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Has your dh attitude to housework changed since you went part time after having ds?

(45 Posts)
cleoowen Wed 19-Feb-14 23:12:06

Not brave enough to put on am I bu, but cannot work out if I am or not.

Don't want to out myself so can't give all details but background is: since having ds I work have gone back to work freelance two / three days a week. I am a teacher so also have holidays off. I know I am lucky and ds is generally a delight and I have lots of fun with him. I generally like to make myself busy and go out and about every day if I can.

Before I married dh he knew I am not into domestic stuff and don't enjoy cleaning etc. I would much rather go and have fun than clean and so things would be left by both of us and then we'd do a deep clean. We would argue a lot over who should do what and when. But generally do 50/50. However, I would do pretty much everything else food shopping, putting shopping away, washing, finances etc.

However since we've had ds his attitude seems to have got a lot worse and he admits he feels resentful that I ve 'got an easier life than him' now I work part time. I feel he doesn't value what I do looking after our son. I can see how he feels like that as I am often going out with friends, having play dates and lunches out whilst he works. As a result he often tuts and rolls his eyes if I ask him to do a job like washing up and his reasoning for why he shouldn't do it is always 'because I ve been at work all day ' he only does a handful of general household jobs and I do everything else yet I feel he makes me feel guilty if I ve been out all day with ds and not made his tea or not tidied up.

In his defence we do have a cleaner so I know I am lucky but again he views this as ' I let you get a cleaner ' rather than we've got a cleaner. I don't feel like our marriage is a partnership and feel he makes it constant point scoring and tit for tat. His attitude seems to be all about who earns the most and who does the most hours , whereas I don't care and don't see marriage like that.

It's worse this week as I am on half term and he feels I should do it all as ' I am on holiday' we have been having blazing rows and I don't know how we can move on from this when our attitudes to marriage seem to be so different.

He seems to find general life more stressful than most and moans about things which other people just get on with. He argues I ve caused stress to him wanting kids and dogs and another house which increased our mortgage which is true and I admit this. He argues this has caused him stress and along with having his own business he finds it too much and I should help him out. But I feel he just moans more and his life isn't harder than anyone else's. He doesn't leave for work until 8.40 and lies in bed for ages after I get up. He gets home before 7 and has a few weekly household jobs to do whereas I balance so much more.

I don't know who's in the wrong or if this even matters but I am unsure how we can get past this with his attitude towards things. It's not going to change I don't think. But then maybe my attitude needs changing. Who's on the wrong?

movingonandup Wed 19-Feb-14 23:28:33

Well he sounds like he has a point to be honest.
Ask yourself honestly, if the roles were reversed would you be happy in his position given that neither of you enjoy domestic stuff?
If he had whole days at home with DS this week, seeing his friends, doing some fun stuff and yet left the washing up for you to do when you came in after work, would you not be a bit pissed off?

Nobody likes point scoring but it does sound like you have the much better deal at the moment.

CoffeeTea103 Wed 19-Feb-14 23:41:27

I do agree with your DH to be fair. You really have more time than him, including holidays so why would you not want to contribute more.
Not everything has to be done 50:50, sometimes you have to do a little more which benefits the family as a whole.

Handywoman Wed 19-Feb-14 23:43:25

YANBU OP

You should run around after him like his domestic servant just because he works FT and you are juggling work and kids? Sod that!

'I don't feel like our marriage is a partnership' and 'he argues I have caused him stress wanting kids and dogs'

Are important points. I hear what you are saying. I would set out your store now. Start by informing him that this is not the 1950s. Read 'Wifework'. Keep posting on here.

paxtecum Thu 20-Feb-14 06:34:25

Op: what is he like with your DS and what do you all do at the weekends?

Does he avoid seeing your DS in the mornings?
Do you go out together as a family?

Does you walk the dog together?

Is he just generally miserable?

Roshbegosh Thu 20-Feb-14 07:15:36

You are off having lunches and play dates and seeing friends. You would rather have fun than clean. You sound lazy, selfish and yes, completely unappreciative of the hard work he is doing to keep you happy. The dog, bigger house and wanting kids - all what you want. Oh, and a hard working meal ticket DH to serve your needs. Clean the fucking house, it is not a big deal.

Lweji Thu 20-Feb-14 07:32:10

Having lunches unless for hours is fine. I'm sure he has them too at work, as well as coffee breaks and watercooler chats.

The issue is whether you actually spend most of your time socialising at the expense of taking care of the children and could actually do some housework while at home do that you could have some more family time at the weekends and in the evenings. Then you could share things that have to be done at the time, as making food, dish washing, tidying up daily stuff, some weekend laundry.

slugseatlettuce Thu 20-Feb-14 07:39:20

Gosh - harsh ladies!
Op - do you think he is doing more than you? If so maybe you need to work out a better balance.
However my DH is currently being v similar and I think its stress related. We had a good chat the other day and agreed some things that might help on both sides - maybe you could do the same?

slugseatlettuce Thu 20-Feb-14 07:40:57

Actually have just reread your post - yanbu at all. Hope you can sort it out

lastnightopenedmyeyes Thu 20-Feb-14 07:44:52

I know this isn't very helpful but just to say that my DH has stepped up and become more helpful with each child we've had. (We have 2, the youngest is 3 weeks old).

When I'm not on mat leave he works full time and I 3 days a week. We run our own business. I feel like we share the housework in a similar (but obviously reversed) proportion if that makes sense.

Handywoman Thu 20-Feb-14 08:16:04

I really, really, really do not think that having a wife working PT and juggling kids/running a house exonerates a husband from ever tidying up or washing up. End of.

YANBU OP.

What's the balance at the weekend, OP? Does he enjoy your ds?

Roshbegosh Thu 20-Feb-14 08:19:15

She isn't running the house or juggling anything. He isn't refusing to do everything. She is not doing her share in the circumstances though.

DarlingGrace Thu 20-Feb-14 08:20:15

I'm sorry but, we no longer go beating carpets on a line, washing cloths on rocks by a river, or using a mangle come to that . There is simply no excuse for not having a clean house.

This whole SAHP thing - the H means home - your job to keep it ticking over so the wage earner and concentrate on that. Of course if you want the wage earner to proportionally clean the bog, you presumably wouldn't mind him cutting his hours accordingly, thus reducing your household income?

roshbegosh says everything I'm thinking. You're lazy and view your DH as a meal ticket.

BobPatSamandIgglePiggle Thu 20-Feb-14 08:22:54

You sound like you have a lovely life and I'm a little jealous.

You also sound like a princess.

Seriously - you have a cleaner, how much work can there be?

Also - have you put pressure on your dh to pay a mortgage you can't afford comfortably as a family? If so I'm not surprised he's stressed. Especially if you're adding to the financial burden by lunching out a lot.

petalsandstars Thu 20-Feb-14 10:31:54

You are getting a hard time OP but I get where you are coming from.

Cleaning aside (as the cleaner does that) are you doing all the other house bits, washing/sorting laundry/putting away, general tidying, cooking, grocery shopping, sorting out bills, organising things to do?

How old is DS? I can't tidy until toddler is in bed, no point, so DH mostly does that when he comes in.

If you are doing all that plus working pt, what time do you get for yourself? What does DH get?

If he is downing tools in the evening while you still do jobs that is unfair. Looking after young kids is a job too.
Does he split chores on days off?

I tend to think YANBU

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 20-Feb-14 10:43:52

No, my husband doesn't think that it's my job to to do the housework.

I cut my hours to spend more time with our children and that's what I do.

We share the housework between us.

Handywoman Thu 20-Feb-14 10:52:53

My interpretation of the OP's circs is that she is out and about with the ds and enjoys and appreciates the time she has with her ds, sees it as 'worthwhile'. I think her DH and some posters here interpret OP as saying she spends her time lunching out at cafés and refusing to clear up after herself, and that being home for the dc is of no worth. I actually relate to this as STBXH could see no worth in me being home for the dc 2 days/week and subsequently made it difficult for me to feel like my marriage was a true partnership.

mumofboyo Thu 20-Feb-14 11:44:10

I'm a supply teacher working 3 days per week during term time. I have two toddlers and when I'm not at work (Thurs and Fri) I look after the dc. I also manage to cook dinners and wash up afterwards, tidy the toys away, Hoover up and put the dry washing away. After all this I often go out during the afternoon - to my sisters' houses, the park or shopping perhaps. Dh, when he gets in (5.30pm usually), helps with the bedtime routine and then we take it in turns to cook our tea and do another load of washing. We share dishes duty. We don't have a cleaner.

I think we share household duties proportionally according to how much we work. This doesn't mean a 50:50 split; more 70:30 during the days I'm home as it seems to make more sense. It doesn't seem fair that I save all of mine and the dc's washing up for him to do upon his return or to expect him to tidy the day's toys away! There have been times when roles have been reversed: I've gone to work and he's used his holiday to look after the dc when they're I'll or if nursery is shut that day. During these times he's done the lion's share of the chores.

What I'm getting at is that your set-up seems unfairly balanced in your favour; expecting your dh to not only work far more hours than you but do as much of the housework as you. I think he has a point; it's not that difficult looking after one child, especially if you're out and about doing lunch and going to friends' houses for your dc to play together, and it's not hard to run the Hoover round the place or do a quick dust or wash up whilst your dc is napping or playing. And if you have a cleaner, there can't actually be that much left to do anyway hmm.

YeahThatsWhatISaid Thu 20-Feb-14 11:45:08

Marriage should be a partnership and both parties should want to help each other out. My DH works long hours and we have usually had a cleaner. I was very concious that I had an easier week than he did and was happy to do most of the household chores. I thought it more important for him to come home and be with the kids rather than getting stuck into housework.
I had my four kids close together and it was hardwork and not much fun at times but generally it's much, much easier being at home than having to work.
What is important to me is that my DH shows me respect (in the same way I show him).
When my kids were little I consciously tried to look at raising them and managing the home as a job. It sound a lot bit daft but it worked for me. I gave myself objectives and rewards grin. Once the kids were a bit older I had loads of time to do fun stuff and now they are at Uni and doing A'levels I feel like life is a big holiday. My DH still works hard and I would feel awful if I thought I had resented him when the kids were young for not helping out more.

I know that things can easily be very much harder, it must be very difficult for some families where there are illnesses, disabilies or financial hardship.

OP, I guess I am saying YABU

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 20-Feb-14 11:49:41

When I gave up paid work I took on unpaid work that saves our family money, namely looking after our children.

During this transition nothing happened to my husband that made him incapable of doing the same amount of housework that he could do before.

If I'd reduced my hours because his arms had fallen off or he'd developed a deathly reaction to touching hoovers, then I could see that I would need to increase the amount of housework I was doing.

But since I'm doing the same amount of actual WORK as I was before, I see no reason why I need to do any extra housework.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 20-Feb-14 11:52:13

generally it's much, much easier being at home than having to work.

grin

I think what you meant was that generally it's much, much easier being a MAN than being a WOMAN.

I find looking after children far more tiring than doing my stressful, but interesting and stimulating work.

Luckily my husband doesn't think I'm stupid enough to believe that doing A JOB all day is so unbelievably difficult that it means a woman the person doing slightly fewer hours should do all the shitwork.

YeahThatsWhatISaid Thu 20-Feb-14 12:01:22

JoinYourPlayfellows I don't think looking after children on its own amounts to full time work unless you have a multiples or children who require extra help. I had four all under six and it was hard work at times but I still found it much easier than a paid job. I managed the house at the same time. My house wasn't spotless and things were not always perfect but I still had time to myself and I had fun.

Preciousbane Thu 20-Feb-14 12:08:38

I took on more of the housework when I went PT and I still had more leisure time than DH.

We actually discussed this before it happened.

I'm home all the time now, DH does do a bit but honestly now I have only one secondary school age child it is easy, plus I'm ill so when in a bad patch he does more stuff. I do have a cleaner for heavier work every week, like the bathroom and stairs.

Handywoman Thu 20-Feb-14 12:17:31

He tuts and rolls his eyes when asked to wash up or tidy up. Or if the house is not tidy or his tea is not cooked when he comes home hmm OP gets up early and DH lies in bed for ages? Is OP really being a 'princess'? If there is so little left to be done, and of it doesn't take long, why should DH not do some?

I don't think OP finds childcare stressful, on the contrary, she enjoys it. I think she just objects to the expectation that she is now expected to shoulder 100% of the shitwork now. Surely the man can wash up or tidy up after his own ds even if he was not physically present when the mess was made?

I remember STBXH coming home from work feeling vaguely and slightly under the weather. I was utterly exhausted home with poorly 8 month old. He was sat in front of TV when dd1 did a runny poo in her nappy for the umpteenth time. I asked him if he would change her nappy. He refused saying 'I would normally be at work so you should carry on as though I am not here'

I told him to f* off and man up....

It's the crappy attitude more than anything else...

slugseatlettuce Thu 20-Feb-14 16:13:49

roshbegosh 1) op is not a sahm 2) op says dh does a handful of jobs and she does all the rest. If op is bu its marginal - not fair to have to do all the house work and childcare because she works pt. I bet her dh does not spend his hols doing all the jobs while she's at work

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