Even after all these years, your husband has no problem getting hands-on in the bedroom. But when it comes to the kids, well, that's a different story. Getting your husband to "help" you sometimes feels like a bigger task than the task(s) themselves! You know that your husband is a good father and is totally capable of taking the reigns a little bit more -- but he's so resistant. Well, we asked author, writer and relationship coach Charles Orlando to give us some clues in to ways we can get our husbands to pitch in with out having to bitch in.
Charles says: Many men are driven by primal instincts to solve problems based on evidence and/or hard data. And when it comes to child care, that instinct can sometimes quell the possibility of knowing what a child needs, when they need it and how often. As a result, men oftentimes take a voluntary step back from child care, leaving the mother with the lion's share of the workload. Women wanting to change this cycle have a few options... some commonplace (and unsuccessful), some to perhaps think about and try.
Hoping it fixes itself. This has the most chance of failure. Wants and needs need to be communicated clearly ... and most times, consistently.
Complaining: Men are prepared for the inevitable "I-know-you-just-got-home-but-I've-been-doing-this-all-day-and-you-need-to-help-me-out" statements. The result is usually more withdrawal, or passive-aggressive "attempts" at doing something to "help".
Change the approach with "Thought Seeds." As discussed in my book, The Problem with Women... is Men , perhaps the best approach to convincing your partner of the extreme importance of recognizing your needs, is planting the idea in his head, and then reinforcing it over time. Careful phrasing and calm discussion from the woman is paramount ... and the key to this is to "get on the man's side." That should not be understood to mean that she must agree with him, or "fold" (read: be cowed into silence when she encounters his opposing views). Her job in this step is to plant an idea -- a so-called "thought seed" -- in his head, and then to add to that idea on a daily basis. The premise behind this tactic is simple: It's a lot easier to convince people of things if they think they thought of it first. By germinating new thoughts that lead to new actions, she can effectively create an atmosphere of healthy change.
Instead of: "I need a break! Get in here and take over for me!"
Try: "I'm tired... and I need a break. Do you want to take over for me now, or in 20 minutes?" This provides a response the woman controls. While not forcing the man with an ultimatum, this statement provides the illusion of choice and has a positive expected outcome.
Instead of: "Hey! Why do you need me to explain every little thing to you? Use your brain and figured out what our child needs! That's what I have to do."
Try: Talking about it. In a non-confrontational way, go over things with the father: schedules, food, and the thought process behind how you (as a mother) eliminate what is needed (or wanted) at a particular time (feeding schedule, check diaper, child is bored/needs playtime, etc.)
This process takes time. (Ever attempt to box train a cat? Did it work the first time?) The main message to get across to your husband is that it's not a man's job to "help" with caring for children. "Help" implies that it's the woman's job to do it, and he's doing her a favor by lending-a-had once in a while. It IS his job...
More can be found at Charles' website: http://www.theproblemwithwomenismen.com