Dealing with SHM — The Bump
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Dealing with SHM

I'm rather desperate for advice on this one...  MW and I have been married nearly 3 years and LO will soon be 8 months. I was very supportive of MW during pregnancy and continue to be, but as time wears on I'm wearing out.  I work the standard 9 to 5 at a large company, while MW plays the role of SHM.  Every day when I come home from work, however, I find myself doing all of the household chores.  (No lie, MW refuses to load/unload the dishwasher or do laundry.)  At the same time, MW expects a break claiming that she is exhausted from dealing with LO.  LO sleeps through the night and is (at least on weekends and days I work from home) very good at self entertaining, so I'm not understanding the constant exhaustion.  I mean no disrespect of MW's SHM role, but of late, we've been sniping at each other more and more.  I feel like she's using LO has an excuse not to help around the house, while at the same time, she says that I "get a break from LO 5 days a week for 8 hours."  Not to mention, MW is withholding TLC because she wants #2 and I'm not ready...  I feel like MW's 5x8 break feelings are potentially toxic, but I don't have a clue on how to correct it.  Does anyone have any advice?  Thanks in advance..... 

Re: Dealing with SHM

  • LuckyDadLuckyDad member
    edited September 2013
    Eight month old children can be pretty exhausting.

    It does sound like you two need to have a conversation about ideal division of labor and what household chores can be cut back on in the short run.

    The fact she's withholding sex because she wants to conceive and you don't is pretty concerning. It also sounds like you two are having a tough time managing life with just one right now!

    Has she been screened for PPD?
    -My son was born in April 2012. He pretty much rules.
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  • I agree with @LuckyDad, the two of you need to sit down and discuss division of labor etc.  If you are only working 8 hours a day then you are lucky.

    I also agree that before trying for #2 the two of you have to be able to handle one.  A 8 month old can be draining but at the same time your wife should be able to do some simple things like load/ unload the dishwasher etc.
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  • jack19 said:
    this is just my opinion...if she is home and not working from home, that is...her job is the baby then she should be banging out some chores when LO is napping.  

    I feel like every couple has to work this sort of thing out for themselves. My wife always preferred doing chores in the evenings after DS went to sleep and she had me to keep her company. "You should do chores while LO naps" is a little too micromanagy for my personal style. I feel that's where having that conversation about "XYZ are my jobs, ABC are yours", and each partner can manage their "free" time as they see fit.

    If it's affordable, getting someone to come clean the house once a month during the first year can be hugely helpful too.
    -My son was born in April 2012. He pretty much rules.
  • These guys are right on a lot of points.  The fact you two do not see eye to eye on responsibilities around the house means you need to talk.  I can tell you that a second one is MORE than double the work.  Withholding TLC because she wants a second child is a big red flag to a bigger problem.  Stay at home parents have one of the hardest jobs I can imagine.  I do not know how my wife does it, but anyone that does not think being a stay at home parent is not a 'job', has never tried it.

    It may be a little harder for you because it is after the fact, but here was the deal my wife and I made before having kids.  She could be a stay at home mom, and I would work (we can survive on just my income), but
    1) We would have to be much more conservative with our spending. 
    2) She would have the sole responsibility of preparing all of the meals (including super), doing all of the laundry, and keeping the house clean.  (basically a throwback to the 20's)
    3) During the day, I did my job, and she did hers.  I would help where possible, but only to a small degree.  (This was a big one since I work from home and would be 'just downstairs'...and it would be waaaay to easy for me to 'just do this one thing really quick')
    4) After my work day was over, we would try to split responsibilities for watching the LO as much as possible, while still having each other's back. 

    This worked to a degree, but we liked to spend money, and my wife felt like she wasn't really contributing (even though her job was WAAAAAY harder than mine).  What has worked GREAT is her having a part time job that allows her to work at her own pace (to a degree).  The semi-flexable due-dates for her work allow her to watch the kids during the day and get some stuff done as time allows (work or house work).  This also brings in additional money that allow us to live a little more comfortably, and she feels like she is contributing.  We shifted the house-workload around a little with me taking on a few more things and taking the girls at night as needed for her to get things done.

    Based on what you have said of your SO, you guys need to decide who is responsible for what, and maybe revisit the idea of her not being a stay at home mom.  Also, keep in mind that in a few years the little one will be in school, and think about how responsibilities should change.
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