Posted July 16, 2012

I am unsure what I ought to do in everyday life, with myself and my children, as far as goals and ambitions, since my husband says what he wants to do more than anything is nothing. I know we can just work around his schedule, and we do, but of course many things children are interested in doing even at home take some time, money, or gas (if not at home), and he seems to begrudge us using those on activities, but won’t usually say no. He seems to be bothered sometimes, but won’t say anything until it’s too late to fix whatever we’ve begun. Aside from keeping up with regular chores, he expresses none of what he would like us to be doing, even when I’ve asked him to help us have some direction, or show us what he would like us to be doing. Thanks


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  1. marie

    I am not married, so i am sure there will be more experienced responses to this, but perhaps you could ask your husband what he liked to do when he was a kid? Those things might bring back childhood memories spawning “story time”. And then maybe he would be more excited to do them with the kids?
    Something my siblings and I and mom always loved to do was to put on short bible story skits using household items and then perform them for Daddy when he got home.

    # July 16, 2012

    • laura

      that is neat to put on bible story skits!!

      # July 24, 2012

  2. laura has some ideas on how to compliment your husband.

    Say “I like how well you fix that car” or “you are very mechanical”

    or “You manage the money quite well” or “You are very funny” or “you have strong arms”

    try not to worry or notice if he says he doesn’t want to do “anything”

    I think some men are satisfied with getting food on the table, shelter over the family’s head and clothing on the kids back and thats it. There are more than one way to do that and thats that.

    If your husband truly does absolutely nothing and is like a dead dog, then it is time to get outside help. Usually a wife who is positively complimenting him on all his MASCULINE qualities will help over come that bondage.

    My husband is on the other side of the spectrum……he has ideas of what he would like to do….but without the means to accomplish his goals. I hate being the burden to his goal, simply because I and the kids need food shelter and clothing but that is what seems to happen from time to time.

    # July 24, 2012

  3. Faith T.

    Hi Nicole,

    Perhaps you can find some creative ways to generate a small amount of money for your children to be able to do things. We have a large family (6 children, aged 1-10) on a small income. My children deliver flyers once a week, and have done a paper route in the past. Here in Canada, all pop, water and juice containers can be returned for a refund. We save ours up and the children help when it’s time to take them all back – then we get the cash for something we need, or a fun time together. I just recently made my first patchwork quilt from some fleece baby blankets I was no longer using, along with a sheet & flannel nightgown I got at a thrift store. Including thread, it cost me $3 to make the quilt. I could easily sell it for at least $20! Whenever I have some children’s clothing we don’t need anymore, that is still in good condition, I take it to the children’s consignment store. If it sells, I get a bit of money from that, too.

    I am always on the lookout for low-cost or free children’s activities in town. Our local library frequently has free events, including a summer reading club every year that includes weekly prizes and a big ice-cream party at the end of summer! We have very low-cost art classes. The rec center offers very inexpensive classes and lessons of all kinds. We frequent the 3 playgrounds in town. Love to swim at the local lakes in summer, and go to the local sledding hill in winter (black trash bags work awesome if you don’t have sleds!). The kids love to go for a bike ride, a walk in the woods, to a friends’ house, or just to throw rocks in the river down the road from us.

    Most importantly, I try to make home a fun and busy place for us all to be, as it’s not practical for us to go out more than a couple times a week. The children paid for half of our 14-foot trampoline with their paper route earnings last summer. God has blessed us with a free (older) swingset, a kiddie pool and lots of outdoor toys. You can often find very cheap or free children’s items on The children love running through the sprinkler, catching bugs and snails, and helping in our garden. They especially love having their own small garden patch to tend! Occasional Christian movies are a treat, and they all love storytime. I also try to keep a few things around for arts & crafts, and everyone loves playdoh!

    They also keep very busy with their chores and homeschooling, so they really appreciate their playtime, and the times we are able to visit with friends.

    I hope this helps.

    By the way, my husband doesn’t participate in most of the above, although he has his own things he likes to do with the children, too.

    Faith T.

    # August 3, 2012