Working Moms

Can I borrow your ear? I just have to get this out.

 dont even know where to start. I will try to keep this short. Here goies nothing. DH and I had our first DD who is now 8 mo old. We both work full time and live in VA 10k miles away from family and friends. We literally have NOBODY here we know and we have been here 3 yrs. I am feeling very overwhelmed and sad lately b/c it seems like I have zero support, have a DH who is emotionally unavailable and leaves me to do everything and I mean everything. I take care of all of our finances, bills, grocery shopping, laundry, all baby care duties, make all the decisions for everything and all he does is go to work and maybe will load the dishwasher every now and then and feed or change DD.

I havent had a chance to breathe in months, I work 4 10 hr days at a crappy call center job that drains my soul every single day, i am having issues with our DC provider (nothing serious, just have been kinda going back and forth with her on some things) so that makes me feel even worse about working and leaving DD, I dont get a chance to get out and do anything enjoyable, we only have 1 car and DH has it the majority of the time b/c of his work schedule so this puts DD and I alone at home most of the time which is depressing. I want to get her out and show her things and take her fun places but we can never do it b/c we are always working and all my DH wants to do when he gets home is rest, even on weekends. I feel like we dont do enough with DD and she spends her time at DC in a stupid playpen or swing or whatever and when she is with us I want to make the most of it but DH is always annoyed and argumentive and complaining about how tired he is. i feel so alone like its just DD and I.

Everything is starting to build up and I am tired of being tearful, resentful, exhausted, frustrated and I have no outlet. We are always super broke and barely scraping by (please do not flame) b/c of old debts of DH's that we are trying to pay off. So I am always penny pinching and trying to figure out how we are going to eat or how to afford gas for the week in addition to feeling like I have no support from DH. I have tried to tell him how hard all of this is for me as a working mom with no friends or family and how sad I am b/c all we do is work, we never have money, never do anything as a family, DD is always home on weekends with me and not out doing fun things b/c he is gone with the car at work (he needs the car for work), and we dont even communicate as a couple anymore. Everything is an argument and he is always challenging me about who is the most tired and who got more sleep, and all this mess.

I talk and he just sits there and doesnt respond, ask questions or seem remotely concerned about my feelings so in the end I shut down. this is not how i expected my life to be. there is nothing remotely enjoyable (with the exception of DD) going on. I feel so ran down and overwhelmed and sad. I do everything for our family and run myself into the ground trying to manage all these responsibilities with minimal help and it seems like there is no end in sight. I am tired of arguing with him and trying to talk and "work it out" and get on the same page. It is just not working. I dont know what I expect from writing this post, but I just had to get it out. Im just fed up and at my wits end.

Re: Can I borrow your ear? I just have to get this out.

  • Huge huge hugs.

    You have been letting things build up....let it out. That is what we are here for!

    How long have you and DH been married? What was he like pre-kid?  It sounds like he's not stepping up to be the dad you want and need him to be, and that coupled with not having a support system must be incredibly hard.  Have you considered counseling? For you alone if DH won't go?  I must admit seeing someone just to talk has done me a world of good, and it could help you formulate a plan to involve DH or at least deal with his communication (or lack of) style.

    Why don't you go out with DD on the weekends without him if he's so tired. I love going places with just the kids if DH is busy...it's not ideal, but better than sitting around the house.

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  • Do you think your husband will ever change? Would therapy help and is he willing to try? Is he verbally abusive? Do you have somewhere to go?

    I think you need to ponder what your life will be like in 5 years if nothing changes and consider your options.

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  • I am so sorry that you are feeling overwhelmed.  Have you tried to communicate your feelings at a time when your husband isn't "tired"? (aren't we all tired!)  Is there any possibilty that you could drop him off at work so that you don't feel confined to your house when he is working?  Or are there places within walking distance or public transportation that you could use to get out and about?  I know how it can be when money is tight, but just getting outside can sometimes help.

      Is your husband possibly feeling overwhelmed to and doesn't know how to deal with his feelings?  I hope you can find a way to work it out and maybe sitting down with a 3rd party would help?

     Good Luck!

  • I'm sorry you're having a rough time.  It sounds like you have several problems: you need transportation, you need to make some friends (friends can be as good as family but you have to build the relationship first), and you have issues with your DH.  The first two problems are easier than the third.  Could you and DD drop off your DH at work sometimes so you can have the car?  Could he carpool with a co-worker?  You could sell that as a way to save money too.  Is there public transportation in your area?  It sounds like what you really need is a mommy group to meet some friends in the area.  If you can find one, once you get to know some of the women, maybe one of them could pick up you and DD on the way to some meetings.  Do you have neighbors with small children?  Take the initiative and invite them over for a BBQ.  Good luck!  I hope things get better for you.
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  • Leave hisass.  If memory serves, I've seen similar posts from you (or it could just be a similar poster) MONTHS ago.  If things aren't getting better, somethign has to change.  Can you take a plane with your DD and stay w/ your parents for a whiel and get a job?  Would they help you out (by letting you stay with them)?  YOu can then tell your DH he can come out and join you or he can leave. 
  • So sorry you are going through this. It is so exhausting being a mom sometimes. You need your DH to step up & help you. If not help you at least listen to you & start to really hear you.

    As PP said my 1st reaction is leavehisass. From the picture you painted he sounds like a loud of crap weighing you & your DD down. What is he married to you for if he isn't going to or want to enjoy your company & DD's? We all have our gripes about our DH's here & there. No one is perfect & living with another person is hard at times. Sharing a life with someone is hard. The thing that gets me through is knowing if I can't stand any longer, I know for damn sure I can lean on DH. No matter how tired or sore he is from working, I know that he'll step up & do whatever, however he can to make things easier for me & care for our DD. When he has a day where it's just him & her & I'm off doing something, it's his favorite. He truley enjoys his time with her. Seeing her grow & change. Being her daddy & her needing him.

    Your husband needs to step up or you need to step out. No one deserves that kind of life.

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  • I understand being unhappy but not wanting to or feel able to leave DH for whatever reason.  DH agreed to go to counseling with me.  We have only been a few times - I guess it is helping a little.  When DH is mad, he threatens to stop and says he doesn't care if I leave him.  When he's happy, he'll say he doesn't like it, but he keeps going if I want him to.  We also only have one car.  I take DS on a long walk every day to get out of the house.  I can walk to some stores near our house in about 20 mins too.  If DH is tired after work or on the wknds and wants to rest- you can go out w/o him.  Look into a mom's group at night or on the wknds so you can meet ppl - you could try this site: http://www.meetup.com/   

    In a moment of despair I googled something like unhappy marriage and got these tips that I think have been helping.  GL!

    4. Focus on how you can change yourself to be a better partner instead of how you want to "fix" your spouse.When you work on improving yourself and changing non-productive habits and approaches, then your spouse will have to relate to you differently. You may have gotten in a habitual mode of pushing each other's buttons in the same way and always eliciting the same response. But if you change your normal response, then the interaction between the two of you will change.

    5. Have on-going support from a counselor who knows your issues and what you are going through. This will give you the help and encouragement you need to keep trying new things and experimenting with new approaches.

    7. Examine whether or not you are depending too much on your spouse to meet your needs or "make you happy." No one else can make you happy; it's an inside job. And no one person can meet all the needs of another. That's why you need friends, hobbies, and outside activities. Expand your world and see if this takes some of the pressure off of your marriage.

    8. Keep a gratitude journal each day, listing all of the things you are thankful for in your life. Each day, try to find five or six new things to list that you haven't written down before. During the day, notice what happens that's a blessing: the friendly sales clerk who efficiently handles your refund with a smile, the parking space that suddenly opens up just when you need it, or an unexpected compliment from a co-worker.

    9. Make a list of your spouse's positive qualities and contributions to your marriage, including things he or she has done that you appreciate. Read over this list every morning and every evening, anchoring these good points in your mind. At some point, share your list with your spouse.

    10. Make a consistent effort to be positive and encouraging. Sandwich any criticism or request for a change in behavior between two compliments. For example, "You're always so responsible about mowing the yard each weekend. Could you also sweep the grass clippings off the sidewalk? Thanks for all you do to help keep the yard looking so good."

    12. Try writing your thoughts, feelings, and requests in a letter to your spouse. There are many spouses who have responded positively to a letter who have been notorious for tuning out the spouse's verbal pleas for years. It's a different medium of communication, and it often commands more attention.

    13. When you have given your marriage your best efforts for at least a year and nothing has changed, then ask yourself the famous Ann Landers question, "Are you better off with him (or her) or without him?"Life is too short to stay stuck in a miserable marriage for years if you are the only one who wants your relationship to be different. Even at this point, though, sometimes the shock of having a spouse initiate a legal separation makes the other partner finally realize the seriousness of the situation and agree to work on the marriage.  

    ETA: I also read and liked Babyproofing Your Marriage:

    http://www.amazon.com/Babyproofing-Your-Marriage-Communicate-Better/dp/B000WPQ96M/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202181053&sr=8-1 

  • If I was you I would look at moving back where your friends and family lives and try therapy to help fix the communication in your marriage.  I think if you move near family, it could help you a lot.  You would have outside support, new job, a babysitter so you can try to fix your marriage.  If you stay where you live I would look for a new job, new DC, maybe join your local church, and get a cheap 2nd car.

  • It sounds like both you and your DH are depressed. Above are all good suggestions.
    I suggest asking your HR if they have an employee assistance program. This is a free service offered by most companies that includes free therapy. You're unhappy and obviously need to do something about it.

    Also, talk to other moms about doing a babysitting swap so that at least you and your DH can go out. I know you don't have a lot of money so do a babysitting swap and just go to Mcdonalds or pack a picnic. something to reconnect.

  • image carrie4g:

    It sounds like both you and your DH are depressed. Above are all good suggestions.
    I suggest asking your HR if they have an employee assistance program. This is a free service offered by most companies that includes free therapy. You're unhappy and obviously need to do something about it.

    Also, talk to other moms about doing a babysitting swap so that at least you and your DH can go out. I know you don't have a lot of money so do a babysitting swap and just go to Mcdonalds or pack a picnic. something to reconnect.

    I also thought of an EAP (employee assistance program). Often times companies will have 800-numbers that you can call 24/7 for any kind of support. It might help to just talk to someone and get it off your chest, you know?

    I agree that you should try to visit family and possibly move to be closer to friends/family. Living so far from friends/family and support systems can be REALLY rough on anyone, especially a couple with a young child. It sounds like your husband is definitely depressed or down on some level. Maybe he feels bad that he can't help/support you like he wants to - but instead of trying to find ways to be supportive he just checks out b/c he doesn't know what to do first.

    I can't help but say to think about what life would be like without him... but I don't know your relationship. If it was completely different before you had a child, I think you need to find a way to fix it. If he's always been like this and is just getting worse... maybe you need a way out.

    Good luck to you... I really hope that you find something that works for you. You're always welcome here!!!

    Oh, and check out your hospital where you had the baby... I remember hearing that many hospitals have mom groups for support!  

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  • I don't have anything useful to add that the other ladies haven't alreayd said - I just wanted to say I was sorry you were having such a hard time and I'm said for you.  DH was a little like your DH the first few months after DD was born minus the money issues - but he was very whiney and tired, etc. but he got a lot better by the time I went back to work and much better aroudn the 6 month mark.

    Can you guys look at moving closer to your family & friends?  Can you join a mom's group?  We started a workign mom's playgroup on my local bump board and we've been meeting about once a month - its not a solution to all your problems, but at least you'd be getting out of the house and meeting up w/ other moms.  Have you looked on meetup.com or other places?  What about driving your H to work on the weekends so you and DD can have the car?  Taking your LO to the park is free and even just walking aroudn in interesting areas is free.

  • I understand exactly how you feel, and often feel the same way.

    First, you need to breathe and relax. 

    I definitely suggest counseling, either for just you or as a couple. But, as money is tight right now, that may not be a viable option. If you can't get DH to listen to you and your feelings and needs, you need an advocate who will help you speak with him. A friend or family member who won't be biased towards "siding" with either of you would be best. 

    Second, you can get out of the house with DD. You don't need a car to go places. Put her in a stroller or a carrier and go for a walk. Even if there isn't any place in particular to walk to (i.e. a park or playground), it gets you BOTH outside, in the fresh air and moving. If while DH wants to sit and relax... suggest he go and take a nap while you and DD go out for a drive to some place. any place. 

     My DH works weekends a lot, and sometimes I go to visit my family for the weekend without him. He is working, I am not. I have a chance to get away, visit my family and my mother is usually so besotted with seeing my son that I can rest, or go get a manicure or something!

    I know it seems like everything is falling apart, but perhaps you need to get your DH to also talk about HIS feelings, aside from being tired from work. It is very possible that he is feeling overwhelmed with being a father (even if it seems like he isn't doing anything to actually be fatherly). Perhaps he is scared, unsure, etc. Having a child seems to easy and natural until you actually HAVE the child. It is a very difficult transition for many if not all couples. The key to surviving it and still having a good relationship as husband and wife and not just mom and dad is communication. He you can't communicate, like I said, you need someone who will help you guys communicate. The most important thing is make sure you keep judgement and resentment OUT of the conversation. They get you nowhere. 

     Chin up! We are hear for you to vent and it CAN and WILL get easier. 

  • shannmshannm
    Ancient Membership 250 Answers 2500 Comments 250 Love Its
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    So sorry you are in this situation. 

    If your husband is how you described him, and not willing to work on the issues, I would pack up and move closer to friends and family.  After being in a couple of bad relationships, and watching others around me, I have no patience for men that crawl into themselves and don't make an effort to better the relationship.  I would love to say that they change but I haven't seen this often.

    I don't think I have a 50/50 situation that many of us dream of but my DH would drop everything to make DS's weekend and evenings fun and loving.  I think everyone deserves this.

    Good Luck!


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