to ask sahms

(159 Posts)
rosieposey78 Fri 04-Oct-13 19:49:07

If your working dh/dpis hands on in the evening.
Most evenings he does nothing because he does 13 hour dqys normally including commute.
Whenever I talk to other mums their partner appear to take over or at leat support in the evening.
What happens in your home?
I suspect he is being unreasonable.
We have 2 primary aged dc and an 11 month old.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 04-Oct-13 19:54:39

DH works shifts - two day shifts, then two night shifts.

I do everything myself when he's on the day shifts (morning until night), and when he's night shift he will take the DC to school (6yo and 3yo) before he goes to sleep in the morning.

I do all the cooking, ironing, cleaning, washing, and most of the childcare (90% approx.).

He will occasionally take them both away for the day at a weekend to visit his parents, other than that, I do most of it.

So, no, YANBU. I wish DH would do more as well.

mamaabc Fri 04-Oct-13 19:55:41

He works to get money for us, but he'd rather be here.

Once home he helps with bedtime / plays with them, will cook on occasion if I'm ferrying them from activities.

shift worker, so on days off will muck in with cleaning etc.

Moan about him at times,but he is a good man.

Some days he's shattered, but he appreciates that I am too... He knows being at home although is unpaid is still 'work'

We're a team and we try and support each other.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 04-Oct-13 19:55:56

In fact, I'd love more DC but due to the fact life is such a chore as it is because of the shifts he does, I don't think I could face sleepless nights on my own through the week again. I have done it twice now and it has taken until only a year ago to feel like life is returning to some type of normality.

I do hear that other dads do more.

dreamingofsun Fri 04-Oct-13 19:58:58

when i was on maternity leave i used to do all the child/household related stuff in the evening. it would have seemed unfair to expect him to work all day and then do domestic things in the evening. i felt that was my job. being at home wasn't work all the time... a lot of it involved coffee mornings/walking/playing at the park, whereas i knew paid employment is one long drudge all day

Fairenuff Fri 04-Oct-13 19:59:44

He does a 13 hour day?

How many hours do you do?

Rhubarbgarden Fri 04-Oct-13 20:01:09

My dh takes over as soon as he gets home. I even leave all the food mess from tea for him to clean up (3yo and 16mo - there is always food smeared across the table and scattered across the floor).

He enjoys doing bathtime and bedtime. On the days when he doesn't get home in time, probably 3 out of 5, he misses it.

I wouldn't say he enjoys clearing up the food mess. But I loathe it more grin

Dealing with night wakings is probably about 50/50.

MaxAA Fri 04-Oct-13 20:02:30

DP works shifts. When he's on a late I leave him to sleep in the mornings until he's ready to get up. If he's on an early and gets home in time for bedtime he helps but doesn't lead. I do most of the housework (never do his ironing!) but he does lots of other stuff and quite often takes dd out for a bit when he's around on his days off if we have nothing else planned - because he likes the 1 on 1 time as well as a little break for me (dd is 12months and I'm pregnant with no 2).

MaxAA Fri 04-Oct-13 20:03:31

He never ever ever ever did night wakings though!

pomdereplay Fri 04-Oct-13 20:03:53

DP is brilliant. Works full time 40+ hours not including commute but is hands on in evenings, we often meet for lunch and he will occasionally remotely work to be more present at home. I also get a lie in at the weekends. Like mamaabc says, he'd rather be here and actually goes out of his way to maximise the time he spends at home and quality time with our child.

Our 19-month old DD is a bright-as-a-button, high maintenance little girl and he recognises that my job is pretty damn hard too. Sound smug as hell but threads like this just make me appreciate him and actually tell him so for once!

AgentZigzag Fri 04-Oct-13 20:04:19

DH is out the house for 12 hours weekdays has a few things he does routinely, puts DD2 to bed/bins/dishwasher/clean up kitchen after dinner/take dog out if she hasn't been walked, actually that's a longer list than I thought it would be grin

I'm working from home now and it's probably about the same balance, although he'll 'have' DD2 so I can work at the weekend more.

Sometimes I have to prod him when he's pretending he can't see stuff that needs doing, but the main thing is that he makes an effort and accepts he's being a lazy arse sometimes. That means so much to me when I've known people who refuse to acknowledge they're trying it on, it's so frustrating!

What happens when the subject comes up? How he reacts is important I think.

Almostfifty Fri 04-Oct-13 20:04:42

My DH used to leave for work at half six in the morning. He'd be home at around the same time at night. So twelve hours out.

The minute he came in, he helped with the children till we got them to bed. He'd then come and help me clear the kitchen, before we both either sat down for the night or did whatever DIY we were doing at the time, which was usually decorating.

At weekends, we'd both do whatever needed doing. However, no housework (apart from washing) was done at weekends. My 'job' was the children, house and laundry, his was to bring money in. We'd spend the weekend as a family.

fridgealwaysfull Fri 04-Oct-13 20:08:02

I'm a SAHM and if I let him get away with it, DH would do nothing to help out in the evenings. But he does help with bathtime and putting 3 dcs to bed. He has been known to load the dishwasher too!

superbagpuss Fri 04-Oct-13 20:10:01

I am a working outside of home mum with a sahd

during the week I leave at 7 but try and be home in time for night routine and will take over from dh

weekends I get a lie in sat, he gets Sunday when I take DC to church

we try and spend weekends as a family

we have a cleaner once a week that helps

Sindarella Fri 04-Oct-13 20:10:25

My P does bugger all.

He works from 4am until the jobs done. Could be 10am could be 3pm.
He comes home, takes charge of the tv for a while then buggers off to sleep in the spare room.

Currently on ML, ds12, 6 and 16 weeks. But of course i do no where near as much as himhmm

rosieposey78 Fri 04-Oct-13 20:12:52

My days are longer than 13. I do bedtime every night unless out. I go out once a week for a couple of hours.
Also do all the night wakings.
I think dh thinks I spend the whole day sat on my bum, going to coffee mornings and spending his money.

moustachio Fri 04-Oct-13 20:13:36

We both work now, but DP used to take over childcare when he got home. I would of gone mental if he didn't! I cooked the dinner/did chores. The main cleaning and washing got done at the weekend by both of us.

WestieMamma Fri 04-Oct-13 20:15:20

My husband is out of the house 5.30-7.30. I try to do as much as I can during the day but it's not easy being disabled and having a clingy 5 month old. When my husband gets in he does what needs doing. If I'm managed to cook dinner, great. If not, he'll crack on with it. If baby is still needs changing and I'm clearing the kitchen, he'll crack on with it.

He can't cope with changes to his sleeping times so doesn't do any night feeds. However the flip side is that he still gets up at 5.00 at the weekend and takes care of the baby until I decide to drag myself into the land of the living in time for lunch.

sonlypuppyfat Fri 04-Oct-13 20:16:51

I do everything I wouldn't expect him to work all day then start again when he gets in. He has a physical job so is tired. He earns our money so it's my job to look after the family

meganorks Fri 04-Oct-13 20:17:09

DP generally comes home and does toddler bedtime while I feed 3m old and then he cold dinner. I sometimes do dinner but he enjoys cooking. I am very lucky!

CailinDana Fri 04-Oct-13 20:18:14

I have a 2.9 year old ds and a 7 month old dd. Dd co sleeps with me overnight. Whenever dd wakes up I give her to dh and go back to bed till 7. Dh looks after ds whenever he gets up (usually around 6). He gives them both breakfast and gets them dressed. I get up at 7 and have a shower and breakfast then take over with the kids. Dh has a shower and goes to work at 8. He comes home at around 6 and either helps give them their dinner or takes them off for a bath (depending on day/time) while I sit on my arse or do some housework (depending on tiredness). At 7 he puts ds to bed and I put dd to bed. Dd takes ages so while I'm up with her dh cooks our dinner. I come down and eat and am up and down all evening to restless dd while dh relaxes. Kitchen is left in a mess until the morning when dh cleans it whileI'm asleep.
Weekends dh hoovers the upstairs, mows the lawn and does his share of any cleaning that needs doing. He also cleans the bathroom whenever the kids are in the bath.
He's responsible for bins, house insurance and does his own laundry.
I do everything else including all night wakings with dd.
It's very fair and works well for us.

Cakecrumbsinmybra Fri 04-Oct-13 20:19:29

I think there's a difference between coming in and wanting to spend time with your DC, and doing chores. DH works long hours, plus a long commute when he can't work from home, but if he's home before bedtime then of course he gets stuck in as soon as he's out of his suit. Because he loves them and wants to spend time with them. But there's no way I'd expect him to get in and start cooking/doing laundry/cleaning the kitchen! And I wouldn't expect it the other way round either. At the weekends he'll do any DIY, does the dishwasher, shares childcare, but apart from cooking (me, which I enjoy) and laundry (me, which I don't), housework is avoided on a Sat/Sun!

He doesn't get up in the night anymore, but has done when they've been newborns, me heavily pregnant, etc. I still get up for DS2 most nights briefly, and I try not to disturb DH. Being a SAHM is hard in lots of ways, but sleep-wise I think the person driving long distances, commuting and earning the money needs the sleep more.

jammiedonut Fri 04-Oct-13 20:19:35

My dh does his fair share at evenings and weekends as we agreed I'd do majority of night wakings. I tend to get the housework done and dinner prepped before he gets home, so he does bedtime routine and usually takes ds weekend mornings so I can sleep in. Works well for us, but I had to lobby hard to get him to understand that expecting me to provide continuous care 24/7 whilst maintaining our home to his immaculate standards wasn't going to happen without some support!

TheLadyVie Fri 04-Oct-13 20:21:24

My husband does shifts so we don't have a set "you do the evening" type routine. He is very hands on though and despite working hard when at work he does just as much with the children and around the house as I do.

He quite often takes the children out to give me a break, or even sends me up for a nap if it has been a challenging day. I'll come downstairs to dinner on the go and happy children. He does everything just as well as I could, better in some cases!

I know I am very lucky.

Calloh Fri 04-Oct-13 20:21:40

DH works long hours with long commute. I pretty much do everything on the weekdays, homework, housework, cooking, ironing, house and car admin and maintenance, finances.

At the weekend we probably each do a bath/bedtime routine, I do all the housework and cooking, he does most of the homework and reading with them.

I do all baby night waking and most other child waking. I think it's actually a pretty fair split, for us - he works his absolute arse off. I just wish he knew exactly how much needs to be done and not think I'm just farting around all the time, sometimes I am a bit but it's just very relentless.

ZenNudist Fri 04-Oct-13 20:21:41

When I was on mat leave dh would share the evenings (bath & bed) but I'd do the night feeds (ebf ds but would think it fair to do that even if ff).

Weekends we share everything & get a lie in each. My day was hard work so I'd not let him argue I had it easy. In your case it's harder with dc at school too.

Next mat leave we will do the same. He still gets a nicer meal as a result of me having more time not working.

I can't understand working dads daring to come home & put feet up. Unless job very physically demanding. I also don't think it's fair for dads to work long hours leaving their wives to it all evening but if significant salary involved would see why it might be the case.

evertonmint Fri 04-Oct-13 20:21:54

I have a 5yo and 3yo. My DH is out at 8am and back at 7pm. He gets breakfast for the kids while I shower. Then he comes straight home to bath and helps finish that off and get them to bed. He reads to one while I read to the other, or we all snuggle up as one of us reads. He then cooks dinner while I finish tidying, or vice versa. He probably cooks a bit more than me - maybe 3 out of the 5 nights.

At weekends he does lots of activities with the kids and most of the cooking, and various household jobs. We work together to get the house straight on a Sunday night. We share making DS's packed lunch.

He takes no responsibility for laundry though, and he tends to choose his jobs and I end up doing the others IYSWIM. So both of those facts annoy me, and he acknowledges when he's being a bit rubbish on that, but the split of actual work is fair when he's around.

I work freelance a few times a year and my hours are stressy then as I am fitting them around family life so working 8-10 hour days in school hours plus evenings. He takes on more of the burden of dinner and getting kids to bed himself and tidying then so that I can work in the evenings.

Fairenuff Fri 04-Oct-13 20:22:24

Ok he does a 13 hour day. You do longer than a 13 hour day. So he needs to pitch in more. What's the problem?

Charlottehere Fri 04-Oct-13 20:23:03

She out of the house, just over 12 hours a day. We share child are when he gets in. He has taken over tonight, after leaving for work at 530 this morning so he could be back early to do this as I am I'll. he is ace.

PatioDweller Fri 04-Oct-13 20:23:42

He does lots in the evening. At the weekend everything is split and we both get a lie in.

We try and judge it sensibly as some evenings he is truly shattered so I'll do bed and bath and he may or may not start tea (if not then I know he's wiped out so don't complain) Other nights he'll come in and I've had one of the days and he'll do literally everything including cooking and stacking dishwasher afterwards.

We're a team and it's a partnership. I'm not militant in that I never say 'I only look after DCs in the day not house.' I do washing and some cleaning and cooking. Some days more than others. He also knows that me staying at home meant pretty much giving up my career and also facilitated him being able to rise high in his. He's a lawyer for an investment bank so couldn't do the hours or travel which was required to get to where he is without my sah. As I said, it's a partnership.

Pilgit Fri 04-Oct-13 20:24:45

I am out of the house 12 - 13 hours a day at work. I come home. do the bed time and frequently go back to work after bed time. I don't do a lot of other chores during the week but at the weekend it is equal (approximately). During the week, if needed, I'll sort out an online grocery shop, buy birthday cards and present, pick up general school related admin and do things at lunchtime that don't 'need' me to be present in our home.

I cannot imagine not wanting to come home and spend time with the DC. It is such a tonic to deal with them rather than work (they are very funny).

Iaintdunnuffink Fri 04-Oct-13 20:25:22

When I was a SAHM we used to both muck in together during the evenings,, whatever that may be. Mainly that would be kids and cleaning up after our meal.

CailinDana Fri 04-Oct-13 20:30:35

To add dh would never claim I have it easy. He has a very enjoyable, social job that involves long lunches and chatty "meetings." He's very aware that wiyh a non-napping dd I get absolutely no downtime at all during the day. So it's entirely fair that he mucks in in the evening.

MollyHooper Fri 04-Oct-13 20:32:25

We don't have any agreements or rules, when DH finishes work he just gets on with what needs done while I'm busy doing something else.

He always gets DS1 (6) settled for bed while I sort DS2 (2 months) out and f I've had a rough day he takes over night feeds.

We just get on with things, the only expectation is that things work and we both are happy.

If your not happy you guys need to chat about compromise. He goes to work, comes home and expects to be to do nothing, when do you get time to do nothing?

littlemisssarcastic Fri 04-Oct-13 20:34:53

How much leisure time do you have in 24 hours OP?

How much leisure time does your DH have in 24 hours?

Finola1step Fri 04-Oct-13 20:35:27

Both Dh and I work. I work 4 days a week and am out for 13 -14 hours each day. DH is a freelancer. He does the school and nursery runs 4 days a week, looks after dc after school. When I get in, we share bath and bed. He then goes back into work for 2-3 hours. I then get the house straight before going to bed. We share the night disturbances, illnesses etc. He will then work a day over the weekend. It works for us because we don't have family nearby, we don't want dd in full time nursery and we don't want ds in after school club.

Yes your DP works long hours. But he should still be parenting when at home in the evenings in some shape or form.

ouryve Fri 04-Oct-13 20:36:16

Yes. When he is home, we share 50:50.

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 04-Oct-13 20:39:13

from the other perspective. I get home at 6pm and DH at 4pm. We share the workload

zoobaby Fri 04-Oct-13 20:39:40

I do the night wakings and DP will get up from 6am onwards to do breakfast with our 12mo so I can stay in bed til he leaves at 8am. He didn't always do this and it took me cracking the shits with him big time at around the 6 months mark for him to realise I couldn't do it all. If he is finishing early he'll call to see if I'm able to delay DS' bath so he can do it grin. He also plans to do night wakings when I go back to work in a month. We'll see how that pans out, but I really appreciate the sentiment.

mummybare Fri 04-Oct-13 20:40:44

I'm not a SAHM, but I only work 2 days a week. DH is out of the house for 12 hours most days, sometimes more, sometimes less. When he's here, we share the cleaning up of the kitchen, living room, etc. He always does the bins. I do 90% of the cooking, and all the shopping, planning, etc., just because I'm usually here. I tend to eat early with DD and he heats his up when he gets in. If he's back in time, he'll do DD's bedtime routine and I'll clean up. If he's not back, I put DD to bed and clean up, no biggie.

But, crucially, we both sit down to relax at the same time in the evening, so even though I'm doing the majority of the house stuff, it feels fair.

Wilberforce2 Fri 04-Oct-13 20:43:22

I only have one ds who is 5 so I don't generally need a lot of help but I sometimes think it would be nice if dh offered to put him to bed or clear up after dinner once in a while but he doesn't because he works all day and doesn't get home until 6.30pm. I never say anything though as like I said I only have one child, I am 21 weeks pregnant though so I would like to think I will get a bit more help next year!

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Fri 04-Oct-13 20:44:04

Another shift working husband here. He leaves at 5:30am on days and gets home about 7:30pm so he isn't home before the kids go to bed. I'm normally doing bed routine when he gets in. When on nights, he's in bed when they go school and back at work when they are going to bed.

On days when he is working, I don't expect him to do anything. On his rest days, we share the chores, especially the kids' routines.

5madthings Fri 04-Oct-13 20:45:07

My dp is very hands on, once she is home its very much we are both on duty, so he will do diner if I am busy with little ken and helping the others do homework, he helps with getting them to bed, he will wash up whilst I wipe table, sweep floors or fold laundry etc.

I do housework whilst he is out at work but when he is at home he will go over if it needs doing, put on a load of laundry, change bedsheets etcetc.

I am on duty all the time he is at work and once he is at home we are both on duty until kids are in bed and jobs are done.

He does shift work so if he is on latest he will take kids to school in morning etc.

If people partners come in after work and don't help what do they do?!! Do they just sit on their arse?!

cantthinkofagoodone Fri 04-Oct-13 20:45:12

On mat leave dh would get home and I would do dinner whilst he would do the bedtime routine. I was ready for a break from DS by then.

Neither of us are sat doing nothing, we are either looking after DS or doing jobs or both doing jobs until we can both sit down.

It drives me bonkers if I'm running around and he's sat chilling out. Its just not fair.

MollyHooper Fri 04-Oct-13 20:46:10

Some people have very strange attitudes when it comes to what is expected of a SAHPs, my mother is one of them.

DH would never watch me struggling while he sits on his arse on the principle that he works, thankfully the idea has never entered his head.

He has my back completely.

5madthings Fri 04-Oct-13 20:49:39

molly same here, it would not occur to dp to come home and sit on his arse whilst I was running around doing din er, supervising homework, getting kids to bed etc. He just gets stuck in!

His mum thinks its terrible and has bemoned the fact I don't get up before him and make his bfast....

I drop DS at playgroup at 9am and collect at 12. This allows me an hour to exercise and then I do supermarket run and admin and laundry. Afternoons I do stuff with DS.

I do all cooking and food shopping and all basic tidying and maintenence housework and laundry: a cleaner comes first thing for 1.5 hours twice a week and does bathrooms, proper cleaning and irons DH work shirts as I'm crap at it

DH gives Ds breakfast (that I've prepared) and plays with him while I have a coffee. He leaves for work before 8am and often works til 11pm but tries to get back for DS bedtime before heading to office again.

Sometimes he has to work weekends too and about 7 times a month he will have to work til 1am or later.

I try to let him lie in after those weeks.

I did all night wakings because BF.
I don't ever get lie ins but I can opt to go to bed early especially as I often am here on my own in the evenings.

He works really hard: I try to let him spend his non work time playing with our little boy rather than housework.
He does empty dishwasher and wash pots and plates after our evening meal, assuming he's in to eat it.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Fri 04-Oct-13 20:55:19

When my husband gets home from work, we both sit on our arses because the kids are in bed and everything has been done in the house, because it's almost 8pm! grin

heather1 Fri 04-Oct-13 20:55:41

Dh leaves at 7.45, returns at 6-7. He has always helped in the evening. When they were younger either bath or bed. Now mainly bath. We take it in turns to do the story. ( try to persuade each other to read it!).
It gives me a bit of a break plus he gets to spend time with them and its not just him being fun dad.

TSSDNCOP Fri 04-Oct-13 20:55:44

DH is in a very high pressure job with a daily 2.5 hour commute. He also travels abroad a lot.

He does bath time where they talk about their day, reads a story does the ironing and cleans up after dinner.

I work PT in a less stressful job and do the rest.

At weekends DH also volunteers to help at a club the DC attends.

I think we are a good team.

MollyHooper Fri 04-Oct-13 20:57:30

grin at getting up early to make him breakfast, DH would assume I had some sort of stroke if that happened.

My mum is the same though, if we are at hers when DH finishes work and he pops in she practically swaddles him.

"Awk son! You don't need to hold the baby, you must be tired. You've been at work all day!"

He has to bat her away.

5madthings Fri 04-Oct-13 21:00:51

I think dp would die of shock if I got up early to make his bfast, I am NOT a morning person, he normally brings me a cup of tea in bed! grin

My mum makes the odd comment about how I shouldn't expect dp to change nappies etc... Thankfully the youngest is now potty trained so after 14 years we are a nappy free house grin

idiuntno57 Fri 04-Oct-13 21:01:07

sometimes i feel i am doing everything. Sometimes DH is really hands on. We are both self emp but my work fluctuates a lot and my default position is childcare. With x4 primary school DC's the work is endless. I think we have learned to give and take and accept that we aren't always sharing everything equally but in the long term it all evens itself out.

fabergeegg Fri 04-Oct-13 21:05:55

My DH comes in through the door at 7pm (2 hour round trip commute) and triages the situation. Then he goes about administering food, cups of tea, baths...all of it. If there is a meal ready, he's pleased. If there isn't, he'll happily make one. He goes to the supermarket. And he co-sleeps with our two year old, rain or shine. That's largely because she will have nothing to do with me once Daddy's home.

That said, he never cleans bathrooms/kitchen/hoovers (we have a mother's help) and he rarely puts a wash on (not allowed to). And he gets quite self-pitying if he has to do any ironing.

I know he's wonderful. So does he - he quite likes walking into the house and being superman smile

everlong Fri 04-Oct-13 21:06:14

I wouldn't expect DH to come home and ' take over ' whilst I've been at home all day.

MrsOakenshield Fri 04-Oct-13 21:10:42

When I was SAHM DP did every bathtime and bedtime. Shared night wakings. Weekends we were all together. Split housework. I did all the food shopping, most of the cooking and the laundry. Cleaning he did a lot of.

Your DP sounds utterly lame - when exactly is he a parent? Does he not want to spend time with his children. But also - why do you allow this situation to continue? How long has this been going on?

You are both parents, a team. Ask him if he wants to be remembered as a pathetic excuse for a father and husband, unsupportive, unhelpful and someone his children will remember as not wanting to be with them.

Sorry, but 'men' like this infuriate me. And the women who put up with it are not far behind.

stopgap Fri 04-Oct-13 21:13:16

We pay a cleaner to come in twice a week, and I use a uni student three evenings a week for babysitting, so there's no obligation for him to do much around the house, or even rush home from work if he's extra busy. My two-year-old son sleeps like a log from 7.15 onwards, so either I use the weeknights for the gym, or sometimes meet with my husband for dinner.

Week mornings he makes our son and me breakfast, while weekends he always takes an entire morning of afternoon to take our son to the park, for lunch etc. He's a great dad and husband.

stopgap Fri 04-Oct-13 21:15:17

PS Night wakings with our son were a fifty/fifty duty at first, and then my husband did about eighty percent when I developed an autoimmune condition at seven months postpartum and could barely function. DS2 is due in January, and absolutely night wakings will be a split responsibility in our household.

Ponyo73 Fri 04-Oct-13 21:18:29

My DH works from 7.30am till 7.45pm. He has a stressful job(as many do). I am fortunate enough to not have to work(wouldn't be able to make enough to make it worthwhile, child care etc).

As a mother of two, who are in school full time, I have no excuse but to do all the chores. I have an easy life of it now but I do remember how tiring it was when they were young so YANBU. Just wait, you'll be getting the insidious question, " so, now your kids are at school, what are you going to do with your life." As if being a parent wasn't enough.

racmun Fri 04-Oct-13 21:21:23

Dh is out the house 6:50 - 8pm.

Ds is in bed at 7 so I have an hour to tidy up etc and start dinner- which I do. Seems a bit mean to just leave it and wait got dh to get back.

If he works from home he'll do bath time and bedtime and spend quality time with ds.

Weekends neither of us do much chore wise as we like to do nice things, but dh will (if told to) empty dishwasher hang washing. He does all DIY, gardening and his job is the bins- even if it is after work.

He never got up in the night though -apparently I could rest during the day if I needed to!

I have always LOVED the idea that 'work' is hard and SAH is easy. If that is the case, surely the non-SAHP could come in and do it easily. No? Is that because running a home and looking after children is not actually easy? So it needs to be shared, not one person's job 24/7.

I have worked, SAH, worked PT, worked contract. What works for DH and me is we have a similar amount of time 'off'. I count DD's nap as 'off', he counts the gym at lunch and running home as 'off'. Any time sat on your arse is 'off'.

He gets home, I cook, he washes up, I bath DD, he puts her to bed. He would feel like a twunt sitting there while I ran around and so would I. I couldn't be married to someone who could switch off and do nothing while I did everything. Whether at work or at home with DD, it's full on.

I work as does DH. I do 4 days, he does full time. When we get home we both look after the kids.

Working out of the home, mother or father, doesn't mean you don't do hands on parenting regardless of whether one of you is a SAHP.

KirjavaTheCorpse Fri 04-Oct-13 21:26:37

DP doesn't get home until after our son has been fast asleep in bed for hours. He's out of the house for 12 hours a day and just wants to sleep when he gets home. The mornings are taken up by him getting himself ready, we eat breakfast as a family and off he goes.

On days off he'll help with housework a bit but it's usually already taken care of by me, he doesn't get to spend much time with DS or me, so the usual focus is family time. Works for us.

defineme Fri 04-Oct-13 21:29:42

Firstly, if dh thought of his wage as his money as opposed to our money he'd be in serious trouble...we just had his wage coming in for several years, but it doesn't take a particularly clever person to recognize the worth of a sahp when you see the cost of nursery (not to mention cleaners and cook!).

Dh did half of whatever was happening when he was there.We had 3 under 3 at one point-what kind of twat would sit there when that bed time is going on? We both sit down at the same after all the work is done. We share lie ins (tbf now the kids are older that's not an issue) and have assigned jobs in the morning before we leave for work eg he knows the dishwasher is his and I know to feed the cats and put a wash on.

He knew I had relaxing times at home sometimes, but he has the odd pub lunch/laugh at work...which balances the 3 with chicken pox/major stress at work scenarios. tbh as he's nice and he loves me, he was pleased when we had lovely days at home!

PatioDweller Fri 04-Oct-13 21:34:22

Everlong, during school hols when I've been up since 6am with the little one and had to feed and entertain 4dcs all day, I am absolutely shattered by the time DH comes home, usually around 7pm. He totally understands this and mucks in happily, sometimes taking over completely.

He's a lawyer for a bank so much of his day is spent in meetings drinking coffee and chatting. He has said on many occasions that he finds the weekends with 4kids far more exhausting.

dietcokeandwine Fri 04-Oct-13 21:37:04

I am a SAHM, we have 3 DC - one primary school age, one preschooler and a baby. DH is generally out of the house by 7:15 and is rarely back before 8 at night, and even then will then often have to work from home (conference calls, emails etc) till 11pm or later.

So with the best will in the world, there isn't an awful lot he can do to help with/take over/provide support with the DC during the week. I pretty much fly solo with all three of them on my own in terms of childcare and running the house from Monday to Friday. Sometimes DH might get home in time to read with the older two, but it's very much a sometimes, not always. He only sees the baby briefly in the mornings during the week, as baby is always in bed by the time DH gets home.

At weekends, though, we split most chores apart from laundry which I manage (he would put a wash on/hang it out/bring it in if asked, but wouldn't do anything unless asked, if that makes sense). I probably do a lot more in terms of keeping the house tidy but that's mainly because tidiness bothers me a lot more than it bothers him! But he'll do the week's shop or put the online order away. He'll do mealtimes and bathtimes and change nappies and read stories and take the DC out to the park. We take it in turns to have lie-ins, if we want them. We try and ensure we both get a bit of time out from time to time. And we've always had a kind of unwritten rule that one of us prepares a meal and the other washes up; during the week, it's generally me cooking and then DH washing up; we reverse roles at the weekend as DH does all our cooking then. And DH has always done his fair share of night wakings, too - not night feeds, because I breastfed, but any other wakings (illness/teething/nightmares or whatever) have been split between us.

OP, I don't think you are being unreasonable in feeling that your DH should help out more, but I do think it depends on the nature of the job that the main breadwinner has. If DH got home at 6 or 7 as a matter of course, I'd definitely be expecting him to muck in and help out! Our issue is that the demands of his job render this pretty much impossible during the week. I can't imagine how different it would be if DH had a job that enabled him to come home in time to help on a regular basis; I have friends who say things like 'I find it really hard because DH is never in till 6pm' which has me completely confused; that's not hard, it would be like a flipping holiday grin. I am resigned to always managing the midweek bath and bedtime routine on my own. But that's just the way it is for us; life is full-on and we both work hard but it always feels like a partnership.

PatioDweller Fri 04-Oct-13 21:38:16

Gosh, no way has DH ever thought his salary was anything other than our household money. As I said earlier, he is able to earn what he earns only because I sah.

Also, if it's not fair to expect someone who works to do anything around the house when they come home, how does that work when both parents are out at work? Things still need to be done. It is not impossible to come in from work and do chores and childcare, many parents do.

gemdrop84 Fri 04-Oct-13 21:39:12

He mucks in and does his fair share. This includes either doing dinner or washing up\cleaning up, putting dcs to bed. We both team up to clean the house on the weekend and we each get a lie in. He will happily take dcs out to give me a bit of peace or take over when Im ill. He's very supportive- he just couldn't sit down at the end of day and watch me get on with everything.

everlong Fri 04-Oct-13 21:40:12

It is hard being at home with several young children. I have done that and I agree it's exhausting.

Mine are 14 and 7 now so a different situation. DH runs his own business and often works when he gets home, sometimes for hours.

I just would not expect him to start making meals, clearing up, doing laundry etc.

He's not an arsehole, far from it but I just wouldn't ask it of him.

Squitten Fri 04-Oct-13 21:45:23

DH does a lot. He runs a business so can set his own hours to a large extent. We have a 5yr old, 2yr old and I'm 36wks pregnant.

We all get up around 6am, courtesy of the kids, and will have breakfast together. I get DC1 ready for school while DH gets ready and then he drops him off and heads to work. He won't then be home until well after the kids are in bed so that's basically it Mon-Fri with the exception of DC2's swimming lesson, which he always does. Some evenings he will get home early and cook for me and him.

Weekends are very different though - DH does loads with the kids, often taking them out to give me a break, and cooks big roasts, etc

gamerchick Fri 04-Oct-13 21:47:41

My husband is up at 4.. gets back in between 3 - 6pm. Mine are at school all day so I do everything in the house as it's my job. I still get a couple of hours or 3 to do what I want. Evenings he plays with the youngest while I feed and water/ clear up. I work weekends in quite a physical job so he takes over with childcare included.

I get the better deal imo.

PatioDweller Fri 04-Oct-13 21:49:23

Yes I'm sure it will get easier as they get older. Mine are 10, 8, 5 and 2 and I'm pregnant! grin

DH does sometimes do bits and bobs of work in the evening. However, far less than his uni lawyer friends who are in Practice. His job is full on and stressful in a way he thrives on so he isn't coming home overcome by stress or anything. That probably makes a difference.

dietcokeandwine Fri 04-Oct-13 21:50:45

'Gosh, no way has DH ever thought his salary was anything other than our household money. As I said earlier, he is able to earn what he earns only because I sah'

Same here, patio. My DH will always admit very honestly that he is only able to do what he does as effectively as he does it because I am doing the SAHM job that I do.

AveryJessup Fri 04-Oct-13 21:54:23

My DH is rarely home in time to help out with bath/bedtime stuff. If he is, I can leave him to it and he's happy to do it. At the weekends we do it together and he cleans and cooks a lot as well.

We used to have a very equal relationship but just as DS was born, he changed to a very high-profile job that demands a lot of commitment so for the time being he doesn't do as much at home as I'd like. Or he'd like.

It's putting me off having a second child, I have to say. Most of my friends have DHs who help out a lot more and are usually home in time for bath/bedtime. On the other hand, a lot of DH's friends' wives are really put upon, 2 or 3 children under 5, husband traveling all the time and even when he's at home he works all the time and does nothing in the home. I don't know how they do it and aren't permanently shattered all the time.

chillykitty Fri 04-Oct-13 21:56:03

My dh doesnt get home till 6:30 or 7pm
So i hv usually got both girls ready for bed he mite read to them

What makes me twitchy is that some men seem to do less than they would do if they didn't have wives and children. Surely, they would still have to work if they weren't married. And, wash their clothes, cook and clean. Surely they did these things before wives and children. Why does getting married and having children entitle them to a free servant?

I am only talking about those men who don't do anything at home at all.

AveryJessup Fri 04-Oct-13 21:57:43

Also, I have a cleaner who comes twice a month as I don't like doing housework other than the basic clean-as-you-go stuff.

I'm not at home by choice but just don't have a visa to work where we live and so I see this as an opportunity to enjoy time with DS (2), not to become free skivvy labor in the home.

Retropear Fri 04-Oct-13 22:01:38

Same here.

My dp just staggered in after a 16 mile bike ride home.

I try not to demand anything of him after a day like today,he's more than done his bit for our family.

Obviously if he's back earlier he'll want to read to the dc etc.

At the weekend we share all chores but I make sure he gets 2x lie ins whilst I go down and potter.

He did help a bit more when the dc were younger but I had 3 under 15 months so it was that or a padded cell for me.grin

umiaisha Fri 04-Oct-13 22:05:08

OH leaves for work at 07.30 and normally gets home between 19.30-20.00.

In the mornings he cleans our youngest's teeth and makes the bed as he is the last one out of it! By the time he gets in in the evening the kids are bathed and in bed and dinner is cooked so there is nothing for him to do anyway. At the weekend he will tidy up, help me to bath the kids and occasionally hoover, but I don't really ask much more of him as he works such long hours in a stressful job.

Personally, I feel that as I am at home full time the housework etc is down to me.

fidgetywidget Fri 04-Oct-13 22:41:57

We have 1 dd (3.5y) at the moment.
DH leaves home 7am, back between 6pm and 7.30pm depending on the season, can sometimes be 8.30pm like tonight. Occasionally works weekends, varying hours.
I work 9-5 two days a week and 8pm-10pm five nights a week at the minute. I do all shopping, cooking, laundry (though only do ironing when absolutely necessary, not every week), bath times, housework, dog walking, pre school runs, night wakings, plus some DIY when I have spare time (though mostly at the expense of housework, the two aren't compatible anyway!)

He washes up/ loads dishes after evening meal..... Ummm
He is very good at major DIY stuff which we've been doing a lot of, plus his job involves heavy machinery/lots of driving so although it drives me insane when he just sits at his computer when there's stuff needs doing (he'll always say oh I'll do it later hmm ) I don't want to nag him if he's shattered. But I do wish he'd accept that what I do is tiring too, and that he'd spend more time actually doing things with dd rather than just supervising from his computer chair while I'm cooking/ out walking dogs in the pouring rain /etc etc.

What's a lie in? confused (!) grin

maddening Fri 04-Oct-13 22:54:15

was a sahm till 5 mths ago and when dfiance got in from work we pretty much shared the load till all was done - so taking it in turns to play with ds while we did jobs - df normally cooks, I tidy, he baths ds, I do bedtime - still the same now at work - I do mornings as df leaves at 6.30, df picks ds from nursery at 3.30 and does shopping if needed and starts dinner and I get in at 5.30 and we just keep going till ds is in bed. The only difference is I don't get to do extra jobs and errands like while at home but much of my day was invested in ds (and lots of meeting friends out and about) (plus he creates constant mess smile ) so more work on weekend and at end of day now am in work ft but generally if something needs doing we both keep going till we can both sit down.

maddening Fri 04-Oct-13 23:03:22

ps isn't being a sahm about more than the housework? I was always out and about with ds 4 days out of five with swimming, groups and friends (only one dc though) and even on our day off it was the childcare that took up most of my day - I'd get a couple of jobs done and maintain general cleanliness but found it hard to do bigger jobs - so it was easier if we could tag team when df home.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 04-Oct-13 23:07:43

I'm quite surprised at how little so many partners do on this thread. We both work full time and share chores as equally as possible depending on what we are best at and how much work we have on (DH works longer hours than me). But when I was on maternity leave, he did the early mornings and took care of DD before he went to work, and got back as early as possible to help with dinner time / bedtime. We have also shared the night wakings if DD is going through a rough patch of waking up. I would consider this normal.

Retroformica Fri 04-Oct-13 23:14:08

4 boys. 3 at primary school. DH does a 13 hour days mostly.

DH will only have half an hour with kids once home (reading and putting to bed). He then eats and does a few jobs for half an hour (stacking dish washer/emptying bins or recycling). We both stop about 8 or 9.

fidgetywidget Fri 04-Oct-13 23:14:57

*I should have added that I only do DIY while dd is at pre school!

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 04-Oct-13 23:39:55

DH will empty the bins for me, but that really is about it besides bathing DC occasionally and reading to them. Written down it really doesn't look like much!

He does do a physically demanding job and does do night shifts so I suppose it is not typical of most jobs out there that the majority do. Our life is very different to most families out there. Not many people can relate to shift workers.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 04-Oct-13 23:40:50

DH couldn't share the night wakings many moons ago when DC were babies because he worked night shifts during the week and also because I breastfed both DC.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 04-Oct-13 23:41:45

"We have also shared the night wakings if DD is going through a rough patch of waking up. I would consider this normal."

That doesn't work for all families especially if they do shift work.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 04-Oct-13 23:42:35

There have been many times I've had to get on with it myself day and night, night and day with no help. F*cking stressful, but there you go. It happens to some of us.

Permanentlyexhausted Fri 04-Oct-13 23:47:03

We both work full time and share the housework and childcare duties. I do 12-hour days at work/commuting and find that much more tiring than spending 12 hours looking after the children so if I was a SAHM I think I'd be wary of expecting DH to 'take over' when he walked through the door.

Although being a SAHM is hard work, it has plenty of fantastic rewarding moments which the working partner will often miss. Are those 'rewarding moments' the bits your husband is being offered when he walks through the door, or are you just wanting him to help out with the drudge?

MollyHooper Fri 04-Oct-13 23:57:15

All (well some) of these situations seem to work, the point is if you both are happy.

As long as you can always ask the question "It's been hard, can you help?" and the response is "Yes, what can I do?" then I think things are fine and that goes both ways.

It's not about whose done what, it's about supporting each other.

yummumto3girls Sat 05-Oct-13 00:00:50

I don't understand how any DP could not come in from work and "muck in" with whatever needs doing until it's all done and you can BOTH sit down, surely that's fair. I'm a SAHM and I do all housework, childcare, meals etc if I'm home then that's my job and I would not expect DH to come in late and start doing the basics. Tea time is the worst time in everyone's house and at this time it's literally all hands on deck re tidying up, washing up, bins, baths, homework, reading.....

KirjavaTheCorpse Sat 05-Oct-13 00:00:58

Also, I don't know about anyone else but I can choose to down-tools on any housework that needs doing and go build a fort with my 3yo. I'd call that a major perk that DP misses out on grin

It's hard work being a sahp, but it's also much, much more rewarding than my DP finds his job, for sure. I do think I have the better deal and feel it's balanced.

lestagal78 Sat 05-Oct-13 00:03:04

My DH works nights.

He's not hands on, I spend my time running around after DC while he watches TV.

IF he ever totally begrudges my afternoon break while they're at school there may be words.

BadRoly Sat 05-Oct-13 00:14:35

Dh is away early Monday (before dc are up) and gets back late Thursday evening. He is then full on hands on Daddy but doesn't really do any housework other than the odd bit of cooking.

StuckOnARollercoaster Sat 05-Oct-13 00:28:43

Mine does very little for our DD but I don't feel resentful as neither of us have significant 'leisure' time at the moment.
He is up at 6 and out of the house by 6.30ish leaving me some tea and a biscuit. Is back home at about 6ish and if DD is awake might spend some time with her. He will then do his 2nd job from home till about 9.30ish when we eat. Then it's a bit of time together and off to bed.
Weekends we either do something family, or the shopping or else he will work.
I will look after DD including night wakings then depending on how that has gone I'll have naps, baby groups, get tea ready, laundry, cleaning, gardening in that order. If not had time to do tea we get takeaway. If the last 3 are getting critical or there's necessary diy then he will choose not to do his 2nd job which is self employed type and do that work in the home and forego the money.
As we tend to do leisure stuff together we probably have similar amounts of it and I feel like we make a good team. At the moment DD is very young but the intention is that the mix of activities will change as she gets older and he will do more with her at the weekend's.

rosieposey78 Sat 05-Oct-13 07:44:49

Thank you for your replies. I did think taking over was bizarre. However, i know we have issues to resolve. I don't actually feel i have any complete leisure time during the week as i generally try to do housework etc when she naps. Although i accept i have chilled times. At the toddler group although i still have to watch dd like a hawk. Also chatting to school mums whilst kids play at park. Dd rarely settles before 9 or 10 so i just don't have an evening. Also still wakes at night so i am co sleeping for my sanity.
Weekends i try to leave dd with dh as much as possible but it is usually shortlived as she will cry for me.
I do have 1 evening out per week so guess that is my main weekday leisure time.

rosieposey78 Sat 05-Oct-13 07:48:36

The my money thing is not a regular thing but it really hurts. Ts especially hard now we have lost child benefit as i only have about 20 left a month from the amount dh pays to cover my direct debits. So,everything else has to come from joint.

frumpypigskin Sat 05-Oct-13 08:08:04

He helps with bedtime if he's home. He cooks for us when he gets back too (I'm a rubbish cook).

At the weekend he does the online shopping, and will put a wash on. He doesn't do any of the other housework as I try to get that done during the week.

I actually prefer that he spends time with the kids than pushing a hoover around.

vibee Sat 05-Oct-13 08:14:12

My DH works 12 hour days as a rule, sometimes more with overtime , so he can't do much in terms of housework, but he is very hands on with our baby when he's home , because he wants to be! He generally feeds her at dinner, gives her a bath and does story time before I put her to bed. Weekends he plays with her. I think I'd be really sad if he didn't want to do those things, tired or not.

jasminerose Sat 05-Oct-13 08:17:37

We both work full time and we never do any chores after 8. There isnt any need really as we can easily get everything sorted before then as I live long evenings off.

MummyPig24 Sat 05-Oct-13 08:19:15

Dh leaves at 7.15 am and gets home around 5.45. He helps to bath and put the children to bed. Probably because he has missed them during the day.

Children are 5 (at full time school) and 3 (school for 3 hours each morning).

He takes car of the car, garden and bills. I take care of the majority of the housework, cooking, shopping, childcare and the pets.

I think we are both happy with the balance we have.

IrnBruTheNoo Sat 05-Oct-13 11:03:33

"Tea time is the worst time in everyone's house and at this time it's literally all hands on deck re tidying up, washing up, bins, baths, homework, reading....."

I do all that every day without any help from DH, with the exception of the bins.

hardboiledpossum Sat 05-Oct-13 11:26:30

we take it in turns to do the cooking in the evening whilst the other one does the bedtime routine. on weekends we share all domestic tasks and childcare, making sure we both get some time off and a lie in.

5madthings Sat 05-Oct-13 11:30:39

So does your dh literally do nothing with the children or round the house and you are OK witthat?

My dp also works shifts, he went to work for 7am this morning and won't get home till 3pm tomorrow, he does nights, evenogns, weekends etc and days. When he is at work I do everything but when he is home he just gets stuck in, hewpudn ever think that he shouldn't do anything just because he works and he wouldn't want to do nothing, they are his children as well.

I probably do do the bulk of the housework as I am at home more, but when he is at home if something needs doing he will do it, ie a load of Landry or hoovering. He will cook and wash up etc we share what needs doing when he is at home and then we both get to relax once its done and the kids are in bed.

We will each have 'time off' either together or separately, I run and soemtimes I will have my running gear on and go for a run when he walk in the door, I will be out for 45mins and it helps me unwind and feel good. Dp will go to see racing or out with friends,and I will go out with friends. We dotn begrduge each other time out or even keep a tally, it generally evens out as neither of us would take the piss.

Fairenuff Sat 05-Oct-13 11:41:18

As a guide, you should both have the same amount of leisure time.

That means freedom to do what you want, without interruption or being responsible for anyone else.

Can you work out how much you both get. So does he come in from work and literally do nothing? About 3 hours every evening to himself?

What about weekends?

SHarri13 Sat 05-Oct-13 11:49:25

Mines pretty good given the hours he's home, including a commute he does 12-13 hours 5 days a week. He gets home just before bedtime x3 starts. I usually take the baby up whilst he reads and chats to the older two. We then take alernate taking one of the others up and reading to or being read to. He cooks our dinner 70% of the time. Sometimes I go to the gym so it's a crossover at the door so he does 2 or 3 bedtimes depending on how long I am. One night a week he'll do something after work so I'll do all 3 bedtimes. He's very good really but I do overlook this sometimes which is not great and I need to try and stop doing.

Sleepthief Sat 05-Oct-13 12:06:27

Late to the party and have only skimmed the thread blush, but I really think it depends on your set-up and expectations.

DH runs his own company in the entertainment industry, so lots of evening work. On an average week he will be out of the house from 8.45am (takes DCs1 and 2 to school) until midnight/1am every day including Friday. Saturday morning he takes DC1 to clubs, then usually we have afternoon/evening en famille (although he always has his phone on with pretty constant messages/calls and often emails to deal with - and today he's back in the office all afternoon). Sundays are usually family time, but not always if work calls.

I do everything around the house and regarding the children, even on the day and a half he's with us. We have no family network nearby either, so no help or anyone to fall back on.

But this totally works for us (after a period few years of adjustment grin). We have a very clear division of labour. Neither of us thinks the other has an easier time of it. We are both very good at the things we do. We have a very nice life - no money worries, nice house, lovely holidays, happy children, a-mAzing cleaner no feelings of guilt over new shoes The three DCs and I get to spend a month every summer staying with my mum on the coast where I grew up without feeling guilty about abandoning DH/trying to balance the inevitable awkwardness between mum and partner hmm. He would be a nightmare without the fulfilment he gets from his work...

All in all I wouldn't change it, but as I say it's taken us a while to get here and we both appreciate what the other contributes. Currently incubating DC4, so can't be all that bad grin. You have to both be happy with the situation, though.

IrnBruTheNoo Sat 05-Oct-13 13:18:59

As I've said already, DH will take DC to school in the mornings before night shifts to give me a break, otherwise I feel like I'm in constant parent mode 24/7 with no let up. It is draining and it rears it's ugly head this topic every few months when I'm close to breaking point. Sorry don't mean to hijack the thread! But this topic has just recently come up again and been arguing about it.

I have to ask him to take DC out to park/cinema as he would not think to initiate this himself. It can be a real effort for him.

5madthings Sat 05-Oct-13 13:40:55

Ah so you are not OK with it! Sorry I think I miss read/misinterpreted that you were fine with it.

A partner working shifts is hard, it can be exhausting for both if you but for us that does not mean that dp opts out of family life and doing stuff with the kids, including the 'drudge' as another poster put it!

Maybe start your own thread irnbru

My dp has always been hands on, it just wouldn't occur to him not to be. I guess at times we both get fed up with the relentlessness of it, but its part of being a grown up! Would quite like it if we could afford a cleaner but we can't such is life.

What does your dh have to say about his lack if involvement with the children? And the way he pretty much leaves everything to you? Does he have a 'traditional' view of roles or had it evolved into this pattern gradually?

Fairenuff Sat 05-Oct-13 13:51:54

Dh and I have always pitched in together. Housework/childcare has never been an issue because we both just get on with it.

I cannot understand how one person could spend the evening doing their own thing whilst the other does the housework/childcare.

Also, sharing any night feeds/waking. We just took turns so that neither of us felt too knackered or resentful. Why would anyone not share the load?

If you have the time and ability to make life a little easier for your partner, whom you love and care for, why wouldn't you do it? Are people really that selfish?

juneau Sat 05-Oct-13 13:54:37

My DH never does bedtime and never takes over from me, even if he does get in before the DC go to bed. At the weekends we share responsibility for childcare, but during the week he works and I take care of the DC. The only change to that is if I or one of the DC is ill, then he will pitch in.

CHJR Sat 05-Oct-13 14:28:29

I do the whole day including the witching hours (5-bedtime) on my own, with 3 DC, the middle one SN. DH is at work 7-8 on a short day (that's 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and if home, collapses on the sofa. If he lucks out, once or twice a year, before 6, he also collapses on the sofa. What's more he's really grumpy, not even a friendly silence! It does annoy me, though to be fair I remember when I was also working 12+-hour days (pretty routine in our type of jobs, sad), before DC, I too would collapse at the end of the day -- and that is WHY I am not working now, because we couldn't both go on doing that even without DC. I try to blame the employers not DH.

I have learned to let a LOT slide because it really isn't essential. Hoover daily? you must be kidding: there was a time when things were really bad and I realised to my dismay that I hadn't washed DS1's sheets for at least a year shock -- but no one died. Apparently no one but me noticed. My basic standard for a successful day is still that everyone is alive at the end of it.

Of course if there are DGP around or money to outsource some of the work even just a few hours' relief will help. Sounds to me like you need to get some time to yourself in the middle of the day if possible for naps, window-shopping, stupid me stuff.

I do feel my DH could do more -- but mostly we try not to fight about it because when both sides are legitimately exhausted it's just a feel-bad fight leading to no change except anger on both sides!

As a practical matter, it helps to remember that your job will get a lot easier as DC grow up. Once they are in school all day if anything the problem is, what do I do to fill the time (esp since I am such a slacker housekeeper grin). DH does do a bit more at the weekends but none of the dinner/bed stuff which is what kills me. He did, eventually, learn to recognize certain moments when no matter how tired he is, he must swoop in. Do I get a crazed look or what? I don't know, it's not something I switch on at will. Sometimes it's if I myself have been sick, sometimes it's just that there's been a really bad few weeks -- anyway, once in a rare while he arrives home to find us still in chaos that late (a giveaway already, right?), and just takes all the DC away to bed. Perhaps because he realises that if he didn't someone might end up DEAD, and it might not be me!

SpudtheScarecrow Sat 05-Oct-13 14:41:00

Can I ask what poepl's partners do when they get in if they don't 'muck in'? Do they physically remove themselves - go to another part of the house or just sit and watch without getting involved?

I'm (mostly) a SAHM I do most stuff - particularly as DH is often away and now the DCs are getting older/more independent it is certainly easier for me to get on with stuff.

However, if DH is around he will typically stop work around 5/5.30 (works from home when he's here) I'll probably be cooking tea and he'll do something with the DCs so I can get finished in peace. If they're all occupied he'll make us a cuppa and we'll have a chat.

After dinner we'll do some family stuff, homework, whatever. Then one of us, (usually him) will take the DCs up for bed, story etc while the other clears up. Then we can sit down together. Sometimes he does some more work then and vey occasionally I do too!

I'd find it really odd if he was in but not with us ifyswim

CHJR Sat 05-Oct-13 14:42:02

p.s. But when he does on those rare occasions put them to bed their teeth are often brushed with the wrong person's toothbrush, if at all, because of course he doesn't know where anything is. As I say, standards must not be too high!
What I'm worrying about is, now my DC are all in school, can I go back to work or will this still not be feasible given DH's rigid hours?

yomellamoHelly Sat 05-Oct-13 14:42:29

Dh does nothing for / with kids. Could be a lone parent except I don't have the stress of earning a wage. He works normal office hours and has 1-2 hours each day off to exercise. Often chooses to do extra work at home. Spends the weekend sleeping and exercising. Is around once the kids are in bed. Once a month, sometimes more often, I get to the point where the tiredness makes me ill. Then he'll make noises about how I work too hard, but nothing changes. Know other women in same situation in RL. Can already see the payback from the kids.

cerealqueen Sat 05-Oct-13 14:48:49

DP works very long hours, often out at 6am but if he is in time for dinner and bath he helps, no question. He wants to do it as he gets to spend time with them, chats to DD about her day at school.

BUT I need to go back to work soon so he has to do some of the thinking /planning as well as the doing which is a whole different challenge!

5madthings Sat 05-Oct-13 14:53:01

yomell why do you put up with it?!!

Sorry but I don't get it. I can kind of understand if its just something that has happened gradually without you noticing and then you are stuck in a rut?

But I do not understand these men that do nothing with THEIR children.

It simply would not occur to dp to just come in and sit on his are.

CHJR Sat 05-Oct-13 14:55:53

One of my in-laws is a divorce lawyer and she's told me that in a typical divorce, the mum ends up with the kids and the dad with the money. Though we naturally see the injustice in the money side of things, her point was that actually the men are losing out too -- even if some of them don't realise it -- they are losing something no amount of money can buy. I see that happens in marriages even without divorce. In my dream world (Sweden maybe?) we'd all get a fair portion of both.
I hear you, yomellamo, I too often feel like a single parent, but the not having the stress of also earning a wage is a genuine contribution. I try to be grateful that DH is doing that and understand that he doesn't fully control his job. (Though, &% it, he could surely control his hours a bit: but his employer seem to him more predictable and easier to manage than his family grin Big surprise there.)

Fairenuff Sat 05-Oct-13 14:59:42

OP since starting this thread, you have only added 3 posts. It's difficult to engage with someone who doesn't respond much, but perhaps you're busy.

What did you hope to find out by posting? That your dh isn't pulling his weight?

What do you want to do about it. So many of these threads are just a place to have a moan and then carry on the same. Nothing will change unless you change. Nothing.

CHJR Sat 05-Oct-13 15:09:31

What doesn't change as DC get older is the unfair distribution of worrying about DC. At the moment my middle child's education is in midst of a major review by the local education authority, but, much though I know DH does care and would help if I asked, he is just not around taking DS to his appointments or talking to these people, and when I call him at work of course he's stressed and distracted, and I feel guilty for distracting him from the job we desperately need him to keep doing well, and for making his life still more stressful. (Just thinking about it now is making ME so stressed my grammar is shot to hell, I hope that sentence made sense.)

But those of you with DC who aren't SN also know this truth, and so do those of you who aren't SAHM: DH is probably NOT the one worrying about how DC are getting on with their new classmates and teachers, is he now? Does he even know DC's teachers' names? Or think to book their dental checkups?

Mind you ONCE in a while it's a helpful reality check to find out that something I'm panicking about looks to DH like an easily resolvable matter. ONCE or twice he's even been right about that.
And as I say I'd rather be the one with the kids than with the job if it must be split like this. Though I hope it never comes down to that choice for me and DH!

5madthings Sat 05-Oct-13 15:23:01

does my dp worry as much as me? probably not. does he know the name of their teachers...yes. does he know about their freindships...yes. would he book dentust app... yes.

when ds1 was miserable at high high school dp was involved at lookinh around and finding a new one.

i have more 'get up and go/naturally a bit more organised as well' so may end up more of a driving force but dp is involved and does stuff and yes off his own back.

Crowler Sat 05-Oct-13 15:28:56

I work part-time, mostly from home. My income is about 20% of our total income.

My husband works full-time for the family enterprise. Although his hours are a dream come true, it is stressful for him to deal with working for his dad. My life is quite easy, so I do most everything in the evening. Sometimes I get irritated, but I am pretty domestic so I let it go.

yomellamoHelly Sat 05-Oct-13 17:00:30

CHJR - Feel like you are me in some other reality. Could have written what you have - and have 1dc with sn too. Kids'll be grown before we know it and am glad I can be such a large part of their lives.

5madthings - Have tried to change status quo over the years in various ways but has provoked various temper tantrums from dh. So have kind of detatched myself from it all really and try to keep in mind how great the kids are rather than grow bitter over it. Know it's not for everyone.

IrnBruTheNoo Sat 05-Oct-13 19:37:02

"Once a month, sometimes more often, I get to the point where the tiredness makes me ill. "

sad That is also me, unfortunately. And we rowed about it last night. He wants to go to a party during the October break (it's just one night, he'll be back in the morning, he says). Apparently I'm being stupid not letting him go, but I said life still moves on and the DC get up in the morning and I would appreciate a help as I do this day in day out. It is nice to share the load, as someone else has put it. Why should he be going out whilst I've got it all to do.

IrnBruTheNoo Sat 05-Oct-13 19:43:37

It's good to hear that I'm not the only one. DM said she wouldn't be putting up with that, apparently DF helped when I was tiny, did not need to be prompted to change nappies, do bath time, take us out walks, etc.

I honestly thought DH would do a bit more as they get older as things are obviously getting easier in many ways on the practical level.

IrnBruTheNoo Sat 05-Oct-13 19:44:39

5madthings yes I should be starting my own thread. You are right. I'm spoiling this one by going against the grain. wink

doorbellringer Sat 05-Oct-13 23:54:20

Thank you ladies I gave my dh this thread to read, warts and all. He had a realisation and admitted how lucky he has been and how much more some dh do. It wasn't intended to be a punishment, merely a wake up to how good he had it and it worked. So thank you for your honesty I really think there will be some changes in the doorbellringer household. Hope it was as cathartic to others x

doorbellringer Sat 05-Oct-13 23:56:34

Really hope this wasn't offensive to anyone. I know how things can be misconceived online. Was a genuine thanks for the support and enlightenment.

5madthings Sun 06-Oct-13 00:04:47

irn he can go out as long as he returns the favour!

i dont understand these men that dont do anythung with their own chikdren sad they and the kids are missing out and setting a crap example to boot. what message must it give? daddy isnt interested in them or they are not worthy of his time/attention? and for boys growing up with that role model as to how to be a father sad

i can see how it sort of creeps up on you ans ends up rhe status quo.

fwiw my dp has not always been fab. he has always been hands on but he is quite pessimistic in nature and prone to being grumpy and miserable. for years i put up with his moods (partly because he is so hands on) but i did snap and just say ENOUGh. he has had counselling and i dont bear the brunt of his moods now, i wont stand for it. thats not to say he doesnt get a bit fed up etc but he doesnt take it out on me!

Thumbwitch Sun 06-Oct-13 00:08:21

With DS1, DH was working a 9 til 5 job. DS1 had feeding issues to start with (tongue tie) and would feed for 2h at a time, so I would muddle through the day but asked DH to do the evening meal, which he did (mostly because he would have had to wait too long for his dinner if he'd had to wait for me to cook it some nights!)
I worked PT from home after DS1 was 6wo, but since DH wouldn't do any of the night work, changed very few nappies and never did bathtime, I suggested that it was only fair that he continued to cook dinner and clean up afterwards (he needed his sleep, apparently - seems he thought I had no need for it hmm)

Since we emigrated, DH's job has been home-office based, but sometimes with long trips on the road. We alternate cooking/ washing up etc. because it works for us. I haven't worked out here at all (can't easily) but that was part of the "deal" of us coming over here (DH is Aussie). I still do all the housework, laundry, cleaning and tidying - but the daily grind of the kitchen work is shared.

With DS2, he is almost entirely my responsibility again, as DS1 was - he's 1 next week and DH has changed a maximum of 4 nappies for him, done no night waking, no bathing etc. DS2 sleeps in with me so nighttime routine is all mine to deal with as well. However, DH has had to take on DS1's evening hygiene routine, so he's more involved there now.

I am not unhappy with the labour divide - I could wish that he would help more with the heavy work as I have a bad back and even vacuuming can set it off, but he generally does when he's asked, he just doesn't ever see that it needs doing without being asked.

He's pretty good really. smile

Sunnysummer Sun 06-Oct-13 08:06:27

DH does none of the (many) night wakings, but then takes early-rising DS for up to an hour in the morning while I catch up on sleep and/or have a leisurely breakfast and shower and/or mumsnet smile He maybe empties the dishwasher during that time, but that's pretty much it as far as housework during the week.

He usually gets home after DS is asleep, usually I cook and he tidies after. If he is home earlier he loves doing the bath, but it's probably only once a week at most.

On the weekends he does quite a bit of looking after DS, which is lovely, but I sometimes wish he would spend some of that time doing some house stuff instead!

pinkr Sun 06-Oct-13 09:01:25

My husband cooks dinner and sorts the washing...our tumble dryer is in a separate building so not easy witha newborn. He does nappy changes also. I do the night wakenings and changes if its a weeknight. He helps with bath etc also. I know I'm bloody lucky he's so hands on.

5madthings Sun 06-Oct-13 09:08:10

a man who hasnt bathed his child and changed four nappies in a year is "pretty good" you really think that thumbwitch ?!!!

Seriously what is it that makes women believe they should be so grateful that their partner 'helps' at all?!! i feel like i have stepped back into some 1950s timewarp...

jasminerose Sun 06-Oct-13 09:13:30

Thumbwitch shock

IrnBruTheNoo Sun 06-Oct-13 09:19:44

I think on my DH's part he just does not think. He doesn't consider that I may need a help with X Y or Z. If I ask him, most of the time he'll muck in. Part of the problem is me though. If I don't ask, what do I expect? People are not mind readers. I need to ask more often it seems.

DH attempted to cook one day when DS1 was small. I came back to see the kitchen like a bombsite. So from that day on, I decided I'd be as well doing it all myself because I tidy as I go and there's less work to do if I cook and clean myself (IYSWIM?). He didn't load the dishwasher properly, so I said it's fine, I'll do it all. Rod for my own back. Soooo, by my own admission, I'm partly to blame for our domestic set up because I'm so obsessive about things being done a certain way. DH has brought this up recently, that he does offer to help, but I'm set on doing things my way so he cannot chip in. I have said to even things out he needs to do more 'child related' tasks around the house like bathing, nappy changes and taking them out for a while to give me a break (ultimately that's what I'd really want to be happening without having to ask him). I don't mind the housework side of things, but to have help occasionally with child care related stuff would really take the strain off.

I must admit that 5madthings has a point. It does sound like some type of timewarp reading my post and a few others on this thread. More men need to get involved when their children are young. And set a good example.

BooCanary Sun 06-Oct-13 09:20:59

I work p/t and I do most housework/child-related stuff. I earn more pro rata than DH but prefer p/t work as it allows me to spend more time with DCs and I am a control freak .

I measure fairness on how much free time we both have. I have about 6 hours child/work free per week ( when I'm not working and DCs are in school). I spend half of it doing big household tasks, and the other few hours doing my own thing. In turn DH has a few hours on the weekend to pursue his hobby.

We both chip in in the evenings, although DH is often doing DIY.DH takes DCs to breakfast club, picks them up from evening activities ( I clock off from childcare at 7 for my own sanity!!), does weekend homework, cooks the odd meal, does about half bed/bath routine per week, garden/day, ironing.

On the weekend he does sometimes sit on his arise more than I'd like, but then I am a stressy fidgeter in the day so am never happy unless things are 'getting done'!!

jumperooo Sun 06-Oct-13 09:35:49

He is out of the house at 8.15am and works 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. We take it in turns to get up with one year old DD, give her a bottle and change her. I generally do her breakfast when he's left for work and I do the child care in the day, I also do all the cleaning, washing and the ironing. He does the internet food shopping and the vast majority of the cooking. We both do the dishwasher and vacuuming, as and when. I feed her dinner at 5pm and clear that up. He is home by 6pm, he will play games with her, we generally share the task of DD's bath time every other night and he mostly feeds her and puts her to bed at night. She doesn't wake up often in the night but if she did I would go. Weekends are 50/50. He is very hands on and would do more if asked, not that I think there is more he could do. In some ways I could say I am lucky, but frankly in our house parenting is a joint venture as far as I'm concerned and I wouldn't have had a child with him if I thought he was lazy!

Thumbwitch Sun 06-Oct-13 10:15:45

No I don't think he's pretty good really, but I have to stop myself catastrophising the amount of help he offers or I get too pissed off. He's not going to change, and I'm pretty much over fretting about it.

He is many times better than many of my friends' DHs and quite frankly I would rather he cooked and cleaned the kitchen half the time than do the occasional nappy. He does look after the boys to give me time off - if I need a rest, or want to go shopping by myself, or go to Sydney to see my osteopath, that kind of thing.

DH is also a "non-thinker" - I don't know why, it's not like I've ever given him the opportunity to switch his brain off when he finishes work! - he just doesn't see what needs to be done!

First time I've been accused of being a 50s throwback, that's for sure. I am soooo not like that! I suspect that I might have been being slightly more sentimental about him than normal because he's had to go to Canada for 2w with work.

jasminerose Sun 06-Oct-13 10:22:47

Thumbwitch - You shouldmt be grateful for the really crap effort hes putting in. Pull him up on it, and trust me he sees it but he just thinks your a mug.

Fairenuff Sun 06-Oct-13 10:28:07

Part of the problem is me though. If I don't ask, what do I expect? People are not mind readers. I need to ask more often it seems

What a load of nonsense. Along with this:

DH is also a "non-thinker" - I don't know why, it's not like I've ever given him the opportunity to switch his brain off when he finishes work! - he just doesn't see what needs to be done!

Are we talking about another human adult? One without special needs or learning difficulties? Men who can hold down a job, see what needs doing, take the initiative, think for themselves, all without being a mind-reader?

These men are playing the 'poor ickle pathetic man can't do it' card to get out of normal everyday activities. They act like children so that they are mothered.

What would they be like if they lived on their own. Who would do the cooking, washing, cleaning, childcare? Of course they can do it. They just don't want to.

Thumbwitch Sun 06-Oct-13 10:29:11

No, he really doesn't and I don't not pull him up on it. But it gets very tedious going on about it day in, day out. And my comparison level has changed a lot since being out here.

I don't think he thinks I'm a mug. I would be a mug if I caved in and just did the stuff that he doesn't see - but I don't. I call him to do it himself. I would rather not have to call him, of course, but that's just not going to happen. So either I keep calling him, or I do it myself, or it rots where it sits.

You should hear the bollocks he comes out with after he's been away for a couple of days with his work - usually hobnobbing with miners etc. - how none of them have to do anything domestic blah blah. Here, it is rather 50s-ish I suppose. You wouldn't believe what some of my friends accept as normal!

Fairenuff Sun 06-Oct-13 10:42:33

You wouldn't believe what some of my friends accept as normal!

Just because your friend is in a worse position than you, doesn't mean you have it good. There is always someone worse off.

At least you can teach your sons not to be like their dad. My ds can do everything that I can do (except drive the car) and he regularly does.

He can get a weeks worth of shopping for the whole family, getting the best offers and longest 'use by' dates. He can plan the meals and know what he needs to buy. He cooks for the family. He can and does load the washing machine, hangs clothes out and sees that he needs to bring them in if it looks like rain.

He can clean, he moves furniture and remembers to wipe skirting boards, etc. He keeps on top of his homework and clears up after himself.

He is 14.

He has been slowly learning everything since he was about 2 years old. He is capable and would be able to look after himself if he had to. He still has a lot to learn about finances, etc. but he has plenty of time yet.

He would never expect a woman to do what he is quite capable of doing just because she is female. I don't think it would even cross his mind because we don't live like that in our house.

Start teaching your sons now so that, later on, some poor woman is not saddled with a person not willing to pull their weight.

Thumbwitch Sun 06-Oct-13 10:49:58

Fairenuf, at what point do you think that I am NOT teaching my sons differently? Very patronising of you. I wasn't brought up Australian.

Thumbwitch Sun 06-Oct-13 10:51:12

Perhaps I should have qualified that as "rural backward Australian" as I'm sure it will get picked up on by the many other Aussie posters on here whose experience is nothing like mine because they mostly live in cities.

Fairenuff Sun 06-Oct-13 11:01:12

Well Thumbwitch you didn't say that you weren't teaching your sons differently and they will have the added burden of copying their father which will make it harder for you.

Also, you put up with your dh's laziness because he's male. So there is nothing to suggest you would treat your sons differently. However, it now sounds as if that is what you intend to do.

Thumbwitch Sun 06-Oct-13 11:23:06

No, that's just a bunch of assumptions YOU made, Fairenuff. Erroneously as it happens.

Fairenuff Sun 06-Oct-13 11:28:29

Sorry Thumbwitch, didn't mean to upset you. Also, this is not your thread and you didn't ask for my opnion. I have been too outspoken.

Thumbwitch Sun 06-Oct-13 11:35:03

Ah you didn't upset me, Fairenuff. Don't worry smile

Fairenuff Sun 06-Oct-13 11:39:18


rosieposey78 Sun 06-Oct-13 11:52:53

Sorry not had time to check back. Been a busy weekend. Dh was out most of the day doing his hobby and ferrying dc to activities. I was home looking after baby and tackling the house as I had visitors last night.
That is not typical. Most weekends he does diy. Finance bits and cooks one of the evening meals. I am still always the one getting baby dressed and making breakfast fo dc whilst he dozes or plays on tablet. He does get up really early during the week so he does normally get one lie in. I used to get the other but i now have a commitment which means it doesn't often happen.
I guess i would feel less fed up if what i do was appreciated. He never comments how nice house looks but does complain if its untidy.
What am i looking for. I guess i am looking for confirmation that he is unreasonable so i can challenge him again. Last time i probably wasn't specific enough and it just ended in a row.
Thank you for your responses.

rosieposey78 Sun 06-Oct-13 11:54:05

Although garden and diy are not every day or even every week tasks. Hence why he does them.

SpiritOfTheBuskersCat Sun 06-Oct-13 11:57:00

dp comes home from work, cooks tea and entertains dd while I put my feet up. He gets up with her everyday at 7 gives her breakfast while I sleep till 8 when he goes to work. If I get up with dd and him he makes my breakfast and tea too. Weekends he washes up and Hoovers

My dh is a shift worker too. When he is home he helps out with bed and baths and cleaning up after tea. But if I want something specific done like hoovering I would have to ask him.
I do all the laundry and cleaning unless we have visitors coming and I might ask him to go and clean the bathrooms or Hoover upstairs etc.
He works long hours and so do I. He also helps out with night wakings when he is at home and night time.
He does the nursery run and shopping as often as I do and maintains and cleans the cars every week.
I often think he doesn't do very much but looking at this I realise that is unreasonable! grin

BooCanary Sun 06-Oct-13 12:40:56

What would they be like if they lived on their own. Who would do the cooking, washing, cleaning, childcare? Of course they can do it. They just don't want to

I know exactly what my DH would be like if he lived on his own. I know this because there are bits of the house that I have washed my hands of (namely the loft and garage) and they are a frigging mess. Like obsessive compulsive hoarder type messy! Also I go away for the weekend a few times a year, and DH eats crap whilst I'm away. If he lived on his own, it would be oven chips and sausages every night probably! He would clean the house eventually and would wash clothes when everything had been worn, and probably then leave the washing in the machine or on the line for 3 days before putting away.

He tries hard to be less messy because he knows how much I hate it, and our house is fairly tidy as a result. However, I'm under no illusions that this would not be the case if DH lived alone.

Everyone has different standards.....

rosieposey78 Sun 06-Oct-13 15:08:26

I do think it is the child interaction bit that upsets me most. Today me and the dc were laughing and joking about something or other. Dh comes in the room puts tv on and moans that we can't hear the grand prix. No interest in what was funny. Also ds came home with some fantastic test results the other day. I was so impressed i wanted to show dh. But again watching something on tv took priority.

rosieposey78 Sun 06-Oct-13 15:09:03

Sorry he can't hear.

Thumbwitch Sun 06-Oct-13 15:38:29

Ah rosie, that IS shit.
DH has tried this with the News. I tell him straight that the News is not more important than his sons, especially as chances are he's already listened to it in the car anyway - he just has a "thing" about watching the 6pm News, as did his Dad. I just turn it off/down and get him to listen to DS1/look at DS2 as appropriate.

What would happen if you did that?

rosieposey78 Sun 06-Oct-13 16:54:59

Would probably moan.

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