by maipham

January 31, 2022


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Admit it.

It's never enough. Whatever your husband does, somehow it's never enough. 

Not good enough, not neat enough, or whatever it is.

This is even more true with working moms, who get home feeling tired after a long day at work, but then have to put all the leftover energy of the day to take care of their kiddos. 

You feel that your husband is not giving it all, not trying hard enough. And you know that if you were him, things would be done better. Much better.

I know it so well, because that's how I've been feeling since forever. 

I even snapped when my husband asked me, "is there anything I do that is good enough for you?". I acted out and pointed out all the flaws that I've found, just trying to prove my opinion.

I gave my husband a headache every time I behaved that way. Did he deserve that? A big fat no. 

Dad burnout: Why do our husbands feel burnout?

Just to be fair, I know that not all moms and dads have the same typical day or working level as I mention below. Many moms and dads are amazing and going beyond for their kids. But in overall, I believe my funny comparison holds truth.

A typical day of a working mom. And weekend.

A typical day of a working dad. And weekend.

A typical day of a stay at home mom.

A typical day of a stay at home dad.

Level of resilience between men and women.

Dad burnout: 5 obvious ways your husband is trying to tell you but not in words


If your husband tells you that he is feeling burnout, that's a good news because he is trying to communicate with you. But if what he gets in return is a nag, where you raise your eyebrows and tell him how tired you are, and how he hasn't done half of what you've done, well, you know it is bad.

Face expression

You know when someone is mad by looking at their face. And sometimes, your husband is way too tired to talk but you can see it in his face.

You hear when people say "boiled my blood", well, that's the case with my husband. I can tell that he is not feeling comfortable and he needs to wind down when his face gets red and stays red. 

Pay attention to his expression, does he seem tired or upset for no reason? If he has not put his negativity out, he is still in the early stage of feeling the burnout, but if you don't help him, he will switch to bad mood.

Bad mood

This is when your husband gets mad for no reason. You will notice that he can snap out of the blue.

My husband expects me to take my turn as soon as I walk home because he is simply too tired after a long day taking care of our son. And he hopes to have a nice, quiet night when I get home.

But often, my son complains or cries a little bit when I tell my son to turn the TV off or when I put him to sleep. My husband can complain and turn from his red face to bad mood right away. But I am not mad at my husband, because I know I get tired and turn to a monster sometimes, and I know he is just tired. 

Button being pushed

Once dad gets bad mood, he can easily have his buttons being pushed. One thing you do or not do can become a thing that pushes his buttons.

He can get mad for no reason, become aggressive and depressed quickly. He can complain the whole world is going against him if you forget to get him some coffee on your way to the kitchen 🙂 

Be careful and mindful about his emotions and have a little understanding for him is crucial for him to work himself out of this phase.

Talking about vacation

My husband's favorite thing to say is "I need a vacation from the depression". And more than often, I snap at him and tell him how much I need a vacation but I haven't been able to. Then we often end up with a fight.

Now I've realized that it is not a competition. Everyone has a different elasticity and my husband is not a robot. There are things I can do but he cannot. And there are things that he can do but I cannot. And it's all okay.

Know that when dad talks about a vacation, is when he has a dad burnout and needs to wind down. You don't have to actually give him a vacation right away, but try to give him some timeout.


Lack of sleep / rest increases tiredness and causes stress. And that's the common thing amongst caregivers. Taking care of kids is a stressful work and requires a whole lot of energy. Sometimes more energy than what we have to give.

If your husband plays the main role in taking care of kids, appreciate that and allow him to recharge when he get tired.

Dad burnout is a real thing. Everybody has burnout once in a while.


If you are a working mom and your husband takes care of your kid(s) more than you, remember that you can get stressed out from work, and your husband gets stressed out from his work at home as well.

Taking timeout and wind down is essential to keep your and his sane. So instead of complaining about how he doesn't see how tired you are from work, do the first step and acknowledge when he is tired and allow him to wind down. 

As everyone needs to sleep everyday, it is important that both you and your husband take turn and recharge everyday too. Allow him to have his "me time" and ask him when you need your "me time". We don't want you to give too much and resent your husband after.

About the author 

Mai Pham

Mai Pham discovered her passion for writing a few years ago and she never stop thinking about it ever since. She finally took the leap and created Live a Worthy Life to brag about her smart ass (mainly just for fun). Enjoyed the fun writing brings, now with her new interest in everything-baby-related, she created Mommy Instinct, to tell mamas that it's ok that they mess up, that they don't know what the hell they are doing, and that it's okay to sit back and relax for a while.

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