Husbands and children

May 15, 2006 at 11:26 pm 4 comments

Originally posted on Saturday, May 6, 2006

4rs80t[1]The other day, the ladies of The View were discussing how one of their producers asked time off from work to spend time with her child. Their boss was very considerate and gave her some time off. Now, one of the ladies who doesn’t have children asked, “What if I ask time off to spend time with my husband, will you give it to me?” The boss said, no, he wouldn’t.

Is it fair?

I remember I had a similar discussion with a co-worker whom I shared a cubicle with back when I was still working in the office. My children were still a lot younger then. There were times when I would be unable to report to work because one of the kids were sick and I had to stay home with them. Lisa, my co-worker, was single and she didn’t have children. She thought that it was not fair that mothers are being given consideration for these absences. Our company has very strict guidelines with absenteeism and she said that if she were the one missing all these days of work, she would be questioned. I explained to her that the days I missed work were not considered absences but were rather allocated to my vacation days. But it didn’t seem to make her feel better.

Let’s go back to that discussion on The View. Do you think it’s fair to the wife not to give time off to spend time with her husband when the boss agreed to give time off to the mother to spend time with her children?

In the 1950’s, women were expected to care for the husband. But times were different then. Women usually stayed home. Now, women are juggling among 1) husband, 2) kids and 3) work. After having kids, it’s hard to focus on the husband because you’re always tired.

I remember this husband who went on strike because he said the wife was neglecting him. The husband told the wife, “You were with me before them.” I don’t even think that’s the point.

Sometimes the husbands complain that they are being neglected. But they should realize that caring for children is a 24/7 kind of work. Perhaps if they offer help more often, that would lift some of the burden from the wives. After all, marriage and parenting is a 50-50 thing.

I am seeing quite a few men now who are being hands-on dads. Dads are changing diapers or bringing kids to soccer games. But mind you. They would change a wet diaper but not a dirty diaper. They would go to their kids’ sports games but not to doctor’s appointments. And why is the mom the one who stays home when a child is sick? Or are there dads who do?

And don’t you also think that husbands should initiate the romance? I know couples that make time for date nights. They find somebody to look after the kids so that they could go out and have time alone. I think that’s good for the relationship. But looking for a baby sitter could sometimes be a challenge in itself.

As for me, I’m not really big on dates. Although it would be nice to have that every once in a while. But what would really set me in the mood for romance is an offer to help with the chores or the children. That way I could relax. But why do husbands offer help only when they want to get some loving (if you know what I mean)? Wives need all the help they can get every time, right?

I think it was also on The View where I heard that the number 2 problem among couples is housework. Money being the number 1.

I know that there are men out there who understand the challenges women have nowadays and they do try to help. I’m not trying to bash men here, husbands and fathers in particular. Actually, I would like to hear their side.


Entry filed under: My life as a mom, Roadblocks.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. niceheart  |  May 15, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    These are the 16 comments from the original entry on Blogspot:

    jairam said…
    I myself am a victim of the "no kids yet" thing, my co-workers who have kids get to choose their skeds & day~offs. Lagi na lang ako pinapakiusapan ng boss na magpasensya, tuloy I spend less time with hubby and no time to make babies 😦

    5/07/2006 01:15:04 AM

    karen said…
    that one of the reasons why i adore my cousin. he's a very hands on dad, and he's most of the time in charge of stinky diapers (among others things). even though right now, my ate stays at home with 2 toddlers and an infant and he's the one working, he still does his fair share of the things that needs to be done when it comes to taking care of the home and their children.
    having children and getting married is still far far behind my agenda, but i'd never ever even consider marrying a guy who doesn't know/want to pick after himself. i think he's ability to take care of himself will reflect a great part of how he's going to be if and when we get married and have children.
    re: childless co-workers and those with children. where i used to work, lagi na lang akong napapakiusapan ng mga coworkers ko to do overtime instead of them and the like. but i didn't really mind, as long as kinausap ako ng maayos. but then again, i had no responsibilities other than myself and nothing that i couldn't put off later.

    5/07/2006 02:38:37 AM

    niceheart said…
    Thanks Jairam and Karen for the comments. So it seems that bosses are pretty much very considerate of parents. And I guess your cousin, Karen, is lucky to have a husband like him. I'm glad to see that husbands are starting to come around with regards to housework.

    5/07/2006 11:01:14 PM

    earthember said…
    I don't think it's unfair because kids are dependable and require adult supervision whereas the hubby is a grown-up man, who should be able to look after himself.

    I'm lucky to have a hubby who helps with looking after the kids, like tucking them to bed, taking them to doctor, and changing the dirty diaper sometimes. He doesn't mind cooking dinner too if I really insist.

    5/07/2006 11:36:35 PM

    Ann said…
    I agree with earthembe, children need more care and attention.

    Husbands complaining that they're neglected they must think that those kids are their kids too.

    I'm also lucky to have a loving husband who helps me doing housework.And giving me more time to blog..hahaha!

    5/08/2006 02:51:59 AM

    PhilippinePhil said…
    I'm a little amused reading your latest column NH. Sounds like you are generalizing based on your own home sitation.

    I'm in my 2nd marriage. I had three kids the 1st time and 2 this time. Defecation is no big deal to me. I'll change any kind of diaper. I did it for money starting from the time I was 10, and changing my own kids was and is no chore at all. Any man who shrinks from it is in my mind pusilanimous.

    I took my kids to lots of events including for medical treatment, unless I was stationed overseas or on temporary duty somewhere. I worked nights most of my career, so why not, since I was home anyway.

    Now I'm retired to the Phils. I have a yaya for each of my small daughters. What a joy! They do most of the bathroom stuff, but even so, when my kids hang out with me, they ask me to help them do their thing, so, off we go.

    I LOVE being a dad. There are no mom or dad chores, its a question of who is closer. The REAL problem is my kids all grow up too dang fast, and I have to start all over again!

    5/08/2006 09:20:17 AM

    niceheart said…
    Thanks guys for the comments.

    Was I generalizing Phil? I did say that there are dads who are becoming hands-on and helping more with chores. Well, I guess I was generalizing based not only on my own situation but also on a few that I know. But in fairness to my poor husband, he does his fair share around the house. I guess I'm just wishing that he should have helped more with the kids when they were a lot smaller. But he's come around.

    And of course yayas are a lot of help. Unfortunately, we don't have that luxury over here.

    5/08/2006 08:39:42 PM

    PhilippinePhil said…
    Hi NiceH. I stand corrected on the 'generalizing' comment.

    ..and sorry about the yaya comment too. I guess I was bragging.

    5/08/2006 09:56:06 PM

    Hsin said…
    I think it is important to give time to the husband – he is, after all, the one you'll be left with when the kids grow up and leave.

    Because I stay home, I take on all manner of care for the children. I don't expect Danny to do much, but I do wish he'd volunteer from time to time. He gets weekends off from work. I don't get time off unless I find a babysitter. He does try though, but sometimes I just guilt-trip him just so that I can get a nap…

    5/09/2006 01:31:45 AM

    niceheart said…
    That's okay, Phil. I didn't think that you were bragging.

    I agree Hsin. Dr. Phil McGraw of the Dr. Phil Show always says that spouses should take care of their relationship with each other. Because as you said, once the kids are all grown up, you'll only have each other.

    5/09/2006 09:55:47 PM

    Pipay said…
    Hi there NH. I'm bloghopping from Ann's site.

    Well, my husband felt that "jealousy" thing after I gave birth to our first (she turned 1 recently). My husband,.. "used" of being the center of my attention suddenly felt jealous of the time I'm spending with our new born.

    Coz', as more dates, no more chit-chat till dawn and less time spent with him. And by the time I am ok, I then have to go back to work (yah! working mom).

    At first, I cannot understand the attitude he's showing knowing the fact that 'it is OUR child' and not anyone's sibling. It seems like he doesn't have the same feeling towards our daughter as I do. But then, I realized that MOM's are closer to their child since you are bonded with them 9 months ahead than your husband. (knowing men…)

    True, effort should come from the husband but motivation and affirmation will be the best part wives/moms could do.

    After that stage, all of us are having good time playing together, strolling at the park, hanging out with friends and doing window shopping!

    Now I think, she's much closer to her Dad than me!

    Thanks for hearing my story.=)

    God Bless!

    5/10/2006 08:46:01 AM

    BW said…
    If the husband is not feeling well and needs care, by all means the wife can take off in the same way that mothers are given a day off to take care of a sick child. But again, you can't say – i'm going home because my husband has fever! It's got to be reasonable, like he's miserably down with a nasty flu and needs help.

    5/10/2006 09:54:35 PM

    niceheart said…
    Pipay, thanks for sharing your story. I'm always eager to hear other women's voices.

    BW, I think employers will also be considerate if a woman wants to take care of a sick husband. And yeah, you're right, he has to be reasonably sick, that he can't take care of himself. I think that's where the difference really lies. As earthember has pointed out. Children are still dependent that's why it's easier for us to say that it's more acceptable to give women time off for children than it is for husbands.

    5/10/2006 10:20:31 PM

    Jayred said…
    You asked: "Do you think it’s fair to the wife not to give time off to spend time with her husband when the boss agreed to give time off to the mother to spend time with her children?"

    Well, I think it's a case-to-case basis. As BW already said, a childless wife can take off some time from work if she needs to attend to a very sick husband. I bet some employers will cut her some slack.

    I remember my husband filing for emergency leave when he needed to accompany me to the hospital or something like that.

    5/11/2006 03:51:00 AM

    Jayred said…
    P.S. Well, childless or not, I guess a woman has to attend to her very sick husband and take a day off or two if the need arises. (And BW didn't use the term "childless wife." It was my term. But I do agree with his point about the health issue.)

    5/11/2006 03:53:34 AM

    niceheart said…
    Right, Jayred. I think if it's a health issue, it's not a problem at all.

    5/11/2006 08:56:57 PM

  • 2. Michelle  |  June 19, 2006 at 2:49 am

    I never have that type of husband who concerns himself with housework or things relating to our kids. Rarely. Still, he's a good husband I think.

    I was happy because he loves me and shows it, however, when said husband changes and still does hot help with kids, I feel cheated somehow. What could this wrong-with-me bashing mean? Nakakalito talaga.

    I agree it's very unfair when the kidless worker cannot get time off for spending time with spouse.

    I like that episode with Sex and The City with Carrie just had an equivalent of "baby-shower" invitation. The workplace should accommodate single or no-kids yet couples.

  • 3. Michelle  |  June 19, 2006 at 2:51 am

    PhilippinePhil, it's nice to have Yaya because husband and wife don't have to have that issue to add to the other pile of issues. I'm all for that.

  • 4. niceheart  |  June 20, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    It’s true that yayas and househelp can relieve the stress between husband and wife. It’s just unfortunate for us here in North America because we don’t have or can’t afford that luxury.


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