If you have a male DP/DH?

(59 Posts)
dashoflime Mon 19-Nov-12 09:50:49

Does he pull his weight around the house? And if so, how have you got things to that point?

I ask because DH is supposedly on board with feminism but his actions (or lack thereof) continually fail to measure up to the ideals.

He is not terrible (I don't want to LTB!). He does some cooking, helps with baby and walks the dog for example. Its definitely a help having him around. Its just noticeable that things aren't equal.

DH works part time from home. I am on maternity leave with our first DC. I do the vast majority of the housework as well as some extras like making a batch of jam to save us money on Christmas presents. When he saw me doing this he said "Wow it would never even occur to me to do that"

I thought that was very telling, and maybe the crux of the issue: Things like that do occur to me because I've somehow taken the responsibility onto myself.
By contrast DH doesn't appear to notice really obvious things that need doing, like putting clothes away in drawers.

I feel like I'm fighting a rear guard battle to keep him on board with the practical running of our home. Is this just what heterosexual relationships are like or has anyone here achieved equality in the home?

cloudpuff Wed 21-Nov-12 11:53:08

I do the bulk of housework the majority of the time because my Husband works away and I'm at home so it makes sense. When he is home on weekends he pulls his weight, if he sees something needs doing he'll do it.

OneMoreChap Wed 21-Nov-12 12:15:16

I'm a DH.

I don't do enough, because I'm a lazy sod, and don't think things through properly.

Pace dashoflime I do

1.Wash Dishes (well stack the dishwasher but DW sometimes re-arranges, and wash non-dishwash stuff)
2.Put on one wash load (and fold and put away previous laundry if needed) [Yep, trained to know when washday is so do clothes and bedding appropriately and will line dry/inside dry as necessary]
3.Straighten Living Room (yep, at bed time)
4.Hoover Living Room (weekly)
5.Walk Dog (at weekends)
6.Cook Dinner (at weekends)
7.15 minutes tidy or clean one other area (use fly lady for inspiration) [Now, this I've looked at and am going to suggest this to DW - as lists make things easy for me...]

I iron every year... [DW hates me ironing because she says I'm slow; but it's my time]

I will wash surfaces I'm cooking on, and clean muddy floors. I tend not to notice I have left 2 magazines, 3 books and some work papers by the sofa until bed time.

She also tries to make sure I ring my family/buy presents for them. Which is a source of contention. My family don't do presents or much beyond weekly/monthly calls - and never have since my childhood. Her acceptable frequency is much higher than mine, and we have had words.

Also, By contrast DH doesn't appear to notice really obvious things that need doing, like putting clothes away in drawers. I'm obsessive about putting things away in the kitchen - I cook and like to know where things are. Similarly with my shed. [DW's I ask before I enter grin ].

I put away my own clothes where I want to find them...
I put keys in a key rack.

DW says things like "Why didn't you put x away?" And sadly, it's usually because I didn't see it or think about it. If I know it's something I need to think about, I find a pattern/place for things.

Waspie Wed 21-Nov-12 12:33:12

Hope your talk goes well Dashoflime

I've been thinking about this for the last couple of days (wifework wink) I think I'm perhaps a little unusual in that my parents shared the housework and chores evenly so I've never experienced the phenomena of "Women's work".

My mum worked full time and my dad worked shifts so he would more often than not do the school run and make dinner, iron our school uniforms and do our packed lunches. These are the chores that are visible when you're a small child IMO.

DP's mum died when he was young so he grew up in a single parent [male] environment so of course he didn't experience a "traditional" role household either.

I think our personal circumstances have meant that we have no preconceptions about what is done and by whom and this has helped us in our homelife and we started with a clean slate and progressed from there.

ConsiderCasey Wed 21-Nov-12 22:14:10

It's a toughie, Dashof. Was thinking about my parents' setup which is a real segregated arrangement: she cooks, he does DIY and gardening. They fit together pretty snugly and complement each other. But that's because they're old school and had very clear defined roles and expectations. All well and good if they are happy with those roles, which by and large they are.

I think today it's hard, when women have had expectations of work and ambition and then find it all goes pear-shaped when the baby stuff kicks in (read wifework - seriously!) and things kind of revert to trad setups.

Also, women who work part-time aren't seeing a proportionate drop in the percentage of housework they do. And even some women that work full-time are doing most of the housework. That's pretty unfair.

Although on the feminist boards, I think you're likely to see more egalitarian set -ups than in other parts of MN.

All I can say is, talk to DP. If he's a good egg, he'll listen ..

scottishmummy Thu 22-Nov-12 08:07:34

if your dh doesn't equitably share tasks,then youre facilitating it too
its not all oh men,roll eyes.reflect and think waht can you both do differently what was a SW scare?

BOFingSanta Thu 22-Nov-12 08:24:18

It's all up there ^^, scottishmummy.

DP does more than me, I think. Although he doesn't do laundry, and that is bloody immense in this house. Plus I do all the care of my disabled daughter. But I'd say it was pretty balanced.

dashoflime Thu 22-Nov-12 10:06:52

The SW stuff is explained up thread. The relevence here is that I went into motherhood with a big question mark over my ability to cope, visible to HV etc on their records. I therefore felt the need to have the house in a decent state when they came over as a sort of practical demonstration that things were OK. What I mean is I had a big scary jolt that made me up my game.
So now, things in the house are pretty ordered and I find, actually I like it that way! So the trick is to get DH in on the act.
I think I have a bit of an advantage as a previously messy person as I can explain exactly what I did to change. DH responds to lists and instructions fairly well I think.
I showed him the housekeeping tasks and he added a couple of things Id forgotten. We discussed where to stick it up. He agrees in principle those are the things that need doing. I also made him a google calender of when our various benefits get paid as he has not quite got on top of the schedule and it causes him anxiety not knowing what money we have. This also allowed me to frame the housework thing as part of a general planning session, not a nag directed at him.
Yesterday and today are working days for him, so Im not expecting housework from him till tommorow. He did cook yesterday but only because I asked him directly (when it bacame obvious I was stuck on the sofa feeding for the forseeable). I will remind him today, that he needs to do some tasks off the list tomorrow.

dashoflime Thu 22-Nov-12 10:09:15

Sorry for lack of paragraphs (bloody phone)

tisnottheseasonyet Sun 25-Nov-12 20:21:36

Your DH is sexist because he wouldn't think of what is admittedly a clever moneysaving idea? Kudos on the jam, but get a grip on the thread.

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