To ask how you think childcare/cleaning/shoppping/cooking should be split with SAHP?

(90 Posts)
dontrunwithscissors Sun 10-Jan-16 11:44:50

Here's some background so as not to drip-feed--not essential--you can jump to the next section:
- We have 2 DD's (6&8)
- DP used to work FT, earning £40kpa. The company was horrible. Full of bullies and very stressful. DP would go to work feeling sick at the bullying that was to come.
- DP was made redundant 6 months ago
- I work FT earning £42kpa.
- Before DP was made redundant, life was very stressful. He was in constant fear of being 'got rid of' so I did a very large chunk (70% ish) of childcare duties. The house was a constant tip. I'm an academic and the work is stressful in terms of constantly being told we're not doing well enough.
- I have a disability and the stress of all this kept making me ill. I've been hospitalised 3 times in the last 12 months. DP had to take time off unpaid to care for me. This just piled the stress on even more because housework etc had to be pushed to the side.
- In a sense, it was a relief for all of us when DP was made redundant. We decided DP would be a SAHP to reduce the stress. We can just manage this financially.

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How do you split housework and childcare with a SAHP and 1 working FT (40-45 hours)? I work from home 2 days a week. The other 3 days, I have to get the bus to work, which adds 1.75 hours on to the day.
- DP takes the kids and collects from school, runs errands (eg going to the bank), does all food shopping, washes some clothes, cleans the kitchen twice a week, sometimes does other tidying, feeds the kids tea and does my food if I will be back on time.
- Its 50/50 as to who puts the dishwasher on & washes the rest of the clothes.
- I do most of putting the kids to bed, except on a Monday when I have a yoga class.
- I do homework with the kids.
- I do a larger chunk of childcare on a weekend. I cook on a weekend.
- We both do the bathroom cleaning/putting clothes away/hoovering on a weekend.
- When I'm poorly, DP takes on all of this and very stressful role of caring for me.

How does this compare to other families?

Just in case anyone judges the reasoning behind this question: my concern is that I'm leaving DP to do too much & feel guilty.

formerbabe Sun 10-Jan-16 11:56:11

I'm a sahm and kids are at school.

I do all cleaning, shopping, cooking, washing and ironing. He will load and unload dishwasher occasionally and do bits and pieces but I reckon I do 90%.

If all dc are at school then I think the sahp should do most of the house stuff.

Obviously if there are babies or toddlers around the housework needs to be divided slightly differently.

UndramaticPause Sun 10-Jan-16 11:56:58

Imo the sahp does the housework during the week especially if the dc are school-age otherwise what are they doing with their time?!

Weekends should be split 50:50

Like you I have health issues and my dh encourages me to rest as much as I can on weekends (much to my annoyance. I like to be busy but that's another thread!)

AndNowItsSeven Sun 10-Jan-16 12:00:05

He should do everything mon to fri as kids are school age. All housework and laundry should be done during the week - he has thirty hours to do this. Then 50/50 at weekends.

Toystory4 Sun 10-Jan-16 12:00:24

My view is that a SAHP with kids at school should do the majority of the work in and relating the house. That is around 25 hours minimum a week to get things done when they are at school. Most household chores can be done in less than 25 hours.

I think it's a bit like working from home though. Hard to motivate yourself.

LeotardoDaVinci Sun 10-Jan-16 12:00:31

I am a sahm but do work pt from home around the kids - I bring in about 33% of our income at the moment. I do most of everything to do with home and children. Before I started work I did 100%. My dh believes in the cleaning fairy. It is a bone of contention - but when I was not earning I felt duty bound to do 100%.

StarlingMurmuration Sun 10-Jan-16 12:01:07

I think that, if the kids are at school, the SAHP should do the lion's share of the household duties when they're out of the house - so, the cleaning, the online shop, the laundry etc. If dinner is something that can be prepared in advance, do that. During the weekend, and in the evenings, I think everything should be shared, so putting the kids to bed etc shouldn't be solely the SAHP's task while the working parent sits on their arse.

If the children are a two-year-old and a newborn, then I think the SAHP's job is mainly looking after them, and doing bits of housework while the kids are napping, if that's possible.

wickedwaterwitch Sun 10-Jan-16 12:01:20

I think, given that the children are at school all day, I'd expect the SAHP to do all the cleaning and washing and most of the cooking during the week.

I'd expect bedtimes to be split equally all the time and I'd expect not too much to need doing at the weekend really.

I think childcare should be 50/50 at the weekend.

TracyBarlow Sun 10-Jan-16 12:06:28

If kids are at school, the majority of housework should be done by the SAHP during the week. I'd also expect an evening meal to be made and bags to be emptied and packed for the next day tbh. There shouldn't be anything left for the weekend except stuff like cleaning up after meals, general sweeping and the school uniform washed. That needs to be split 50/50.

BombadierFritz Sun 10-Jan-16 12:10:23

That sounds fine tbh
I'd probably expect him to be doing more homework stuff, either before you are home or 50:50 in the evening
Its nice that you do the evening putting to bed. You could always mix it up a bit with you doing a morning school run/him doing an evening bedtime on your working from home days, if you wanted a bit of balance

I work pt and do most stuff weekdays. Evenings and weekends we share eg cooking. I do too much imo

MillionToOneChances Sun 10-Jan-16 12:10:46

With a SAHP and school-aged children, I wouldn't expect the FT working parent (or either parent, actually) to have to do any cleaning or routine laundry at the weekend. There should be plenty of time to sort all that whilst the kids are at school, leaving relaxed family time at weekends to balance out the lower income.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 10-Jan-16 12:11:24

What Starling said.

When I read it I missed the ages of your kids and my instinct was "if they have a child / children at home all day he is probably doing too much, if both kids are at school then she is doing too much".

So there is your answer. No need for you to feel guilty.

If your illness is stress related then maybe if he takes on more then you will be ill less and that will make life easier for both of you. I would see "avoiding dontrun getting ill " as your top family priority. As if you get ill life gets much harder for everyone.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Sun 10-Jan-16 12:18:50

I too think the SAHP should do almost all the housework.

Dh works FT with a long commute, isn't back home until after 7. During the week I do everything apart from putting the kids to bed and the dog's last walk at night. We have 3 dc, 8, 6 and 4, a dog and 2 cats. I have a neurological illness which can cause fatigue and pain, so although I do all the housework it isn't always immaculate if I'm not feeling up to it.

At the weekends, dh tends to get up with the kids as he wakes earlier. He usually feeds us dinner, does food shopping and spends time with the children. I do still do housework but just the minimum so we have more family time.

Does your dp think he is doing too much? Tbh every family is different, and as long as you are both happy with how things are divided up, don't worry how 'fair' it appears from outside. The important thing is that you and dp and your dc are happy and get time to spend together.

MoMoTy Sun 10-Jan-16 12:36:40

I too agree that the sahp does almost all the housework. If the kids are at school there is really more than enough time to do everything.

IJustLostTheGame Sun 10-Jan-16 12:39:31

I am a sahm. I do everything.
DH will occasionally iron the odd pair of jeans

Fluffy24 Sun 10-Jan-16 12:43:01

I don't think that it should be about individual tasks but rather each partner had the same down time.

So while you are at work your DH should be 'working' too, whether that's cleaning, shopping, running errands or playing with the kids. If there is 'work' which he isn't able to do in his normal working day then you should both split it in the evening/weekend.

You both need the same amount of free time either in the evening or at weekends.

WineIsMyMainVice Sun 10-Jan-16 12:43:46

My rule of thumb is that both partners should have an equal amount of free time or child free time! As long as everything (or most) is getting done, and the above applies, then all is well.

dontrunwithscissors Sun 10-Jan-16 12:46:03

Many thanks. I don't think DH feels he's doing too much. He's still getting his head around how his work treated him; it was 10 years of hellish treatment. I think he's not sure 'who he is' right now. I'm feeling quite guilty over all of this--I think because he's partly doing this to help me recover my career from all the interruptions of being ill (with the hope of getting promotion). Also, to try to break the cycle of stress> illness >falling behind with work > not getting promoted.

It doesnt seem to be working as well as I thought it would. I still feel really stressed by home life, but can't figure out why. I'm wondering whether the halving of our income (and then stress of struggling financially) is just transferring the stress somewhere else.

It might come down to guilt on my part: On the days I'm in work, I feel bad walking out of the house at 7.45 to catch the bus to leave him to get the kids out the house. He tells me to just go and not worry about it. He also says to stay at work as late as a I want, but the guilt is def there on my part. I put the kids to bed on a night because I feel that he deserves some down-time. I think he's had a tougher day than me, although it does mean that I'm still not sitting down on a night until gone 9pm.

As I'm waffling away on here, I think this might be due to dealing with expectations of gender-roles. We're definitely a couple who don't think the man should be working and woman at home. However, maybe we're being influecned by this on an unconscious level.

I'm eternally grateful that he's doing this to help support me, but when I've said that to him, his initial response was to feel I was being condescending. (I explained more--I hope he understands that I feel he's doing 100% what I am & I wouldn't be able to try to progress in my work without him doing his 'job,')

dontrunwithscissors Sun 10-Jan-16 12:48:41

Sorry for that waffling.

I really don't know how to break out of my sense of guilt at stepping back from childcare. At the same time, I come back and the pots from braekfast are still on the table so I wonder whether I'm being unreasonable to think they could have been washed by 5pm. (This doesnt happen all the time, but DP says he's been so busy he didn't get around to it.)

AutumnLeavesArePretty Sun 10-Jan-16 12:50:58

I'd expect the non working parent to do everything week days, there should only really be cooking to do at weekend which should be split.

There's no way with a 6 & 8 year old and him doing a bit of housework his day is harder than an employee job.

Panicmode1 Sun 10-Jan-16 12:51:03

I am now a SAHM having been a WOHM until I had my fourth child. I do pretty much everything during the week - though DH empties the dishwasher in the morning and brings me tea before he jumps in the shower (he leaves the house at 7am, just as we are getting up for school, and doesn't get back until after 8 most nights). That is all the washing, shopping, cooking, cleaning, paperwork, school admin, homework, tidying, dog walking etc.

At the weekends it's mainly 50:50, but he tends to cook and does bedtimes with the children - to give me a break and because they all enjoy it. He also does stuff around the house that may need doing and I would say does more than his fair share at weekends because he knows that I do a huge amount of the domestic stuff and he also trains for triathlons/ironman competitions at weekends. However, he has a very stressful job and earns a six figure salary which allows me to stay home so I feel that it's my responsibility to do my 'job' during the week.

WickedWax Sun 10-Jan-16 12:53:55

When I was a SAHP I tried to get most of the washing, cleaning and shopping done to free up our weekends more.

Now I'm at home 2 days during the week (and work from home the other weekdays) I still manage to get most of the 'housework' done so our weekends are relaxed.

If I were your DH I'd probably be trying to make sure the hoovering and bathrooms were done by me during the week.

M48294Y Sun 10-Jan-16 12:55:57

God I find it depressing that so many women think that full-time working means a person should never have to do any domestic jobs.

What do people without a partner do? How on earth do they manage to get any shopping or laundry done outside their 40 hours at work.

Once again, a thread from the bloody 1950s.

DorotheaHomeAlone Sun 10-Jan-16 12:56:55

I agree with other posters that a sahp should be able to cover most of this if both kids are at school. 25 hours is a lot of time to clean up, food shop and do a bit of laundry. The guilt is almost certainly gender related.

DorotheaHomeAlone Sun 10-Jan-16 12:59:47

Not sure how you get out of gender related guilt though! Maybe talk to some men with sahp. Find out how much they do?

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