I had originally intended this to be a 3-part post...it's looking like it will be 4 or 5 parts now. Sorry. ;)
read part 1 here
read part 2 here
So far all I have talked about is the (sometimes) ugly truth about being a SAHM. What about the husband's side? What is it like for him? This is, after all, a marriage of two people...two people working together to parent their children to the best of their ability to bring glory to God.
I have not talked about this with my husband, so I may have it all wrong, but I would imagine that being a SAHM takes a toll on your husband, too. They would probably not talk about what it's like for them unless you poked and prodded and promised hot wings and football...but it does have an affect on them that no one tells them about, either. Let's take it from their perspective (keeping in mind that their minds work totally different than ours).
Husbands have just as much on their plate as we do as moms...we just don't see it that way because we can do a gazillion things at once and still keep some semblance of sanity. They have the huge task of providing for their family's financial needs...alone. For a person whose identity is his ability to care for his family, this is a major stressor. This is similar to how we, as women, feel about how we look. When we take care of ourselves (exercise, eat healthy) we feel better about ourselves, which means that we are better equipped to take care of our family. When our husbands are able to provide for their family, they feel better about themselves and are better equipped to provide for other needs we may have (ie: affection, communication).
Another stressor is what happens when they come home from work. They have been working all day (some physical labor, some office jobs that require lots of brain power) and the first thing we do is say "here, take the kids, I've had enough." We don't even think about what they've been doing all day...we just figure it can't be as hard as what we've been doing. The truth is...and this is hard to swallow...they have been working all day and we have been working all day and we both need a break and some time to decompress. They are stressed from going from one job right into the next (or sometimes, third, if they have a second job outside the home) and we are stressed from doing the same job all day long!