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. He talks to the daycare instead of expecting me to do it. He takes our kid to museums and makes sure he is fed relatively nutritious meals at appropriate intervals. He does laundry and other chores that need to be done without asking. My experience isn't really helpful, but it does demonstrate the disparity that exists: in order for my generally well meaning husband to truely become my partner, I had to take an extremely taxing, dangerous job (which I love, by the way) that he jokes makes me "the man". It shouldn't take this. As far as the hosting/helping thing: we basically stopped hosting anyone except family because I just can't physically do it anymore. When he host family, hubs cooks and plans and I generally end up cleaning up. At gatherings, I help out a little and then go hang out with who I want. Life is too short to obey bullshit, unfair social norms.

  • Jenn
    Jul 12

    The book How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids has some helpful suggestions for relieving the mental load on us mom’s. I don’t hate my honey by any means, but even with clearly communicating expectations he drops the ball a lot. I have had to actively work on lowering my expectations and standards, and put him on duties that can’t be totally screwed up. And when I do put him on a duty, I am all hands off. No micromanaging, no nit picking. Another suggestion from the book that we’ve started is to have you both make a list of all the chores/jobs that you don’t mind doing and ones you despise. Then make certain jobs either his or yours according to this list. For example, I don’t mind doing dishes and laundry. My honey does the grocery shopping and toilet cleaning. As for when guests are over, either very clear expectations or having him take the kiddos away and out of the house may help. The imbalance of the parenting mental load is definitely grueling, but our men can step up to the plate. We just have to ready the table...

  • Anonymous
    Jul 12

    I'm going to read that book. Thanks for all the suggestions. I thought a lot about this after I posted. I realized, I do nit pick. I am going to try not to. For all the ladies who said or who have their husbands share chores/duties etc, What kind of stuff do you start off with ? I want to start with something that I can resist micromanaging.

  • cocomac
    Oct 23

    Wow mental Load. I need to read more on it. You have great advice here. My husband is opposite. He does nothing at home but when people are around, he’s suddenly a doting father 😂 I yell at him from time to time. He gets it sometimes but still won’t admit it and gives me attitude but does the job. It’s a constant battle this mental load...