couples

"Don't judge me but... I think my husband is a terrible SAHD."

Yeah, I know I should just be grateful he’s willing to stay home with the kids. But I expect more.

My husband is a great guy. Easygoing, fun, fantastic with the kids. So I feel a bit guilty even writing this. But I have to get it off my chest. He is doing a bit of a crap job as a stay-at-home dad.

I was so happy when he offered to stay home with our son, who’s now three, and our daughter, who’s now 18 months, so I could go back to work full-time. I get a lot of satisfaction out of my job and I make more money than him. (I work in finance, he’s a P.E. teacher.)  And, to be honest, it was doing my head in being at home with the kids. It felt like my brain was turning to mush.

It seemed like a perfect arrangement. I would come home from work, spend an hour or two playing with the kids, read them a story in bed, then flop on the couch with my husband and a glass of wine.

Nup.

Welcome home, mum.

I come home and the place is a pigsty.

Bowls with dried cereal left lying around. (We have a dishwasher. Would it kill him to put them inside?) Dirty clothes on the floor. Water all over the bathroom. DVDs not put back in their cases. Sometimes he doesn't even bother to empty the potty, so I walk in and have to face a poo that's been there for hours.

And the kids always look so scruffy. I'm not expecting child models, but it's not hard to find clean clothes that vaguely match and then run a brush through my daughter's hair, surely?

I'm the one who has to run around tidying the place up. Meanwhile, he flops on the couch with a beer and tells me what an exhausting day he's had. He doesn't offer to help, just chats away about all the things the kids said and did during the day. I can just feel the resentment bubbling away inside me.

Look, I appreciate everything he does for the kids. He takes them to the playground and he reads to them and does messy stuff like finger painting. But isn't keeping the house tidy part of the job description? When I was the one at home, I was constantly putting on loads of washing and keeping on top of the dishes and picking things up off the floor.

My husband's good at playing with the kids. But there's more to being a stay-at-home dad than that.

All my friends keep telling me how lucky I am that I've got a husband who's happy to stay home with the kids. I guess I should feel grateful, but I feel like he's got the easy part of the deal. I've got the hard part. I'm earning all the money and I'm also doing the bulk of the housework.

I can't understand why he doesn't see how unfair this is. I feel like one day soon I'm just going to explode at him and throw a potty at his head.

Before I do, just tell me. I'm not being unreasonable, am I?

If, like this reader, you have a dilemma that you would like advice about, please email [email protected] with Don’t Judge Me in the subject field. You will be contacted before publication, and your identity will be protected.

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