the unhappy housewife

freeI usually don’t discuss my husband much here, but he never rarely reads my blog so… whatever. Other than a cordial “excuse me” or “pass me a fork,” we’ve been giving each other the silent treatment for over 24 hours now.

He told me on Friday that he’s hiring a lady to come “help me out” twice a week, whether it be to clean or just watch the girls. Any normal person would be overjoyed by this prospect, but honestly… I think I’m a little offended. It’s not that I don’t need the help – trust me, I do.

I think I do a pretty darn good job of keeping the house in order most of the time. But mainly I just don’t think we can afford it. If all our bills were paid, money in savings, my airfare to BlogHer purchased, then maybe I’d be more open to the idea.

If he actually helped out just a little bit here and there, it would make a huge difference. I’m not asking him to wash the dishes or do laundry, but… he won’t even pick up his plate from the table for goodness’ sake! And I’m not doing it for him anymore, but I don’t think he’s even noticed.

It’s really just the little things that get to me.

Like having to sort out a million white socks that are all turned inside out and just subtly different. I’ve asked him to make the effort to take his socks and t-shirts off right side out multiple times, but for some reason that’s too much of a challenge for him. He said: “Just leave my socks in the hamper and I’ll sort them while I watch TV.” Yeah, that’ll never happen.

I was invited to a baby shower for some neighborhood moms (which took place last night). He refused to watch the girls for an hour and a half so I ended up having to find a sitter through my babysitting co-op. And no, he had no excuse, other than “I don’t want to.” My in-laws came over for dinner last night, and I found it hilarious that at the last minute he changed his mind. I guess he didn’t want them to think that he wouldn’t take care of his own daughters. But I already had the sitter set up so I didn’t want to cancel. The baby has a little separation anxiety and cried non-stop for the first half-hour, so the sitter called me, worried, and I called my husband to go pick them up.

An hour and a half later, he calls me – “Are you EVER going to come home? Your daughters miss you.”

O-M-G. Are you kidding me?? How hard would it be to take them upstairs to bed for once in their lives? That was the first ‘Girls Night Out’-type thing that I’ve ever gone to, for this same reason. What excuse do I give my friends? Um… I have to wash my hair. Or do I tell them the truth – that my husband doesn’t want to watch the girls – and feel totally embarrassed?

I’ve been so incredibly irritable the past few days. Can you tell?! Maybe I’m PMSing. Maybe it’s stress. My period’s a week late. And no, it’s not that, unless it were an immaculate conception. But that’s a whole ‘nother glass of whine.

All those little things are adding up and starting to chip away at my motivation to be a nice wife that keeps a tidy house and makes a wonderful dinner every evening. I’m trying to not let it affect the mommy in me, but it is. My patience is waning, as is my creativity and my enthusiasm… for just about everything.

When I’m stressed I obviously can’t focus, so I end up doing ridiculously time-wasting things like watching reruns of AFV and playing card games over and over on my iPod touch. Yesterday I must’ve spent two hours, maybe three, trying to figure out why my comments were slightly out of whack here. I went through the code line by line until I finally got it. I could’ve spent that time cleaning the house, or writing a few blog posts, but no – my perfectionism got the best of me.

That’s all for now, folks. Laundry awaits.

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  1. Laurie/Mobile Mommy says

    Oh my goodness. I would really lose my mind with a DH like that. You need to find some way to truly communicate with your husband and help him understand that the kids are BOTH of yours, as is the house. Whether you have an outside the house job or not. It doesn’t matter – no one in their right mind wants a 24 hour a day job – but that’s what parenting is. I get burned out and my husband helps a lot. He works mega hours plus does the laundry (all of it), puts the kids to bed about half the time, does dishes, etc. I’m glad he does so much, but I don’t think it makes him wonder-husband or anything. Just a man who realizes how much work goes into running a family. I hope your husband can learn this somehow, before you have to take drastic action (like running away for a week and leaving him to do everything, including childcare!)

    Good luck and take care of yourself.

    Laurie/Mobile Mommy’s last blog post..18 Month Old Language Worries

  2. says

    I don’t have any real solution. Just tell him that you do not want an outside person raising your child/cleaning/whatever. When things have been bad with us, I have gone with the “if we don’t resolve this issue, we are headed for the Big D word.” This got his attention.

    Also, I would make sure that if he does no inside work that he do ALL outside work. Trash, yard, plants. Make clearly established list of what you both will do.

    At a low point I started seeing a counsellor. My husband was not able to talk me through the issues I was having with my kids and work. The counsellor was a good listener. She helped me work thru problems. I asked the ped for a counsellor recommendation. Health insurance paid for 5 of the 10 visits.

    My friend stopped doing her husband’s laundry one day. He was not helping her with kids at all. It got his attention. He now does his own laundry. He’s started to take the kids out on errands which gives my friend a break.

    Take care!

    Musings from Me’s last blog post..Volleyball Tournament: We Survived

  3. says

    It’s not nice that you’re going thru this but it’s nice to know that you are not alone! My husband can be the same way but he would never hire someone, can’t afford that anyway. One time I went to my neighbor’s house right across the street from my house, to get my daughter. Well once I was in, she offered me coffee and we chit chatted for over 2 hours while our daughters played. My husband called about 4 times. My neighbor could not believe it. She asked me why was he calling so much. I was embarrassed to say but I told her the truth.

    It was 11pm and my then 3 yr. old was still up b/c get this, he couldn’t put her to bed by himself! I said what!? I was really upset b/c I put her to bed thousands of times on my own, with no help from him. So I could truly understand your frustrations. You should just have a serious talk with your husband and tell him how you feel.

    Good luck!

    PS. In case you’re wondering, I told hubby that I need to go out with my friends at least once a month or once every two months to de-stress and he can’t say anything about it. He said ok.

    I’m sorry, but you need to be tough.. Tough love works!! lol

    Lisa’s last blog post..Ready for a laugh?

  4. Lori Barnes says

    Hello dear friend, you will probably think i am a horrible wife but hear me out on this Are You Paid Help? If not, do not pick up his plate any longer he’s a big boy now you will only get your break when you stop giving him his and take away his “Get out of Responsibilities” Card those are his kids too!! Leave the dishes out untill they grow mold on them but you need to have some you time once in awhile or you will become recentful I’m been married 18 years separated from him twice 2 girls 12 and 16 For 3 years i have been a stay at home mom and i’m telling you straight up i get sick of cleaning every day when people refuse to pick up their things I go on stike every so often and have left food in plates on the table and the next day i would serve they’re next meal right next to the left over plates from the day before!! My spot was always clean because i picked up my stuff. Try that I bet everyone picks up from now on!! You never know what you can make happen until you quit doing it. People think because you stay home (if you do) you are responsible to pick up behind them because you have nothing better to do. I never worked so hard in my life and been free labor on top of that! as i have been since i was a stay at home mom. Please leave his plate on the table from now on he’ll get the hint remember he can do that on his on.

  5. says

    you definitely need some “me” time regardless of what he wants. start putting your foot down.

    erin’s last blog post..

  6. says

    Oh my gosh, I am so sorry. I would be losing my mind. I have been feeling unhappy lately too, but as I read your post I realize the little things I am unhappy for are no where near the reasons you have. I am so sorry girl. Keep your head up and things will get better. Keep moving forward, try to focus on what’s good and what you love … things will get better…Sending you warm wishes and big hugs!


    Brandy’s last blog post..Shopping with Two Young BOYS

  7. says

    Stop turning his socks right side out and stop putting them away. My husband’s underwear often goes back into his dresser inside out. If he can’t be bothered to turn it the right way when it goes into the laundry, I can’t be bothered to do it before I put stuff away. And stop picking up his dirty plate. If his legs aren’t broken, he can pitch in and take it to the kitchen. And maybe you’ll get lucky and read your blog this time and see how many other wives and mothers think it’s heinous that he won’t watch his own kids.

    Kayris’s last blog post..Reputation

  8. 1955nurse says

    I feel for! I’ve been married to the same guy since 1976 (!) and believe me, there have been plenty of “Silent nights” around our house thru the years, (after the explosions mind you). 2 children, now aged 30 & 31 and for awhile when they ere little I would get this “I’m doing you a favor, taking care of the kids” crap. Well, he FINALLY woke up to the fact (with a little help from my WONDERFUL Mother-in-law) that he was not ‘babysitting’ – he was their FATHER and being a Daddy was not a part-time gig! Hang in there – and if you can afford the help, go for it! If $ is an issue, then get someone maybe 1 – 2 days for a few hrs. In the long run, it may save your marriage, and you won’t be so stressed!
    Best of luck!!!

  9. says

    My husband and boys know that I will put their clothes away exactly as I find them from the dryer. If the shirts are inside out – I lay them on their beds like that and let them know they need to put them away. If they choose to hang them inside out – that is their choice and when they go to put them on – they fix them. Same goes for socks. I will lay all my husbands clothes on his pillow if he takes them off inside out and throws them in the hamper that way. (clean of course)
    I’m so sorry for the other things you are dealing with and I think it is great that you can go talk to other women because you’ll find most men really don’t get it. They don’t think like us – they don’t let things bother them like we do – they can let it go as quickly as it arrives. I always reminded them all to put their dishes on the kitchen counter when finished eating and they are all great about that. I’ll even watch them walk past something on the floor and I’ll stare at them (intensely) They’ll ask “What?” I’ll point at it and say, “seriously? You’re going to wait for me to pick it up?” They’ll then pick it up. I do this often which might be nagging but there are the great moments when they will do it without being reminded.
    I also remind my husband that he is teaching his children how to act and be around another woman when they are older and does he want to see his sons’ go through divorces because their wives won’t put up with it. I am constantly saying, “they are watching and learning from you, dear” This makes him respond quickly.

    kathy’s last blog post..Out of town

  10. says

    I think the only response can be to schedule Mom’s night out *much* more often, until he is either bankrupt from all the babysitting or driven crazy by all the childcare. Or, perhaps he’ll get more competent at it. The charitable interpretation of this is that you’ve done so much more taking care of the children that he’s literally frightened to do it without you, but won’t say so. If that’s the case, the more practice he gets, the more confident he’ll be.

  11. says

    Aw, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re dealing with all of that. That must be so hard. :-( Unfortunately, I have a feeling it’s probably not that uncommon. I agree with you that there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to watch the girls – you definitely deserve some time to enjoy yourself! As for the socks – I would leave them for him to do. He might not get to it while he’s watching TV, but then it’s not your problem! (I know that’s only one small issue, but maybe if you don’t feel like you have to do everything for him (especially if you think he’s ungrateful and doesn’t help at all!), you’ll start to feel better, whether or not things get done.) Also, I have to say that I’m really impressed you are able to pinpoint all of your frustrations about the cleaning lady. Too often I get upset about something like that and can’t verbalize WHY I’m upset, which is difficult for trying to work it out or even just dealing with it internally. At least you know exactly what’s bothering you! That has to be the first step to a solution, right? I hope you’re able to figure out something that works for you and/or get a little appreciation for everything you do!

  12. Annie says

    You know, I live your life too.
    For 13 years now and it eats at me every day. I think it’s just down right disrespect and lazyness mixed with taking us wives for granted. Marriage is suppose to be good for a man and terrible for a woman. I dream of having a home that if it’s dirty it’s my fault and not his. Sick of having a husband that “gets it” sometimes but then “forgets” about helping. I’ve tried evertyhing! Communicating, begging, the silence treatment, patience…Nothing helps! I wish yopu all the best. i don’t think my marriage will survive much longer but in time like this who van afford a divorce. I don’t mean just bc of socks och inability to get involved in the kids lives…it’s just everything. Good luck!

  13. Kari says

    Omg girl, I hear you!! My house used to be spotless and I worked (that’s maybe why?!) I’ve been staying home for the last 7 years but worked until my oldest was 3. I have totally lost enthusiasm for this job. To me simple jobs like puting your dish actually in the dishwasher (he used to put it in the sink, i’m kinda missin’ those days.) now i make supper and everyone eats and leaves and i clean up. My days are full of receleaning stuff that i cleaned yest. only for it to look like i didn’t do anything at the end of the day. If he paid me he couldn’t afford me. I do almost everything outside as well.

    The funny thing is some days i enjoy it. When the house is clean and i’ve done baking, the kids haven’t fought, make a nice dinner but those days are rare now. I think it’s because you don’t get anything back. Well that’s my job. Um not really, i don’t expect him to scrub toilets or wash floors but lets face it cleaning is the easy part, the five hours it takes to get to that point are the hard ones.

    I think i’m just tired of being resp. for everyone and everything. When i worked i was the one that drove our son to the daycare and then picked him up. I could never go out with the girls for a drink on a friday after work. He did though, so i resented him for that then.

    It’s so funny because you always read about how the man is so shocked when the wife divorces him and didn’t see it coming. I’ve talked to my husband about it and it seems to get through but then it only lasts a couple days and it’s right back to business as usual. If i hear “well i work” one more time i will go insane. Like i don’t. I would love to work and have every detail of life taken care of for me. Maybe i need a wife :-)

    Anyway girl you are not alone!

    p.s. don’t even get me started on the socks thing!!

  14. Ali says

    I am so sorry to hear this. I got married 2 years ago and I was happily working until I got laid off. I have been going to school for the last year but not working nore socializing makes me a sad quite often.
    I some times wonder if I will ever be able to have children… I get scared at the fact that I already have so much work at the house… my husband helps me where he can but I don’t like working non-stop… I some times just go to the bathroom and cry…and I dont even have children yet!!!

    I hope that life for me gets better… I am not asking for any luxuries, cars, jewlery, I am a hard-working person and I just want to finish school and find a nice company to work for with nice people… =)

  15. Rebecca says

    I’ve been married 20 yrs to the same man. He is not perfect, and neither am I. However after 20 years of marriage and 20 years of listening to other women, i’ve noticed that every marriage has basically the same complaints. And after being a stay at home mom for 10 of the twenty, here’s my observation.
    Wives, you know what your role is in the home. Only you can decide your happiness in that role. You don’t like it, change it. Resentment, silent treatments and general pettiness never, ever solves the problem. Your husband will treat you exactly the way YOU teach him to treat you. And as we all know the success or failure of the family lies in the wife’s/mom’s hands, then shut up or put up. It’s time to put on your big girl panties, decide what is is you want out of your life, relationship, children and get on with it. Stop whining. Take action. As soon as you do, you’re life will be much better.

  16. lisair says

    i’ve stumbled across your blog and deary i totally understand your many times i tried to compile my frustration in words,but i just cant. but after reading your post, ohmg, its exactly how i feel. :( how i wish husbands know how tiring and sad to do all things by yourself.

  17. beth says

    reading this blog about husbands and socks is disturbing. im not married although im sure a husband could be useful for eating all the food in my fridge. you need a hobby, a job. take the cleaner & get out of the house :)

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