Expectations of a stay-at-home dad...
Before I go into too much detail, I've been hesitant to post because my DH is a really good husband in many ways. He's understanding about the dynamics of steplife, he's always there for support, and he helps when I ask him to. But I'm having difficulty with the way he's handling being a stay-at-home dad to our 15-month-old son. Here's the thing... I've done it before. I was on maternity leave for 11 months and I know what it's like.
Some days, not much gets done but cuddles and reading books to the little one. I know that. BUT most days, I managed to have dinner on the table at 5, the house always had groceries, and it was well-kept to a degree. Laundry and dishes especially were kept up on. My son was always doing activities like going to the zoo, reading books, playing at the park, etc.
My husband doesn't drive, so I get that some activities and grocery shopping are off the table. He has major test anxiety and fails his G2 everytime, but that's not the point. I work from home upstairs in my office, and literally every single time I go downstairs, my son is playing and dad is watching TV. If my son isn't playing alone (which he's very good at - he'll play alone for 30 - 45 minutes at a time than come for cuddles/attention and go back to playing), my DH is playing with him, which is great.
But NOTHING ELSE gets done. I am still handling paying the bills, budgeting, meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, and most of the household chores as I can. Since he started staying home 4 months ago, he hasn't folded laundry, vacuumed and mopped, cleaned up, anything during the day. He'll do it on weekends while I clean, but then we're doing it together and all my time off is spent on chores.
I'm frustrated. My son naps in our arms, always has, but he's down to one 2 hour nap per day... so that still leaves TONS of time to get things done. I've tried subtly showing him that it can be done. I'll go downstairs while he's watching TV and babe is playing, and I'll manage to do all the dishes and change the laundry and cat litter in 20 minutes. He just says "don't worry about that, go back to work!"
I've tried talking to him, but it seems like it always turns into a fight of me putting expectations on him. He says things like "You're not my boss just because I'm home" and "I didn't do this to you when you were home" but he didn't NEED to, that's the thing. I always had everything under control as much as possible when I was home.
How can I deal with this gently, without fighting, so it gets across to him? Also, it's not an option for me to stay home and him to go back to work. I make significantly more money, and I'm not quite ready for BS to be in daycare yet, so he really needs to make this stay-at-home dad thing work!