To expect SAHD DH to do more now that both dc are in school

(105 Posts)
lecce Sun 15-Sep-13 08:13:12

I am just wondering what is UR here and want to see what others think and do.

There are two dc, 6 & 4, both now in f/t school. Dh has always done the laundry, cooked pretty much all meals (from scratch), done nearly all dog walking, changed our bed (but not dc's), done other general cleaning and gardening. He also does DIY when needed and takes care of financial stuff and anything to do with the car, though I am its main driver.

I get up at 5am to be in work for 6.30, 2 hours before school starts, and am usually home by 5-5.30, except for meeting nights etc. Sun- Thurs I usually do 1-2 hours' work after the dc are in bed. I put the dc to bed (though dh does ds2's story) and do the dog's final walk. I sweep the sitting room floor after the dc are in bed. At weekends I tidy and clean the dc's bedrooms and do the bathrooms - dh sometimes does these but tends to do stuff like mopping the floor without sweeping properly first, so it looks really crummy.

I am now starting to resent having to do anything other than childcare, tbh. There are lots of things that, although dh does them, he doesn't do thoroughly and the house just looks a bit mucky - though all essential stuff is done.

In case I am later accused of drip-feeding, Dh has MS but he is fine atm. If unwell, none of this would apply, obviously. He also does some online marking of exams at home, but only at certain times of year. I expect to do more when he is doing this, of course.

WIBU to speak to him about this?

RedHelenB Sun 15-Sep-13 08:21:51

Could you afford a cleaner? Or maybe if you aren't earning much in the job you do, switch to one where you get more time at home might be an option?

cathpip Sun 15-Sep-13 08:25:33

I wouldn't like to clean bathrooms and kids bedrooms if my other half did not work either, but what's the point in cleaning to a standard that you think is acceptable if your other half is only going to redo it. That would piss me off no end.....

Lilacroses Sun 15-Sep-13 08:27:59

I don't blame you for feeling fed up as you are doing alot. However, I work PT and my Dp works full time. Obviously I do alot more of the cleaning, tidying, washing etc. The thing is she is more fussy about how things are done so will often re do stuff. I don't feel too terrible about that as we have always been diffeent in that way. Plus I cook every single meal and always have.

McNewPants2013 Sun 15-Sep-13 08:28:58

What is the point of him doing it if you are going to redo it.

What is he doing while you're cleaning st the weekend? And how much free time do you each get?
If you want him to do more, is there anything he would find more enjoyable / be better for your family than cleaning? Some kind of work from home job?

Artandco Sun 15-Sep-13 08:30:24

I don't think one should have to do everything even if at home. It sounds like he does a fair bit. Assuming he spends until 9.30am ish sorting kids and stuff and taking to school and back, and from 2.30pm is heading to pick them up with afternoon on homework/ taking them out. 5 hrs a day but he does cooking/ DIY/ most cleaning/dog walking/ garden..

I think that sounds fine. Maybe get a cleaner if you can afford to do a deep clean every week or two

christinarossetti Sun 15-Sep-13 08:31:37

Could you afford a cleaner?

I would ne pissed off in your position, but would rather avoid discussions about my dh's standard of cleaning etc.

Otherwise, you need to talk it through with him.

Finola1step Sun 15-Sep-13 08:31:59

Is this one of those reverse AIBU? If not, it would appear that you are suggesting that you should do no housework whatsoever. In the home you share with your family. But you're not satisfied with your dh's cleaning standards. Poor bloke can't do right for doing wrong. The children should be helping to tidy their own rooms.

I have a good friend whose husband has a high powered job in the city. Comes home every night in a grump because the house isn't tidy (to his standards). Only lifts a finger to help grudgingly. The constant sighs etc are really wearing her down. He wants to come home and relax in a neat and tidy home. She wants a home that they all feel relaxed in. They barely talk to each other now in the evenings.

What exactly do you think your DH should be doing now?

JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 15-Sep-13 08:32:06

YANBU to expect him to do more work at home now that he has more time at home when he hasn't got childcare to do.

I'm not sure that translates to you having no jobs other than childcare in the house, but certainly cleaning the bathrooms every weekend seems a bit rubbish if one of you is at home during school hours with no children to care for.

Can he physically do any more? Considering fatigue is one of the biggest issues with people with MS, I think he does his fair share

superbagpuss Sun 15-Sep-13 08:35:50

get a cleaner

my dh is a sahd and DC have just started reception but I still wouldn't stop my cleaner

it means I know the kitchen and bathroom get a proper clean once a week and it helps dh stay tidy

PareyMortas Sun 15-Sep-13 08:37:27

I think he's doing his fair share.

Get a cleaner if you don't think his cleaning is up to your standards.

somersethouse Sun 15-Sep-13 08:41:11

It sounds like he does a LOT! To me anyway. He keeps the household going and probably deserves a bit of slack now both children are at school for the first time.
The house is going to be a bit messy with a 4 year old and a 6 year old.

If you don't like the way he mops the floor and re-do it then that is your business.


paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sun 15-Sep-13 08:46:03

I think it depends on standards - if he thinks a quick clean is enough but you want show home standards then you need to find a compromise. So if floors and bathrooms are important / your bugbears then you could do those but swap for jobs you like less - he could do the kids' beds for example.

Me and DP both work so we share housework but try to bag jobs we hate the least. We often trade too (but we're childish) so "I'll do the washing up for a week if you get up both weekend mornings" / I'll make the pack ups for lunch if you do this shitty nappy ...

pinkdelight Sun 15-Sep-13 08:49:34

Sounds like there's a lot of cleaning going on one way another - sweeping the floor every night etc. Seems to me you have v high standards that mean you might as well get a cleaner. Or I just wouldn't do the extra cleaning at the w/e. I bet your house is still pretty clean. Your dh sounds like he does a lot.

Dededum Sun 15-Sep-13 08:50:29

You discount his MS with a word 'he's ok now'. I assume he has relapsing remitting MS and he is in remission. I have MS though mine is progressive.
As you know MS never goes away, can be benign. It's hard to understand as an outsider, but maybe although he is in remission he still suffers from fatigue?

I wonder if this is not about cleaning but really MS. He is not working, to do you resent that? You'd have to be a saint not too. Is there a part of you which thinks it is all a bit of joke?

Buttercup4 Sun 15-Sep-13 08:51:10

Get a cleaner. Your DH does a lot, the cleaner could cover your bits and get your DH's bits up to scratch

Morgause Sun 15-Sep-13 08:51:50

I agree with those who say get a cleaner. YABU.

Bowlersarm Sun 15-Sep-13 08:55:07

Hmmm. Reverse it. If you were posting from the opposite viewpoint ie you were the SAHM and your DH resented doing any housework apart from childcare everyone would be piling in calling him all sorts of names.

Also in the reverse scenario if your DH didn't think your housework was done to his exacting standards, everyone would be telling him to do it himself then!

Bowlersarm Sun 15-Sep-13 08:56:04 YABU, if my post was unclear.

Get a cleaner and stop resenting him.

JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 15-Sep-13 09:00:06

"Sounds like there's a lot of cleaning going on one way another - sweeping the floor every night etc."

Does sweeping the floor every night count as A LOT OF CLEANING?

I do that and I am a lazy slattern and my house is usually a total pigsty,

This is the first time in my life I've ever felt like I had standards grin

Lilacroses Sun 15-Sep-13 09:05:53

Great post Joinyourplayfellows! That's sort of about where I'm at! We are super excited because at present we have ONE really tidy room! Today we are going to try making that TWO!

I would resent all this sweeping. Could you get a vacuum cleaner? Would make mopping a lot easier.

Twooter Sun 15-Sep-13 09:08:48

You sound as though you're starting to treat him like an employee who is bad at their job. Most people with an employer that critical would try to change jobs. Don't expect him to spend all day every day cleaning - it would be soul destroying. The only way to cope with being a sahp without loosing your sanity is to have other interests and activities.

lecce Sun 15-Sep-13 09:08:52

I thought I was probably BU smile.

No chance of a better paid job atm - I am a teacher and have been for8 years and have money for extra-responsibilty. Even with Gove and his policies, there is no way I would walk into a job earning more than I do now in another sector. I do hope to be looking at promoted positions in a couple of years, but atm there is no way we could afford a cleaner. We are trying to tighten our belts.

I agree with the last poster - we do not have high standards and the house seems, I don't know, rough around the edges. I know it must be annoying for dh if I redo stuff, so I don't do that - just have a quiet seeth.

I didn't mean to down-play the MS, but I trust him to stay in his limits. If he says he's been tired, then I don't question any lack of house-work. But if he goes round a friend's house unti 1am, then I wonder why he couldn't, I don't know, mop the floor properly.

Yes, I know how this would sound if it was a man complaining about a woman. What can I say? I do a lot. Sometimes it feels as if I just work all the time. Dh has far more free-time than me. I would never try and even it out - it's just the nature of my job and having small children. I would just like him to take a little more care over things he does.

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 15-Sep-13 09:09:05

I too think he does a lot. When I was a SAHM I did everything because it was my job to but DH accepted that two young DC were demanding so I had a cleaner who swept, hoovered, dusted and cleaned the bathrooms,etc. I by the way rarely sweep, that's DH's little early morning habit. I don't feel it needs it every day and see no need to point out that if he leaves the little pile of dust by the back door rather than dust panning and brushing it, it will just get reincorporated into the floor smile

Hasn't anyone ever had coffee at another SAHM's looked round and wondered what their DH thinks ?

Give him a break and get a cleaner OP; sounds like a diamond to me.

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 15-Sep-13 09:19:31

That sounds tough OP and I'd have worded my post differently with more info. But two buts. When you're at home all day sometimes it's so lonely and so mundane that you actually need a coffee talking to another grown up who understands the boredom and petty frustrations.

Second but - my MIL was a teacher and married to a man (he wd be 85 now so generational but still marked) who thought the home was women's work and didn't even make a cup of tea. She said she did nothing in term time, sometimes not even hoovering but she gave everything a blast in the holidays. Can you save up a deep clean for the hols and do it as a work out with your music, etc having sent them out for the day.

Final though - on the sweeping front I had a Bex Bissell (think it was callled) when mine were little - sort of mechanical push along broom with removable head that sweeps up the dust into the box as you push. Cd something like that ease the burden a bit?

PartyOrganisor Sun 15-Sep-13 09:21:05

YABU to complain about the amount of HW he is doing.

and YABU to complain about how the HW is done. Everybody has a different idea of how to do things and his ideas might not yours. I think it is OK to explain you think it's more efficient to do it x way.

Is the issue that you see your DH able to have some 'down time' with friends until 1.00am but you can't because you then need to do some HW at the weekend, the only time when you could get some?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 15-Sep-13 09:24:11


Initially it did sound like he does a lot - but quite a lot of that isn't actually time consuming on a daily/weekly basis & I think YOU would take it into consideration (ie stuff to do with the car/diy/garden).

So when you boil it down, yes, he could do more of the day to day stuff - you shouldn't have to do so much of it when the DC are both at school. Male or female SAHP.

You are working really long hours - you should not have to spend your weekends cleaning the bathrooms, kitchen, kids beds/bedrooms etc

What else does he do all day/when you are doing those things?

(MS aside as I trust your judgement - and his ability to say something - when that is something that needs taking into consideration).

PartyOrganisor Sun 15-Sep-13 09:25:58

ie when the dcs weren't at school, you think he was working hard but now they are at school, he has plenty of free time for himself?

For the record, when the dcs are at school, you actually have very little free time. By the time, you've gone back home, done one or two errants, it's usually time to go and pick them up. It looks like a long day when you're the teacher (because it is and you start earlier and finish later) but on the other side of it, I know I have only about 4 hours without them, not the 8 or 9 hours you spend in the school each day.

JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 15-Sep-13 09:26:33

"We are super excited because at present we have ONE really tidy room! Today we are going to try making that TWO!"

Jesus, steady on, Lila. grin

Sunday is a day of rest from cleaning. smile

lecce - I think the reversers are talking a load of shite. I've seen women who expect their working DH's to lift a finger at home handed their arses on here for being lazy, even when they have babies and toddlers to look after.

If he is staying out until 1am with friends, then it isn't fatigue stopping him from keeping the house clean.

I think that now that all your children are at school it makes sense to revisit the domestic arrangements and what is expected of everyone. There is nothing wrong with having that conversation.

MsVestibule Sun 15-Sep-13 09:27:11

I'm in exactly the same situation as your DH, with DCs the same age, but without the health issues. TBH, he does a lot more than more than me! Cleaning really is not my forte - I find it difficult to motivate myself to clean but occasionally blitz a room. I suppose the difference is that my DH gas fairly low standards too.

However, my DH values my contribution to our marriage and accepts that he hasn't married a particularly good housekeeper. In turn, I accept his faults. I'm a bit baffled by the poster who said you'd have to be a saint to not resent him being a SAHP. Why?

married I'm laughing at your DH going to the effort of sweeping up every morning, then leaving it in a pile at the door rather than putting it in the bin grin.

Finola1step Sun 15-Sep-13 09:28:17

Ah, now the difference in free time is an issue. I am also a teacher and with our pay freeze and performance related pay coming in, it is really hard to move, earn extra money etc. But cleaner, no cleaner, sweeping floors or not, you should have equal free time from the house, job and children. Non negotiable.

Nanny0gg Sun 15-Sep-13 09:30:06

Would a cleaner for one morning a week really break the bank?

That would deal with either bathroom and kitchen or bathroom and DC's rooms (assuming they're tidy).

Give it a thought.

dozily Sun 15-Sep-13 09:30:50

I think he does quite a lot already, and he deserves a break too. Could you suggest more of a 50:50 split at the weekend- eg you do half the cooking to give him a break and he does one of the bathrooms while you do the other? Might give both of you a break and make you feel more of a team. Also you could alternate bathrooms so that each one is cleaned to your own standards once a fortnight smile

SprinkleLiberally Sun 15-Sep-13 09:40:57

The OP is working 12 to 13 hours a day. Her DH has the children on his own for about 3 to 4. So I don't think sheshould be doing much. Especially if she is doing bedtime etc. 1 and a half hours a day would keep on tpp of the house and still leave him free time. OP has almost no free time. In holidays she can do more. YANBU.

magicturnip Sun 15-Sep-13 09:55:11

This is interesting . A while ago there was a post from a sahm women whose DH was moaning that she never got all the housework done (kids at school). DH was roundly condemned as a dick!

I think yabu. You get social interaction from work, dh does not. He is entitled to some time to himself/ meeting other people during the day rather than endless cleaning.
He may also not want to do too much in case it makes him tired, rather than just refusing because he is already tired. Prevention rather than cure.

CailinDana Sun 15-Sep-13 10:00:08

Is he trying to do a good job or just slacking? My dh would do less than that as a sahp but I know whatever he did do would be his best. Also he is totally open to me telling him the "right" way to clean things. We also had the mopping without sweeping thing and when I pointed it out he was actually very pleased as he couldn't figure out why it always looked dirty. But then his job is researching the best way to do things so I just appeal to his academic side and it works.

SeaSickSal Sun 15-Sep-13 10:02:42

Sorry YABU. I'm looking at this thread and thinking if this was a thread from a SAHM who's partner was saying that they refused to help out at home at all, because despite the fact they did of the housework and looked after the kids it wasn't up to their standards AND they had MS to boot then people would be yelling LTB.

plantsitter Sun 15-Sep-13 10:06:09

I think yabu too. What exactly would you ask him to do?write it down so you know it is specific things and not just vague criticism of the way he does things.

Being criticised by a spouse as if they were your manager is really, really, annoying, rightly or wrongly.

I realise you work hard but you get to do that while not having to worry about being back at any particular time to pick the kids up, knowing you won't have to take time off when they're ill or for school meetings or what have you, and come in to a home cooked meal every night and a reasonably clean house. You would not be able to be so successful and keep your whole wage without your DH. And I would say exactly the same to a man in your position.

choccychoccylover Sun 15-Sep-13 10:17:46

for goodness sake loosen up a bit, a few crumbs never hurt anyone,but then as long as my house is tidy I turn a blind eye to a lot

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 15-Sep-13 10:19:20

Sounds like he does a lot to me. I grew up in a home where my Mum was a stay at home mum and a workaholic and Dad worked outside the home. My mum kept the house gleaming but she never repaired a thing or did any out door chores. Every weekend my dad had a list of outdoor chores to do. There is no getting away from it without outside help running a spick and span outfit demands input from everyone in the household including the kids. You could always lower you standards as we with 2 full time workers have done. :-).

campion Sun 15-Sep-13 10:22:30

Men don't notice dirt, untidiness, mess in the way that women do.You can try to improve things but they don't really see the point.

Not saying it should be that way but I guess your dh has reached his limits.He needs a job.

Is he doing more now that both kids are in school, or does he have the full school day free?

If so, ask him what he thinks about either getting a cleaner in on one of those days to the bathrooms properly. You miss family time on the weekend and rather you did something enjoyable after a long working week than cleaning.

Retropear Sun 15-Sep-13 10:24:08

Yabu. He's not a skivvy and does more than I do.If you don't like his standards do it yourself.

If you were a man posting this you'd be flamed.

Jinsei Sun 15-Sep-13 10:24:22

I don't understand what people mean when they say that there isn't much time during the day while the kids are in school. Surely there are 4-5 hours between pick-up and drop-off - sounds like ample time to me!!

I don't think yabu to expect him to do the bulk of the housework (health issues permitting), but I also think you may need to compromise on your standards a bit. If you what him to do it, you have to accept that he'll do it his way.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Sun 15-Sep-13 10:25:36

It sounds like your DH does quite a lot. I am a SAHM at the moment and do the day to day cleaning and tidying but we do have a cleaner for 2.5 hours on a Friday. It costs £25 and means the house is lovely and clean for the weekend and we can enjoy time together as a family. My youngest is not a school yet but I can't see us getting rid of the cleaner when he is next year. I would imagine as a teacher you could afford this and it will make a big difference to your DH keeping on top of the house.

hettienne Sun 15-Sep-13 10:25:57

Sounds like he could do the kids' bedrooms and the bathrooms during the week - but you have to accept they are done to his standards, not yours.

The stuff you do after work sounds ok. I would try to make sure neither of you do housework at the weekends (other than maintenance stuff - cooking and washing up, bit of tidying) and enjoy two days off all together.

SmallTorch Sun 15-Sep-13 10:50:24

I think Yabu, it sounds like he does plenty, with MS.

Retropear Sun 15-Sep-13 10:56:49

He's got MS.shockJust wow at the attitude of the op.

Hats off to him,I'm knackered by the weekend,never seem to stop but achieve far less than he does.

whatever5 Sun 15-Sep-13 11:20:03

Did he do the "laundry, cooked pretty much all meals (from scratch), dog walking, changed beds, other general cleaning, gardening, DIY, car maintenance, even when your children were preschoolers? If so that is a lot especially considering that he probably doesn't feel that great a lot of time.

I would hope that he will do a bit more now that both your children are at school (e.g. the bathrooms) but presumably the youngest has only just started school if they are only four? If that is the case, GIVE HIM A BREAK. Also, some jobs e.g. sweeping the floor every night seem a bit unnecessary if you are out all day. You sound very fussy.

I also have MS (for over 20 years) and as others have mentioned it doesn't usually totally go away even if you are not having an obvious relapse.

Euphemia Sun 15-Sep-13 12:03:52

What do you teach that you need to work approx. 60 hours a week? shock

Rosieeo Sun 15-Sep-13 12:28:30

Euphemia - pretty much anything, especially if she has additional responsibilities.

YANBU. If H stayed at home and I worked, I'd expect him to do everything around the house. That would be his job, surely? When you're both at home, fair enough, but while you work, he works. And yes, I'd say the same thing if it was him at work, her at home.

mumeeee Sun 15-Sep-13 12:35:26

Sorry but you do seem a bit unreasonable. Ii seems to me that your DH does do quite a lot at the moment but you don't think he's cleaning is up to your standard. I would get very annoyed with my DH if he re cleaned what I had already done

Branleuse Sun 15-Sep-13 12:47:57

hes your partner, not your employee. Hes doing housework and hes doing childcare

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 15-Sep-13 13:23:17

Instead of him doing everything to a low standard, maybe he could do just a few things to a high standard and then you do the other half.

dojonoodle Sun 15-Sep-13 13:23:29

Difficult one as it is impossible to understand other people's lives, the exact demands of your job and the impact that the MS has on his energy levels and physical abilities.

I would generally expect a SAHP with school aged children to do everything at home that was within their capabilities (possibly not some DIY as some people are just not skilled at that) but all the basic housework so that the working partner doesn't need to start deep cleaning bathrooms at the weekend. I think that is fair if the other partner is out at work all day, fully supporting the family financially. Presumably, he has a fair bit of free time during the day to see friends or pursue his own interests, which you don't.

However, it does indeed sound as if he is doing the great majority and perhaps his only fault is that he isn't doing it to your standards. I do sympathise with this because there is so often a difference in standards but I think you should probably try to lower your standards with the bathroom if he is doing everything else.
Make sure you get some free time when you are on school holiday though.

whois Sun 15-Sep-13 13:27:35

I think you are being a bit U, it sounds like he does do quite a lot.

I really recommend getting a cleaner, my life is so much nicer now cleaning or getting DP to clean has been irradiated from my life. Best £85 a month we spend!

Jinsei Sun 15-Sep-13 13:37:13

But Katy, why should the OP do half when she is at work all day and her DP is at home with no children to care for?

Of course he isn't the OP's employee, but I think she does have a right to expect that he makes a fair contribution to the household, and if the kids are at school all day (and assuming that health factors are not an issue) I really can't see why he shouldn't do most of the housework. That said, if he is doing it, I think he gets to set the standards and choose how it's done.

Choos123 Sun 15-Sep-13 13:39:12

I think YABU but I also think I'd be tired in your situation. As you can't afford a cleaner, can you agree to deep clean 1 x per month, stop all your extra cleaning at other times and use the time saved to do nice things for yourself? I really think you have to drop your standards and enjoy life more, so what if your house looks a little crummy? You are both coping well with a lot by the sounds if it, if this is your major problem.

missuswife Sun 15-Sep-13 13:42:46

It's tough, I can see other posters' point that if a SAHM posted this, everyone would be saying her DH was unreasonable to expect her to do more/clean better. I don't think you're being entirely UR though. I am a SAHM with an infant and I do all the cooking and housework. DH does help when asked. If my children were all at school, I would feel like I would either need to do more at home, or get a part-time job in order to feel like I was still contributing equally.

Right now DH feels I have the tougher job but if dd were at school I would feel guilty if I didn't do something 9-5 like DH even if it was unpaid work at home IYSWIM.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 15-Sep-13 13:44:54

go read wifework and flip the genders.

ImperialBlether Sun 15-Sep-13 13:45:40

I don't think he does a lot! Why the hell should the OP pay for a cleaner just because her husband's doing a half-arsed job? If she did that, she'd be sacked.

god im glad im not married to the op.

I think you should still do some cleaning as a principle kind of thing.

Yes, he probably has time to clean the bathrooms and DC rooms. But I think it's quite unhealthy for one person to do absolutely all the cleaning. It fosters this dynamic where one person is the skivvy and the other person just judges how well they do it.

My DH and I go back and forth between being the working parent and the SAHP and we have changed cleaning duties at times. But whatever the balance, I always do laundry and he always does dishes. We each make at least a minimal contribution to the drudge work.

Don't get a cleaner, do a massive autumn clean out (get the kids to help too) and then it will be easier to maintain on a weekly basis. If you do this 2-3 times a year it should reduce that seething you feel.

lecce Sun 15-Sep-13 13:59:55

Interesting comments, thanks.

Regarding the MS, I wish people would take my word that we have discussed it and it is not the reason why we are having this issue. Really. Even those who have MS themselves should know that it is a very 'individual' disease and each sufferer seems to have their own set of symptoms/degrees of severity. Dh's sister has had it for 25 years and has never had half the symptoms dh has had in ten - though she now classes herself as secondary progressive and dh's dr classes his as mild R&R.

As for the whole 'If it was a man posting...' I do see how it would look. But, whenever I have read threads like this where the SAHM is posting to say that her partner does nothing around the home, it seems that the father does next to nothing with the dc as well, and that is seen as a big part of the problem. I do bedtime every night (unless it's parents' evening) and I sort of 'take the lead' with the dc all over the weekend and throughout holidays (I also do more housework in the holidays). I am not some chauvinist who never puts the kids to bed and goes out playing golf all weekend. I have pretty much no free-time and, when I do, I'm too tired to enjoy it. I fell asleep at 8.45pm last night and will be working tonight sad.

Euphemia - I teach English so the marking takes up a huge amount of time. My TLR is very time-consuming, too.

However, I take on board the comments that I need to lower my, already low, standards, and that dh does do a lot.

mamaduckbone Sun 15-Sep-13 14:15:28

lecce apart from the difference between your Dh's MS and my Dh's MH problems, you could be me - I can especially empathise with your last post.

Was the decision to be the main breadwinner made based on your choice, or the circumstances of your Dh's illness? I always imagined that, since teaching is a relatively child-friendly career, I would work part time after having children, but it didn't work out like that. I know that a big part of my resentment is that I don't actually want to be at work full time, and I believe (rightly or wrongly) that I would be making a better job of the cleaning etc. if I were at home doing it. Perhaps you feel the same?

I also have next to no time to myself, for much the same reason as you describe - 'taking the lead' (and easing my guilt about being a wohm) by spending every minute of the weekend / holidays with the Dc and doing much more of the housework / cooking. I have started to think that the school holidays are a holiday for Dh, not me, because I actually just do his 'job' instead. Absolutely not the same thing as a man not lifting a finger around the house.

It's tough. I have no answers because I struggle with exactly the same issues that you do, but I do know how you feel. But, I think IABU if I expect DH to do more than he does, and I suspect you probably are too.

I'm watching this thread with interest to see if anyone comes up with any genuine solutions.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 15-Sep-13 14:21:11

"I always imagined that, since teaching is a relatively child-friendly career"


Euphemia Sun 15-Sep-13 14:25:21

Teaching, child-friendly?! grin

That's given me a right laugh.


diddl Sun 15-Sep-13 14:25:26

Well as someone who doesn't go out to work, I suppose I see it as my "job" to do as much as possible around the house.

That doesn't mean that no one else does anything, or that I don't get any time to do stuff that I want, though.

Silverfoxballs Sun 15-Sep-13 14:33:02

There is no way you have low standards if you are sweeping up every day, really you don't.

Jinsei Sun 15-Sep-13 14:40:14

But I think it's quite unhealthy for one person to do absolutely all the cleaning. It fosters this dynamic where one person is the skivvy and the other person just judges how well they do it.

I sort of agree with this, but then, I also think it's quite unhealthy for one person to do absolutely all of the paid work. Much better to share it all out in my view. However, when one half of a couple is doing ling days outside the house, and the other is at home all day without any childcare responsibilities, I think it's only fair that the one at home deals with the housework. If they're reasonably efficient about it, they should still end up with more free rime than the WOHP, assuming that childcare is shared when the OP isn't at work.

If the WOHP is expected to do all of the breadwinning, half of the childcare and a significant chunk of the housework too, I don't really get how that's fair.

Jinsei Sun 15-Sep-13 14:41:43

Sorry for typos blush

I see what you're saying Jinsei but how is the OP doing a significant chunk of the housework? Tidying rooms and cleaning bathrooms on the weekend is what, half an hour a week? And her DH does do some paid work too. And makes a huge contribution by doing every morning, school runs, before and after school care, financial stuff and it sounds like a lot of the 'wifework' that isn't obvious.

But I agree sharing is the best way. The best setup we ever had was when we were both working part-time, I wish there were more opportunities to do this.

Inertia Sun 15-Sep-13 14:55:08

I sympathise with you - teaching is a job that generates vast amounts of each training work outside directed hours so combined with the housework there's a feeling good of no end in sight.

I think it might be worth drawing up a schedule with dh in terms of allocating jobs, and doing some things properly but less frequently.

mamaduckbone Sun 15-Sep-13 14:55:17

Yes, deluded perhaps Euphemia and Boney but there are more opportunities for job-sharing etc., which is what I meant.

PartyOrganisor Sun 15-Sep-13 15:05:08

I imagine that the dcs have have just started to all to school full time so it is really early days into a new routine/organization.

Your DH probably is enjoying these free hours with no dcs (I know I did when I was a SAHM) whereas you were thinking you would have less to do at weekends (and it hasn't happened). So he hasn't changed what he is doing during the week re HW. When you thought it would and are getting resentful because it hasn't.
You seem to have fallen into the trap of the 'guilty working mum' who is trying to do as much as possible during the weekend/hols, re the dcs and HW. And at the same time, wearing the identity of the 'money bringing parent' who should be able to rest during the weekend after a week at work.

Have you tried and sit down together and talk about how you want to 'separate' the responsibilities now that the dcs are at school full time?

I am not sure, for example, why you have to take the lead re the dcs during the hols. Surely that's a time where you should both take the lead and share responsibilities.
Same for HW during the weekend/hols. Anything created during the weekend (cooking, cleaning kitchen after eating etc...) should be a shared responsibility.
Then, during the normal week, perhaps see what sort of responsibilities should fall onto your DH shoulders. Maybe all the 'heavier' cleaning stuff, such as the bathroom, should be done during the week, depending on what he is happy to do (let's say he hates cleaning bathrooms so it could fall onto your shoulders but is happy to the DIY instead).

Also be careful to keep some time for yourself in there. ie some time for you to go out if you wish to as well as some time for your DH to go out too.

I think that once you have sorted out how to share responsibilities, you feel less resentful about the whole situation.

lecce Sun 15-Sep-13 16:56:36

Ok, someone up-thread suggested I read 'Wifework' and reverse the genders. I haven't had time to do that but have had a Google and read some extracts and reviews. I must say, it doesn't mirror our situation at all because it's not as simple as reversing the genders, is it?

From what I can work out from the little I have read, I still do a lot of the 'wifework', while working full-time. Our social calendar as a family is largely down to me, present-buying, planning for Christmas and birthdays - including parties - all me. The list goes on. A lot of this stuff, dh would do but he doesn't value it as I do and wouldn't spend as much time on it. It just wouldn't be the same and that's a fact.

Costumes for the dc at school/pre-school - if it was too much trouble or we didn't have anything suitable, dh would shrug and say, 'tough.' Not in a nasty way, but it just wouldn't bother him. I, on the other hand, would be consumed by guilt if my dc had to go without on such an occasion. I'm not saying this is a good thing, but it's just a fact, and why I always think, on threads like these, when people say, 'Imagine if a man said this,' they're not taking into account the whole picture. I'm not saying this is true in all cases, but I'll bet it is in a lot.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 15-Sep-13 16:59:32

It sounds like he is doing the bulk of the housework and working a little and you just do a few bits but work more hours so seems a good balance as it is.

A SAHM on here complaining that her DH expected her to do all the housework would be told she was there to do childcare not there for housework yet doesnt seem to work when the SAHP is male.

I think regardless of the age of children the SAHP should do the bulk of the housework and anything that has to be done at the weekend should be shared. A cleaner when an adult is home all day sounds very lazy (am taking it that you are correct re the MS not playing a part).

whatever5 Sun 15-Sep-13 17:32:03

Lecce- I agree that MS vary a lot from person to person. However, if your DH has has a lot of relapses in the last 10 years, it seems quite likely that he does not feel totally okay the rest of the time. I only realise now how tired I used to feel when my children were small and I had "mild" relapsing remitting MS.

Rowanred Sun 15-Sep-13 17:43:05

I don't think yabu at all. You have 2 dc who are at school all day and a husband who is at home. I would expect you house to be sparkling and tidy every day. I would go as far as to write a list as to exactly how clean each room should be! Bathrooms/kids rooms can be cleaned m,w,f so you can both have weekends off. I mean, if your kids are at school, what is he doing all day?

PaperSeagull Sun 15-Sep-13 17:48:51

I agree with HappyMummyofOne: "I think regardless of the age of children the SAHP should do the bulk of the housework and anything that has to be done at the weekend should be shared." Though I would add the caveat that when the children are very little, the amount of housework that could be accomplished would be less than when the children are at school/preschool.

TBH, I struggle to understand how the cleaning would take that long if the SAHP has 4-5 hours a day free of childcare. My DH and I both work full-time outside the home, and we do the bare minimum of cleaning during the week (dishes, cleaning surfaces, sweeping/vacuuming as needed, tidying up any clutter, etc.). Then on Saturdays and Sundays we tackle the deep cleaning of kitchen and bathrooms, floors, laundry, etc. It doesn't take more than a few hours at the weekend. We don't have a gleaming show house, but everything is clean and tidy. How could anyone devote 25 hours a week solely to cleaning?

whatever5 Sun 15-Sep-13 17:58:51

Rowanred- you would actually write a list how clean you would expect each room to be? That would be an outrageous, incredibly bossy thing to do.

bishboschone Sun 15-Sep-13 18:13:17

I'm a sahm , I do all the washing , cleaning. , ironing , cooking , shopping and childcare.etc . My dd is at school but my ds is with me ( he has special needs and is very demanding) I would not expect my dh to do anything except work. He offers but I tell him to sit down ..I agree you shouldn't have to do anything if he is at home all day. If you keep on top of stuff it doesn't take much everyday to tidy up.

whatever5 Sun 15-Sep-13 18:27:33

The OP's husband probably thinks that she doesn't have to do anything though and to be honest she is probably right with the exception of the bathroom perhaps. It's not as if the floors need sweeping every day if everyone is out. She also doesn't need to tidy the children's rooms every week end IMO. Until two weeks ago one of his children was still at home and as well as doing most of the housework (to his standard). He also does all the DIY, financial stuff and car. Not many SAHP do all that in my experience.

whatever5 Sun 15-Sep-13 18:29:25

Excuse all my typos!

kitsmummy Sun 15-Sep-13 18:52:47

The DH has a minimum of 5 child free hours every day, whilst the op is out of the house for 11 hours per day and doing an extra 1-2 hours in the evening 5 days a week. Yes, her DH at the very least could do a full clean of the house, including kids rooms and bathrooms.

It's bloody ridiculous to suggest they get a cleaner as the solution to the problem when the Op is busting a gut at work as it is and things are financially tight. And, you know, when the DH has at least 25 hours spare per week.

SleepyFish Sun 15-Sep-13 19:05:16

Honestly Op, and i don't mean to sound flippant here, but i think you need to look at the bigger picture. You are very fortunate to have someone at home to look after your children, cook your meals and clean your house. Put yourself in the shoes of a single parent who works those hours. Seriously, you've got it good.

mercibucket Sun 15-Sep-13 19:05:38

i clean the floors

they look lovely

then the kids come home!

maybe it looked tidy at 3pm?

PomBearArmy Sun 15-Sep-13 19:50:27

I agree that you should just hire a cleaner to come in on Saturday for a couple of hours so you can relax as a family.

christinarossetti Sun 15-Sep-13 19:51:41

Because cleaning is tedious and boring and worth paying someone else to do if ay all possible.

kitsmummy Sun 15-Sep-13 19:59:02

I expect working 13 hours a day (5 days a week) is boring and tedious too, but the Op just has to get on with it

Finola1step Sun 15-Sep-13 20:11:40

Hi Lecce. As I said upthread, I am a fellow teacher. Top of my scale, 3 hour daily commute, 2dc. I work four days a week and my husband is a freelancer (currently on a big contract - yippee). I too often feel that it is all so relentless. I am sat here willing two year old to get to sleep so that I can get downstairs, mop the floors and then do two hours or so prep to give myself a decent headstart on the week. This is after the hour of reading I did today at soft play and the various bits I did yesterday and Friday ready for next week.

I find September particularly hard as it takes us a while to rebalance after the summer holidays. I have no constructive advice but to say that now that both your dc are in school, it does sound like that you need to have that conversation about rebalancing. Most importantly is the free time issue.

I hope you have a productive and calm week.

Jinsei Sun 15-Sep-13 20:34:33

Honestly Op, and i don't mean to sound flippant here, but i think you need to look at the bigger picture. You are very fortunate to have someone at home to look after your children, cook your meals and clean your house. Put yourself in the shoes of a single parent who works those hours. Seriously, you've got it good.

If the OP has it good, I'd say her DH has it a whole lot better!!

SprinkleLiberally Sun 15-Sep-13 20:36:11

The usual MN mantra is equal leisure time which seems sensible. In this case OP has probably one hour free per week day if we ignore housework. Her DH probably has more like 8. Five and a half in the day. Two and a half after dc in bed.
She probably needs to not criticise the quality of the jobs he does do though!

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Sep-13 20:40:30

I was going to type what RowanRed wrote - but only in my head - and only in a spirit of pure malice.

I suspect that the attitude behind a list like that, and the act of doing it, would ease you gently and firmly towards divorce. grin



Jinsei Sun 15-Sep-13 20:40:35

I see what you're saying Jinsei but how is the OP doing a significant chunk of the housework? Tidying rooms and cleaning bathrooms on the weekend is what, half an hour a week? And her DH does do some paid work too. And makes a huge contribution by doing every morning, school runs, before and after school care, financial stuff and it sounds like a lot of the 'wifework' that isn't obvious.

But the OP clearly does a lot of the "wifework" too, so it isn't that clear cut. I don't know, maybe other people do more housework than we do, but sweeping the floor every day, cleaning the bathrooms and keeping on top of dc rooms sounds quite significant to me! Maybe because I hate cleaning bathrooms and would love for someone to take it over from me...

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 15-Sep-13 20:54:24

sleepyfish On the other hand if the Op's dh was a single parent he should have to put the children to bed, do all the housework himself and wouldn't have the benefit of the Op's professional salary.

The fact is that neither of them are single parents so they both get the benefit of the other one.

The Op is roughly working for about 12 hours per day during the week, she is also putting the kids to bed (another hour or so) and walking the dog (half an hour). So that is 13.5 hours of work for the family a day she does before she even touches the broom.

Her husband has the kids from 6am - 9:30am (to give him time to get home) and then is presumably going for pick up at 2:30pm. It then sounds like he is looking after the kids / cooking etc until maybe 7:30pm. So 3.5 + 5 = 8.5 hours. Plus housework.

I don't think he is doing 5 hours of housework / other stuff a day or the house would be show home like. (And it doesn't sound like it is!)

We try very hard to ensure that we both sit down to relax at the same time in the evening.

PartyOrganisor Mon 16-Sep-13 08:39:57

lecce I actually I agree with you that you can't compare your situation with the one of a SAHM and a WOHD.

And anyway, every situation is different and you DO need to take into account what you both like and don't like doing.

Maybe rather than looking at what your DH isn't or is doing and what needs to be redone as it isn't good enough plus what you are doing and not doing, I think you need to look at what you like to see happening.

From what you said, I am not sure about that one. Maybe some more down time for you at the weekend/hols. Some time for you to relax and rest with no expectations (ie no dcs to look after or HW to do)?
Maybe the opportunity to go out in the evening?
Or the possibility to organize your time so you don't spend as much time in the evening or weekends to do prep work?

Look at what you want to achieve and see how your DH could help.
It will much more efficient to discuss how you could both get organize so that you get half a day relaxing at the weekend rather than a discussion about how he doesn't do enough work in the week.
Explain to him how you feel.
Remember that doing HW is not a rewarding thing to do too. So he won't be jumping with joy at the pressure of doing more than he is atm.
And remember too that it might not be about him doing more but about redistributing work around the house. eg let's say you don't mind sorting out the dcs bedroom at the week end but resent having to mop the floor so your DH looks after the kitchen and you look after the bedroom type of arrangements.

Oriunda Mon 16-Sep-13 12:20:25

YABU. He does loads more than I do, and I am a SAHM whose DS goes to nursery 2 days/week. During those 2 days I read books, catch up on any tv (I go to bed early as DS early waker), get laundry done, bit of shopping and that's about it. Sometimes I take a nap if I've been up during the night with DS (teethng at moment). I've earned those rest days. I have a cleaner (and don't sweep the floor every day either). Am I lazy? Maybe, but when I'm with DS it's full-on, no time for myself and after he's gone to bed I'm still working, loading/unloading dishwasher, preparing dinner etc. I find looking after a toddler is harder work (but much more rewarding) than when I worked 12hr days.

Agree with the others .. Get a cleaner.

IvanaCake Mon 16-Sep-13 12:47:27

Yes I think Yabu I'm afraid. I'm a sahm with one at school and one doing her 15 hours at nursery. If I were to do all the cooking, cleaning, washing, gardening, errands, DIY etc etc I wouldn't have time to do anything else. I would also be Fucking miserable!

FantasticDay Mon 16-Sep-13 13:23:02

He sounds like he is putting the work in tbh. If his health permits - and ifhe wants to, maybe he could get a part-time job (is supply teaching an option?) to pay for a cleaner to do a 'thorough bottoming' once a week?

Beastofburden Mon 16-Sep-13 13:23:42

I think if they are at school during the day he ought to get all the housework done then.

But you have to not moan about how he hasnt done it well enough. Otherwise you are like an 1950s daddy coming home and complaining that his shirt hasnt been washed whiter than white....

JohnnyUtah Mon 16-Sep-13 13:37:42

My house is generally regarded by my friends as clean and very tidy. I wouldn't clean the kids' rooms every weekend.

Maybe you should have a talk. We have just had one (after 20 years together) and agreed what DH will do and that I won't nag about things that are important to me but less important to him. He is out from 7.30 to 7.00 (which is a different issue!) and I work 17hrs pw.

He does the bins on bin night, the washing up every evening and he plans and cooks one meal at the weekend. He puts laundry away (and folds it) if it is there to be done, likewise the dishwasher, but i do the majority he irons his own work shirts. Ignoring gardening and DIY which is split, I do everything else - laundry, shopping, cooking, tidying, cleaning. We have a cleaner 2hrs pw.

it seems to be working ok. I am the only one who sees mess, finds things, knows where the kids need to be, and is able to carry an item from the bottom of the stairs to the top. But it's easier knowing what the deal is.

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