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husband who won't help

7 answers
I have a 22 month old and an 8 week old. I stay at home with the kids and go to school at night twice a week. My husband is a carpenter and works hard during the week. On weekend I can really use his help since during the week I deal with the kids all day by myself. But all he does is lie on the couch and sleeps half the time. When I ask him to take one kid so I can deal with the other he says "You got it." Or when I ask him to change a dirty diaprt he says he can't because it makes him sick. And today when i asked if he could watch our 22 month old so i could take a nap when our 8 week old did, he got all mad saying he wants to hang out. Mind you its 2 in the afternoon and he's sleeping on the couch, which he of course states, "I wasn't napping. I had my eyes closed." How do I get him to participate more when I need help and get him to be more proactive on his own when it comes to the kids and mine needs?

answers (7)

I dealt with a man like that. I stuck it out for 10 years, and he never really changed. No matter how much I cried to him, got angry with him. I warned him. He never listened. I finally divorced him.
Well, there's a couple of possiblities here.  1. He's just not into the kids and isn't going to change.  Or 2. He has NO IDEA what he's doing with them and doesn't want to screw up. If it's the first, there's not much you can do.  If it's the second, there's a lot.  The first thing you can do is get him comfortable with the kids.  Not all people are immediately comfortable and all-knowing about babies and small children.  Heck, they're fairly intimidating creatures, I admit it.  Start off small.  Does he interact with the kids?  Feed them bottles or lunch?  Sit on the floor and play with them?  Even sitting and watching a video is a good sign, especially if he's talking about what's happening on the screen.  Sit and play with the kids while he's in the room - get him to interact with them, even if it's just building a tower of blocks so the toddler can knock them over.  As he gradually becomes more comfortable with the kids, he'll probably be more willing to let you slip off and do things on your own.  Do you trust your husband with the kids, and not pick on every small thing he does with them? That's a total confidence killer, too.  So what if he feeds the toddler ice cream for lunch, or forgets to use baby powder on the baby's diaper?  It's just once.  It's not going to kill them.  I'm  not saying you do this; but please be aware of it as he does start taking more control of the kids. My husband started telling me, "You're the parent who knows what she's doing."  That statement drove me INSANE, because I sure as anything don't feel like I know what I'm doing, and I let him know it.  Further, I told him that every time he said it, I was going to leave the house for an hour.  AND I DID.  Part of this was because I trusted him with our son, so I didn't worry too much about leaving for an hour.  But this also turned into a great bonding time for them, to the point that every so often, for no reason whatsoever, my husband now tells me I'm the parent.... - just because he wants time for themselves.  Win-win!
i am kind of dealing with the same thing, i am 15 weeks and my fiance is telling me, "well we've got about 7 months to go till we really have to start figuring things out." how can i get him motivated and understand that there are needs that have to be met before then for myself and our child?
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when he is sleeping on the sofa, take your toddler, and plop him/her down on top of him. tell him you need some help. not later, now. tell him, "i could care less if your tired, or not. you are a parent, and it's your responsibility to pitch in and help. you helped me make these babies, and you need to help raise them as well."  men think that we have the easy job of staying home with the children, until they have to stay home and do everything we do for a couple of days. i have 4 slipped discs in my back which often leaves me immobilized for up to a week at a time. until my husband stayed home to take care of me, our 21 month old daughter, and 4 pit bulls, he had no idea what everyday life was like for me.  this was an eye-opening experience for him. he was going crazy by day 4. now, he longer bitches about dishes in the sink when he comes home, or laundry folded and stacked on the kitchen table. he now  understands, that life with a toddler, and 4 dogs, is non-stop until she goes to bed. as for changing diapers, my husband only changes her when he has to. he told me early on that he felt uncomfortable doing it. i understood, and told him it was no big deal, but that if we had another child that turned out to be a boy, he would be changing diapers just as much as me when he was home. thankfully, i have been potty training her, so soon we will be able to get rid of diapers completely. however, you need to view his behavior as a red flag. some men just don't get it, and never will.
I take "mommy breaks." Sometimes I tell my man (tell, not ask!) that I am going to go out for an hour and he needs to watch the baby. I tell him when she last ate and when her last diaper change was, and then I hit the road. I try not to tell him "do this, don't do that..." etc when I leave her with him. I trust him and I know dad' s have different parenting styles than mom's. Sometimes he bulks and says, "how long are you going to be gone?" and I tell him as long as I want to be. Generally, though, I only stay out for a hour or two. I'll get a bite to eat or go to Target or something. It lets me recharge a little bit and I think it gives him confidence in his parenting skills.
My husband and I have had most of our arguments over cleaning.  We are expecting in November and had to do something to solve this before a baby makes for even more stress.  I work fulltime while working on my master's at night.  He is busy too but has a more flexible schedule. I would get upset because he was home all afternoon but nothing looked done. So,   we set up a list of daily/weekly chores that need to be done and stuck in on the fridge with a calendar next to it.  If someone is home then something has to be marked off before we get the "me" time.  It has worked out great! My husband has a better idea of what needs to be done and I see what was done.  Going on 3 weeks and no arguments over the housework.  Hopefully we can continue on this path once the baby is here!

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