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Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routine?

Discussion in 'Family, Home & Health' started by LaraOnline, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. LaraOnline
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    by LaraOnline » Nov 23, 2013
    :wavey:
    When I say I 'can't cope', well... one must. So one does.
    But no matter how well I plan, part-cook dinner, lay out uniforms for the day following, try to get a jump on the school expectations for the following day...by 9pm things are falling apart.
    My husband is definitely NO HELP. :rolleyes:
    Is that unusual??
    I mean, in the 1970s I'm thinking it wasn't... but I just don't seem to be able to keep up.

    We whizz in late after the after school activities, around 6.30pm. It's straight into the bath while I crank up the stove.
    Of course after all the driving in the afternoon I also am dead on my feet so I usually collapse while the kids are eating, then crank it up again for homework after dinner, and then after much sibling struggle (mostly about iPads) it's on to teeth and bed....

    However. By the time 9pm rolls around I'm usually still attempting to clean up the kitchen from their dinner, begging them to finish their tasks while I try and organise next day school bags and washing. :(
    Every night is such a struggle.

    I find the whole expectation of reading every night to my 4-year-old is out the door! I find it very difficult to even get to her in terms of reading,what with slogging it out with the 7-year-old boy. He takes an age to do anything, and every sentence is prefaced by an age of would-be intimidating stares and refusals. Thank goodness my 9yo girl is diligent. But she can still rush out at 9.15pm at night though (while I'm doggedly stacking the dishwasher) and announce that she forgot to do her maths!!

    My husband gets home around 7pm, eats whatever is available and usually passes out in front of the evening news with the plate on his chest.

    I'm up to about 10pm just doing chores (hey, since they've grown a little older, this is definitely an improvement on my previous work hours).

    My children are 4, 7 and 9.
    My husband and the kids are campaigning very heavily for another child (they want a little brother LOL) but There. Is. No. Way.
    Is anyone else out there experiencing this type of ongoing difficulty in the night time routine?
     
    


    


  2. gregchang35
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    by gregchang35 » Nov 23, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    Wow!!! Exhausted just reading it.

    Sorry that you are doing the night run on your own. Whilst I hear them saying that they would like another sibling; something dramatic has to change here for you. You are literally running off your feet at night!!! At present we have 2 under 3yo. So homework has not been factored in yet. Fortunately, both of us work together during this night time period, and we are done by 830pm at the latest.

    I know what I would say if everyone says that they would like another younger brother: Help me during this night period that I am having difficulty with!!!! This change had to be sustained for at least 6 months before we start trying for another. I say 6 months because it is easy to help out for 1-2 weeks and all is great. But a sustained change is more challenging and hopefully new habits form. If it doesn't form/ change you know it will get worse with an additional child, and it would not be fair to you.


    Hope that helps.
     
  3. aviastar
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    by aviastar » Nov 23, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    Lara- no one would be able to cope with that routine!

    We don't have kids yet, but we both work full time and already have to be very diligent about splitting up the home stuff. I cook every meal, but my husband cleans the kitchen. If we didn't I think a)I would be driven insane or b) it simply wouldn't get done and we'd live in chaos.

    Your hubby needs to step it up- surely he can help with teeth brushing and reading before passing out?
     
  4. Bella_mezzo
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    by Bella_mezzo » Nov 23, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    We just have one so far, he's 5, and baby #2 is due in Feb.

    I tend to cook meals on the weekend and reheat during the week, use the crock pot, or DH cooks as he gets home earlier than me (or sometimes DS eats PBJ sandwich for dinner, just being real:).

    DS gets therapies at school and it is very hard for us to stay on top of practicing with him at home. We do pretty well with reading, but I can't imagine "real" homework.

    Our house is often messy, and that's just how it is right now.

    Your DH has to get involved more. Do you work outside the home or are you a SAHM? I work and DH is in school and works part-time. I fantasize about a nanny or housekeeper to help with school pick-up, housecleaning, and meal prep/dishes/laundry...
     
    


    


  5. PetitiePoire
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    by PetitiePoire » Nov 23, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    I feel overwhelmed a night, but that's because I'm a sahm with a 1 year and feel "done" by the time DH comes home. He's a savior though and takes over entertaining, bath, and bed. Would your husband be willing to take over homework, cleaning, or bedtime?

    Bella had a great idea to weekend cook. Also, the crock pot is great for busy week nights when you just need to throw it on a plate.

    Your kids seem at a good age to help out too. They can make sure their dishes are in the dishwasher, the table is cleared, kitchen counters are cleaned off and wiped down, etc. Any little bit will help!
     
  6. canuk-gal
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    by canuk-gal » Nov 23, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    HI:

    Can you eliminate (or diminish the number) after school activities? Or if you are always driving, is it possible to carpool? Can you hire evening help--advertize for a teen at the local high school and pay them for a couple hours and delegate certain jobs (dishes, prep meals, etc...)?

    cheers--Sharon
     
  7. monarch64
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    by monarch64 » Nov 24, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    It sounds like you are coping just fine with the nightly routine. It's your husband who cannot cope as he comes home and only attends to his own needs. You might "suggest" he pick up a coffee or other caffeinated drink on his commute home from work, so that he can start co-parenting.
     
  8. LaraOnline
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    by LaraOnline » Nov 25, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin


    LOL You've got it in one!!

    Thank you so much fellow PS-ers, this thread has really helped me express myself!!
    Now, will I communicate all this to DH? =)
    He does dine out a lot on the wonders of parenting, after all....
     
  9. gem_anemone
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    by gem_anemone » Nov 26, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    You are a saint for putting up with your DH's antics for as long as you have! :lol: Your oldest is 9? My dear that's a long time for hubby to get away with sleeping on the couch while you tend to three children and clean house!

    My DH and I have had an understanding since before marriage that he is to help out around the house. No ifs, ands, or buts. We both work full-time, so it's only fair that we both share household responsibility. He does a fairly good job at keeping up. Sometimes I have to give him a honey to-do list, but for the most part he keeps himself useful.

    I'm not sure how to approach this from your standpoint of having let your DH get away with this for so long. I will try: If I were you my strategy would be to explain to him how hard the nights are getting for you and that you and the kids really need his help. At this point I would hope that he offers his services. Then I would let him chose his involvement, whether it be handling the kids, or a certain kid or two that are easier for him, or handling dinner and cleanup. I would also give him leeway to "mess up" or do it in a way that is different from the way you do it. Since he has not been as involved as you it will take him time to catch up to your level. Over time you can slowly introduce new items to the list (i.e. wiping the counters), but just getting him started on helping is the most important thing for you at this point. It will be very hard for you to try to get everything done to the level you are used to accomplishing while also teaching DH how to do everything your way.

    If you can't get DH to help I would drop items from the workload. Like for example, I would save washing dishes until after the kiddos go to bed and read to the little one instead. If you can't do it all, DON'T!.... and don't feel bad about it. You're just one person! You're doing great!
     
  10. aviastar
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    by aviastar » Nov 26, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    We have a deal around our house that we can ask each other for help. That's what I would do first- simply sit down together and tell him you need help. Don't hint or try to be subtle- he won't get it. Ask for help with XYZ- what will you take on to help me? Then, if he doesn't do the things he said he would you can't do them either. It might not be very fun for you to let the dished pile up or the children run wild before he gets their teeth brushed, but he has to step up.
     
    


    


  11. brown_eyes
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    by brown_eyes » Nov 26, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    I'm not sure how you made it this far, but something has got to give because no one can run like that forever. We only have 1 child (#2 is on the way), but I already feel like if DH didn't help as much as he does then I would be going crazy. I think the above advice is great. You really have to remember that you cannot dance around or hint at what you need- come right out and say it, and you need to be ok with him doing it his way even if it is not the way you would do it or quite up to your usual standards. Right now the bottom line is that you need major help.
     
  12. Logan Sapphire
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    by Logan Sapphire » Nov 26, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    I agree with Sharon- can you reduce the after-school activities? Also I agree with others- simplify your dinners for sure. I have two kids (3 and 5) and work full-time. I definitely hear you on how rushed the evening activities are, but your life would be so much more doable if your husband helped. My husband also works full-time and we have a rule that it's all hands on deck until the kids are in bed and the house cleaned and prepped for the next day. If I'm bathing the kids, he's emptying trash cans and taking out the garbage or sweeping the kitchen floor. Although, I admit I'm not sure how things will work once the 5 year old has more homework (right now she's in kindergarten, so homework is light, but even finding time to do that is a struggle).

    Good luck!
     
  13. LaraOnline
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    by LaraOnline » Nov 27, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    Thanks again for your comments.
    The sad fact is my husband definitely does have a sense of expectation wrt the kids.
    About a year ago I set him the task of brushing the kids teeth at night while I start on kitchen cleanup.
    The upshot was even more tension as he would accuse me of nagging when, exasperated, I would eventually have to remind him to get on with it!
    He would always leave it till really really late - his one job - and then it would be too late to fulfill any other part of the night time routine such as reading books to the little one.

    I don't know what to do. He's getting cranky these days he's getting really hard to manage in a light hearted manner :sick: :rodent:
     
  14. aviastar
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    by aviastar » Nov 27, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    have you ever read Lysistrata?

    I don't know about you but if I had to do all that by myself I'd be waaaaaayy too tired for sex. ever.
    :lol:
     
  15. monarch64
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    by monarch64 » Nov 27, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    Lara, I really liked Sharon's advice for you. I think you should hire someone to help you for a few hours each week. I think you should also make yourself unavailable one night a week or one night a month and go do something you enjoy by yourself or with friends. But NOT on a night you have a babysitter or nanny there. Let your husband be responsible for the kids for a night. They will all survive.
     
    


    


  16. PetitiePoire
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    by PetitiePoire » Nov 27, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin


    This! I'm so sorry he's not willing to help out. I would have no problem nagging my DH though, because I know I can't do it alone and I know I didn't sign up to raise kids "alone." Get out of the house and let him take over- you need a break and like Monarch said, they'll survive and he will probably learn a thing or two.
     
  17. packrat
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    by packrat » Nov 27, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    I tell the kids "ask daddy" "mommy's hands are in the sink, have daddy get that for you" "tell daddy it's time to get jammies on and brush teeth so he can help you" "take your spelling words in to daddy so he can go over them with you while mommy lays out your clothes for the morning" "ask daddy to check your math homework so mommy can get your lunch ready for tomorrow"

    JD spent the first 8 years working 2nd shift so he was gone basically every night and not privy to the goings on and didn't get why I was so stressed out all the time. Now tho, he's on days or overnights, so there's no more pleading ignorance. It took me about 2 days of getting up 2.5 hours before work to get myself ready, clean up the messes he left the night before and get the kids ready for school...which is really fighting-while he sat on the couch and watched hunting shows-before the shit hit the fan. At night, I've told him "I need you to do X, so I can do Y b/c I have to get to bed so I can get up in 7 hours".

    I've also asked "Do I need to maybe make sure my next husband has more money so he can hire help for me if he doesn't want to do it?" And told him "Wow, if you're THAT tired that you can't get up and help me, you should just go to bed so I can pick up in here w/out disturbing you"

    At some point Mr. Man needs to put on his big boy britches and step up to the plate. Otherwise, the resentment builds...and it churns and boy oh boy does it make a girl mad.

    and um yeah, I would give it a resounding NO on a fourth child or you'll never sleep again. Or read a book. Or relax. If he can't be bothered to help w/the other three or w/the house, it's not going to get better adding a fourth (or well, really, a fifth, b/c we wives know, the husband really is just a bigger child to take care of) child.
     
  18. gregchang35
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    by gregchang35 » Nov 27, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    what packrat said x 10000000000

    Sorry that he is not cooperating....
     
  19. LaraOnline
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    by LaraOnline » Nov 28, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    Yeeeeaaaahhhh it's 'the secret lives of mothers' isn't it....
    When you became a mum you joined a private army you never realised existed until suddenly... You were part of it.

    AaaH so that's why women like jewellery. It's either that, or a revolution, head- chopping style!!!

    Thank goodness we have hit the end of year, long summer hols looming so homework routine has finally eased.

    Looking forward to catching up on sleep, I could sleep till February.
     
  20. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » Nov 28, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    I am so very grateful I don't have a DH who has problems helping around the house! He's always been up and doing without me even having to think of asking.

    Would he be willing to sit down and make up a list of who does what? Rather than you telling him what to do, sit down together with a list of everything that needs to be done in the evening and ask what he wants to do each night. Even if he only does two or three things each night (consistently) that will take some of the load off.
    You could even do the same thing with a list of stuff that has to be done weekly.


    ETA: I broke off mid-thought! I'm grateful because I've seen life the other way. My mother lives that way. My aunt lives that way. My grandmother lived that way. I can't imaging living that kind of a life. There is too much work for just one person.
     
  21. nomissjane
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    by nomissjane » Nov 29, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    Lara, I can only imagine how exhausted you must be feeling. I believe that exhaustion is also about your load of responsibility...by that I mean that if you are doing the same amount of work but your hubby is also putting in the same effort then it seems manageable somehow, but if your doing it alone it always seems soooo much more of an enormous hurdle.
    Not sure if I explained that right but I hope you get my drift.

    I'm very, very lucky that my hubby is a very hands on dad. I'm a SAHM and usually have the kids fed by the time hubby gets home, he then takes over from there and does the bath and PJ's routine while I prepare our dinner, then we both read stories to the kids etc and then put them to bed....admittedly my kids are only 3.5yrs and 1yr old so there is no homework etc, I expect school routine adds a whole extra element.
     
  22. kat08
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    by kat08 » Nov 29, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    I think this is a situation that many women face. In today's world, women still often have the lion's share of childcare, even though they may be working full-time. I don't know what I would do if my husband didn't help as much as he does. It's hard enough as it is, even with him helping. I do remember, though, that he and I struggled tremendously over the division of labor when we first got married--before having kids. I just kept at it until I figured out what he was willing to do and compromised around that. He was willing to cook (he likes it), so I pretty much just refused to cook, lol. It was the only way to make it more fair. The downside is I had to get used to the kinds of things that he likes to cook, but I figured the person cooking gets more of a say (same with decorating for the person doing most of the decluttering :Up_to_something: ).

    He still does the cooking when it comes to our sit-down family meals. I do lots of simple cooking, though, for myself and my girls when he's not around (snacks, light meals, etc.). He loads the dishwasher fairly regularly, but I still end up doing more dishes because I'm home more. I'm the main person in charge of de-cluttering the house, because he simply doesn't care as much. He takes care of the yard, does all the grocery shopping, and almost all of our errands. I do most of the chauffeuring for the kids. I do all the laundry, except for his personal laundry. He helps me clean the house, but only if I ask him and insist on it. I do the majority of house cleaning. Cleaning the house makes him cranky, so I tend to ration out my asking for his help (I take his mood and the general amount of work he's facing into consideration). For homework, we each tackle one child.

    I think the biggest trick to a fair division of labor is figuring out what bothers your husband. What would he care about if it's not done? What is more in his nature to do? Is he more willing to run errands? Send him out on all errands. Is he willing to grocery shop? Send him out. Can he do the dishes? Put him in charge of getting the kids in bed? If you're asking him to do the kind of thing that he doesn't mind as much, then it will be a smoother transition. But definitely stick to your guns and keep trying out solutions until you find one that works for you two. You deserve it.

    I'm also going to give you a different kind of advice… and it may be something you're already doing. Really take care of yourself so that you look and feel your best. Remind him about why he fell in love with you (and what a catch he has!). Take more time to connect with him and have in-depth conversations. Talk about the fun days when you two first got to know each other. Get out the candles after the kids have gone to bed. Seduce him and spice up the romance. If you both feel more bonded at the same time as you're firmly asking him to help out more, he'll be more willing to help out more without fighting or resentment (and you'll both feel more in love and stronger in your relationship).
     
  23. butterfly 17
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    by butterfly 17 » Dec 4, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    This is a tough situation.
    I have 4 kids, 13, 8, 5, and 2 years old.
    I also work full time nights and my husband works part time nights.
    I usually work Mon and Tues night and then when I come home on Wed, go to sleep. My husband takes care of the kids the nights and days when I work and vice versa.
    Today, I came home, went to sleep until 2:30pm, but my husband got the kids on/off the bus, fed them, did homework with them and then he left for work at 4:30pm.

    When he works he is gone until Friday because he works far from us.
    He usually comes home Friday morning, goes to sleep and then I get the kids on/off the bus, feed them and go to work Friday night.

    My husband does most of the cooking because I work more nights and sleep during the day, but it really takes a team effort. It turns out to two days that he is getting up to take care of the kids for school and two days that I am taking care of them for school and then just Mon morning when we both get up.

    The days I struggle most are Wed. and Saturday because I am in school as well. I have my assignments always due on Wed. and Saturday, so I usually try to do my Wed. assignments on Thurs and Fri before I leave for work and my Sat. papers the week before and just hand them in early. Example, I had an paper due next Sat. 14th, but I did it early and handed it in this past Monday.

    My kids don't have any extra curriculum activities except my older daughter who is in choir so when she has rehearsals and concerts, it does throw me for a loop. Especially since I am so sleep deprived.

    Also, my husband does what he can to clean up the house, but he is not the cleanest and I am a neat freak, so when I come home in the mornings I usually do a sweep of the kitchen, and then when I wake up, I do the rest.
    My 13 and 8 year old clean up their rooms and bathrooms and dust all the furniture once a week. They also do their own laundry. Bring the clothes down, wash and dry them and fold them up and put them away.
     
  24. butterfly 17
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    by butterfly 17 » Dec 4, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    Lara, do you work? I am asking this because if you are a SAHM and the kids are in school during the day, can you get some of the household chores done while they are gone? I find that I am most productive when they are all at school, although I have my 2 year old with me, it's just easier with just one child.
    For example, tomorrow when my three kids leave for school ( two leave in the morning and one leaves at 12 pm), I plan on writing my paper that is due next Wed., do some laundry and some cleaning, and make dinner. I will pick out their clothes for the morning as well and lay it in their closets. My kids come home around 4 pm, so as soon as they come home, they do their homework, I get their snacks ready for the next day, pack their backpacks away and we eat the dinner that I cooked earlier.
    After they eat, I have them shower and put on their pajamas and then if there is any time left, I let them watch TV or play. At 7:45 pm, I have them brush their teeth and comb their hair out again and then my two older ones go to bed.
    I let my two younger ones stay awake in the family room while I clean up the kitchen and then around 9:30pm, we all go upstairs.
    One thing for certain, no TV or Ipads or phones while they do their homework. I don't have any distractions because when I do, they take forever to actually do their work.

    Also, how about getting a mother's helper? Someone who can come to the house a few hours each night to help you out.
    I thought about this as well when we first moved here because my husband is not around from Wed. to Fri and where we moved to we have no help from family. I even found a few people on Care.com. Since you are home while they are there, you won't need to pay them as much as if they are alone with your kids.
    For example, hire someone from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, just three hours a day, but it makes a huge difference.

    The only reason why I did not do it is because I am so picky about my house, it would bother me more having someone else with me and doing things than if I just did them myself.

    Lastly, the afterschool activities. Can you make a deal with one of your kids classmates parents? Like have them pick up/drop off your kids certain days and you agree to do the same for them. Like every other day or something?

    Anyway, just some ideas to think about.
     
  25. gem_anemone
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    by gem_anemone » Dec 5, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    Hahaha yea me too!!! :lol:
     
  26. momhappy
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    by momhappy » Dec 6, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    What types of after school activities are your kids involved in? Have you considered decreasing the amount of after school activities? I have always been a firm believer in NOT over-scheduling my kids. No one in the family seems to benefit from running here, there, and everywhere, so we chose after school activities VERY carefully (and sparingly).
    Do you work outside the home? If not, use the day time hours to prepare for the night time routine. You can even cook many meals ahead of time and just reheat at dinner.
    As far as your husband is concerned, that sounds like a major problem in and of itself. It's not something the I would tolerate, but it sounds like you have chosen to, so it's going to be difficult to change at this point. Your husband doesn't help simply because he doesn't have to and quite frankly, it doesn't even sound like he has a desire to help, which is quite sad. My concern would be of a much larger problem - like a marital problem that has spilled over into the daily routine. I don't think it's normal for a husband/father to get home from work and isolate himself from the rest of the family. A husband/father should want to contribute and interact with his family. If not, then there must be a reason why.
    I'm sorry that you're dealing with this. The night time routine can be tricky for many of us. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed when my kids were young (dinner,bottles, diapers, jammies, story time, etc.). It has gotten easier in many ways, but more challenging in others (homework, school lunches, etc.).
     
  27. momhappy
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    by momhappy » Dec 7, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    Also, I just wanted to add that I find it sort of odd that some would suggest hiring childcare as a viable option - as opposed to enlisting the help of her husband, who should be helping with his parenting responsibilities anyways. I suppose that would help to alleviate the problem of the crazy-busy night time routine, but it wouldn't address the larger problem of the lack of participation of the husband/father, which is likely the more critical issue in my opinion.
     
  28. Laila619
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    by Laila619 » Dec 9, 2013
    Re: Am I the only one who can't cope with the evening routin

    Ugh, so sorry. That would really irk me. Tell your DH to start helping you! They are *his* kids too.
     

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