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Help with DH Please!


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#1 Bksa

Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:25 PM

Hi all,

I am a long time stalker, very infrequent poster (but a big fan of EB). I'm wondering if you can help me with my problem.

I had a beautiful DD four months ago, my first, and it has changed my life quite considerably. My difficulty lies with my husband now doing almost no housework.

DH and I work in the same industry, very demanding (stressful and time consuming). He usually goes to work around 8am and is home by about 6:30pm. He usually also has a few hours of work to do on the weekend (maybe 3 on average).

DH has never really been one to show initiative when it comes to housework - ie before DD was born I had to set two hours aside on a saturday, and call it "cleaning time". During this time we would both clean the house, however not before he would ask me what I would like cleaned. The response is always the same (ie what is dirty!) I am not a cleanaholic, I simply would like the bathrooms done once a week, sheets washed, kitchen cleaned, a vacuum, sweep and mop, and a bit of a tidy.

If I did not organise this 'cleaning time', I believe he would not clean until things got really filthy.

Since DD was born, he pretty much does none of this. The washing, untidiness etc has picked up but he is doing less. I have asked him to help me, given him examples of things he could do (ie if there is washing on the line, take it off the line!) but he NEVER does any of it without me nagging him.

I HATE nagging. It makes me angry, and the situation goes from a fairly lighthearted "can you do x please" to "why can't you see that there no bin liner in the bin?". It ranges from not changing the toilet roll/bin liner - to not doing any washing etc. This builds to a point where I get REALLY upset, and he spends 'some' time cleaning.

During the week I do the dishes daily (although we have a dishwasher so that's no big deal - just big items), usually do a load of washing, and make the bed at a minimum. I will also tidy at the end of the day as DD and I play with a lot of toys. He will either cook the dinner or bathe DD while I cook.

Today I left early to go for a 1.5 hour walk with my friend so I could do some exercise without DD. He called me and told me he was walking to a cafe for breakfast and I should meet him there. No worries but we get home after that and he hasn't done anything to help me. Making the bed only takes 1 minute! DD's nappy is sitting on top of a bin without a liner in it.  

Anyway apologies for the long post - I am at the end of my tether and really would like some opinions on how to change this?

He is otherwise a lovely and hardworking husband, and will do some housework when prompted about 50 times, but I am SICK of doing this!

It's really upsetting me. I don't want to have to get upset on a weekly basis to get him to do anything.  

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

#2 amabanana

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:20 PM

If you can afford it I would get a cleaner.

#3 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:26 PM

Divide the housework into clearly delineated tasks.

So, every Saturday, your DH does the vacuuming. End of story - one end of house to other.

You do other stuff, like cleaning bathrooms.

He does his laundry, the sheets and towels, you do yours and baby stuff.

Put a schedule up for who is cooking on what nights - and who cleans up.

Yes, DH and I have been doing this for years, and it works quite well. We don't have to ask each other what needs to be done, because we only have to do our 'set' chores.

That being said, we will occasionally break out and do spring cleaning stuff, but that's on top of the standards.

Good luck.

#4 ImpatientAnna

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:28 PM

QUOTE (amabanana @ 02/02/2013, 06:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you can afford it I would get a cleaner.


I would put it to him as 'lift your game or hire a cleaner'.

#5 scooty

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:33 PM

My DH is pretty much just like yours. I work 2 days a week and he has the 2 boys for those 2 days and I take over for the other 5, so we never have a day off together.

WHen I'm at home, I'm running around getting everything done and getting organised for my few days at work, all the while cleaning up from the last few days I worked. He does absolutly no chores and the house looks like a tornado hit after just 2 days of working!

You know what, I have accepted that I can only do so much and that he will never change, no matter how much nagging I would have put into getting more help. He complains sometimes that the house is messy, then I let him know just what I think! If he wants to not help, then he has to accept the consequences, as I'm no superwoman. I can not work and maintain a 'display' type house, when he plays no part in helping this to happen. I keep it hygenic as possible and tidy up everynight, with at least one day (usually the day before I go back to work) off from a late night of cleaning and tidying.

He also says we can hire a cleaner, but I refuse to get one, just because he's too lazy to help do some dishes, hang out the washing or take out the rubbish!



#6 twinboys

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:35 PM

Just to clarify - are you home during the week or have you gone back to work??

If you are home during the week then yes more cleaning will fall onto you.
You said he cooks most nights?
I would be happy with this and as a PP suggested one major chore like the vacuuming or bathrooms on the weekends

If you are both working then yes he needs to get back into the division of cleaning.


#7 HarperLeeAndMe

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:43 PM

Have you gone back to work?

If not I think him cooking most nights plus vacuuming on weekends is pretty good.

#8 halcyondays

Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:45 PM

I find writing out a list of chores that need to be done on a daily/weekly/monthly basis and then going through it together really helps. If your DH means well and is kind etc it will really open his eyes to how much actually needs to be done. Then decide who does which job and leave it at that.
If it's really important that a certain job is done, take it on yourself. If you don't mind if it isn't done or is done badly, leave it to your DH. Don't nag, or "remind" DH to do it. Just leave the list somewhere where he can refer to it easily. It is time consuming, but works for us.

There comes a time when hiring a cleaner helps- even for a few months when things get busy for you.

#9 SnazzyFeral

Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:36 PM

Pick a time when you are not angry and can have someone else look after the baby for a while if you can so that you are not distracted. Note down on paper some things that make you angry and why they make you angry. Be specific. Ask him to listen to you without interrupting. When you are finished give him some time, few hours or a day, to think about what you have said and don’t bring it up again until the time you agreed upon to talk about it. When he comes back to you with his thoughts don’t interrupt him and try not to be angry. If you  need time to digest what he has said take it and come back to the discussion when you are not angry if you are. Work out a plan on paper based on that and both agree to it. Agree also on how you can address it if either one of you breaks the agreement eg it is ok to say “hey you agreed to do the dishes can you please do them” or whatever phrase you feel comfortable with. This is so that you both don’t get angry when the intention is not to anger, nag or shame. Stick to your side of the bargain. Let your DH do a weekend of childcare to see what it is like, the whole weekend including the nights. Go elsewhere if you can or invite someone over and watch movies or something, he can bring the baby to you for feeds but if he goes to the loo or tries to eat lunch he does it with the baby. It is a job just as much as his work is a job.

When DP and I were going through this I said that looking after DS was a full time job. I needed him to help me and take initiative. I said that when DP didn’t do the dishes I felt like he didn’t respect me because it had been agreed that I cooked he washed for most of our relationship. I felt that when he didn’t take it upon himself to clean the bathroom that he didn’t respect me and the work I did looking after DS because he thought it was ok to ask me to do my fulltime chilcare job and all of the housekeeping when he only did his full time job.  and if he didn’t respect me I felt that he couldn’t love me which is what made me so angry not really that the task hadn’t been done. DP said that he really didn’t have the same conception of dirty and if I told him what to do he would do it but that he couldn’t figure it out himself so we agreed upon a rota where he did more of the cleaning and I did more of the tidying because at the time I didn’t have the energy to scrub the floor but he did. We also got a cleaner fortnightly which probably saved our relationship and certainly save my sanity. A year on and we do cleaning 50/50 and do what the other asks us to do without feeling put upon or angry.


#10 littlemissmessy

Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:40 PM

I can count on the fingers of one hand the amount of times my DH has cooked dinner since we had DS - and DS is almost two. I get no help with housework at all, despite working casually through the week, but my DH has plenty to say about the house being unkempt. It's alright for men, their day seems to end when they come home from work. It's a different matter for a woman, it's out to work, then home to work and be a mum and do everything else as well. I think we have a darn right to nag at times. My Dh makes me so mad sometimes I want to kick his butt. LOL. So yes, I do think your hubby should help out a bit with the chores. biggrin.gif

#11 belinda1976

Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:24 PM

QUOTE
Have you gone back to work?

If not I think him cooking most nights plus vacuuming on weekends is pretty good.


I agree.  

But in saying that little things like replacing a bin liner or putting a dirty nappy in the bin etc would P me off.



#12 Ice Queen

Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:52 PM

Welcome to my life for the past 13 years.  My DH is a pig, he is a hopeless cleaner, he is lazy around the house and he can't cook to save himself.  If he does cook the mess afterward is not worth it.

In every other way he is fantastic husband and father.  I had to make a big decisions many years ago about what was important to me and having a great DH who I love and trust won over washing and vacuuming and I hired a weekly cleaner.  I have had a weekly cleaner for longer than I can remember and the stress it has taken out of our relationship is huge.  Better than a marriage councilor anyday.

So every Monday I do all the washing, the cleaner comes and does bathrooms, vacuuming, mopping and then all I have do ongoing is general tidying (my DH is quite tidy with his own stuff), cooking (which I love so that is not a chore to me) and dishes.  I do still nag and get annoyed at times but for the most part I can't be bothered.  i will still list off a few things on the weekend, like put the bins out, put your washing out, do weekend lunches, that kind of thing but during the week I let it go.

He is the breadwinner and he forks out for the cleaner.  End of story.  I refuse to budge on this matter and I would make him go without new clothes or whatever before I gave up the cleaner.  He is the one who refuses to do housework and he understands this.

I just don't think you can change people fundamentally and I gave up years ago trying.  Maybe my stance is 'anti femo' but we are happy and thats what counts.  He does work hard during the week and I accept that he would prefer to spend time with his family on the weekend rather than cleaning.  I do get him to take the kids on his own on the weekends then I do a few jobs.  Works well, I am keen for a break from the kids, the kids are desperate for his attention and he is far better at playing with the kids than cleaning!

So thats my approach!  It is one of the reasons i am SAHM too.  I couldnt bare the stress of working, 2 kids, all the cooking, cleaning etc.  I just know he would not be supportive enough on a practical level.

#13 CountryFeral

Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:58 PM

Nothing useful to add - DP is the better cleaner in this house.

I just thought I'd relay this little pearl.

Yesterday he fixed something that has needed fixing for well over a year - after he did it he stood back and went

"There! I told you I'd fix it.  There was no need to go on about it every six months!"

We are Mr and Mrs Slackety Slack!

#14 sqawk

Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:14 PM

My DH sounds similar to yours.  To a large extent I have just had to  accept that this is how it is.  It led to many fights and unhappiness til I did that.  To make it fairer I have increased our cleaner to weekly and increase our childcare hrs when needed so I can get everything done without going crazy.( I work 3 days per week and occasionally extra hrs). I'm looking at getting a "housekeeper" to strip/make the beds, some washing and some ironing as well.  I honestly think one of the reasons my husband thinks its ok to be slack is that he earns a lot of money, so fortunately we are able to afford the above.

Unfortunately it's still things like his inability to put a new bin liner in that drive me crazy!!


#15 NicolinaO

Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:37 AM

I think if your DH does vacuum on occasion and cooks that's quite good compared to many of us. I'm thinking lately men just arn't very tidy and simply don't care enough about it to do it.

My DH took the bins out last night! I'm stoked. I didn't even have to ask. Even made sure I told him I appreciated it. Think last time he did was after being asked, huffing and puffing over being asked, just after DS was born and I was still recovering with stitches from two tears and an cut, under physios instructions to do absolutely nothing due to my 12cm stomach muscle separation. Our driveway is steep and rather long, and it is amazing how heavy it is to drag them bins up to the road when full. Even harder with a baby in your arms.

Can remember him vacuuming twice since we moved in together in 2008. never cleaned a bathroom in his life I would guess. never ever mopped a floor (didn't own a mop and asked what for? when I wanted to buy one). Will however occasionally clean the toilet bowl if I give up on it all and leave it to take its natural course. sometimes this involves chucking some sort of cleaning product into the bowl, sometimes it involves actually using the brush.

we do most of the grocery shopping together, although I have been told it would be good if I did, might even be good for me to "get out of the house". Did I mention I have no car? I guess its only a five-ten minute walk to the shop and if I carry the little one I can push the groceries in his pram... and I do that too.. how great would it be if it was just once recognised though right?  

but he does cook amazing dinners when he wants to. and does generally cook unless I already did. apparently my cooking is sh*t, and I admittedly would rather not cook. But then this might have something to do with him getting a "this is delicious" and me getting a "that wasn't so hard was it"   ... don't know, just thinking out loud here. oh and he does dishes sporadically.. and feeds (read over-feeds) and baths the dog.

He most definitely does work very very hard both day and night though and I am very thankful for that.

when he started leaving dirty nappies on the little coffee table next to DS's change table I simply shook my head the first few times, thinking at least he was making an effort spending time with his son and that I know it is tricky to work out keeping mrwriggles in check while disposing of the nappy (bin was as close a place but nevermind). and that I best not be "telling him how to", but after this happened a couple of times I cracked and simply asked if the dirty nappy was for me to sort out. I got a very defensive response but have not have to clear away any more after that so that's what matters.
Last thing I need to do when getting a few minutes relief from caring for a newborn is to be picking up dirty nappies of tables.

I love him dearly and understand that the housework must fall on me while Im home with DS. But it was no different when I was studying full time, nor when I was working with him full time. Only difference was he used to do all the cooking. I am reminded of this on a very regular basis - apparently it gives you a free never-need-to-do-any-other-housework- pass that lasts you till the end of time.

aaanyhow, I'm going to stop ranting now.. unsure.gif

#16 harryhoo

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:01 AM

My DH is a bit like this... and after a while I realised it's just because he doesn't "see" what needs to be done. I find on the weekends I can be running around washing, vacuuming, chasing DS, cleaning and he'll be on the couch watching TV or playing with DS on the floor. If I ask him to do something usually he'll just get up and do it, I just think his brain is wired differently to mine and he seriously doesn't notice this stuff (uness it's his own dirty clothes that needs washing!!). He'll often take his dirty plate to the kitchen and put it on the bench above the dishwasher! I usually make a joke about it and then he'll go back and put it in the dishwasher.

I find telling him a list of what needs to be done (or writing one out) generally makes him realise what has to be done. For instance, I'll say something like "before our friends arrive today there's so much to do - I have to vacuum, make the spare bed, mop the kithen floor etc etc" and he'll usually offer to do some of it.

I also pick my battles. So for instances this morning he got up early with DS and played with him, gave him breakfast etc before he went to work (I'm a SAHM) while I was having a half-an-hour extra in bed (this doesn't happen often) and while I noticed his dirty plates on the bench and breakfast stuff still out I decided that today wasn't a day to 'nag' him about it. I was happy he had let me have a "sleep in" and extra two minutes of my time putting that stuff away wasn't worth getting our day off to a grumpy start.

IMO I just think he doesn't "see" what needs to be done and needs a gentle if not subtle reminder.

Also, DH does nearly all the garden work and mowing... but I don't think he knows where the vacuum lives!

#17 CharliMarley

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:17 AM

Some men just don't have the DNA to be tidy and clean and you only have to look at their mother to see this. We have one in the family who only takes HALF the washing off the line and leaves the rest there! He cooks occasionally and leaves all the peelings, pips and crap in the sink for someone else to clean up. He is the proverbial pig!

#18 A-ZMum

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:23 AM

It's not just a guy thing.  I'm usually the slob in our house!

#19 Spring Chickadee

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:35 AM

See, I don't really see how your DH is doing long hours. He has plenty of time to tuck into some housework.

I have a 4 month old and my DH leaves at 5am and gets home at between 5-7pm.  He cleans the kitchen each night and will happily do whatever i need help with on weekends. For the first 6 weeks I barely did anything and he did all the cooking too. Now I do 95% of the housework because I'm happy to and have the time. I do have a fortnightly cleaner come in to do a quick mop and wipe down but I always do an inbetween clean anyway and probably don't need to continue with her.

I would be very clear about what you would like help with, ask, gentle remind and if he is being a stubborn man about it ask 'I just don't understand why you are refusing to help me? what is the problem?'

best of luck!

#20 Tesseract

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:38 AM

My DH was like this - happy to do it but had to be nagged. Unlike some other women I didn't just shut up and put up with it.

We sat down and had numerous conversations about "sharing mental housework" which means sharing the load of seeing what needs to be done and organising oneself (or the other) to do it. While, with nagging, he was doing basically his fair share, he always had to be asked. I didn't want to nag him for the rest of my life.

While I wanted to yell at him and tell him to get his act together, I decided that for deep behavioural change it needs to come from within. Hence the conversations about housework, about how it makes me feel, about what it signals to our children about the roles of men and women. When he did stuff like leave rubbish next to the bin because he hasn't replaced the bin liner I would very kindly and gently point it out to him. I gave him a running commentary of what I was thinking about and doing - "oh you've left this rubbish next to the bin, I'll just get another liner and put it in" - didn't admonish him, just pointed it out. I drove him batsh*t crazy with it, and he did get a bit resentful, but eventaully he started to see.

Now we have found our groove. We have naturally fallen into each taking responsibility for chores that we prefer and suit our scheduels.

Don't sit back and take it, what signal is that sending your DS? Do you and your DH want him to grow up to be a useless pig?

#21 F1widow

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:57 AM

QUOTE (Winterdanceparty @ 01/03/2013, 11:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Some men just don't have the DNA to be tidy and clean


blink.gif  wacko.gif   cry1.gif   ddoh.gif


#22 Mrs Manager

Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:00 AM

I think if you are at home then the housework should be your responsibility during the week. Though I would expect him to change a bin liner or toilet roll when he is at home!

On the weekend I think it is reasonable to share the housework & childcare, but if you are the one who is responsible for it most of the time then of course it is reasonable for you to have to tell him what needs doing today.

#23 Studybug

Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:09 AM

HI OP

disclaimer: I haven't read any replies.

When DH and I became parents, what I would consider to be a pretty egalitarian household ceased to be in terms of housework.  This frustrated me for a few months, until I decided to approach the issue in a different way.  No I did not just accept that this was how things were to be, nor did I silently repeat mediating statements to myself to attempt to diminish my anger.

This may seem mean to some, and I don't really tell people I did this as I'm sure it comes across as a little pedantic and aggressive, but...

I sat down one day with pen, paper and 3 highlighters.  I wrote every single task I could think of that was involved in running a household, including childcare tasks and mental/emotional work related to the household.  I think it came to about 100 tasks - I was specific in my list and included regular and occasional .  Then I highlighted all the tasks we both did, next all the tasks only I did, lastly all the tasks only DH did, then put in on the kitchen bench.  I told DH there was something I wanted him to look over on the bench, and to tell me if he thought it was accurate, what he thought, and when he was ready I'd like to talk about it etc.  When DH saw that there were only 2 tasks (one of them very occasional) that only he did, plus the only tasks he shared with me related to DS, it sunk in.  DH admitted he underestimated all that went into being the SAHP, and that it felt like he did more than that though he could see in black and white (and fluro yellow, green and orange) that he didn't.  I listened to his explanations as to why he thought we'd ended up in this position and he listened to my explanations.

Tasks are shared much more equally now.  I don't really ask DH to do cleaning, and he doesn't really ask me either, we don't have cleaning rosters, and at different times one of us will do way less and the other will pick up the slack or we accept that the house is a sty atm because we're both busy doing other things.  Things seem to get done tho, and if I'm in a cleaning frenzy I don't expect DH to be in the same mood and help out, and vica versa.  It's appreciated and nice if it turns out that way tho wink.gif .

So not sure if this will help you much, but thought I'd share my method and reveal just how nuts I really am.

Cheers.

#24 sedawson

Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:40 PM

Hi there OP,

I have PMd you about this issue.

Studybug you've inspired me. What happens next will either make or break  my relationship. I won't hold you personally responsible unless it turns out well though, ok?  biggrin.gif

#25 Wahwah

Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:12 PM

QUOTE (Tesseract @ 01/03/2013, 11:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My DH was like this - happy to do it but had to be nagged. Unlike some other women I didn't just shut up and put up with it.

We sat down and had numerous conversations about "sharing mental housework" which means sharing the load of seeing what needs to be done and organising oneself (or the other) to do it. While, with nagging, he was doing basically his fair share, he always had to be asked. I didn't want to nag him for the rest of my life.

While I wanted to yell at him and tell him to get his act together, I decided that for deep behavioural change it needs to come from within. Hence the conversations about housework, about how it makes me feel, about what it signals to our children about the roles of men and women. When he did stuff like leave rubbish next to the bin because he hasn't replaced the bin liner I would very kindly and gently point it out to him. I gave him a running commentary of what I was thinking about and doing - "oh you've left this rubbish next to the bin, I'll just get another liner and put it in" - didn't admonish him, just pointed it out. I drove him batsh*t crazy with it, and he did get a bit resentful, but eventaully he started to see.

Now we have found our groove. We have naturally fallen into each taking responsibility for chores that we prefer and suit our scheduels.

Don't sit back and take it, what signal is that sending your DS? Do you and your DH want him to grow up to be a useless pig?


I like this thinking and it describes our household to some extent.

I used to get super frustrated about various things he didn't do, and quite resentful because I always carried the 'mental load' of making sure things were liveable. Its taken me years to realise that my guy just doesn't think the way I do, he doesn't see the mess the way I do and he doesn't let it get to him like it gets to me.

We've now found a rhythm that works for us, because I've stopped getting resentful (most of the time). He just doesn't have cooking or the floors on his radar, whereas these are two things that are really important to me. I hate doing the washing, ironing, folding, and watering the garden etc so he does most of this. Neither of us is doing everything and both of us have different responsibilities.




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Almost all women will experience bruising, grazing or tearing after a vaginal birth. Depending on the degree of tearing, there are various treatments available.

6 tips for a day out with a baby and toddler

Outings can be lots of fun with the kids, but there are inevitable challenges. Here's some information about days out to help you be a little more prepared.

Why I invited a dozen people to watch my son's birth

I sent invitations on burgundy scrapbooking paper stamped with a field of poppies, and told each person why I wanted him or her there. I warned that there would be nudity.

Getting labour started: tips for a natural induction

When your baby?s due date comes and goes without so much as a pop - let alone a bang - it can be disheartening. Mums and a doula share their stories of natural inductions.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend ? me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum ? I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

That's my boy: a dad's diary of the first 4 months

Unbearable anxiety, unspeakable joy, constant exhaustion and bouts of frustration ... The many shocks of first-time fatherhood resound in a dad's diary of his son's early months.

One of the most important things a new mum can do

Finances may not be as cute as a newborn, but with many women?s working arrangements changing post-baby, monetary matters need attention too.

Baby survives five days alone

He lay with his mother for up to five days after she died of a suspected drug overdose - and survived.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

 

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