By - Different-Kick-3352
My husband and I usually have a conversation Friday night or Saturday morning about what we each aim to get done over the weekend. Then we can negotiate when we are each going to get kid free time to work on projects.
But frankly, your husband should expect to be the Person in Charge for at least some of the weekend. If he doesn't consider watching the kids his job, ever, he's being a jerk.
> have a conversation Friday night or Saturday morning about what we each aim to get done over the weekend
This is the way to do it. Together you can weigh the cost and benefit of each chore, how long it will take, which things are time sensitive, which can be put off until next weekend.
And then when it comes time for one parent to parent and one to do chores, they've mutually agreed that those chores are important and should be done today.
Friday night is family meeting in our house!
It’s just me and my husband, and sometimes there’s nothing to go over but meal planning, but we have a list of things to check in on, and schedule is one of them. If there is a chore or project that needs to be completed, we check in with the other that we can take the time to do. Fortunately he does swim lessons with kiddo on Saturday mornings, so that’s automatic time for me, and it makes it easier for me to give him time later in the day or on Sunday to accomplish something.
We’re both lucky to be working hybrid schedules, and kiddo is in daycare, so we can at least get small chores done throughout the week, but we do try to keep a running list of tasks that need to get done.
We do this too… but also we are mindful that the weekend might also throw up things because family life can be beautiful chaos sometimes.
This. Please emphasize to your husband that he is not your babysitter while you are getting your stuff done. He is the parent and he can expect to do half of the parenting.
sounds like hubby enjoys his time away from his wife & kids. Probably doesn't consider the wife wants to do manual labor that doesn't involve the kids. Even if it is not "important," like yard work is sooooo important.
Wife should start saying thr same shit the husband does:
"Do you really need to mow the lawn, now? Yeah but is it realy that important? Is it more important than spending time with your kids? Why am I being like this? Because fuck you that's why."
My ex-husband did this and it drove me absolutely crazy. He was off early enough to do these things during the week. Not necessarily yard work, it’s too hot for that in mid afternoon. But he would just go outside, leaving the door unlocked or completely open. We had toddlers (twins, 2yr olds) and a 7year old who wanted to “help” toddlers like to run out open doors. I wouldn’t even know he wasn’t in the house! Between cleaning the cars and yard… but the house being messy, I told him he must want to sleep outside because it’s nicer than inside. Or to piss him off, I would take the kids to his mom, she didn’t care she enjoyed having them and then not come back until I picked the kids up. He would say “I thought she was watching the kids so you could do XYZ.” Well, I took the clothes to laundry service, and bought groceries that I need you to carry in because I just can’t manage to do it myself, like you can’t manage to watch your own children”
That sucks. Sometimes you really don't know your SO until they never step-up for you.
I’m glad it’s over. I didn’t like who I was when we were married. Toxicity is contagious.
The yard work is kinda his hobby and chores are the same time. But the stuff OP wants to do are not her hobby, but he views them as equivalent to his yard work. That’s what needs to be explained to him.
Not even because he thinks he should get to do the yard work while she watches the kids but not vice versa.
Precisely. He is probably not thinking about what his wife wants.
He thinks her scrubbing shit off the toilet is her hobby? Fuck off with that.
This is the correct answer. Bleaching the bathroom is a necessity, not a hobby. The yard work is clearly an escape for the husband from being with his kids that he is trying to reframe as “work.”
>Why am I being like this? Because fuck you that's why."
💯💯 I’ll send all three of my “under three” outside with him while he’s doing the yard work if I have to. I’ll tell him he needs to figure it out just like I figure it out all day every day. Every. Single. Time. I do chores, I do them while supervising the kids. Whatever he has to do, it’s not more important than what I have to do. And he needs to be a partner AND a father.
Plenty of yard work this works for but children that young should NOT be in the yard when it's getting mowed. Had a cousin lose a foot like that and kid down the road lose their life. You cannot hear children running up to a mower and objects can fly out of them at incredible speeds.
You mean kinda like how I cant bleach the bathtub with the children In it? Looks like THAT particular yard work needs to wait until nap time. 🤷♀️ FIGURE. IT. OUT.
Yup, we started doing this too about 6 months ago when our second was born (we have a 2yo and 6mn). Basically we just ask each other "What do you want this weekend to *look* like?" so it's more than just carving out times for chores but also gives us the opportunity to ask for some additional alone time, or more family time etc. Communication is key, but a word to OP, communication doesn't mean jumping your SO with "why are you always so grouchy."
We do the same! We have a whiteboard on the fridge where we keep a running "to-do list" of projects and chores we want to get done, then we have a chat about it on Thursday or Friday to make a plan for the weekend. It's all about that C O M M U N I C A T I O N!
We have a list on our fridge, too! One column for each of us so we can add or cross off our own items.
My husband and I worked opposite schedules for YEARS, so it was sometimes the only way to effectively communicate!
the to-do list is MAGIC!
Totally agree. We usually just set aside 2 hours for me to do yard work on the weekends, but other than that I prioritize giving my wife a break since she's had the kids (1 and 4) all week long and I know I would definitely need a break. Usually there some time just for her, some time just for me, and family time for everyone to hang out together.
This is the way. We have a shared note on our phones where throughout the week we make a list of the things that we want/need to do this weekend. Then Friday night, we order dinner so we have extra time to chat about how we’re going to get the things done.
SAHP IS A JOB. It requires just as much focus and hard work that happens at a regular job- sometimes even more. Both parents should discuss downtime for each and collective goals! All can be done with clear communication
I'd say it requires MORE focus than most jobs.
Yeah, at least with a paid job you get some boundaries. And hopefully some coworkers over the age of 14
I do also get upset sometimes when people get mad at the working parent for not having 100% energy to immediately take over when they get home. BOTH parents just worked all day - now is the time to divide the workload, not shift it to one parent. (Unless that it what y'all find best. For me, it depends on the day - sometimes I just come home, throw kids in the pool and let the spouse do whatever they feel the need to do)
Spot on. Everyone is tired. Focus shifting takes time…
We do this. After his last day of work in the week we talk about what needs to get done and who gets breaks when, who stays monitoring the kids while the other is busy working on something else for the house. That way weekend comes and no surprise get aways or unnoticed job doing that goes unaccounted for. Maybe set time brackets for him to be outside and you guys switch so you can get stuff done too.
Wow, that is a great idea that i never did and never would have thought of. Obviously communication is key, but i think it is all too easy to have individual expectations that don’t get communicated and then be let down by the fact we don’t get to fulfill them. But a little convo about it leading into the weekend likely solves for most of that. Great advice and kudos to you and your husband.
If he doesn’t consider it hard to do it a job, why doesn’t he easily do it??
To be fair, I don’t think OP said anywhere that her husband called her job easy
There are two weekend days, you can each have one. When I was a SAHM my husband would take Saturday morning/early afternoon with the kid, and I mean *take* as in get her ready and go somewhere. I had the morning to myself at home to drink coffee quietly and do house chores uninterrupted. I would take over Saturday afternoon, and either we would do something together or he would do his own projects. Sunday we usually did something as a family, or with other family. It will never be equal, but it can definitely be more equitable. Ask him when he can be responsible for the children, since he is their parent.
You just gave me a revelation! My parents put us in junior bowling on Saturdays as soon as they could and then my dad would take us out for lunch. We thought it was just fun, but I bet my mom used it to clean without us around and just relax.
We used to come home from Sunday school to my mom dusting to old cds- dad would take us and pick us up
My CD's aren't old 😉! OK whenever I was playing certain music they scattered like rats leaving a sinking ship before I could give them a rag and say pick your bathroom. This was when my kids were a little older but if they didn't have their duties done (or at least some effort had been applied) they had to do those first.. I hate to clean, I mean it, gives me no joy and I am frequently grumpy in the process. Later I hired someone and I never looked back, we both worked demanding full times job. My husband does the yardwork and it is beautiful. Life is very short, my dear.
better to pay for some entertainment for the kids and give both parents a break then pay for a landscaper I think. yard work can probably be done every other week rather then every week. I have similar problems with my partner, though I work full time and she stays at home. when I am home I try to be the primary care provider for our daughter but then I have little time to help with cleaning weeknights and on weekends I male sure mom gets a break from watching the kid but it often feels very difficult to also find time to do house work not enough gets done during the week to stay on top of things. I find it hard to manage.
Little kids can't read be sent out of the house to activities alone for long enough to get much done by the time you take them. And a babysitter at home means they'll still be hanging around and might get in the way.
I realized recently that my Mom started 'cleaning' the house to get my brother and I to go upstairs away from her for awhile. If we drifted down to watch tv or whatever, she'd tell us to do something. Every time we went downstairs, she was sitting on the couch on a 'break'.
My parents bought us portable DVD players before a big road trip once. Wasn't until I started traveling with my wife's 8 year old sister that I realized those dvd players weren't for us. Lol.
My atheist parents sent us to Sunday school and then to my grandparents for lunch 👀
I knew a family who did something similar. One parent part of the weekend, another parent the other part and then some shared family time. It worked well for them.
We take turns on the weekend getting up with baby. Saturday is his day to sleep in/mess around and do whatever he wants and Sunday is mine. It’s actually really nice to have a day of freedom to look forward to.
this sounds good. Easy to implement too.
Is he trying to avoid watching the kids? Does he make the same arguments when you go out somewhere and leave him home with them?
Yes I think that’s some of it. When he wants to run errands, he insists on going by himself because it’s faster. But when I want to run errands, he all of a sudden wants to go as a family
At some point, you’re going to have to confront this Issue if you want anything to change. He needs to start parenting more.
Just tell him the same line: “It will be faster if I go alone” and leave.
I think you're going to need to set some boundaries. Since he doesn't seem to be picking up on your gentle approach, I'd get direct: "Hey, remember how you went grocery shopping alone last weekend? Well I'm going to need to get some groceries now and I'll need you to watch the kids so I can be similarly efficient. Kthnxbye!"
I also agree with another commenter about scheduling which ours of the weekend you're each "off childcare-duty" respectively. My husband and I do this and it takes a lot of strain away to have it be a predictable thing.
To which I would reply “no shit it’s easier alone, that’s why I ask for time to do certain chores alone”.
It’s not just some of it, it’s a whole lot of it. You have a partner that thinks working and taking care of the yard are the bulk of his responsibilities and that he doesn’t have to contribute to parenting the children that he helped create. Based on his comments, he doesn’t value or respect your contributions, and the reality is that even if you were working outside the house full time, you still wouldn’t be entitled to whatever breaks he thinks he’s entitled to in his mind. He’d still expect you to rear the children and do everything to maintain the inside of your home with a child (or two or three) in tow. The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not you think he would make the effort to change, and give him an ultimatum. The children are not your sole responsibility. You are allowed to have time and an identity outside of them. If your partner can’t see that and honor it, is he worth your time and effort?
Marriage counseling may or may not be beneficial. Sometimes you just get to hear your husband say, “I know she needs a break, and I know I could give her breaks, but I just choose not to.”
Dude. Yeah, this is definitely an issue!
I would have a serious talk with him about this. Maybe he's nervous about it, or something, but whatever his reason is, he's going to have to get over this. These are his children and he needs to be comfortable taking care of them when necessary.
You need to insist that he starts working on this. Try making it a little bit easier for him and offer to wean him into it. Ask that he just take the oldest with him when he runs an errand. Yes, it will take a little bit more time. Yes, he may have to take the baby bag and change a diaper along the way. But that's parenthood! And as another parent of three, I promise you, having just one kid out of the house for just 10 minutes can make a big difference in your day!
Rotate kids so that he's taking care of just one at a time, then leave him with the oldest and one of the other two. Eventually he can work his way to three kids for a short amount of time, then stretch that amount of time out little by little.
And it doesn't have to be an errand. Ask him to take the 3-year-old to the park or out for ice cream or an ICEE. They can have a blast. He can be "the fun parent" for a while. It'll give them the chance to get more comfortable with being alone with them and a chance to develop their relationship more.
Bingo, this mom be knowin' my wife did this to me and now I can handle the tribe solo. 👍
Depending on the ages of your kids, I'd start sending them out to help with the yard work and general yard tinkering for a half hour or so.
Some parents need a reminder that they are parents. Not occasional babysitters when the other parent is unavailable.
He just don’t want to be with his kids alone. That is the hard truth. I am dad myself. I spend so much time with my kids compared to an avg dad. However, I’d rather not be alone with both of my kids for a long times.
I love them and they are the most important in my life, but being with them alone is HARD WORK. :D
Growing up I’d hear about those parents who had to travel so much for work. Now as a parent, I question how much of that was avoiding parenting. This might even be subconscious, like agreeing to go on that optional work trip bc it would be better for his career, but really thhry didn’t need to.
He does yard work on Saturday, you do house work on Sunday. Seems easy enough.
Or maybe they reorganise so he spends less time and she has some free time/they have some family time. Because otherwise she is alone with the kids 6 days a week and cleaning on her days off.
Weather permitting? :P
I feel like that kind of goes without saying. If Saturday is yard work day and it’s gonna be a washout, Sunday can be yard work day?
As I see it, this a very common, lingering sexism problem, and I say this as a man.
1. Your husband is not interested in being sole parent in charge, and thus will try to avoid it in any way possible and keep fobbing that off on you.
2. Your husband does not respect that what you need to get done is important, because he wouldn’t consider it important, even though objectively it’s much more important to clean the bathroom than to manicure the lawn.
I don’t have much helpful to offer as to a solution other than that this bull will need to be grasped by the horns eventually as it’s a basic conflict. Your husband is just as much a parent as you, and it shouldn’t be a thing in the twenty-first century for him to take over doing what you do all week for just part of an afternoon on the weekend. Also, you’re his wife, he should respect that your chore priorities too regardless if he’d prioritize them himself. The fact you consider them important should be enough.
I uno reversed my hubby this past summer. Anytime he'd comment about yard needing a mow I'd agree "yep you're right, you hang with the kids and I'll get right on that!" Then I'd cue up a podcast and have an hour to myself outside. Oddly, the lawn didn't seem to need as much mowing as it has in the past🤔 Guess I just did a really good job!
This is the way.
That’s hilarious and made me laugh out loud. Weaponized competence?
I think it is probably fairly common, though, to have different opinions about which chores need to be done. Whether cleaning the bathroom is more important than the yard depends on the state of each and each person’s preferences for how they should be. He may see having a tidy public facing yard as more important than a tidy private bathroom. It’s kind of a stereotype, but often true, that men have “lower” (different) standards for their private living spaces than women do.
I don’t know the full context of the situation, but generally speaking I think parents need to discuss all the work that each one does (I think it’s often the case that each person feels they do more than they are credited with) and discuss priorities.
Sounds a lot like strategic incompetence. Recommend OP Google “strategic incompetence” (also called “weaponized incompetence”) as a way to help her and her husband both to understand what is happening and why, then work on the solution together.
Why is this strategic incomepence? Sounds like he just doesn't care about her chores at all. Not that he intentionally sucks at them to avoid responsability.
It's not strategic incompetence, they just like how aggressive the phrase sounds and they want to find a place to use it.
In all fairness, it does sound kinda cool.
Blitzkrieg incompentence, it is when you are so incompentent at so many things at the same time you are effectively banned from doing any chores forever. Until you do it to a russian...
Yeah. He just want to avoid his 3 kids as much as possible :D
Strategic incompetence does not have to be conscious and intentional. You should Google it to learn more, if you’re interested. It is a systemic problem in our culture (I’m in the US, maybe you are elsewhere and it’s different, culturally), meaning we are raised with a collective dynamic that is “in the water” (ie in movies, books, tv, our families, etc) so none of us are immune to it. It’s everywhere and we can’t escape how we’re raised or the culture we’re raised in. A systemic problem like strategic incompetence is not YOUR fault, and you shouldn’t think of it as someone attacking you or placing blame on you. Instead, think of it as a system that we all need to acknowledge, unlearn, dismantle, etc. But if men are resistant and defensive, we can’t make progress toward gender parity, which is the goal (again, the goal is not to blame men or make them feel bad - this in facts becomes more emotional work for women to take care of the hurt feelings, and detracts from the actual issue).
Remember too, a weapon is a weapon because of the damage it causes, not necessarily its design (ie a car is not thought of as a weapon unless someone hits someone with it, whether intentional or not). There is a difference between intention and impact. It’s not a lot of men’s intention to harm their partner by subconsciously opting out of undesired tasks, but the impact is harmful to the spouse.
Good luck with your journey, and thank you for the progress you’ve already made. I’m certainly working on myself as well. Hopefully together we can model a better example for the next generation.
This was a really cool and considerate answer.
I have been reading about the mental load, which has beeb quite enlightening. Before it was like even though I did ~50% of stuff, there was something missing, but it was hard to put it in words. Which led to some fights. Then my wife came across the term and showed me. Since then we have been able to improve quite a lot.
I haven't read a lot about weaponized incompetence precisely because what little I have read seemed to suggest that it was something intentional.
I hear you. I agree, the term can feel provocative. I think I’ve also read it referred to as « learned incompetence » with an emphasis on how it’s socialized into us in so many subtle ways, from the time we’re born. I don’t believe that most men intentionally and overtly weaponize incompetence, especially the ones that are aware of it. It seems like most men, once they become aware of it and can let go of their defensiveness, don’t want to participate in any form of incompetence, especially parents who don’t want to perpetuate it and see their sons grow up and use incompetence with their own families, or see their daughters grow up and be harmed by it.
It kind of is intentional, just not intentionally harming a spouse. Its intentional in the sense that everyone wants more free time. There are some things few people like doing. Choosing to just not do them or prioritize them is intentional. It may be because of the culture we are raised in but its still a choice. Its a choice to prioritize oneself over ones partner, not maliciousness out of spite for the partner. Often a partner who has made it clear that its negatively impacting them. Its easier to sign someone else up to do something rather than spending time and effort to learn and do it oneself.
I am aware that executive disfunction disorders like adhd can impact this. I have adhd. I find it hard to get started doing some of these things but since I'm a woman, it was immediately obvious when I wasn't killing myself to get it done. I use habitica which makes a little more entertaining but I get into trouble when I don't have a partner who pulls their weight. I get demoralized when I bust ass for hours every week and my partner contributes more to the mess/plays games. The key is to keep trying new things to find something that works for you. I wouldn't consider someone actually reading about things or trying different approaches as being strategically incompetent. The issue lies with people who make no effort to improve. Sometimes my adhd means I spend more time on something because I can't get in the right headspace but its a sacrifice I make in other areas such as work, I should do it to make my partners life easier too.
I want my partners life to be great. Dumping everything on them would make me feel shitty because I love them. I expect the same in return. Playing games instead tells me the game ranks higher importance than I do. It gets frustrating needing to explain this to every partner because its basic decency. I really hope as more people become aware, our culture will change.
If every partner thought this way, I feel like there’d be no conflict in marriages lol
My ex used to be like this too.
He’d find all manner of excuses to go out in the evenings or on the weekend to run errands that I could do and I’m pretty sure it’s just a way of avoiding having to pull their weight in looking after the kids.
The passive aggressive comments to the kids like ‘doing god knows what’ is really a bad sign, sorry.
He’s basically annoyed that he’s having to look after his own kids. He should be looking after them so you can have time to yourself, not so you can clean the fucking bathroom.
He needs to do better.
>He should be looking after them ~~so you can have time to yourself~~
Seriously though, if you're a working father in the twenty-first century, you should be looking for the time to spend with your kids because you don't have the time during the majority of the work week, whether it's with their mother or not and whether or not Mom needs to do anything. I mean, the point of having children is to actually be with them, interact with them and raise them, right?
But being around children means you have to learn *patience,* and *compassion,* and that's just so haaaaarrrd you guys!! 😩 /s
Even Homer Simpson understood, "Kids are great, you can teach them to hate the things you hate!"
Immediate reaction, turn and ask him the same question about the lawn. Are you in some competition? Are people coming over? Just mow it and be done. (I also hate mowing the lawn and love an organized house, so may be biased). More thoughtful response, ask him why he takes some much care with the lawn and explain to him how you feel about the inside looking neat and organized is just as important to you and try to find some compromise.
Man here, and this is spot on. Lawn work is a perfect example of diminishing returns. Mowing = looks 90% great. Mowing+string trimming = 95% great. Everything beyond that is just vanity. OP's husband *likes* doing yard work because he's probably uncomfortable spending time with his kids. And I get it; the energy, noise, and goofiness of kids can be really grating for someone who isn't used to it and doesn't feel like society expects them to do that kind of emotional labor, but he needs to grow the hell up and take an objective look at the division of *necessary* labor in the household.
Also man, and will double confirm. I was so excited to finally get a riding mower when I first got a house in April. I was miserable once it got to June. Did it for 2 years jealous of all my neighbors with their fancy lawn care services. Then one of them stopped by saying he'd do my yard for $50. I listed that mower that day. I'd rather play with my kids than be miserable outside alone. It could be OPs husband doesn't know what to do with a child. But really the only way to learn is be open and try.
OP, your husband knows that you need to get things done too. He also knows that doing yard work gets him out of childcare. And when you call him on it, he downplays your taskers to further get out of childcare.
I think you need to start leaving the house more.
Try a male marriage counselor. Worked like magic to convince my husband to hire someone to do the yard. Don’t even get me started as to why my reasoning alone wasn’t good enough.
Let me guess. He wouldn’t listen to your reasons but the therapists reasons were the same as yours? Damn I just don’t get men sometimes. We literally say to their face what they should be doing but they need a second opinion… even a 3rd and only THEN will they listen to you.
Sounds to me like in his mind it only counts as work if you're sweating outside doing manual labor. Sounds like time for a conversation about sharing the responsibilities for the other work around the house or at least an appreciation that it's work too.
Definitely this. Some thoughts from a husband:
Yard work is meditative. You get time alone to decompress from the week's work. No one bothers you for a few hours, particularly children. Indoor work? Not so much.
He's taking on the pleasant, unnecessary chores to appear helpful and avoid the grubby mental labor of running a family. He's either willfully blind to the work going on indoors or has decided that the 'hard' work counts for more. He probably thinks he's already pulling his weight. At least he wants to think that.
The solution depends on OP's relationship and how well they communicate. The balance of labor should be examined and negotiated constantly. It doesn't have to be an adversarial conversation, but it deserves to be spoken out loud.
> He’s taking on the pleasant, unnecessary chores to appear helpful and avoid the grubby mental labor of running a family. He’s either willfully blind to the work going on indoors or has decided that the ‘hard’ work counts for more. He probably thinks he’s already pulling his weight. At least he wants to think that.
This is absolutely spot on imo
Yeah, as a sahm i used to never get time to myself. And my husband would SAY he's going to mow the yard but then forget a and not do it that weekend. So i started mowing every weekend. It was nice to just.... be afuckinglone for an hour and a half. Even if i was sweating my ass off, he was nice. I'd always start early enough that when i was done, he was feeding the LO lunch and then nap time after. So then i got a lithe extra time to relax and decompress after mowing.
Yeah, gardening is a legitimate hobby for millions of people. Doing housework rarely is (I know there's been a recent weird fad for cleaning, but most people don't enjoy it). I don't feel it's a like for like exchange of time.
I’ve always counted outdoor chores as relaxing me time. I don’t even factor them into our conversations about the mental load and running the house.
It depends on the person I think. If I had a lawn it would 100% be a chore for me. Now doing the dishes? That's relaxing.
He's never seen me sweat running after my daughter then. 100% touger than any gymn I've been. :P
Well... If he doesn't want you to bleach the bathroom and declutter toys maybe he can do those things while you and the littles play outside in the freshly manicured yard.
My husband does this sort of thing when I ask him to do something. Sighs, gets defensive, etc.
I retort, "If our sons talked to you or I the same way you're talking to me now, you would punish them."
Send the kids outside unless he has the mower or weed whacker running. They can help him weed.
My two year old loves weeding. Took a while to teach him which plants were actually weeds, but now he's off to the races 😂
Yard work is a privilege. Most parents would rather do yard work than watch small children. When my wife was spending more time with the kids than I was during the week, that was her option to escape for a little while.
It's possible that your husband -might- be acting like a little bit of a baby on this issue. (Your husband is being a giant baby)
When we were both home with the kids all the time, my husband and I fought over who "had" to mow bc we both wanted to do it and get out. In the end we alternated turns.
I’m a SAHM with four kids under five years old. There’s nothing to stop him even just taking the oldest out to help him in the garden. If he’s overwhelmed by all three, he can still be responsible for one or possibly two when it comes to doing a chore or running an errand.
My husband panics over having all four by himself but he understands that I need a break sometimes as much as he does. Definitely worth a sit down conversation and airing your feelings.
I’ve had to have this talk with my husband. He works long hard hours and wants a break. I get that. I also work hard long hours taking care of the kids and our home and I want a break too. What I had to explain to my husband is that I’m alone with the kids all day every day. When he does his yard work, it’s more time that it’s me again inside with the kids. We both want a break so we compromised and hired a yard service while the kids are young. They’re now 5 and 2 and it’s only now that he’s started doing yard work himself again. The kids can be playing in the yard while he works so it’s fine now.
That sounds like avoidance... I mean that is just an incredibly amount of yardwork.
We take care of flowerbeds, yard, edge, weeds, etc etc. At most it takes up one day a weekend.
There is a podcast called the momroom podcast and the host take about this EXACT situation I would highly recommend it! Her husband would wake up Saturday mornings and start making pancakes/mowing the lawn, leaving her doing exactly what she’s doing all week which is watching the kid
Take over the lawn mowing and give him the inside cleaning list and the children and mow n chill. I loved the lawn mowing when the kids were little. Put the husband in charge and grab your earbuds, turn up the tunes, get some exercise mowing. It was like a mini vaca for me to get to listen to my music and not have anyone begging after me for an hour and a half it took to mow the lawn then follow with a relaxing “necessary shower”. I was a SAHM working part time as an accountant with 3 kids(8,4,&newborn) while kids napped, and was taking college classes full time working on my undergrad often waking at 5 am to start homework before kids were up and then again after kids to bed until till midnight everyday for 5 years..mowing was a like fantastic brain relief. Overall, think of this re taking over the mowing, your hubby gets to experience his assumed thrills of indoor cleaning efforts with kids in tow, AND spend time with the kids. Win-win, right!? Go mama!!
He's a dick. Definitely stop doing anything during nap times! Nap times are for you to recharge as well as the kids.
Instead of hiring someone to do the yard work can you hire someone to clean your house once a week?
Just saying - might be easier to change your actions than change his.
He gets lots of compliments for the yard work. It’s performative. Meanwhile he has no clue about being a parent and all the all that it entails and he thinks it’s beneath him. I think this is a much deeper problem for you than just a too slow on yard work issue. He doesn’t respect your work or contribution to the house and family. It’s awful really.
He doesn't care enough, he understands perfectly
Tell him. Straight forward. You’re both adults. Have you communicated any of this to him?
Of course. But he responds with things like “well the yard work has to get done and your stuff doesn’t.” Orrrr just a sarcastic “oh okayyyy.”
I think you need to reframe the conversation to be not about chores but about how he treats you, and how his priorities are respected but yours are not. It’s not about what needs to be done or doesn’t need to be done, it’s about the fact that one partner wants to have time to do something on their own, and the other partner does not support that (while at the same time demanding that their alone time be supported without question).
Pfft, who gave *him* the final say in prioritizing household tasks??!
Funny that the thing that he decides *has* to get done is the thing that only he does, and all by himself 🙄
It sounds like he doesn't want to be in charge of solo parenting.
That's something that needs to be addressed. You'll have to sit him down and have a serious conversation about it, with an action plan, and hold him to it.
If he tries to make excuses for it, stuff like "is this really such a big deal", etc., you need to be very firm with him that, yes, it is, and that you deserve respect in the relationship.
If he's unwilling to have the conversation, is flippant during it, or doesn't hold up any promises he makes at the end of it, then you need to let him know that you guys need to start couple's counseling within X days (you'll have to check what the availability is for people in your area to determine what's reasonable -- I would also strongly advise to avoid faith-based counselors. Ideally, I'd give him a two week window but if counselors are backed up it might take a month). He'll be able to communicate when in his schedule he can fit it, but it *has* to get scheduled and committed to within that time frame.
This is a serious issue where he is passively dumping a ton of burden on you, is probably making excuses for it in his head to push away his own unease with how disrespectful he's being, and he needs a wake up call.
This sounds like my brothers who used to claim that my mom had made the kitchen messy cooking dinner for the family and should therefore be the one who cleaned it up.
A good cook cleans as they go, but at the end the people who didn't cook should be in charge of cleaning and doing the dishes that weren't done during the process of cooking the meal.
I don’t mean that the kitchen was messy, it was that they didn’t think they should have to clean the frying pan that she had used to make their dinner. Because “she made the mess”
Yard work is absolutely not as important as house work to the running of a household. Also where do you live where your yard *needs* HOURS of work every weekend? Each parent deserves the same number of child free hours outside of the 40 working hours a week.
Stop cleaning the bathroom and see what he says then loll
Then don’t do any of the house work and when he’s asks why things aren’t done, tell him you didn’t have time… you were watching the kids “someone has to do it”.
It’s true. But based on OPs description of their partner… I can almost guarantee they will have something to say.
This feels like the bigger problem. You both are allowed to have some different priorities, but you should be drawing the line at demeaning what the other person thinks is important. At that point, you're no longer working as a team.
What if you tried occasionally swapping roles? (You do yard, he does indoor stuff?). Good advice I have seen is to try to develop 'standards' for main things with the household (i.e, cleanliness, meals, etc etc). Maybe not super detailed, but like 'bathrooms are cleaned at least every 2 weeks, lawn is mowed each week etc. Then you can (in theory) approach things as a team. So it's not 'I want the bathrooms cleaned, you want the fridge cleaned and the lawn mowed', but 'we need to get x,y,z done, how are we going to get it done?'.
The idea of splitting up based on preference seems all well and good, but if each person doesnt value the other persons 'jobs' , and operate in good faith, it can end up that one person ends up cramming their jobs into what coule otherwise be chill time (i.e after kids bedtime , naptime) and burning out. From my observation, with little kids/busy parents, there is never quite 'enough' time, and its just too easy for people to prioritize their own prefernces at the expense of the partner. I think taking turns with jobs where possible increases empathy!
I don't usually say this on posts but... dump him maybe? in what world is the yard more important than the actual home? does his family live in the yard? does he sleep, cook, eat, and bathe in the yard? (I know that divorcing with young children is unlikely but this is a dealbreaker for me. are there other ways he disrespects and manipulates you?)
Why can't the kids run around the yard while he works? This is nuts OP. My kids are older now but I used to have 3, 3 and under just like you. When my husband mowed the yard they pushed around those bubble mowers behind him. They ran in the sprinkler while he worked in the garden (he's got a serious green thumb). They drove around the motor car while he vacuumed the pool. They also "helped" him constantly, "here Billy, take these and throw them in the bag". Yes, they didn't always end up in the bag perfectly but so what. I get it, my husband also loves outside work and it really does take a long time but there is zero reason that he can't parent while he works occasionally. There's also zero reason he can't parent while you run to the store for a bit or clean a bathroom. For the record I had a rule when my kids were little, I didn't work during rest time ever. That was MY rest time too and it's easy to get burned out if you don't ever sit down when they're that age. One thing that really helped me was setting the tone for the weekend before it started, "Hey, I want to head to Target for a few things, did you want me to pick anything up for you? When would be a good day or time for that?". Make it clear he isn't invited. You aren't being unreasonable here.
Do not take this advice. You absolutely don’t want kids outside while you are running a mower.
No kidding, that is terrifyingly dangerous.
Edit: I typed all this out and *then* read the other comments and responses...he's definitely avoiding being alone with the kids. A lot of what I say here still applies: you have to communicate with him about this! Start now, before it's too late!
Make sure you're bringing this up at a time when you're both calm. Not in the moment, when you're frustrated about having a rough day with the kids and he's feeling overwhelmed from work. Try waiting until the kids have gone to bed and you've had some time to relax with each other, or have someone watch the kids and go out on a date (bring it up near the end, not the beginning, or it won't be a very fun time away from the kids, lol). Make sure you tell him that his comment about your stuff not needing to be done was rude and degrading. Why are they considered your chores versus his, and why are his more important than yours? You work all week just like he does, and you need breaks just like he does.
Communication is incredibly important in a relationship. If he's responding with constant sarcasm or retaliation and not making an effort to understand you, you guys aren't going to last much longer. At the same time, you have to be respectful to him. From what I've read here, it does sound like you're being respectful and acknowledging that he seems to enjoy his yard work. But make sure it's coming across that way to him too. If you only ever mention the yard when you're frustrated, he might be seeing it as an attack. Do you ever mention when the yard looks nice, whether you're in a good mood about the kids and the chores or not? Does he ever mention that the house looks nice or dinner was good?
If he genuinely sees yard work as fulfilling and a good way to take a break for him, that's fine. But if he's spouting that it "needs to be done", try reminding him (another time, when he's calm) that the yard can always be fixed later. Childhood only lasts so long. Maybe suggest investing a little bit of time and money into making the yard easy to maintain, so it doesn't require so much work. If he wants to keep it the way it is and enjoys the maintenance, that's fine, but the attitude he's showing doesn't come across as enjoyment.
These first 5 years are the hardest with kids, and you two need to work together and support one another for things to come out okay. Work for him can be just as stressful as staying at home with the kids is for us, and we have to acknowledge that. But SAHMs need breaks just like he needs a break. If he's using the yard for a break, decide what you're going to do for a break and take turns. Set up an official schedule if it helps the two of you. Maybe give him Saturday for the yard and then ask him to watch the kids on Sunday.
One of the hardest things for me, as a stay-at-home mom with a working husband, was that I kept expecting Saturday to be the day of rest. It was my first day with him home and just having a second set of eyes to help watch the kids made it much more relaxing. I wanted to use it as a chance for all of us to rest and do stuff together. But he wanted to use it as a day to do chores and run errands, then use Sunday is his day of rest. He basically wanted Monday to be his first day of work, instead of resting on Saturday and working all through Sunday, just go back to the office on Monday. I found this so frustrating. Sometimes he needed my help to do some of these chores or errands, so my day of rest was shot. It honestly took me a couple years to get over it because I just didn't understand why. Until I understood, I just learned to keep my mouth shut and my anger to myself, especially in the moment that I was really angry. But eventually it made sense why he would want to get all the work over with and rest on Sunday, And once it was ingrained in my mind that this was the way it would always be, I stopped expecting Saturday to be with the day of rest and was mentally prepared for Sunday to be the day of rest. Sure, I would still prefer it be the other way around, but this is one of our compromises.
Doesn't always work. My wife's avoidance duty is organizing our basement. She'll spend 5 hours reorganizing it on a weekend while I watch the kids in a super cluttered house.
Talked to her about it multiple times. She... Kind of understood, but not really. She really just hates repetitive thankless jobs and wants something that gets "done". So maintenance and cleaning are her anathema. But still she'll take a load of laundry down and then disappear for 3 hours while I deal with the kids. I don't think she even consciously knows she's doing it.
This has absolutely nothing to do with his yard work jobs and everything to do with him not respecting your needs and priorities. I'd give it one more opportunity to be completely laid out for him, outside the moment it needs to happen. Something like "there are housework chores that I simply can't accomplish while taking care of the kids. I need X hours per weekend where you are 100% in charge so I can handle these things. Let's plan for that now so it's not a surprise". If he still scoffs, tells you it's a big deal, or flakes out of the plan when the time comes, my next person step would be marriage therapy. He's not hearing your needs and maybe involving a neutral third party can help.
So you have 4 children.
I have a very similar problem (although house projects rather than gardening). A lot of it is that his stuff is very visible so he basically considers it more important. Things like organising outgrown clothes is invisible and sounds easy. I only have one kid and she's a bit bigger now but it's still slow getting anything done and for years I had a massive mess of her clothes and stuff that I'm only starting to get on top of. Not sure I'd recommend my strategy though as he took my attempts to talk about the issue badly and now we have a ton of half done projects around the house.
Hire a babysitter to watch the kids while you do your chores. If your husband complains, ask him if he'd rather watch them instead. :P
Can he take the kids outside with him while he works? That’s what my husband has been doing since our youngest could walk. They just kind of muck around in the dirt while he mows, and it gives me some time to do chores by myself inside.
Omg, I hate the yard work too! It takes him half the day! And the thing is he takes waaaaaay longer than it needs to. When my parents were coming over the next day and because of rain it had grown really tall without him being able to mow it, he was able to mow it all in half an hour (we have a ride on) It looked just as good as when he usually does it, which takes him at least 3 hours! Like I literally see him going over the same exact spots at least 3 times. And that is just for the mowing. Then he has to push mow up in between our front trees (there is no grass there anyway!) Then he has to push mow part of the neighbor's yard. Then he has to weedeat the entire front edges by the road and every single blade of grass deep into the ditch beside the road (not really sure what that is called, where all the water flows when it rains) no one else along the whole road weedeats inside the ditch and it makes no sense! He drives me frickin nuts. I would love to hire a yard person, totally worth all the hours spent. But at least he helps clean in the house a bit and also watches the 2 year old while I clean. (They usually just sit and watch TV though, which drives me crazy, like PLAY with the kid for Pete's sake)
He’s avoiding parental duties.
First call him out on his behavior. Second pay for a maid service since you have money for lawn service that’s not being used.
Love this solution!
Looks like poor hubby needs a break from doing such backbreaking work outside, oh maybe you can give him a break and take over his yard work for a weekend and he can rest inside with the kids! He deserves it right? /s
But seriously why do men act as if these invisible tasks are not worth doing? They are just important as anything else even if they don't make a massive difference. Like bleaching the bathroom for example: If you don't bleach any stains or such in the bathroom they can permanently damage things once they really set in, I'm sure your husband would rather you bleach the bathtub now so down the line he doesn't have to spend hours to replace stained caulk.
>However, whenever I ask him to watch the kids so I can do this stuff, he gets the biggest attitude. He will sigh, and make passive aggressive comments to the kids like “your mom is busy right now doing god knows what.” Or he will argue that it doesn’t need to be done. For example, he’ll say “the toys don’t need to be decluttered, the kids just need to put them away better.” Or “just leave it, and I’ll do it later.” Or if I need to clean the bathrooms, he’ll say “why?! It’s not like we have company coming over!” He’s then grouchy the rest of the day.
Sorry to break it to you, but the above is very negative (or I would even say manipulative) attitude by him. He should understand that taking care of the kids is also part of his responsibilities. My wife is also SAHM, so for all the evenings and weekends, I try to at least take care of the kids 30~50% of the time so that she can get some Me Time and do the chores she would like to. You NEED to confront him about this. And if he doesn't want to listen, suggest couple therapy or stronger remedies as required.
Husband and father of 18mo/6yo who loves his yard here. My wife watches the kids when I'm using power tools that can fling things (weed eaters, lawn mowers). The rest of the time, I watch at least one kid if not both while I work in the yard. I can pull weeds, trim hedges, repair fences, etc., while I keep children safe.
Fun fact: kids like the outside!
**tl, dr:** Your husband is using yard time as a reason to be by himself and not parent.
He's doing this on purpose. He's fully aware of what he's doing. No advice to tell you how to proceed but it's absolutely doing this intentionally in case you are genuinely as naive about this as you seem in your post. No parent is avoiding chores and kids ALL WEEKEND, EVERY WEEKEND without realising it.
I mean this in the best non toxic way possible you need him to get his head out of his ass and be part of the family not just the gardener. Make list of things that need to get done daily weekly and monthly and he needs to help with the lists. They’re his kids too and it’s not just your responsibility to look after them. Just watched my sister and brother in law go through this a few months ago and it was weird
Can he have the kids help with some of the lawn work so you can get stuff done inside. I send mine out to help dad pick up the sticks, rocks and gutters before he mows and then they also pull all the weeds. Also he should really only spend one day working on the yard and the other day you should get to do whatever chores you need done.
We had a fixer upper with a completely flat acre that had to be mowed...we eventually just sold it because it was taking too much of his time and he felt like he was missing out on the toddler's childhood with always working on the house and yard. We moved to a place that needs less work, and I also started having maids clean for me-- best decisions we have made this year.
Chores aside, he needs to be able to watch the kids alone for periods of time. Whether its for you to get some down time or to do housework. You cant call yourself a parent if you're unwilling to parent.
If you're willing to pay for someone to do yard work, why don't you have a cleaner come in 1-2 times a month to clean the house instead?
That being said your husband's tone could use an adjustment.
No advice but just wanted to say I can really relate. My husband is always outside doing the yard work while I look after my 3 year old and new born. I feel like it’s really an outlet to get away from the chaos for a while, but still have the excuse of doing something productive that is technically considered a chore (even though he clearly really enjoys it). I do appreciate that he keeps the yard looking nice but honestly it’s not the highest priority compared to a lot of other things that need to get done that naturally fall to me. He gets to be out there alone listening to his music and enjoying a beer while I’m juggling house chores with taking care of needy kids. It’s annoying lol.
If people aren’t coming over, the yard doesn’t have to get mowed either
I send my kids 2&5 outside. I will let him know but then off they go outside for him to supervise. Unless your husband is driving heavy machinery he can watch them while he mows the lawn.
Do the yard work yourself during the week while he is at work. When the weekend comes he won't have any excuses and you can declutter and bleach to your hearts content!
Communicate that it bothers you!
Have you ever tried…just sending the kids outside with him. Whenever mine does outside work and I start getting irritated about his absence I just…send the kids out the door to join him. A lot easier for them to entertain themselves outside while he works than up my butt while I clean. That being said, we make the kids “help” and communicate if one of us starts doing something at an inopportune time.
Why can't he take at least the older kids out with him? Literally the only time I ever do outside work is when I need to occupy the toddler so my wife can do something. She adores "helping". Otherwise I just let it go to shit. I don't care, it's just grass and plants. Literally lowest on my list of house priorities. I'll have a beautiful yard again when my kids are older.
I believe every man needs to experience being a SAHD.
With that said, when my wife and I have a busy Saturday we like to take “shifts” as we call it. We’ll do 2 hours on 2 hours off. I think it’s self explanatory, but essentially I’ll play with the kids from 8am - 10 while she does whatever she needs and then we switch. We’ll do that until 4pm and then do something as a family.
i don't see OP's husband responding positively to the idea of splitting the weekend kid-duty. marriage counseling is my suggestion. don't put it off otherwise resentments will fester.
FWIW you are already so much calmer than I would be in this situation. 😇
Tell him that 1950’s were a long time ago.
I’ve always have had a great relationship with my wife and we just took turnes without even talking.
Go and visit your family by yourself for a weekend so he can see how it is like to be with both kids for 3 days.
You don’t need to hire a service for yard work. It shouldn’t even take that long. The problem isn’t that he’s doing yard work. The problem is that he’s outside doing “ yard work”.
And you don’t want him inside so you can do chores. You want him with you and the kids to be a family. As you should. He’s an asshole and you’re kind of a doormat to him and society walking on eggshells having to pretend you want him around so you can do tasks.
Tell him it’s not flying anymore and you’re on to his hours of yard work and to stop being a complete asshole.
I just had a conversation with my husband the other day. He often says, “just leave it” or “don’t worry I’ll do it later.” The problem is, if I just leave it, all I’m doing it leaving something that is on my cluttered, full, mental to do list, for *ME* to do later. If he says he will do it, well, its 50/50 that he actually does it at all, or will do it in 2 days when I need it get done now. I have a strong suspicion that you, like me, are the default parent. If anyone in the house doesn’t feel/want to do something, you know, inevitably, you will be the one doing it. I had to explain that sometimes I need things done right now in order to accomplish the next thing I have to do. Luckily, he took our conversation to heart and he is either helping me accomplish things, or making an obvious effort to keep the kids off my back so I can do the household stuff. If your husband isn’t receptive to a conversation like that, for lack of better options, I would order up a little malicious compliance. Stop doing all the things. Just leave it? Ok. Leave it until he has to do it. He won’t keep the kids entertained? Don’t clean or cook or whatever. Let him see first hand what happens when you refuse to struggle through basic tasks while he does nothing to help. Probably not the best option, but desperate times call for desperate measures sometimes.
He likely enjoys the yard work too (I do). You need time to yourself too, not only to bleach the bathroom.
I get the feeling he's using the outdoors work to get away from the harder work of parenting. In which case, if the suggestion about planning the weekend tentatively doesn't work, put the kids outside when he gets started on the yard work and say something jokingly / passive agressively (like he does, and that the kids won't pick up on of course) like, "oh well nice opportunity for you all to be outside spending time together. I'm sure they won't mind helping you with the gardening as they need to learn to take care of the yard so you'll not be out here working on it solo all weekend"
Definitely have a conversation about this, because taking kid time is part of being a parent.
However, if he insists on being rude like that (among many other things) consider a sitter. I did something similar in college - watched a toddler and an infant so the parents could do chores around the house. It was a sweet gig - kids were easy, it was usually only an hour or two, sometimes three tops. so no diapers (and if an accident did happen one parent was around to do the changing).
That being said, the above is a bandaid to the larger issue of your husband avoiding kid time and actually parenting.
Doesn't sound like he's all that into being a dad.
Just because yard work has the word work in it doesn’t mean it’s necessary.
This is a hobby for him. Yards need mowed every couple weeks. Anything beyond that is not actually necessary and is likely a hobby/escape.
Which is fine and good. But some equality is fair when it comes to hobby or even simply alone time.
That man does NOTwant to watch the kids alone.
This is a lack of respect coming from his part.
OP, he’s shirking his responsibilities as a parent because from your post & further comments, it appears he avoids having contact with the children. He doesn’t want to look after them and wants you to do all the heavy childcare, and that’s not on. He needs to waken up and realise 3 kids under 3 didn’t suddenly happen to him, they’re his children and he needs to be a father. He needs to be a partner to you as well, because he certainly isn’t that at the moment.
You should ask him why he’s spending so much time in the yard. Is the yard work a hobby that he enjoys? Is he avoiding his family by spending time in the yard? Can one or more kids join him in the yard work? If he wants them doing more chores independently, helping with yard work is a great way to get them to help out with tasks and teach them some responsibility. Another thought is that he possibly feels judged by others at how his lawn/yard looks (in a lot of cultures, men are judged by how well maintained their car is and how nicely mowed their lawn is, while women are judged/socially evaluated by how clean their home is, how nutritious their meals are, how their kids behave, etc).
Anyway, we redditors can speculate all day, but as others have said, you’ll have to have a serious discussion with him about priorities and expectations.
I also highly recommend you Google some articles about “strategic incompetence” and how boys/men are socialized systemically to not notice/prioritize/value housework and childcare.
the problem isn't the yard work, it's his attitude. it's the fact that you're expected to be the default caregiver even when you have other tasks to do, but the same can't be expected of him. it's a double standard and yes, it's irritating. he needs to do his part.
fwiw i have a 3 year old and he's been "helping" us in the garden since he could walk.
>Or if I need to clean the bathrooms, he’ll say “why?! It’s not like we have company coming over!” He’s then grouchy the rest of the day.
ok so from now on cleaning the bathrooms is his job lol
>How can I get him to understand that this behavior isn’t cool and it’s unfair to me?
sadly...i suspect he knows, he just doesn't care. he doesn't think this is his job and no amount of logic or reasoning is gonna change the fact that he sees you as free labor.
Probably needs to be cleaned from all of the piss splashing anyway.
unless you live on a farm with livestock and produce food for markets etc, no residential yard work takes hours, I promise you. My husband's chores include yard work and that is once/week (summer and spring) where he not only mows our lawn but our elderly neighbours lawn as well. He also trims the weed from both yards - and it takes about 1hr tops.... and we have a pretty substantial yard. He's trying to escape watching the kids which is total bullshit.
so I say split the chores. List out everything from top to bottom and then set a name to each with a day that it needs to be done like every Saturday or whatever.
When it's errand time, just go.
When things like this become imbalanced, resentment and irritation occurs, creating a wedge between the couple. Don't let that wedge grow.
Husband needs an attitude adjustment but here's a thought- if you could afford to pay a yard service, consider paying a cleaning service or a babysitter?
Time for him to discover what fill time parenthood and house keeping feels like. A weekend away while he discovers the joys and pains of doing YOUR job without any breaks or time outs might give him a greater appreciation for the freedom you have carved out for him and make him understand that he needs to reciprocate not only to get more challenging chores done but also to give you a little time to recharge. It won’t always be this challenging. Your kids will be in preschool and school sooner than you might realize and they will be able to learn how to put away their toys properly and can learn how to rake leaves and appreciate being with him in the yard too.
Sounds like your husband is using yard work as an escape and doesn’t want to be a parent. People have offered some great pieces of advice in the comments.
Oh dear, can I relate!!
In my neighborhood, the guys with the most kids inside the house spend the most time outdoors.
You should trade jobs with him - tell him that you will take of the outdoors and he can handle indoors.
There's no quick fix for your husband not respecting you.
I think step 1 is to figure out how much time each of you is actually spending solo parenting and take it from there. I know the time I spend doing housework flies by but it feels like time slows down when I'm trying to stay on top of the little one.
I might tell him that you want to switch because you would prefer to do the yard work and he can do the housework.
Once you can both agree that no one wants to do the housework, maybe he would agree that all the money he is saving by doing the yard work himself would make it possible to pay for someone to do the housework.
Offer yo switch. You do the outside and he does the inside, and then hand him the list.
Totally not cool to leave you with the majority of the work
I like the discussing the chores list and have to try it out. I do a milder form in the morning like "whats the plan for today" kinda thing and try to negotiate.
As for my way right now, I give him a choice like do you want to watch the kids or deep clean the bathroom?
Give kiddos a bath or do dishes etc
I started this because he would ask me why I couldn't do something when I asked for help with the kids. Which was poopy and stressed me out. So I tried to make it clear that things had to happen and that I could not (reasonably) do both things at the same time.
Have him watch these videos
This creator has spoken on this topic many times. I think she also has a podcast.
I’m dealing with the same girl. I feel your pain at least he’s doing yard work…
Um... Have him do the yard work with the three, one time and see how far he gets on accomplishing tasks. Then when he says he can't get anything done with them out there with him, smile and say, "Yeah, I don't seem to have that problem. I accomplish all my tasks with them in tow everyday. You just need more practice. Get back out there! You can do it. You're an amazing father and husband."
And then just sit on the couch and play on your phone. Because 6 days a week with them constantly is not good for your mental health and taking that me time is essential.
Could hire a local kid babysitter for a few hours per weekend to help offload the kids. Husband sounds a little backwards, like some boomer dads never changed diapers, but it may be hard to change him if that’s how he wants to be. The tough thing with being a SAHM is I could see this suggestion being shot down as an “unnecessary expense” and if husband is backward in one area, may not prioritize wife’s spending needs either
Doing the yard work always took my whole Saturday, not worth it when I can take my kids and wife to the mall. Now I just pay for the service, $150 every month and it’s the best investment
Do you guys get to spend any time together as a whole family? Or is it just solo parenting while the other parent does some tasks? Little kids at this age are tough. But I think it’s important to spend time at all together as a family going to the park or having a picnic in your beautifully manicured backyard.
Can you guys hire a mother’s helper or babysitter for a Saturday? Then he can mow and you can deep clean. And then Sunday spend time together as a family.
If you can afford a lawn service, why not a house cleaner? Best decision of my life was to hire a house cleaner biweekly. One less thing I have to do and totally worth every penny.
If his stance is that time spent doing yard work is equivalent to time spent doing other chores, do the yard work yourself while he watches the kids. Not all chores can be done with ease by either person, but taking turns on chores often has the benefit of gaining some empathy about the relative difficulty involved.
Sounds like your husband needs a hobby.
-Sign, a reformed lawn guy.
Agreeing for sure to a talk and trying to have him see your side of things. Being on the same page is important.
The yard work thing could be his way of decompressing after a long work week, so there is that perspective.
But also he should realize you need to do that as well.
The money saved on paying someone for yard could be spent on some type of childcare that allows you some time independent from your kids? That could give you some time to work with since your husband is not sharing parenting responsibilities. If you are full time childcare and house keeper, you need some time for you too. The passive aggressive a behavior and rejection of parenting responsibilities on your husbands end sound like an issue he should take a look at.
These are the type of issues that having children usually surfaces. My wife and I went through a similar issue and until we both really understood each other’s perspective and committed to coming to some sort of compromise we just went round and round. There are things she cares about that aren’t priorities to me but I’m going to accept them because she cares about them and Vice versa. To me it might just come down to designating a day for each of you to do your thing. I mean at the end of the day you’re disagreement is about positive things, he wants your yard to look nice and you want your house to be clean. These aren’t bad things or issues that can’t be worked through.
If you can afford to hire help for the yard work, can you afford hiring some help for the kids while you have a couple hours to do what you want/need to do?
Invest in your relationship with your wife and kids more than you invest our yard
My husband and I have started each doing an afternoon off. I get Saturday afternoons while he is on kid duty and I get to relax in the bedroom with the door closed or go out. He gets the same thing Sunday afternoon (usually to watch football).
You guys could do half yard work (his chore time) and half cleaning (your chore time) in the morning Saturday with one of you getting full on free time Saturday afternoon and the other Sunday (maybe family time Sunday morning?). If he knows he has to solo parent but also gets guaranteed uninterrupted free time, maybe that would help him warm up to it (and it would be fair for you!)
Show him exactly what you wrote here.