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.

Who does what at home? DH high earner and I am left to manage everything...

(46 Posts)
joliepapillon Sun 10-Jul-16 20:23:47

My husband and I have had a big row today and I am really looking for some perspective on what is normal in relationships.

My DH works full time in highly paid, stressful position. He earns over double than I do. I work in a management role but 4 days a week and I have a pretty flexible company when it comes to leaving early to pick up DC, staying at home when she is sick etc.

Husband's responsibilities at home are: doing the accounts, taking DC to nursery most mornings, booking flights and accommodation when we travel (I too spend time looking into this but he always seems to find the best options) and he occasionally takes the bins out.

My responsibilities at home are: cooking all meals, doing all the shopping, picking DC up from nursery, washing and ironing, tidying up, collecting dry cleaning, organising a cleaner, cleaning in between the cleaner's visits and managing our health insurance (we are abroad and it's a lot of paperwork!).

Last week I had an unexpected visitor which was great but it meant I wasn't really on top of things. We went out for dinner a few times and also had a few take aways. This weekend I have also been quite busy and I had a friend's birthday event to attend all afternoon and evening yesterday.

Yesterday the fridge was pretty bare so I did an online shop which arrives tomorrow. I didn't have time to go shopping as we had an appointment in the morning. We still had breakfast stuff and drinks etc. and I managed to rustle up a salad for lunch. However, my husband has been in an absolutely awful mood with me today. It started off when there wasn't any bread (but we did have croissants and yoghurts etc.), then escalated when there was only salad for lunch and finally exploded when he a. noticed my paperwork and b. his shampoo ran out.

I spoke to him about it and he said he was indeed in a bad mood because he is fed up with me not pulling my weight at home. He was pissed off that I was out yesterday and there wasn't much in the fridge. He says he does his part of the deal which is earning XXX and I need to do my part of the deal which is keeping on top of things at home. He said I should realise how comfortable I am to be able to go out for dinner when I want and that I need to understand that it's thanks to his hard work and I need to reflect that at home.

I take some of his points on board; I can imagine it's frustrating to have an empty fridge etc. but should I really be doing ALL the domestic tasks when I work too? Yes we pay for a cleaner etc. but there is obviously a lot else to manage. I did suggest he went shopping but he just told me that it's not down to him. And I know I am disorganised so it must be annoying for him to see all my paperwork piling up, but I do sort it out, it just takes a while.

Sorry for the long post but I just wonder if I have got my priorities mixed up or whether he is being over demanding.

Dozer Sun 10-Jul-16 20:24:51

He is being a twat.

BeckyMcDonald Sun 10-Jul-16 20:27:00

I couldn't live with someone like that. It doesn't matter how much you earn. You work almost full-time and do everything else. He's a complete bellend.

sunnydayinmay Sun 10-Jul-16 20:30:22

He's out of order. I get that he works hard, and earns the money, and that you do the bulk of the household stuff when he is at work. Weekends should be another matter - he should be splitting the work with you.

Going out to buy a loaf of bread or get some lunch stuff in is not a big deal.

My DH works long hours (although recently had more flexibility to work from home). I do the food/laundry/cleaning and childcare stuff in the week.

He cooks (and shops for the food) for two meals at the weekend, and washes up twice as well. If we run out of bread, he buys it.

Namechanger2015 Sun 10-Jul-16 20:31:05

Oh my goodness no. He is being a complete arse. I understand his demanding job, but that is still one thing that needs doing within a finite time and space. Running everything else in the house requires far more running around and organisation, you earn money too and he cannot have a strop because the shampoo ran out! If he sees you are behind on paperwork he should be making the lunch or doing a shop to take the pressure off you.

You are supposed to be a team.

Namechanger2015 Sun 10-Jul-16 20:31:50

sunnyday OP also works.

HappyJanuary Sun 10-Jul-16 20:32:30

He might have a point if you worked fewer hours, but you work four days.

If you add up the hours you spend in paid employment plus what you do at home, do you work more hours than him?

You should have the same amount of free time and your worth shouldn't be based on how much you earn.

In addition, this week sounds particularly busy with visitors and so on, so unsurprising that things have been allowed to slide a little.

He sounds very arrogant and self important, and I think you need a proper conversation to stop resentment building.

prettywhiteguitar Sun 10-Jul-16 20:34:00

Wtf ?? Give up work if he earns so much and then you will have all the time in the world to better after for his needs...🙄 He sounds like a prince

prettywhiteguitar Sun 10-Jul-16 20:34:23

Cater not after

JennyOnAPlate Sun 10-Jul-16 20:34:33

He needs a serious attitude adjustment. Can you talk about it with him properly once you've both calmed down from the argument?

Ihavesomethingtosaytoday Sun 10-Jul-16 20:36:12

How much time do you have when you're not working or doing chores? (Chores includes all the 'thinking' family admin as well as the 'doing' family admin and chores IYSWIM).

How much time does he have not working or doing chores?

I think the fact that he earns more than you is irrelevant. Are you getting enough of a rest to keep juggling all this?

Bottomchops Sun 10-Jul-16 20:40:48

His attitude towards you is awful. I generally keep the home side of things ticking over but dh is still an adult. If there's no bread etc. he will get in his car and drive to the shops and buy bread. Or will ring on his way home asking if we need anything. You're not his maid.

livinginabox Sun 10-Jul-16 20:40:59

I would be pretty pissed off hearing that's how he really feels about your marriage.

DH works full time earning five times my salary. I work three days a week as a nurse, so no way am I ever going to match his earnings. If DH felt this entitled him to make me his skivy I would be hugely pissed off. As it is, we spilt chores equally and I could have it any other way without massive resentment.

AliceInHinterland Sun 10-Jul-16 20:43:23

Do you have the DC on the day you don't work? Because if I had a day off in the week with nothing else to do I imagine I could do the organise-y type things and maybe get a head start on a couple of meals. I wouldn't expect to have to do all the things that have to be done every day, eg cooking, washing up. If I had the kids on the day off then I would achieve zilch, and would expect all chores to be split equally. I would also fully expect to be flexible with my 'responsibilities' and not be treated like a ducking housekeeper.

AliceInHinterland Sun 10-Jul-16 20:43:44

I actually wrote fucking - not being twee or anything!!

Heatherbell1978 Sun 10-Jul-16 20:44:06

He's being extremely unreasonable. DH and I both work managerial jobs earning the same but I work 4 days (1 day spent with DS). My work also more flexible but only because it's a far bigger company. DH gets up with DS every morning (5.30) and takes him to nursery. I do evening pick up, dinner, bath and bed. DH cooks dinner while I finish bed time. We hire a cleaner but do equal amounts of other cleaning. I do all finances, online shopping and shopping for DS etc so maybe do a bit more but all my choice. If I ask DH for anything he'll help. You work almost full time, what you get paid is irrelevant as you work as a team. If you didn't work and had child in nursery then fair enough, but your time is mainly taken up at work. End of.

BendydickCuminsnatch Sun 10-Jul-16 20:47:21

DH does the bins and changes the sheets, and does any bits of everyday cleaning that needs doing, and he makes all the money. I do:

Mon: mop and food prep
Tues: drop zones (areas that always manage to get cluttered)
Wed: sheets (DH)
Thurs: Hoover
Fri: bathroom

and do everything else (clean loo, surfaces, sweep etc) every day as and when necessary.

SandyY2K Sun 10-Jul-16 20:47:43

You could have almost been in my house today, as me and DH had a similar kind of row.

I'll wind back to when DCs were younger, because they're pretty self sufficient as teenagers now.

● I did all the cooking.
● I took DCs to and from nursery, unless I had early or late meetings at work.
● I was responsible for washing /ironing the kids clothes.
● I used to bath the kids
● Got them dressed for nursery or school
● I did day to day cleaning, but he does/did some cleaning
● I did the grocery shopping
● kids homework
● ferry kids to and from extra curricular activities

He did

● the gardening
● DIY/home maintenance
● empties the bins weekly
● sorts out insurance/bills etc

I always said the things I did needed doing everyday , unlike the gardening and emptying bins.

I never felt it was fair, but the arguments just went round in circles.

Every female I told could understand my point about the imbalance, the males around me could not.

He felt that as the higher earner, his job was more taxing and as such he shouldn't have to do as much at home.

Fast forward to now. If I'm too tired to cook. I just don't. The kids and him can eat bread or anything else they can find in the fridge or cupboard.

I've had the odd moan about having to eat cereal, but I ignore it.

Nothing much has changed from the list above, except the DCs are older and they sort themselves out a lot.

Anyway - sorry for the rant.

BendydickCuminsnatch Sun 10-Jul-16 20:47:47

Oh and we have a cleaner once a fortnight so I basically just keep on top of stuff between visits!

AliceInHinterland Sun 10-Jul-16 20:47:49

I suspect that this is about good old fashioned sexism. I'm the higher earner by 3x (suck on that OPs husband) but still end up doing more than my share of the house & Wifework.

FrancesHaHa Sun 10-Jul-16 20:48:07

He's an idiot.

Surely the amount of money he earns is irrelevant, it's about how much time you both have and how you work it out so you're working together as a team.

Currently I'm at home more than DP, so do more of the work at home but he wouldn't dream of talking to me like that if he fridge was bare, as I'm not his servant.

jelliebelly Sun 10-Jul-16 20:50:21

I wonder if he is stressed about work - it can be a lot of pressure to be the main breadwinner especially if he really is a high earner - the pressure to meet tough standards can be immense - do you discuss his work at all? He might feel trapped in his job with no way out - this sadly happened to a colleague of mine and ultimately led to the breakup of his marriage..

AliceInHinterland Sun 10-Jul-16 20:51:37

Sandy - I read a good thing on another thread - offer to swap the bins and finances (hmm) for your jobs and see what he says. Surely not a problem if they are equivalent?

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 10-Jul-16 20:51:46

He's an entitled prick who sees you purely as his housemaid. He organises a couple of trips a year and takes the bins out? Big bloody deal!

OreoHeaven Sun 10-Jul-16 20:55:03

You are not his slave.

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