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To feel aggrieved with dp attitude to work and housework?

(19 Posts)
dollydoops Mon 13-Jun-11 17:10:05

DP and I are both teachers. My job is a long way from our home and necessitates a commute of about 1 hour20 mins. Her job is much closer- a 15 min drive. Our daily programme is: I get up at 5.45, leave house between 6.20 and 6.30, leaving dp in bed. She gets up soon after and leaves for school about 7.30, taking her dd who attends her school. She then reaches home between 4 and 5, I arrive home between 6 and 7. Because dp arrives home before me, she usually cooks but I cook about twice a week, more at weekends.

My problem is that after dinner, dp
just works, and works and works in the living room, usually until about 9 but often beyond. She also often works in bed with her laptop until 10.30 or even later. Meanwhile, I usually work for about 1hour, sometimes more if I need to. Other than this I like to relax in front of the tv or chat to dp and dsd before going to bed about 10. I am usually exhausted having been up before 6.

The problem is that dp sees her work as a priority over chatting and relaxing. She will not chat whilst working and gets annoyed if her dd and I do so, even if we are just talking to each other and will often shush us or say that she can't concentrate with all the noise! She also sees my relaxing as being 'lazy' and will sometimes make comments about my not doing housework- now I admit I don't really do housework other than washing dishes and tidying during the week, but I do more at weekends when I'm not so tired. Aibu to think dp's attitude is wrong somehow? I just want time together but never feel relaxed because of this situation.

dollydoops Mon 13-Jun-11 17:44:49


MrSpoc Mon 13-Jun-11 17:47:48

your partners work is her career so you cannot tell her what is priority or not.
She is however out of order if she expects you and DSD not to talk in the living room whilst she is working. Tell her to get in another room.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 13-Jun-11 17:48:04

When is she supposed to do the work then - presumably she has to finish at 3.30 to travel home with dd and then entertain her for the next 3 hours til you arrive home?

Ask yourself an honest question - is she doing more hours overall than you?

Do you teach different subjects - that's an aside question but humanities subjects tend to have a lot more marking than maths for example.

scurryfunge Mon 13-Jun-11 17:48:46

She sounds as if she is not coping professionally if she has not got the balance right. You need to discuss the issue if it is affecting the relationship.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 13-Jun-11 17:49:25

btw - I want to be sympathetic as my dh is a teacher and he works insane hours (sometimes at detriment to family life - which a lot of the time he can't help)

valiumredhead Mon 13-Jun-11 17:51:43

what happens at weekends?

dollydoops Mon 13-Jun-11 17:52:31

Thanks for your replies- I agree that if she were caring for my dsd then she would be doing more than me, but dsd is 16 and gets bus home on her own. It is my dp's decision to leave school at the time she does. Also, I teach s humanities subject whilst dp's is more technology based so actually I have way more marking than she does.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 13-Jun-11 17:54:34

Ok - you've given more information - why do you think she is working so hard?

Do you think it's about your relationship - her not wanting to be with you/the family?

Do you think she is struggling with work - for whatever reason ?

Is she reaching for promotion?

MrSpoc Mon 13-Jun-11 17:54:45

How are the house choors broken down?

Still I would ask her to do her work in another room if she can't stand people talking around her.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 13-Jun-11 17:56:05

I also think very strongly that you are not being 'lazy' but not doing much housework during the week - frankly you are both working extremely hard.

dollydoops Mon 13-Jun-11 17:56:47

At weekends I would say that I work for between 4 and 6 hours in total. Dp
works for morenlike 12 hours in total. We both share housework but I do all the cooking including snacks.

topazmcgonagall Mon 13-Jun-11 18:00:01

She should work in another room. It is unreasonable of her to object to you relaxing and chatting. Also agree with scurryfunge - it does sound as if she's not coping with work.

Sleepyspaniel Mon 13-Jun-11 18:11:16

It sounds as though your DP is aggrieved that you have time to relax and chat. My mum was very like this. She ran her own business and often worked late into the night. She was unpleasant and snappy with me, my sister and my dad because we were having a normal evening and she was not. Her time management skills were poor and that was most of the problem (as was an inability to delegate efficiently or identify priorities, but that's another story).

You need to set aside some time to talk about this. Ask her what her take is on the situation, and if she feels there is an imbalance somewhere, ask her what she thinks would be fair. You have a right to then think this over and come back to her with your opinion. There is obviously an issue with housework so I think tasks should be clearly identified and allocated.

Could she also be a little jealous of your relationship with DSD? It seems to be the chatting between the two of your that particularly annoys her - you haven't mentioned TV noise (unless the TV is in a different room). Perhaps she feels (rightly or wrongly) like she's the "responsible parent" and you and DSD are larking about like teenagers.

valiumredhead Mon 13-Jun-11 18:15:24

Why can't she work in another room?

Journey Mon 13-Jun-11 18:15:43

She badly needs to get her work/life balanace sorted out.

She doesn't appear to be coping with her workload if she needs to spend so much time on it.

dollydoops Mon 13-Jun-11 18:46:35

Sleepysoaniel I agree that it does sometimes feel as if dsd and I are the children. I am quite laid back and cheery and dp is more serious, dsd is more like me so we do get on well. Perhaps there might be a bitof jealousy there? I also feel in terms of housework that we
dp is wrong to criticise me, as it often feels as though the work dpis doing is non essential ( planning for next week for example) instead of doing housework or chatting to me and dsd. If she chooses to spend time doing non essential work then why should I spend time hoovering?

topazmcgonagall Mon 13-Jun-11 19:57:46

If you're both working and have only one dsd couldn't you pay someone to come in and help with the housework a couple of times a week?

Sleepyspaniel Mon 13-Jun-11 21:15:23

I think what's key is that whilst you may see some items as "non essential", she probably does not. It's not about who's right or wrong, it's about communication, identifying tasks, prioritising tasks, allocating areas of responsibility and fitting it into the time you all have. Just making a list of tasks may help your DP see that some items are "non essential" but it is better for her to arrive at this conclusion herself than have you tell her. The act of making time to discuss this issue, with an action plan, will help as much as what's finally decided.

Agree that if you can outsource some of the cleaning it may help take the pressure off.

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