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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: kander on July 19, 2015, 12:17:28 AM

Title: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: kander on July 19, 2015, 12:17:28 AM
I could use some advice.

I have been married for 3 years now and last year we have many problems in our relationship. We have a 2 year old son, I am SAHM and my husband works. It feels like we're growing apart. We're both very tired, sad and do not seem to get out of this negative spiral of spending too much to try saving our marriage.

We do our very best not to let this happen, because we love each other very much and do not want to lose each other. But it feels like there's never time for us together. Everything revolves around work, housework and parenting. We feel more like roommates than as lovers.

Our "solution" for this problem is to spend money. Enabling a housekeeper (sporadically), expensive dining out, expensive trips .... But it helps only briefly.

Meanwhile, we lose savings. It even seems that I have to go back to work if we continue like this. I am not sure if getting back to work is a bad or a good thing, by the way. But it's absolutely not a good thing that we have to use money that we try to save.

For a long time I thought that it would all magically get better if my husband could work closer to home and when it happened this indeed brought a small improvement, but I can not help but feel bad about how things are going. I know that the first years with a child can be kind of hard, but this wasn't what I expected when I got pregnant... We've always lived kind of frugal and I still want that, but it doesn't work anymore, because I can't seem to find any solution that doesn't involve spending loads of money.

Does anyone have tips / thoughts that can help me? How can we work on our relationship without spending so much money on it?
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: EngineerMum on July 19, 2015, 04:22:50 AM
Have you both been checked for post natal depression (yes, dads can also develop it)?
The first few years with a baby / toddler is hard, but it does get better. Speaking as someone who should have done this and didn't - resulting in separation when LO was about 2 1/2 - try marriage counselling before you get to the separation stage, don't wait until things are unbearable.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: AK on July 19, 2015, 04:26:00 AM
Talk to your husband about how you feel so you both can take steps to keep the relationship healthy. It may be an awkward conversation to bring up but you'll be better afterward.

My wife and I have gone through ruts over time but have kept the romance alive by keeping it simple. Going for walks, making dinner together, ensuring alone time together, surprising each other such as a surprise lunch guest and other things like that.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: screwit on July 19, 2015, 04:36:25 AM
We've been going through the same and I had post-natal depression for the first year on top. My husband became the worlds nicest housemate and we had a very functional team, but not a loving marriage because there wa simply no headspace left to deal with us. Both of us were in "bunker down and survive" mode. This improved dramatically when my daughter turned 3 and suddenly could occupy herself for 10 minute stretches of time :/ Now we're back to square one with a newborn in the house and I'm worried, really worried.

What has helped is learning about The Five Love Languages as that made me realise what we need individually to feel loved. I need quality time and us going out to restaurants etc wasn't fulfilling that. I just wanted to be alone with him. We started playing board games again and suddenly I feel closer again. 30 minutes of playing a game together every few nights has made a huge difference. If you play a collaborative game (like our favourite, Pandemic) you work as a team and it removes any competitiveness within the relationship as well, which is an added bonus, plus it doesn't hit the wallet.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on July 19, 2015, 05:00:45 AM
You've mentioned you have family nearby, right? The best thing my wife and I do for our relationship is drop off our daughter with her grandmother and spend a couple of hours together with a common goal - trim back the pumpkin vines, minor home improvement, go grocery shopping. Frequently this "private time" together leads to additional things that are good for one's marriage.

Also, with you staying at home and your husband working, I wonder if you both think and act like the other isn't doing the "real" work and in turn isn't appreciating your contribution.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: kander on July 19, 2015, 05:15:36 AM
You've mentioned you have family nearby, right? The best thing my wife and I do for our relationship is drop off our daughter with her grandmother and spend a couple of hours together with a common goal - trim back the pumpkin vines, minor home improvement, go grocery shopping. Frequently this "private time" together leads to additional things that are good for one's marriage.

Also, with you staying at home and your husband working, I wonder if you both think and act like the other isn't doing the "real" work and in turn isn't appreciating your contribution.

Yes, I think that happens a lot. Sometimes I feel so tired in the weekend and I feel like my husband doesn't understand that I've played with our son the whole weeks, that I cleaned all his daipers etc. And that it would be nice to do something different in the weekend than the stuff I do all week long.... And on his side, my husband is also tired and wants to enjoy his weekend because he worked all week in the office.... It's sometimes very difficult. I'm jealous because he can achieve a goal without a little todler around that is working against him and he's jealous because I can decide to go to a petzoo with our son..... Stuff like that.... We don't always understand eachother.

Sometimes when I try to explain how I feel he comes with a answer and a solution that proves that he really doesn't understand what being a SAHM means. I guess he thinks I have a permanent holiday or something like that.... It's difficult.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: kander on July 19, 2015, 05:20:24 AM
About post natal depression: I have medication for something like that. It's called PMS (pre menustrual disorder in English, I guess??)
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: Thegoblinchief on July 19, 2015, 05:39:08 AM
Trips and dining out won't fix anything. It's the day to day stuff. When our kids were that small:

1. Take walks. Rejoice in ability to walk and talk peacefully when the kids is confined to a stroller. The worst ages are post-stroller but before they're old enough to walk long distances on their own. Daily walks were our primary sanity-preserving time, and the time we had some awesome conversations.

2. On that note, make sure both of you are doing appropriate self-care, e.g. diet/exercise. Those two factors affect SO much in terms of mood.

3. Have date nights - but do them at home. Wait until your son is down, then have a relaxed dinner for two in your own home. Better conversation than at a restaurant, likelier healthier food, and certainly cheaper.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: RunHappy on July 19, 2015, 06:17:36 AM
Spending money is never going to solve your problem, it will just create more as you through your savings.

I agree with what others said. The first few years after having a baby are really hard, add to that both of your roles have changed (you SAHM, him sole breadwinner).  I'm not sure if you both talked about how your roles would be and division of labor after your change, but it sounds like you need to talk about them now. 

I agree with the marriage counseling ideas and finding something that the two of you can do together.  Also don't forget doing things as a family on the weekends, even if it is just a stroll around the neighborhood. 
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on July 19, 2015, 07:30:41 AM
One of the best warnings / pieces of advice we received from other young parents when my wife was expecting was this: "You will both feel like you are the one doing all the work." It has proven true for us and I think is particularly true when there is one parent working outside the home and one stay-at-home parent (my wife stays at home).

We can use this advice to remind each other of our different perspectives. I don't think it makes it any easier, but it helps us be more compassionate for the other. We can then aim to give each other small breaks from the routine. Even though these are "selfish" breaks, they are invaluable for our relationship because they are the product of the other's generosity and help us recharge.

I echo some of the other posts-- eat well and exercise; take advantage of family willing to provide free child care if you are lucky enough to have family nearby (wish we had family nearby); understand each other's love languages; go for walks; etc.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: mozar on July 19, 2015, 08:55:19 AM
I'm not married but I read the "7 principles of making marriage work", by John Gottman. There are a lot of tips about communicating there. Kudos to you, I don't think I could stay home with a two year old.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: kander on July 19, 2015, 09:08:20 AM
I'm not married but I read the "7 principles of making marriage work", by John Gottman. There are a lot of tips about communicating there. Kudos to you, I don't think I could stay home with a two year old.

I'm not sure if I can do it either ;)  we have a very sweet todler, he's not naughty at all, but still it's challenging sometimes. He wants to help with everything. It's so sweet, but on the other hand it's very trying. You can't get mad or strict when he just wants to help, because it's so sweet, but sometimes I wished I could do some things on my own pace...
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: Case on July 19, 2015, 12:00:00 PM
I could use some advice.

I have been married for 3 years now and last year we have many problems in our relationship. We have a 2 year old son, I am SAHM and my husband works. It feels like we're growing apart. We're both very tired, sad and do not seem to get out of this negative spiral of spending too much to try saving our marriage.

We do our very best not to let this happen, because we love each other very much and do not want to lose each other. But it feels like there's never time for us together. Everything revolves around work, housework and parenting. We feel more like roommates than as lovers.

Our "solution" for this problem is to spend money. Enabling a housekeeper (sporadically), expensive dining out, expensive trips .... But it helps only briefly.

Meanwhile, we lose savings. It even seems that I have to go back to work if we continue like this. I am not sure if getting back to work is a bad or a good thing, by the way. But it's absolutely not a good thing that we have to use money that we try to save.

For a long time I thought that it would all magically get better if my husband could work closer to home and when it happened this indeed brought a small improvement, but I can not help but feel bad about how things are going. I know that the first years with a child can be kind of hard, but this wasn't what I expected when I got pregnant... We've always lived kind of frugal and I still want that, but it doesn't work anymore, because I can't seem to find any solution that doesn't involve spending loads of money.

Does anyone have tips / thoughts that can help me? How can we work on our relationship without spending so much money on it?

You're making the right choice in spending money to try to save a relationship, rather than saving for faster FIRE.  Priorities.

Next place to spend money is counseling. 
Never read any of the books people recommend for relationships help; not optimistic, but who knows.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: JustGettingStarted1980 on July 19, 2015, 12:37:18 PM
Trips and dining out won't fix anything. It's the day to day stuff. When our kids were that small:

1. Take walks. Rejoice in ability to walk and talk peacefully when the kids is confined to a stroller. The worst ages are post-stroller but before they're old enough to walk long distances on their own. Daily walks were our primary sanity-preserving time, and the time we had some awesome conversations.

2. On that note, make sure both of you are doing appropriate self-care, e.g. diet/exercise. Those two factors affect SO much in terms of mood.

3. Have date nights - but do them at home. Wait until your son is down, then have a relaxed dinner for two in your own home. Better conversation than at a restaurant, likelier healthier food, and certainly cheaper.

+1 Very well said. Love the walks (4 yo and 2 yo boys at home). Healthy Diet and Daily Exercise are Key to happy living IMHO.  And just cause it's a date doesn't mean egregious amounts of money need to be spent, keep it simple and remind yourselves why you got together to begin with.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: okits on July 19, 2015, 07:24:01 PM
Some good advice already given so I'll add something not mentioned yet: make time for intimacy.  Sex if you have the time, energy, and interest, but even naked cuddling, holding hands, or falling asleep together helps keep you feeling connected. 

And I second the sentiment that you put your marriage before your savings rate. I hope it's your priority anyway, but even if it's not, remember that divorce will cost you way more than the housekeeper and dining out will.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: MountainFlower on July 20, 2015, 11:33:11 AM
I read somewhere the exploring something new together really rekindles those feelings of falling in love and I sure do believe it. 

We hired a sitter a few times and went out to eat, but found it boring.  Now for a date we go hiking together when the kids are at school  (we both work).  We have so much and usually, okay always, wind up in the sack at the end before one of us has to run off and get the kids! :-)  It's a perfect date for us and really helps us reconnect. 

Exploring for you could be a museum, walk around town, play a new board game as someone mentioned, car show, whatever!  Don't ignore this and as someone said, make time for sex.  It's really important. 
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: klystomane on July 20, 2015, 11:46:27 AM
One thing I'd like to throw out there which doesn't look like anybody's mentioned yet is to find some time to spend alone.

We've come to a mutual understanding that sometimes we just need to take a little time off from each other (and the kid).

Sometimes on Fridays, after I put the kid to sleep, I will go out with some friends for a few hours. My wife, who is a SAHM, will spend a Sunday morning out at a coffee shop by herself or with friends...or even just sleep in and recharge while I take the kid out of the house.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but we find that spending a little bit of time apart actually makes us feel closer to each other.


Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: TrMama on July 20, 2015, 12:07:32 PM
Being home all day with a young child is hard. Being the breadwinner with mouths to feed at home is also really hard. Cut yourselves some slack.

I stayed home for 2 years after our 2nd child was born. It was really hard on both of us. DH was uncomfortable being the one one bringing in any income and I was both tired and bored out of my mind being with the kids all day. Our marriage got much stronger again when I went back to work. Have you explored the option of going back? It might improve both your marriage and your finances.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: Scubanewbie on July 20, 2015, 12:17:37 PM
I don't pretend I know all the answers as my DH and I have gone through our own rough patch (also during newborn phase) but a few thoughts:

1) MOST IMPORTANTLY -- prioritize time with the family having fun, time as a couple and taking turns watching the kid while you both have alone time.  Yes, put it on the list like it's a chore.  For us the dates are monthly and its hard to do, but it gets done because its ranked right up there with doing the laundry, it's not a "nice to do" it's a "have to do"
2) Its good that you're focused on this now before it becomes a bigger problem - we've done marriage counseling and its not fun but it is a lot better to do it while you're both working together to find the right solution rather than both mad at each other
3) Do you think this would be better if you went back to work?  Or did half day preschool while you focus on housework?  Or found a mom that you can exchange care with, each taking the others child for one morning a week to let them "play" together while the other does errands?  I have found that getting 8 hours of housework done (or even going to work) feels like a "break" sometimes if I'm cruising through a to-do list without a little one trying to "help".  They are adorable when they help but sometimes I want to power-through it and then get time to focus on play for a while.
4) Hang in there, it gets better.  My youngest is 2 - almost 3 (oldest is 6) and only in the past year have we felt life start to get "fun" again.  Of course newborns are adorable but the sleep deprivation and constant work sucks a little too much out of you some days.  Its like that movie that says it's moments of pure joy surrounded by chaos/terribleness :)  The ratios just slowly move more towards the fun side.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: StockBeard on July 20, 2015, 12:18:24 PM
a very functional team, but not a loving marriage
I find this describes it perfectly. The past 3/4 years have been like that for us, and when you think back for a minute and realize it represents half of the time you've been married, it's not great.
But talking to other people has proven me that most marriages go through such a period at one point or another, especially when kids get in the mix.

For now I'm just accepting it, with the implicit understanding that once the kids go to school, things will become easier.

Come to think about it, this is one of the reasons I want to retire early. Because if I have to choose between work time, family time, and time with my significant other, work time is the one that needs to be axed.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: Bob W on July 20, 2015, 12:36:38 PM
I highly,  highly suggest the book "His Needs,  Her Needs"  by Willard Harley ---- Or you can find almost all the information on his web site.

So you seem a bit depressed to me?   I hope you are getting up at the crack of dawn and doing daily exercise and daily walks?     I just can't imagine needing to hire a part time house keeper?    I did the stay at home dad gig for about 3 years and just could not imagine not keeping the little house work there was to be done in an hour or so per day.   

One of the main points in the Harley book is that women require a minimum of 25 hours per week of 1 to 1 time with hubby to feel that "Love" thing.    So it will be a challenge to schedule that time.    I would suggest doing 1.5 hours each day in the morning before the 2 year old wakes up.  You can prepare breakfast and lunches together,  work out together and do the horizontal mambo together.   That would equal about 10 hours per week.     

Definitely schedule a date night for 5 hours per week.  This doesn't have to involve money but could be any activity.   So that adds up to 15 hours per week.  You'll need to be really creative but you could get an additional 1.5 hours in the evening each day that would put you close to the 25 hours.   
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: kander on July 20, 2015, 01:32:02 PM
A few of my fellow mustachians here asked me if I am depressed. I'm not sure, but I don't think so. I am moody and unhappy, but not really, deeply depressed. I still can enjoy some things like a good talk, a nice movie, seeing my son do something for the first time, etc, etc.

But there are also many things that I don't like in my life at this moment:
- Household isn't going great. When my son is awake I want to spend time with him, when he sleeps I want some me-time... So I don't get around to some chores.
- I have absolutely nothing interesting to tell to my husband. I can have great conversations with strangers, but I don't know how to connect to my spouse. (He is no "talker" and I'm neither... Well, I can have great chitchat with people I don't know, but I'm having some diffuculties with really opening up, because sometimes I'm not sure what I feel and how I can describe it)
- I'm so tired of cleaning stinky diapers and making bread that he doesn't eat etc.
- I hate our livingroom. It's very ugly ( We are working on that )
- HB and I have a lot of discussions on stuff I don't want to discuss like Samsung / Apple etc.
- We play the blame game a lot. When something goes wrong our first reaction is to blame the other. We try to change it but it's a difficult process.

I'm sorry about the nagging. I feel like the grumpy cat.... But without the humor :/ http://www.slapcaption.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/grumpy-cat-pictures(30).jpg
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: Brilliantine on July 20, 2015, 01:43:10 PM
Umm, if he has such a hard time appreciating the hard work that goes into being a SAHM and refuses to help with the household stuff, I'd say, get a job and get out of the house. That should level the playing field. "Oh, so you had a long day at work? So did I. How about we cook TOGETHER and clear the table TOGETHER, and load the dishwasher TOGETHER."
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: charis on July 20, 2015, 01:44:17 PM
For now I'm just accepting it, with the implicit understanding that once the kids go to school, things will become easier.

Not picking on you, because it is a very hard time, but I don't think that accepting it is a good approach, nor is assuming it will get better when the kids are in school.  Things like not being loving and/or feeling resentment between partners have a tendency to snowball if you let it. 

Some of our biggest arguments and tension occurred when we both felt like the other did not appreciate our work (in the office or at home).  It is so important that both people feel appreciated and their needs are met.  That may need to be addressed in counseling for your husband to get it.  That would also help with your communication issues.

Have you considered getting a mother's helper?  A pre-teen girl who can come over for a couple of hours to change diapers and play with your son so you can have some alone time to catch up on chores or just take a break.  Even once or twice a week would help and you would still be with your son most of the time.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: kander on July 20, 2015, 01:55:43 PM
Umm, if he has such a hard time appreciating the hard work that goes into being a SAHM and refuses to help with the household stuff, I'd say, get a job and get out of the house. That should level the playing field. "Oh, so you had a long day at work? So did I. How about we cook TOGETHER and clear the table TOGETHER, and load the dishwasher TOGETHER."

I have absolutely nothing to complain about how many time my husband spends on tasks in the house. If I ask him to help me with something he never complains nor refuses. That's no problem at all :)
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: catccc on July 20, 2015, 02:17:29 PM
What did you guys like to do or have in common before having a kid? 

I recently was discussing a similar sentiment with my husband, and we talked about whether paying for conveniences would help us.  We said, eh, maybe, but that really isn't the issue.

I told him that things were fine for now, but if they stayed that way, our relationship would suffer.  It sounds like this might be where you are. Our kids are 4 and 6, and life feels kinda stagnant right now.  We basically came away with the fact that we need to find things in common, things we like to discuss, etc. 

I think this is the beginning of the story when you hear about people divorcing because they "just grew apart."  You have to work not to grow apart.  So rediscover or discover new common interests.  A couple nights ago DH and I did a yoga DVD together instead of just plopping down for a sitcom and ice cream.  (But we did that right after yoga, I'm not gonna lie...)  It took 20 minutes and there were benefits to us individually and as a couple.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: nottoolatetostart on July 20, 2015, 02:26:26 PM
Feel much the same way. Our oldest is turning 3 next month and our youngest is 14 months. It is just now getting easier now that our youngest has more interest in playing by himself and walking. Here is what has helped us:

1. We take nightly family walks. This gives us time to talk while the kids are generally entertained. I found a very nice double stroller on Craigslist last year and it gets a lot of miles. We generally spend a few minutes cleaning up after dinner, then head out for 40-50 minutes (it's a slow walk around our neighborhood) every night. We tend to talk about our plans, what happened, what's going on with people, etc. Having a clear, defined goal and talking about what to do to achieve it together makes it more like we are a team and helps with our intimacy.
2. I work from home for a large corporation. I try to do everything during down times at work - it is rough and doesn't always get done. 99% of my non-kitchen cleaning occurs during my work week
3. I've had to let some household chores go. My house living areas are decluttered and it is clean-ish. It's not great, but we have never had a housekeeper. Like I said, good enough.
4. Got our kids on a better sleep schedule. My son goes to bed at 7:30 and my oldest gets special 1 on 1 time with Mommy and Daddy before her bedtime at 7:45 so we get time alone before we go to bed. Our kids are happier that they are sleeping better and so are we. This makes it nice and early for sex too before I am too conked from the day. We both get a little quiet time ;0)
5. We do family stuff on the weekends. Whether going on a walk at the park, going to store together, etc. We recently bought a bike trailer, so we will begin longer bike rides in the next few weeks. We prioritize our family activities ahead of the lawn work and cleaning.

Hope this helps. I know how you feel. It really is a rough time and we are fighting to hold on too. It is getting easier every day. Good luck.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: kander on July 20, 2015, 02:27:08 PM
When we were together we went walking a lot. Mostly in the evening, after dinner. We went walking and could talk for hours during that walks. We are both not so good in sitting on a cough and start talking about our feelings. Or in a restaurant. When we want to talk about something, we go to a forest and in that relaxing environment we used to talk... But it's different now, because we need to stay at home during the evenings.... Or we can ask somebody to baby-sit, but it is something that we normally did spontaniously...
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: Credaholic on July 20, 2015, 03:12:29 PM
When we were together we went walking a lot. Mostly in the evening, after dinner. We went walking and could talk for hours during that walks. We are both not so good in sitting on a cough and start talking about our feelings. Or in a restaurant. When we want to talk about something, we go to a forest and in that relaxing environment we used to talk... But it's different now, because we need to stay at home during the evenings.... Or we can ask somebody to baby-sit, but it is something that we normally did spontaniously...

Can you throw your kid in the stroller and let him sleep while you walk and chat in the evening? That way you can still be spontaneous. Based on your list above I would say that yes, you may very well be depressed. People who aren't depressed can hate their living rooms or be tired of poopy diapers, but it doesn't necessarily eat at them the way it sounds like it's eating at you. I think you should both see a doctor in case there's something to diagnose and seek a job outside of the household because it doesn't sound like being a SAHM is what makes you happy.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: 2ndTimer on July 20, 2015, 03:24:28 PM
I had a slightly similar situation though it happened much later in our marriage.  Due to a medical error I was quite ill for several years.  Obviously, I didn't get out much and didn't have much that was interesting to say to my husband.  This bothered me a lot.  He loved me but how excited can an intelligent man get at the news that his wife sat outside the door in a plastic chair for an hour and hoped a bird would enter the yard. 

I dealt with it by picking a topic we were both interested in and reading as many free or cheap books about it as I could find.  That way when the day ended and we were left staring at each other I had something new to say that he could find worth talking about.  It turned into a hobby that I am still enjoying years later.  I realize you two may not find the fascination that we did in talking about 12th Century water wheels but if you think about it there will be something.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: Erica/NWEdible on July 20, 2015, 03:38:50 PM
OP, how much are you sleeping? Sleep deprivation makes absolutely every aspect of life hard. Dealing with your kid, your spouse, your home, your job, your budget, your own needs, everything  - all a hundred times harder if you are suffering from long-term sleep dep.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: AZDude on July 20, 2015, 03:48:03 PM
You've mentioned you have family nearby, right? The best thing my wife and I do for our relationship is drop off our daughter with her grandmother and spend a couple of hours together with a common goal - trim back the pumpkin vines, minor home improvement, go grocery shopping. Frequently this "private time" together leads to additional things that are good for one's marriage.

Also, with you staying at home and your husband working, I wonder if you both think and act like the other isn't doing the "real" work and in turn isn't appreciating your contribution.

Yes, I think that happens a lot. Sometimes I feel so tired in the weekend and I feel like my husband doesn't understand that I've played with our son the whole weeks, that I cleaned all his daipers etc. And that it would be nice to do something different in the weekend than the stuff I do all week long.... And on his side, my husband is also tired and wants to enjoy his weekend because he worked all week in the office.... It's sometimes very difficult. I'm jealous because he can achieve a goal without a little todler around that is working against him and he's jealous because I can decide to go to a petzoo with our son..... Stuff like that.... We don't always understand eachother.

Sometimes when I try to explain how I feel he comes with a answer and a solution that proves that he really doesn't understand what being a SAHM means. I guess he thinks I have a permanent holiday or something like that.... It's difficult.

I can understand how your husband feels. When the LO was first born, things were really rough, and we went into survival mode. But by the time LO was 2, things had calmed down enough that spending a few hours alone with my kid was usually a good thing. However, when my wife is home all day and I come home from work, there often was a sense that she "needed a break" and that suddenly its my responsibility to watch our child and also do the day to day stuff like make dinner, clean up the horrible mess that they made during the day, etc... It was very frustrating.

However, we got through it. Start by not looking at watching your child as a chore. Find things to do with your kid that are also fun for you. Its hard, but it can be done. Second, for me, was work-life balance and putting career ambitions on the back burner(this was not too hard for me, but for some guys it might take a paradigm shift) and just doing enough to get home early every night. Having family take the LO and then just hang out together like others have said. Have the child have a sleepover with grandma and suddenly you two can lay in bed naked all afternoon watching a movie(or whatever).

We both noticed when our child was little that when we had child-free time, we often did not want to go out anywhere, but preferred to just stay home and do the things that we used to take for granted, like play video games, watch TV, surf the internet, have real sex(not the quickie before bed variety), etc...

The biggest thing, by far, that saved us was undoubtedly when I started working from home more. Suddenly I was there to help clean, do the shopping, and could watch our child for a couple of hours during the day. That is not possible for everyone, and while I have plenty of flaws, I am very good at multi-tasking, so I could entertain a 2 year old and still get my work done. Now the LO is almost four, and watching her is easy most days. My marriage still takes work to keep it healthy, but its much better than a couple of years ago.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: AZDude on July 20, 2015, 03:51:59 PM
I'm not married but I read the "7 principles of making marriage work", by John Gottman. There are a lot of tips about communicating there. Kudos to you, I don't think I could stay home with a two year old.

I'm not sure if I can do it either ;)  we have a very sweet todler, he's not naughty at all, but still it's challenging sometimes. He wants to help with everything. It's so sweet, but on the other hand it's very trying. You can't get mad or strict when he just wants to help, because it's so sweet, but sometimes I wished I could do some things on my own pace...

I've found the trick is to give your child a task to "help" without  getting in the way. Cleaning the kitchen, here is a toy broom, please sweep the floor. Also, I remember reading about the things you will miss about your two year old, and one of them was that they are *always* willing to help. My almost-four year old practically has to be physically forced to pick up her legos, markers, etc... When she was two, she would have run over to help me pick them up.

Two is a tough year, but there are some good things. Focus on the positive.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: SK Joyous on July 20, 2015, 04:12:28 PM
A few of my fellow mustachians here asked me if I am depressed. I'm not sure, but I don't think so. I am moody and unhappy, but not really, deeply depressed. I still can enjoy some things like a good talk, a nice movie, seeing my son do something for the first time, etc, etc.

But there are also many things that I don't like in my life at this moment:
- Household isn't going great. When my son is awake I want to spend time with him, when he sleeps I want some me-time... So I don't get around to some chores.
- I have absolutely nothing interesting to tell to my husband. I can have great conversations with strangers, but I don't know how to connect to my spouse. (He is no "talker" and I'm neither... Well, I can have great chitchat with people I don't know, but I'm having some diffuculties with really opening up, because sometimes I'm not sure what I feel and how I can describe it)
- I'm so tired of cleaning stinky diapers and making bread that he doesn't eat etc.
- I hate our livingroom. It's very ugly ( We are working on that )
- HB and I have a lot of discussions on stuff I don't want to discuss like Samsung / Apple etc.
- We play the blame game a lot. When something goes wrong our first reaction is to blame the other. We try to change it but it's a difficult process.

I'm sorry about the nagging. I feel like the grumpy cat.... But without the humor :/ http://www.slapcaption.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/grumpy-cat-pictures(30).jpg

A lot of great suggestions on here, I hope they're helpful.  I'm going to add, as a couple of other posters have said...look, some people are just not cut out to be SAH parents. I myself would find it boring, I would be bored with myself, and if I'm bored with myself I would be boring to my husband.  There is no shame in being a working parent, and no shame in being a SAH parent - each family has to figure out what is best for them.  I would just recommend that you take a good hard look at whether the current arrangement is making you happy.  You are allowed to go back to work before kids are in school, it is perfectly okay!  Remember, happy parents make for happy kids, so you're not doing them a favour by staying home if you're unhappy thinking it's better for the kiddo.  Best of luck to you!
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: Thegoblinchief on July 20, 2015, 04:18:20 PM
OP - take walks with the kid in stroller. With one kid, and a young one to boot, maximize the golden time of getting quality family walks in!

Also, I really don't understand the "spend 100% of shared wakeful time with son". Seriously? I interact with my kids a ton, but taught them from a very early age to self-entertain when I need to get things done. I feel like the parents I've known who insisted on constant parent-child interaction have regretted it as the kids got older and couldn't learn how to play by themselves.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: sheepstache on July 20, 2015, 04:25:14 PM

- I have absolutely nothing interesting to tell to my husband. I can have great conversations with strangers, but I don't know how to connect to my spouse. (He is no "talker" and I'm neither... Well, I can have great chitchat with people I don't know, but I'm having some diffuculties with really opening up, because sometimes I'm not sure what I feel and how I can describe it)
- I'm so tired of cleaning stinky diapers and making bread that he doesn't eat etc.

How about setting up activities with another couple? That can spread out the burden of conversation. And if you're both tired, you'll likely be motivated to at least keep up your energy in front of "outsiders" while still feeling like you're spending time together. Make sure it's another couple both of you like, of course.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: kander on July 20, 2015, 11:35:05 PM
OP, how much are you sleeping? Sleep deprivation makes absolutely every aspect of life hard. Dealing with your kid, your spouse, your home, your job, your budget, your own needs, everything  - all a hundred times harder if you are suffering from long-term sleep dep.

Not great :( Our son has some difficulties with sleeping at the moment. He's teething atm. I hope it will get better when that's done, because normally he sleeps great! But now it's been a month since the last time we've slept a whole night without any interrupt.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: N on July 21, 2015, 12:13:38 AM
Ive been a SAHM for almost 11 years. my husband and I were together for over 6 years when we had our first baby (we now have an 11 yo and a 7 yo). Becoming parents can radically change your relationship, it can radically change YOU, and the mental and physical aspects of baby rearing are challenging too.

Things that helped me:
Finding my "tribe"- my community of mom friends. Initially, I met other moms at La Leche League (a breastfeeding support group) and made friendships from there. So maybe try out some social group meetups of moms with babies.

I became a volunteer with a couple of groups, which was important for me. I liked participating and helping others, it was social, I could bring my baby with me. It was also a responsibility that helped me feel focused on something beside myself.

I also liked the Five Love Languages books. Helped me appreciate some of the ways that my husband gives and receives love and understand my own preferences.

Understanding that whatever baby stage you are in lasts a limited amount of time. With babies, everythign changes all the time. YOu figure out one thing, and then another thing crops up. teething! eye infection! putting stuff in mouth! crawling! walking! But, sooner or later, they will sleep better. They will be able to entertain themselves a little.

My husband changed all diapers when he was home. He joked that I was Input and he was Output.
He let me sleep in one weekend morning and I let him sleep in the other.

We really tried to keep the long view in sight-meaning...telling our selves -this is a challenging time. We will do our best, be as kind as we can, and get through it. Remind yourself on a daily basis some good things about your husband, your relationship, your baby. Literally- count blessings. It really does help keep the negative thoughts away. I dont want to sound too simplistic. But I found it helpful.

Along with the "tribe" I built for myself, I also found another family or two that we could spend time with as a family. Husbands included. We had dinner once a week together for years. It really gave us a sense of comraderie. This family also swapped childcare with us a couple times a month so we could get a night out and they could get a night out. Sometimes it was brunch out, but same thing. It was free, and our kids loved hanging out with friends-it didnt feel like babysitting and mom leaving, ykwim?  Maybe find a babysitting coop or cultivate some swaps with family or friends.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: kander on July 21, 2015, 06:20:42 AM
I've also wrote this in my journal here:

Tomorrow I have a job interview. I'm very nervous, because I feel so doubtful about going back to work. On one hand I want it, because it would mean extra income and ofcourse some time alone that I can be "me" instead of "mum". But on the other hand I'm not sure if this is what I want. If this means that I have to work in the hours that my husband is free and vice versa then it might be contra-productive...

And today I've re-found a website textbroker, where I can write articles (commisioned by companies) and get some money for it. I can do this "work" from home, when my son is asleep.... It would give us some extra cash without "stealing" time from us together.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: kander on July 21, 2015, 06:24:43 AM
About the baby-sitting: I'm affraid we have no big social network. The only people I know that are in the neighboorhood are my parents and my sister. And both of them want to baby-sit for an evening, but not for the night, so no naked cuddeling. Also I feel like I always need like I need to ask permission to my parents when I ask them to babysit. They always ask me for the reason why I want it and feels like when I don't have a good enough reason they will say no.

I'm so jealous about a friend of mine. Her parents have offered her that she can bring her son one weekend per month, so they can relax, have some time together, etc, etc....

But also some good news: the weekend of august 1st my father in law will babysit for the whole weekend woohoo
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: daymare on July 21, 2015, 10:39:04 AM
Full disclosure, I don't have any kids.  But this:
Quote
And both of them want to baby-sit for an evening, but not for the night, so no naked cuddling.
To me sounds like perhaps you aren't adapting well to your present situation, possibly wishing for what was possible pre-kids.  You also said above that because you have a kid, you need to stay home in the evenings, and can't take a walk (even though the situation of walking with the stroller is one many other parents have used and benefited from).  So I would just encourage you to think outside the box, and instead of trying to reinstate how things were (they may never be the same ... ), figure out what works presently.  So the fact that you get part of an evening and now the whole night doesn't mean you can't have sex or be intimate or do something sensual.  You can do for a walk and sit on a bench and cuddle, or park the car and make out, or come home and spend some quality time in your bed (even if it's just holding each other).

Huge good luck with the job interview!  Remember, taking the interview doesn't mean you have to take the job (if it's offered).  Go in, do your best to impress and get a good sense of the job/company, and evaluate what you want to do once you have the full information.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: Erica/NWEdible on July 21, 2015, 11:21:56 AM
OP, how much are you sleeping? Sleep deprivation makes absolutely every aspect of life hard. Dealing with your kid, your spouse, your home, your job, your budget, your own needs, everything  - all a hundred times harder if you are suffering from long-term sleep dep.

Not great :( Our son has some difficulties with sleeping at the moment. He's teething atm. I hope it will get better when that's done, because normally he sleeps great! But now it's been a month since the last time we've slept a whole night without any interrupt.

I feel ya. If it helps, these feelings you have - kinda torn about what to do and what's optimum and how to get the needs of a bunch of different people met and run a household - are really common. And not sleeping is a form of torture. It does get easier as kids get older. I think 2-3 can be the hardest, in many ways. Not sure if this will strike a chord, but I like a pretty well run home, and I found that the total chaos that seemed to be my life when DS was around 2 was very, very stressful. Just not feeling on top of my shit was really hard for me, and I sort of clung harder and harder to this vision of how my life should be, fighting against where I was at that stage, and getting quite resentful. It was like life was one huge to do list that I could never finish. In retrospect, I wish I had just sort of embraced the phase for what it was and worried less and taken better care of myself. Whatever your specifics, do please try to be gentle with yourself. I don't personally think this is the time to go hard core with frugality. Better to take time for you and try to invest in that relationship with your husband as much as you can. Good luck with your job interview!
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: kander on July 21, 2015, 12:45:47 PM
This evening we went for a walk in the city park with the stroller. It was great! We had a great talk about a lot of things. Our son was also enjoying it a lot; we let him walk for a big part until he became very tired. So lets hope he's tired enough to sleep until tomorrow morning. ;)
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: Erica/NWEdible on July 21, 2015, 12:53:47 PM
This evening we went for a walk in the city park with the stroller. It was great! We had a great talk about a lot of things. Our son was also enjoying it a lot; we let him walk for a big part until he became very tired. So lets hope he's tired enough to sleep until tomorrow morning. ;)
Yay! So happy for you.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: 2ndTimer on July 21, 2015, 02:26:16 PM
This evening we went for a walk in the city park with the stroller. It was great! We had a great talk about a lot of things. Our son was also enjoying it a lot; we let him walk for a big part until he became very tired. So lets hope he's tired enough to sleep until tomorrow morning. ;)

Sounds like you have found one solution that addresses multiple problems.  Those are the best kind. 
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: okits on July 21, 2015, 08:46:27 PM
And both of them want to baby-sit for an evening, but not for the night, so no naked cuddeling. Also I feel like I always need like I need to ask permission to my parents when I ask them to babysit. They always ask me for the reason why I want it and feels like when I don't have a good enough reason they will say no.

Lie in bed naked and feed each other a dinner of finger foods.  It will be fun.  :) You can be naked with your spouse at any time of day, not just nighttime.

Hopefully your family understands that couple time is an important enough reason to have a few hours alone.  Point out to your parents that no couple time = no additional cute grandchildren. 
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: Thegoblinchief on July 22, 2015, 05:43:13 AM
Maybe TMI, but yeah, you really don't need a whole night for intimacy. We usually find a good time during day or early evening when the kids are playing nicely, lock the door, and get it on. Sometimes just a quickie, other times we get a nice, long uninterrupted time with cuddling, pillow talk, etc. Rarely do we need/want more than an hour or two of alone time to get that intimate feeling rekindled.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: kander on July 27, 2015, 02:08:13 AM
I'm very happy that I've started this topic. It's already going much better now! Not perfect, but that's no problem.

What helped the most until now is accepting things the way they are. Walking more. Make time for eachother, even when we are tired... Little things, but it helps a lot.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: Left on July 27, 2015, 02:56:32 AM
not sure if it was brought up... but if he makes a lot of much moneywhere you retain a housekeeper, i would assume his job is somewhat stressful as well...

if you guys work on spending less, maybe he could take a lower paying but less stressful job as well?
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: SomedayStache on July 28, 2015, 11:15:57 AM
Commenting to follow this post because I feel like this right now too.

My hubs and I went through a wonderful period for a few months where my parents had a weekly activity that they decided to take our 3 children to.  This gave the hubbie and I about two hours of free time together without kids each week.  It was dependable, scheduled, and freaking fantastic.  Our overall quality of life improved so much.

Then queue the husband picking up a few extra hours at his low-paying job to help out a co-worker and our together time disappeared.  I am still angry about this.  Our relationship has plummeted back to survival mode and my kids keep asking why we fight so much  and literally telling us to 'calm down'.  ugh.  So sad when a 4 year-old is telling grown ass adults to stop yelling at each other.

I could write so much more here but I'm not going to hijack your post.  Know you aren't alone.  I hope to get some useful tidbits here as well.
Title: Re: Save money while our marriage isn't going great
Post by: kander on July 28, 2015, 01:29:30 PM
That's very sad to hear SomedayStache :( You can hijack this post as much as you want, we can share it, right?? ;)