New Parents & New Problems - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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New Parents & New Problems

We have a 6 month old. My wife is the primary caregiver, and she is amazing. I have a load of respect for how hard she is working and how amazing she is with our son. She is a stay at home mom with no aspirations to go back to work at this time, which is completely fine with me.

Here's where the problems start. I own 3 different businesses that I run remotely (meaning I work from home). I get up at 5:30 am, walk briskly on the treadmill for 30-45 min while going over my to-do list with my assistant/reviewing any problems. I get a footlong subway sandwich that is my breakfast and lunch & start work about 7:30.

Basically:
Alarm goes off at 5:30
On treadmill & phone by 6 am
6:45 grab food & get ready for work
I work 7:30 - 2:30 pm

This has been my schedule for the past several years.

Frequently, she wants me to take over parenting duties during that time so she can get some more rest.

I totally understand that mom to a new born is really hard. I have huge amounts of respect. I offer up total commitment to taking over as primary parent after 2:30 pm. I have offered to be primary parent until midnight.

She doesn't want me after 2:30pm... she wants me in the middle of the work day.

I don't get it. I offer to take him after work and go to the park, store, etc. I want to give her a break so she can take a nap and recover sanity, but she just won't take me up on the offer.

I've tried explaining that most people have offices/work that they have to go to & although I AM the boss, I can't just alter the schedule on a whim (of course there are emergencies). We are very fortunate that my schedule CAN be flexible, but I can't always abuse it. The businesses do not run on autopilot & I have responsibilities.

I've offered the idea that we could get someone to help part-time during those hours, but she doesn't want it.

It really feels like a game to me. Am I crazy? It feels like she wants me to choose being a dad over work. Which, I would love to do, but someone has to generate money for our family.

This is a problem that i never dreamed we would encounter. And, I'm sorry if this seems like a fortunate person complaining. I thought I'd be able to be a hero parent because my work day is relatively short & I'm at home, but it just doesn't seem to be working the way I originally thought.

Thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 11:43 AM
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Re: New Parents & New Problems

What does she want you to do in the middle of the day? What is happening then that it is important that you are available then?

Is it possible to schedule in a couple of hours in the middle of the day that you do drop work and do baby care? If your schedule is flexible, maybe you can plan to have a two-hour break and then finish up those two hours after 2:30. Lots of people (customers, vendors, etc.) go to lunch between 11:30 and 1:30, so it might not be so hard to re-organize your schedule.

There is some reason this timing is important to her, and if you can accommodate by changing up your schedule a bit, go for it.

.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New Parents & New Problems

She says that he's harder to handle in the mornings. And, while I sympathize, my schedule was setup the way it is because I'm much more productive in the mornings. I've proven to myself (and others) several times that it's just a waste of my time to try and work in the late afternoon or evening.

I have tried to take a couple of hours for lunch & it usually doesn't go very well. I'm stuck in work mode. Lol.. she doesn't even like to have lunch with me because I'm very distracted during that time.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 03:39 PM
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Re: New Parents & New Problems

So have you been giving in to her then? Or have you not?

She needs to realize that what she's asking is NOT gonna happen. Don't cater to her. If you have to, shut the door of your 'office' on her.

People don't get a free pass to cheat just because their marriage sucks.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New Parents & New Problems

After I tried being flexible, I have flat out refused to alter my work day for the past couple of months. She would just walk in and hand me an upset child whether I was on the phone or not. It just felt very disrespectful to me & everyone on the other end of the phone. It also seemed very rude to have my assistant constantly re-organizing my schedule.

In actuality, I'm open to adjusting my schedule... but not on a day to day basis. And, everything before 9 am is usually pretty vital to my productivity.

I have employees, meetings, clients, etc. that schedule 2 to 3 weeks in advance. I can't be constantly changing availability and doing last minute re-scheduling.

If she could say... I need you between 9 am & 11 am/2:30 - 4:30 pm.. I'd be 100% in. She just won't commit to it, and I don't know how to be a good husband & business owner with this scenario.

However, if she asks if I can handle him for 15-20 minutes while she hops in the shower and gets herself ready, I can frequently make that happen... or tell her I can take him in 20 minutes for 20 minutes.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 04:08 PM
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Re: New Parents & New Problems

Ah, yes, the old 'give 'em an inch' scenario.

My suggestion is to first of all explain to her why this cannot continue to happen, and what you ARE willing to do and not do. She will agree most likely, but then will start to push the boundaries again after a while. When that happens, you must be very firm and tell her that what she's doing is not acceptable and that if it happens even once more, you will be forced to create a lockable space for yourself to work in during the days at home. Or else get an office that you physically go to every day.

People don't get a free pass to cheat just because their marriage sucks.

Our R
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 04:16 PM
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Re: New Parents & New Problems

I know she already rejected the idea of getting some help for the hours she thinks are difficult...could you suggest it on a trial basis? "We can have someone come in for a few hours in the morning and see if that helps. If you hate that, then we can stop."

My guess is she will find herself comfortable dumping the screaming kid on the helper when she needs to get away from the screaming for a bit, and will be happy to have that person stay on once she gets over the idea that someone else is taking over parenting duties. At least, I'm guessing that's why she doesn't want any help.

Otherwise, I don't know how to get through to her that you are working and can't be available at a moment's notice since you've already tried talking to her. Logic and reason are not, apparently, enough here.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New Parents & New Problems

Sorry, just need to vent for a minute

We had tickets to an event that we couldn't attend over the weekend, and she suggested that we offer them to a couple that we are friends with. They are primarily my friends, but my wife does enjoy their company.

On saturday, we had them over for lunch to hand off the tickets. I woke up Saturday morning, found a few interesting recipes, went grocery shopping, prepped the food, cleaned the house, cooked, (then our friends came), then did dishes/tupperwared left overs.

That evening she was upset at me because I didn't spend much of the day with our son & it 'felt like we didn't do much with our saturday'

Now, I understand that the friends were late in their arrival (not my fault).

And, she said that I wasted my time cleaning because 'they wouldn't have cared'. I thought I was making her look good. I see how tired she is from being a mom & I wanted to go the extra mile so that our guests would think my wife is supermom.

I know that she may not think a clean house is important, but I don't want anyone to think poorly of her. I do well financially (trying not to sound arrogant as I say that) & she is a SAHM. I may be wrong, but if people come over and the place is a wreck... I think it will reflect negatively on her.

I know I'm not 100% selfless for cleaning, because I would be embarrassed as well if people came over and the place was not clean. So, 50% for me & 50% to make her look good.

Beyond all that... The whole day was her idea.

ok.. rant over.. sorry
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New Parents & New Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope1964 View Post
Ah, yes, the old 'give 'em an inch' scenario.

My suggestion is to first of all explain to her why this cannot continue to happen, and what you ARE willing to do and not do. She will agree most likely, but then will start to push the boundaries again after a while. When that happens, you must be very firm and tell her that what she's doing is not acceptable and that if it happens even once more, you will be forced to create a lockable space for yourself to work in during the days at home. Or else get an office that you physically go to every day.
You are correct that she pushes the boundaries when I finally just told her it wasn't working and here's what I 'could' do.

I've tried explaining that she's lucky that I have the work flexibility that I do & we should find a way to work with it. She has said, that she almost wishes I had to work in an office somewhere. (I don't understand this at all)
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New Parents & New Problems

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Originally Posted by norajane View Post
I know she already rejected the idea of getting some help for the hours she thinks are difficult...could you suggest it on a trial basis? "We can have someone come in for a few hours in the morning and see if that helps. If you hate that, then we can stop."

My guess is she will find herself comfortable dumping the screaming kid on the helper when she needs to get away from the screaming for a bit, and will be happy to have that person stay on once she gets over the idea that someone else is taking over parenting duties. At least, I'm guessing that's why she doesn't want any help.

Otherwise, I don't know how to get through to her that you are working and can't be available at a moment's notice since you've already tried talking to her. Logic and reason are not, apparently, enough here.
Thanks, I suppose there's no harm in revisiting the subject. I'm worried about her because she seems to be wearing down very quickly. Maybe she'll be more open to the idea now.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 06:20 PM
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Re: New Parents & New Problems

With school being out now in most areas, what about a teenage mom's helper for a few hours a day?

Otherwise, trying not to sound harsh but it seems like your wife might not be cut out to be a SAHM. She wants to pass the baby off during his fussy time. Once they get to be 6 months, they are a lot easier to sooth, so maybe this will all work itself out soon. The baby will soon be able to sit and start to crawl and get more interested in toys.

Your wife should be able to handle 1 baby even if he is fussy. God help her if you have another and there is a toddler and a screaming baby! I lived that with 4 babies in a 6.5 year time period and a husband that was working (45 minutes commute) at least 10-12 hours a day. It was not easy but certainly did not require me dumping the kids on my husband in the middle of the work day.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 06:27 PM
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Re: New Parents & New Problems

Aww, new moms are nervous and feel a lot of pressure, and are usually very tired out to begin with, so she's probably not at her best right now. I'd cut her some slack, and recognize that she is struggling and is asking for help, though not in a way grayson2 can easily provide.

Teenage mother's helper is a great idea, ABC123wife. I did that for some extra money in college, just came in some evenings at dinner time and some weekend mornings. That way, she is there to supervise until she gets comfortable with having help and leaving the baby in the helper's care. And, it's double the benefit if that help can also be available for baby-sitting sometimes so the parents can go out on a date.

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