Men and their naps: Some explanations please! - FamilyEducation
Men and their naps: Some explanations please!
09/25/2008 at 16:57 PM

Can anyone please explain to me why men need to take afternoon naps when they're home? I stay home w/ my kids, but I'm lucky if I get 20 mins of unwind time for myself, nevermind a nap. When my husband's not working, it's very easy for him to lie in front of the TV, remote in hand, sprawled across the couch. Before long he's snoring away.
I understand that he works long days, but he also has a great schedule w/ 4 consecutive days off per wk. His excuse is that he's catching up on the 3 full days (14 hrs each)when he does work. The thing is I'm up at the same time in the morning as my husband, and my day doesn't end until we're ready to go to bed. I have the kids all day every day, I cook, clean, do laundry....
Don't get me wrong, my husband does help around the house, but it's usually b/c I ask him too. Then I feel guilty b/c I hate to ask #1, and #2, I almost always get that "huh" moan from him.
My husband knows how hard it is to stay home and take care of the kids. It took him one day to realize this. Yet, still I find I have to ask him for help or just time so I can get a break too. Even if he'd take the kids outside to play baseball w/out having to be asked, that wld be great.
Are there any women out there that are going through a similiar situation that cld shed some light on this subject? Also, are there any men out there that are not from Mars who can relate to us women from Venus? If you are from Mars (definitely my husband's planet), however, can you please explain this "couch potato mentality" better to me. I'm still trying to figure it out and keep an open mind before I go and throw that bucket of cold water over my husband's head. (Just kidding!)
Any insight wld be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

My ex was the same way. We lived together for a few months before we married and he could not have been more from Venus. Within a few weeks of marriage, it went downhill. I work 60 hrs per week to his 30 hrs, though we make the same amount of money. He stated he had the right to relax when he is not working because he worked so much harder than I do. So I would work 10-12 hrs per day, come home and see nothing done and him on the couch snoozing. Nothing I said made a difference. Good luck! This is a tough one!!!!!!!

Men take naps, women get cranky. Men do the things that they notice need to be done. They don't mind being asked to do things. Women notice all the things that could be done. They do the martyr thing, try to do it all themselves, get exhausted and -- once again -- cranky, and then fly off the handle at the unsuspecting husband who would only be a martyr if it was truly necessary, and then would literally work himself into an early grave without complaint.
Write a honey do list. Put on it the things that you need help with, or the things that you just want to have no responsibility for at all. Decide whether a fine family or a perfect house is more important to you. Be gracious. Say thank you when people help you, even if they are helping you by putting away their own clothes.
Unless you married a jerk, or he genuinely has health problems, this will help.

Thx to both of you for your responses. I guess I just need to continue to ask if I want things to get done. It just gets frustrating at times, but knowing that my husband was raised by a mom who did everything for him and his brothers, I guess I can't totally fault him. Our house is not perfect by any means, and I do let things go sometimes so I can spend the time w/ our kids or do something else productive. Acitez, you're right when you say men need that recognition or "thank you" for accomplishing tasks around the house. It's easy to take for granted those little things that you just expect to be done. I've said things like, "Do you want a medal?" or "There are star stickers in the drawer if you feel you need one." Those statements don't help, of course. Well, thanks again for your suggestions. I'll keep plugging away over here.

Here's just a different way of thinking about the frustration of "having to ask." I understand the frustration, because it seems to my brain as if all the adults who live in a household are responsible for the upkeep of the house. But my sister told me this.
If your marriage was a business partnership, you would outline on paper which partner was responsible for which part of the business. The partner who was better at sales would take care of sales, and the partner who was better at production would take care of production. Generally, women are better at noticing what upkeep needs to be done. Because we are good at that, it is our responsibility. It is such a waste of energy to be annoyed that we have responsibility for what we are good at.
So, instead of thinking that your husband is stupid, lazy, or exploiting you, do what acitez said, write down things like "Clean bathroom fixtures, organize and wipe down bathroom counters, polish mirror, once a week. Work with children to tidy livingroom before dinner every evening. Take Edwin to soccer practice on Thursday at 5." If you have a fulltime job outside the home, it ought to be a pretty long list. If you can, I think it would be good to brainstorm all the adult responsibilities and collaborate on dividing them up so that your husband can see that you aren't stupid, lazy or exploitative either.

Thx, 2ndwife. No, I'm not currently working, so most of the household chores fall on me. I don't mind that part. It's just when I need that extra assistance when my husband is home, that I wld appreciate if he'd offer to help, rather than wait for me to ask. For expl, we had company over last wkend. My husband was home watching TV while I was cleaning the house. When I asked him for help, he decided it was necessary to paint the trim around the doorway and work in the yard. I didn't think those things were priority, b/c to me, a clean bathrm is more important then a painted doorway, but my husband doesn't see it that way. I think he just wants to do what he likes doing, and he avoids what he doesn't like doing or feels is not his job to begin w/. I don't dispute that yardwork and painting are not hard jobs, b/c they are. But do these things have to take priority over a clean house or a prepared meal, especially when company is coming over? I had someone tell me once that, "Common sense is not that common." I guess there's some truth to that. 8-)

A funny story, because it happened to somebody else. My other sister was having a big open house for my parent's 50th anniversary. When she asked her husband for help getting the home ready for the party (she didn't ask for specific things to be done) he bought about a dozen trees, rented a backhoe, put in a sprinkler system and landscaped the yard. All their children, of course, wanted to help Dad outside with the big machinery and novel activities. There are three steps to getting good help from your husband. 1. Ask for specific things to be done. 2. Don't criticize what gets done. If he doesn't do it your way, realize that for years, you have not done it his way. He hasn't criticized you! 3. Say thank you.

Yup, that's my husband. Mr. industrial. Thx for the pointers, though. They're very helpful!

What "home" represent to each gender is different. "Home" for her is work and for him is relaxation. She relaxes in the stores shopping but don't fall asleep (gets excited). When he comes home he relaxes so much that some hormones put him to sleep. It is not that his wife is not intersting or bored as many thinks when that happens to their hubbies. Calm down and let nature runs its course.

good to hear another point of view

Yes, nice to hear a man's perspective on this subject. Thx for your input.

Concerned, Does your husband fuss you if things aren't in order in your house and you are off doing something else, maybe with the kids or without the kids? If this was the case then I'd be upset. A funny for you... A friend of mine who is a stay at home mom with two girls spent some money (not alot and money isn't a big issue for them) and her husband complained. He also complained about her being at home, etc. So she got tired of it and made a bill out to him, with everything listed on it she did for the day. Boy, he shut up in a hurry when he saw all that she did and thought of what he'd have to pay someone to do these things if she went back to work. Good luck to you. Only

Hi Only, My husband used to be so organized before the kids came into our lives. I was never as organized as him, but now I can say I've slacked off too. My husband's a lot more laid back about certain things, so much more so than he used to be, but he's still picky about some things. I guess it just takes him longer to be bothered by things like toys in the middle of the floor, clutter on the countertops, etc. For me, I'll let certain things slide until they annoy me enough to do something about them. Other things like cleaning the bathroom and laundry I'll keep on top of regularly. Mostly, this is due to exhaustion or our busy schedules. If I'm out, w/ or w/out the kids, my husband will gripe about what we're having for dinner, if I'm not home at that time. He won't complain about most anything else, but he also won't take the initiative to do certain things w/out me asking him first. This is not the case always (like w/ the dishes or the laundry), but it is most often the case. Often he's sleeping on the couch while I'm packing my son's snack for school, laying out clothes and planning for the next day. My unwind time is non-existent, even after the kids are in bed. Finally, when I do get everything done, my husband says, "Ready for bed?" I wish I could get time for that TV show or a short snooze on the couch. It's hard to go straight to bed w/out catching that break. Often times, I fall asleep on the couch the minute I sit down, and at that pt, I don't want to move. Ughhhh!!!

Hi, concerned. I'd like to chime in with a male perspective. You may be missing an obvious solution. I mean this as no disrespect, it is often much easier to see things from the outside than from the inside. I'll tell you what I mean. To use your words, even though I'm male and my love is female, personally, I'm from "Venus" in some ways, and she's from "Mars" in some ways. One of those ways is communication about feelings. I'm quick to talk about how I'm feeling, my sweetheart is just the opposite. As a result, when something about our relationship isn't working for me, I usually let her know and we discuss it, and given the dear that she is, we usually find a solution. But when she is uncomfortable with some aspect of our relationship, she tends to bottle it up. This is unfortunate, I find it very frustrating at times because there are times when I am upsetting her by doing/not doing something but I am unaware of it so I do not have the chance to correct it. I bring this up because my major suggestion would be to approach your husband and explain how you have been feeling (overwhelmed? anxious? exhausted?)and also explain how you feel (nervous? guilty?) when you've got to ask for his help with something. Then explain that it would help if he could volunteer to help you out for, say, an off day per week or something. That, or, you can talk about him possibly adopting some activities (bathroom cleaning, whatever) on a regular, pre-scheduled basis. You might find that hubby is more than willing to work this out with you, that he didn't fully understand how you felt or what he could do to help, etc. Wouldn't that be great? A word of advice, however. The relationship is, of course, a two way street. I try not to forget that in *ANY* conversation. It is not about *me* but about *us*... all the time. Please try to be sensitive of that when addressing the situation. Trust me, you'll get better results. In that regard, I would recommend a few "additions" to the conversation I was talking about above. First, I would try to begin the conversation with a recognition and an expression of GENUINE GRATITUDE of how hard he is working to be the breadwinner of the family and to take care of you and the kids. Tell him you are lucky to have him, tell him how much you love him and appreciate all the hard work he contributes to the family. Do this both first AND last in the conversation. Honestly, if you want a positive response, it may be hard to get it without that (at least if it was me). Because I'll tell you how I would feel if I was your husband: if you went straight to the point I might FEEL like "more, more, more, ugh... I've always gotta do more...this sucks." However, if you expressed your gratitude and love for all I do as a husband as well, I would more likely FEEL "my dear wife is working hard too and feeling stressed out right now, I'm going to do what I have to help her out because I love her and my kids and they need my help" See the difference? It's tremendous! Not even close! Seriously, it's a little thing but it goes sooooooo far. I have a 2nd recommendation as well, if you don't mind. Since we've already discussed the "two way street" thing, try to keep THAT in mind as well during the conversation. I think that will also give you a much better response during the conversation, and that's what you want. *Specifically* what I mean is, perhaps your husband is feeling exhausted, stressed, whatever else, too. Maybe there is something *you* can do for *him*. Something that maybe won't add too much to your current feelings of stress, but would be a very helpful or pleasant thing for your husband. Win-win. I know you are not making "demands" of your husband, but recognize that there is a possibility that he will INTERPRET them as demands to an extent. People are soooooo much more cooperative when the situation is one where they are asked to give and then when they agree to give, they are offered something in return! Like a trade, not really a trade but a gift and then a gift. Not really sure what you would specifically say here, since I don't know you two, but here's an example. Perhaps your husband has a super favorite meal, and you could offer to make it for him... maybe there's a movie that he has wanted to see for awhile, and you can rent it for him, etc. When all else fails I always strive to remember two words: a relationship is always about: 1) COMMUNICATION and 2) APPRECIATION!

I know, I know. Give him the motivation to do something, then reward him for it. Like you wld do for a kid. I'm sorry, I know that sounds insensitive (yes, I'm rolling my eyes a bit), but where's the common sense factor? That's all I'm saying. I really think men lack that quality when it comes to certain things. I agree w/ what you're saying, and I believe it is NECESSARY to do all the things you suggested in order to get a positive response from a man. What boggles my mind, however, is why? It's totally ridiculous that we (and I think I'm speaking for many women out there) have to go to these extremes to get through to our men. I mean, Hello! Why does something so obvious have to be so complicated? Sometimes it's just easier to do things yourself (even though that sucks). It's a wonder we get to the breaking pt. I do know what you're saying, and I appreciate your perspective. Unfortunately having to ask and explain are just more things to add to the list. Do you see the frustration? Do you know how many times I've asked and asked again? Why can't my husband be the one to ask sometimes? Here's a scenerio for you: I'm cooking dinner. My husband is sitting on the couch watching TV. I ask him to please keep the kids out of the kitchen so I can cook. I also ask him to keep the kids occupied so they're not fighting, raiding the refrigerator for snacks, bothering the dog.... My husband falls asleep. I turn my back and my son is in the refrigerator. I tell him to put the yogurt away, that we're going to have dinner in a few mins. He throws a tantrum. My other son wants to play a game. I'm trying to get dinner on the table. I ask the kids to help me. In the process they're fighting over who will put the napkins on the table. The napkins rip and end up in the garbage. My husband continues to peacefully sleep on the couch. I start to lose it. I yell at the kids; my husband gets interrupted from his beauty nap. He starts yelling at the kids and the dog (who just happens to be in his way) all b/c he got woken up. I start banging the pots and pans b/c my blood's starting to boil. Then I must say the words (calmly, mind you), "The food is on the table" before anyone seems to hear again. All of a sudden, it's like Pamela Anderson just walked into the room. Alert and focused, my husband eagerly sits at the table. Then he sees the look on my face, and he says (with a straight face), "What's your problem?" Are you kidding me? I'm happy to report though, I did have somewhat of a breakthrough. I've got my husband to ask if there's anything he can do to help. The problem is it's usually once I get to the B---- pt when there's nothing left to do.

Me and his mother use to get so mad at my husband taking his "nap" though only an hour still he could be doing something productive, well i decided to go to work with him...i am only a house wife right now but i have two with me all the time which are his btw...well lets put it this that i am working with him i dont complain about his naps cause i am right there with him. we work out in the heat, rain, snow, and the cold installing direc tv for ppl and i will tell you it is very hard work. as far as your man goes...honestly i would suggest the same...ask the kids to take a nap and u do as well...if anything persuade him to even give u some room on the couch and cuddle there or on the bed and ya'll take an hour nap. just an hour not a min over...then get up and give him a list of things to with the kids, take out the trash, ect. i hope this helps

Soon2bstep offers us some Words of wisdom. I am up for work anywere between 2am to 5am, my schedule changes from day to day. I can work anywhere from 8 to 16 hours in a single stretch. I am not one to lay down and take a nap, I feel like I should be up and doing something. There are those times when I fall asleep sitting in my chair that everyone knows I am tired and I am left to sleep. I dont sit down for the purpose of sleeping,but there are those times when i'm just too tired to stay awake.

Honestly, I don't know you, I don't know your frustrations... but if you want to treat your husband like he's a child and demean him like that, acting like you're the only one in the family that contributes anything then I would ask: one, why did you marry him, and two, is that a productive approach? I'll give you the answer to the second question: definitely not.

Thx for all your suggestions and opinions. I knew I wld get some heat from my last response. Update: This summer has been going more smoothly in our household. I've been trying to get all my things done earlier in the day (like make dinner), so I don't get aggravated w/ my husband when he comes home and naps on the couch. Things haven't really changed w/ him, so to avoid conflict, I've changed my schedule to fit his. I'm trying to be a lot more understanding. He wakes up at 5 a.m. every wkday morning which I know is early, so I sympathize for that reason. SnglDad made me realize how grueling that can be. I also like the idea of taking a nap together (snuggling w/ my hubby) when he comes home. I realize I can do this if I can get my things done earlier in the day. It's not easy for me, and sometimes it doesn't happen w/ the kids always wanting my attention. However, I try to get them to help me if I can. When I have to, I resort to TV to keep my kids occupied, just so I can get my things done. I find if I'm more organized, I can accomplish more in a timely fashion. Again that's not always possible, but I am trying. It certainly helps for a happier household. I love my husband very much, and I certainly am not trying to belittle him in any way. It just gets frustrating at times, and sometimes I just need to vent. If we didn't care about each other, we wldn't fight, right?