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When Your Partner Is a Parenting Slacker — And How to Change It


When Your Partner Is a Parenting Slacker — And How to Change It

A new ForbesWoman study confirms exactly what many Circle of Moms members deal with on a daily basis: the majority of moms, both those who work and those who stay at home, resent their husbands for slacking on household and child duties.

The study's findings indicate that this is a real issue in many families:

  • 63% of working moms and 66% of stay-at-home moms agree with the statement "Sometimes I feel like a married single mom."
  • 47% of working moms say they almost never get a break while 93% say their partners do.

These findings should offer validation, if not comfort, to the many Circle of Moms members who feel like single parents even though they have a partner or spouse. ("I argue with my husband about this all the time," says Circle of Moms member Katherine C.) But they also speak volumes about why it is so important to find ways to get a husband or partner invested in the idea of co-parenting.

Not to diss all dads, as some truly do co-parent, but I'm not surprised by the survey's results, and I understand Katherine C.'s compulsion to duke it out with her husband. As a divorced mom of three, I painfully remember how much I resented feeling like a single parent when I was married, and know firsthand how corrrosive those feelings of resentment can become over time. I remember my own stoic snaps at my ex-husband: "No worries, I can do it myself." Wow, talk about mantras that are prophetic. I used to quip when I was a parent that I was a single mom. After the split, I became a double parent.

Moms need to deal with this anger, because over time, it can ruin a marriage. I find hope in the ways some Circle of Moms members have learned to move beyond their resentment. The key seems to be inspiring husbands and partners to become more engaged in sharing the responsibilities of parenting.

Tracy M. feels a similar resentment, but she has found a way to get her husband more involved. "Moms and dads are on different planets when it comes to babies," she says. "My husband works first shift and at first would come home and go straight to the computer...HELLO...at least visit with your son for a minute or two. I finally got sick of it and spoke up. Now, he will cook occasionally and do the dishes." And, she says, her feelings of resentful are lessening.

Stacey W. had the the same problem, but she had a meltdown and told her husband he had to step up to the parenting or she would leave. "Finally I snapped and we got in a huge fight," she explains."He told me that he would help me and he has now. But I never tell him what to do." She advises other resentful moms to be direct, adding that "I threatened to leave and yes, he still has his days when he doesn't help but it's better than nothing."

Sometimes there are happy endings, and sometimes not. I hope the Circle of Moms who read the statistics in this study and see themselves heading down this road are inspired to find ways to get their kids' dads on board. Your resentment does not always have to forecast the end of your marriage or relationship. It can be a catalyst for change.

How did you move from resentment towards positive change in your family?

Image Source: Baqir Ali via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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