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SAHD who doesn't do housework?

(237 Posts)
bushymcbush Fri 16-Sep-11 16:54:49

My DH looks after our DD (3yo) full time and I work (stressful and tiring job) full time.

Now, I know his job is looking after DD but I know when I did that job, I looked after the house too. It wasn't perfect but I tried to keep on top of the basics.

A year into our arrangement and his levels of housework are at an all time low.

He does cook almost every evening, and usually makes attempts to keep the kitchen tidy (not clean), but that's it.

The washing is constantly spilling out of the basket or sitting in clean baskets un sorted.

The carpets and floors are filthy.

The bathroom is filthy.

The house smells.

I often get home from work to find lunch and / or breakfast things all over the table still, DD watching TV and the dog unwalked.

AIBU to expect more?

specialsubject Sat 17-Nov-12 17:28:41

'He spends a lot of time on the computer and on his iPhone - games, facebook, twitter, sports pages, news ... '

he's not that busy, then, is he? Nor is your kid getting much fun.

'filthy' and 'smells' are beyond a relaxed attitude to housework. Time for some plain talking. And to rehome the dog.

justcait Sat 17-Nov-12 16:58:10

blush I only checked the '17' not whether it was November!! Oopsy...

Euphemia Sat 17-Nov-12 16:49:14

Zombie thread!

MummytoKatie Sat 17-Nov-12 16:44:41

My general rule for my days off is that I try and have the house in better shape when dh gets home than when he left. So breakfast and lunch things gone, toys out away, paints cleared up plus something else.

Sometimes my something else is a decent clean, often it is just a load of washing.

It's harder since dd stopped sleeping during the day as I don't have that hour to play with.

I always have dinner ready for all of us as if I didn't our evening would fall apart.

GhostShip Sat 17-Nov-12 15:56:39

I agree with what Proudnscary said on page 1

justcait Sat 17-Nov-12 15:39:00

OP is this about priorities, rather than time? I mean, he obviously has time - that's not the issue. My DH and I are lucky - we have the same view on house tidiness and cleanliness (ie we would like it to be clean and tidy, and we prefer it that way, but neither of us are particularly good at achieving said state of sparkle, so when someone has a rush of blood to the head and does a deep clean of the kitchen or something the other one is v v v appreciative!)

... but not everyone has the same views on what's 'right' when it comes to houses. You have to start with the underlying reason for not cleaning, in my experience - ie what's stopping him from doing it? If he's anything like me, it's a combination of not remembering that it needs to be done / not really caring that much if it doesn't get done... It's not laziness, I work very hard at work (because I really care about being good at my job, vs not really caring about being good at housework) - it's a priority thing. Some people have other priorities, I don't think one or the other is better, it just is.

Hard to fix, but if your DH has the same cleaning problems as I do - things that work: I like being thanked for cleaning (and I always thank my DH when he cleans, since neither of us wants to do it), and it also helps when my DH remarks (nicely, not snarkily) that the house is a tip - and we both take full responsibility for it as a partnership in charge of our little messy world (although I do like to blame the dog, clearly he is running around the house at night making a mess smile). I know some people have suggested lists, which do work for some people, but not for me at all. I've also realised that although I have a mental map of where everything in the house 'should' be (and invariably isn't), I rarely explain this to DH so I have to remind myself when he puts something in the 'wrong' place that he might just not know where it should go wink...

fedupofnamechanging Sat 17-Sep-11 18:03:57

I think that if you want a CM to spend all her time actively looking after your children, rather than taking some time to do her own thing, then you'd best get a nanny and pay the difference in rates. That, to me, is the real difference between the two. If you hire a CM, you are doing so in the knowledge that she has chosen that particular job because it fits in more with her life. A nanny fits in more with you.

And even a nanny is usually expected to do child related housework - sometimes children's laundry, certainly cooking for them and clearing up after them. So looking after dc to a 'professional' standard and doing a bit of housework are not mutually exclusive.

CheerfulYank Sat 17-Sep-11 16:37:40

When I was a childminder I did housework.

I also read stories, did art projects, circle time, played with the children, brought them to the park, etc, etc.

But if they were all sitting on the floor engrossed in toys, of course I took time to clean out the tub or whatever. Why wouldn't I? confused

LikeACandleButNotQuite Sat 17-Sep-11 12:27:15

My DM is a childminder, and whilst caring for her charges she is able to do 'SAHP' type stuff - a load of washing, cooks tea for DF for when he returns from work (the kids get for their tea a child portion of what my DF gets).

She nips to the shops, post office, tidies round etc, whilst also managing to take the kids to the park, school pick ups/drop offs, etc etc.

How OPs DP can't manage keeping the house tidy and looking after a 3yo (who, lest we forget, is OUT of the house 2.5 days a week) is anyones guess.

magicmummy1 Sat 17-Sep-11 12:26:28

Whatever is involved in the "job description" of the SAHP, it needs to be agreed by both partners. The WOHP doesn't get to dictate everything but the SAHP cannot just do as they please either. If they can't agree on the roles, then I think they have to find an alternative arrangement.

Nanny0gg Sat 17-Sep-11 12:24:48

*Actually I pay my CM to care for my children in a home environment. That includes her doing things like her cleaning and shopping, taking the car to the garage for an MOT, going to the post office to send a parcel, as well as play dates, school run, trip to the park, coffee with a friend and their mindees/children - you know, the stuff I do while with them if I am at home.

Threads like this make me realise there is a small but determined army of parents who see "parenting" as a 24/7 job which is all encompassing and involves total concentration on their child(ren). Being the object of so much attention must be pretty wearing for a child, I must say.*
And do they go straight out and get a job when their children go to school? Do they consider themselves redundant?

DoMeDon Sat 17-Sep-11 12:21:36

That's not what I said at all. A CM is paid to do one thing - like when I am at work I am paid to do my job - they take a dim view of me doing household tasks.

I said it is a choice for a family to deecide how they spend thier time and divide the chores. Clean when DC are alseep, make DP do all the cleaning or do it yourself when your DP is home, or whatever combo you wish - up to you and your family.

But you cannot equate SAHP and CM - it is different. I am a parent wherever, whenever, whatever I am doing. CM clocks off.

Do you think you will raise a well balanced child if you constantly attend them? I don't - I think they need time to BE, time to imagine without a parent joining/cajoling/supporting.

magicmummy1 Sat 17-Sep-11 12:17:47

Most childminders care for multiple children and have to follow the eyfs, complete lots paperwork etc. It is not a comparable situation.

As the main breadwinner in my family, I would not be prepared to fund my DP to stay at home only to look after one 3yo. I see no benefit to the child in hovering over them all day, and I would expect the SAHP do the bulk of the work around the house. If he wasn't prepared to do that, then I would ask him to get a job and outsource the childcare. The OP's dd is at nursery for half the week already.

If my DP felt strongly that dd needed a parent to stay at home, yet wasn't willing to do this himself while taking on the lion's share of the housework, then I would expect him to find a job and I would stay at home. Looking after one 3yo is not a full time job, and I wouldn't be prepared to slog my guts out working to fund my DP in this lifestyle.

Fortunately, when DP was at home with dd, he did his fair share of the housework. Now we are both working again, we share it 50:50.

donthateme Sat 17-Sep-11 12:16:22

The argument about childminding is bizarre. My dd was at a fantastic childminder from age 2 and half til she started school. Childminder had a son of similar age. My childminder managed to feed the children lunch, entertain them ,take them for walks, and would also be doing a teatime snack when I picked up sometimes. She managed to look after my dd and her ds wonderfully without her house looking like a shithole. Oh and there was no sign of breakfast mess when I did the morning drop off either- probably because she managed to clear it away in 5 minutes after breakfast. Rather like I used to load the dishwasher before setting off to drop my dd off with her. Amazing isn't it?!

Oh and if I asked how 'the day had been she would tell me about where they'd been and what my dd had done- she didn't bore me with the minutiae of how Many loads of washing she'd put on etc, just like when I was home when working only part time, I wouldn't tell my dh all about the washing when he got home.

The normal day to day home routine is as arduous as you choose to make it. If you decide it's a full time job then it will expand to become one. If you just get on with it- it doesn't!

Georgimama Sat 17-Sep-11 12:10:19

Actually I pay my CM to care for my children in a home environment. That includes her doing things like her cleaning and shopping, taking the car to the garage for an MOT, going to the post office to send a parcel, as well as play dates, school run, trip to the park, coffee with a friend and their mindees/children - you know, the stuff I do while with them if I am at home.

Threads like this make me realise there is a small but determined army of parents who see "parenting" as a 24/7 job which is all encompassing and involves total concentration on their child(ren). Being the object of so much attention must be pretty wearing for a child, I must say.

So... if I go out to work, earn a wage and employ a CM, then my kids deserve better quality care and attention than if I provide it myself?

Then there'd be no point in SAHM'ing at all, we should all outsource our childcare to professionals...

Clearing away breakfast/lunch dishes, a bit of laundry, putting toys away fair enough; but I'm not going to embark on the hoovering or bog-scrubbing while I'm 'on the clock' childcare-wise.

HowAboutAHotCupOfShutTheHellUp Sat 17-Sep-11 12:05:45

If you are at work all day, DH should do the housework, especially as your job is tiring / stressful. Why the hell should you come home and start working again, ie. cleaning and washing, when that is your DH's role, as a SAHP.

Totally disagree that he shouldn't be expected to do the housework.

TheBolter Sat 17-Sep-11 11:58:14

Hear hear Abby.

DoMeDon Sat 17-Sep-11 11:54:29

But it's a flawed principle. You are solely paying a CM to care for and entertain your child. Being a parent is not a 'job' it is a life choice, it is a joy to look after my child hmm Yes, it's sole destroying sometimes and occassionally work is easier tbh.

When you are a family caring for your DC, doing housework and earing a wage are all in it together. You divide those tasks however you see fit and agree as a family.

When I SAHP I did 90/10 share of housework on DH's working days, now I work PT we do about 70/30 (that's including any and everything) if I worked FT we would do 50/50, if he went PT we would do 50/50. It is a question of fairness. I am home more and have more time off, it makes sense for me to do a bit more.

This I must spend every minute with my DC when I am SAHP makes no sense. I hate idea of stepford with sparkly skirting boards but I equally hate the idea that the WOHP is out all day and comes home to piles of shite. It's not fair. Immaculate, no, tip, no - there is a middle ground!?!

AbbyAbsinthe Sat 17-Sep-11 11:46:59

Yes but the OP's DH isn't childminding his own children.. All of it should be shared 50/50 imo, regardless of gender.

Nanny0gg Sat 17-Sep-11 11:45:48

Housework (to whatever degree) has to be done unless you can cope with squalor.
The person with the most time should do the most, but not all. Obviously they aren't slaves and shouldn't be doing it 24/7 and when both are at home the burden is shared.
I don't think any SAHP entertains their children the whole time so yes, part of their 'job' should be some form of house 'care'.
Otherwise, that's the weekend/evenings gone for both partners.

If you left your kids with a childminder for 8 hours, and asked when you got back, "How did it go?"

And she said, "Fantastic, I got my bathroom cleaned and the whole house hoovered!"

.....would you think
a) I'm so glad I'm not employing a lazy childminder, or
b) WTF? hmm That's not what I pay you for!

This is the principle I work on.

AbbyAbsinthe Sat 17-Sep-11 11:41:04

I'm not a skivvy. I earn a wage of my own AND manage to look after my house and my children. Can you imagine? I don't have to rely on someone else's money AND I do more in my house than hover around my children unneccessarily. You should try it. Maybe then you wouldn't have such an over inflated ego, your house wouldn't be a shithole, and you wouldn't be thought of as a lazy arse. Cos that's what I think.

TheBolter Sat 17-Sep-11 11:39:45

So, err... does your house clean itself CutOff?

SheCutOffTheirTails Sat 17-Sep-11 11:29:10

Abby if I stay at home to look after my children, I won't have a job. Or a boss. And your opinion of what I should or shouldn't be doing will be something I won't ever think about.

Your post makes no sense though. If having a job doesn't let you off having to do housework, then the partners of SAHP still have to do the same amount of housework they've always done. So there's no need for people to act as skivvies as well as providing childcare.

Some of us just think we are worth more than that. It's sad that you don't, so I understand your anger that other women don't have the same shit deal as you.

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