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Do you expect your DH/DP to help at the weekend?

(77 Posts)
myterrapin Sun 07-Aug-11 05:39:01

My DH works long hours Monday to Friday and I look after our 3 dcs and all the housework, shopping, cooking, washing etc. Fair enough. Every week I look forward to the weekend when we'll see more of him, then every time we end up arguing about the same issue. Basically I expect him to help around the house and with the dcs, and he doesn't do it.

For example: We live overseas and have a small pool in the garden. It's very hot and we have to be really careful about suncream and insect repellent. The dcs are getting better at remembering but they are still very young. Today I was in the kitchen cleaning up and DH was in the living room on the computer. Next thing I see the dcs in the pool, no UV tops only bottoms. I asked DH if they had suncream on and he said he hadn't put any on. This really pissed me off - why is it only my responsibility?

If I ask him to do something specific he says he will, then doesn't do it. If I ask again (and again) he will eventually do a half-arsed effort, e.g. table wiped but lots of spills etc left there, half of the towels hung out. Whenever I try to talk to him about this he just keeps repeating "I do help" and won't acknowledge what I'm saying. He does "projects" (at the moment he is into making bread), so he sees that as helping.

I'm fed up with the arguing. Should I carry on pushing about this or AIBU and he works really hard and he should get to relax at the weekends?

TillyIpswitch Sun 07-Aug-11 05:49:51

Do you work really hard during the week? Should you get to relax at the weekend?

I'm a stay at home mum and we had a bit of a falling out about this very thing a week or so ago, and DH has raised his game - even gave me a sleep in this morning. 'twas bliss.

Mare11bp Sun 07-Aug-11 05:55:03

The trouble is that the projects you refer to are more like hobbies, ie what he wants to do. And arguably making bread, though a good thing, is not exactly top of the priority list when you have 3 little ones.

I would push this but I think to get the desired results you have to go about it in a certain way. I tend to find if I am confrontational with DP on this he runs in opposite direction and gets arsey with me.

How old are your DC? Could you draw up a chores list which includes everybody, not just DH? The trouble is when you are doing all the chores Monday to Friday, people will take this for granted, and you could end p with lazy children as well!

PS pool sounds fab!

Parietal Sun 07-Aug-11 06:06:46

Surely DCs shouldn't be in the pool with no adult watching?

I certainly expect my dh to help out with childcare etc. When dd1 was small, we made a list of 'household jobs' together and then assigned them to each person. That helped dh appreciate the work I was putting in and realise what needed doing without the nagging.

myterrapin Sun 07-Aug-11 06:09:14

Thanks, pool is fab!

So how is the best way to approach this? The confrontational approach is clearly not working. The dcs are all under 7 but starting to help out a bit now. I feel like I expect to remind them when they don't do something but DH should know what they need before going in the pool FGS! He just doesn't seem to notice. His excuse was that he didn't know he was "in charge" but imo if he was the one right there then it's his responsibility.

Tilly yes I do want to relax of course. He is fine about me having a lie-in and will get up and stick the tv on for the dcs and sit with them. Will come and get me when they want breakfast though. Maybe some kind of chart could help, seems a bit retentive though.

myterrapin Sun 07-Aug-11 06:10:25

Parietal the pool is right outside the living room and DH was sitting with the doors open so he could see them. They can all swim well already, but we still watch them.

foxinsocks Sun 07-Aug-11 06:11:30

Err it's not called 'helping out', it's called being a parent. I would leave him with them on his own. Sounds like he has not had to do enough parenting as you have been covering all the bases.

Time to swan off for the day and leave him to it!

myterrapin Sun 07-Aug-11 06:13:39

He seems to cope when I do that foxinsocks, not sure it would to my "standard" (that doesn't sound right but you know what I mean), but they seem ok when I come back. Unfortunately his job is so demanding that it hardly ever happens.

foxinsocks Sun 07-Aug-11 06:20:17

Yes and when you are back, he is leaving you to it!

The whole 'i didn't realise I was responsible for them' - you need to explain to him that even though he works full time, long hours, he is still a father. That doesn't stop when he leaves the house and it certainly doesn't stop just because you are around!

Must be v frustrating for you.

Zwitterion Sun 07-Aug-11 06:27:30

Totally agree with fox. It's not helping out, it's sharing responsibility.

You both work full time during the week, at the weekends (and evenings) it should be shared equally.

Mare11bp Sun 07-Aug-11 06:31:48

Ho ho, you come on here for advice and get a query on pool safety!

List the jobs your DC's can do quite safely, e.g. dusting, hoovering, tidying up. Do a chart of say, one or two chores each.

Include DH in the weekend/evening chart if he doesn't work too late.

Book yourself a day out while leaving them with said chores. Most children want to help and impress, and your DH won't want you to come home and he is the only one to not have done what you asked him to do.

Yes I agree it seems retentive, and it would be nice if he did it more without you having to ask, but most men need direction/instruction don't they?

<stands back>
<awaits flaming>

Catslikehats Sun 07-Aug-11 06:40:56

In answer to your Q yes I do expect DH to help whenever he is at home, both in terms of housework and childcare.

In the main he is pretty good but I do get frustrated that he does much more of the fun stuff. We also have a pool and the number of times he will jump in with the youngest (who doesn't wear cream so is ready quickest) I will sort out older two (helping with cream getting the towels no one else would think to get) and then by the time that is all done youngest will want to come out for a feed so I then get to bath her and feed her whilst DH is having fun with the older ones.

Frustrates me endlessly.

ninjasquirrel Sun 07-Aug-11 07:10:29

It does sound like he has an attitude problem - just wanting to do the fun stuff with DCs and not wanting to take any responsibility for the boring stuff like sun cream. That's not 'helping' you - he's their father, so when he's with them he should act like it.

However couples divide up chores and paid work, you should both get the same amount of time to relax and do your own thing (and to sleep!). If you think he's getting out of the boring bits of housework by doing 'hobby' stuff like making bread then tell him "Actually rather than spending an hour on that, it would be so much more helpful if you spent half an hour on xyz..."

neepsntatties Sun 07-Aug-11 07:16:51

Yanbu. You both should get equal leisure time. It's your weekend too.

musttidyupmusttidyup Sun 07-Aug-11 07:18:21

YANBU. I remember when we used to ask my mum (Dad particularly) what can I do to help you? She used to say 'not to help me but to aid the smooth running of the household....' now I get it!
DH has to be told reminded constantly about what needs to be done but he did tell me before we were married 'I'll never notice the carpet needs cleaning so just tell me to get the Hoover out and I will' does feel like nagging tho. We fall out about it often, it clears the air,things improve for a while. Having said all that he does more than most with the dc's and never grumbles. He would forget the suncream too if not reminded tho. Bloody annoying.

myterrapin Sun 07-Aug-11 07:28:16

He does do mainly fun stuff and I feel like I get left with all the boring jobs. He plays a lot with the dcs, can't complain at all about that. I sometimes ask him what would happen if I went back to work, and would need him to be more available to help, but he doesn't have an answer. Tbh I can't see how that could possibly work as I can't rely on him to be home at a specific time or come to school if the dcs are doing something. He's not in the least bothered about mess so I have tried to compromise and relax and accept the house is not as tidy as I would like. It's the responsibility thing - I'm fed up having to think for myself, the dcs and him as well.

Definitely going to do some kind of chart. DD loves things like that, she will direct him to it.

cjbartlett Sun 07-Aug-11 07:34:45

Yes of course

I work some weekends too so he's in sole charge of kids anyway

SilverSky Sun 07-Aug-11 07:36:07

Men always use the excuse "you only needed to ask me" which is irritating as hell. It's exhausting having to think ahead for everyone and they're being lazy! How nice it would be to spend my days having a personal assistant remind me to do a, b, c etc.

Is it worth the two of you going out (childcare allowing) and having a bit of a heart to heart? Parenting is a team effort after all.

EttiKetti Sun 07-Aug-11 07:39:15

Yanbu. I expect my 8-5 working husband to do things in the home daily!

nomoreheels Sun 07-Aug-11 07:41:22

YANBU but I fear this is all too common a scenario. We had an almighty falling out yesterday as I was burnt out. I've done virtually all the night feeds since DD was born (11 weeks) to support him as he is freelance & works from home. (I still pay half of everything though!) He had the audacity to tell me he was fed up of me being in a bad mood in the mornings! He thinks I should "be nice" even when I've been up every 2 hours since she was born...

I was furious, told him off & he finally took her last night, armed with some bottles. It wasn't perfect - he came to get me a half hour after I'd gone to bed because he wanted me to BF her when she got fractious. And when I came to do a handover at 6:45 am he was snippy with me even though when I do nights, he doesn't see us til 8 am if not later. He handed her over & went back to bed in a huff... if he was looking for a medal for doing one night in 11 weeks he's dreaming! But I guess it was a start.

I am so disappointed though. I really thought we were going to be a partnership & instead I feel like I have to push for a fair deal. I'm going to insist he has DD one night every weekend though.

So... be prepared for battle and a strained atmosphere. But stand your ground for what is fair.

myterrapin Sun 07-Aug-11 07:43:15

Yes maybe we should go out one evening and talk about this.

Ettiketti it's more like 7-7.30 at least here so no question of help during the week.

RitaMorgan Sun 07-Aug-11 07:46:50

I'd say if he isn't able to see what needs doing and contribute equally, then you should assign roles.

Saturday morning - he is in charge of the children
Saturday afternoon - you are in charge

He does all Saturday's cooking
You do all the cleaning/washing up
Sunday you swap

He does any laundry that needs doing
You do any food shopping

He can't then argue he didn't realise it needed doing, or didn't know he wasn't in charge, because there are quite clearly jobs/times that are his responsibility.

myterrapin Sun 07-Aug-11 07:47:47

nomoreheels that does sound familiar. My dc3 was a terrible sleeper and feeder and that year was awful for our relationship. I just wanted him to take the other dcs out to give me a break, which he did a bit grudgingly. He complained that we never did anything together and eventually I agreed to a day out. He somehow got me to agree to leaving the house something ridiculous like 8am and I remember him getting stroppy because I wasn't ready after a bad night with the baby. He has since sort of apologised but that was really unfair!

exoticfruits Sun 07-Aug-11 08:01:48

I think that you have an extra DC! You are doing too much for him and the fact that he works hard all week doesn't make you his personal assistant (servant) the rest of the time. He is an equal parent. I think that you need to talk about it. I would be inclined to swan off out for the day,alone, and leave him to it.

EuphemiaMcGonagall Sun 07-Aug-11 08:17:01

I think you need to relinquish control at the weekend, accept that DH won't do everything according to your high standards. As long as he's doing a good enough job (eg hanging up all of the towels), you need to just let it go if his standards are not up to yours.

I'm like this at the weekend, and I keep calm by reminding myself that come Monday, I'm in control again!

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