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Housekeeping and housework

(132 Posts)
grumpo Sat 09-Feb-13 15:23:58

To set the scene, I have a fulltime job, my DP does not work. My working hours are quite long and I normally don't get home before 7PM. I often have to work at home and at weekends.

I give DP £500 a month "housekeeping" (plus she gets the full child allowance). She does not pay any bills, I pay for the main weekly shop (which we do together) and I normally pay for any other items for the house. She will buy bread and other odd items during the week, the rest she spends on herself. Do people think £500 is reasonable, to much, too little?

Our house probably cannot be described as being tidy. It is cluttered and I've tried to clear a lot of my stuff up, to try and set a good example. However, she shows no interest in tidying. The vacuum cleaner rarely gets used (only after arguments and never upstairs unless I do it), the fridge rarely has its contents removed to be thoroughly cleaned (unless I do it, when I'm told she was just about to do it), the oven is never cleaned (unless I do it), cobwebs, grease all over the kitchen, etc. etc. Mentioning this and asking if she could do a bit more leads to an argument, which makes me feel bad and that I'm being unreasonable (which I may be?).

I'm thinking about getting a cleaner regularily but this is expensive and I'm not sure that's going to work with DP.

At the moment, I just try and accept it but it makes me depressed, especially when I see other homes. I don't want it to be pristine, a bit cluttered and chaotic but hygienic is fine.

AIBU?

BeckAndCall Sun 10-Feb-13 08:42:19

I'd say laundry takes about ten hours - and that includes maybe two hours ironing (which I hate - so call it 'two episodes of something on tv'). By the time your girls are teens there's also real hand washing of delicate jumpers - hands in cold water stuff - not things which say 'hand wash' and then you throw in the machine anyway.

Grumpo you don't mention what your DP has to say about all this - WHY does she treat you like a bank account and not do any housework? Does she spend a lot of time with your teen on time consuming hobbies? Her own art hobby is not a fair reason to sponge off someone else - I have a time consuming dressmaking hobby, work part time and do all the housework ( as DH has a FT challenging job). Thing is we've chosen that division of duties together, discussed it and decided that work for us. This clearly isn't working for you so you do need to talk it through - its never too late to change a bad situation.

RedHelenB Sun 10-Feb-13 10:39:43

My solution - if she doesn't want to do it then she pays for someone out of that £500 to do it for her.

redskyatnight Sun 10-Feb-13 11:14:44

FlouncingMincyy No I'm not single. Why is that relevant?

LineRunner Sun 10-Feb-13 14:27:35

I think woman often underestimate how long laundry takes because of all the gadgets, but it still needs doing and it eats that amount of time out my week, in which I can't really do anything else than get the laundry done.

I think it's fair to say that when the machine's whirring round you can get on with other stuff, but in my case that tends to be related housework - picking up, tidying up, repairing DS's trousers, stain removals on the carpets, etc etc ad nauseam oh the joy of it all. (And the place still looks like a tip.)

And I did say that a 'ten hours laundry week' was one where I wash everything - all bedding, towels, clothes, pjs and dressing gowns, uniforms, even small rugs from the kitchen floor, the bathmat, the doormat and the cat blankets. <cries>

LineRunner Sun 10-Feb-13 14:29:33

Sorry that should read I think that woman and men often underestimate

I did preview it but still managed to fail.

redskyatnight Sun 10-Feb-13 14:37:58

How I do laundry:

1. Put load of washing in machine while waiting for kettle to boil to make cup of tea (5 minutes). - to wash overnight
2. In morning put kettle on to boil and while I'm waiting, hang the washing out to dry/put in the drier (max of 10 minutes if it's all going on the line). I'm never awake until I've had my morning drink so basically do this in my sleep smile
3. After work sort and fold now dry clothes (another 10 minutes)
4. Once a week I put an extra load on in the morning after beds have been stripped.

6-8 loads a week (family of 4), up to 30 minutes of involvement per load (half of that in otherwise "dead" time). Total 3-4 hours - but in very short bursts fitted in between other things, not taking over my life.

HesterBurnitall Sun 10-Feb-13 14:39:34

Well I do most of the cooking, most of the washing, a fair amount of the cleaning but rarely clean the oven and fridge and have a cleaner, do a job I enjoy that earns very little right now and have full access to all income. Flog me now.

LineRunner Sun 10-Feb-13 14:55:45

I can't fit three loads of bedding into one wash.

redskyatnight Sun 10-Feb-13 15:50:58

I can't fit 3 loads of bedding into 1 wash either. I only wash bedding every other week, which means a full load and part of another one. every week.
We have a "don't put it in the wash unless it really needs washing" policy in our house. My friend, who has the same size family and same aged children as me does more than twice as many loads - but chucks things in the wash if they've been worn once - even if only for a couple of hours. Depends how long you want to spend washing really - personally I don't want it to take over my life.

Arisbottle Sun 10-Feb-13 18:15:42

Maybe I do underestimate. But I barely notice the time spent on washing and we are a largish family. I have just put a wash on, it literally took two minutes. Although we do have a laundry room upstairs which makes it very easy.

If my teenagers by anything hand wash they wash it themselves.

Arisbottle Sun 10-Feb-13 18:16:30

Children strip and wash their own bedding and put it back on.

She's definitely being unreasonable. A bit of cleaning and tidying as she goes along wouldn't really push the boat out. Hoovering and dusting are my most hated chores but once I get Down to it it doesn't really take all that long.
I'd love £500 a month to fanny about doing art with a school age dc.

Somethingtothinkabout Sun 10-Feb-13 19:14:55

I think that the OP's partner is being lazy.

I would say a fair resolution if she doesn't want to clean is that the OP hires a cleaner, and the cost of this comes equally out of both of their 'incomes'. though I don't know how much cleaners cost, I'm assuming a few hundred

If she does like that, she can either a) do it herself, or b) go out and get a proper (paid) job and they can pay half each from that.

NotHerRealname Sun 10-Feb-13 19:30:33

Gosh, "housekeeping money" how 1950s! Seriously though, it can be really boring being at home all day long. I found when I was on mat leave, that being at home all day seemed to suck all motivation and enthusiam from me. It can be really hard to get going with housework when you have let it build up like that.
Maybe get a cleaner once a month to do all those grotty jobs that always get left too long. Window cleaning, oven, etc.
Tbh it sounds like you are doing a fair bit around the house when you are at home, but maybe you have a bit more get up and go because you are more used to being busy if you see what i mean?
Just a thought, she isn't depressed is she? My mother was depressed for years and it manifested itself in a similar way.

CuriousMama Sun 10-Feb-13 19:44:55

I'm an artist although fairly amateur. I have sold some but haven't made much as materials are expensive. I doubt it'll ever be money making, so many fantastic artists out there. I make a little doing hair (been a hairdresser 28 years since school) and am trying to build up a mobile business. I'd never say art was my career though, it's a hobby.

I do most chores unless dp's off work and he seems to get a lot done. Sometimes not. We're very laid back but do like hygiene. DCs are mid teen and preteen and do some too not much but they help.

It sounds like your OH is either naturally untidy, possibly lazy. Or she could be a bit down or depressed? When I had mild depression I really found housework a struggle. That was when I was with exdh though.

I hope you can communicate with your OH as you sound like a nice man who just wants more balance in his life.

lightsandshapes Sun 10-Feb-13 19:54:26

I'd be very happy with 500 per month and you both doing a big shop.

Yes she should be doing more.

I do too much, I'm very jealous of her

I work part time, pay for all our food (dp pays bills) and I do 90% of cooking, craning, housework and I have a 14 month old. I have recently got a cleaner for 2 hrs a week though, highly recommended and only 20 quid!

LineRunner Sun 10-Feb-13 19:59:11

Lord I just did that batch cooking thing and ate it all.

Arisbottle Sun 10-Feb-13 20:00:13

If I ate the children's baking there would be anarchy!

valiumredhead Mon 11-Feb-13 08:10:39

3 people, maybe 5 mixed coloured washes in a machine per week plus pegging out, 1 hour max

1 hour? I spent more time on laundry than that when I was a single person grin

LineRunner Mon 11-Feb-13 17:05:10

I ate a week's worth of pizza last night. I blame you lot.

Soditall Mon 11-Feb-13 20:09:37

YANBU she is though!My husband works and he's great for chipping in but he works full time and I stay at home so I expect to do the lions share.
We have 5 children and two or our children are disabled and I don't get £500 a month to spend on myself.

Honestly I would pay for a cleaner out of the money you give her that way the house gets cleaned and your not having to try and do it all on top of working and it doesn't cost you extra on top of the £500 every month.

Sulawesi Mon 11-Feb-13 21:28:27

LineRunner I'm so with you in the laundry or rather on the laundry (or maybe we should run a laundry together!).

We are a family of 5 plus 2 dogs and a DH who exercises a hell of a lot. I probably do 3 loads a day, that's bedding changed every week, muddy dog walking clothes, DC's games kit (they do either rugby, football or cricket 3 times a week all year), DH exercise kit. Then there are the actual clothes grin! It does suck the very life out of you and I barely iron any of it. It is easily ten hours a week and I don't have a tumble drier.

We live in an old, fairly big house which takes forever to clean - had to laugh at someone saying it should take 3 hours to clean a house top to bottom - or did they say 6 hours? Either is laughable, I could spend that time each and every day and still not do everything and I have no intention of spending all my life doing housework.

My hobbies are my dogs and horses, they are a priority but so is the house and cooking for everyone. My DC's are at school an hour round trip each way and they have homework every night so that is my day done and dusted. I hope my DH thinks I do a reasonable job whilst he works similar hours to Grumpy.

I do think your DW is taking be mick everso slightly I have to say.

Off to hang up another load of washing now, oh the joy... but am half watching those little penguins on telly and they are vair cute smile.

LineRunner Mon 11-Feb-13 21:40:23

Sulawesi, yes, teenagers in 'kits' (sports, dance) seems to create a lot of laundry - seriously, they couldn't wear them twice without washing - plus DS's bizarrely complicated state school uniform... plus stupid beloved animals and their fur ... plus my work gear ... and as you say, just clothes and bedding and muddy stuff. Six towels once a week is one wash.

I have one normal size washing machine.

Actually I do MN a bit whilst the drum turns.... grin

Sulawesi Mon 11-Feb-13 21:46:21

Me too grin! and watch the ickle penguins.

LineRunner Mon 11-Feb-13 21:51:29

No! Pingu death has happened!

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