SAHD who doesn't do housework?

(237 Posts)
bushymcbush Fri 16-Sep-11 16:54:49

My DH looks after our DD (3yo) full time and I work (stressful and tiring job) full time.

Now, I know his job is looking after DD but I know when I did that job, I looked after the house too. It wasn't perfect but I tried to keep on top of the basics.

A year into our arrangement and his levels of housework are at an all time low.

He does cook almost every evening, and usually makes attempts to keep the kitchen tidy (not clean), but that's it.

The washing is constantly spilling out of the basket or sitting in clean baskets un sorted.

The carpets and floors are filthy.

The bathroom is filthy.

The house smells.

I often get home from work to find lunch and / or breakfast things all over the table still, DD watching TV and the dog unwalked.

AIBU to expect more?

QOD Fri 16-Sep-11 16:55:33

hth x

Georgimama Fri 16-Sep-11 16:56:49

Nope. Looking after one 3 year old is not a full time occupation. He should be doing more.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 16-Sep-11 16:56:58

YANBU, an adult who doesnt work so is home should do the bulk of the housework.

However, the majority of MN believes the SAHP is there purely to look after the child and that the housework is not part of that role if you search other similar posts.

BootyMum Fri 16-Sep-11 16:58:06

This would drive me nuts!

Can your husband explain or justify why no housework is done?

If he has valid reasons, have you enough money for a cleaner instead?

NotFromConcentrate Fri 16-Sep-11 16:58:06


DH and I both work full time, but with different days off thank God , and it's a kind of unwritten rule that whoever is at home also does the washing up laundry etc. When he was a SAHD he did the majority of the HW and I helped out in the evenings/bathed the kids etc. When I was on ML, I did most of it.

Doesn't stop him ringing me at work and asking me what's for dinner though...

AmberLeaf Fri 16-Sep-11 17:00:59

That is taking the piss.

hayleysd Fri 16-Sep-11 17:02:27

If he's like my dp he is incapable of multitasking so can only cope with the dc's, I am a Childminder and manage to keep the house tidy with washing up etc done and look after 6 kids! I hate it when he's here alone as I come back to a total tip that takes me ages to clean up!

DH is is a SAHD and he does a fair amount of the housework. Yesterday, for example, floors were mopped and beds changed and washed as well as dinner cooked.

He has a bit of a blind spot when it comes to ironing but don't we all wink.

Your DH is not doing his "job". Actually, my DH went through a bit of a phase of leaving the bulk of the work for me until I pointed out that my job was in the office and his job was in the house i.e. its not a doss at home its work with the same status as mine.

diddl Fri 16-Sep-11 17:03:57

Sounds awful.

And poor dog!

porcamiseria Fri 16-Sep-11 17:04:09

my DP is similar (SAHD too), but he has 2 little ones and is a bit better than yours! sorry!

you have 2 options

nag and row
or get a cleaner

look just get a cleaner, really! I dont think some men "get" housework, you can flame me all you like but its true!!!!
you shoukd have married a nice OCD virgo

Proudnscary Fri 16-Sep-11 17:04:37

If this was a man posting about his wife, there'd be outrage etc blah de blah etc

Harecare Fri 16-Sep-11 17:04:50

If he is at home he is the household manager. His job is to look after the house and ensure your DC is safe, happy and stimulated. There is always a 2 hour lull in our house 1 - 3 giving plenty of time for chores. Does he realise it's part of his job?

bearhug Fri 16-Sep-11 17:05:15

YANBU but: My DP also says that looking after our 3 yo DS is his job, and that this does not mean he is also a housewife. He does do washing, dishwasher + tidying up, but draws the line at scrubbing bathrooms. For everyone's sanity, we now have a cleaner for a couple of hours a week. Phew!

bushymcbush Fri 16-Sep-11 17:05:58

I don't know how to talk to him about this without sounding like a nag.

bushymcbush Fri 16-Sep-11 17:08:47

We can't afford a cleaner.

diddl Fri 16-Sep-11 17:08:56

Is he actually playing with/entertaining/occupying your son all day?

There´s usually time to do something around the house!

Perhaps when you get in you can say "I´ll look after our son whilst you whizz round with the hoover, clean the bathroom, wash up..."

eurochick Fri 16-Sep-11 17:09:07

I don't think you are being unreasonable. If I was at home, i would expect to do the housework, just as my mum did.

Is there any way you can afford a cleaner?

ENormaSnob Fri 16-Sep-11 17:09:32

Yanbu at all.

I would say the same about a female sahp.

ChunkyPickle Fri 16-Sep-11 17:09:44

YAB a little U if you're expecting him to do all the housework.

We've now tried it both ways - partner working with me at home, and me working with DP at home and in both cases we share housework.

Ours is now 1 year old, and whilst you can probably get a load of washing on, the moment you try to fold it he's there pulling it back into the basket helping. Lunch is taken on the run while helping him get some in, he'll play a bit on his own, but not for long enough for you to really get much done (and if you try to do something like the dishwasher he'll be in there helping again)

When he has a nap, it's the only break that DP (or I) get, and so doing housework takes a back burner (after all, the working partner gets tea/lunch breaks).

On the whole, we both find being in work much easier than being at home, and so don't begrudge splitting the housework down the middle...

bushymcbush Fri 16-Sep-11 17:12:32

I have actually told him before that I don't care how dirty the house is as long as he and DD are out and about having loads of fun. But they mostly don't go anywhere. He spends a lot of time on the computer and on his iPhone - games, facebook, twitter, sports pages, news ...

Portofino Fri 16-Sep-11 17:13:06

porca - I married an ocd virgo - he is fab around the house. He does get stressed if the place is untidy though.....

The way I look at it though, is that you should both have the same amount of downtime. You maybe need to sit with him and ask how he manages his day and agree on roles and responsibilities.

PenguinArmy Fri 16-Sep-11 17:13:37

it's hard to say and most situations are unique. DH generally didn't do loads of housework, but if something needed doing I was able to say if you get a chance can you have a go at...

The only job that was his was the washing, oh and the shopping but we lived right near a supermarket. We then tried to do a 50:50 arrangement when we were both at home. He tended to do more as I had a stressful job and often did overtime. Nights I worked late, he would then do it all. We'd start each day fresh as it were i.e. all washing up done, living room tidy etc. However, he wasn't able to do things to 'my standard' and it wasn't him not trying (I've seen his mums housework). I tended to let him tackle the surface stuff and I would deep clean.

Depends on his whole attitude in general though. Does he agree in principle, do you do it all when you're in...

In principle I don't believe the SAHP automatically does any housework (and I am now the SAHP for a while)

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 16-Sep-11 17:13:42

He's dd's carer not your cleaner. He should clean up after the mess he makes in the day though and the proper scrubbing stuff should be shared equally.

You get a lunch break so he should get some time to himself too. If he has any downtime with the 3 year old it doesnt have to be spent cleaning!

Portofino Fri 16-Sep-11 17:14:07

He needs to treat this as a job in other words.

Portofino Fri 16-Sep-11 17:16:05

I have actually worked from home with a 3 yo and done a full day's PAID work. Feck off can he not squeeze in a bit of housework. This is what cBeebies was invented for.

ENormaSnob Fri 16-Sep-11 17:16:13

He's on the computer most of the time?

If this were my dh I'd be telling him to get a paid job.

He's takin the piss IMO

bushymcbush Fri 16-Sep-11 17:16:35

Chunkypickle, if my DD was only 1 I would totally agree with you. But 3yo don't need the constant supervision any more and they are much better at 'helping' with household tasks.

Yet when my dd was 1 I was the SAHP and I still managed to whip round with the Hoover every day.

StopRainingPlease Fri 16-Sep-11 17:16:47

What's he doing while DD is watching TV? An opportunity for a clear-up surely?

porcamiseria Fri 16-Sep-11 17:17:26

thats true what southernfried tofu says

maybe have a chat, dont demand he does all but ask realistically could he

wipe floors
tidy a bit

try and understand why he does not, time or inclination

its hard

Fizzylemonade Fri 16-Sep-11 17:18:00

I think it is a matter of getting into a routine. I am a SAHM and if you do 5 mins at a time on a task you get a lot done rather than let it build up.

For example straight after breakfast in our house the dishes are cleared from the table and put into the dishwasher. It takes 2 minutes and teaches a child that this is what we do with dishes.

If they are to be washed up by hand then I would run the hot water into the sink whilst making breakfast, then I can wash up immediately afterwards. Children love "helping" to wash up, so I would let me son clean the already clean dishes at the end.

Spending a lot of time doing a task is hard with a little one but wiping over a bathroom daily takes minutes.

Some people, male or female, don't like cleaning or tidying. You either need to offer to help with things, to point out that things haven't been done or suggest you get a cleaner.

porcamiseria Fri 16-Sep-11 17:18:06

can you not even find a tenner a week for a cleaner????? just for an hour??? its worth it

stepawayfromtheecclescakes Fri 16-Sep-11 17:18:08

in that case he needs to pull his finger out, you need to say that the place is smelling and its no fun coming home to breakfast stuff fgs draw up a weekly list of chores and discuss who does what, be reasonable but if he is at home the least he should be doing is looking after the dog, laundry, cleaning etc whilst you could do shopping clearing up after dinner just be clear that you both need to be responsible for your home but the SAHP does the bulk. nag if thats what it takes, but you have to talk soon.

bushymcbush Fri 16-Sep-11 17:18:12

He's playing on his iPhone or computer while she watches tv usually.

camdancer Fri 16-Sep-11 17:18:14

It depends a lot on how the work is split when you get home and also what he does all day. I'm a SAHM but was out of the house from 8:45 until after 4. I've not done much.

Actually, no it doesn't. (Sorry, thinking while typing.) He is looking after a 3 year old. He can keep things at least basically clean. She can help. My DC's love helping with cleaning. Unless he is doing some amazing stuff with your DD, then he should sort himself out and get on with it.

Do you split the chores once you are home, or does he think that you are the housework fairy and it'll all just magically get done? I absolutely don't get this "men don't do housework" crap.

"He spends a lot of time on the computer and on his iPhone"

You're going to need to start a conversation.

bushymcbush Fri 16-Sep-11 17:18:56

Really, no money for a cleaner.

CeliaFate Fri 16-Sep-11 17:19:17

You need to discuss it as a joint problem. Say you're unhappy with the state of the house and between you work out a timetable of jobs and who does what.

PenguinArmy Fri 16-Sep-11 17:19:33

well then that's a separate issue.

we shouldn't do housework because he's not parenting, he should be spending more proper time with her says the person who's on MN

AuntieMonica Fri 16-Sep-11 17:19:50

if your DS is 3yrs old, is he entitled to some free hours at a nursery now?

you could suggest this as a way to 'free up' some time for DH to run the vacuum about and do he dishes

but i agree, if this was a thread about a woman at home, there would be a lot of very different posts

stepawayfromtheecclescakes Fri 16-Sep-11 17:21:04

evn more so then as he is hardly looking after her if he plonks her in front of the TV all day while he does his own thing! what about looking for a nursery place a day a week so she gets to do something else and he has time to drag himself off the pc do housework

Bootcamp Fri 16-Sep-11 17:21:32

Yabu. Sorry but sahp job is your child. Imvho if you want housework done to certain standard, perhaps swop roles. I don't think getting a cleaner will make much difference unless they come in everyday and do washing up, laundry etc.

Bootcamp Fri 16-Sep-11 17:22:03

Yanbu re the dog.

AuntieMonica Fri 16-Sep-11 17:22:21

apols to OP's DD blush not DS

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 16-Sep-11 17:22:58

You're going to need to start a conversation.

Why because a SAHP spends time online?? Um I hate to mention it to you but um.. mumsnet would implode if all the SAHP's had to gt off the internet

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 16-Sep-11 17:24:39


No child of 3 needs constant stimulation/attention, and if he's at home then it's his job to keep the place tidy. Very easy to fit that in a whole day.

bushymcbush Fri 16-Sep-11 17:24:48

I clean at weekends and holidays and he lets me do it. If I bang about enough he sometimes stands helplessly and says "what do you want me to do?" or I say something like "the house is filthy, do you want to do the bathroom or the bedrooms?" and then he will do it. But not when I'm not here.

AbbyAbsinthe Fri 16-Sep-11 17:24:56

SouthernFriedTofu - she's hardly expecting him to be her cleaner! They all live in the house...

Why should she come home to a shithole when he's been playing computer games half the day?

Whoever is the SAHP should do the lion's share of the housework, that's just how it is, regardless of gender.

I have some experience of this - I am currently getting divorced as a result....

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 16-Sep-11 17:25:10

As I've told dh if I had a 5 year old in school every day I'd probably have some tidying done. But at the moment dd wants to be sitting on me or touching me at all times during the day... fine for faffing on the internet but I really have a hard time cleaning or she cries non stop

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 16-Sep-11 17:27:02


I said she shoudl expect him to clean the mess he has made (so whatever he has done he should tidy), but he doesn't have to be on his knees scrubbing all day too. Btw your post implies you are divorcing your husband for not cleaning enough.

AbbyAbsinthe Fri 16-Sep-11 17:29:02

Hahaha!! No, not really. But he was SAHP for 3 years, and barely dragged his eyes off the XBox, so it definitely contributed to the breakdown of our marriage.

Bootcamp Fri 16-Sep-11 17:30:08

Sahp aren't househusband/wifes.

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 16-Sep-11 17:31:48

Hahaha!! No, not really. But he was SAHP for 3 years, and barely dragged his eyes off the XBox, so it definitely contributed to the breakdown of our marriage.

I did hope! grin

PenguinArmy Fri 16-Sep-11 17:31:49

still sounds like the cleaning isn't the issue per se

and still firmly on SAHP does not mean lions share. More in most cases yes because practically you tend to make mess or can clean a bit as you go, but not the working parent doing a minority and not the expectation.

PonceyMcPonce Fri 16-Sep-11 17:32:52

Hmm, not wishing to sound mean, but he is an adult. Who does he think should clean the house if not the adults who live in it?

If breakfast things are still on table, how has the dc had lunch and dinner? How can he do food prep with dc to learn and talk?

Does he go to toddler groups? Swimming? To the park? To the supermarket? To play with friends or family? Surely these sorts of things are part of a 3yo day and routines flow from them?

I think you have layabout who prevents your 3yo from getting into trouble while he plays on a computer!

Bluegrass Fri 16-Sep-11 17:34:57

Am loving the difference between this thread and those in which a SAHM is being told by her DH that cleaning is part of her " job" (or indeed the "AIBU to spend all day on MN while the DC's play on the floor" type threads)!

bushymcbush Fri 16-Sep-11 17:36:04

I don't know if he plonks her in front of the TV all day. It's usually on when I get home. I ask what they've been doing (in an interested way) and usually get a vague response. They do occasionally go out into town or to meet a friend.

Re nursery, she has just started 2.5 days this week. Both days he dropped her off and went straight over to his mate's place to help him decorate. I picked her up from nursery and got home to filth, breakfast things and unwalked dog. Both days. Last night he came home way after dd and i had gone to bed. Tonight he's not back yet and i havent heard ftom him, so who knows ...

It's kind of what prompted this thread, but as it's a favour for a mate I'm trying to see it as a one off.

In the future he's supposed to be getting work (supply teaching) when dd is at nursery but he hasn't registered with an agency yet. If he does get work we might be able to afford £10 a week on a cleaner, although I really wonder how much of a dint such a small amount of cleaner time could make in our house.

belgo Fri 16-Sep-11 17:36:26

YANBU. Children this age find it great fun to help with the housework - you can get them hoovering, sweeping, wiping things clean, mixing up food for dinner.

It does take organisation - I made a list this morning of everything I needed to get down, otherwise I forget.

minipie Fri 16-Sep-11 17:36:27

IMO it depends on how much time looking after your DC is taking him.

It may be that he genuinely struggles to look after your DD and is spending most of the day running around after her. If so then YABU and perhaps you could give him some tips on managing her.

Or it may be that it only takes him a few hours to look after DD and he's spending the rest of the time on the internet. If so then YANBU, he should be spending the extra time either with DD or doing things that benefit the whole family (i.e. housework). Not fair that you work FT and he doesn't.

aStarInStrangeways Fri 16-Sep-11 17:38:34

"Why because a SAHP spends time online?? Um I hate to mention it to you but um.. mumsnet would implode if all the SAHP's had to gt off the internet."

the two aren't mutually exclusive though. i'm currently a SAHP and i've been on mumsnet a fair bit today, but i've also managed to play with DS, look after baby DD as well as wash up, do washing, vacuum etc.

i don't see it as my job to deep clean to exacting standards, but staying on top of things is just common sense. because otherwise the house mings, and since i'm the one that spends most time in it that would impact on my quality of life grin

TheBolter Fri 16-Sep-11 17:39:25

Exactly, Bluegrass. The hypocrisy on this one is hilarious!

minipie Fri 16-Sep-11 17:40:02

Just saw your post saying she's at nursery 2.5 days a week (just started).

Definitely time for a conversation about what he plans to do with that time.

minipie Fri 16-Sep-11 17:42:02

Bluegrass and Bolter I've seen plenty of posts on MN saying that cleaning is part of a SAHM's job - if she has time to spare after looking after the DCs, which will all depend on how many DCs/what ages/what needs etc. Seems pretty clear here that the SAHD does have time to spare.

PonceyMcPonce Fri 16-Sep-11 17:42:13

Not hypocritical.
I did not greet DH with lavendar scented shirts, but nor did he come home to manky food waste.

There is a difference.

I fail to see how he doesn't have time to clear up after breakfast, walk the dog etc.
I do expect my DH to keep the place reasonably tidy whilst I am at work and I really resented when he used to sit down and watch telly in the evenings after the kids had gone to bed whilst I was still doing housework (Note- I get up before him with the kids and do the morning school run).

We usually try to blitz the place in an hour or two on Sat or Sun morning so we both have the weekend free.

Bluegrass Fri 16-Sep-11 17:48:48

Is it clear miniepie? The other favourite when a guy posts is "we are only hearing one side of the story, what would your DW say about how her day is spent"!

PenguinArmy Fri 16-Sep-11 17:50:44

well the nursery certainly changes thing. If childless and jobless for a few days a week (not counting weekends) then I do think housework automatically comes into it.

Bluegrass and Bolter when DS2 was at nursery every afternoon for 3 hrs I think I was reasonable to expect my DH to do some housework as part of his "job" as he was not doing the parenting bit at that time. That doesn't mean he should do three hours cleaning but tidying up the mess that he and DS2 had made is not unreasonable (rather than leaving it for me when I had already done 12 hrs without a break from the kids getting up, school run then work).

happyhorse Fri 16-Sep-11 17:52:37

Well as a SAHM and a bit of a slattern I was prepared to say that you were being unreasonable, but actually it sounds like he's taking the piss a bit if he can't even bung a bit of washing in the machine and whizz round the bathroom with a Flash wipe.

Yama Fri 16-Sep-11 17:53:51

I think all adults living in a household should share the housework. Discussion, and agreement is needed.

Not much help am I? wink

KD0706 Fri 16-Sep-11 17:55:39

I am a SAHM. I consider myself fairly rubbish as far as housework goes, certainly not stepford wives variety.
But I always make sure clothes are washed and out away and the kitchen is cleaned, dishes put away etc. I shove the Hoover around when needed, usually a few times a week and give the bathroom a quick wipe probably similarly often.

I wouldn't be happy if DH was expecting a pristine house when he got home. I do consider that my job is taking care of DD and not housework. But still I think YANBU as you're just asking for basics from your DH.

The point is even more blatant since your dd started nursery. If my dd was out at nursery 2.5 days a week and I was still at home full time I think I would consider housework part of my job.

Bootcamp Fri 16-Sep-11 17:57:37

Tbf since dd is at nursery he could spend 3 hours one day a week doing a good going over of house, that's what I choose to when my 3 are out. However, I wouldn't even try to do more than the basic basics with my 2 year old in tow. Am a slattern.

CaptainMartinCrieff Fri 16-Sep-11 17:58:30

I'm detecting some serious double standards here. smile

MrGin Fri 16-Sep-11 17:59:05

My best friend is a SAHD and he does all of the things your XP isn't.


Bootcamp Fri 16-Sep-11 18:01:08

Also would be horrified if dh expected the house to be spotless when he gets home just as he would be horrified if I asked him to do proper cleaning.

ImNotMyselfToday Fri 16-Sep-11 18:01:09

YANBU - my DH was SAHP with three DCs. He said that looking after DCs and doing the housework was his job. At weekends we shared housework but the majority was done in the week.

Why on earth can he not do the laundry? I take it you dont demand that he goes down to the river and beat it on rocks? Sort laundry into colours, put load into washing machine, add soap, switch on. Go back to whatever he was doing.

Sorry, it sounds like he should be getting back to work though how he will manage with such a lazy attitude I dont know.

MerylStrop Fri 16-Sep-11 18:01:44

YANBU to expect more
Not, maybe for him to do it all - but to bung a washload on every day, and clean up after himself and dd as he goes along
DH and I run our own business and share that and the childcare. Whoever is at home with the kids makes sure at least that the house is not in a worse state at the end of the day than it was at the beginning. The bigger jobs get shared between us at the weekends.
Is it possible that he might be a bit depressed?

ImNotMyselfToday Fri 16-Sep-11 18:04:37

If he isnt doing the housework then what on earth does he do all day? This from my DH BTW!

nomoreheels Fri 16-Sep-11 18:05:25

I have a 4 month old DD who is teething & is a fairly velcro baby, & I manage to keep on top of things most of the time. But I loathe living in mess, & I love getting the front room all nice & clean with fresh flowers etc so I can relax in pleasant surroundings once she's in bed. Your DP sounds like he isn't bothered. He actually sounds like his outlook is a bit 'student hovel' from the way you described him. It's fine to plonk DCs in front of cbeebies for a break, but if he has that much time to fritter away on gaming etc then he has time to do at least the basics which would take no more than an hour or so over the day.

If I had 2.5 days of child free time a week & I wasn't earning, I would spend at least a good chunk of that blitzing for a good few hours, rather than the 20 mins here & there I have to do now because of DD not wanting me to be out of her sight. Because that's what you do as a partnership to keep things ticking along.

You sound perfectly happy to help with stuff at weekends & a bit in the evening, & that's fair.

I wish my DP did more at weekends & in the evenings, though he has been good about helping her with bath/bed routine & sorting out her bottles. He usually needs to be told what to do & then will, but he rarely springs to action unprompted. Although once in a while he will scrub a room top to bottom & does an ace job, so I know he's capable. He has admitted he's just lazy.

CailinDana Fri 16-Sep-11 18:06:17

I'm rather tickled by this thread. I started a thread recently where I asked WIBU not to do my DH's washing. I am a SAHM and I do practically all the housework, apart from DH's washing. I was told I was unloving, selfish, petty, mean, a bad wife, neglecting my children (not sure where that came from really), about to be abandoned, underwear phobic (really weird one), odd etc etc etc. It was basically assumed that I should be doing all the work in the house that doing it was an act of love So, applying mumsnet standards I think you should tell your DH he absolutely has to wash your knickers or you'll be giving him his marching orders.

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 16-Sep-11 18:08:19

nomoreheels a 4 month old is much easier to store while you clean that a 3 year old.

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 16-Sep-11 18:08:53


TheBolter Fri 16-Sep-11 18:09:06

There is no reason why a SAHP cannot bung some washing in the machine and keep the house in order. SN aside, looking after children is that all-encompassing... and I say that as a former SAHM who managed to keep on top of things even when the dds were newborn and one.

TheBolter Fri 16-Sep-11 18:09:40

not that all-encompassing

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 16-Sep-11 18:09:53

CailinDana mumsnet is weird in gneral about underwear

TotemPole Fri 16-Sep-11 18:10:14

Both days he dropped her off and went straight over to his mate's place to help him decorate.

Your home should take priority over a mate's. Do you think it's all getting too much so he's escaping? You could suggest after they've finished decorating his mate comes round to yours to help him tidy up.

Or you could come up with a schedule for you both to get the place cleaned up. If you help him he might be better at keeping on top of it day to day. Then give him a weekly rota to stick to, suggest what's easier to do when your DD is around. At that age they like helping with changing beds, sorting laundry etc. But also plan for relaxation time for you both.

CailinDana Fri 16-Sep-11 18:10:16

haha really tofu?

Bootcamp Fri 16-Sep-11 18:13:04

Not sure about 4 month old being easier to store?

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 16-Sep-11 18:15:36

oh god yes, for intresting reading see here

MardyArsedMidlander Fri 16-Sep-11 18:15:45

To be frank- if he's not doing the housework and he's not actively looking after the child (ie plonking her in front of the TV) he might as well go back to work so you can pay for a nursery and a cleaner.

LadyGrace Fri 16-Sep-11 18:21:01

Do you have any kind of routine for cleaning stuff, OP?

You could agree a very basic list eg

Every day-empty dishwasher am
fill dishwasher during day, run in the evening
Wipe kitchen surfaces
Put away toys
Make bed
Clothes wash if there's enough for a full load

Monday Change beds and wash bedding,
Tues Change and wash towels and teatowels
Weds Quick clean bathroom and downstairs loo
Thurs Chuck out any spare papers/magazines/file paperwork
Fri Quick whizz round living room picking stuff up and putting away

I'd make that less than 30 mins of housework a day, and it would make your house a much nicer place to be in.

I don't think a SAHP is a full time cleaner, but I don't think ^ that is asking too much!

CailinDana I don't think its reasonable to expect a SAHP to be solely responsible for the housework (and the younger the child the less reasonable it is) and if you don't want to wash your DH's stuff that's up to you. I would never expect DH to do my ironing nor would I expect him to cook a non meat meal for me if he has cooked a meaty meal for himself and the kids (its my choice not to eat meat so I can sort it).

Underwear phobic is bizarre, having said that I am probably a bit phobic about DH's socks as at times they could walk to the machine themselves.

I think most of us are only talking about the basic basics being done and the OP's DH isn't doing those.

camdancer Fri 16-Sep-11 18:22:17

I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt. I just didn't know where to start. My house was a state but there was so much to do, it was overwhelming. So I tried flylady (again) and it really worked. It gave me small tasks to do rather than just "tidy, sort and clean the house".

(But I do think that if he isn't actually doing childcare either, he is just being lazy.)

aldiwhore Fri 16-Sep-11 18:24:48

Would you expect a childminder to do the laundry?

He's a SAHD not a househusband/cleaner.

I clear up as I go along, and along with providing entertainment and activities for a 3 year old that's all I fit in. Even something so simple as stripping a bed takes 3846493x longer when you've a 3 yr old who wants to make a game of it - and I ALLOW them to make a game of it. That's what I'm there for.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Fri 16-Sep-11 18:28:40

He is being a lazy arse ......

ImNotMyselfToday Fri 16-Sep-11 18:30:42

I would expect my childminder to keep on top of his/her own cleaning and wouldnt (didnt) have an issue with it being done during 'office hours'. OPs DH is a SAHP not a children's entertainer. He should be capable of keeping child entertained and house cleanish & tidyish. I think he is just bone idle.

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 16-Sep-11 18:32:02

Bootcamp a 4 month old can be "stored" pretty much anywhere safe, pop them in a crib, leave them on a play mat. A 3 year old needs to be interacted with and more attention payed.

nomoreheels Fri 16-Sep-11 18:32:06

I appreciate that toddlers are tricky, but my baby is not easy to store, that's for sure. If I'm lucky she will sit in her bouncy chair & watch for 15 mins while I do something. I used to manage a bit of housework with her in a sling, but she's getting a bit heavy now. But mostly she wants to be held & wants me to focus on her - if I don't, the hollering starts! She also hardly naps, ever. I do 18 hour days with her overall as she wakes several times a night. I am tired. And yet I can still manage a reasonably tidy house (am not talking perfect & sparkling, just tidy) because I think it's important.

warthog Fri 16-Sep-11 18:32:53


he's a lazy arse.

nomoreheels Fri 16-Sep-11 18:35:20

If I popped her in a crib she would scream and work herself up into a state. I'm not going to do that to her. She's definitely not an 'angel' baby (a la baby whisperer) - I wish! Thankfully her bedtime routine is at least working well now. I'd have gone insane if it wasn't.

Bootcamp Fri 16-Sep-11 18:37:07

Southern, disagree my babies have all wanted me pretty much all the time and couldn't get the hang of slings. My 2 older dd who are past 3 could have been coaxed to help or Cheshire used where as I could never just leave a baby and et on with it.

Bootcamp Fri 16-Sep-11 18:38:45

Cbeebies obviously.

OriginalPoster Fri 16-Sep-11 18:45:18

Maybe he is not enjoying being at home and is not bothering due to low mood. He might be happier if he managed to get back into work. Have you discussed this.

Robotindisguise Fri 16-Sep-11 18:54:11

He's taking the piss. Sorry. I work p-t and would bloody love a second to myself of me-time, let alone two and a half days! He can go back to work in that time if he's going to arse about.

People who claim you can "store" babies were either very lucky or don't remember. My toddler is easy peasy now compared to when she was a refluxy, scream if you left her 4 month old

defineme Fri 16-Sep-11 18:54:19

THose of you that can't keep up with basic housework with a toddler-who exactly is in charge in your house?
At one point when I was a sahm I had 3 under 3 and my eldest is autistic, I'm no super woman, but I did the basics and played with them/went out with them. You do get quicker over time. I suppose if you have just the one they have no one to play with but you, but then you start them off on something and then get on with it. Not all day obviously, but 15 minutes here and there adds up to a cleanish house most days. Dh always got stuck in when he got home too, but the house was never a tip when he got home.
Head downand get on with it is my motto.
Now they're at school and I have day and half off work I find it very hard to get motivated. I need the 2 episodes of peppa pig limit to get me speed cleaning!

Hardgoing Fri 16-Sep-11 18:56:59

This is one reason my husband is no longer a SAHD. No-one expects a spotless house, but dirty dishes from breakfast, no clean plates and no washing done, it's ridiculous. And as for all the 'my job is the child', I actually think that's an unhealthy amount of one-on-one time if you can't fit in loading the dishwasher with a three year old present.

CheerfulYank Fri 16-Sep-11 19:01:51


Tell him to get on Mumsnet and join us on the FlyLady threads. smile

I am home all summer and from noon on every weekday the rest of the year. I do all the washing and general tidying. DH works 12 hours a day and does bath and bed. We split things on weekends. Once a week he's home from 10:30 to noon because he picks DS up from preschool, and he does lunch (has mine waiting for me when I get home) and does the lunch dishes.

If our positions were reversed I'd expect him to keep the house fairly tidy, and I expect to do the same since I work outside of the home one third of what he does. It doesn't always get done, but it's not asking too much to run over things with a damp rag or bung a load of washing in. DS is four now and is expected to help too.

I'd say the same thing to either parent who stayed at home, be they SAHM or SAHD.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 16-Sep-11 19:04:59

I think he's being lazy and I would say that to a woman too.

The priority of a sahp is to look after the children, but I think it is also to do whatever needs doing during the day. That means keeping the house relatively clean and doing necessary admin for the smooth running of the home. The children's environment should be hygienic. Surely it's a matter of self respect and personal pride to not want to live and raise a child in a filthy house.

Now I don't think a wohp should expect their partner to do all their personal things. I do quite a lot for my dh because he works hard. I don't mind doing what I can to make his life easier. If he demanded or expected it, it would cease. I've also now made a point of getting dh to pull his weight when he isn't working. That strikes me as fair. When wohp gets home, jobs should be split.

Even if you take a view that it should all be split exactly 50/50, your husband isn't even doing that. I dip in and out of here quite a lot during the day, but my house is vacuumed most days, laundry done, kitchen and bathroom cleaned and washing up done. I also cook every day for the dc and make packed lunches etc. I did these things when I had small dc at home and still managed to play with them and do nice activities.

I am no supermum/1950's style housewife, but just doing those basic things didn't take that long and still gave me some time to dip in and out of here.

noblegiraffe Fri 16-Sep-11 19:08:11

Those of you who are saying that a three year old needs attention - they can and should also be able to entertain themselves for a bit. I've been home with a two year old for 3 hours today and I've tidied up a bit, sorted the bins, done a load of washing, taken him for a walk to the shops and to the park and spent some time on the internet. What's he doing all day??

minxofmancunia Fri 16-Sep-11 19:08:25

My dh does very little when he's with the dcs...drives me bonkers. If he gets up on a weekedn morning with them, it's carnage...dirty breakfast things everywhere. He'll have allowed ds to carry toast into the living room scattering crumbs everywhere. Dishwasher unemptied and pyjamas and dressing up clothes strewn around. He gets up 7ish I get up at 9 and it usually results in me biting my lip as i launch into cleaning or a full scale row.

When it's my turn I stick the kettle on for a cuppa and have usually unloaded the dishwasher by the time it's oiled I've got that quick at it!

YANBU, I wouldn't expect a full spring clean but keeping it tidy and hygeinic can be done as you're going along. The only time I struggled with that was when I was bf and needed the rest when they slept.

moondog Fri 16-Sep-11 19:24:49

Anyone who can't supervise a kid and keep a house clean, organised and tidy, as well as shopping and cooking is lazy or stupid.
Both quite possibly.

bushymcbush Fri 16-Sep-11 19:32:56

I do think he just doesn't 'see' the mess a lot of the time. He certainly doesn't have as good a sense of smell as me. The fridge was absolutely reeking of garlic the other day from a jar he'd not closed properly and he couldn't smell it.

moondog Fri 16-Sep-11 19:34:18

Yes, because he has trained himself not to see it.
I absolutely could not live with a slob.
No way.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 16-Sep-11 19:34:55

I think the difference between this thread and the other one running at the moment is that on the other one, the OP is accused of being lazy because she's a sahp. But she is a sahp who is also keeping the house clean while ironically enough, being married to a lazy bugger who feels entitled to sit on his arse and not help when he is at home. On this thread we have a sahp who isn't doing anything, including much activity with the child by the sounds of it.

scottishmummy Fri 16-Sep-11 19:43:17

stop making excuses,he sees it
choses not to do fuck all about it
nowt wrong with his peripheral vision or executive functioning hes just talking the piss

Nagoo Fri 16-Sep-11 19:46:17

He is a lazy fuck.

Part of looking after a child is ensuring that they are able to play in a clean and safe environment, have clean clothes etc etc.

If he's got breakfast shit all over the table then they are not going to be sat doing activites are they?

He is ripping the piss and failing your daughter.

It is total bollocks that he can't see mess. He can see it. He just doesn't feel responsible for it.

You will do it at the weekend, won't you.

Tell him to get a job and put your DD in nursery where someone will look after her and not plonk her in front of the TV all day.

scottishmummy Fri 16-Sep-11 19:48:14

for as long as you make excuses he will rip the piss
you are unwittingly facilitating his lazy behaviours by constructing am excuse and probably then doing the chores

olddog Fri 16-Sep-11 19:53:49

I don't see mess. Instead of living in squalor I make a real conscious effort. I have to have a routine or things don't get done. He is lazy.

Travesty Fri 16-Sep-11 19:53:59

He is lazy. Whoever is the parent at home should do housework during the day.

ChippingIn Fri 16-Sep-11 19:56:10

I think the SAHP should do the majority of the housework/laundry etc - regardless of whether it's the Mum or the Dad. No double standards here. I also think that if the kids are unwell, incredibly demanding or you are out for the day then there's no reason to feel guilty about not getting anything done around the house and anyone who complains in that situation can do and take a long walk on a short pier. But all of this 'my job is the children' bullshit is just people being incredibly lazy - yes the kids come first & there should be plenty of playing time/going out time etc. In this situation he doesn't even seem to be doing much with the DD - so entirely crap!!

Bushy - you need to have a talk along the lines of 'I'm fed up of this, something needs to change, either you do xyz or I'll stay home and you can work fulltime' (or whatever will get through to him that this is not going to continue).

Just to restate my position - I would be saying this is the roles were reversed.

curlytoes Fri 16-Sep-11 20:00:32

I haven't read all 100+ messages so this may already have been covered but could your DH be depressed, if not clinically then just a bit low, bored, demotivated? I would ask the same of a SAHM. The job can be so repetitive and the reward of seeing your child flourish, while wonderful, can sometimes seem really intangible compared to the recognition available in paid work. If your DH has hit a wall with his role maybe he is escaping into tv, the Internet etc because he can't face the jobs he should be doing. If it was a mum I would be asking how much she got out and about to do things with other mums and how much 'me time' she had away from the kids and the housework. Maybe as a couple you need to review your work/ childcare arrangements and check you're both still committed to the roles you have now. Anyway, apologies again if this has been said already.

SheCutOffTheirTails Fri 16-Sep-11 20:03:48

I don't think SAHP should be responsible for housework.

Looking after children is why they are at home, so they should concentrate on that.

However, it sounds like he is ignoring your child and spending the day larking about online.

It also sounds like he is treating the place like a pigsty and not even tidying up after meals, which is incredibly inconsiderate (and I am a complete slattern, raised by a slattern SAHM)

I would not be happy to work my arse off so another adult could sit around at home all day making a mess I was expected to clean up and ignoring our child.

scottishmummy Fri 16-Sep-11 20:05:37

of course a sahp should be housework given someone else works 37+hrs to keep them and be sole wage earner. cant turn childcare into some high floutin thing that no other domestic task should encroach upon

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 16-Sep-11 20:06:39

YANBU he's lazy.

And I would say the same to a man who was talking about his wife and believe I have done so in the past.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 16-Sep-11 20:08:11

How does anyone manage to spend 10 hours a day looking after one child and not find any time to stick a bog brush down a loo or stick on a washing?

Seriously - if you find that you cannot do both then something is very very wrong with you organisational abilities.

SheCutOffTheirTails Fri 16-Sep-11 20:09:58

I would do laundry on a day with my DDs, but no way would I be cleaning the bathroom.

There's nothing wrong with my organisational abilities. I just think spending time doing shit with my children is more important than cleaning the bog.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 16-Sep-11 20:12:17

You wouldn't clean a bathroom?? It takes all of 15 minutes ffs out of a 10 hour 10. Can't your children do anything on their own?

aStarInStrangeways Fri 16-Sep-11 20:12:56

unfortunate juxtaposition of images there SheCutOffTheirTails wink

MumblingRagDoll Fri 16-Sep-11 20:15:54

Why is he not putting your child in nursery for the hours allotted free? Does he go to playgroups?

That wold worry me more than a mucky house tbh

Is the child properly socialised?

curlytoes Fri 16-Sep-11 20:16:06

Still wondering if SAHD could be depressed and/or doesn't really want to be a SAHD anymore.

SheCutOffTheirTails Fri 16-Sep-11 20:16:47

I know aStar - I really should start previewing IN ADVANCE grin

No, Maisie, I wouldn't clean the bathroom.

Why should I?

That gets done during chore time at weekends when one of us looks after the kids and the other (the lucky one, who gets to start and finish something without interruption) does jobs.

Maybe you want to ignore your children so you can have a sparkling bowl, but I'd rather have a grubby toilet and build a tower that reaches up to the ceiling.

moondog Fri 16-Sep-11 20:18:45

God what smug crap.
Some peopel are lazy.
End of.

YANBU and he's a lazy man and a slack parent. My H did SAHPing for a few months and hated it, he showed his disdain for the role by failing to do anything above the bare minimum of housework and being frankly shit with DS.

I can only say that things have improved a million fold now and (among many, many other things) him going to work was the main thing. Does he actually want to be a SAHP? Because if he does, then he needs a stark and firm talking to on the roles and responsibilities of the SAHP (an appraisal if you like?) and if he doesn't - well give him a deadline to get work, enrol her in nursery on that date and tell him his wages are needed to pay nursery, so he better get off his arse. I'd much rather pay someone to entertain and stimulate DS and be no better off financially, than have him being under stimulated in front of the TV for much of the day with the resentment thatbrings towards H on top.

FWIW I believe that the role of SAHP includes basic daily housework. Not keeping house clean as a whistle and having dinner on the table sharp at 6 - but daily maintenance and chores are a must.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 16-Sep-11 20:19:38

Hardly ignoring your children to spend 15 minutes cleaning the toilet, SheCut - get some perspective. Children can amuse themselves for a time during the day without mummy manically building towers for them.

Why not clean your house during the week when you are at home and your partner out working to keep you at home, and then way you can all enjoy family weekends together without chore time?

SheCutOffTheirTails Fri 16-Sep-11 20:24:23

If I'm cleaning the toilet I am not paying attention to my children.

My priority is them, not cleaning.

I have fun with my children, and I'd rather be smug about that than smug about what a wonderful housewife I am with a clean house and a husband who never lifts a finger to look after himself.

There are jobs that need my full attention. They don't get done when I am in charge of the children, or when DH is in charge of the children.

We both work full time BTW, although I'm not sure why either of us would suddenly lose the ability to do housework if the other stopped working.

CheerfulYank Fri 16-Sep-11 20:25:57

I clean the toilet in the morning before anyone's up...if you do it every day, it takes five seconds. confused

Swish n swipe, people! wink

CheerfulYank Fri 16-Sep-11 20:27:11

It's really, really okay not to pay attention to your children for a few minutes here and there.

Nagoo Fri 16-Sep-11 20:28:31

I wipe round the bathroom wile the DCs are in the bath, or while they brush their teeth or something. It takes 15 seconds if you do a little bit every day.

DS likes to help me clean, we cleaned the bathroom together today and he loved it. He adores to spray cleaning sprays so he has a bottle filled with water, a cloth and he's away. It's absurd to say that you need to spend every waking minute attending to children so can't do any housework during the day! It's absurd and also completely lazy.

curlytoes Fri 16-Sep-11 20:29:22

Ha! 15 mins uninterrupted would have been a miracle for me not so long ago. I had my 3 children close together so had 3 under 3 1/2 years. I rarely got to clean my teeth for a full 2 mins before someone needed something. My kids are now 4, 3 and 17 months and if the house if looking fab then they've been watching telly and being fobbed off. However the OPs DH only has one 3 year old so a bit more housework should be possible. Maybe he doesn't want to be a SAHD anymore.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 16-Sep-11 20:29:37

Oh for heavens sake - you can do both. Children are perfectly capable of amusing themselves whilst the SAHP does a bit of cleaning, and you are deluding yourself if you think otherwise.

But then you are a self confessed complete slattern.

TadlowDogIncident Fri 16-Sep-11 20:33:33

YANBU to expect a certain basic level of clearing up as he goes along (and in any case it sounds as though you have more serious issues than the amount of housework your DH is doing), although in general I agree with those who say that a SAHP's job is the children, and any housework that gets done is a bonus.

For comparison, DH is a SAHD, DS is 1 and high-maintenance (specifically, we are very envious of people whose babies nap!). DH does all the washing and clears up the mess as he goes along during the day (so I never come home and find the breakfast things still there, though I might find the remnants of DS's tea). Otherwise housework is shared.

Nagoo Fri 16-Sep-11 20:34:01

<high fives CheerfulYank>

TadlowDogIncident Fri 16-Sep-11 20:35:34

Oh, and housework is miserable and depressing - if I don't want to do it, why should I expect DH to do it? He didn't give up work to look after the house, and I haven't somehow lost the ability to look after myself or do my share of the crap because I'm working.

SheCutOffTheirTails Fri 16-Sep-11 20:36:03

First of all, I can't clean the bathroom and pay attention to a 1 year old. 1 year olds can't be left unattended so their mother can do cleaning.

Second of all, even if I could leave them unattended to do boring jobs, I DON'T WANT TO.

I don't think having a clean house is very important.

And even if I were to give up work to look after my children, cleaning would not come any higher up in my priorities. And if my DH thought he was going to get a housewife in the SAHM bargain, he'd be sorely mistaken.

SheCutOffTheirTails Fri 16-Sep-11 20:38:12

High fives Tadlow

Totally agree, laundry and clearing away dishes I do when I'm off. More involved cleaning I don't.

TadlowDogIncident Fri 16-Sep-11 20:40:41

High fives back to SheCutOffTheirTails

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 16-Sep-11 20:41:18

I think the I DON'T WANT TO is probably the key phrase there.

Fair enough, that's your lookout, but stop with the 'I'm not paying attention to my children if I'm cleaning' arguement, as if somehow anyone who incorporates some basic cleaning into their day is a smug hausfrau who ignores her children when she should be building towers up to the ceiling.

CheerfulYank Fri 16-Sep-11 20:41:46

You can't bring the 1 year old in the bathroom with you? confused

If you and your partner don't think a clean house is important, then that's fine as your priorities are in line.

That is not the case with the OP.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 16-Sep-11 20:43:03

argument even

TadlowDogIncident Fri 16-Sep-11 20:45:29

Well, I certainly wouldn't clean the bathroom with my 1-year-old in tow, CheerfulYank: even if he wasn't trying to get into the cleaning stuff, he'd be unravelling the toilet roll and squirting my expensive shower gel everywhere (bitter experience of just trying to clean my teeth with him in the bathroom earlier this week - I let him fossick around in the shower and discovered that he could work a pump dispenser).

SheCutOffTheirTails Fri 16-Sep-11 20:50:13

You want me to lock a 1 year old in the bathroom so I can clean a toilet that can be just as well cleaned when there is another parent there to look after her?

Why would I do that?

"anyone who incorporates some basic cleaning into their day is a smug hausfrau who ignores her children"

That's pretty much what I think, yes. And the little lectures on here about how I should be doing more and my children wouldn't suffer for it are just confirming me in that view.

The case with the OP is that her DH isn't doing the P part at all, he's just SAH.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 16-Sep-11 20:57:13

No-one has lectured you - just pointed out that, despite your protestations to the contrary, it is perfectly possible to do both without the children growing up deprived or neglected in any way.

You don't want to clean, which is fine for you and is obviously OK with your DP/H as you have openly admitted to being a slattern, but not for the OP.

CheerfulYank Fri 16-Sep-11 21:02:00

You seriously cannot take a one year old in the bathroom with you for five minutes?

I never said anything about locking...can the kid even reach to the doorknob? confused

Again, if you choose not to that's fine! But of course you could . It literally takes thirty seconds to swish some toilet cleaner in the bowl. Thirty more seconds to wipe the mirror.

And I can't believe that you honestly think that anyone who does basic cleaning during the day is a smug hausfrau.

olddog Fri 16-Sep-11 21:06:50

Cleaning the toilet doesn't take any longer than pooing into it. I can't believe that people are consciously not cleaning toilets until there is another adult in the house. I can understand general slatternish behaviour, but not thinking that it is actually neglectful to spend a few minutes doing some basic cleaning.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 16-Sep-11 21:08:10

High fives CheerfulYank!

Felt I needed to do that - there seems to be a lot of it on here tonight grin

Must go, toilets to clean and children to neglect. I may even kick that tower down that the DCs have been building all day long without me - sniff - just to remind them how much I dislike mess. Gute Nacht!

caughtinanet Fri 16-Sep-11 21:08:17

YA most definitely NBU - your DH is a total lazy arse, this thread has really got my goat.

How can he possibly not have time to keep the house going during the day?

Why should you have to work full time while he sits around doing nothing all day and then expects you to do the housework as well ?

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Fri 16-Sep-11 21:26:53

As an SAHM to a 4yo, I must say I'm intrigued by these 3yos that can be left to play quietly in a room while mummy gets on with the housework.

Do you not find it takes longer to get the crayon off the walls afterwards than you gained in the 'quiet playing'?

I don't think your DH is BU not to stick DD in front of the telly so he can do housework; I do think he is BU to stick her in front of the Tv so he can MN (or male equivalent).

noblegiraffe Fri 16-Sep-11 21:29:43

I find that crayola washable felt pens come off the wall with a quick wipe. [/product recommendation]

IreneHeron Fri 16-Sep-11 21:36:18

I did the bulk of the cleaning when DH was a SAHD and I worked ft, but DS was really tiny then. He did tidy, cook dinner and clear up the kitchen. I used to be the one to properly clean and do the laundry. But that was ok because DS was really small and needed lots of attention. I'm at home now and DH works, DS is 3 yo and I do most of the cleaning, including sorting out and cleaning two rooms we run for bed and breakfast. DS does not need constant attention, he's happy playing with his trains or sometimes following me about. I'm heavily pregnant too at the moment and can still do it. DH still cooks and tidies the kitchen.

DS's friend's mum however refuses to clean the house saying she's doing childcare so her DH should do it.

Maybe I'm not a good mum, but I don't think I could give DS that level of attention all day that would make me unable to do anything else. I don't think it would be good for him either.

IreneHeron Fri 16-Sep-11 21:37:26

Boulevard I'm lucky that DS isn't the type to do that with pens. He just plays with trains all the time.

DoMeDon Fri 16-Sep-11 21:37:30

I actaully think it's unhealthy to give your Dc undivided attention. They need to be left alone to explore and imagine and develop without mummies tower to the ceiling game!?! <odd>

afteralongsquawk Fri 16-Sep-11 21:37:39

Both DP & I have had time as SAHP; he's doing it now, lucky sod.

Basic rule: I work 10 hrs a day to bring home the moolah, so he needs to work the same for his share of it. House is cleaned to my standard (higher than his) because that was the standard set when I was sah-ing.

At the moment, sah is his job, & he's pretty good at it. Make sure your DH understands it's his.

bushymcbush Fri 16-Sep-11 21:38:27

I don't think he expects me to do the cleaning after work - he just doesn't see the need for it to be done at all.

Mind you - and this is a massive mind you - I've just been in the bathroom and noticed that today he has .... (drum roll) .... cleaned the basin! Which is one thing he does do sporadically. Like once a month. So I feel bad for starting this thread now.

Rest of the bathroom (and rest of house) is still a hole though.

DoMeDon Fri 16-Sep-11 21:40:01

I couldn't live in a house that didn't get a once a week go through. That's just me but I'd be having serious words about who is responsible for what and when.

LaWeasel Fri 16-Sep-11 21:43:34

I do think you need to have a chat about it. As was said on the first page you should be having equal amounts of down time.

Today I was being lazy and just messed around on MN while DD had her nap, so I did about an hour of cleaning/tidying while DH played on the XBox this evening, fair enough imo.

kakapo Fri 16-Sep-11 21:44:35

would it help if you said something along the lines of 'the house is a tip, we can't keep living like this. so, what shall WE do about it' followed by what you suggest you can do (eg put on a load of washing before work). might make him more receptive if he doesn't feel got at?

OriginalPoster Fri 16-Sep-11 21:46:07

Did dh give up his job or did he lose it? Did he choose to be at home? I still think there is a high chance he is depressed and has lost interest in his own child and home, never mind the dog. It's not normal to be so apathetic.

Men are more isolated as SAHD than women. I would be asking him to think about returning to work, or seeing the GP about his mood.

bushymcbush Fri 16-Sep-11 22:00:36

Good suggestion kakapo. I will try that.

DH lost his job but he was genuinely glad to have the opportunity to be at home with DD.

Woodlands Fri 16-Sep-11 22:01:19

The thing about one year olds is that they nap. I clean the bathroom while my DS naps. Or I clean the loo and the basin while he's in the bath.

I do think men tend to have a higher tolerance for dirt. I always feel a bit guilty if my DH starts cleaning something unprompted as it normally means it's got really really filthy... he does do his share of cleaning though, and he works full time and I work part time. I'm sure if he was a SAHP he would do most of the housework.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 16-Sep-11 22:08:06

Gosh I must be a terribly bad mother as you know I do quite a bit of housework and laundry and ironing and cooking and gardening whilst taking care of 3 dc's.

No wonder DD is so good at tidying up at playgroup wink

But seriously - little and often and housework gets done and personally I think its good for children to see that chores have to be done and they can help from a young age and then you all get to go and have fun.

I really thought this was what most SAHP's did.

Millie1 Fri 16-Sep-11 22:12:57

YANBU! I'm a SAHM with 2 at school and DTs at home. DTs have recently started a playgroup every morning which gives me cooking, cleaning, chores time. BUT for the last 3 yrs whilst they've been home, I have cooked, kept the house clean and laundry done. DTs 'help' me clean and tidy, they play whilst I do bathrooms and I would do any particularly un-child-friendly jobs whilst they napped. And yes, I even managed Mumsnet time during naps. I do think he needs to pull his weight!!

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Fri 16-Sep-11 22:16:57

"The thing about one year olds is that they nap"

Not all of them.

Some of them don't even sleep at night.
<refills coffee>

This thread is filling me with bitter resentment towards those with charming, helpful, biddable children. If you'll excuse me, I think I might go and weep in the corner for a bit....

ChocolateIsAFoodGroup Fri 16-Sep-11 22:18:12

Another awful mum here - I do all the laundry/cooking/meal-planning/shopping/basic tidy-pick up AND I have 2 DC who are 4 and 1! (Full time SAHM-I-am)

[Admission: We do have a cleaner who comes every two weeks to do the deep cleaning.]

Isn't it slightly weird to hover over your DCs all the time/never shower/never clean, in any event? (I do have friends like this - house a total tip, not often wash - they seem to think they have to be stimluating their child all the time... it's a bit strange, TBH.)

DS has 45 minutes tv time in the morning - DD 'helps' me do the major tidy up. Then I clean up properly in the evening, while DH does baths, etc.

It's not rocket science, and it doesn't mean I neglect the DC, either!

And why should I expect DH to do it? He works 11 hours a day and then comes home and does bath time every night - am I going to hand him a broom at 7:30 in the evening?


ChocolateIsAFoodGroup Fri 16-Sep-11 22:19:57

Oh, God, sorry boulevard that sounds horrible.... I'll refill your coffee pot for you..... And didn't mean to come across all judgey-pants, either - more polishing my own halo wink

Woodlands Fri 16-Sep-11 22:22:36

yeah sorry, i know i am forgetting about the months and months ds would only nap on me... unfortunately he'll only nap in his cot now so no more enforced lie-downs for me!

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Fri 16-Sep-11 22:28:58

Ah no, my kids are the same age as yours, Chocolate and I do do all the laundry/cooking/shopping; it's working at the moment as the elder has just started school and the younger isn't mobile yet. It might all fall apart when he works out what legs are for grin.

But I agree with what LaWeasel said; it should be about having equal amounts of down time. I basically get none during the day so DH and I share chores at the weekend, just blitz what needs to be done.

CheerfulYank Fri 16-Sep-11 22:34:09

DS has colored on the walls a few times. Mr Clean Magic Eraser takes it off.

Our washer and dryer are in the bathroom so when DS was little I would put him in the bath and sit and talk to him while cleaning the toilet, folding laundry etc.

Now he plays out in the back (fenced in, and with our big dog) while I do dishes and clean the kitchen, because the kitchen window faces the back and I can see him all the time.

Our house is basically (very basically, believe me!) tidy and I still manage to play with DS, read to him, play card games, take a nap, read magazines and mumsnet constantly grin

Again, if you want to spend every second interacting with your child that's fine, but it doesn't make you a better parent than the ones who fob their kid off with 20 minutes of Kipper or tell them to play with their farm set or color by themselves for a bit so Dad/Mama can vacuum.

LikeACandleButNotQuite Fri 16-Sep-11 22:38:51

Oh my word, how can it be that a baby or child needs 8 hours of undivided attention during the day???

Do these babies not nap, are these toddlers unable to entertain themselves for a bit of time?

Surely if you are in the house, you could do one or two things during the course of the day, such as put away dishes, change the bedding or a bit of dusting? I think it's UR to suggest that staying at home to do childcare renders it impossible or unacceptable to do housework, as seems to be the general consensus on MN.

Just do a bit. Be kind. Contribute even in a little way to the comfort of those who live in your home. This goes for both parents, whether WOHP or SAHP.

Oh, and your DH is being lazy when your DD is home and he can't do a bit of housework while she's there. On days when she is at nursery, he is being a useless fucker.

CheerfulYank Fri 16-Sep-11 22:40:45

Oh Candle, I'm so glad you're here! grin

StanHouseMuir Fri 16-Sep-11 22:41:38

YANBU - he's taking the p*ss. It's one thing not reducing the work load, but quite another to be adding to it. when I look after my 2.8yo, while he's eating his lunch I can totally sort out the kitchen, including wiping all the units down and sweeping the floor etc.

That said, if you were male and asking this question about your wife, you would get a very different response.

ChocolateIsAFoodGroup Fri 16-Sep-11 22:45:10

Boulevard I've cooked with both DS and DD in the Trekker (baby carrier of super human strength...) which I'm sure is, um, highly recommended by Child Protective Services grin When they've outgrown that, I've done stuff with a child attached to a leg/set the DC up with games, toys, etc/put them in their cribs with toys for 20 minutes to have time to unload the dishwasher, etc...

What I'm saying is, it isn't always a Cooking With Mother TV show around here wink but even with a 16 month old, it somehow gets done in a very haphazard fashion.....

LikeACandleButNotQuite Fri 16-Sep-11 22:48:03

Well, I mean honestly. Yank MN really is making me start to wonder these days.

Do people honestly hover over their offspring constantly? And I will put my flame retardant knickers on before I say...breath.... your babies nap on you all the time and climb all over you all the time because you have allowed / encouraged them to.

You (those who have said this on this thread) cannot use this as an excuse to not do other things when it is a product of your own creation.


ChocolateIsAFoodGroup Fri 16-Sep-11 22:52:28

I live in Berkeley. People do seriously hover over their offspring all the time. I know people who haven't gone out in five years (and yes, they could afford a babysitter), who still sit with their five year old until said child is asleep, who (whispers....) breastfeed their four-and-a-half year olds.....

It's a different country over here grin

Me, I look on from the sidelines while swigging bourbon from my hip flask....

And as you were......

Inertia Fri 16-Sep-11 22:52:37

I think there's a kind of sliding scale to balance the time spent actively hands-on parenting, and time spent doing stuff around the house- and the position on the scale depends on number and age of children, and what additional needs they have. When I was SAHM to a 3 month old who wouldn't nap, hated being put down, and breastfed a lot, any housework beyond what could be done with her in a sling was minimal- kept on top of basic meals, cleaning up, washing etc, but serious housework waited until DH was about to care for her. However, some household chores can be safely done with a 3 year old entertaining herself in the house- I still won't clean the oven with the children about because I won't take the risk with the chemicals used; I used to avoid ironing with toddlers roaming during the day- but it certainly ought to be possible for the SAHP to at the very least clear up the kitchen after themsleves.

If your DH was spending every day doing activities with your child, it'd be fair enough that not all the housework got done. Things like swimming lessons, playgroups, food shopping, music classes, visits to the park etc can eat into your day once you've done all the bag packing/ lunch making/driving/walking there and back. But it's really not acceptable for your DH to be playing on his computer all day- some downtime is fair enough, but not all day every day. IMO dog-walking would be an ideal activity for them to do together- a 3 year old cooped up all day with no fresh air would surely be climbing the walls?

SheCutOffTheirTails Fri 16-Sep-11 23:10:04

How often do you maniacs clean the fucking toilet?


Every time someone shites into it?

I don't hover over my children. They are both brilliant at playing on their own, but I enjoy playing with them and I don't enjoy housework because it is boring and repetitive, unrewarding and mindless.

I will do whatever I can do to keep the house ticking over when the children are there, and proper cleaning when I have help at home.

And it's not remotely unhealthy for children to learn that it's fun to play with their parents, or that they are more important than making sure your toilet sparkles like the crown jewels.

Or that getting the fuck out of the house is more fun than hanging about being a tedious house-proud philistine who thinks that there is something worthwhile about skivvying around like women of my Granny's generation had no option but to do.

So look down on me and my scruffy house and my piles of washing that don't get done when I'm busy with work or there are too many social engagements to attend to for me to keep on top of loading the washing machine.

But know that I am looking down on you and your OCD homes and your children that "can be left alone for 5 minutes" while you endlessly shine your toilet bowl in case you have any competitive "friends" to come over and inspect it for you.

When my 1 year old naps, I rest. Because I think resting is more rewarding and more useful than cleaning. I preserve my energy for the stuff that matters, and that is not polishing the skirting boards or FFS bollocksology DUSTING! (yes, instead of doing something useful like sitting on my arse staring into space, I'm going to move dust around my house).

All the children I knew as a child who lived in really clean houses, the rest of us felt sorry for them.

And we were right.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 16-Sep-11 23:14:25


I think there's a balance and my experience is that a tidy organised home is a nice place to be for everyone including friends.

I have read many posts on here from people who were ashamed of the state of their house as children or who are embarassed if people drop round.

If that doesn't bother you then fine. But seriously - I don't give a hoot if you look down on me because I have a clean and tidy house.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 16-Sep-11 23:15:59

Oh and of course I do ahem have a cleaner who does the 'proper' cleaning each week so mine is more of the surface tidying smile

But anyway the OP wasn't saying her DH was playing with her child - he was sat on his computer and the child was at nursery a fair bit so I totally do think he's a lazy sod.

SheCutOffTheirTails Fri 16-Sep-11 23:19:42

Nobody visiting your home gives a fuck whether it is organised.

That doesn't make it nicer for your children's friends to visit.

How can you possibly think it would?

The things that make a home nice are about the humans in it - is it welcoming? can you play there without getting into trouble for making a mess? is there someone always there fussing over what you get up to?

The homes we liked to spend time in most as children were mostly messy and often kind of scummy. But they were fun.

And PMSL that any of us were thinking about how organised they were grin

SheCutOffTheirTails Fri 16-Sep-11 23:21:23

Oh, I totally agree that the husband here is a lazy sod (as I have already said).

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 16-Sep-11 23:24:35

Well an organised home makes getting out of the house for school a lot less stressful.

And I do think its nice when things are in their place - you know, so children and friends want to play with lego and its where it should be.

But you know different strokes.

And having a tidy home doesn't preclude you from being a good parent - I don't look down on people with untidy homes - its up to them how they live but I don't believe they are a better parent either.

CheerfulYank Fri 16-Sep-11 23:41:12

I think some of us are being a bit defensive.

I clean my toilet most mornings because I dislike scrubbing toilets. So I wake up, use the toilet smile , squirt in some cleaner, swish it about. 25 seconds. Spray glass/all purpose spray on mirror and basin/vanity. Wipe. 32 seconds. Take same cloth and spray, wipe down toilet and around base where, bless him, DS always seems to pee. (sigh...) 33 seconds.

Toss same cloth into washing machine, where I threw all the other dirty dark clothes last night before I went to bed. Pour in soap, put machine on. Less than a minute. When I get home I put the clothes in the dryer and DS and I put them away when they're dry. Sometimes a mountain builds up, in which case I fold them and put them into piles for the three of us while DS is in the bath. Everyone is responsible for his/her own pile.

Some days this does not get done. Some days nothing gets done because DS and I are "getting the fuck out of the house." Most days we get things done and shock also "get the fuck out of the house."

Today DS and I read a pile of books, walked to the shops while singing all the songs we know, made flowers with cardboard and crayons and glitter, played hide and go seek, etc. I've promised that since Daddy's away we can have a special Mama and DS night and watch Tangled and eat chee-tos when I get home from work. smile

I also cleaned the toilet, did a load of laundry, vacuumed, cooked lunch and dinner, did the washing up, mopped the bathroom floor, took out the garbage, swept the entryway, read a magazine, and mumsnetted. I didn't get a nap today but that is unusual.

Honestly, I'm quite insulted that anyone would think I'm a house-proud philistine, or that I do any of this for my "friends." Or that anyone would look down on me for taking a minute and a half to wipe the loo before anyone's awake, especially if I'm not looking down on anyone because they don't.

blackeyedsusan Fri 16-Sep-11 23:45:07

he should attempt to do some, though some days you go out and don't get chance to do a lot. taking dishes through to the kitchen and putting some washing onANDgetting it out again are reasonable expectations.

ds loves to help me put the washing on. having a child play/draw in the kitchen whilst some washing up is done is not unfeasible either. it may not be all the washing up done/loaded/unloaded if children get bored.

teaching children to tifdy aand help is also part of the job. though if dd helps to hoover you are likely to have a filthy floor with one very clean patch confused

I think you should have a balance. he should not expect to do nothing everyday (some days are nothing days if children are playing up/ill/out on a trip ) nor should you expect everything to be done. you should be sharing jobs when you get home til it all gets done.

nomoreheels Fri 16-Sep-11 23:46:32

Lived in & a bit dusty is fine. Mildew crusted loo & filthy kitchen where the mugs have grown legs is is too much for me. There is a big difference between the two.

MrsDmamee Sat 17-Sep-11 01:51:00

I'm by no means a super house cleaning wonder woman....but I was so proudblush of myself today for filling the dishwasher and hoovering up before sitting down for my own breakfast!! DD (15mo) followed me around while hoovering and unplugged it for me a few times.(see AIBU toddler thread lol)

Major thorough cleaning gets done when DH is off and both of us get it done much quicker together. And DS(5) just loves a sink full of suds and a sponge to scrub the countertops.
DS(14) earns ps3 games by gathering up the recycling and weeding the garden etc....

So your DH can and should do enough to just keep the place looking like a home rather than student digs!!

Ria28 Sat 17-Sep-11 02:14:26

I haven't read the whole thread so someone may have suggested this already, but it seems to me you need to sit down together and make a timetable with chores for both of you. That way your dh won't need to 'notice' which chores need doing (I'm like this, if something's been a mess for a while it's like it becomes invisible), and you'll both feel you're doing your fair share. Maybe you could sell it as teaching your dd about housework so she can help when she's older.

It might also help if you both spend a week or two blitzing the whole house so that chores can be about maintaining the tidyness rather than chipping at a mountain of housework.

Georgimama Sat 17-Sep-11 07:03:59

I don't think he expects me to do the cleaning after work - he just doesn't see the need for it to be done at all.

There is the nub of your problem. You live with a slob.

DH and I both have high standards and like the house to be very clean and tidy. I am on ML at the moment but usually work full time. DH works full time in a very full on job and does voluntary work. Our down time is precious and we do not want to spend it cleaning (DH in particular does not want to spend it cleaning), so we have a cleaner twice a week. As I am on ML there is low level tiding up after myself and the children to be done during the day (our lunch needs making and then tidying away, books and toys get scattered about and need picking up at the end of the day, there is more laundry to do as DD is in reusable nappies) and I see that as part of my role of caring for DD while on maternity leave.

SheCutOffTheirTails Sat 17-Sep-11 07:53:46

Doing a quick wipe down of the toilet in the morning us not something I would class as cleaning, more as general maintenance.

(Although, thank you Cheerful for the general "clean bathroom in 3 easy steps" tips smile )

Quick things you do as you go that reduce future work, I am all about - so systems that help me bring laundry where it needs to be as I go about the day I am very much into.

Leaving the house as a pigsty with dirty dishes all over the table where they were just left, is rude, because just stacking them and wiping down the table takes so little time.

What I don't do when I am with the children is Cleaning - top to bottom sorting out of a room, mopping floors, hoovering (noise sends DD1 batshit. Once her ears can take the high frequencies, I would hope to change this).

There is no point during the day when the Thing I Am Doing is housework. Mist of the time I would struggle to say what I am doing. But if I am concentrating on one thing, it will be the children, and not the housework, because they are my priority.

I would be very unhappy to come home from work to find the house like the OP's husband leaves it, because it is not possible to just ignore a dirty table with dishes all over it. The next time someone wants to eat, that will have be be cleared. Pretending not to notice food waste left around all day is bullshit, because it's clearly unhygienic. It's not like a pile of bills building up ( although that drives me nuts too - just put them in the file! It's not a job, it's 5 seconds of clearing.)

Also I would not be happy for my child to be sitting around all day being ignored by her father while he played games online. I'm sure (I know, in fact grin) that you can fit some online activity into the gaps, but that doesn't seem to be what is happening here.

BrawToken Sat 17-Sep-11 08:01:35

He is a slacker op and it might be hard to bring this up, but he needs to pull his weight - ie at least clear up after him and your dd before you get home and sign on with an agency. Couples should be a partnership and he's letting you all down.

TadlowDogIncident Sat 17-Sep-11 08:15:06

I don't think anyone's disagreeing that the OP's husband is a slacker.

Perhaps the disagreement on this thread is more style than substance. Like SheCutOffTheirTailsI don't really count keeping on top of things as you go along, wiping up spills and clearing away dirty dishes, as "housework", just basic maintenance (and I would be wound up if I got home and DH had left all the mess from a day with DS).

Robotindisguise Sat 17-Sep-11 09:10:26

I think people whose children nap regularly, every day, for more than an hour, can get a bit of housework done. I only have Thursdays and Fridays at home and although I don't do it perfectly, I do do it.

And just like most MN debates, this is polarising wildly. Yes, as a kid you felt uncomfortable in houses that were showhomes but you also felt uncomfortable in houses that were very messy/dirty.

SheCutOffTheirTails Sat 17-Sep-11 09:38:54

I didn't feel uncomfortable in houses that were messy or dirty.

All the coolest kids with the most friends lived in houses like that.

I have been blessed with good nappers. Nap time = my break. I don't start cleaning the office on my lunchbreak, either.

PenguinArmy Sat 17-Sep-11 10:03:08

We fought for so long with DD naps that there is no way either of us does anything when she does sleep as she's still a light sleeper (and we live in a small flat). To be fair I would probably do more now that DD is older if it weren't for the fact I'm 36 weeks pg.

Agree with the poster who said we all probably think the OPs DH is being a lazy slob, but people are also responding to the principle of does SAHP= Vast majority/All of Housework

Robotindisguise Sat 17-Sep-11 10:20:59

Yes, tails, but your office has a cleaner.

SheCutOffTheirTails Sat 17-Sep-11 10:25:53

I'm not the cleaner at my office OR at home.

Trippler Sat 17-Sep-11 10:29:30

I was a sahm with one 3 yr old.
If DH had come home and passed comment on the state of the house, not knowing what I'd had to deal with that day, or what good things I;d done, I'd have eaten him for breakfast.
SAHP does not automatically equal cleaner unless you have negotiated that role for him specifically and he has agreed.

donthateme Sat 17-Sep-11 10:57:22

He's taking the piss.
I have only ever been home on maternity leaves and when I used to work part time, and I saw it as my responsibility to do the vast majority of housework, cooking etc then. Its not that hard- if it can be managed while heavily pregnant, with a new born or with several kids under 5 then its easily manageable with one 3 yr old! Many household tasks just don't take long these days. Laundry is a doddle- in the washer, press a button, hang out. The breakfast and lunch dishes can be washed up in' a few minutes as you go along. I would be seriously pissed off if my dh were home with one child all day' and I came home to what you describe.

Having said all that, this is one of those topics where sexism is rife on MN because many threads where its the woman at home bang on about what a difficult job it is and how she can only look after the kids and shouldn't be expected to do anything else!!

fedupofnamechanging Sat 17-Sep-11 11:10:30

I wouldn't want to go out to work all day and then come home to a pit. I would expect my dh to keep on top of the basics. I would expect, when I wasn't working, to share whatever needed doing. My dh feels the same, so that's how it works here.

I think if you have dc with SN, or many young children, then that can be a full time job, but for most people, their dc do spend a bit of time watching cbeebies, or having a nap or playing with their toys and there is not excuse to do nothing.

DoMeDon Sat 17-Sep-11 11:11:35

I am confused between the house maiatainence and hosuework - from the sound of it I never rarely do any actual housework <slut>

AbbyAbsinthe Sat 17-Sep-11 11:21:36

Loving the attitude that SAHP job is JUST to take care of the children grin

What a load of shit. That's like saying that as I go out to work, I shouldn't have to do anything resembling housework when I get home. I fucking wish!

It's all so contradictory.

If you stay at home to look after children, the housework during the day is part of your JOB. Suck it up - whoever you are.

SheCutOffTheirTails Sat 17-Sep-11 11:22:40

DoMe or MAYBE you are so efficient at cleaning as you go that you don't need to do housework grin envy

DoMeDon Sat 17-Sep-11 11:26:56


SheCutOffTheirTails Sat 17-Sep-11 11:29:10

Abby if I stay at home to look after my children, I won't have a job. Or a boss. And your opinion of what I should or shouldn't be doing will be something I won't ever think about.

Your post makes no sense though. If having a job doesn't let you off having to do housework, then the partners of SAHP still have to do the same amount of housework they've always done. So there's no need for people to act as skivvies as well as providing childcare.

Some of us just think we are worth more than that. It's sad that you don't, so I understand your anger that other women don't have the same shit deal as you.

TheBolter Sat 17-Sep-11 11:39:45

So, err... does your house clean itself CutOff?

AbbyAbsinthe Sat 17-Sep-11 11:41:04

I'm not a skivvy. I earn a wage of my own AND manage to look after my house and my children. Can you imagine? I don't have to rely on someone else's money AND I do more in my house than hover around my children unneccessarily. You should try it. Maybe then you wouldn't have such an over inflated ego, your house wouldn't be a shithole, and you wouldn't be thought of as a lazy arse. Cos that's what I think.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sat 17-Sep-11 11:42:06

If you left your kids with a childminder for 8 hours, and asked when you got back, "How did it go?"

And she said, "Fantastic, I got my bathroom cleaned and the whole house hoovered!"

.....would you think
a) I'm so glad I'm not employing a lazy childminder, or
b) WTF? hmm That's not what I pay you for!

This is the principle I work on.

Nanny0gg Sat 17-Sep-11 11:45:48

Housework (to whatever degree) has to be done unless you can cope with squalor.
The person with the most time should do the most, but not all. Obviously they aren't slaves and shouldn't be doing it 24/7 and when both are at home the burden is shared.
I don't think any SAHP entertains their children the whole time so yes, part of their 'job' should be some form of house 'care'.
Otherwise, that's the weekend/evenings gone for both partners.

AbbyAbsinthe Sat 17-Sep-11 11:46:59

Yes but the OP's DH isn't childminding his own children.. All of it should be shared 50/50 imo, regardless of gender.

DoMeDon Sat 17-Sep-11 11:54:29

But it's a flawed principle. You are solely paying a CM to care for and entertain your child. Being a parent is not a 'job' it is a life choice, it is a joy to look after my child hmm Yes, it's sole destroying sometimes and occassionally work is easier tbh.

When you are a family caring for your DC, doing housework and earing a wage are all in it together. You divide those tasks however you see fit and agree as a family.

When I SAHP I did 90/10 share of housework on DH's working days, now I work PT we do about 70/30 (that's including any and everything) if I worked FT we would do 50/50, if he went PT we would do 50/50. It is a question of fairness. I am home more and have more time off, it makes sense for me to do a bit more.

This I must spend every minute with my DC when I am SAHP makes no sense. I hate idea of stepford with sparkly skirting boards but I equally hate the idea that the WOHP is out all day and comes home to piles of shite. It's not fair. Immaculate, no, tip, no - there is a middle ground!?!

TheBolter Sat 17-Sep-11 11:58:14

Hear hear Abby.

HowAboutAHotCupOfShutTheHellUp Sat 17-Sep-11 12:05:45

If you are at work all day, DH should do the housework, especially as your job is tiring / stressful. Why the hell should you come home and start working again, ie. cleaning and washing, when that is your DH's role, as a SAHP.

Totally disagree that he shouldn't be expected to do the housework.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sat 17-Sep-11 12:07:52

So... if I go out to work, earn a wage and employ a CM, then my kids deserve better quality care and attention than if I provide it myself?

Then there'd be no point in SAHM'ing at all, we should all outsource our childcare to professionals...

Clearing away breakfast/lunch dishes, a bit of laundry, putting toys away fair enough; but I'm not going to embark on the hoovering or bog-scrubbing while I'm 'on the clock' childcare-wise.

Georgimama Sat 17-Sep-11 12:10:19

Actually I pay my CM to care for my children in a home environment. That includes her doing things like her cleaning and shopping, taking the car to the garage for an MOT, going to the post office to send a parcel, as well as play dates, school run, trip to the park, coffee with a friend and their mindees/children - you know, the stuff I do while with them if I am at home.

Threads like this make me realise there is a small but determined army of parents who see "parenting" as a 24/7 job which is all encompassing and involves total concentration on their child(ren). Being the object of so much attention must be pretty wearing for a child, I must say.

donthateme Sat 17-Sep-11 12:16:22

The argument about childminding is bizarre. My dd was at a fantastic childminder from age 2 and half til she started school. Childminder had a son of similar age. My childminder managed to feed the children lunch, entertain them ,take them for walks, and would also be doing a teatime snack when I picked up sometimes. She managed to look after my dd and her ds wonderfully without her house looking like a shithole. Oh and there was no sign of breakfast mess when I did the morning drop off either- probably because she managed to clear it away in 5 minutes after breakfast. Rather like I used to load the dishwasher before setting off to drop my dd off with her. Amazing isn't it?!

Oh and if I asked how 'the day had been she would tell me about where they'd been and what my dd had done- she didn't bore me with the minutiae of how Many loads of washing she'd put on etc, just like when I was home when working only part time, I wouldn't tell my dh all about the washing when he got home.

The normal day to day home routine is as arduous as you choose to make it. If you decide it's a full time job then it will expand to become one. If you just get on with it- it doesn't!

magicmummy1 Sat 17-Sep-11 12:17:47

Most childminders care for multiple children and have to follow the eyfs, complete lots paperwork etc. It is not a comparable situation.

As the main breadwinner in my family, I would not be prepared to fund my DP to stay at home only to look after one 3yo. I see no benefit to the child in hovering over them all day, and I would expect the SAHP do the bulk of the work around the house. If he wasn't prepared to do that, then I would ask him to get a job and outsource the childcare. The OP's dd is at nursery for half the week already.

If my DP felt strongly that dd needed a parent to stay at home, yet wasn't willing to do this himself while taking on the lion's share of the housework, then I would expect him to find a job and I would stay at home. Looking after one 3yo is not a full time job, and I wouldn't be prepared to slog my guts out working to fund my DP in this lifestyle.

Fortunately, when DP was at home with dd, he did his fair share of the housework. Now we are both working again, we share it 50:50.

DoMeDon Sat 17-Sep-11 12:21:36

That's not what I said at all. A CM is paid to do one thing - like when I am at work I am paid to do my job - they take a dim view of me doing household tasks.

I said it is a choice for a family to deecide how they spend thier time and divide the chores. Clean when DC are alseep, make DP do all the cleaning or do it yourself when your DP is home, or whatever combo you wish - up to you and your family.

But you cannot equate SAHP and CM - it is different. I am a parent wherever, whenever, whatever I am doing. CM clocks off.

Do you think you will raise a well balanced child if you constantly attend them? I don't - I think they need time to BE, time to imagine without a parent joining/cajoling/supporting.

Nanny0gg Sat 17-Sep-11 12:24:48

*Actually I pay my CM to care for my children in a home environment. That includes her doing things like her cleaning and shopping, taking the car to the garage for an MOT, going to the post office to send a parcel, as well as play dates, school run, trip to the park, coffee with a friend and their mindees/children - you know, the stuff I do while with them if I am at home.

Threads like this make me realise there is a small but determined army of parents who see "parenting" as a 24/7 job which is all encompassing and involves total concentration on their child(ren). Being the object of so much attention must be pretty wearing for a child, I must say.*
And do they go straight out and get a job when their children go to school? Do they consider themselves redundant?

magicmummy1 Sat 17-Sep-11 12:26:28

Whatever is involved in the "job description" of the SAHP, it needs to be agreed by both partners. The WOHP doesn't get to dictate everything but the SAHP cannot just do as they please either. If they can't agree on the roles, then I think they have to find an alternative arrangement.

LikeACandleButNotQuite Sat 17-Sep-11 12:27:15

My DM is a childminder, and whilst caring for her charges she is able to do 'SAHP' type stuff - a load of washing, cooks tea for DF for when he returns from work (the kids get for their tea a child portion of what my DF gets).

She nips to the shops, post office, tidies round etc, whilst also managing to take the kids to the park, school pick ups/drop offs, etc etc.

How OPs DP can't manage keeping the house tidy and looking after a 3yo (who, lest we forget, is OUT of the house 2.5 days a week) is anyones guess.

CheerfulYank Sat 17-Sep-11 16:37:40

When I was a childminder I did housework.

I also read stories, did art projects, circle time, played with the children, brought them to the park, etc, etc.

But if they were all sitting on the floor engrossed in toys, of course I took time to clean out the tub or whatever. Why wouldn't I? confused

fedupofnamechanging Sat 17-Sep-11 18:03:57

I think that if you want a CM to spend all her time actively looking after your children, rather than taking some time to do her own thing, then you'd best get a nanny and pay the difference in rates. That, to me, is the real difference between the two. If you hire a CM, you are doing so in the knowledge that she has chosen that particular job because it fits in more with her life. A nanny fits in more with you.

And even a nanny is usually expected to do child related housework - sometimes children's laundry, certainly cooking for them and clearing up after them. So looking after dc to a 'professional' standard and doing a bit of housework are not mutually exclusive.

justcait Sat 17-Nov-12 15:39:00

OP is this about priorities, rather than time? I mean, he obviously has time - that's not the issue. My DH and I are lucky - we have the same view on house tidiness and cleanliness (ie we would like it to be clean and tidy, and we prefer it that way, but neither of us are particularly good at achieving said state of sparkle, so when someone has a rush of blood to the head and does a deep clean of the kitchen or something the other one is v v v appreciative!)

... but not everyone has the same views on what's 'right' when it comes to houses. You have to start with the underlying reason for not cleaning, in my experience - ie what's stopping him from doing it? If he's anything like me, it's a combination of not remembering that it needs to be done / not really caring that much if it doesn't get done... It's not laziness, I work very hard at work (because I really care about being good at my job, vs not really caring about being good at housework) - it's a priority thing. Some people have other priorities, I don't think one or the other is better, it just is.

Hard to fix, but if your DH has the same cleaning problems as I do - things that work: I like being thanked for cleaning (and I always thank my DH when he cleans, since neither of us wants to do it), and it also helps when my DH remarks (nicely, not snarkily) that the house is a tip - and we both take full responsibility for it as a partnership in charge of our little messy world (although I do like to blame the dog, clearly he is running around the house at night making a mess smile). I know some people have suggested lists, which do work for some people, but not for me at all. I've also realised that although I have a mental map of where everything in the house 'should' be (and invariably isn't), I rarely explain this to DH so I have to remind myself when he puts something in the 'wrong' place that he might just not know where it should go wink...

GhostShip Sat 17-Nov-12 15:56:39

I agree with what Proudnscary said on page 1

MummytoKatie Sat 17-Nov-12 16:44:41

My general rule for my days off is that I try and have the house in better shape when dh gets home than when he left. So breakfast and lunch things gone, toys out away, paints cleared up plus something else.

Sometimes my something else is a decent clean, often it is just a load of washing.

It's harder since dd stopped sleeping during the day as I don't have that hour to play with.

I always have dinner ready for all of us as if I didn't our evening would fall apart.

Euphemia Sat 17-Nov-12 16:49:14

Zombie thread!

justcait Sat 17-Nov-12 16:58:10

blush I only checked the '17' not whether it was November!! Oopsy...

specialsubject Sat 17-Nov-12 17:28:41

'He spends a lot of time on the computer and on his iPhone - games, facebook, twitter, sports pages, news ... '

he's not that busy, then, is he? Nor is your kid getting much fun.

'filthy' and 'smells' are beyond a relaxed attitude to housework. Time for some plain talking. And to rehome the dog.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now