momlogic community

This discussion was created after I wrote my "Mom and Dad 50/50?" post on TheMommyInsider.com. I thought it would be nice to read how other moms relate or don't relate to the post. Check out the post then link back here to share your story or thoughts.
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Do you love your husband to death, but get more angry at him than anyone else? It's sad but I do and according to the recent parenting.com article "Mad at Dad" about 40% of moms do to.

Do you get mad at your husband or child's father regularly? Is it about chores, help lack of help with the kids and what do you try to do about it?

Tags: angry, anxiety, at, chores, dad, husband, mad, parents, relationship, stress, More…wife

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Pamela, Thanks for your feedback! I tried the whiteboard strategy but he doesn't look at it. It's on the kitchen wall right by the table. Maybe I should tape a list on the front of the refrigerator? I just hate having to tell him what to do. He's not my third child!

Do you agree? Does having to ask or tell your husband what to do bother you?
As a man (and husband and father), I can say this:

MEN ARE DENSE.

We just don't get it.

There is, however, a cure. Men will do ANYTHING for the woman they love... we just don't usually know what our woman needs/wants us to do.

Yeah, I know. "What do you mean you don't know what we want! Isn't the overflowing hamper/smelly kids/sink full of dishes a clear sign that we need help?"

You would think it would be; your man would not. We're pretty much focused on one thing at a time. Unless our attention is drawn to something else, we're not going to get it.

And we can't read your mind.

Here's what you do: Sit your man down and tell him what you want from him. Be specific. Be very specific. Men love to solve problems; we love to ride to the rescue. Make sure he realizes that you--the woman he adores--need this from him. You might even ask him for ideas on how you two, as a team, can better manage the household. You never know--he just might volunteer to take over some of those responsibilities altogether!
Well, I replied to Alicia's blog but I'll post here too. YES we have this issue, it's our number one argument, followed closely by the sex argument which is directly related to argument number 1. UGH.
I appreciate Ben's post---and I agree men are dense. I don't expect my husband (at this point, maybe once upon a time I did) to know exactly what to do and when. I've realized he can't think of it or recognize it on his own. For whatever reason, everything that needs to be done just jumps out at me and I can't ignore it. He told me to make him a list once. I said "Gladly". Well, he read the list. I think. But in order to get him to do something on the list, I had to hold his hand. I am not so good at hanging pictures and stuff on walls, for instance. I will ask him nicely to do this for me. But that's not enough. If I want it done, I have to get the right tools, put them in his hands, drag him to the room and spot I want it and say "Here--put it here". I don't have time to do that. Nor do I want to!!

Here is something that may help other women, though I can't say it pleases me. My husband said he responds MUCH better to positive reinforcement, than negative. So instead of saying "Why didn't you take out the garbage?" I should say "Thanks for doing_____". I told him I am all for that--as soon as he starts doing something. I don't think I should HAVE to shower him with praise for what I consider basic adult/parent/homeowner responsibilities, because I don't have any cheerleaders following ME around, but I'll do it if need be. Just waiting for something to cheer for. (SIGH).

Can you tell this is a major issue for me?
Hi Ben - Thank you so much for your input!
It's really great to read a man's point of view on this issue. I was really hoping that men could read minds. :)
Maybe you can give me a little more insight. During my discussion with my husband, before I read the "Mad at Dad" article, I specifically mentioned that if he would just (1) take the kids laundry down to the laundry room, (2) clean the bathroom floors, toilet and counters, and (3) give the kids the basic care they need such as baths, teeth brushing, etc.. that would help me a lot. He never said, during the 1 1/2 hour conversation, that he would be willing to do these things.

My theory is that despite his request for me to tell him what to do, he doesn't take well to being told what to do.

Here is an example of what happened last time I asked him to do something:
Last week I asked him very nicely to please schedule our 9 year old's dentist appointment. I handed him the postcard with the dentist's phone number and and he looked very confused, like he didn't understand why he should call but he said "sure". I requested that he ask if they accept our insurance and before he called he assured me that his cleaning and x-rays would be covered. Just about 30 minutes ago my husband called me from the dentist office to tell me that they don't take our dental insurance and we had to pay full price. WHOA!

Based on that should I:
A) Not ask him to make appointments
B) Sit down with him and explain that he should consider insurance, etc in the future
C) Hold my frustration in and hope that next time I ask him to make an appointment, he will consider these things. This would be the least confrontational approach.

I pay the bills, deal with most home repair scheduling, run a business from home full time, take care of the kids, etc.. I thought asking him to make a phone call wouldn't be so bad, but is that something I shouldn't request?
What regular duties are reasonable to request help with?

Thanks again Ben! I understand if you don't answer my questions and appreciate the input you've already contributed. I hope that I am not asking too much of you but your feedback is valuable to not only me but to all of the moms who read this blog and The Mommy Insider blog where I also posted about this issue.

Alicia

Ben Martin, THE FATHER LIFE said:
As a man (and husband and father), I can say this:

MEN ARE DENSE.

We just don't get it.

There is, however, a cure. Men will do ANYTHING for the woman they love... we just don't usually know what our woman needs/wants us to do.

Yeah, I know. "What do you mean you don't know what we want! Isn't the overflowing hamper/smelly kids/sink full of dishes a clear sign that we need help?"

You would think it would be; your man would not. We're pretty much focused on one thing at a time. Unless our attention is drawn to something else, we're not going to get it.

And we can't read your mind.

Here's what you do: Sit your man down and tell him what you want from him. Be specific. Be very specific. Men love to solve problems; we love to ride to the rescue. Make sure he realizes that you--the woman he adores--need this from him. You might even ask him for ideas on how you two, as a team, can better manage the household. You never know--he just might volunteer to take over some of those responsibilities altogether!
Alicia Hagan said:
Last week I asked him very nicely to please schedule our 9 year old's dentist appointment. I handed him the postcard with the dentist's phone number and and he looked very confused, like he didn't understand why he should call but he said "sure". I requested that he ask if they accept our insurance and before he called he assured me that his cleaning and x-rays would be covered. Just about 30 minutes ago my husband called me from the dentist office to tell me that they don't take our dental insurance and we had to pay full price. WHOA!

Based on that should I:
A) Not ask him to make appointments
B) Sit down with him and explain that he should consider insurance, etc in the future
C) Hold my frustration in and hope that next time I ask him to make an appointment, he will consider these things. This would be the least confrontational approach.

I pay the bills, deal with most home repair scheduling, run a business from home full time, take care of the kids, etc.. I thought asking him to make a phone call wouldn't be so bad, but is that something I shouldn't request?
What regular duties are reasonable to request help with?

The answer, of course, is "D." :-)

You've got to keep the ball in his court (sorry for the male-oriented sports analogy). You're facing a bigger problem than just scheduling now. You've got a dentist who doesn't take your insurance; obviously, that has to change. Put this problem in his hands. Play dumb if you have to. You'll want to work together on some of the details, but you need to let him be in charge of this task.

Overall, though, you're facing a larger issue. Responsibility for your household, from the kids to the bills to cleaning, needs to be shared. I'm not saying that you each need to do 50% of each task. What I am saying is that you both need to share the sense of ownership for the work of your family. It shouldn't be you knowing what needs to be done and telling him what his part is. It should be you both, together, knowing and deciding. You already know this, of course. But he doesn't, and you're not going to get him that point by giving him a list or nagging. You kneed to communicate to him that you need him to step up, and to do that, you've got to get his attention.

Set up a situation where you two can have some alone time--after the kids are in bed or, better yet, get the kids to grandma's house. No TV, no internet, no email, no Blackberry. Just the two of you. If you want to throw some dinner in there, go for it. Get his undivided attention. Then tell him, flat out, that you need him. You need his help. You have too much on your plate. You don't want to be the one in charge, telling him what to do. You need your man.
That should work. You'll have some sorting out to do, and you'll have to fight the urge to take charge as he tries out his new wings. But if doesn't respond to the heartfelt cries of the woman he loves--when that woman has his undivided attention--he's an idiot.
I have actually asked many of the mom's this same question when they come into my shop, Calamari Baby and everyone does say the same thing. The husbands can keep the kids alive 'til you get home and that seems about it. No extras....Feeding the kids, but no cleaning the dishes. Playing with the kids, but no picking up the toys. This is just men and it gets frustrating.I am glad my husband is there to do the lazy daddy stuff that they do. I find that they days I decide not to let things bother me that are not that important I feel better. Pick your battles kind of thing for me.
If I walk in to a tornado of a house, a full sink of dishes, and I say couldn't you at least do the dishes for me. I get the response, "You always see the negative and never the positive." then he is mad and takes the dog for a walk. So now I say, "Great job getting the kids to eat their lunches honey. I'll get the toys off the floor if you do the dishes for me so I can get dinner started.
Then I thank him for doing the dishes.

As for stuff around the house I do what I can and constantly remind him of the other things.
When I get the most frustrated I think of the things I can rely on him to do like: got to the store at the drop of a hat for milk or whatever, or he works the shop when I need to stay home and get work done.
He is even the one who takes the drive back to grandma's even though it isn't far to get the priceless blankey we forgot without a groan. Yes, this task will take him like 4 times as long as me but this is because I am wanting to get back and do other things and this is his task at hand. I thank him for what he does do and the days he works on the honey do list is just extra. :)

In fact here is a specific thing that happened. Honey please go to the store and get some Oatmeal. I went into full detail about not the quick kind because we don't like them and the kids only eat the regular kind. He went to the store and bought one thing of quick oats and one thing of maple syrup flavored quick oats. I complained and he said I never said regular. I know I went into detail because I know my husband. So he got mad that I was mad instead of happy he bought any oats. The next morning no kids would eat it. They thought it was gross. I told him he had to eat it.
This type of thing happens a lot. If their is any kind of description after the task it is lost. They just turn off their ears. I know if I don't write it down I might as well not even say it.

Men just do not think like Women and do not act like women. We do well in a crunch and deal with multi tasking great men on the other hand cannot be watching the kids if they need to make a phone call. I mean the kids to them are a task and they cannot start anything else until you come home to end the first task. Just like I can get more done if he isn't home because then I know what my kids are up to. If I think he is watching them and I start working on the web site then I all of a sudden notice that scary silence and he is just watching TV. The kids are quietly covering each other in ink in the corner. That kind of thing anyway.

So as mush as I try to make my responses positive I still rant and rave plenty and I hate it.

Glad I got to rant a little here..
I know it will make me smile when I get home to the family.
Thanks
Allison--when it comes to things at home, you and I live parallel lives, completely. I have lived your examples. My husband works long hours and for the last few years (since we've had kids) I feel like I am always waiting for him to come home, and a little resentful at having to do everything on my own. But just in the last few weeks, I have realized that it's actually EASIER for me when he isn't here to help with dinner and getting the kids to bed. When I'm on my own, things run smoothly and there is no hassle. I know what the kids are doing, and I'm watching them AND doing dishes, etc. When my husband is home, it's chaos. And like you said, he's watching the tv instead of really interacting with them anyway, so what's the point?
We had a small argument the other day---my son is 6 months and on this day had gotten up really early, and I got up with him. We all bought groceries, and then I was going to lay down with my son. The only groceries not put away, were the canned/pantry stuff. I laid down for about an hour and a half. I came out, there were toys all over, and the groceries were still not put away. I said "You couldn't put those away?" and he said "I was on the phone". I said "The whole time?" and he said "Well, I was watching Mia too". Our house is 1100 sq ft. Our kitchen and living room right next to each other. Later that day when he asked me to do something, I told him I was too busy breathing to help.

Allison Kosty said:
I have actually asked many of the mom's this same question when they come into my shop, Calamari Baby and everyone does say the same thing. The husbands can keep the kids alive 'til you get home and that seems about it. No extras....Feeding the kids, but no cleaning the dishes. Playing with the kids, but no picking up the toys. This is just men and it gets frustrating.I am glad my husband is there to do the lazy daddy stuff that they do. I find that they days I decide not to let things bother me that are not that important I feel better. Pick your battles kind of thing for me.
If I walk in to a tornado of a house, a full sink of dishes, and I say couldn't you at least do the dishes for me. I get the response, "You always see the negative and never the positive." then he is mad and takes the dog for a walk. So now I say, "Great job getting the kids to eat their lunches honey. I'll get the toys off the floor if you do the dishes for me so I can get dinner started.
Then I thank him for doing the dishes.

As for stuff around the house I do what I can and constantly remind him of the other things.
When I get the most frustrated I think of the things I can rely on him to do like: got to the store at the drop of a hat for milk or whatever, or he works the shop when I need to stay home and get work done.
He is even the one who takes the drive back to grandma's even though it isn't far to get the priceless blankey we forgot without a groan. Yes, this task will take him like 4 times as long as me but this is because I am wanting to get back and do other things and this is his task at hand. I thank him for what he does do and the days he works on the honey do list is just extra. :)

In fact here is a specific thing that happened. Honey please go to the store and get some Oatmeal. I went into full detail about not the quick kind because we don't like them and the kids only eat the regular kind. He went to the store and bought one thing of quick oats and one thing of maple syrup flavored quick oats. I complained and he said I never said regular. I know I went into detail because I know my husband. So he got mad that I was mad instead of happy he bought any oats. The next morning no kids would eat it. They thought it was gross. I told him he had to eat it.
This type of thing happens a lot. If their is any kind of description after the task it is lost. They just turn off their ears. I know if I don't write it down I might as well not even say it.

Men just do not think like Women and do not act like women. We do well in a crunch and deal with multi tasking great men on the other hand cannot be watching the kids if they need to make a phone call. I mean the kids to them are a task and they cannot start anything else until you come home to end the first task. Just like I can get more done if he isn't home because then I know what my kids are up to. If I think he is watching them and I start working on the web site then I all of a sudden notice that scary silence and he is just watching TV. The kids are quietly covering each other in ink in the corner. That kind of thing anyway.

So as mush as I try to make my responses positive I still rant and rave plenty and I hate it.

Glad I got to rant a little here..
I know it will make me smile when I get home to the family.
Thanks
Ben,

Believe it or not, my husband is doing better now. I think it just took a few days to sink in that I am having a really hard time being responsible for everything. He is downstairs playing with my daughter now and vacuumed the living room today without me having to ask! I thanked him for vacuuming but wondered in the back of my head if he will expect a 'thanks' every time he vacuums now. I guess I can't worry about that and should just be happy he did it!

We haven't had time to sit down and talk yet, but I hope to very soon. This issue is very important to me and I can't go on resenting him for his lack of consistent help. I like your suggestion about putting him in charge of dealing with the dentist issue. I'm sure if he knows he has to, he'll find a dentist in our area that accepts our insurance.

I hope you will keep an eye out for more discussions here and continue providing your valuable feedback!

Alicia

Ben Martin, THE FATHER LIFE said:
Alicia Hagan said:
Last week I asked him very nicely to please schedule our 9 year old's dentist appointment. I handed him the postcard with the dentist's phone number and and he looked very confused, like he didn't understand why he should call but he said "sure". I requested that he ask if they accept our insurance and before he called he assured me that his cleaning and x-rays would be covered. Just about 30 minutes ago my husband called me from the dentist office to tell me that they don't take our dental insurance and we had to pay full price. WHOA!

Based on that should I:
A) Not ask him to make appointments
B) Sit down with him and explain that he should consider insurance, etc in the future
C) Hold my frustration in and hope that next time I ask him to make an appointment, he will consider these things. This would be the least confrontational approach.

I pay the bills, deal with most home repair scheduling, run a business from home full time, take care of the kids, etc.. I thought asking him to make a phone call wouldn't be so bad, but is that something I shouldn't request?
What regular duties are reasonable to request help with?

The answer, of course, is "D." :-)

You've got to keep the ball in his court (sorry for the male-oriented sports analogy). You're facing a bigger problem than just scheduling now. You've got a dentist who doesn't take your insurance; obviously, that has to change. Put this problem in his hands. Play dumb if you have to. You'll want to work together on some of the details, but you need to let him be in charge of this task.

Overall, though, you're facing a larger issue. Responsibility for your household, from the kids to the bills to cleaning, needs to be shared. I'm not saying that you each need to do 50% of each task. What I am saying is that you both need to share the sense of ownership for the work of your family. It shouldn't be you knowing what needs to be done and telling him what his part is. It should be you both, together, knowing and deciding. You already know this, of course. But he doesn't, and you're not going to get him that point by giving him a list or nagging. You kneed to communicate to him that you need him to step up, and to do that, you've got to get his attention.

Set up a situation where you two can have some alone time--after the kids are in bed or, better yet, get the kids to grandma's house. No TV, no internet, no email, no Blackberry. Just the two of you. If you want to throw some dinner in there, go for it. Get his undivided attention. Then tell him, flat out, that you need him. You need his help. You have too much on your plate. You don't want to be the one in charge, telling him what to do. You need your man.
That should work. You'll have some sorting out to do, and you'll have to fight the urge to take charge as he tries out his new wings. But if doesn't respond to the heartfelt cries of the woman he loves--when that woman has his undivided attention--he's an idiot.
Audrey,

I am so happy for you and your husband. My husband and I love each other very much. We don't argue and we laugh a lot. Our problem is a lack of communication regarding our everyday lives and what is expected of each other which has caused a build up of resentment on my part. I know we will get there. Hopefully very soon.

Alicia

Audrey said:
I think husbands/dad have improved greatly over time. I think there are a lot of great dads/husbands out there and I'm married to one of them. Some would say I'm lucky. Some would say I trained him. I say it's self respect, communication, and the fact that we are absolutely in love. Almost 13 years now. He doesn't expect me to do everything. I don't expect him to be psychic to my needs. We are uncomfortable when one seems to be doing more than the other. I don't know how it happened, it just did. It's not always perfect. There are hiccups at times, but we work it out. Quickly. More fun in life that way!
Hi GKJ,

I love your statement "Great job getting the kids to eat their lunches honey. I'll get the toys off the floor if you do the dishes for me so I can get dinner started." That is a really good way of asking for his help without sounding naggy. I will try that and let you know how it goes!

I also like your come back "I was too busy breathing to help." I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall watching his reaction to that statement!

Thanks for your input!

Alicia



GKJ said:
Allison--when it comes to things at home, you and I live parallel lives, completely. I have lived your examples. My husband works long hours and for the last few years (since we've had kids) I feel like I am always waiting for him to come home, and a little resentful at having to do everything on my own. But just in the last few weeks, I have realized that it's actually EASIER for me when he isn't here to help with dinner and getting the kids to bed. When I'm on my own, things run smoothly and there is no hassle. I know what the kids are doing, and I'm watching them AND doing dishes, etc. When my husband is home, it's chaos. And like you said, he's watching the tv instead of really interacting with them anyway, so what's the point?
We had a small argument the other day---my son is 6 months and on this day had gotten up really early, and I got up with him. We all bought groceries, and then I was going to lay down with my son. The only groceries not put away, were the canned/pantry stuff. I laid down for about an hour and a half. I came out, there were toys all over, and the groceries were still not put away. I said "You couldn't put those away?" and he said "I was on the phone". I said "The whole time?" and he said "Well, I was watching Mia too". Our house is 1100 sq ft. Our kitchen and living room right next to each other. Later that day when he asked me to do something, I told him I was too busy breathing to help.

Allison Kosty said:
I have actually asked many of the mom's this same question when they come into my shop, Calamari Baby and everyone does say the same thing. The husbands can keep the kids alive 'til you get home and that seems about it. No extras....Feeding the kids, but no cleaning the dishes. Playing with the kids, but no picking up the toys. This is just men and it gets frustrating.I am glad my husband is there to do the lazy daddy stuff that they do. I find that they days I decide not to let things bother me that are not that important I feel better. Pick your battles kind of thing for me.
If I walk in to a tornado of a house, a full sink of dishes, and I say couldn't you at least do the dishes for me. I get the response, "You always see the negative and never the positive." then he is mad and takes the dog for a walk. So now I say, "Great job getting the kids to eat their lunches honey. I'll get the toys off the floor if you do the dishes for me so I can get dinner started.
Then I thank him for doing the dishes.

As for stuff around the house I do what I can and constantly remind him of the other things.
When I get the most frustrated I think of the things I can rely on him to do like: got to the store at the drop of a hat for milk or whatever, or he works the shop when I need to stay home and get work done.
He is even the one who takes the drive back to grandma's even though it isn't far to get the priceless blankey we forgot without a groan. Yes, this task will take him like 4 times as long as me but this is because I am wanting to get back and do other things and this is his task at hand. I thank him for what he does do and the days he works on the honey do list is just extra. :)

In fact here is a specific thing that happened. Honey please go to the store and get some Oatmeal. I went into full detail about not the quick kind because we don't like them and the kids only eat the regular kind. He went to the store and bought one thing of quick oats and one thing of maple syrup flavored quick oats. I complained and he said I never said regular. I know I went into detail because I know my husband. So he got mad that I was mad instead of happy he bought any oats. The next morning no kids would eat it. They thought it was gross. I told him he had to eat it.
This type of thing happens a lot. If their is any kind of description after the task it is lost. They just turn off their ears. I know if I don't write it down I might as well not even say it.

Men just do not think like Women and do not act like women. We do well in a crunch and deal with multi tasking great men on the other hand cannot be watching the kids if they need to make a phone call. I mean the kids to them are a task and they cannot start anything else until you come home to end the first task. Just like I can get more done if he isn't home because then I know what my kids are up to. If I think he is watching them and I start working on the web site then I all of a sudden notice that scary silence and he is just watching TV. The kids are quietly covering each other in ink in the corner. That kind of thing anyway.

So as mush as I try to make my responses positive I still rant and rave plenty and I hate it.

Glad I got to rant a little here..
I know it will make me smile when I get home to the family.
Thanks
Hi Allison,

The Oatmeal story is so farmiliar as is the statement "You always see the negative and never the positive." Men and Women really are different as difficult as that is for me to accept. I just don't understand why they don't do whatever they can to help out the women they asked to marry them!?
It's hard not to rant when you have to remind, ask, and tell your husband (not yours specifically) to do something that he should do anyway.

Good luck!

Alicia

Allison Kosty said:
I have actually asked many of the mom's this same question when they come into my shop, Calamari Baby and everyone does say the same thing. The husbands can keep the kids alive 'til you get home and that seems about it. No extras....Feeding the kids, but no cleaning the dishes. Playing with the kids, but no picking up the toys. This is just men and it gets frustrating.I am glad my husband is there to do the lazy daddy stuff that they do. I find that they days I decide not to let things bother me that are not that important I feel better. Pick your battles kind of thing for me.
If I walk in to a tornado of a house, a full sink of dishes, and I say couldn't you at least do the dishes for me. I get the response, "You always see the negative and never the positive." then he is mad and takes the dog for a walk. So now I say, "Great job getting the kids to eat their lunches honey. I'll get the toys off the floor if you do the dishes for me so I can get dinner started.
Then I thank him for doing the dishes.

As for stuff around the house I do what I can and constantly remind him of the other things.
When I get the most frustrated I think of the things I can rely on him to do like: got to the store at the drop of a hat for milk or whatever, or he works the shop when I need to stay home and get work done.
He is even the one who takes the drive back to grandma's even though it isn't far to get the priceless blankey we forgot without a groan. Yes, this task will take him like 4 times as long as me but this is because I am wanting to get back and do other things and this is his task at hand. I thank him for what he does do and the days he works on the honey do list is just extra. :)

In fact here is a specific thing that happened. Honey please go to the store and get some Oatmeal. I went into full detail about not the quick kind because we don't like them and the kids only eat the regular kind. He went to the store and bought one thing of quick oats and one thing of maple syrup flavored quick oats. I complained and he said I never said regular. I know I went into detail because I know my husband. So he got mad that I was mad instead of happy he bought any oats. The next morning no kids would eat it. They thought it was gross. I told him he had to eat it.
This type of thing happens a lot. If their is any kind of description after the task it is lost. They just turn off their ears. I know if I don't write it down I might as well not even say it.

Men just do not think like Women and do not act like women. We do well in a crunch and deal with multi tasking great men on the other hand cannot be watching the kids if they need to make a phone call. I mean the kids to them are a task and they cannot start anything else until you come home to end the first task. Just like I can get more done if he isn't home because then I know what my kids are up to. If I think he is watching them and I start working on the web site then I all of a sudden notice that scary silence and he is just watching TV. The kids are quietly covering each other in ink in the corner. That kind of thing anyway.

So as mush as I try to make my responses positive I still rant and rave plenty and I hate it.

Glad I got to rant a little here..
I know it will make me smile when I get home to the family.
Thanks
Ben Martin, THE FATHER LIFE said:
Alicia Hagan said:
Last week I asked him very nicely to please schedule our 9 year old's dentist appointment. I handed him the postcard with the dentist's phone number and and he looked very confused, like he didn't understand why he should call but he said "sure". I requested that he ask if they accept our insurance and before he called he assured me that his cleaning and x-rays would be covered. Just about 30 minutes ago my husband called me from the dentist office to tell me that they don't take our dental insurance and we had to pay full price. WHOA!

Based on that should I:
A) Not ask him to make appointments
B) Sit down with him and explain that he should consider insurance, etc in the future
C) Hold my frustration in and hope that next time I ask him to make an appointment, he will consider these things. This would be the least confrontational approach.

I pay the bills, deal with most home repair scheduling, run a business from home full time, take care of the kids, etc.. I thought asking him to make a phone call wouldn't be so bad, but is that something I shouldn't request?
What regular duties are reasonable to request help with?

The answer, of course, is "D." :-)

You've got to keep the ball in his court (sorry for the male-oriented sports analogy). You're facing a bigger problem than just scheduling now. You've got a dentist who doesn't take your insurance; obviously, that has to change. Put this problem in his hands. Play dumb if you have to. You'll want to work together on some of the details, but you need to let him be in charge of this task.

Overall, though, you're facing a larger issue. Responsibility for your household, from the kids to the bills to cleaning, needs to be shared. I'm not saying that you each need to do 50% of each task. What I am saying is that you both need to share the sense of ownership for the work of your family. It shouldn't be you knowing what needs to be done and telling him what his part is. It should be you both, together, knowing and deciding. You already know this, of course. But he doesn't, and you're not going to get him that point by giving him a list or nagging. You kneed to communicate to him that you need him to step up, and to do that, you've got to get his attention.

Set up a situation where you two can have some alone time--after the kids are in bed or, better yet, get the kids to grandma's house. No TV, no internet, no email, no Blackberry. Just the two of you. If you want to throw some dinner in there, go for it. Get his undivided attention. Then tell him, flat out, that you need him. You need his help. You have too much on your plate. You don't want to be the one in charge, telling him what to do. You need your man.
That should work. You'll have some sorting out to do, and you'll have to fight the urge to take charge as he tries out his new wings. But if doesn't respond to the heartfelt cries of the woman he loves--when that woman has his undivided attention--he's an idiot.

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