inspired by another thread.... SAHP/WOHP division of housework & childcare

(60 Posts)
42andcounting Thu 27-Feb-14 00:52:04

So, inspired by another thread.... if the employed parent is away five days out of seven (ie home at weekends only) and the SAHP does all childcare for a small baby during that time, what would you consider a reasonable split of housework overall, and childcare at weekends. Thought I'd take it to a new thread as the other was really about frequency of sex smile

HadABadDay2014 Thu 27-Feb-14 00:55:31

I think the bulk of the housework should be the stay at home parent. However if the parent or the child has a medical problem or disability this may be difficult and the parent who works out side the home should step up and support the SAHP more.

NinjaCow Thu 27-Feb-14 01:01:00

I would say most housework is for the SAHP. As long as you have equal or near equal leisure time, then however you get there. The working parent should try and give the SAHP more time out of the house on the weekends as with a baby, it can be suffocating not working, so the WOHP should do the childcare more often.

Hexbugsmakemeitch Thu 27-Feb-14 01:03:47

When I was a SAHM I did almost everything. Now I'm
Working we split it.

Sunnysummer Thu 27-Feb-14 02:31:17

It does depend on the baby - if our baby DS napped during the day for more than 30 minutes I'd likely have time to do most of the housework, but as he doesn't, I need to do most of the deep cleaning stuff on the weekends, so DH and I share it. Dusting, surfaces, most cooking etc is with me.

As said above, I think a lot is about getting equitable shares of leisure time. If the baby naps for 2-3 hours a day, or if they're at an age where they can play alone for a bit, then that time counts towards either some of the SAHP's leisure time, or alternatively time that they can use for doing household jobs. Same goes for evenings - if the baby still needs a lot of 'night parenting' then that has to count as work hours for whoever does it. This was my biggest challenge with DH in the early days, he didn't quite see that while we watched the film 'together' or had people over for dinner, I would also be either wearing the baby in a sling or popping in to resettle him every flipping half hour, so nights still felt very much on the clock!

Sid77 Thu 27-Feb-14 03:25:44

For those who think housework is for the SAHP... So, if you both work and send DC to a childminder, would you expect the childminder to be doing their housework while looking after your child?

MistressDeeCee Thu 27-Feb-14 04:46:07

Not sure about this one..SAHP is at home so seems reasonable to do most of the housework however, looking after children is a job in itself so theyve not got hours & hours at home to get housework done. Then again I feel being a parent and raising a child is just as time consuming and valid as any work done away from the home; I also dont think working outside the home exempts one from housework sharing etc so, I can't really differentiate.

MistressDeeCee Thu 27-Feb-14 04:46:58

Sid77 - good question re. childminder & housework...

PlainBrownEnvelope Thu 27-Feb-14 05:04:16

I think the principle should be equal leisure time, so if the baby is a clingy screamer who has to be carried/ engaged with all day, then that's a different case to if the baby happily lies on his/her playmat for 30 mins at a time, enabling you to get a wash on (I had one of each so I know there's a big difference in what you can get done. At weekends, Dh and I split it half a day each to ourselves and then one day we hang out as a family (roughly- sometimes we divide and conquer).

It wouldnt actually bother me that much if a childminder was doing some housework whilst also looking after my child. I dont believe that children require constant engagement beyond the first 6 months. I live overseas and my nanny/cleaner combines the two. The kids help her.

Is the 'away' parent doing 8 hour days then having a nice dinner, bath, glass of wine and rest in a hotel bed OR twelve hour days, rushed sandwich at desk, shitty bedsit? Is the baby at home a sleeper, biddable and quiet or a screaming, colicky, non-sleeping clinger? Makes a HUGE difference.

Since DH manages to do nothing while looking after DD, I feel he understands while I didn't while on maternity.

Suicidal5833 Thu 27-Feb-14 05:17:06

Normally I do all the housework through the week and we split 50/50 on the weekend.

MrsLion Thu 27-Feb-14 06:24:04

Sahp should do bulk of housework. It gets harder with multiple children but really with one child, doing both the housework and childcare is perfectly achievable in most situations.
Childcare and household duties should be split at the weekend.
I also wouldn't be too bothered if a child minder did housework. I have just gone back up to full time work and our nanny does light housework-laundry, vacuuming, unloading dishwasher etc. I expect her to.

maddening Thu 27-Feb-14 06:30:40

If the wohp worked away but spent their evenings in a hotel or flat then why wouldn't they help at weekends - at weekends it should be 50/50. If the wohp did 5 12 hour shifts at a hard job then they might need more rest.

surely it depends on what.the circumstances are for the wohp and the baby - if the baby waa a more challenging non sleeper then thw sahp may need more support.

maddening Thu 27-Feb-14 06:31:53

Ha should have read mrs terry pratchet's post - she puts it better than me!

littlemrssleepy Thu 27-Feb-14 06:38:49

When I was a SAHM I did the majority of the housework purely because I was there more. This seemed reasonable BUT once you go down this route to can be hard to break it if you go back to work. I'm now back at work but still found the majority (although have a cleaner which helps). I 'm home based so again it kinda makes sense as it's no problem for me to put washing in etc during the day, but I expect it might be the same if I was office based. It's not because my DH is a bastard - but the simple fact that I've largely done it for 3 years it just carries on.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 27-Feb-14 06:44:52

The thing about house work us that you have to be in the house to do it. So you can split admin tasks like sending Auntie Rita a birthday card or signing school permission slips, but you can't Hoover the lounge unless you are actually there. So I really don't understand why anyone would expect the WOHP to do as much as this ad someone who has far more opportunity.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 27-Feb-14 06:49:05

X- post with littlemisssleepy! I completely agree with her that once it becomes "your job" to do housework stuff, it's genuinely hard to re-adjust - for both parties. It isn't that your DP is being a bastard, but if he hasn't had to de-scale the shower head for some time, why would he start thinking about doing it now?!

janey68 Thu 27-Feb-14 07:08:17

When I was home on maternity leaves, and also when I only worked 3 days a week, I did the bulk of housework because I was around to do it. A lot of tasks can be done far more quickly and with less elbow grease than was the case 50 years ago so it doesn't need to be that difficult. Eg you can stick a load of washing in the machine and press the button, fold up laundry, run a Hoover round quickly, and even things like shopping can either be done on line or in one supermarket shop, whereas our grandparents would have been trailing round multiple small shops to get the shopping. Likewise with paying bills... Stick things on direct debit and its done.

When I returned to work, we split things.

We used a childminder when i first returned to work, and tbh most people choose a cm precisely because they want a normal family atmosphere, so I wouldn't have batted an eyelid at her stacking the dishwasher or tidying around. As long as the main focus is on the children, and their experience isn't being compromised then why would it be a problem?

PhilomenaCunk Thu 27-Feb-14 07:17:24

Yes, I would expect my childminder to do some housework and now we have a nanny she does child-related housework (makes meals, clears up afterwards, ensures toys are tidied, etc). Having said that if one of the DC were unwell or she had taken them out somewhere I wouldn't expect that to have been done.

I've been a SAHP and now work very long hours four days per week. I do very little housework on my WOH days (maybe stack dishwasher, put on laundry etc) but we split stuff roughly 50/50 overall, with me doing more on my non-working day and weekend.

DarlingGrace Thu 27-Feb-14 07:30:08

The H is in home for a reason. It is the SAHP task to beep the ship running (large DIY chore excepted of course).

Only in the world of Mumsnet is the SAHP having a complete hissy, having spent the day at baby ballet and coffee mornings, to expect her highly professional works 14 hours a day DH to come home and peel the blood y spuds and wave the bog brush round.

mousmous Thu 27-Feb-14 07:41:00

darling are you for real?

lanbro Thu 27-Feb-14 07:44:37

I'm a SAHM and my dh works at least 6 days a week, sometimes 7. I do all the housework including shopping and finances and all the childcare for two under 2s. Dh often cooks the evening meal but I don't expect much more other than to pick up after himself! I don't do housework in the evenings so we can spend time together.

Artandco Thu 27-Feb-14 07:47:06

No I don't think they should 'clean'. In our house whoever is home with children would do the daily basics load dishwasher/ put a wash on/ make beds

However all main things are done together in the eve or weekends. And cleaner comes once a week and changes beds, hoovers and mops and deep cleans kitchen and bathroom

We always cook together usually also

Bonsoir Thu 27-Feb-14 07:47:57

I think that a SAHP ought to get the bulk of the housework done (which can include outsourcing) during the week but that doesn't mean that the WOHP has the right to behave as if he/she lives in a fully-serviced hotel!

Glitterfeet Thu 27-Feb-14 07:59:33

During the week the sahp would do the bulk of the housework andd admin to keep things running and hygienic. At the weekends the childcare and general clearing up should be shared 50/50.

At the weekends I expected my husband to be able to think about the children's needs as much as me. He knew that we need to eat and that this may require some prep. If there were loads of crumbs on the floor after a meal he has eyes and knows where the broom is. If he's tired of stepping on Lego he has a mouth and is quite capable of shouting at the nearest child.

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