Am I expecting too much from my husband?

(41 Posts)
Margetts Mon 22-Apr-13 09:25:57

I am a stay at home mum with 6 year old twins, and particularly at the weekends I feel I do all the child care. My husband does work long hours, so I get up early in the morning at the weekends so he can have a long lie. I don't mind this as I am usually awake anyway. After this I will prepare all the meals, clear up afterwards, make the beds and keep things tidy as the day goes on. Most of the time I don't mind but I would really like to be brought a coffee or a gin and tonic. The only thing he does every night is put one of the children to bed.

I don't mind most of the time, but when I suggest we go out for a meal he doesn't want to. On the rare occasion we have a takeaway I am the one who organises it and drives to collect it.

The only thing he seems to do regularly every weekend is wash and clean the cars! I wouldn't mind but when he is out in the sunshine I'm stuck in the kitchen getting lunch.

Is the normal for a stay at home mum to do all domestic chores and the gardening ( which I do enjoy)?

MortifiedAdams Mon 22-Apr-13 09:28:22

No. Certainly not unless she wants that type of arrangement.

One of the weekend days should be your lie in day. And a proper lie in at that, where he dashes in every thirty mins to ask where the nappies are kept.

DeepRedBetty Mon 22-Apr-13 09:29:17

No it isn't. You need to sort out a regular time off. It sounds like you're both knackered by the weekend, and stuck in a rut. Budget for a babysitter once a week and get out, the pair of you!

NaturalBaby Mon 22-Apr-13 09:31:27

I'm a sahm and feel like I do everything but the minute DH gets home we split the jobs and childcare. He does the dishes if I cook dinner and vice versa - it's always been like that though in our relationship. He helps one child and I help the other, or one of us sorts out all the dc's and the other one tidies or packs a picnic bag if we're going out.

I go out in the evenings to get some time to myself and tend to 'disappear' doing jobs when he's around, sending the dc's to daddy when they have a request.

What does he do/say if you ask him to do something like hoover the house?

PoppyWearer Mon 22-Apr-13 09:32:10

No, not normal IMO and IME.

My DH works very long hours too and is barely here Monday to Friday.

At weekends he doesn't do much, but he does take on responsibility for about 50% of meals, even if it's just ordering/collecting a takeaway one night. He usually cooks one meal at least, if not two. He mows the lawn and will watch the DCs playing in the garden whilst he does that or tinkers with his bike. He goes to the dry cleaner (it's all his clothes so if he wants it before Monday, that's up to him) and washes his sports kit.

He will also offer me a coffee/wine/G&T at the appropriate junctures, assist with bedtime and do at least one bath time. And I sometimes get a lie-in.

And I thought my DH was lazy...I guess he does more than I thought.

givemeaclue Mon 22-Apr-13 09:32:25

No. We work as a team. Its not normal, have you discussed with him?

TheBookofRuth Mon 22-Apr-13 09:34:30

DH and I share the lie-ins, and while he never cooks, he always clears up afterwards. If he's home in time, which is rare, he bathes DD and puts her to bed - and he always does so at the weekend.

I am also a SAHM and he does very long days - leaves at 6am and gets back some 14+ hours later - but he still wouldn't dream of leaving everything to me.

LilRedWG Mon 22-Apr-13 09:34:53

I totally agree that you should be getting one lie in each every weekend. You both work hard and both need a rest.

Book a babysitter for this weekend and get out! smile

pictish Mon 22-Apr-13 09:36:16

Not after the 1950s no.

One lie in each at the weekend. There is no other fair way.

LilRedWG Mon 22-Apr-13 09:36:28

Also, have a proper discussion with your DH about splitting tasks.

mummy2benji Mon 22-Apr-13 09:40:31

I think it would be reasonable to each have a lie in at the weekend. And does he play with the children? At age 6 they need to be having some Daddy time. Does he clean the cars because he thinks they need cleaning or because he wants a bit of space and time to his own thoughts? There is nothing wrong with that, but once he's had a bit of space it would be good to then all do something as a family - go for a trip to a museum or a park or for a walk. Maybe you could sit down and have a chat about how to organise your weekends and get some better quality time. My dh and I have blue jobs and pinks jobs - blue are his, pink are mine! Pink jobs are cooking and housework and laundry, blue jobs include putting the rubbish out, feeding and cleaning out the rabbits. I used to get quietly resentful about doing all the housework and feeling unappreciated, but eventuallly realised that it doesn't get any better unless you both sit down and talk about it.

PogoBob Mon 22-Apr-13 09:41:28

No, not normal. Other way you round here as DH is the SaHP but when we're both here we split the chores and childcare between us

raspberryroop Mon 22-Apr-13 09:51:13

Unless you home school and or have a huge house what are you doing while the kids are at school and DH is at work ? Its about availble spare time really isn't it. If you are doing an hours house work a day then your own thing including the gardening cant really see your grip with him washing the car in the sunshine while you make lunch ? I mean how long does Lunch take ? You really should have all the household stuff done in the week IMO if you do not work.

Margetts Mon 22-Apr-13 10:14:26

Thank you for all your opinions. He is not a complete ogre and we do things as a family. Most weekends we go for a walk or out on our bikes. he does take out son to play golf and gets then to help him with DIY. This weekend we went thought to see Walking with Dinosaurs in Glasgow which was fantastic. My gripe was he feel asleep when we came home and I had to get dinner.
I will bite the bullet and sit down and talk to him. I would just like to be brought a glass of wine or a coffee!!

pictish Mon 22-Apr-13 10:17:07

Did he drive to the dinosaur thing?

I sometimes forget to take my dh driving into account. Navigating the Edinburgh traffic is no mean feat. He doesn't enjoy it one bit.

Margetts Mon 22-Apr-13 11:12:36

He drove there and I drove home again!

raspberryroop Mon 22-Apr-13 12:40:01

But what DO you do during the day ??

DeepRedBetty Mon 22-Apr-13 17:59:37

She does all the things the rest of us pay childminders, cleaners, gardeners, painters and decorators etc for. Once you've taken them to school it's only five hours until you've got to go and get them back again, and that for only about 180 days of the year. Sure you're not Xenia in disguise raspberryroop?

LineRunner Mon 22-Apr-13 18:10:56

What does the OP 'DO' all day - the whole 'free' 5 hours?

All the stuff that needs doing. Laundry for four people. Shopping and cooking for four people. Cleaning for four people. Paperwork for a household of four people. School events. Appointments at doctor and dentist. House repairs. Decorating. Gardening. Bins. Staying in for deliveries. Pets to vets. Booking and organising stuff. Gin.

Toasttoppers Mon 22-Apr-13 18:24:10

I am currently at home and have a DH that works very long hours with a horrible commute. DH does still do some stuff, he brings me tea in bed every morning for a start. I would always expect the SAHP to do most chores unless they have health problems.

How high are your standards? I was amazed at a thread recently where people admitted to hoovering every day. Are you possibly a bit hard on yourself?

You should take it in turns to have a lie in, we have always done that.

Spero Mon 22-Apr-13 18:29:49

You are not dealing with decorators, gardeners, cleaners etc EVERY day.

Sorry, but I don't accept that mothers at home of school age children are swept off their feet every single minute of every single school day. I manage to sort out life and house etc in the evenings/weekends as a single parent working full time.

But I agree the weekend situation doesn't sound fair. You should at least have one lie in each and be making cups of tea for each other etc.

Yama Mon 22-Apr-13 18:40:30

You know, my dh made an observation about me recently - he said "you like to be served don't you?" All very good natured but yes, I do like to be brought drinks and have people wait on me. Thought it was normal.

I do a lot of cooking and it's my way of balancing out the serving.

I don't give this a lot of thought but I do clock it iyswim?

LineRunner Mon 22-Apr-13 18:43:26

Spero, I mean that the average SAHM is doing the cleaning, gardening, decorating etc. not dealing with tradesmen a la Margot Leadbetter.

Margetts Mon 22-Apr-13 18:46:47

I don't expect my DH to do much at the weekend, but occasionally putting out the bins or unpacking the dishwasher wouldn't go a miss!!
I admit during the week I do go to the gym 2 mornings a week but DH either goes to the gym or plays golf at the weekend and often goes to the football which I don't mind.
I also help at school 2 mornings a week, take the walking club and in the summer cut 2 neighbours grass.

LineRunner Mon 22-Apr-13 18:50:27

p.s. I am a working single mother and we live in an absolute tiphole because there are just not enough hours in the day.

Spero Mon 22-Apr-13 18:52:36

Ok, unless you have a massive house and garden how much decorating and gardening are you doing in a day?? Seriously, FIVE hours a day spent washing, painting, weeding, baking, etc, etc? If you are spending five hours a day five days a week doing this you seriously need to think about outsourcing or moving to a smaller place.

And how is it five hours? I am back from school run by 9.10am and leave at 3.20pm. So nearer six if you are close to the school.

I need two hours a day to cope with day to day maintenance, washing, paperwork, shopping etc. School run takes half an hour. So on any week days off I have many hours in which to relax and do what I want.

If the garden is so massive it is taking loads of time, you need to think about getting a gardener.

I don't think someone who works outside the home should have to undertake 50% of domestic chores during the week but there should be more parity during the weekend and a lot less sloping off to wash the car in peace.

LineRunner Mon 22-Apr-13 18:56:08

Maybe I feel I need, cumulatively, about a thousand hours to ever catch up.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 22-Apr-13 19:01:45

I think the OP's point is that at the weekend she is still doing all the chores while her DH does other things. And that is not on.

Spero Mon 22-Apr-13 19:02:31

Ok, it may help that I am massively anal and gain more pleasure from tidying my bookcases and codifying my do to lists than even rubbing oil into James Marsters.

Margetts Mon 22-Apr-13 20:02:42

I don't expect housework to be done by him, but as I mentioned unpacking the dishwasher or emptying the bin, or collecting a take away.
This Sunday he didn't wake up till 9.30 and complained how badly he had slept - I had been up since 6.30!!
During the week I am downstairs making his breakfast and packed lunch for him while he is in the shower.
Sorry for moaning I am just feeling slightly under valued at the moment!

raspberryroop Mon 22-Apr-13 20:13:19

Cutting the neighbours grass and helping out at school ??? Loving this idea that 5 hours a day 5 days a week is just no time at all. You also go to the gym but resent him doing it in his off time. I don't think you should do everything at weekends but you are feeling undervalued because you are under employed - I don't mean that you should get a job but do something that makes you value you.

My Dh was a sahh for 4 years - and yes I lay in at weekends and did a lot of my own stuff because he had time during the day - its about available free time to do things that please you and relax you.

Spero Mon 22-Apr-13 20:15:07

He is completely taking the piss on the weekends, there I agree. You need to have a talk.

Margetts Mon 22-Apr-13 20:19:52

Raspberryroop I don't resent him going to the gym, golf or football.

raspberryroop Mon 22-Apr-13 20:27:02

You have 25 hours a week to yourself unless you have OCD and you say he works long hours and puts one child to bed. And you resent him lying in till ohhh 9.30??? Has it not occurred to you, you don't go out for meals because he's tired !!

raspberryroop Mon 22-Apr-13 20:30:19

And am I Xenia - well no I'm but kicking better that Xenia

raspberryroop Mon 22-Apr-13 20:37:21

And Its the 'I have to make lunch inside while he cleans the cars' like your the fecking little match girl - make a sandwich put on plate eat outside - oh yes - HE CLEANS THE CARS - add that to list of things he does do.

FoundAChopinLizt Mon 22-Apr-13 20:38:01

I smell a burning martyr. Twins must have been very hard work when they were little, but you can give yourself some slack now.

Sometimes people do not show appreciation by actually saying they appreciate you. It's possible that dh does, but thinks he is demonstrating that by earning the money, sex or spending time with you. It's more important that you value what you do yourself.

One question

Why are you up at 6.30 if you don't want to be. You could lie in with dh at weekends? My dcs could sort out cereal at that age.

Many on here would consider you privileged to have the choice to stay at home. Make the most of it. Make time for your interests whilst they are at school, and get the housework/weekend meals sorted before the weekend, that way you can both enjoy yourselves. For example, you can make soup in the week and an extra bolognaise and freeze it. Have a picnic and prepare it together.

To get dh to pull his weight, try saying 'I'll do the garden this morning, what were you planning to do with the boys?' or similar. If he's refusing to lift a finger then he is BU.

Are you in two minds about going back to work?

FoundAChopinLizt Mon 22-Apr-13 20:56:14

Sometimes I say to dh 'ask me if I want a drink'.

He says 'do you want a drink?'


Drinks always taste better if they are offered by and made by someone else.wink

SingleMama Mon 22-Apr-13 21:38:23

Sounds like he's expecting too much from you...

SingleMama Mon 22-Apr-13 21:58:41

Hi Margetts
I was just reading through posts a bit. I don't know why some people on these threads feel the need to attack the OP and devalue her point of view. I think that happens enough offline. Mumsnet is for supportive advice- not criticism!
If you feel that you are doing too much, you definitely are doing too much.
Work out a new plan by yourself that would suit you best. Then try & negotiate with your partner. Some partners are always tired, always complaining (sometimes manipulating?) while the other partner does all the worrying and most of the work. I would say he needs to shape up or ship out! ;-)

Spero Tue 23-Apr-13 07:37:05

You say 'attacking', I say 'offer another perspective'. I agree there is no need to get up at 6.30 unless you want to. I stay in bed until 8 at weekends - if my daughter wants to get up earlier, that's up to her.

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