To be slightly pissed off at this comment from dh regarding housework?

(362 Posts)

I've been a sahm since ds was born so consequently all childcare and housework, cooking, ironing etc has been my responsibility. This is fine as dh works long hours. Anyway ds has started school now so I've started to look at going back to work. I mentioned to dh last night about a coupe of things I might apply for on top of the volunteering I'm doing at the moment. His response? As long as you can keep the house tidy and keep on top of the housework I don't mind what you do.

Aibu to think why should that be any more my job than his if we are both working?

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Fri 18-Oct-13 22:22:25

Feminism wasn't founded so that women could work outside the home AND carry on doing everything inside the home.

Indeed.

Crowler Fri 18-Oct-13 22:00:34

In the vast majority of marriages, a successful marriage means both people are working roughly the same number of hours a day. Across the board, women are working more than men. We should all be outraged about this. Feminism wasn't founded so that women could work outside the home AND carry on doing everything inside the home.

There are some cases where it makes sense to outsource (high-earners) and still some more rare cases where one person (usually the man) becomes a super-high flyer and it makes little sense for the other partner to spend a relatively large fraction of their time on tasks that can be outsourced for a completely insignificant sum of money relative to the family budget. Frankly I see this more as a class issue than a marriage issue.

I think a major source of tension between women is the way in which life unfolds for the working class and the middle/upwards class after kids go back to school. It's a pretty easy life being a SAHM of school-aged kids, and I think to say otherwise is just silly.

Lweji Fri 18-Oct-13 20:13:03

But you will have noticed that a relationship break up is not the only thing that can happen.
Unemployment, accident, illness, death.

I'm not disputing being a sahm while children are little, but as a choice for life, I wouldn't be comfortable with it unless the H earned millions and I got a nice allowance and/or divorce settlement.

Jan49 Fri 18-Oct-13 16:12:44

I just don't feel people should be living their lives around the chance that a relationship will end. You need to do what works best for yourselves and your dc, whatever that may be.

Lweji Fri 18-Oct-13 15:45:56

Fine, there are lots of different situations, but it still doesn't invalidate that in general it is better to work in case one leaves.

Worst case, you're still left at home with no job - the same outcome as for SAHP. Best case, you have financial independence through a salary - much better outcome than for a SAHP, as the payscale is likely to be higher than for someone starting or restarting the career ladder.

This is even more important if we want to leave with the baby, particularly in situations of abuse.

Jan49 Fri 18-Oct-13 12:48:39

Lweji, it's often like Justthisonce says. You have 2 parents in an interdependent relationship where they sort out childcare and work between them and then they split and it no longer works. Sometimes one parent gets the dc ready for school whilst the other leaves earlier for work, and then that arrangement falls apart. My ex became completely unreliable once he'd left.

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Fri 18-Oct-13 12:08:56

Not if they work different hours around each other. So if the woman works evenings and her dh works days. They split, she can't work evenings anymore (except on the days her ex has the kids overnight) unless she can find evening childcare which isn't easy. Can't use a nursery or childminder. Makes things very hard.

Lweji Fri 18-Oct-13 11:53:50

That's assuming you rely on your partner for childcare.

My ex was actually the SAHP and I had to sort out childcare whilst still working.

If there are two working people, there should already be childcare arrangements in place.

Jan49 Fri 18-Oct-13 11:38:56

*I didn't have a job at the time and if I had, I think I'd have needed to leave or been sacked for absence.

You would have. Because you'd have to. And it might have worked as a distraction for you, as well as a way of offloading.*

I take your point about a job being a distraction and a place to offload, Lweji, but someone that has dc and relies on their partner providing childcare can't just carry on a job if their partner leaves and stops doing their share. They need childcare.

Anyway, sorry, this is a bit OT. Just wanted to make the point that both parties to a relationship with dc staying economically active doesn't necessarily mean you can just carry on as normal work-wise if the relationship ends.

Lweji Fri 18-Oct-13 11:26:15

I think I'd go more with white, but maybe we should consult Dr. Lecter about it. Or maybe a Pinot Grigio instead?

pointyfangs Fri 18-Oct-13 11:11:44

Lweji red or white? Set me straight on the etiquette of testicle consumption... grin

Lweji Fri 18-Oct-13 11:00:02

pointyfangs
And some Chianti? ;)

merrymouse Fri 18-Oct-13 09:50:32

You haven't had a reasoned argument though married. You still haven't addressed the contradiction that housework is apparently so easy that a wife should be able to to it standing on her head, yet so hard that when a man comes home from work he shouldn't face anything more taxing than a pipe and slippers.

pointyfangs Fri 18-Oct-13 08:42:15

Seconding and thirding what Thants and Granstanding and motherinferior said. My DH and I both work and have always shared housework, but believe me if he had ever said to me what the OP's DH said to her, he'd have had his testicles served to him on an immaculately polished silver plate, with a perfect sprig of parsley and a slice of lemon.

motherinferior Fri 18-Oct-13 08:27:47

What Thants said. And Granstanding.

And I stick by my point that my working hours enable my partner to work his. If I had to do his share of the housework on top, I'd be really pissed off.

(BTW I think penises and I've known plenty in my time are perfectly splendid in their place. Or places, obviously, depending on what fries your own onion.)

GrandstandingBlueTit Fri 18-Oct-13 00:45:20

That's the point though, married, my husband isn't afflicted. He doesn't think a Hoover and a dishcloth is beneath him. He helps out with the kids. And I don't think I'm particularly lucky, I think this is what I'm entitled to, from a life partner.

And you still haven't ventured an explanation for why you think housework is that easy that women should just get in with it, while men don't have to.

I take it from that that you realise it was an irrational and unfair statement. Especially since you have a cleaner to help you (and your husband) with it all.

I apologise if you think I'm being rude, but I honestly do think that attitudes like yours are slightly insidious (i'm sorry, i feel bad saying that, but it is honestly how i feel) and part of the reason that there is so much societal pressure on women to behave in certain ways and do so much more than their fair share. It's not right. It's great if it suits your personal partnership, but you can't be so blinkered as to think it should suit everyone, and if it doesn't, they're being unreasonable.

Thants Thu 17-Oct-13 21:10:05

Housework is a boring, time consuming, thankless and difficult task. I don't think pretending it's easy is helpful here. The point is 2 pairs of hands are better than one and the two of you are a partnership. You live there together and care about each other so should want to help each other!
I think it is a huge issue that women are brought up thinking they should be helping and caring and men are brought up expecting to be helped and cared for, that's bullshit and needs to change. Demand equality. Don't be walked over.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 20:59:12

The solution then, VSM, is not to put yourself at the financial mercy of an inherently sexist and entitled man but to make sure you are able to support yourself. It's not to give up your future employability so that you can reduce his stress at the expense of your own.

VeryStressedMum Thu 17-Oct-13 20:56:14

I know what you're saying scary, but the toll it can take working and holding everything together can't be underestimated. I know, I worked (full time) and held absolutely everything together (lone parent 3 dcs) and it made me so I'll and stressed..and I didn't have the added stress of being resentful of a man who lives in my house but does nothing!!!

merrymouse Thu 17-Oct-13 20:54:23

I don't think grand does think her husband is afflicted. Men who as you say make a "big issue out of keeping a house clean and tidy" perhaps are.

Plenty of women have high flying stressful jobs without needing a stay at home wife to look after them.

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Thu 17-Oct-13 20:52:26

Grand. Thanks for the highlights! grin Had lost the gist of what was going on.

I didn't realise married had a cleaner. You can't really go on about how quick and easy it is to keep a house clean when you have a cleaner!

Allthreerolledintoone Thu 17-Oct-13 20:44:09

Agree it's very stressful working and running a home.

ScaryFucker Thu 17-Oct-13 20:44:00

I disagree, VSM. I would think very carefully about remaining financially dependent on such a man.

louwn Thu 17-Oct-13 20:41:52

Oooh I am messy, believe me! I imagine a child would probably be less so (DH hopes so wink)

VeryStressedMum Thu 17-Oct-13 20:36:36

Think very carefully about going back to work as you may end up doing everything yourself. Can you afford to not work?
If my dh said that to me i wouldn't be working as I know what would be in store for me!!!

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