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Enabling inequality and how to stop ?

(16 Posts)
lockie1983 Mon 07-Nov-16 08:44:16

We both work long hours - him out of the home, long commute and alternate Saturday's. Leaves around 5.30 am and gets back around 6.30 pm. I work 3 days and then look after our toddler, house, home, finances etc the rest of the time.

He is knackered and unwell (long term medical condition which is under control with medication but adds to it all). Needs time to chill when he is at home, which I struggle to give him.

I'm knackered too, find being home with toddler relentless and I suck at housework. It's fairly clean, we are all fed etc but I just feel like I'm spinning in circles and never make progress.

I do everything apart from washing up and ironing. Even at weekends he is here. I feel like we've gotten into a bad pattern of him resting whilst he's home and me continuing to run around like a mad thing. I feel like a servant!!

I see my mum act like this around my dad, my brother around his GF and I don't want my son to assume that he will find someone to do this for him whe he's bigger!

Any advice on how to slowly relinquish responsibility / change this so I don't feel like I'm working non stop and he doesn't help?

I've enabled him which is why we are here, I find giving up control so hard but having all the responsibility stresses me out! What a mess.

Madinche1sea Mon 07-Nov-16 13:35:07

Hi OP - it sounds like you're both pretty flat out tbh. If he's leaving at 5.30, sometimes 6 days a week it's not that surprising he's not up for housework on his day off. However, you're also working 3 days and doing everything else around that.
There doesn't seem much space for manoeuvre for either of you here. In your circumstances, a cleaner twice a week would be well worth it if at all possible. I get that this doesn't really help with the fact that the "headspace" involved in running a home and DC will still largely fall to you, but it's better than nothing!
I know exactly what you're saying because my DH works ridiculous hours inc. overseas travel most weeks. When they're not in the regular rhythm of housework-related stuff, they can tend to switch off from it altogether. It's so frustrating pointing out what needs to be done, that you just don't bother and get on with it.
Sorry if this is not particularly helpful!

lockie1983 Mon 07-Nov-16 19:59:50

Thanks! I think a reply is helpful enough to make me feel like I'm not going insane. It's tricky isn't it, especially when they work long hours !

I am definitely going to try and find a cleaner (if we can afford it) as I think that would give us both a bit of a breather

Madinche1sea Mon 07-Nov-16 21:08:42

No you're not going crazy - just doing too much by the sound of it! I've got 4 DC under 13. DH is great at taking the kids out, etc but he's never done any housework or cooking. I'm a SAHM though, funnily enough. I'm starting something part time next March and can't really see him changing his mindset too much to accommodate this. To be fair to him though, he couldn't care less if I had a cleaner in everyday - just so long as it doesn't impact him. Anyway, we'll see how it pans out!

lockie1983 Mon 07-Nov-16 21:46:55

Wow. 4 under 13!!! And here I am moaning about my one!!

Hopefully it will work out when you start the job in March, specially if you can afford a cleaner. Housework is so dull isn't it wink

VikingVolva Mon 07-Nov-16 21:52:55

Do read "Wifework" by Susan Maushart.

If the 'headspace' starts to shift, much if the actual work just falls into place.

RiverTam Mon 07-Nov-16 21:55:54

Sounds like you both need a complete lifestyle shift, those hours sound unsustainable for an unwell man with a family. If he's having to spend all weekend rating then the medication isn't allowing him to properly participate in family life, which at the end of the day is his reality.

Atenco Mon 07-Nov-16 23:35:37

I agree with RiverTam. I think you both need to rethink your lifestyle. Your present situation is untenable long term.

Without knowing your circumstances, he could try for a job nearer home or try for a house nearer his job.

I think you might do well upping your paid working hours and using the extra money to fund childcare or an aupair, for example.

lockie1983 Tue 08-Nov-16 08:33:44

Thanks for the responses. Ive been meaning to read wife work and will get on to it asap.

I agree it is totally unsustainable long term. We both work in an industry massively hit by recession and have "survived" a combined total of 8 redundancy rounds between us - jobs in our sector are difficult to find (his skills aren't transferable) and my small company has no capacity to increase my hours. The background to his job is that he took a promotion miles away on the promise of being able to come back to our local branch within 18 months. Two and a half years ago.

We've gotten ourselves a bit trapped I think and wedded to his job on a way which makes us both miserable.

If we move nearer to his work it means moving away from family support (and wrap around care) my very highly paid, flexible, child friendly job and an area we love, great schools for our DS and my step son. Just not viable.

I know the answer is his job and his commute need to change. It has to. I think it's time for another Frank conversation with him about that.

Penfold007 Tue 08-Nov-16 08:47:11

There will be women on MN who work long hours, look after children, do housework and have long term health conditions. You deserve some down time too or you will burn out.
Getting a cleaner is a very sensible idea, even help with laundry would make sense but he needs to step up and do parenting and some housework.

Dieu Tue 08-Nov-16 10:17:05

I can't afford a cleaner weekly, but use one fortnightly. Even that makes a big difference. Sounds like you could definitely do with some help. Hugs OP.

lockie1983 Tue 08-Nov-16 11:24:41

I'm sure there are lots of people out there going above and beyond all the time. Over time I have stepped up to accommodate the less than ideal situation that is his job and picked up the slack where I could, I need to readdress the balance now as it isn't working for me and has caused some bad habits. it looks like a cleaner sounds like a sensible option. Or at least a good place to start. He's just emailed to say a local job has come up (different company) and he has applied. So FX!

Thanks for all the support, it has made me feel not quite as alone!

lockie1983 Tue 08-Nov-16 11:26:35

And dieu that's probably more like what we can afford so it's good to know fort nightly does actually make a difference! What sort of stuff does your cleaner do for you?

Atenco Tue 08-Nov-16 13:11:01

There will be women on MN who work long hours, look after children, do housework and have long term health conditions

I really hope not

Madinche1sea Tue 08-Nov-16 14:39:08

OP - maybe book the cleaner for the week your DH works the 6 days. You can ask them to do whatever you think will help you most. Round here the going rate is £12 per hour, but this probably varies outside London.
Also, online grocery shopping is a huge timesaver (if you're not already doing that).
Sometimes just small things on the odd day can make a huge difference when you're exhausted. It's great that you have family support around you. Would they babysit regularly so you and you're husband can have a night out (or anything just the two of you)? I think this is so important in preventing resentment building up.

lockie1983 Tue 08-Nov-16 16:20:41

Online shopping is a good one. Currently go to aldi won toddler in tow which is sometimes fun and sometimes nightmarish - I guess weigh up the additional cost vs cost of my time. I think I should online shop really.

My parents have little one over night about every two months (mum also does my wrap around care three times a week so I feel a bit cheeky asking for more).

Not to drip feed but I am also the organiser for everyone. We had a family holiday this year: parents, is, brothers family and I organised it all. I dread Christmas as I will have all of them asking me to buy/collect/store Christmas presents for the others. I really don't know how I've gotten myself into position of go-to-girl for everyone else!

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