Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Men just want to be mothered. Discuss.

(112 Posts)
zozzle Wed 03-Oct-12 12:31:07

I think all DHs deep down just want you to be their mother with other benefits attached - sex, good conversation etc!

I mean in terms of being looked after - ie. ordered house for the weekend, food on the table when they get in from work, shopping and washing taken care of etc.

MY DH likes shopping to be all put away by time he come home from work on Fri night - doesn't like tripping over shopping bags when he comes in etc - health and safety issue apparently! I think he should just be glad that someone is doing the shopping and that someone isn't him! I have 2 days "off" a week when I'm not at work and feel it should be up to me when that shopping gets done in those 2 days. At least it's done before the weekend, and even if it wasn't is it a big deal?

And where does being a feminist fit in, if this is a male basic need (have read many books that say it is a fundamental male need!)

Any ideas?

samandi Wed 03-Oct-12 12:35:22

Disagree. We all like to be looked after and to look after each other (well, most of us anyway). My partner likes cooking and we share much of the housework, though I do more as I'm around more often.

fotheringhay Wed 03-Oct-12 12:35:58

Well I can only speak for my dh, but he wouldn't feel comfortable putting all that pressure on me, as I wouldn't on him.

I guess and hope most men have too much self-esteem to want to be treated like children.

Bluegrass Wed 03-Oct-12 12:36:30

Isn't this a bit like announcing that all women just want to be "looked after" by a man (ie. a very simplistic summing up of lots of different people's experiences of relationships)?

samandi Wed 03-Oct-12 12:36:55

if this is a male basic need

Again, wanting to be looked after is a human need.

It's not a male need to be cooked for. confused

madas Wed 03-Oct-12 12:37:37

God no, i couldnt think of anything worse!!!!

fluffyraggies Wed 03-Oct-12 12:38:31

I don't know if it's ALL Dhs OP, but it's true of some. (my ex)

I get infuriated with myself sometimes for the mothering instinct coming out all over my DH! With kids in the house it's so bloomin easy to find your self doing stuff for the DH which you're doing for the kids (not arse wiping, i mean sorting appointments, food, medicine, clothes, diary etc) and then thinking WTF AM I DOING? hmm

zozzle Wed 03-Oct-12 12:41:24

Ok - maybe just my experience then. He does his share to be fair but unhappy with my level of "housiness" apparently (I do my best!)

JollyJumper Wed 03-Oct-12 12:42:16

I agree with samandi, I'd add my DP has previously announced: "you are not my mother, stop trying to mother me, I don't need it". Depends on the human being...

habbibu Wed 03-Oct-12 12:45:16

Lord, DH would hate that idea. We're a team, an equal partnership. I think you are doing many men a disservice (and I wouldn't stand for a man that didn't fall into that group!).

Daddyshambles Wed 03-Oct-12 12:48:10

Don't we all like to be looked after? For some couples that might mean sharing chores, for others it might be along more traditional lines. I haven't cooked a meal in years, DW wouldn't dream of changing a lightbulb or building lego stuff with DS. As long as you all contribute there's surely no harm in it.

However ... I wouldn't dream of expressing an opinion (or, indeed, having one) about where she puts the shopping bags, that does seem a bit controlling.

Daddyshambles Wed 03-Oct-12 12:49:44

I may be a very traditional DH, but if he's unhappy with your level of housiness tell him to do it himself or shut-the-fuck-up.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Oct-12 12:51:29

I'm pretty sure anyone would love a personal slave.... only a mug would volunteer for the position. hmm

putthelimeinthecoconut Wed 03-Oct-12 12:56:55

I think it depends on the man and possibly how he was brought up might come into play. I remember when an ex cheated on me, his parents came round to try and convince me to stay and his mum kept going on about how if I'd done a bit more housework or cooked better meals it might not have happened shock so maybe I wasn't mothering him enough in his head! needless to say I packed my bags grin
Then I look at my brother and he's with a lovely strong minded woman who would never mother him, he loves her independence! He sees women as equals and never makes derogatry or sexist comments ever!
Looking at my mum and dad they have quite an equal marriage. To use your example of shopping I always remember them doing it together, if one of them had to work the other would do it, no one had the shopping 'role' they just worked together.
As to where feminism comes in, as far as I know (and I'm not that knowledgeable on the subject) feminism promotes equal rights for women. So I would think for an equal relationship it's ok to have certain jobs that you do, as long as you don't feel you have to because you're the women, it should be based on your strengths and weaknesses as a couple and how best to work together!

ginhag Wed 03-Oct-12 12:57:17

Feminism fits in precisely because it isn't a 'male basic need', that is a big pile of bollocks.

I am DP's partner not his mum (or his maid which tbh is what your description sounds more like.). We look after each other and we look after our kids. Regardless of whether either of us tend to do specific jobs more or whatever, we are EQUALS. Neither of us are 'in charge'.

zozzle Wed 03-Oct-12 13:04:29

Ok lets frame it another way. Do you think its fair that because I have two days "off" work a week (Thurs & Fri), it's a poor show if the house isn't "ship shape" for the weekend with shopping done, washing done, tidy house etc?

He says its so we can spend quality time together at the weekend without having to worry about chores. So maybe his motivation is good, but leaves me feeling like I've failed if I don't acheive it. He does his share along the way - puts kids to bed on week nights, sometimes tidies the lounge.

coppertop Wed 03-Oct-12 13:08:41

So your two days off are for doing stuff around the house, but your dh's days off are for doing fun stuff?

"He says its so we can spend quality time together at the weekend without having to worry about chores."

What he means is, "I can enjoy myself and won't be expected to join in with the work."

whistlestopcafe Wed 03-Oct-12 13:10:49

Dh's mother is a very over fussing motherly type person. Dh married me, I am the complete opposite. I think dh found his mother over bearing and I think a lot of men feel the same about women like that.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Oct-12 13:12:19

The bottom line is that houses don't clean themselves, everyone lives in the same house and so everyone either pitches in and does something or they chip in for a cleaner and nobody does the cleaning. How you divvy it up is a personal decision but no-one should be left feeling that their efforts aren't appreciated.

MooncupGoddess Wed 03-Oct-12 13:15:34

Most men are not like this, which is fortunate as (in my experience) there are few things less erotic than a man who thinks that your main function in life is to make his life easy and pleasant.

OP - do you feel that you and your DH have equal amounts of leisure time?

StuntGirl Wed 03-Oct-12 13:15:45

I like daddyshambles response grin

It's not your 'job' any more than its his 'job'. It's a shared responsibility.

I presume you both get two days off a week? So how do you spend the weekend together anyway?

putthelimeinthecoconut Wed 03-Oct-12 13:15:57

I think the question is do you think it's fair zozzle? Nobody knows the dynamics of other peoples relationships, if it works for you it's ok, if it doesn't it's not.
I would say feeling like you've failed if you haven't done the housework is not a good thing. How would he feel if you wanted to go and do something else on your days off? Would he offer to share the chores at the weekend or would he make you feel guilty?

Ephiny Wed 03-Oct-12 13:16:54

I don't particularly like stuff being left on the floor for me to trip over either (I am female and a feminist, whatever that has to do with it). How you get from that to 'all men want to be mothered' is quite bizarre.

Maybe we can leave out the wild over-generalisations?

As for your situation - do you have Thursday/Friday off work instead of the weekend, or as well (i.e. do you work 5 days a week or 3?)

stargirl1701 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:20:55

I think everyone would like someone else to take care of all the mundane things in life - both men and women. It would be great to have a team of servants looking after me!

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 13:26:15

DW is considerably more houseproud than me.

I would hoover if I see something on the floor. That's unacceptable, so I hoover weekly, whether it needs it or not grin

I work longer hours than she does, but if we're having a busy weekend, she'll clean in the week, so we can do more fun things together. I have an ongoing honey-do list.

I'm a scatterbrain, so I have routines; I do washing this day, I do this sort of cleaning another day.

I do cook, can iron, sew etc. She does a lot of things better than me; there's nothing I can't do. Similarly, I can do plumbing tasks quicker than her; she can still do them.

This all DHs deep down just want you to be their mother is just patronising bullshit. You having to work Saturday and Sunday, and having to spend your days off cleaning sounds rather unfair, though. Get him to do cleaning on his 2 days off.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

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

Register now