I'm About to Give Birth, and My Husband Won't Pick Up The Slack

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Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I’ve been married for 10 years to a guy who is mostly pretty great -- steady, patient, intellectual…BUT, I swear, the man couldn’t think his way out of a paper bag! For example:

He is not at all handy and has no interest in our home. I asked him to hang a coat rack on the wall and he didn’t know what studs were, how to find them, how to work a drill, etc.

He focuses almost all his time on his work and his hobbies and has no clue what else is going on. I handle ALL of the bills. He doesn’t even know how much the rent is, much less how to access the checking account online to pay it.

I am 37 weeks pregnant, and can’t do any home improvement myself right now. I’ve been actively asking him to take over some of the bill paying and house management so I can focus on getting ready for labor and the baby. He said he would pay next month’s bills when the baby comes, but then all he did was write “pay bills” on a post-it. He didn’t ask what bills we have, how to pay online, or even where the checkbook is, so I know he’ll just be pestering me with all these questions when I’m delirious from labor and delivery.

Some people say I should just stop caring and let him grow into the responsibility…kind of hard to do when our credit rating and rent are on the line. Any suggestions?

Signed,
Pregnant with frustration

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My Husband Won't Pick Up the Slack
Credit: emerycophoto.

Dear Pregnant,

Damn, gurl. If you’re feeling this way before the baby comes along, I fear for what you’ll do when your husband makes a bottle the “wrong” way, or doesn’t swaddle as well as you do, or doesn’t get up immediately as soon as the baby starts crying in the middle of the night and WHY DO YOU HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING?!

Listen. I get it. You handle all the boring grown-up stuff around the house, and you are weeks away from giving birth, and you are stressing the f*** out about everything that needs get done before a newborn is sucking the life out of you, I mean, before your beautiful baby arrives. But, in the words of Lloyd Dobler, YOU MUST CHILL.

Let’s tackle this one category at a time. You want to know why your husband doesn’t ask all the right questions about the bills? You already do it so well! And have been doing it for ten years! I may be reading between the lines, but I think you might be having general anxiety about childbirth and new motherhood, because why else would you so desperately want him to take over doing something that takes, what, maybe two hours a month, tops? Still, if you want the peace of mind that he will know exactly how you do it every month, then YOU need to say, “Honey, today at 2pm we are going to sit down and I am going to show you everything you need to know about paying the bills.” The thing is, even after you go through all of it, he still might not get it all “right.” You are going to have to accept that, or do it yourself. Them’s the breaks.

As far as his lack of home improvement skills go, again, he’s not going to just pick that up on his own simply because you think he should. Maybe you could start slowly and pick a project -- putting up shelves in the nursery? -- and say, “Hey, let’s do this together!” For the record, I know nothing about studs in the walls. Is that like Channing Tatum’s hiding spot?

Marriage is about compromise. If you feel your division of labor is out of balance, then sit down and have a talk with your husband about how to alleviate your stress level. However, there’s only so much change you can get out of a person.

Above all, I wish you a speedy labor and delivery.

Best of luck,
Karen, TMH

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