Here’s the thing–a guy could think he was fulfilling his God-given duty of leading his household while actually making bad choices and hurting his wife. In fact, that’s exactly what my husband was doing. It’s not uncommon for husbands to be oblivious to problems at home, or to not understand how serious problems are.
And it’s not hard to imagine how this happens–he’s not at home all day living the life his wife is, so he doesn’t know where she is.
Depression is an epidemic among SAHMs.
US SAHMs are more depressed than working moms (28% versus 17%–that’s over a quarter depressed), sadder (26% versus 16%), angrier (19% versus 14%), and more worried (41% to 34%). The “good” news is that SAHMs are not substantially more stressed than working moms–SAHMs are “only” 50% stressed whereas working moms are 48% stressed.
These are extremely serious numbers with a lot of implications for how long women are willing to be SAHMs, not to mention implications for the health of marriages and children’s welfare, and I can’t say that I’ve ever heard hard care submission type people really grapple with what they mean. People complain about small US family sizes without thinking about what conditions are like at home and how well mom is doing.
US SAHMs are not, as a group, a very mentally healthy group of people, and it’s going to have downstream effects on the well being of their families.
Edited to add: It wasn’t just that my husband was unhelpful when our youngest was a young toddler, but that he was actively trying to keep me from doing things to keep my head above water by making it hard for me to get out of the house and see other adult human beings. He could not see how isolated and lonely and stressed I was, and he did things to to make my isolation worse. And if he saw me falling apart, he didn’t recognize how badly off I was, and he didn’t think of it as his responsibility to help me figure out how to do better. I had to save me by putting Baby Girl in PDO one day a week.