to say I'm not doing all the organisational stuff anymore?

(79 Posts)
Mandy21 Fri 11-Jan-13 20:10:44

I have posted about this before but its finally come to a head now.

Long story short - we are a normal family I think - 3 children under 8, 2 at school, 1 at nursery. I work 3 days (have our 3yr the other 2 days), H works full time. Both do the same job, stressful, deadlines etc. Family life is busy and we're strapped for cash most of the time.

DH is a brilliant father, good husband most of the time, hard working. He is great at doing what I ask, pulls his weight with childcare / household chores / DIY. Doesn't have expensive hobbies or go out with his friends all the time. He is generally great.

Except for anything to do with organisation / planning of our life as a family. He will stretch to liaising with a couple of the other dads re lifts to DS's football matches. He also arranges for the cars to be serviced. Thats it. His salary goes into the joint account and a nominal sum goes into his own personal account to do with what he likes. He has no idea re finances - he couldn't tell you to the nearest £500 what the mortgage is, I manage all the finances, pay bills, budget, search for better deals all the time for utilities / insurance renewals etc. He doesn't plan any weekend activities, holidays, help to sort out things to do with the children in school holidays. I arrange play dates / after school activities / children's parties / presents / our social lives. I feel like I am constantly "thinking" about what needs to be done, whether everything is sorted / planned - just so all of the plates keep spinning, whereas he does what hes asked and can then just get on with his working day with no other demands on his time.

I've said I'm not doing it anymore - I'll give him all the details for bank accounts / payment dates / provisional dates for holidays but he's got to manage it all now. I'll do the day to day stuff - playdates for the children, be the point of contact for childcare etc, but all the "behind the scenes" organisation, he can do if from now on.

Am i expecting too much or do most mums / wives end up doing what I do?

deleted203 Fri 11-Jan-13 20:15:24

Let me know how you get on! I do all ours (badly) and I hate it, so know exactly where you are coming from. Its a constant juggling act, and I'm very envious of DH who just works and has no other worries. I just know darn well that with his laid back attitude that if I didn't sort the stuff out then the kids would never get a dental appt, we wouldn't go on holiday, dog wouldn't be booked into the kennels, etc, etc. I know that if I left things to DH he just wouldn't bother and it would be even more stressful.

Fivemoreminutesmummy Fri 11-Jan-13 20:17:42

YANBU to be annoyed. I do exactly the same (because if I didn't we would never do anything or go anywhere!) it is a bit frustrating though isn't it? I think have an honest chat with him and give him specific things to do. Ask him to plan a holiday or date night. But don't worry too much, he sounds lovely in every other way.

DamnBamboo Fri 11-Jan-13 20:22:56

Most mums and wives end up doing what you're doing?

DamnBamboo Fri 11-Jan-13 20:23:18

(that was meant to be an ! instead of a ? )

orangeandlemons Fri 11-Jan-13 20:27:53

I stopped doing it. It took some time.....the main reason was I am awful at Maths, whereas dh has a degree in it. Whenever I did anything the sums always failed. Eventually I told him to do it. He still doesn't do much, but at least he does some of it. I still organise playdates etc though.

rainrainandmorerain Fri 11-Jan-13 20:30:21

I'm v interested to see responses to this - I have been in a similar position (not as bad now!) and know lots of other households where this is the default setting.

It IS unfair and pain in the arse. I have defined it as using brain space/thinking time that I could be spending on my job.

One problem is that this situation creeps up on us, I think. I and other female friends took over financial and bill/household organisation after our dps cocking it up, frankly. if your husband/partner consistently screws up bills and budgets, you can either try and get them to change, or do it yourself. Not a great choice.

The argument that you should just stop doing everything and leave them to it is all very well - but with us, that meant bills going unpaid, things not being ordered, finances going up shit creek, and big arguments when it all happened.

I think with responsbility for dc stuff and organisation, sometimes a pattern is set when the mother is on maternity leave, and so becomes responsible for all that stuff. It just ends up staying with her.

That said, I know my dp, who shares childcare/parenting very well, just will not for some reason arrange playtime with other kids, or talk to other parents to arrange stuff. He will rarely plan ahead, look at activities, or look at the weather forecast, even, to see how the next few days might pan out. if left completely to his own devices, he just tends to do exactly the same thing over and over again, never seeking out new places or activities. It is frustrating.

I think you are entirel right to want change, but any similar change I have managed to make has taken a lot of insistence, some arguments - and when it comes to financial matters, monitoring. I need to know he has done the things he is supposed to. Some might say this is infantilising - but from the point when I insisted dp take on some bills and account management, he did screw up a lot and it did need sorting out. You can't expect someone who never reads bank statements and panics badly about money to be on top of monthly outgoings from the joint account on his own. Just sets him up for failure and means you have a mess to clear up yourself. Sadly. I do hope things are different for the next generation.

Hassled Fri 11-Jan-13 20:32:44

You're not expecting too much, although I suspect in most families where one parent works PT, that is the person who then absorbs all the household admin regardless of the preschoolers, cooking, cleaning, shopping etc stuff they also do on the non-working days.

DH doesn't have a clue about what goes on the vast majority of the time - I went back to work after quite a long break recently, though and am slowly delegating things his way. He's not unwilling, just oblivious.

Good luck smile

BridgetJonesPants Fri 11-Jan-13 20:33:21

It's exactly the same in our house, I deal with all the household finances, look for best insurance/utility deals etc. DP only sees to the car insurance, MOT etc...although I usually still have to remind him to book car in for it's yearly service.

I also do all the food shopping, pay for holidays, buy family birthday & Christmas presents, buy DD things she needs and ensure she goes to & is picked up from clubs etc.

However, I only work part-time and really don't mind, in fact, I prefer to be in control of the finances....but maybe thats cos I'm a bit of a control freak grin.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 11-Jan-13 20:36:52

That sounds like quite a 'clean' split and similar to what we have ie DH does bills and holidays, I do playdates and parties. We'll each do "delegated" tasks within those headings eg DH has just booked a party for DS2, I make calls re the joint credit card if needed but at least the responsibilities and "head space" are clear.

FumblesandFrolics Fri 11-Jan-13 20:52:35

Same here, except I also work full time.

I just don't think DH has the mental capability to hold it all. Even though he had the 'more important' job (more senior)

Although whomever said it probably stems from after it's leave when we naturally tend to pick up extra home stuff (because newborns are soooo easy and leave us soooo much time to do it don't they hmm)

It's a catch 22 situation between the exhaustion of mentally coping with it all, or having to remember to remind him to do it over and over and over (ad infinitum)

and when I am pms riddled like tonight and he suddenly 'remembers' his work Xmas party leaving me moving furniture and organising the spare room for family, Organising the weekends activities, whilst doing RR with our very stubborn 2 year old he gets very pithy responses to his 'gonna be late ' texts

orangeandlemons Fri 11-Jan-13 20:57:53

What helped for me was this. I was prescribed paroxetine for anxiety, and just stopped caring about a lot of stuff. Eventually dp had to step in as I kept forgetting/became less control freakery about it... Not recommending it mind.........

He now books holidays, and organises some finance stuff. I check for cheaper deals, organise parties etc. It can be shared, but you have to take a stand!

redexpat Fri 11-Jan-13 21:14:42

Could you not spilt the jobs up a bit mroe evenly? I think going from not a lot to almost everything would be a recipe for disaster frankly. Could you delegate some tasks to him? Or tackle the financial/planning jobs together once a month?

Mandy21 Fri 11-Jan-13 22:26:29

Thank you for all your replies. I think its a combination of the posts - being a tad obsessive as a new mum and wanting to do everything for the children, then my control freak tendancies kicked in too. I agree that its probably too much to go from doing nothing to doing everything, so I think there will be some monitoring in the background. I think its just the lack of appreciation that cheeses me off, that he doesn't recognise the effort I put in. So I think I'm going to stand firm, or else nothing will change. Maybe it'll end in a more equal split over time. Thanks again!

MumVsKids Fri 11-Jan-13 22:35:34

YANBU, your household sounds just like ours, and I get so fed up with it.

I've gone as far as sitting DH down and writing all the finances out, but he has not got a clue.

If I don't doit, it won't get done, and it bloody annoys me sad He is a fantastic father and husband, and if I ask him to do something he will do it, no problem, but if I just left it all to him, we'd be homeless inside of six weeks no doubt sad

Same here - I do all that stuff. Even suggesting a night out - we wouldn't go out unless I organise it!

We are hoping to be able to afford an extension and new kitchen next year but am dreading it as I know it will be left to me to do all the ringing round, getting quotes, choosing materials, all the bloody decision making in fact. We had a new bathroom fitted this year and I basically planned and organised and shopped for it all. I found a suite i liked in a shop and he moaned when I said he should come and look at it before we ordered it! Honestly.......

racingheart Fri 11-Jan-13 22:41:51

Sounds like a fair split. If you organise all the children's stuff and he keeps tabs on all the house stuff - that's fair. (Well, it's how we do it in our home, and I find it very relaxing never to have to think about the mortgage/car tax etc. I presume from the panic in DH's eyes when faced with having to find a babysitter for surprise nights out, that he never gives a thought normally to school dinner money, piano exams, sleepovers, birthday presents/parties etc.

Paintyourbox Fri 11-Jan-13 22:42:51

I take care of all of our finances, is it annoying? Yes.

If I left it to DP we would be an arrears with every bill and most probably homeless. He is a fantastic man but money matters aren't his thing, he prefers the "the cashpoint is still giving me money so it must be fine" rule. He would quite happily pay 20% more for electric because it saves him shopping around.

I read somewhere once that: "One of the greatest gifts you can ever give your child is financial independence."

The author explained that many (adult) children inherit debt from their parents when they pass away. There is no money for funeral costs so they pay it themselves rather than from parents estate etc.

That's what turned it around for me, I would rather take care of it all, plan carefully and budget successfully so that my DD won't have to worry that we didn't take care of our finances properly at 6 months all she worries about is that the supply of boob will stop

I think that secretly they know we are more capable than them of doing a good job and trust us to get on with it. But it is bloody taxing on the brain to be on charge of this stuff all the time.

Cerealqueen Fri 11-Jan-13 22:46:08

This is why men thrive on marriage - they gain a wife who does all this stuff.


Mandy21 Fri 11-Jan-13 23:23:34

curlyhaired assassin similar situation - we've just applied for planning permission for an extension, I was the one who dealt with the builder / architect / checked the drawings, made suggestions. He did manage to make it home for the final meeting though. I know he could do it if he put his mind to it, it would just cost more and take longer because even though I want him to do I still think I could do it better

paintyourbox that is really interesting - our families are poles apart when it comes to finances and I think this is probably the root of the problem. My FIL died recently leaving his affairs in some disorder with no money for a funeral (so my DH and his brother had to pay for it). My parents (who have been so frugal and careful throughout their lives so they are in a position to treat their grandchildren etc) thought this was terrible. I think my need to have finances properly managed is in-built, whereas it isn't in my DH's genes.

CocktailQueen Sat 12-Jan-13 00:13:39

Well, my dh is a financial advisor so he does organise DDs, the household bills, pays things etc - though I am the one who organises new house and car insurance, bizarrely - but the rest - social, playdates, present buying, holiday booking, booking tesco clubcard vouchers, etc - he leaves to me. No idea why.

Even things like taking breakfast stuff/lunch stuff out of the freezer in time to defrost - he doesn't do that. I have to ask him to do things all the time.

Maybe it's because I like to have things done and be organised and he's happy to leave stuff to the last moment, so I just do it. It's easier. Pain in the arse really, and why should we be the ones to do it all and have to worry and think about things????????

DoJo Sat 12-Jan-13 02:47:42

I agree that an all-or-nothing approach is a little harsh - can't the jobs be shared out more evenly so that you each play to your strengths? Having said that, I do all the finance stuff in our house and really don't find it that taxing - most insurance is a once a year job (so for two cars and the house/contents it's probably only a matter of hours per year) as are tax and MOTs, shopping around for utilities isn't worth doing more than once every six months or so, less if you're tied in with your current supplier and everything else is on standing order so I just need to glance at the bill once a month to check that everything looks about as I expect it to. I suppose I could be a little more rigorous, but not at the expense of my sanity, and everything works out well enough that I'm in no hurry to change it! Perhaps I'm not worried enough and there's something lurking around the corner ready to bite me on the behind...!

deleted203 Sat 12-Jan-13 03:14:58

I don't know if I feel relieved to find I'm not the only one - or depressed that it appears common to dump your wife with the lot! I love DH to bits - he is the kindest, most loving man in the world and would do anything for anyone. But he is laid back to the point of being horizontal. And so I do every single tiny thing (or at least it feels like that). And I am hopelessly disorganised and untidy, so it is a massive strain trying to be responsible for everything. I get so frustrated that, for instance, DH puts the bins out. BUT....they go out on a Thur am (picked up about 7.00am) so on a Wed evening I have to say 'could you put the bins out please? It's the black one this week'. And he will, without fail, say 'I'll do it in the morning', because he can't be bothered to get up and do it then. And because his memory is so poor before I go to bed I have to put a HUGE sign sellotaped to the inside of the front door which says, 'BINS! (BLACK) because otherwise he will forget. And then I'm left with a full black bin, and the bin men won't be back for another fortnight, and what the hell do I do with the rubbish for the next two weeks? It just strikes me as ridiculous and stressful that I have this kind of performance every week over the one job he does.

I absolutely empathise with everyone saying how stressful it is to organise EVERY single thing. Curly your post had me nodding in agreement - it would be exactly the same in our house. For our DSs 18th we went away with the whole family (GPs, DSis, DB, families - 27 in total) to Centre Parks for a long weekend. But I was the one who organised it, booked it, rang round family for all the details, chased them for money, bought DSs presents, wrapped them, bought the food to take, booked the activities, organised the meals, packed for all the DCs AND DH, (having sorted out the clothes they would need, washed and ironed them). I baked a cake to take, bought the booze and sorted out the dog with boarding kennels (having had to take it to the vet first as it's jabs needed bringing up to date). And when we got home I had all the unpacking and washing of dirty clothes, etc to do. DH said when we got back, 'That was a great weekend, wasn't it?' and I though, 'Well yes. It was. But it was fucking exhausting for me to sort out' and you begin to wonder if it's worth it. Maybe I'm just feeling knackered from Christmas and New Year but I find any kind of holiday period doesn't ever give ME any peace and quiet, but on the contrary takes a lot of organising whilst DH does bugger all.

AdoraBell Sat 12-Jan-13 03:19:36

YANBU to feel frustrated, but maybe a bit unrealistic to expect him to pick up where you left off. I second the idea of having an honest chat and allocate a few things. Here I do everything regarding DCs because he wouldn't know where to start and he does everything official/financial becuase we live in 1950 Chile. He also has to make all arrangements with his family because of a long list of events I don't need to list here.

So, in short, sit down and talk about it sensibly and see if a compromise that works for both can be reached.

Pilgit Sat 12-Jan-13 05:30:32

YANBU - it's simply not reasonable for one adult to do all the organising and the other to take a back seat to it all. Having said that I don't know much about our finances as DH deals with everything - but he as everything on direct debit and even the credit cards have minimum direct debits on to make sure we don't miss payments. I do longer term saving and planning though and most of our social life organising.

Sowornout - you should show your DH that post and ask him for his opinion - ask him if YABU to be exhausted with it all.

This was us, years ago before DS was even thought of.

I got fed up and dumped he finances on DH. The phone was cut off, and we nearly had the utilities cut off too. He was crap. Then he would get angry with the utility companies because he "meant to get round to it". Bit of an attitude issue there I think!

Anyway, I took it back but it had led to some useful stuff about his attitude to money and life. Then I handed things over gradually. He now, some time later, deals with bills and has some household tasks that are his to manage and generally is far better, but it took time.

I do think that, as he is the main worker, (I'm currently a SAHM) that it suits us best for one of us to have the overall management of the House. By that I mean just knowing in my head what is where and what work will need doing in the next year or two and how everything is going, just as that would be someones responsibility in a work environment. After that it's down to splitting the management of individual work streams.

littlewhitebag Sat 12-Jan-13 06:16:02

In our house my DH takes care of the finances/cars/garden and i do the house (cleaning, cooking, shopping, washing etc), kids stuff and appointments. I work part time and he works long hours full time. His stuff can easily be done at weekends and evening and mine i can do on my days at home. It works for us.

whiteflame Sat 12-Jan-13 06:19:36

This has made me feel quite bad, because DH does most of ours (we both work full time). We just moved to a new country that speaks his native language, so I find it very difficult to navigate through foreign websites/paperwork. Hmm better try to learn it quicker before he gets sick of it.

Do you have different expectations of what needs doing though? For e.g. would he be happy for DCs to not go to many parties? It is a hard balance to shift, you have my sympathy.

nextphase Sat 12-Jan-13 07:15:32

the holding everything in your head - thats what it feels like here to.
I've been away with work for a week twice since returning to work after the arrival of DS2, and think DH got a taste of what life is like.

The first time it was chaos. No food left, but he was proudly smiling that he'd changed our bed sheets. Just a shame he hadn't done any other washing during the week!

Next time was better, but he spent most of the weekend in bed recovering! Oh, and took the wednesday in the middle of the week off, while the kids still went to nursery!

Any chance of a short time away, just so he sees the day to day stuff, when there is nothing of bills etc to sort?

UserNameAngst Sat 12-Jan-13 07:42:52

Can fully empathise with this: DH full-time, me part-time, 2 DCs, me currently on maternity leave. I don't mind being in charge of most admin as I'm good at it, but expect as the OP says it will be more onerous when the kids are at school.

Just a couple of things to say... Firstly in my case I know that I can underestimate my DH, plus suffer from the control freakery mentioned, and if I wasn't to do things my way, the important stuff would probably get done - just not the way I'd do it, and that's not necessarily a bad thing! Secondly, for a few years we have used Google Calendar to organise things and that has made a big difference to my feelings about the admin. Each family member has a calendar, I update the kids, we can access the calendars from anywhere, and we both take responsibility for booking in anything and resolving any clashes. Obviously this took a degree of willingness on DH's part but it only took a few pointed "is it on the calendar"'s to get it working. I think the tecchy aspect appeals to both of us which might help motivate other DH's?

Oh yy to the shared calendar. Ours is a central calendar that updates to our phones and means either of us is able to check the diary and book things in. No excuses!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 12-Jan-13 08:23:17

YY to calendars - we do through outlook calendars at work.

weevilswobble Sat 12-Jan-13 08:33:05

Count your blessings.
1 You have a husband who is the father of your healthy children.
2 He has a job, which fills the joint account at the end of every month.
If you think things are bad remind yourself that others aren't as fortunate. smile

whyno Sat 12-Jan-13 08:35:01

Are you me?!

buildingmycorestrength Sat 12-Jan-13 08:46:21

Thank you so much for posting on this. My husband is the same. I have found it helps to give him responsibility for set tasks, like dishwasher every morning, putting the kitchen to bed at night, and taking kids to activities at the weekend. Being ill myself has forced my hand.

Flisspaps Sat 12-Jan-13 08:50:58

I read Wifework.

It opened my eyes to how all of this had become my 'job' too.

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 08:52:18

How did it get that way though? I mean unless the woman owns her own house and then the man joins her from his parent's house, which does happen but rarely, then both adults have been living independently for a while before getting together, organising everything for themselves. It must happen somehow that when they move in together the woman slowly (or quickly?) takes everything over - and who instigates that?

DH and I do about 50/50 on the organisation front but that's because I just haven't taken on some of the jobs, and DH has had to do them or they just don't get done. In fact when we moved here he looked at houses, sorted the mortgage, insurance and all the financial stuff, organised the movers etc etc - we were moving for his job, and I was SAHM to a small baby while he had a quiet office where he could make phonecalls so it just made sense for him to take care of it. Once we moved I did the electricity and gas, he did the tv and internet (although he has since taken over the elec and gas as he found a better deal). He could have faffed around and not sorted out the tv, but I'm not his mother I wouldn't have stepped in and sorted it out, we just wouldn't have had tv. For anything else that's come up we just share responsibility - we chose the kitchen together, he researched the appliances, I chose the tiles, that sort of thing. And he can't back out because I expect him to do it and if he doesn't do it it doesn't get done.

I just wonder how responsible women are for this problem - do they step in all the time, take over, make the man feel he can't do it right?

I am always gobsmacked when women say they pack for their partners. There is no way on earth I would do that for DH unless he genuinely couldn't it himself for some reason. But who wouldn't sit back and be a lazy arse if someone was going to organise everything for them? Honestly? I can't remember who mentioned the bins (can't go back to previous page) but WHY do you keep reminding him? Just leave him to it, and if the bins don't get emptied it's fair to expect and demand that he brings the rubbish to the tip - a few goes of that and suddenly he will start remembering! How will he ever remember if you take over the remembering for him? It's his job - don't get involved. It's DH's jobs to do the bins here too, and I have no idea what day the bins go out, not a clue. Why would I? It's not my job.

Equally important though - if DH ever does fuck up, which happens rarely, I don't get annoyed. I am not his mother, I don't monitor his activities. I commiserate at him forgetting and help him if I can, but I don't step in, I don't criticise, I don't get annoyed. That's just as important - if you feel like someone is going to go ballistic if you don't get it 100% right then the temptation is just to give up and let the other person do it. In fact DH had a tendency to do that to me - not get annoyed, but step in and do things for me - and I had to tell him to back off. It is very demoralising to feel someone else is monitoring what you're doing just waiting to horn in as soon as you have the slightest difficulty.

bigkidsdidit Sat 12-Jan-13 08:57:28

Yes read wifework! This stuff is work, remembering this is another chore. I found that book extremely powerful and can't recommend it enough

Could try keeping a big list / white board in the kitchen and write everyhing on it as it comes up eg 'book dentist' 'reply party' and each of you tick things off as you do them? It might encourage sharing of tasks and it would ensure he begins To realise what these tasks are.

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 08:59:59

Just to add - I don't organise DH's life. If he needs the dentist, he can book it himself (although I will help if he asks), I don't wash his clothes, I don't keep track of his family or buy them any presents etc. I have enough to think of with myself and DS and I don't think it's fair to expect me to be DH's PA/events manager too.

We do the whiteboard thing that bigkids mentioned and it works really well.

Egusta Sat 12-Jan-13 09:02:31

Oh i empathise i empathise.

I do it all too (I particularly empathise with the person up thread who says the dogs would not be booked into kennels for holidays) and I am the one who works out of the home, so DH is home all the time. (He does do the grocery shopping though).

(Funny-ish story, though not funny at the time. Last time the dogs were booked into kennels, DH had to get them there. He rang me at work in the middle of a meeting asking 'where are the kennels?' He had actually packed the dogs in, and started driving the car before realising he had no idea where he was going.)

I draw the line at giving him tasks though, as he gets shirty about me 'nagging'. Although last week i told him that his only task that day was TO NOT MESS ANYTHING UP.

It pisses me off as well.

Egusta Sat 12-Jan-13 09:03:04

I think I will get Wifework also. I need a change for my sanity.

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 09:10:13

Egusta, he is being totally unfair to you though, isn't he? I mean his attitude is "You do it, or it won't get done" because you can't even tell him to do it. He has the perfect set-up - a person who will organise his life and is forbidden from doing anything about it.

In your situation I would be perfectly happy to book a (cheap) holiday and not book the kennels then ask DH the day before departure "so where are the dogs going then?" and be prepared to go nowhere if he hasn't sorted something out. He doesn't sort the dogs because he knows you will do it.

lljkk Sat 12-Jan-13 09:15:25

Hmm, good luck with that one, OP!
I think an efficient division of labour means each side doing what they're best at sometimes, and doesn't sound like your OH is so great at organising. Maybe he could pick up slack in other ways?
I found that DH is better at very routine stuff (he cooks tea most nights!) and jobs that ally with his own natural interests (he's more into finance than me, for instance).

rainrainandmorerain Sat 12-Jan-13 09:39:08

Calin - how does it get like that (women either doing most admin/life organisation, and having the headspace full of that, always doing the thinking/planning) -

I think it's a number of factors. The first thing I would say is - how much do you live with when things aren't done? You say, it was your dp's job to sort out the telly - if he didn't, you wouldn't have a telly.

Okay! Not too traumatic. But purely on the financial front - the direct consequences for me of leaving my dp to manage money have been the threat of utilities being cut off, losing hundreds of pounds in overpayments (only sorted out when after repeated requests for him to have a check, I did it), nearly losing out a mortgage (entire day taken off work to ring round banks/hmrc) - all the basic problems you get when you don't budget and live within your means (unnecessary debt).

i don't think it's my job to be laid back about that.

As far as other things go - I'm not happy for my dc never to go to parties, never have play with friends, have days out beyond what they do all the time, fall out of contact with relatives - or always be the family who take and never give. I want them to be registered with a doctor, a dentist. Be able to get and be taken to appointments when they have them.

This is a feminist point. It is one thing for women to end up taking way more than their fair share. It is another to blame them for it - for what is essentially a failure to 'manage' our husbands.

a kinder approach is to accept that one woman in one relationship cannot overthrow centuries/decades of social conditioning with one graceful wave of her modern woman's wand. That if we live in a society where it is still women who take maternity leave when the children are small, this always makes them the main carer in a pattern that is hard to break, and not simply the woman's fault for being unable to 'let go'.

I think too that so many cohabiting couples get into the situation where the woman does not just the majority of domestic tasks, but the household organisation too. When you have kids, those burdens get a hell of a lot bigger - and so women end up with a daft and very disproportionate workload.

Having your own brainspace MATTERS. My dp used to say 'just tell me what to do and I'll do it.' Like he was doing me a favour! I had to point out, time and again, that while we were supposed to be working (main breadwinner here, btw) that HE was just thinking about work - I was organising a diary and schedule in my head, I was clock watching when he was just waiting for me to tell him about something. It simply isn't equal or fair.

I should add, for honesty's sake, that we are not a neat and well run household. We do a minimum and anything not vital is let slide. No perfect cupcakes and matching kids' outfits here. But I do like not to be overdrawn if we can help it, for clothes to be clean and somewhere we can find them, for food to be in the fridge and the car to be insured. Oh, and ds to not just be left in the living room all day with the telly on.

So much of this is cultural. DP isn't stupid - far from it. He also has political beliefs and personal values that are entirely consistent with sharing domestic work equally with me. And yet it is a constant battle, and much of his failure comes from him badly underestimating how much time, effort and skill is required to do things like budget and shop. He wasn't raised doing it, he never got into the habit of doing it living on his own (or with other women who obviously did most of it) - he accepts that science and politics are 'valid' subjects that he will require him to make an effort and give brainspace to (he is academically v successful) - but going shopping with a shopping list is something that he only does when I insist on it. He used to think that floors never needed cleaning. Never used to look at bank statements because if things were ok, he didn't need to, and if they weren't, it would just worry him and make him depressed.

I think a few of his problems (and mine) are unique - but most of them I think are very typical, from looking at my friend's experiences.

My position is 'easier' because I am the main breadwinner, and always have been. I still get resistance, sulking and arguments about the division of labour - but it is a lot more clear cut than if I was working part time, or earning less.

Anyway, my point is - yes, things SHOULD be more equitable, and women should do what they can to make that happen. But it isn't all our fault for being in this position - the same as running into sexist attitudes at work is not because we fail as employees to 'manage' our sexist colleagues. If what we are trying to change is a very deep seated cognitive problem - 'these things are not really my job' - on the part of male partners, then that's damn hard.

noblegiraffe Sat 12-Jan-13 09:43:45

My DH does the cooking. People think I'm lucky, my mum is horrified (I'm part time, DH is full time so I can see why people think it should be me doing it, but I hate cooking and he doesn't). I thought it was great too, until I realised that I still do all the shopping, meal planning, checking we've got the right food in, checking use-by dates, deciding what to have, and he basically comes home, says 'what's for dinner?' and then cooks it. I do all the head space stuff.

I refuse to buy presents, cards etc for his family, I don't even know when their birthdays are. Yet if he forgets, I feel a pang of guilt! Why is that? It's not my job, but my head clearly thinks it's my job and that other people will also think it's my job and when it is not done, it will be me being judged. This is why I deliberately don't know when family birthdays are because if I did, I'd be tempted to nag remind and take over.

BadPoet Sat 12-Jan-13 09:47:01

This is all so familiar. Yes. Exactly the same in this house and I do find it incredibly frustrating, when did this all become my job? I am stubborn though so have never entirely given in for an easy life but this does mean that a lot of things just aren't done properly. & I don't mean 'not done to my high standards' properly - I really am NOT a control freak - I mean half done to the point that it has a negative impact on the family. Things like me driving around in an uninsured car for a week because he hadn't signed off on the renewal docs (having decided car stuff was his) or paying vast amounts of money in a European hospital for him to have emergency treatment because he hadn't got himself an EHIC card when the E111 ran out. I do all holidays, child care, parties, 'playdates', any trips out, paperwork etc. we are planning building work and i am dreading it, because it will be the same and in addition most tradespeople around here would prefer to 'deal with the man' and talk down to me ( which is a rant all of its own but dh and I are equally inept and ignorant about planning, building etc and I would rather not deal with it)

Most bills are on dd but I monitor it and remember to pay for milk, child care and any school/activity stuff.

I don't know what to do about it. I refuse to pack for him and if it's logical I expect him to pack for children too (he's off Fridays and i am not so makes sense if we are going to see someone for the weekend) but then have to bite my tongue at hopeless mismatch of tops and bottoms, no hairbrush, etc etc.

Aargh! He is a decent bloke and will DO stuff, but only if I ask, remind, remind again and then do the big taped sign as described up thread. By which time isn't it just easier to do myself? But that's enabling, I know, I know.

I think I should read Wifework, will it just make me angry though?

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 09:50:48

Great response rain, thanks. I totally get what you're saying, and I agree that it's really off to blame women entirely for this problem.

It's going to seem like I'm blaming again (sorry) but a thing that struck me is that you say "I still get resistance, sulking and arguments about the division of labour" - is that from your DH? As in, he sulks if you suggest he should take on more? Because again, that is something I absolutely would not put up with. DH did do it somewhat at the start of our relationship but something I said a few times is "Either you can be single and do without my nagging, or you can be in a relationship and pull your weight. I will not put up with sulking. We are both responsible for these things and you simply cannot refuse to get involved because as far as I'm concerned that means you don't want to be in a relationship. Is that what you want?"

I know it sounds harsh but I wouldn't stay with someone who would get me into debt and not deal with household stuff - it would make me lose respect for him entirely. Genuine mistakes I can totally understand and forgive but persistent avoidance of responsibility is real dealbreaker in my book. By staying, and by sorting it out, you are tacitly saying that it's ok for him to fuck up in such a huge way, that you'll just put up with it, and deal with it. If it's not ok then you need to make that absolutely clear.

BadPoet Sat 12-Jan-13 09:51:26

rainrain - yes. Perfectly articulated, thank you. I may even read that to my husband.

BadPoet Sat 12-Jan-13 09:58:52

Cailin - how do you distinguish between a genuine mistake and persistent avoidance of responsibility? My husband doesn't believe he shouldn't have to do it - he just has proven to be crap at it time and again, making mistakes that scare me but I forgive. I am not naturally organised, I think I have trained myself into it. He seems unable to do this.

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 10:03:43

Forgetting once would constitute a genuine mistake in my book - as in, one bill reminder, or one incident of forgetting to get the MOT in time. After that I would expect him to do something like using reminders on his phone (DH's phone is constantly pinging - I call it his "second brain") so he doesn't forget in future. I would also expect him to do everything he can to rectify the mistake, not sit back and expect me to sort it out.

He is absolutely not "unable to do it" - he just knows you will take over if he doesn't do it. DH knows no matter how much he fucks up I won't take over (unless he's actually really struggling) so he just has to get his act together, same as women do all the time.

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 10:08:25

One thing I must add - DS is only 2 and I'm a SAHM so organisation-wise things with him are fairly straightforward. I can envisage there being problems for us when DS is older (and imminent DC2 is here) as it will take some time and effort on my part to get DH to take over some organisation for the children when he's used to me doing it, especially if and when I go back to work. But again I won't stand for him backing out of it, although I will protect the children from the effects of any incompetence. But as far I'm concerned a man who won't bring DCs to parties, organise activities etc is opting out of being a father and I won't stand for it.

BadPoet Sat 12-Jan-13 10:18:16

Ha, pinging phones. Yes, Dh has downloaded about 17 to do & reminder apps in the last couple years and bangs on constantly about the need for a 'system'. I use my phone's native stuff but the difference is, I actually look at it.
On paper I agree with you Cailin, but it's very black and white thinking. My reality is a bit less clear cut I guess, the lines of responsibility are still a bit blurry and I genuinely think Dh has a problem with this stuff. Even after the holiday hospital incident I would still never sort out his paperwork. But i would do mine and the kids and give him several reminders. I could never (as you suggested) book a holiday and then not go if Dh hadn't sorted something out for it. I feel he has already been 'taught a lesson' if you like and if that hasn't worked, what will?

BadPoet Sat 12-Jan-13 10:20:29

Ps, OP, YANBU, sorry for the hijack and good luck!

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 10:26:49

I suppose for me this sort of thing is genuinely a dealbreaker. Just not sorting things out, not participating in organising life, seems really disrespectful to me and would really damage my respect for DH. I would feel like he just didn't care, which over time would erode the relationship. So in that case I just won't put up with it, it would be "Do it or get out," which is pretty good motivation to get your arse in gear IME. It's different if you just find it annoying but can deal with it of course.

DH does our money - because he can, and I'd be utterly hopeless. I do playdates, haircuts, birthdays etc because he would be hopeless.

The issue is how you feel about it, not who actually does it. I doubt going on strike would help.

Egusta Sat 12-Jan-13 11:26:17

I agree with rainrain also.

CanIRingTheBell Sat 12-Jan-13 12:41:39

I'd say my DH does his share of organisational stuff (when prompted!), however he does seem to think he can opt out of certain areas of running a home, when I don't have that option. It makes me really cross.

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Sat 12-Jan-13 12:47:47

I am in the same boat, OP. Finding it reassuring, actually, that am not the only one. I also work FT and DH works PT, so there's no real reason why I am in charge of everything. It is so draining, and makes me feel like the only grown up.

VirtuallyHere Sat 12-Jan-13 13:00:19

Another one here. I do 95 per cent of the organising. In my experience most men just take the laziest easiest route. The house we live in now has needed everything done except structural so I have organised/done the lot. In fact DH caused me more hassel by signing up to a dodgy door to door mob for convenience which I then had to cancel in the cooling off period. If I didn't do things he would get around to it but he would take the lazy route of renewing insurances, etc so would cost us a lot more and I hate seeing our money wasted as we have worked hard for it (we are both full time). It can be somewhat irritating though occasionally as he settles down to tv when our son goes to bed and I'm working through a list of things that need doing. There are definitely genetic differences between sexes.

VirtuallyHere Sat 12-Jan-13 13:01:35

.. In the organisational sense I mean.

xkittyx Sat 12-Jan-13 13:12:57

Oh VirtuallyHere they really are not sad
Bloody convenient for a lot of men that people think that though! Reading this, all I can think is that a lot of women are being made utter mugs of.
My DH lives in his own home for 6 years before we got together and managed his life beautifully despite sometimes doing upwards of 60 hours a week. Never so much as a missed direct debit.
Nor has he unlearned his organisational skills due to having a wife.

Paintyourbox Sat 12-Jan-13 13:23:37

Mandy it sounds very much like his upbringing has left in disarray when it comes to finances.

We sound quite similar, my parents worked very hard, bought their own home and saved a lot so they are now mortgage free and semi-retired at 60. DP's parents on the other hand have yet to buy a house, have no deposit for a house and need to vacate their current home when FIL retires in 4 years (the house is tied with his job).

They are very disorganised in all aspects of their life and as such, DP hasn't had any organisational skills either. He is a lot better now (shared calendar, a weekly schedule meeting to discuss pick ups/drop offs etc) but it has been a huge challenge for him given that he has a high pressure job with long hours.

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 14:06:27

Virtually I totally disagree. The vast majority of the world's leaders are men - don't you think that requires some level of organisational skill? Or being CEO of a large company, being a Cardinal or Archbishop etc etc. Men are not genetically incompetent.

FWIW my DH is far far more careful about getting good deals with insurance etc than I. I will look, but he will search and search and he does save us a lot of money. For me my unwillingness to go that far isn't genetic, I just don't have the patience, but I will try at least because I know it means a lot to him, and if it comes to it I'll ask him for help. It basically comes down to kindness and respect - a person who's willing to see you do all the work while they lounge on the sofa and totally opt out is being totally selfish really. That's nothing to do with genetics, that's just due to not really caring that you have to struggle to get these things done while he relaxes.

nokidshere Sat 12-Jan-13 14:17:54

I tend to do most of the financial things in our home simply because I can. DH probably wouldn't know who we are insured with or when the MOT's exact date is but he would know where the information was should he need it. I do it simply because I quite enjoy it. I enjoy looking for deals and sorting out holidays etc, I like being online. However, he wouldn't bat an eyelid if I said I was fed up and it was his turn.

But then he is a great "wife"!!! He would love (if I had his earning potential) be be a SAHP. He is very domesticated and does more than his fair share of housework, cooking, food shopping, childcare etc.

I organise the childrens social lives and he organises their sporting life.

We compliment each other I suppose thats the key really. When one person is feeling put upon it leads to feelings of being undervalued and stressed and that will always cause problems.

Mrsaurtherpendragon Sat 12-Jan-13 14:25:18

It's the same in my house, tried once to say I'm not organising anything anymore-

What happened- nothing! So I just continued, it does really annoy me at times, as this stuff needs doing.


CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 14:28:27

Mrsaurther- when you say nothing happened, do you mean he just didn't pay bills? Did you challenge him on the fact he was doing nothing?

HumpheadWrasse Sat 12-Jan-13 14:35:05

If your DP wanted to take on more of the organisational stuff, where would you recommend they start?
It's the other way round in our house if i'm honest, DH does pretty much all this stuff. I don't know why. DH is very organised and likes to be in charge of things and I've just gone along with it. I do shopping and meal planning but that's probably about it. This thread is making me feel very guilty. I'm trying to recover from anxiety and I think just being in control of my own life more would really help.
What should I do? Ask DH maybe to make a list of the things that he does and go from there?

VirtuallyHere Sat 12-Jan-13 14:38:57

Sorry should have meant more in domestic sense. And they're not all like that I agree.In our house DH does a good share of 'doing' which does happen I think in a lot of these situations which is why us organisers accept it. Else I think it would be a lack of respect.

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 14:42:00

Humphead - what do you think you could manage? Would you be ok with taking over things like insurance, that don't have to be done very regularly? Or could you take on more, like sorting out house maintenance (getting workmen in, getting windows cleaned etc). You could ask DH what he would like help with and see what he says? I think if it's case that illness, such as anxiety, has stopped you doing your share then that's fair enough, you can't help that.

HumpheadWrasse Sat 12-Jan-13 16:01:54

Thanks CailinDana, I wouldn't want to hide behind the anxiety if I'm honest, I don't think there's much reason I don't do any of this stuff (other than maybe dealing with the bills, fear of being in debt etc is a big flashpoint for me), it's just the way it seems to have worked out.
I'll have a talk with DH tonight.

There's a difference between managing that's overseeing (like most political and business leaders) and micromanaging where you know the detail of what has to be done, which is what mothers often control.

I'm not sure if where that fits into the debate...

coribells Sat 12-Jan-13 17:01:55

Haven't read all this thread. My relationship with my ex husband ended for the reasons you listed. I.e home relying on me to organise every aspect of our lives. I have two sons , I didn't want to be mother to him as well. I talked, shouted, had counselling etc nothing ever changed. I resented having to be in charge of all the decision making and I began to hate him. We have been separated for 3 years now, we get along reasonably well. He hasnt 'manned up' though, and still leaves it to me make arrangements for visitation etc, however at least now I don't feel daily resentful on a daily basis.

Mandy21 Sat 12-Jan-13 17:42:31

Thank you for all the replies. Its interesting how it differs in some households, and I agree that it makes sense to play to our strengths (I'm quite organised especially when it comes to finances) and my H isn't, but it does worry me that at 37, he should have some idea of important stuff like that! I agree that it probably because he's never really been financially independent - home, uni, back home, moved in with me. Always had someone to do it for him!

I agree though that the issue is with resolving it before it makes me resentful - as other people have mentioned, I don't want to nag and I don't want to be his mother so its time he changed.

I think I'll probably take over most of it again, but hopefully by him doing it for a short period, he'll see how important it is and how much effort / thinking time it takes and take on some of the tasks that he's more than capable of!!

deleted203 Sat 12-Jan-13 22:22:57

On a positive note, ladies, at least if we are left alone in old age (or earlier) we will be able to cope with the day to day stuff! I do remember my Gran being utterly confused when she lost her husband because he had always done EVERYTHING to do with the organisation of their lives. She had literally no idea how to pay a gas bill, write a cheque, sort out the council tax, etc. Grandad had just handed over the housekeeping money every week and she had pottered off to the shops and done the cooking and housework, while he did 'man' jobs. She was very lost without him.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 13-Jan-13 09:54:32

Lots of interesting stuff here.

Cailin - to come (late in the day!) back to your point - yes, I agree that not willingly participating in shared duties is disrespectful in a relationship. as someone else said, though - it is one thing if you are dealing with persistent, wilful refusal to pull one's weight - but often it is something else. As others have said - things get done badly, incompetently, only after repeated requests and reminders (which is where this thread started. With the brainspace necessary to organise family life).

But is is not a deliberatel intentional disrespect. DP doesn't FEEL like a bastard when he fails to do things. One of the most shocking conversations we've had was when I (very upset) told him that he might feel like he loved me, he might tell me so, he might believe it - but the way he behaved was not consistent with an equal loving relationship. Doesn't sound like much, I know - but to be told you are one thing (basically, exploitative) when you believe you are another (kind, loving) is something that no one wants to hear.

As I said - I think a lot of this is down to men simply not cognitively, intuitively, 'naturally' seeing much household/childcare stuff as being their job. i think it was you who rightly pointed out that men are obviously capable of great organisational tasks, in their work.... so what's the problem?

For me, 12 years and one dc into a relationship, I have a partner who is a LOT better than he used to be at money, household jobs, organising our son's life and generally doing stuff. He sees this as well. But it has taken a lot out of me to get this far. We've had the conversation that goes 'why do I have to remind you about things so often? You don't like being nagged - I don't like nagging, and it is a waste of my time remembering things because you don't. So why don't you do it?'

The answer is usually defensive and tetchy (I have said, I never ever want to hear the phrase 'I'm GOING to do it' again). And often nothing has happened until I have lost my temper and yelled at him, upsetting myself and him in the process. Now any request I make is usually met with a reminder of all the things he is already doing that he didn't used to. Or that kind of 'Oh, GOD, alright then, fine, I just won't have any tme to do any actual WORK' etc etc - as if what I am asking is unfair.

He has occasionally reminded me of other relationships we know of where the husband does nothing at all. As if to let me know how lucky I am. I have asked him what he thinks about those men. He says he thinks it is shocking what they get away with... but at that point, he is making an intellectual, almost political point. I think his head tells him in no uncertain terms that those relationships are unequal and very unfair on the woman. Hand on heart - he FEELS a bit jealous.

i have got close to leaving him once. I would never make an idle threat like that, it would be toxic. I genuinely meant it. It was so upsetting and an awful upheaval for me to get to the point where I knew that was true. It shocked him deeply - and it did make a difference to his behaviour - but there is always a default to be slipped back to. Old habits die hard. If changing was simply as easy as deciding we were going to, we'd live in a very different world.

Btw, one useful argument for me was this. This worked because DP is a liberal, leftwing guy who would hate to be on the 'bad team' for equality. If I was doing a job in an office, alongside other men and women (the same job) where the women were routinely expected to work an extra hour or more a day, unpaid, cleaning and tidying the office, and setting up the diaries and admin for the men so that they could simply come into work, sit down and get on with it..... we would all see the unfairness. DP would be up in arms, and be encouraging me to take stand.

But when exactly the same thing happens in a domestic context, he's blind to it. And very very resistant to being told he's behaving like one of the bad guys. But that's what it boils down to.

Calin, I really really hope (and would be interested to see) if when you need your dp to take over more of the kids's organisation, he steps up to the plate and takes responsibility in the way you think is right. I have a dp who is very hands on, day to day, and absolutely accepts the idea, on an intellectual level, that parenting is a shared job.

But it's not him thinking, damn, need to get ds registered with a dentist. Must ask friends if they have local recommendations and write down numbers... must check weather forecast to see if I need to have any indoor activities up my sleeve over the weekend... if ds is going to stay with nanna next weekend, I should give her a ring Monday at least to check it's ok. And I know I have 2 really busy workdays Tuesday and Wednesday this week, so I must do a shopping list and shop Monday so we have food ready... and I know x has suggested meeting in the park Thursday with. her kids, which would be nice, so I must text back and say yes, so she knows we're up for it... and have eon billed us for an estimate or a reading this time round? And I must check joint account to see if that cheque has cleared because I need money to pay the cleaners to need to get it out of my account if it hasn't....When do swimming lessons start again? It's not in my diary, I'll have to ring them....

And so on and on and on. Now, I can lighten my load by saying YOU check the eon bill. YOU do a list and go shopping. But I am still running the show in my head.

The 'giving him a particular area to run' idea has worked in the past. I'm like you Cailin with the bins. His job, his responsibility. It mostly works, although often he will try and go week to week without emptying any of the bins in the house except on bin day. Including that gross tactic of just putting rubbish BY an overflowing bin instead of taking the bag out and putting a new one in the bin....And the fact he does the bins is sometimes used as a weapon if I ask him to do anything else. I've got to the point before of losing my temper and saying I would rather do the bins myself than have it thrown in my damn face, as if it was the one task that kept the household running.

But there you go! it is an ongoing struggle, with me being able to point to some significant advances over the years, is the best I can say. I wish it was easier - but I don't, now, think it is something we would split up over, with all the attendant upset for the children etc. I've got there once before, pre-dc, and if things got worse again, I can see it on the cards. So on we go.

Phineyj Sun 13-Jan-13 10:12:59

I agree sowornout, my nana was the same after my grandad died - she used to ring my dad in a panic when a bank statement arrived - she didn't know what they were.

deleted203 Sun 13-Jan-13 12:06:29

rainrain, YYY!. Your comment on 'running the show in your head' is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. It is ALL the crap that DH doesn't appear to realise that someone has to be thinking about. I hate having to deal with all these thoughts - I'm not a naturally organised person - and I feel swamped and overwhelmed lots of the time, because there are always so many 'to do' jobs on my mental list that I'm feeling stressed when I lie in bed at night trying to remember what I need to sort out that week - and knowing that only about 75% of it will probably get sorted.

DH will do jobs if asked - but I have to think about them. So he'll put the bins out - provided he is asked, reminded, asked again, and probably left a note about it. He will never ever notice that something needs doing and just do it. Not even unload the dishwasher or wash the pots up. If asked, 'could you wash up?' he will look vaguely surprised and say, 'Aye, nae bother' but it doesn't seem to occur to him that someone will need to wash saucepans after the evening meal. To be fair to him, he does work very long hours, and is self employed - but I'm the one who juggles work, 5 dcs, home, bills, and doing all the paperwork for his business and paying his lads. It doesn't ever seem to occur to him how I fit it all in - or how I have to be constantly thinking of things in advance. This week, for instance, he suddenly said on Wed eve, 'Could you pay the lads tomorrow, instead of Fri? One of them needs his wages and I said that would be ok'. And I had to say, 'Well, no. I can't. Because tomorrow I am teaching until 3.45, and then I have a dept meeting from 4.00 til 5.00, by which time the bank will be closed. I also have a lunchtime club tomorrow and I work in a small village which is 15 miles from the bank. When I pay the lads' wages I have to come flying out of school, drive 15 miles and hurtle into the bank at around 4.25 - when they close at 4.30pm. It is a pain to do every week - as I keep on telling you, but you simply look at me as though I'm mad and say, 'Aye - but I'm at work on a site from 7.00am - 5.00pm. I can't pay the wages'. His mother used to do all this stuff for him, and he automatically thinks that I will, without appreciating how difficult it often is for me.

rainrainandmorerain Mon 14-Jan-13 09:57:03

sowornout - I felt worn out reading your post! That was a useful bit of perspective for me.... I'm not 'naturally' organised either, it is an effort and I don't really enjoy it. Although I do like the feeling of not being out of control of my affairs.

Just to pick up on what a couple of others have said about financial affairs - yes, there are different ways of being in an unequal relationship. I read here sometimes about marriages where the husband refuses to tell the wife how much he earns, how much money he has, where it goes etc. And I always find that gobsmacking because it is so far from my own experience.

I think that where a woman has been financially independent and lived independently before marrying (which is surely most women these days?) then that situation is less likely to happen. Obviously still does, though.

Sometimes it feels like these relationships where men just don't take a role in running the domestic show are because a memo from feminism never reached them. For women, the deal so often seems to be - yes, by all means, go out to work, be more independent (well - women have always WORKED, they have not always had careers, which is a big difference) - but you, women, must either fit your work around your exisiting domestic duties, or find a way of doing it all at the same time.

Logically, if women want to do more, men have to take on some of those duties - or be more flexible about what they see as 'theirs'. Each relationship will be different, and we all have different ways of organising things to suit us.... but I know SO many mothers who take on virtually all of this stuff because the men are unwilling or unable to do it. That isn't fair. And I think in talking about it, there 's often a double kicking to be had, because not only are women doing too much, but also, running a household, or anything domestic and to do with basic child welfare, is just not seen as being important. So in complaining about it, we're seen as being small minded and petty.

But like I said before.... put it in a work context, with women being expected to do unpaid cleaning and admin duties for their male colleagues, and we'd all see the unfairness.

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