Posted in Family Life, Marriage & Partnership, Parenting Culture, Relationships, Stay-at-Home Parents, Working Parents

How much time does dad spend with his kids?


How much time does the father of your child(ren) spend with them? My partner and I are raising three kids together. The older two are his from a previous marriage, but we have them most of the time. The youngest is ours together. I’m a SAHM and my partner works from home a lot of the time. His work is often slow, so he is home doing nothing all day. He rarely helps me with anything and doesn’t spend much time with the kids. He sits in the basement and plays video games and takes a nap each day. I take care of meals, school work, sicknesses, entertaining the kids, and listening to their stories, complaints, or giving medicine if they’re sick. Sometimes he will sit in the kitchen while I make dinner, but helps with nothing. My youngest might start to whine for attention, and my partner will tell him to go play, rather than try to entertain him while I’m cooking. I just want to know how normal this is. I realize how ridiculous all of this sounds. Please don’t berate me. Just wanting to know the experiences of others. Thank you.

  • Kieli
    Dec 29, 2019

    I am a SAHM as well, my husband works 8-5 with an hour commute each way so I say bye to him at 6:45am and see him again until 6 pm. I cook, clean, do laundry, take the kids to their appointments, park days, and deal with sicknesses as well. After my husband gets home he sits on the couch, eats his dinner, and watches tv until the kids are put to bed (by me most nights). My husband wants to spend his weekends doing something he likes (hunting, fishing, hanging out with friends) so I’m usually with the kids again, doing most things. Is this a common thing? No. I have had multiple conversations about how I would like more help with our kids, and my husband says the same thing ever time. So I’ve just learned how to do it all myself. But I think some guys just aren’t wired like moms, they don’t have the instinct that we have when it comes to children.

  • Amanda
    Dec 29, 2019

    I’ve been a nanny for sooo many different types of families, all co-existing in the same cities. If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that each and every family is different, and they each find a balance that works for them. One of my favorite families is a work-from-home dad who does 90% of the childcare/household chores/play date transport/birthday party planning/etc and a mom who does what she can when her work schedule allows. Another one of my favorite families consists of two parents who work on alternating days and subsequently alternate childcare days. And yet a third family I adore has a SAHM who does 99% of childcare & household chores and a dad who comes home from work and hides away in the “adults only TV room” (aka the room with the giant tv and video games.) All three of these families have found balances that work for them. Obviously, that’s not to say that each family doesn’t have frustrations and that they’re living in perfect bliss. Even with families who split childcare 50/50 I’ve still seen strained dynamics when one parent feels the balance tilting. Just my observations from being a fly on the wall...

  • Anonymous
    Dec 30, 2019

    I’m a sahm. My husband has gotten better but at his worst, any time spent with our son would be tv time. Other than that, I did everything. I think it’s gotten better because I have told him about my dad’s experience. The only time my dad spent any time with my brothers or me was the car ride to drop us off or pick us up from places. Now with adult children and being an 80 year old, he regrets not spending more quality time with us when we were younger. He regrets it because we aren’t close with him and now as adults we are busy with our own families and he’s finding it difficult to connect with us now

  • anonymous mom
    Jan 17

    Your husband needs to grow up. I have only one child and my husband does have a grown stepdaughter from his first marriage who he still maintains close contact with (and who we call my daughters sister since she’s going to otherwise be an only child). Anyway me and my husband both work but we also both pick up all the slack at home. From cooking, cleaning, and outdoor stuff to child rearing. I definitely do more when it comes to our daughter but he’s very involved and he’d be even more so if I pushed for it. It’s not okay to hang out in the basement and nap just because he claims he’s at work. Is he a child? Ugh. I’d tell him he needs to be the adult or you’ll start treating him as one of the kids. 😐

  • Leelee
    Jan 30

    Was this something new he picked up after you moved in together or was he always a man child who played video games in the basement? Did he spend lots of time with the older two kids before you got pregnant? Or was he always like this and you just hoped he would change once y'all's baby showed up? While the article posted has some good points. It's mainly the overlooking of bad partners for the sake of "it'll get better" that is ridiculous. He's not changing, he's got an ex and two kids to prove it So either ultimatum, or deal with the fact you have 4 children in your house, one who at least financially contributes. My husband is very similar lol, but he's an amazing Dad when he's not playing a video game and I deal with the lion share of parenting and it's fine, sometimes I scream but what mom without a nanny doesn't? So figure out if he's worth it when he does unplug.