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AIBU to expect my husband to do housework?

(75 Posts)
Kiwimumm Sun 12-Jun-11 10:01:36

I have a DH and two kids and although my DH works long hours during half of the dairy farming season in which he is never around much and I do all the work in the home, the other half of the season are just are just the average job hours. Although he says all housework and children jobs are mine as I am the stay at home mum, and he is the worker... "Any thing in the fenceline is your job", he says. Is that normal/acceptable?

magicmelons Sun 12-Jun-11 10:03:38

Yanbu he is.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Sun 12-Jun-11 10:12:36

Your husband works either full time or beyond that whilst you stay at home ... YABU.

Kiwimumm Sun 12-Jun-11 10:13:39

Thanks magicmelons!
He says to me tho "You are more than welcome to go get a job and I will be the stay at home Dad".. But we both know that he can make 4 times as much money as I can and life would be seriously tight for us and the kids if I was to work. =( I kinda feel trapped/ungrateful in a way

nannynick Sun 12-Jun-11 10:18:02

Did you marry him for his housework skills? I expect you didn't and have known for a number of years that he does not want to do housework.

His attitude is perhaps a bit old fashioned but if you were the one going to work and he was the one home all day, would you be expecting him to be doing the bulk of household duties?

I feel he should be having some involvement with regard to his children and to the place in which he lives. Does he really do nothing at all, or does he really do some things, reading the children a story, playing games with the children, making himself and you a cup of coffee, cooking a nice meal. What things does he do?

Makeminealarge Sun 12-Jun-11 10:26:34

Im in a similar situation. As a SAHM out of my own choice, i took it upon my myself to be responsible for the main bulk of housework/child rearing etc. My DP works very long hours and even occasionally night shifts so it is unrealistic for me to expect him to come home and then chip in with the housework.

He does however, on his days off help out as much as he can and is more than willing to. But in my opinion how can i expect him to spend his days off doing what i do everyday anyway?I'd much rather spend his days off doing something as a family spending quality time with each other. I know its probably old fashioned etc but unfortunately unless you both work part time or swap roles the equality of gender roles will more often than not remain unbalanced. He should however give you some help in the house, after all, if he was living home alone and working he'd still have to some housework!!

DialsMavis Sun 12-Jun-11 10:27:42

He should help when he is around with the every day stuff otherwise your role stops being SAHM and starts being maid. DP works crazy hours some weeks (out house 18 hours or just away for days at a time) so obviously I do it all then. On the (rare) weeks he only works 3 days it is all shared. I am on Mat leave (working only one day per week) at the moment so I tend to get all the big jobs done while he is working but all stuff that needs doing while he is at home gets shared. When I go back to uni/work in Sept and he has a quiet week I would expect him to do the lions share (I expect this will come as a bit of a shock to him though grin)

TidyDancer Sun 12-Jun-11 10:29:18

I think the bulk of the housework should be done by the parent at home, and I don't care whether that is the mother or father. However, YWNBU to expect him to help with little things, and for him to refuse to help with certain bits just because he goes out to work is petty. So I don't think either of you are being out and out unreasonable, but he does have a good point.

DialsMavis Sun 12-Jun-11 10:29:59

I agree with makeminealarge when he is working loads; then days off are for family time and fun and we just do the bare bare minimum.

bigbadbarry Sun 12-Jun-11 10:31:15

YANBU. The house and children are your responsibility when he is out at work - this can be your "job", if you like. When you are both home, house stuff gets shared. (Actually i go further than this - I see the children as my "job", any housework I manage through the dfay is a bonus)
The main thing IMO as is often said on these threads, is that you should both have equal amount of leisure time. If he is sitting on his bum on the sofa every evening while you run around cleaning, that is not right.

Kiwimumm Sun 12-Jun-11 10:35:29

I'm definitly not expecting him to do most the housework or anything, as he doesnt expect me to do farm work unless he really needs help.

It's mainly help with the kids in the off season and this got bought on by my son having food poisoning and vomited all night every half an hour.
All my DH said to me was "It's gonna be a long night for you, try and keep it quiet and don't wake me".
The next night my DS was up 8 times, the last time I begged my DH to get up just once and he dragged himself out of bed begrudginly.

Bear in mind he is working maybe 5 hours a day and is not milking cows at the moment. In milking season I wouldnt even ask him to get up. Also when we both worked full time, he didnt do much either, he expects the woman to do most of it. (he was brought up that way)

Kiwimumm Sun 12-Jun-11 10:40:31

I said to him a few days ago "If I got a full time job as a nanny looking after someone elses kids while ours went to daycare, and you and I finished work at the same time, then who would make the dinner/bath the kids etc at our place"?

And he said "You. You have tits and a fanny, so its your job". angry

Kiwimumm Sun 12-Jun-11 10:44:14

Also @nannynick, We didn't live together before we were married (5 years ago) so I didnt have any idea about his housework skills! He is VERY tidy tho and likes the house tidy, (hard with two preschoolers around)!! He has mild OCD too, and anxiety disorder and bouts of depression, so its been a damn hard last 5 years for us both.

nannynick Sun 12-Jun-11 10:49:52

Doubt you would be able to afford daycare for 2 children on a nannies salary, I don't get paid that much!

It sounds as though it has a lot to do with the way he was brought up. Whilst you may be able to change his ways a little, it doesn't sound that likely. He's probably the sort of bloke who considers that men should not work with children, that a women's role is to care for the man of the house and be his slave.

darleneoconnor Sun 12-Jun-11 10:53:39

OMG at that comment of his!!!

Why the bleeding hell are you with this COMPLETE ARSEHOLE?????

Get the f out of there, that is no environment for DCs to be brough up in!

clam Sun 12-Jun-11 10:56:46

He said "WHAT?!" Think I'd be pointing out that it's "tits and a fanny" that he's not going to be seeing any time soon without a change in attitude.

The thing is, this attitude isn't a recent thing. It hasn't come out of nowhere. This is going to sound harsh, but you seem to have allowed it to continue from day one. It's going to be a hard one to crack.

nannynick Sun 12-Jun-11 10:56:48

Leaving him seems a bit drastic... darleneoconnor. Though I am wondering why Kiwimumm married this bloke. Also I feel it's unusual not to co-habit for a while prior to being married, or am I wrong and lots of people don't spend time with their partner to be prior to tying the knot?

sunshineandbooks Sun 12-Jun-11 10:57:23

You are his wife, not his maid. When you made the choice to be a SAHM your 'job' is childcare. If you were working and paying a nanny you would expect her only to perform light duties around the house. If your children are easy to look after and you can manage to do quite a lot of housework while your DH is at work, then great, but it is not your responsibility by default, and anything that doesn't get done should be divided between you.

The best way to assess the fairness of your arrangement is to see how much free time you both have. It should be equal, regardless of who does what.

Kiwimumm Sun 12-Jun-11 11:09:28

I would never be a nanny i just said that to see what he would say. ( I am a hairdresser)

Well he kinda said the tits and fanny thing in a laughing way not a really sexist way because he knew he was losing the debate, hes really loving toward me most the time and the kids, and plays with them heaps and takes them on the farm and that, but if its a chore like running the bath or feeding the cat, thats when hes not stoked if i ask him for help. Hes not a complete asshole (im not an idiot and wouldnt stay with a non loving person) but hes just really traditional!!!

Like if I'm not there to make him food, he either wont eat, Or, he'll have biscuits for lunch (once I got home from town and he had eaten a 28 pack of cookies for lunch as hes never had to cook anything in his life)..
He is the youngest son, and his mum was still cooking, doing his washing, making his bed etc when he moved in with me on our wedding day! So i think its just majorly lack of life experience and education on how most people live!!!

Things you dont notice when youre smitten and in love!!! =D

(like how as soon as we got married, all birthday and valentines and xmas presents stopped, even my 21st!! as he reckons my ring cost enough to last a good few years!!)

Kiwimumm Sun 12-Jun-11 11:13:03

Also nannynick, we knew each other 6 years before getting married but his family are very traditional and Christian, and living together just would have been so frowned upon, me and DH didnt even discuss it once, it just wasnt an option. He just came and stayed the night heaps at my flat, and told his mum that he slept on a mattress in the lounge!! So I knew him well, just didnt know how hard it would be to live with him! ( I am the oldest of 7 kids and man was my house a mess growing up)!!!!

Omigawd Sun 12-Jun-11 11:18:53

YAB a bit U as you are the SAHP, but he should at least show willing with childcare. Also does the DiY, house repairs, gardening etc etc - you need to count that in the equation too.

troisgarcons Sun 12-Jun-11 11:20:06

SAHM is such a new expression - our mothers were 'home makers', which surprisingly included looking after both children and the house.

Kiwimumm Sun 12-Jun-11 11:27:16

He does do the DIY, but not garden or lawns (he would bring me a cold drink tho while i pushed the mower round at 9 months pregnant)!! I know back in the day the dad ploughed the fields while the mother baked the pies etc, but its 2011 now! We dont live in a little house on the prarie! And I bet the mothers back then didnt have accounts to settle, employees to manage/pay, and also I do sometimes do farm work too, and run errands in town for him.

The housework is actually not a major, its more being a parent, sometimes i feel like a single mum even when hes here! Like bathing the kids or reading to them or things like that. Its all so occasional when he does it, and when i ask him to help i feel bad cos he sighs and groans, or just keeps watching tv and ignores me till i do it myself

SardineQueen Sun 12-Jun-11 11:33:39

Speak for yourself troisgarcon. My mother was a doctor.

SardineQueen Sun 12-Jun-11 11:35:36

kiwimum have you talked to him about how you are feeling - is that even a possibility - or will he just laugh / not engage with it?

TBH I'm not sure what you can do if his ideas are that entrenched. Do you have to keep the house to his v tidy/OCD type standards? What happens if something is not up to his standards?

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