Is It Normal and/or Okay for a Dad To Neglect Helping with the Kids After Getting Home from Work?

QUESTION:

“Is it normal and okay for a father to not help with the kids because he works and you ‘just stay at home all day’?”

RELATED QUESTION: My Husband Expects Me to Cook and Clean Because I’m a SAHM: Advice?

TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):

“Depends on what it is you’re wanting him to do. After working 12 hour days the last thing I want to do when I come home is be bombarded with chores and things that could have been done by the stay at home parent while I was working all day.”

“I told my husband a long tone ago. When he is at work then the kids and house is my job. When he is done working so am I. Then it becomes 50/50 he has always helped me even 10 years and 7 kids later he will help with dishes, kids, cleaning, laundry, or whatever. At this point, we usually do rock paper scissors to see who has to change the baby.”

“Good husbands/fathers usually want to help with their children after work is over they usually are a bit bothered that they don’t get to bond with their children all day like the mother. At least the men in my family feel like they are missing out on raising their babies when working all day. So from my perspective, no this is not normal.”

“What if the roles were reversed? Would you tell him he does nothing all day, and ignore all childcare needs once you’re home? If this sounds absurd (because it is), then the problem is about gender roles. Time to challenge those and negotiate household responsibilities (including emotional labor). Counseling can be great for this. If he were to pay someone for all the work stay at home moms do, his bank account would be drained. All household roles are valuable and important. Everyone deserves time for self-care and to recharge. You are a partner, not a servant.”

“My husband works long hours and gets home later than most. I always try to give him some time to decompress. But he knows when he gets home his child wants to interact with him and play and be with their dad they haven’t seen all day. Even if he doesn’t do anything else around the house which he does (mostly dishes and trash), he is fully expected to spend time with his children because he is their father and no one else can build that relationship with them but him. ‘Helping with the kids’ shouldn’t be seen as just a chore, that is time he is spending with his child and bonding with them.”

“I really wish we’d stop saying that a father is helping a mother raise their kids. I’m so over it. Lol, Dads and moms should give 110% each. Staying at home with children every day is not easy! It’s a job itself.”

“Hell no. They’re his kids too! I get him wanting to unwind for a few after coming home. Mine takes a shower and then starts playing with them, asking how their day was, etc. He usually does bath time with them. You don’t just sit at home all day. You keep them alive all day, you feed them all day, comfort them all day, etc etc etc. Tell him he can have his time after they go to bed, just like you!”

“No! I work 50+ hours a week and he is a stay at home dad. When I get home I take over. He gets some “me” time and I do what needs to be done and it is my time with our daughter. We both have hard jobs and we both need time to do what we want and need to do! Plus, I miss my baby while I’m at work all day, I already miss out on so much so I have to make up time! Don’t put up with that crap, there is no excuse for him not to help!”

“I laid this question to my husband because I didn’t want to be biased. My husband works hard and is frequently gone for long stretches of time months at a time. He works 11 hours or more on an average day. He comes home and helps me with dinner or the kids so I can finish dinner. He said that it’s not normal and feels that has a father you helped making them you need to help raise them. Also just cause you to stay home all day doesn’t mean you aren’t working. He knows that I cook clean and now help with schooling for our kids and feels it’s part of his job as a dad and husband to help. I work 24 hours every day I don’t get a break. If my kids are sick it’s up to me to take care of them. I am a nurse, a teacher, maid and that is just a short list of all my responsibilities as a stay-at-home mom.”

“Is it normal and is it acceptable are two different questions. No, it’s not uncommon for working fathers to not help stay at home moms with the kids after work. No, it’s not acceptable not to help raise your own kids even if you work all day.”

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READ ALL ANSWERS BELOW:

42 Likes

I always let my honey get his self adjusted when he first gets home. Get out his work clothes, eat dinner , sit down for a bit. He caters to my every needs so I make sure he has his time to relax after work since he helps me early in the morning and all I have to do is ask if I need something. We are good at communicating needs so we know what eachother need and what from one another. Teamwork

Ironically I work and due to illness hubby is unable to at the moment, so he looks after the kids. When I get home from work he lets me relax cos I’ve been on my feet all day and I don’t finish work til 7pm, but then I get up and help. Sometimes I’m so tired I ask hubby to do it. Luckily our kids are school aged now, with our youngest being 9yrs old, so they can do most things themselves.

It’s common, but not ok.
If mom stays home and dad works outside of the home, then dad should get a little time to decompress after work and then he needs to get off his ass and participate in his kids lives!! You didn’t make these kids alone and you shouldn’t have to care for them alone either!

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To each their own. I think this is a mutual agreement not a right. I lost my job because of covid so now I’m a stay at home mom while my husband works 8-10 hour days. He still comes home and helps me with cooking and/or the kids (10, 2 & 1 yo). But I also understand some days he gets home later or very tired and I hustle to get things done so he can have a night off.

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I don’t work my husband does, when our children were babies he worked a very physical job, he was part of a small 2 man logging crew, so he really couldn’t help much but did what he could when he could willingly by the time they hit school age he had a office job and I was working so we split up the evening chores baths were usually him and I did dinner. Now they are in high school and I no longer work so I do most of the driving shopping meals etc. I don’t really mind now, when they were small if was literally never ending and it was hard we made it through because he’s always willing to help when I ask. We are a team in everything and we decide what works for us all together always

Yes and no. I think it is normal for a person to come home from work and want some peace and quiet for a bit to relax and unwind. However, it goes both way. You have to be given an opportunity to relax and unwind also. Both parents have to be upfront (but nonconfrontational) with the other about what they want and need. If you both have to sit down and schedule time off, then do it. Or make a schedule a time where you can leave the house and he takes care of the children and vice versa. You two need to figure out a routine that works for both of you. Google some suggestions. Read some books but most importantly, don’t view this as a “you against me” situation. It isn’t you against him. It is you as a couple against everything else. If you work as a couple, it gets easier. Not perfect, just a little easier.

3 Likes

You need to know more specifics, and it is what works for each couple. I work a full time job, two part time jobs, and manage rentals. I do all this to provide for my family. My wife is a teacher, which she wanted to be. She manages the house. If someone needs some discipline, she calls in the big guns. It works for us.

I’m a bit of a traditionalist, I take care of the house and kids and homeschool my kids and my husband goes to work… now on his days off he’s pretty much all in with the kids and stuff… and he hangs out with them after work, but doesn’t really discipline or anything… I’m fine with it this way. In fact, I pretty much set the tone to be this… he works, I do EVERYTHING else! If I need help, he will help without problem though…

2 Likes

Uhhhhm no. It’s not ok, and it shouldn’t be normal. It is one thing to give 30 minutes to wind down and get in “parent mode”, but after that it should be all hands on deck🤷🏼‍♀️ I have been the working parent and the sahm, both are exhausting in their own way. And yes my jobs have always been physically and mentally demanding. Being a parent doesn’t have work day hours, it is 24/7/365.

5 Likes

Every family is a little bit different and has different circumstances, but it isn’t fair for him to never be involved.

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Nope! My husband is amazing about helping out even after working 12-14hour days. You need to talk to him about it and tell him he has a time to be off work, you should too. It’s nonsense for you to do everything all day.

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No, it is not. My husband believes that it is most important to play with the kids at night after work.

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Depends on the man. When we do stay home we do everything. If you want him to help, just tell him what you need. Unfortunately they need to be told and don’t just do.

My husband stays home, I work. When my work day is over, I take care of the kids, homework, baths, dinner…

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I can’t remember my dad helping me with school work much. Maybe in elementary school but not after.

May be normal for a lot of people but doesn’t mean it is right.

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Yeah I think it is normal if a man has a physically demanding job that they don’t want to walk thru the door and immediately help (or at all for that matter). Though you should get “sick” for a week and show him what all that “sitting around” really looks like :joy: and even though he is tired you can’t let him get away with doing nothing with his kids! At the very least he could sit with the kids while you cook or do bath time.

4 Likes

I have a problem with him thinking and or saying you just stay home all day. Not cool.

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Not if he wants his kids to respect him and have a special bond with them that would last a lifetime!

1 Like