Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Twins and Marriage 2

Thank you for your comments. They were really helpful. I also asked the support group I go to and my therapist. The advice boils down to:

1. Ask before you nag
2. Speak before you yell
3. Perspective before drama
4. Praise before criticism

Easy rules to remember and I shall attempt to follow them. I did try to explain to DH last night that I was frustrated with his lack of overall involvement and that it was becoming a problem for me. He went pale and all he heard was "I'm divorcing you'. I am not and will not divorce this man. I told him when we married that if we were going to go through the ceremony, divorce was not an option. Well, at least until either George Clooney or Colin Firth wise up. Or both. .... ....

where was I?

oh yes, my marriage.

So, I'm thinking of asking him to agree to this list of things he is totally responsible for.

1. Trash - taking it out every day
2. Kitchen bookending: clearing it up first thing in the am and last thing at night
3. Ordering the kids formula (a little risky I admit but we do have my boobs as back up and a pharmacy across the road)
4. Making the bed every morning
5. Providing us with a meal on Thursday night.

What do you think? It gives him clear goals, a common understanding of what success looks like and will help him navigate how he can contribute.

Or is just insulting??


  1. I do think you will have better luck asking him what he can commit to doing daily/weekly first and then fill in whatever blanks arise. Unless he specifically asks you to direct him, then he should come up with his own list and you hold him to it.

    When my husband was a SAHD we got a grease board that we hung on the side of our fridge. There were daily tasks for each day and recurring tasks written down the side ledger. It was a dream for our house and our marriage.

  2. I think the list is a good idea, but you may want to include something like: Additional assistance as required. The list is not foolproof in our house but it does help as my DH is VERY literal. Good luck, and remember to take some time for yourself NO MATTER WHAT! The trash can pile up if it must, but your sanity can't wait for you to do all his stuff as well as your own!

  3. I think you'll find a way to make it work. The list idea is good, but jeepers, give him more to be responsible for! He can call about getting a replacement for your $650 non-rocking chair, for example.

    Sorry I missed the original "husband" post, but you don't want my advice - I cope by ignoring the lazy, selfish a-h most of the time and just do it all myself.

  4. I'm chiming in late -- as another mom of twins (mine are 2), I've had this post up for 25 hours, LOL.

    We have a big monthly calendar on the kitchen wall, a dry-erase/bulletin board combo next to it, and a designated place for important mail and the shopping list (I've tacked up another list in the bathroom closet). Still DH rarely seems to check the calendar. And he is supposed to make one meal each week but that doesn't always happen... He is very Type A and as such tends to get into a pissing match about who is doing more. This is an ongoing communication problem.

    We're trying to do more one-on-one time with each child (per "Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins"). The book "Simplicity Parenting" stresses that the father should consistently be in charge of one part of the KIDS' day -- for DH it's playtime after dinner and bathtime. Yes, sometimes the girls are crazy at this time of day, and DH complains, but at the same time it gives him a chance to see what my day can be like, and the girls have a built-in hour or more of daddy time. I'm rarely even present for this.

    Also, I make a point of going out with friends or to book club whenever feasible and encouraging DH to do the same. Dads of multiples can get pretty depressed. Their friends often totally disappear, assuming the new dad of twins is too busy or too much needed at home. DH has struggled with this. When the girls were about 18 months old, I told him that he either needed to get on antidepressants like I did or have an early morning bike ride once during the weekend. (Substitute anything that has a rejuvenating effect on your husband.) It's just a few hours of alone time but it makes him much more agreeable in general and more amenable to my very occasional night out.