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Wifework. How to make an otherwise lovely man pull his fucking weight?

(147 Posts)
InNeatCognac Thu 17-Jan-13 10:04:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

InNeatCognac Thu 17-Jan-13 10:31:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blu Thu 17-Jan-13 10:31:36

"I must say you are lucky that he does baths, bed times and clubs most nights though. Dh is still at work at this time for us. I would love to not do bedtimes for once! "

No, she isn't lucky, she is still working, childminding, at that time!

Lovingfreedom Thu 17-Jan-13 10:32:17

He's out at work every day, extra work teaching music in the evenings, baths the kids every night, takes them to clubs and puts them to bed, does the washing up every night/morning...I don't often say this but....give the guy a break.

bigkidsdidit Thu 17-Jan-13 10:32:52

Can you get a whiteboard in the kitchen, and list jobs as they come up (everything that you just listed) and put one person's name by each

Seeing all his jobs undone might shame him into action?

HeyHoHereWeGo Thu 17-Jan-13 10:33:22

This would be a deal breaker to me, it really would.
He thinks it is ok for you to clean because you are only a woman and women like doing shit household jobs. Its all they are good for.
He is a man so he is above all that boring crap.
Fuck that.
Get angry and tell him he is killing your love for him.
Tell him with every sloppy shitty week that goes by you dislike him more as you see through him.
He does not have to be told at work everytime he does the same boring repetitive task does he?
So he just magically forgets at home?

It is bullshit, it really is.

bigkidsdidit Thu 17-Jan-13 10:33:54

But loving they work the same hours. When does he OP get a break?

Flisspaps Thu 17-Jan-13 10:34:01

Why is she lucky that he's at least doing a share of the parenting? I (and I imagine Cognac) don't need asking to do bedtime/baths etc. That's not luck, that's the sort of set-up that should spread throughout the WHOLE of the running of the family.

Lovingfreedom Thu 17-Jan-13 10:34:01

You both work very long hours and do lots of other stuff too - probably is worth getting a cleaner

TigerFeet Thu 17-Jan-13 10:34:46

The thing is, though, a cleaner isn't going to sort and put away laundry every day, or wash up after dinner, go to the dump, or mow the lawn, or clean the car or shop for birthday presents or make dentist appointments or sew cub badges on or write cheques for school or remember when parents evening

OK fair enough. Obviously some of that needs to be done regardless of whether or not he remembers. I think you need to ignore the rest. DON'T do his laundry. DON't wash up after dinner (I know this might seem minging and I would HATE it, but you might not need to do it for long). DON'T go to the dump, mow the lawn etc etc. Anything that he's agreed to do, that can be left, LEAVE IT. Employ the cleaner as well to give you time to do the essentials that he forgets.

I get that he's a lovely bloke and he's probably not doing it on purpose, but he's getting away with being a bit brainless about it all isn't he, because you're stepping into the breach and sorting it out for him. He needs to realise that if he says he's going to do something he needs to damn well do it.

Lovingfreedom Thu 17-Jan-13 10:35:17

It doesn't sound like either of them get a break - that's all I'm saying. They both work hard and do lots with the kids etc.

badinage Thu 17-Jan-13 10:35:34

I don't think getting a cleaner solves the problem at source.

Which is that for some reason, he sees housework as women's work.

Until you challenge that attitude and deal with it head on, it will never translate into sustainable change.

That's why he makes an effort for a short while and slips back.

This is fundamental.

Think about things that he does feel responsible for.

His job for example. Does his manager have to write out his job description repeatedly? Does he do everything that's expected of him for a short while and then revert to doing nothing until his boss gets on his back again?

Does he maintain his car? Does anyone need to nag him to put petrol in it or check the oil and water, or does he wait for it to break down?

It is no different with housework.

Except that he doesn't feel responsible for it.

He thinks you are simply because you're a woman.

Lovingfreedom Thu 17-Jan-13 10:36:39

Employ a cleaner to do the simple but time-consuming things that neither of you really have time for at the moment. You must be exhausted.

elastamum Thu 17-Jan-13 10:36:45

You can get a cleaner to do pretty much anything. I am a LP, I work full time in a demanding job. I have outsourced all my domestic tasks, cleaning, dog walking in the morning, washing, ironing. It means I have time to work mumsnet and do the important stuff with my DC.

You dont have to live like this.

Get help and make him do his bit. INSIST on some time off

TigerFeet Thu 17-Jan-13 10:37:36

Please please don't do lists and tick boards etc etc. This is still putting the onus on you to remember and to give him his instructions. The whole point is that as a fully functioning adult he should be able to see for himself that the lawn needs mowing/laundry needs sorting or whatever and that he should do it.

flowery Thu 17-Jan-13 10:38:42

If you give him fair warning then immediately it peters out get a cleaner he will have nothing to moan about when that happens.

He also knows it will get done because he's not the one left looking at piles of washing up etc - you are, as you work from home.

Have the discussion row. No room for the domestically inept in an equal relationship and he needs to stop paying lip service to this and actually start to listen to your pov properly and respectfully.

Just employ a cleaner. Ignore his stampy foot and non-budging and just do it! You earn your own money, so use some of it for this!

You don't need his permission smile

bigkidsdidit Thu 17-Jan-13 10:41:12

Tiger tht might not have come across in the best way.
We have a list in the kitchen and now it's been going a while it works brilliantly - we both add things when we spot them and tick them off as we get round to it.

MMMarmite Thu 17-Jan-13 10:41:53

I'm a bit unimpressed by his inability to take criticism, it seems a very convenient tactic to get away with not doing stuff, cos then you avoid mentioning it as it will lead to a row.

Part of the problem is not just his lack of helping, but the fact that it is seen as "helping": currently housework is all your responsibility, it's taking up your mental space remembering what needs doing, and he is 'being generous and helping' when he just does a little. Whereas really housework should be a joint responsibility, neither of you is 'helping', but simply taking care of your own house.

Have you tried agreeing some specific areas for him to be responsible for, eg. ironing, bathrooms (preferably ones where he will suffer just as much as you if it they're left undone), and then just not reminding and not doing anything? Maybe you need to leave it it undone and not remind him, and eventually he'll realise he has no clothes to wear - a sort of natural consequence of his actions, rather than something coming from you.

Chopsypie Thu 17-Jan-13 10:45:10

I withheld sex.
Worked for us!

Do you think it would help to show him in writing how unequal things are? For example, make a long list of everything you do, compared to his short list. Take a weekly calendar and point out all the leisure time he has, including hobbies, compared to you.

Also point out that while you may spend equal time doing things -- for example, he takes the kids to clubs while you work and clean -- that going to the clubs is far more fun than scouring the floors. Giving baths is more fun than doing the bills. He is really leaving all the shit work to you. Why would he do that, if he really cares about you?

You haven't said if you do his laundry, cook his meals, remember things on his behalf, but it's worth considering not doing it anymore if he doesn't appreciate your work.

Oh and get a cleaner. If he won't contribute to housework, then he doesn't get to decide how it gets done. Why does he get to put his foot down when you can't?

Pootles2010 Thu 17-Jan-13 10:46:01

I think you need to make it into a habit for him - he's never learnt this, I assume because he's never had to (did his Mum do all housework and never make children do any?). You need to keep up at him about it - almost like teaching a child to do something.

I'd have a proper chat with him to start with, saying how you're really struggling and as you understand he doesn't want a cleaner, can he start to do his fair share a bit more as you're sure he doesn't expect you to do it all.

Then when he inevitably stops doing it, deal with it without makign a big deal of it - in a suprised sort of way - 'Oh, didn't you do the dishes last night dp?'.

Its difficult because you're home on your own all day - i work in office exactly same hours as dp, so i can just leave things if he doesn't do them, and then he has to when we get home, iyswim.

InNeatCognac Thu 17-Jan-13 10:49:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

InNeatCognac Thu 17-Jan-13 10:54:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

badinage Thu 17-Jan-13 10:54:51

Instead of concentrating on whether his mum did everything - in which case the blame gets diverted to a woman again - ask whether it was a case of his dad doing nothing. If that's where this sexist laziness was formed, that was his dad's fault and not his mum's.

This is why it could be a problem getting a cleaner - penny to a pound that will be a woman again cleaning up his mess, which will just reinforce the sexism.

As for the with-holding sex suggestion, I despair......how does that counteract sexism if women are seen to be using sex as a punishment and reward system? And what is she meant to do with a healthy libido FFS?

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