Thursday, February 4, 2010

Reader Poll

I'm looking for your input on my current situation. This includes stay at home mom's and mom's who work outside the home as well.

Last night, I asked my husband to let me know when he would like to take the night shift duty with the kids. This will be the first time since Isabel's birth nearly 5 months ago that I've asked him to do this. I'm home with the girls every night while he is at work and then I get up with them if they have needs during the night.

Unfortunately Isabel has started nursing during the night again. I need to work on getting her to eat more during the day, but for now she gets a middle of the night snack. It's not really a huge deal to me, but it would be nice to sleep for 6-8 hours without having to get up.

I could get more sleep if I made myself go to bed after the girls go down. But, I'm trying to somewhat stick to my late night schedule so it's not so hard for me to transition back when I return to work in April. So a typical night goes like this:

  • Isabel goes down around 10pm.
  • Alexis goes down between 10:30 and 11:30.
  • Then it's Me time until Ross gets home around 12:15-12:30.
  • We usually watch TV together until about 1:30-2 then go to bed.
  • Isabel has been waking up to eat between 2 & 3.
  • Then she's awake for her early morning feeding between 7 & 8.
  • Up for the day usually around 9.
As you can see from this schedule I don't get a lot of sleep at one time and I'm really not getting that much sleep period when you patch my few hours together. Now, like I said before, it's no ones fault but my own. But, I've been working nights since December of 2006 so old habits die hard I'm afraid.

Anyway, back to last night. I was asking Ross if he would take the night shift some night when he was up for it. I was thinking it would be a weekend night when he didn't have to work the next day.

You should have seen his face when I asked him. It was like he couldn't believe such words came out of my mouth. I kept looking at him waiting for an answer and this is what he finally said. "When you go back to work I'll consider taking night duty."

"So, because I stay home all day long I'm not allowed to get a full nights sleep?" I told him that was the most sexist, pig-est thing he's ever said to me and I shut off the light and went to sleep. (Actually I didn't get to go to sleep until 3:30, because I was up with Isabel and then Alexis too.)

I really couldn't believe that he acted that way, it shouldn't surprise me though. He almost acted mad the other day when he had to put away clean dishes and load dirty ones into the dishwasher.

I'm sorry, this may sound a bit selfish, but I don't think it's too much for him to help me just a little. Just because I'm a temporary stay at home mom does mean I don't need a little help or want a break from time to time. Is that asking too much?? 

I would love for him to walk in my shoes for one week, and I would gladly go to his work for him too. I know that his job and our remodel project are stressful to him too, but I don't think he really understands that just because I stay at home right now, that everything is not peaches and cream for me.

I would really appreciate some feedback on how you and your spouse handle similar situations and if I'm being unreasonable.

FYI: I never asked him to give Alexis bottles of breast milk so I could sleep, I always nursed her. I was going to try something new with Isabel and let him give her a bottle while I slept and then pump in the morning. I'm extra, super careful about never giving bottles unless I'm at work, just so they don't start to prefer bottle over breast and so my supply stays good.


Nel said...

I probably won't be the best one to get feedback on... But, I cook all the meals, do everything for the girls, get up with the girls any and every time, I give baths, I do dishes, I cook, I pack his lunch before he goes to work, I clean, I do the laundry, I usually take both girls when I have to go somewhere "incase if Corey needs to do something" (this has gotten better since Libby begs to stay with him)... this even continues while Corey is laid off, on weekends, and anyting imbetween. Now he did step up and do everything while I was on bedrest... and we do eat out at least one night a week (usually the diner - it's free since his parents own it), so that keeps me from cooking at least one day. But this is probably my fault because I have never asked for help... but might also be why somedays I am super excited about Libby at preschool and Abby napping ;)
But I don't think there is anything wrong with you asking for help! I know several moms who do!

Chrissy said...

Josh has always helped. He helped when I went back to work 8 weeks after having Caleb, and now still helps even though I've been a SAHM for 3.5 years. When I was nursing exclusively (no pumping) he would sometimes get up in the middle of the night and bring the baby to me. He almost always cooks dinner. He helps clean up, usually on Saturdays when all of us are home. I do most of the clean up stuff during the week (dishes, laundry, kids rooms, bathrooms, vacuum, etc) but he's been known to do some of those things occasionally, too.

I believe we are a team. I need sleep to function during the day just as much as he does. I believe he should be a part of everything, crappy diapers and all. I do try to keep up with the house as best as I can, but if I'm in the kitchen doing dishes after dinner, he's been known to help the kids with their rooms.

That's just me.

Because I don't want my sons to think they don't have to do anything...Josh wasn't raised that way and neither will my boys.

Ashley said...


This is a hard topic...but, Lincoln was pretty helpful with Hunter. I nursed him, he changed his diaper in the middle of the night. He didn't get up at all with Graysen though and I did find myself starting to resent him a bit for it. He does get up with them when they are sick in the night (we usually take shifts), but not to feed her. I do sort of feel like it's a sacrifice the mom has to be willing to make if she wants to nurse, which is why I never asked Lincoln to feed the kids, but other things that require middle of the night awakenings...most definitely! So, if they just can't sleep, or are sick, etc....he's up.

Could you change your daily routine a little bit so that the girls get to bed earlier and then you can go to bed earlier? Do you have to wait up for Ross to get home? My kids go to bed between 730 and 830 and then I go to bed around 10...

I'm behind you either way - just thought I'd share what my situation has been.

Kelley said...

It's all about buttering them up. Sounds bad, but it's true for them and us! Yes, they share responsibility in their children. They aren't his gift to you like a puppy. BUT... we SAHMs are in a very unique situation- our job is to take care of the family, but it's not as if the breadwinners work 24/7. Sometimes it's hard to find the balance.

I'm blessed with a husband who gets up with the kids on the nights when he's home (3-4 nights a week), immediately takes them to play with him when he gets home so I can have a moment of silence, and unloads the dishwasher because I hate that chore more than scrubbing toilets. The house is my sole responsibility, his job is his responsibility, and our kids are slip when he's home. I'm a better mom when I have a break, and he sees and acknowledges this.

I find that if I just act like I did when we were first dating and falling in love, he ends up being way more attentive and seems to want to make my life easier. Go figure. I have to be careful not to think about all the things that he's not doing and instead focus on what I can do to be the best girlfriend to him.

I'll be praying that you guys sort this out... or that your girls start sleeping all night! :-)

And read "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" I have a copy you can borrow!

Chrissy said...

I was also going to ask about bedtime. It seems really late for the girls. Have you asked/told your pediatrician about that?

Jessica said...

Chrissy & Ashley, I know that it sounds like the girls stay up really late, and I guess they do for the "normal" time frames. They do get the proper amount of sleep, just at different times. Their schedule really works out the best for us when I'm working. Ross works 3:30pm - Midnight and my shift is 4:30pm-2:30am, so them going to bed at 7 or 8 and getting up at 6am is not ideal for us. I just have to make myself go to bed when they do instead of staying up later. I do like to see Ross when he gets home and I do enjoy my alone time, but I can try to rework my days to have some downtime at some other point in the day.

Thanks for all the feedback, I appreciate it.

Chrissy said...

This is sort of a bunny trail off of the original topic, but what if they were in school? They would need to go to bed by 8:00 probably. I can't tell from your homeschool post if you're planning to do that, but if not, this would be a difficult habit to change I would think? Or maybe they could shift to an earlier time if need be. I don't know! I just know that all the times I've read about them going to bed so late seemed odd to me. I do realize that your family schedule is different than mine, so if they're getting sleep, I guess that's the main thing.

Nel said...

Jessica, Libby goes to bed when we do... whether it's 9 or 12 and she sleeps in too. She stays up late too and has adjusted fine for preschool or when I worked was fine with that too, just took a longer nap during the day. Abby goes to bed earlier, but she is an early riser!
I totally understand their sleep schedule with your work schedules. And I also understand why you stay up late - alone time and to have time alone with Ross! I have days where Libby skips naps on purpose so Corey and I have alone time at night :)

Jessica said...

I have thought about the whole school issue, but I kind of figure we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. I don't think it will be that hard to change her sleep schedule. A few days of getting up early and no nap and she should be developing new sleep patterns then. I'm just really hoping that we can get off of night shift soon and it won't be an issue at all.

A Gracious Home said...

You have beautiful children. I have four adult children. Mothers can only sleep when their children get in school. Then if they get sick Mothers can't get any sleep. My two daughters and granddaughter with baby's don't get any sleep. I have one nephew who would get up for the early morning feeding of pumped mothers's milk but I have not personally known any others. I hope you have a husband who will help you. Mine never did. My son helps his wife with the house work and the children but never loses sleep at night with the children. God bless, Doylene

Lara Anne said...

I'm not the best to ask either. A stay-at-home Mom is a JOB and a very hard one at that! The reason it's so difficult is it's a 24/7 job. Zachary's dad never got up with him even when I worked. He rarely helped with him as a baby at all. Mike, on the other hand, is a very hands on father. But he's gone all week long. He's only home on the weekends. But, he would give me the weekends off of night duty and he'd get up with Shawn. He also didn't have to work the next day. On work nights, if he was home, I'd get up with the kids. Our arrangement is that he brings home the bacon and I fry it up in the pan! While it's old fashioned and 50ish, it's what works.