Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. 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?

It's not my experience at all. We split house chores, child responsibilities, cooking etc pretty much 50/50. We are partners, we are equals & I wouldn't have it any other way.

I don't get the "I want to be mothered by my partner" vibe from any of my many male friends either.

God, no. DH would run screaming from the house if I tried to 'mother' him.

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 13:33:59

If I wanted another child, I'd have one, not marry one.

What a patronising crock of shit!

You think it's fair that you have to skivvy for someone just because you have a vagina? More fool you!

WorkingMummyof1 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:43:17

For a lot of men this is true. For those of you who say that your men do things by equal measures - you don't know how lucky you are. Traditionally (although of course not in every family) men had their roles and women had theirs, however now that women also work full time etc we end up doing both the man's and woman's roles - however men have not always taken on both roles with equal measure.

putthelimeinthecoconut - yes your experience would mirror that of many women - certain people of older generations (and the sons that they have raised to think like them) still expect women to do do all the "housy" related things like cooking and cleaning and childcare - even though these women also work full-time just like their precious sons. There are men who have housewives to help them or partners that work part-time and still help out with housey things. However some men will not like to lift a finger despite their partner working full-time. Grrrrrrrr! hmm

OneMoreChap - it's not bull** in the case of many men - they are like this - you are fortunate not to know any! smile

WorkingMummyof1 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:47:08

expatinscotland - that was a bit aggressive - the OP asked us to "discuss" - there are cases where for the peace of the household women do much of the work - not in ALL cases but many. It might not be right but it does exist. Hope this attitude is wiped out over the next few generations however.

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 13:48:43

'For those of you who say that your men do things by equal measures - you don't know how lucky you are. Traditionally (although of course not in every family) men had their roles and women had theirs, however now that women also work full time etc we end up doing both the man's and woman's roles - however men have not always taken on both roles with equal measure.'

Lucky? Believe me, there's no luck involved in resolving to yourself that you're not a skivvy just because of your gender.

'We' only end up doing the life work of two people if we put up with it.

I'm not and have never been interested in having an adult who thinks I'm a skivvy due to my gender as a partner, so quickly binned anyone who felt this way.

Ephiny Wed 03-Oct-12 13:49:31

I can believe there are men like this (there's another thread going at the moment where the husband won't even find his own socks to put on in the morning) just as there are women who want to be treated as frail little princesses, but in my experience it's not the norm.

Also don't think all the lazy/selfish men are that way because they have a deep-down emotional need to be mothered, often they just prefer doing nothing and don't care about their partner's feelings.

Personally I think DH likes that I'm not the overbearing fussy housewife type like his mum. We help and support each other when needed, of course, but there isn't a parent-child dynamic going on in either direction (that would be quite creepy IMO and very unsexy, though each to their own!)

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 13:51:08

'expatinscotland - that was a bit aggressive - the OP asked us to "discuss" - there are cases where for the peace of the household women do much of the work - '

It's an open forum. We're allowed to express ourselves as we see fit within the guidelines.

And the only cases of women doing all the work in the name of 'peace' is when she's been conditioned to be taken advantage of.

Peace? I'd rather live on my own than with somone who thinks their penis exempts them from pulling their weight in life and I'm a domestic appliance with the added convenience of being available for sex.

I see plenty here who feel the same.

ginhag Wed 03-Oct-12 13:54:59

I don't think I'm lucky. I think I have every right to expect to be treated as an equal.

The op stated that this is what all men are like deep down, and that, effectively, they are 'made that way'. Not that 'some men still have very traditional attitudes.'

habbibu Wed 03-Oct-12 13:55:03

It's not luck, it's choice. I'd still be single if doing all the housework in a shared house was my only option.

Lucky? Believe me, there's no luck involved in resolving to yourself that you're not a skivvy just because of your gender.

'We' only end up doing the life work of two people if we put up with it.

I'm not and have never been interested in having an adult who thinks I'm a skivvy due to my gender as a partner, so quickly binned anyone who felt this way.

Claps expat who has hit the nail on the head.

I would also add my goal as a mother is to bring up well balanced, independent & functioning individuals - who can take care of themselves. I don't see 'mothering' as being someone's skivvy either. Yes to nurture, no to taking care of everything for the DC instead of teaching them how to take responsibility for themselves & contribute as they can towards family life.

I wouldn't be someones skivvy and whenever my dh gets lazy i put him straight. Especially when dirty boxers were being left in the bathroom and facial hair left in the sink amongst many of his 'habits' there are more! -I soon put a stop to it by refusing to pick them up, he soon stoppedgrin

I also believe a man & woman are equals and chores should be shared, even more so if both work full-time for example.
I think cooking, cleaning, and other duties should be done by each and dirty laundry should be taken downstairs by oneself!

Just because a man is a man doesn't mean he can expect to treat his dp like a mummy-slave and just because a woman is a woman doesn't mean she can play leisure-princess either.
If a man wants a mother he should either a:live with his mother or b:stay single so we don't have to put up with their slob like behaviourgrin

Ephiny Wed 03-Oct-12 14:02:20

I don't think it's luck either. I'd rather be single than spend my life role-playing mummy to a grown man.

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 14:07:12

pumpkinsweetie
I wouldn't be someones skivvy and whenever my dh gets lazy i put him straight. Especially when dirty boxers were being left in the bathroom ...-I soon put a stop to it by refusing to pick them up, he soon stopped

DW did something similar when I'd put washing in the wrong (old) place rather than the right (new) one. Once I got down to Tshirts, I looked in the old place, went "Oh, they need washing" and washed them.

In the end she loudly explained again about the new place...

I also "edit out" obstacles. E.g put something on the stairs, I'm much more likely to step over/round it than carry it upstairs.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Oct-12 14:10:34

"And where does being a feminist fit in, if this is a male basic need "

Being a feminist fits in by correctly identifying them as lazy men and kicking them up the arse....

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 14:13:04

So it's being a feminist to go about life assured of yourself in that you don't need to put up with someone who expects you to pull their weight in life, too?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Oct-12 14:14:20

I don't think not putting up with lazy people is especially feminist. I think it's just a matter of self-respect...

cory Wed 03-Oct-12 14:14:22

I believe it is a fundamental human need both to be looked after and to look after other people

a good relationship is one where both partners take turns to do the looking after so that both partners get both their needs met

people who end up doing all the looking after feel frazzled and frustrated, but ime people who are always looked after often end up uncomfortable too

a good relationship is one where both partners can end up feeling good about themselves

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Wed 03-Oct-12 14:15:14

I couldn't be with someone who had expectations of how I should keep the house.

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 14:15:20

Exactly, Cognito!

seeker Wed 03-Oct-12 14:15:46

As I've said before, most relationship problems can be avoided by the simple expedient of only forming lifelong partnerships with adults.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Oct-12 14:19:39

Being the DM of a DS I am determined as HipHop said upthread to release him into the community eventually as a functioning, independent adult. Showed him how the new washing machine worked this week and there was much eye-rolling and claims of 'I don't get it'. If I've said 'when you've finished with a plate/glass/cup will you put it in the dishwasher?' once I've said it 100 times. My DB was raised as a precious object to be pampered and it still rankles.

Work in progress <rolls up sleeves> <steely glint in eye>

Yuk. You appear to have totally swallowed the Wifework myth OP.

I heartily agree with expat and hope you don't have sons that you are modelling this relationship to.

Malificence Wed 03-Oct-12 14:25:12

It's incredibly depressing that there are still women who think that those of us in equal relationships with partners who do their fair share of housework, shopping etc are "lucky".

ginhag Wed 03-Oct-12 14:26:26

Doesn't the feminist bit come in just to challenge the (frankly rather silly) statement that wanting mothering/being lazy/expecting domestic servitude is a 'male basic need'?

OP just out of interest where have you actually read that this is the case? Do you have a local library that is in the 50s?

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