DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I am the stay-at-home mom with a three-year-old son and a nine-month-old daughter. My husband puts in long days between his job and his commute. When he gets home, I sometimes ask him to help me with the kids or dinner, and he gets all huffy and asks what I have been doing all day that I did not have time to get the kids taken care of and dinner made. The last time he pulled that line we had a huge yelling match that left me in tears and him mad for two days.
I get that he works hard and has a long day, but so do I. Why shouldn’t I expect him to pitch in when he gets home? --- TIRED LIKE HIM
DEAR TIRED LIKE HIM: If you two only share your feelings and needs when you’re having a fight, you both need to figure out how to communicate better ─ and fast. Without trying to understand where you’re each coming from, you’re never going to have the kind of partnership that both successful marriages and good parenting are based on.
Since home is where your husband comes to escape his job, he may have no idea what it’s like for you to never be away from yours. For both your sakes, start planning time out of the house ─ with your husband and without. If he has to hold down the fort for even an hour or two on a Saturday morning once in a while, he might get a better idea of how your days go, and you can have a little break. And, when you can, get a sitter and have a date day/night doing something you used to enjoy together before the kids came along. Maybe in neutral territory, you can more rationally discuss what you each expect from the other at this point in your lives.