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How much childcare/housework is reasonable to expect a SAH parent to do?

(220 Posts)
addendumm Fri 09-Nov-12 12:47:43

Am getting really annoyed with DH who SAH and looks after DS 4 days a week while I work. He doesnt have a job at the moment.

How much housework is reasonable to get done during the day with a 1 year old who naps for 2 hours?

When the working parent is home how much time should they reasonably be expected to care for the child while the SAH parent has a break?

I would be interested to hear how others divide these responsibilities so I can work out if Im being unreasonable.

onetiredmummy Fri 09-Nov-12 12:52:37

I do not work & my DP does, I do all the housework but when I go back to work I'll get a cleaner.

When DP comes home its bedtime, so I expect him to help 50/50 with that & we both do the childcare over the weekends smile

VinegarTits Fri 09-Nov-12 12:53:05

I'd say with a 1 year old the housework is pretty much stuffed

why dont you manage to do it between you once your ds is in bed?

rainbow2000 Fri 09-Nov-12 12:55:41

Some days i do loads and other days not to much.If i wanna do a good clean i stick the baby in the highchair and get stuck in.
But when dp comes in,its all hands on deck he will do what needs doing.

PoppyWearer Fri 09-Nov-12 13:00:25

I am a SAHM with 1yo at home and 4yo at school.

1yo is in Childcare 2 mornings a week and a couple of hours in a crèche as needed.

Even then, it isn't enough time to "get everything done". We have a 4-bed detached house. Keeping it relatively clean and tidy is a mission. I do treat being a SAHM as my job.

The 1yo is a nutter quite physical and requires constant supervision when here. Getting housework done with him around is impossible because he cries at the vacuum cleaner, jumps into the duvet covers and tries to climb the ironing board. When not doing that he is trying to break every bone in his body by throwing himself off furniture.

His naps (2 hours at a time) don't often coincide with us being at home. He falls asleep in the car. Then do I risk moving him to his cot and wake him up so that I can do the ironing? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Sometimes I am just glad of some quiet time.

I do have a cleaner every other week and sometimes drop off ironing etc because I can't get it all done.

And then there is all the admin and financial stuff, a good few hours on the computer a week.

Birthday cards and presents. Thank you cards. I do all of that.

And a bit of playtime for the 1yo and social time for me, or I'd go stir crazy. I try to grab a couple of hours of me-time a week whilst he's at nursery. Had my hair done this week, might be a manicure next week, for example. Or just a bit of Mumsnetting.

FWIW, my DH does nothing, he works long hours and often has to work at weekends too, and when not working is too tired to do anything else.

So...the answer is, for me, I don't get as much done as you might think. For example, have just realised I don't have any food in for dinner, so it'll be a takeaway tonight.

addendumm Fri 09-Nov-12 13:04:16

Would love a cleaner but cant afford it.

Would it be reasonable to expect the dishes done, a load of laundry put on, clean clothes put away and surfaces wiped during the 2 hour nap time?

He finds it stressful caring for DS so spends the 2 hours as leisure time. I take over looking after DS as soon as I get home, unless we all go out together so he has this time to himself as well (5-8.30pm). I also look after DS by myslef for the 3 days I dont work unless we are doing something as a family together. Once DS is in bed we will do some chores together before we watch TV and go to bed.

We do spend the weekend vacuming and giving the house a good clean.

addendumm Fri 09-Nov-12 13:05:55

DS is quite an active toddler and does need a lot of attention.

addendumm Fri 09-Nov-12 13:08:27

I do all the organising of home admin stuff like paying bills, sorting out insurance as well.

crazygracieuk Fri 09-Nov-12 13:09:18

Depends what proportion of the day they are out.
The less they spend time at home, the tidier the house should be.

BikeRunSki Fri 09-Nov-12 13:10:08

I am on ML with a 1 yo and a 4 yo. Back to work in Jan.
When 4 yo is not at nursery, I am quite often pushed to even make the beds.
When 4 yo is at nursery, I have this fantasy that I'll do all the housework while the 1 yo is asleep, although she is not really a big sleeper. I might manage to make the beds, maybe wash the floor, put soem washing on. I always try and have an evening meal made, or ready to cook (or at least have something out of the freezer). A 1 yo is a full time job in itself. We spend a lot of time out too (small house, energetic 4 yo), so sometimes may not even be there to do anything.

BikeRunSki Fri 09-Nov-12 13:11:25

I do all the adminy things too, but usually when the DC are in bed. I suspect DH doesn't even knwo who our power company is!

twooter Fri 09-Nov-12 13:11:36

I do a heck of a lot more housework than my husband thinks I do. The trouble is things get dirty so quickly, or toys get all over the place far quicker than you can clear them away. It is far easier to tidy up/clean when the children are out the way so at least you can see progress.

coppertop Fri 09-Nov-12 13:11:37

So your dh has 3 days a week where he's not doing childcare or working elsewhere?

How many days like that are you getting?

It doesn't sound like a fair split at all tbh.

KenLeeeeeee Fri 09-Nov-12 13:13:35

Depends on the 1yo. DD at that age could happily entertain herself while I pottered around doing stuff. Neither of my older boys could be left without screaming or injuring themselves, and judging from how ds3 feels about being left at the moment, he'll be just the same.

I don't think your DH is BU to use nap time to relax tbh. It's what I would and have done too!

twooter Fri 09-Nov-12 13:14:07

I think what you're asking should be manageable. But don't begrudge him time out the house. I need coffees with my friends to stay sane, and I would imagine your dh would also need something for himself.

girlsyearapart Fri 09-Nov-12 13:16:23

I have 11mo ds and 2.4 dd home all day every day and dd age 4 home 3/5 avos a week.
Dd age 5 at school.

I generally get beds made washing done and dishes done.

On a good day I get the dinner or some of it ready before school ends.

With a VERY active nearly one yr old it's almost impossible to Hoover or tidy as he follows behind cocking it all up/disconnecting the Hoover.

On a Saturday my mum quite often has the three girls for me and every week I delude myself into thinking I will get loads done..

In reality I'd get more done with all three girls in and ds out.

addendumm Fri 09-Nov-12 13:18:00

Yes coppertop that is why Im getting annoyed.

Basically as it is now DH does nothing except for care for DS while Im at work, then when Im caring for DS he has his free time and then when DS is asleep at night we both do chores together!

Weekends we either spend as a family out together, doing chores whilst minding DS together at home; or I look after DS by myself and DH has free time for himself.

He 'helps' but I would rather he just 'did' it himself.

Trills Fri 09-Nov-12 13:20:00

You should both have the same amount of time to yourselves to do as you please.

How much housework gets done depends entirely on the child.

addendumm Fri 09-Nov-12 13:20:48

Now I feel bad as DS is very active and I also get nothing done whilst looking after him, but I do spend his nap times when Im home with him doing the cleaning. Maybe I like cleaning? sad

addendumm Fri 09-Nov-12 13:23:14

Trills how do you divide up the time between yourselves?

Is it a case of saying we spend Saturday morning as a family and then we each have 3 hours in the afternoon to ourselves?

I think it really depends on the child. However, you don't sound happy with the arrangement at the moment. What about concentrating on organising the amount of leisure time - so, on your days off you both get equal time to yourselves?

expatinscotland Fri 09-Nov-12 13:26:12

So he has: 2 hours a day of leisure time, 3 days/week of leisure time, does no admin and, from the sound of it, no housework, either?

'Would it be reasonable to expect the dishes done, a load of laundry put on, clean clothes put away and surfaces wiped during the 2 hour nap time?'

More than reasonable.

If he finds it that stressful, then he can go and get a J-O-B and you can put your son in childcare and hire a cleaner.

expatinscotland Fri 09-Nov-12 13:27:16

'Now I feel bad as DS is very active and I also get nothing done whilst looking after him, but I do spend his nap times when Im home with him doing the cleaning. Maybe I like cleaning?'

Um, no, it's the responsible thing to do.

expatinscotland Fri 09-Nov-12 13:28:00

It is not 'helping'. It is pulling your weight in life.

addendumm Fri 09-Nov-12 13:32:32

expatinscotland Yes I know I would find life easier with DS in childcare and with a cleaner once a week.

Now I feel so deluded about our situation.

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