To think it's maternity leave not housewife leave, and act accordingly?

(172 Posts)
maternitart Mon 15-Jul-13 19:50:17

I'm on maternity leave at the moment and my priority is spending time with DS and making the most of the time off.

I try to clean up after us both and maybe do some of the everyday stuff like emptying the dishwasher, hanging out laundry etc during the day but I rarely do any housework like vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, changing the beds etc. I do do some cooking, cleaning or sorting in evenings and weekends while my DH is with DS.

Something my mum said however made me think perhaps AIBU, lazy, or unfair to DH. Am I? Should I take on the lion's share of keeping house and do more during the day?

<Dramatic voice> Mumsnet Jury: YOU decide!

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 15-Jul-13 20:24:29

I think it very much depends on the birth and the baby to be honest. If you had a nice straight forward birth, feeding is established and the baby naps well -well then its easy to fit in the housework.

However if you have a non-napping/sleeping baby who cries all the time, then its perfectly reasonable to not do much housework.

I've had both types of baby and one in between. By my 3rd I just upped my cleaner's hours so the house stayed tidy and I didn't go crazy. As being at home a lot, I found it very hard if the house was a mess.

And I know I was lucky to be able to have a cleaner although my DH was rarely around as worked/works very long hours and for me it was worth the money.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 15-Jul-13 20:24:44

So - you would sit in the house all day and not do things that needed doing because you don't want to do everything?

Fair enough if you have a particularly demanding baby/taking a while to recover from the birth but otherwise yabu. Takes 5 minutes to put clothes in the washing machine.

samandi Mon 15-Jul-13 20:25:30

If it's easy enough to do, why not just do it? If it's difficult to it with a baby, then don't. Whatever works for you and your husband. It's not unfair for him to be looking after the kid while you work in the evening.

caramelwaffle Mon 15-Jul-13 20:25:53

It is maternity leave, not housework leave.

Maternal= mother leave.

BonaDea Mon 15-Jul-13 20:28:34

Yanbu. Our cleaner still comes even tho I am now at home all day instead of working full time. I do basic day to day tidying up after myself and ds and the lion's share of cooking but don't change beds, vacuum, clean the bathrooms etc.

My priority is my DS and making the most of my time off with him while I have it. I'm not becoming a drudge if I don't have to be one!

caramelwaffle Mon 15-Jul-13 20:28:41

wispglitter raises a good point.

caramelwaffle Mon 15-Jul-13 20:29:39

Oh. Yanbu.

maternitart Mon 15-Jul-13 20:30:18

We split the cleaning now, I do the shopping and most cooking. We are not crazy people who change bedding every day etc.

I don't have a great napper tbh so that doesn't help.

hermioneweasley Mon 15-Jul-13 20:30:23

I think it comes back to the MN rule of equal leisure time. If your DH is working all day, I don't see why you can't do simple household tasks, unless your DS is very young and still feeding all night so you need to nap.

apachepony Mon 15-Jul-13 20:33:19

Hmmm, I have this question too. I hate housework with a passion, and I'm v bad at it. I do the vast majority of babycare, including nights and early mornings, tidy up after baby and I, do laundry (though not all dh's laundry), but not much more than that. And now our cleaner has disappeared and we can't get another for a month. Dh is complaining bitterly that the house is a mess. In my defence, my dh doesn't work long hours, is always up after me - quite often 2-3 hours after me - and I am carrying just as much financial burden as when I was working - ie dh is not the breadwinner. So aibu?

Babouche Mon 15-Jul-13 20:34:11

I find it quite hard to do anything significant until the 6m mark when a baby is old enough to nap at lunchtime in own room.That gives me about 2 hours a day.
When I've just got the baby at home I do stuff like putting washing away and obviously cooking for the family & cleaning the kitchen afterwards,dishwasher etc.
I've got 3 DCs and as one is a small baby I don't find I've got any more time to clean than I did when working.
So I've still got a cleaner who does the big stuff like hoovering dusting & bathrooms.

Emilythornesbff Mon 15-Jul-13 20:39:39

I'm on mat leave and also have a 2 yo. Sometimes i feel i don't have time to do anything.
We recently let our cleaner go (whole other thread).
I don't think DH has even noticed. grin so I'm obviously getting the essentials done. We share the cooking.
Do as you please.
Does he mind?

Thurlow Mon 15-Jul-13 20:39:47

Yes, thinking about equal leisure time helps. I know some people think that is just counting the minutes and not good for a relationship, but we found it works.

Once the baby is happy to lie on the floor or sit in a bouncer etc while you do something then I do think, in the general scheme of things, it doesn't hurt to do some housework during the day. But not if you're struggling with the baby to do it - in that case, you share it with your DH when they're back from work.

And the quicker your DC learns that you doing odd bits of housework is fine or even fun (once they start moving about, stuff like loading the washing machine is normally really fun) then you can organise your day so that you don't have any housework to do when they are napping, you just get to lie on the sofa and contemplate your naval.

KobayashiMaru Mon 15-Jul-13 20:48:25

I can't imagine why you wouldn't get on with a bit of housework. It's your house, its your mess, it needs doing, and you have plenty of time.
But its nothing to do with me or anyone else (other than your partner) so what do anyone elses opinions matter?

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 15-Jul-13 20:51:30

Apache - you are so not unreasonable.

Kobayashi - the OP doesn't necessarily have more time. If you have a baby who doesn't nap and is quite demanding, there's not masses of time for cleaning.

KobayashiMaru Mon 15-Jul-13 20:59:30

I had a baby that didn't nap at all (and barely slept and had multiple additional needs) but surely you aren't holding the baby all day long? You have plenty of time, just that the baby is there too.Pop them in a baby seat near you while you do 20 mins cleaning. Or I what I often did was sling baby and do the hoovering. I'd rather spend the time DP was home too sleeping together doing something.
But like I said, if it works for OP and her OH, who cares?

Crinkle77 Mon 15-Jul-13 21:11:50

I would be happy to do most of the everyday tasks but I would not be picking up after him and waiting on his every need if that makes sense

caramelwaffle Mon 15-Jul-13 21:13:11

The problem is people equate childcare with housecleaning (generally because Sahm/d care takes place in a house, or rather, home)

caramelwaffle Mon 15-Jul-13 21:13:43

Apache - yanbu.

BridgetBidet Mon 15-Jul-13 21:18:05

I don't know. Me and my DH came to a compromise of neither of us really doing any housework at all except for the absolute essentials when our DS was tiny. Although he was working I did all the night feeds so it was swings and roundabouts really because although I wasn't doing a job I needed to catch up on my sleep in the daytime.

When the baby got older and could sit in his bouncy chair while I did jobs and was sleeping better I did quite a lot in the day.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 15-Jul-13 21:18:19

Why would you not, you sound rather silly. Presumably your OH is picking up the bulk of the financial responsibility for you both and not being petty.

MortifiedAdams Mon 15-Jul-13 21:19:51

My priority when I was off with DD was
1 - her
2 - tidying up after myself
3 - making sure i had something in for dinner

IF I got anything else done it was a bonus and certainly.not expected.

If I spent all day at the park or the beach with dd and didnt manage to buy anytjing for dinner, id text dh and ask hom to bring something in.

I never managed to do any housework durong working hours when I WOTH so anything done in the day was a bonus.

monkeynuts123 Mon 15-Jul-13 21:24:58

pfb say no more.

Burmobasher Mon 15-Jul-13 21:27:20

Up to you, you know what works for your family.
I am on maternity leave and have a 3 year old. My baby demands (and gets) lots of attention, is ebf, does not nap and I still entertain my ds and do 90% of the cooking, cleaning, washing etc.
my DH works hard all day and the time we have together is to spend as a family not doing chores.
He helps out with the kids, walks the dog, puts the bins out etc and I don't expect him to come home and start the hoovering (although he would if i asked) if its not all done, no biggie though, we will do it together at the weekend.

Bearbehind Mon 15-Jul-13 21:27:40

I think this is a pretty selfish attitude TBH.

if your priorities are-

1. Spending time with your child
2. Doing housework

And therefore your husbands priorities have to be-

1. Working
2. Doing the housework you haven't done
3. Spending time with his child

How is that fair?

Housework is shit but so is work outside the house very often, so why shouldn't you do as much as you can do whilst you are at home so that both parents get to spend the maximum time possible with your children?

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