My Husband Doesn't Help
All the time people tell me, "You are so lucky your husband helps." Well first, it wasn't luck, it was skill; I did pick him after all. 😆 Second, he doesn't "help." To say he helps implies everything is my job, and he is doing me a favor by doing things for the kids or other household chores. The kids and the house are his responsibility as well as mine. Not one more than the other, and he has never thought or acted otherwise. My husband cooks dinner almost every night, does the dishes the majority of the time, loads the laundry in the washer as much as I do, gives the kids baths, helps with homework and more. He even makes freezer breakfasts for the kids I can serve them when he is at work! Even though I get the "but he works full time and makes a majority of the money" comments, I'm unpersuaded that the kids and the housework are my "job." Here's why.
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The house/ cars are owned by both of us and we are equally guardians of the kids. Even if I may be physically with the kids more often, it doesn't make me any more responsible for their well-being. My husband is a very hands-on dad. He has taken the kids to school, done online school work with them, grocery shopped for them, cooked for them, washed their clothes, gotten up with them in the night and taken them to the doctor, in addition to the "normal" dad duties like coaching the t-ball team, teaching them how to play golf and tennis, doing yard work with them etc.
When my husband is at work, I take care of the kids, which is equally demanding work. We are both working all day even though most of my work is taking care of the kids at home. When he gets home, why would we not have to divide the responsibilities? Is a mother's work 24/7 but a father's only 9-5 ? (Or, in his case 7-5.) When my husband gets home at 5, I know he is tired. But, I am also low on patience, tired, and in need of a partner. If he retreated to the recliner to watch tv...my kids would surely not be getting the best of me.
I don't know how some mothers or stay-at-home dad's do it, but I could not "do it all." If I had to do all the laundry, all the cooking, all the child care, all the house cleaning, I would be a shell of a person.
My kids would surely be missing out if their dad didn't do as much as he does. First off, their meals would not be nearly as tasty. He is a much better cook than I, and he enjoys it. He hasn't got to see them most of the day, so they enjoy getting to talk to him while they take a bath and get their jammies on. And, they wouldn't get to experience some of the special things I do for them. I wouldn't have time to plan fun and educational activities for them. Their birthday parties would definitely be less elaborate. I wouldn't have time to put home videos together or scrapbook. Each of us bring our own strengths. Our kids would surely have a different life if they did not have the care of my husband in addition to me.
After hearing all the things my husband does on a daily basis, I have had people ask me, "Well, what do you do?" First, I do not feel I am shirking any responsibilities by dividing them with my husband. I have my hands full with my duties. Just to name a few, I fold and put away all the clothes. I unload the dishwasher. I clean all the floors and the bathroom. If someone is sick, I'm on cleanup and disinfecting. I keep their playroom picked up and clean their toys periodically. I order all their clothes and shoes and keep them organized by size. I take almost all the pictures, plan their crafts, trips and activities. I am also responsible for helping them with most of their school work. (And this year with distance learning that was a JOB!) I also research recipes/nutrition and discuss the meal plan with my husband and order the groceries. I pack for everyone on trips. Sometimes I make dinner and dessert too. Obviously, I could go on, but you get the point.
Also, I do not in any shape or form feel that I have to do all the housework to prove my worth or carry my weight. My husband making more money than me is a choice we made. Obviously, I could go out and make more money than I do working part time from home since I have multiple degrees and a license to practice law. Me staying at home isn't a break, vacation or retirement. My kids keep me on my toes all day! It is God's work and I am blessed to be able to do it, even if I may complain about the chaos!
Lastly, I would like to say that I am so grateful that my husband is such a good father. I could leave him with the kids for a weekend (not that I ever have though) and have no qualms about their care. In fact for the 3-4 months I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum, he ran the show. Their clothes may not match or be out of season when he is in charge, but I can live with that. 😆 I never have to "nag" him to "help." I didn't give him a list and tell him he had to do XYZ. After all, I'm not "in charge" of the household. We have just worked out what jobs we prefer to do or can do best, and what ones we would prefer the other to or aren't as great at. (That doesn't mean we haven't had disagreements on HOW things should be done, but that's another story!) He goes above and beyond with all his caretaking duties, and I appreciate it. 🙏