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to think DH has an attitude problem...

(173 Posts)
printmeanicephoto Wed 07-Aug-13 14:17:28

He is v. uptight about the house operating efficiently and makes me feel like a failure because I can't manage to complete all the chores (the weekly shop, most of housework, errands, most of clothes washing, cooking and ironing) during school hours on my two days off (Thurs and Fri) so we can have a chore-free weekend. I work 3 days plus one or 2 eves a week.

He has a lot of responsibility at work, leaves at 7.30am and gets in at 7pm each day. He puts the kids to bed when he gets in and reads them a bedtime story. He sometimes does the washing up and tends to cook at the weekends (I cook in the week).

Although I am generally more laid back than him in terms of my personality, I rarely sit down on my days at home and am not lazy but somehow I just don't manage to get it all done. So by the weekend he is disappointed that he has to muck in for most Sat morning to get it all finished, taking his precious time away from our primary school age kids who he doesn't see much of in the week.

His disappointment is really affecting my self-esteem and is making me resent him. Is he being unreasonable or am I for not managing to get it all done before the weekend? Is our situation normal or do most people in our situation manage to have a relatively chore-free weekend with plenty of quality family time together?

printmeanicephoto Wed 07-Aug-13 15:12:55

No not two clear days Neo - I have school hours free on Thurs and Fri so works out by the time I've got back home after drop off as 11 hrs in total. I.e. 9.30-3pm on Thurs and Fri actually at home (then ferrying to after school activities from 3.30pm onwards so eve meal for family must be prepared in those school hrs too).

BiddyPop Wed 07-Aug-13 15:13:52

DH and I both work FT and the only way we manage (even with an au pair in school term time - mainly as DH travels for 2 weeks at a time) is by doing small jobs every day and big things at the weekend.

So we'd keep on top of the washing and drying of laundry during the week (put in a load at night to run the following day, throw it on the line/clotheshorse/into dryer when we get home and put dry things into "ironing" basket) - but we only fold clean clothes and do the ironing at the weekend (DH usually folds Sat evening while watching a movie with DD, and irons Sunday evening while I make dinner).

I prep dinners at night, so I can turn on pots to cook as soon as I get in, as much as possible. So peeling and chopping veg, making sauce like spag bol or curry etc. But I'd also do a double batch of a dinner for Monday (and freeze second half) on Sunday evening when I am making a Sunday roast anyway.

We try to put away as we go - but even just with only 1 DD, that's a struggle. So we always have clutter spots to deal with.

We spend our WHOLE lives running around trying to keep on top of the housework, feeding everyone, getting all our work done, helping DD with homework etc, getting her to her sports (Wed night and Sat morn only), shopping, various appointments have to be fitted in, and trying to find time to visit relatives (immediate family live 3 hours away).

DD is not here this week, which is somewhat relaxing (she's having a week at Granny's house), but we are still racing to get things done. I got a box set from the library almost 3 weeks ago of the first season of Grey's Anatomy, that I've wanted to watch for years - I've watched 6 episodes (and 4 of those were where I stayed up late to watch 2 together!).

When DH is at home, he does pull his weight and shares out the chores. But it is a case of doing lots all the time and there never is an end to it. The few days off I get, I never get anything like as much done as I want - time just flies.

LeBFG Wed 07-Aug-13 15:15:28

Well put diddl. All for the benefit of everyone.. Except the skivvy of course.

Redlocks30 Wed 07-Aug-13 15:17:22

I wouldn't say that was 20 hours' work though. I have three children, a five bed house and work three days a week; I get all the washing/housework/shopping/cooking/jobs/ironing done in those two days. Yes, I eat lunch, too ;)

diddl Wed 07-Aug-13 15:18:18

I'm thinking that OP also takes the children to school, is responsible for them when not at work & keeps the house ticking over from day to day as well!

LineRunner Wed 07-Aug-13 15:21:19

I've timed all my house-workery, Redlocks when I'm not pissing about on MN and it's definitely more than 20 hours a week.

I'm on my own so I'm pretty clear how much I have to do. All of it. And it takes ages. Bloody ages I tell you. grin

Redlocks, do you also have time to get all the big one off jobs done in that time? Do you never do ANYTHING at the weekend or in the evenings?

printmeanicephoto Wed 07-Aug-13 15:25:10

Redlocks and all those of you who think I should be able to get it all done - just out of interest do you get some jobs done in the morning before you go to work? I'm a night owl so up at 7.15am most days and no chance to do many jobs before work - just empty dishwasher and get kids ready, breakfasted etc.

BeckAndCall Wed 07-Aug-13 15:25:37

I think the key is to accept that the housework is never, ever finished: the grass grows, the dust falls, people wear clothes everyday that need washing, food gets cooked and pots get dirty, and no one EVER sees the bottom of their laundry basket. If you did finish all this, you'd just have to go round and start again.

Until you accept this fact of the human existence, you'll always feel like its not finished!

irregularegular Wed 07-Aug-13 15:29:47

I take it you don't have any children at home during the school day? In that case, I think it is a good and realistic aim not to have any normal chores left during the weekends in term time (very different if you have children at home). If you still have stuff to do at the weekend, then either you are overly high standards, or you are being inefficient (sorry!).

I agree with the others that should work together to make a list of what needs to be done and how long it takes. If it turns out to be too much to do in two school days then you have a number of options: lower standards, buy in help, both do more in evening, or both do more at weekend. Writing it out together should help.

I work full time. I have a cleaner but only four hours a week. H does laundry in the evenings. I do food shopping (online) and cooking. There's not much to do at the weekend, honestly. If I had two full school days I would be laughing, even without the cleaner. When I worked three days I didn't have a cleaner and struggled a bit, but the children were only pre-school 3 hours on one day. That wasn't quite enough, but 12 hours would be.

You can spend your weekend doing chores if you want, but it might be more fun to find an alternative.

Nagoo Wed 07-Aug-13 15:30:48

If he's so efficient, why is he not completing the tasks in a few hours on a saturday morning? If they are so easy for someone of your ineptitude to do, despite your incapability, in 11 hours, someone so accomplished as him should have no trouble doing it in 3. Maybe you helping him is slowing him down? Perhaps you should stay in bed out of the way and let him get on with it.

Nagoo Wed 07-Aug-13 15:32:41

BOAST ALERT I couldn't let this go... I could see the bottom of my laundry basket for a full 20 minutes this morning grin

Redlocks30 Wed 07-Aug-13 15:33:21

Yes, I do have time tbh and I'm not whizzing round like a mad thing. I will still put the odd wash on at the weekends and keep on top of things, ie kitchen wouldn't look like a bomb has hit it when I make cakes with the kids as I clear up as we're going along. I'll swish bleach down the loo before I go to bed or put toys away as I'm moving from one room to the next, but none of these things take more than a few minutes-I won't spend hours doing housework at the weekends.

If everything is organised, I really don't find it takes that long in the week. When I get up in the morning, for example-I bring the washing basket down with me (maybe shove eg the towels in there as well) and put it on whilst the kettle is boiling, I then hang it out when I've walked the kids to school, then dust/Hoover and whilst I'm in each room-empty bins/replace loo rolls and then stop for a cup of coffee. I might then sort bills/paperwork and nip to the bank/post office before lunch. I treat it v much like a job-have regular breaks (novelty, as I don't in my real job!). I still make time to see friends for a quick coffee as well.

Honestly, I'm quite efficient but it doesn't seem that hard?!

squoosh Wed 07-Aug-13 15:39:10

Maybe you need to talk to your DH about your different expectations of how tidy things actually need to be.

Maybe the people giving you tips here don't have quite the high standards your beloved has.

diddl Wed 07-Aug-13 15:40:36

OP has four days off a week, her husband two.

They have a house & children between them.

I don't see why it should all fall to her tbh.

squoosh Wed 07-Aug-13 15:41:39

Totally agree diddl.

Peacocklady Wed 07-Aug-13 15:46:20

I used to do it all in 2 days within school hours with odd bits at other times.
Laundry in every day before work and in dryer after; whoever cooks the other washes up and i often did bathroom while kids in bath and a quick floor wash and bath clean when they're pratting about getting pjs on. Strict turn taking for bed duty and when putting kids to bed put clean clothes away. I guess doing all that on your own after tea makes things more difficult.
Did Cleaning / shopping / errands on days off and often met friends or did something I fancied too. I was the one who wanted weekend completely clear though and DH did garden and DIY. House isn't spotless though and quite small and I never ever iron.
I work ft now and DH works from home but we have a cleaner which is wonderful.

diddl Wed 07-Aug-13 15:51:24

I do get that the OP has more time than her husband, but I think what's pissing me off is that he's opted out, but moaning at her!

What did he do before OP & the kids??

xuntitledx Wed 07-Aug-13 15:51:48

Going against the grain here [sorry!] but working the same hours that your husband does and knowing you have 2 days off in the week, I wouldn't expect to have to pitch in at the weekend except for the 'daily' stuff.

For example, I'd expect the hoovering, dusting, heavy duty cleaning and laundry to be done whilst you're at home but wouldn't begrudge helping out with making dinner, washing pots, cleaning up after activities that are done over the weekend.

If the kids aren't at home with you, I'm not sure why you struggle getting everything done over the 2 days? Other than the daily stuff (dishwasher, making tea, cleaning loo etc) I tend to push everything to the weekend and can get everything done over 3-5 hours. I hate that I have this routine though as constantly feel like I'm "on the go" and don't get any rest time but can't be bothered spreading it over the week after I've finished work!

Swishing bleach down the loo, or giving a room a quick wipe and a 2 minute hoover isn't getting all the cleaning done to a high standard. (Although I do think it's sufficient for keeping on top of a busy home.) However it would appear that the OPs DH isn't prepared to lower his standards. 11 hours unhindered a week might be sufficient to keep a well organised house basically clean, but it leaves no time for all the extra bits that crop up as part of living.

BIWI Wed 07-Aug-13 15:57:09

When you went part time, what was the reason for this?

What did you agree with your DH in terms of the share of housework?

What else are you planning to do on those two days off that you have?

If your children are at school on those two days, what else are you going to do with your time?

To be honest, I do have a bit of sympathy with your DH, but it depends on the answers you give to the above.

If I was working the long hours that he does, then I would also appreciate the weekend being free for time to spend with my partner and children.

However, if it has been agreed between the two of you that you have those days to spend taking some kind of course, or doing a voluntary job, or something else for you, then I would have a bit more sympathy with you.

Otherwise it does seem that you have quite a lot of time to deal with household stuff.

Why don't you do online shopping, as that can be done at any time of the day? You (or your DH) could do this once the children are in bed. Once you've got your regular shopping established it doesn't take long to do.

StuntGirl Wed 07-Aug-13 15:59:15

There is ALWAYS some new housework to do. In fact we make most of our mess over the weekend because we're both around.

I think if what you've got left over is half a days worth of jobs it's not so bad. And how can it seriously stop you from interacting with the family? Chuck some laundry on, play with the kids/go out, sort it out to dry when you get back etc. Or both do one more task in the evenings throughout the week to leave less to do at weekend?

Completely 100% free weekends are a bit if a myth tbh. Anyone who reckons they have them is just leaving the work they could be doing on those days til the Monday!

printmeanicephoto Wed 07-Aug-13 16:14:13

Oh, and I'm normally still tidying the kitchen, doing more jobs after he's finished doing bedtime. So he comes down, all finished, while I've still got dishcloth in my hand and moans that we don't have enough time together in the evenings - then he sits down and cracks open a beer because he's had a busy day - grrrr!

Basically this thread is just mirroring your argument with your DH, with some of us saying you have plenty of time and others saying you don't.

The truth is probably somewhere in between. It's hard to believe you couldn't be more efficient (you're not even doing online shopping yet wink) but that doesn't necessarily mean you can do every little thing.

Really, make a list of every single thing you do and try to see how it could be done either A) more quickly by you, B) more often by DH, or C) more easily by someone else.

peggyundercrackers Wed 07-Aug-13 16:19:38

im going to go against the grain here too - we have a 4 bed house and i would have no probs getting everything done in 2 days. dishes etc. are all done at the time of use - dont like them lying about afterwards. if im going to wash the shower down i will do it before i have a shower that day - dont see the point of having a shower then going back to wash it later. if i do washing i put it in as soon as i get up so it is ready to go out by 8.30am. all the little bits of time saved add up.

we dont do any chores at the weekend - maybe a little gardening, wash the car but no hoovering/washing etc.

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