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to say I'm not doing all the organisational stuff anymore?

(79 Posts)
Mandy21 Fri 11-Jan-13 20:10:44

I have posted about this before but its finally come to a head now.

Long story short - we are a normal family I think - 3 children under 8, 2 at school, 1 at nursery. I work 3 days (have our 3yr the other 2 days), H works full time. Both do the same job, stressful, deadlines etc. Family life is busy and we're strapped for cash most of the time.

DH is a brilliant father, good husband most of the time, hard working. He is great at doing what I ask, pulls his weight with childcare / household chores / DIY. Doesn't have expensive hobbies or go out with his friends all the time. He is generally great.

Except for anything to do with organisation / planning of our life as a family. He will stretch to liaising with a couple of the other dads re lifts to DS's football matches. He also arranges for the cars to be serviced. Thats it. His salary goes into the joint account and a nominal sum goes into his own personal account to do with what he likes. He has no idea re finances - he couldn't tell you to the nearest £500 what the mortgage is, I manage all the finances, pay bills, budget, search for better deals all the time for utilities / insurance renewals etc. He doesn't plan any weekend activities, holidays, help to sort out things to do with the children in school holidays. I arrange play dates / after school activities / children's parties / presents / our social lives. I feel like I am constantly "thinking" about what needs to be done, whether everything is sorted / planned - just so all of the plates keep spinning, whereas he does what hes asked and can then just get on with his working day with no other demands on his time.

I've said I'm not doing it anymore - I'll give him all the details for bank accounts / payment dates / provisional dates for holidays but he's got to manage it all now. I'll do the day to day stuff - playdates for the children, be the point of contact for childcare etc, but all the "behind the scenes" organisation, he can do if from now on.

Am i expecting too much or do most mums / wives end up doing what I do?

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 10:03:43

Forgetting once would constitute a genuine mistake in my book - as in, one bill reminder, or one incident of forgetting to get the MOT in time. After that I would expect him to do something like using reminders on his phone (DH's phone is constantly pinging - I call it his "second brain") so he doesn't forget in future. I would also expect him to do everything he can to rectify the mistake, not sit back and expect me to sort it out.

He is absolutely not "unable to do it" - he just knows you will take over if he doesn't do it. DH knows no matter how much he fucks up I won't take over (unless he's actually really struggling) so he just has to get his act together, same as women do all the time.

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 10:08:25

One thing I must add - DS is only 2 and I'm a SAHM so organisation-wise things with him are fairly straightforward. I can envisage there being problems for us when DS is older (and imminent DC2 is here) as it will take some time and effort on my part to get DH to take over some organisation for the children when he's used to me doing it, especially if and when I go back to work. But again I won't stand for him backing out of it, although I will protect the children from the effects of any incompetence. But as far I'm concerned a man who won't bring DCs to parties, organise activities etc is opting out of being a father and I won't stand for it.

BadPoet Sat 12-Jan-13 10:18:16

Ha, pinging phones. Yes, Dh has downloaded about 17 to do & reminder apps in the last couple years and bangs on constantly about the need for a 'system'. I use my phone's native stuff but the difference is, I actually look at it.
On paper I agree with you Cailin, but it's very black and white thinking. My reality is a bit less clear cut I guess, the lines of responsibility are still a bit blurry and I genuinely think Dh has a problem with this stuff. Even after the holiday hospital incident I would still never sort out his paperwork. But i would do mine and the kids and give him several reminders. I could never (as you suggested) book a holiday and then not go if Dh hadn't sorted something out for it. I feel he has already been 'taught a lesson' if you like and if that hasn't worked, what will?

BadPoet Sat 12-Jan-13 10:20:29

Ps, OP, YANBU, sorry for the hijack and good luck!

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 10:26:49

I suppose for me this sort of thing is genuinely a dealbreaker. Just not sorting things out, not participating in organising life, seems really disrespectful to me and would really damage my respect for DH. I would feel like he just didn't care, which over time would erode the relationship. So in that case I just won't put up with it, it would be "Do it or get out," which is pretty good motivation to get your arse in gear IME. It's different if you just find it annoying but can deal with it of course.

HoratiaWinwood Sat 12-Jan-13 10:39:19

DH does our money - because he can, and I'd be utterly hopeless. I do playdates, haircuts, birthdays etc because he would be hopeless.

The issue is how you feel about it, not who actually does it. I doubt going on strike would help.

Egusta Sat 12-Jan-13 11:26:17

I agree with rainrain also.

CanIRingTheBell Sat 12-Jan-13 12:41:39

I'd say my DH does his share of organisational stuff (when prompted!), however he does seem to think he can opt out of certain areas of running a home, when I don't have that option. It makes me really cross.

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Sat 12-Jan-13 12:47:47

I am in the same boat, OP. Finding it reassuring, actually, that am not the only one. I also work FT and DH works PT, so there's no real reason why I am in charge of everything. It is so draining, and makes me feel like the only grown up.

VirtuallyHere Sat 12-Jan-13 13:00:19

Another one here. I do 95 per cent of the organising. In my experience most men just take the laziest easiest route. The house we live in now has needed everything done except structural so I have organised/done the lot. In fact DH caused me more hassel by signing up to a dodgy door to door mob for convenience which I then had to cancel in the cooling off period. If I didn't do things he would get around to it but he would take the lazy route of renewing insurances, etc so would cost us a lot more and I hate seeing our money wasted as we have worked hard for it (we are both full time). It can be somewhat irritating though occasionally as he settles down to tv when our son goes to bed and I'm working through a list of things that need doing. There are definitely genetic differences between sexes.

VirtuallyHere Sat 12-Jan-13 13:01:35

.. In the organisational sense I mean.

xkittyx Sat 12-Jan-13 13:12:57

Oh VirtuallyHere they really are not sad
Bloody convenient for a lot of men that people think that though! Reading this, all I can think is that a lot of women are being made utter mugs of.
My DH lives in his own home for 6 years before we got together and managed his life beautifully despite sometimes doing upwards of 60 hours a week. Never so much as a missed direct debit.
Nor has he unlearned his organisational skills due to having a wife.

Paintyourbox Sat 12-Jan-13 13:23:37

Mandy it sounds very much like his upbringing has left in disarray when it comes to finances.

We sound quite similar, my parents worked very hard, bought their own home and saved a lot so they are now mortgage free and semi-retired at 60. DP's parents on the other hand have yet to buy a house, have no deposit for a house and need to vacate their current home when FIL retires in 4 years (the house is tied with his job).

They are very disorganised in all aspects of their life and as such, DP hasn't had any organisational skills either. He is a lot better now (shared calendar, a weekly schedule meeting to discuss pick ups/drop offs etc) but it has been a huge challenge for him given that he has a high pressure job with long hours.

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 14:06:27

Virtually I totally disagree. The vast majority of the world's leaders are men - don't you think that requires some level of organisational skill? Or being CEO of a large company, being a Cardinal or Archbishop etc etc. Men are not genetically incompetent.

FWIW my DH is far far more careful about getting good deals with insurance etc than I. I will look, but he will search and search and he does save us a lot of money. For me my unwillingness to go that far isn't genetic, I just don't have the patience, but I will try at least because I know it means a lot to him, and if it comes to it I'll ask him for help. It basically comes down to kindness and respect - a person who's willing to see you do all the work while they lounge on the sofa and totally opt out is being totally selfish really. That's nothing to do with genetics, that's just due to not really caring that you have to struggle to get these things done while he relaxes.

nokidshere Sat 12-Jan-13 14:17:54

I tend to do most of the financial things in our home simply because I can. DH probably wouldn't know who we are insured with or when the MOT's exact date is but he would know where the information was should he need it. I do it simply because I quite enjoy it. I enjoy looking for deals and sorting out holidays etc, I like being online. However, he wouldn't bat an eyelid if I said I was fed up and it was his turn.

But then he is a great "wife"!!! He would love (if I had his earning potential) be be a SAHP. He is very domesticated and does more than his fair share of housework, cooking, food shopping, childcare etc.

I organise the childrens social lives and he organises their sporting life.

We compliment each other I suppose thats the key really. When one person is feeling put upon it leads to feelings of being undervalued and stressed and that will always cause problems.

Mrsaurtherpendragon Sat 12-Jan-13 14:25:18

It's the same in my house, tried once to say I'm not organising anything anymore-

What happened- nothing! So I just continued, it does really annoy me at times, as this stuff needs doing.


CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 14:28:27

Mrsaurther- when you say nothing happened, do you mean he just didn't pay bills? Did you challenge him on the fact he was doing nothing?

HumpheadWrasse Sat 12-Jan-13 14:35:05

If your DP wanted to take on more of the organisational stuff, where would you recommend they start?
It's the other way round in our house if i'm honest, DH does pretty much all this stuff. I don't know why. DH is very organised and likes to be in charge of things and I've just gone along with it. I do shopping and meal planning but that's probably about it. This thread is making me feel very guilty. I'm trying to recover from anxiety and I think just being in control of my own life more would really help.
What should I do? Ask DH maybe to make a list of the things that he does and go from there?

VirtuallyHere Sat 12-Jan-13 14:38:57

Sorry should have meant more in domestic sense. And they're not all like that I agree.In our house DH does a good share of 'doing' which does happen I think in a lot of these situations which is why us organisers accept it. Else I think it would be a lack of respect.

CailinDana Sat 12-Jan-13 14:42:00

Humphead - what do you think you could manage? Would you be ok with taking over things like insurance, that don't have to be done very regularly? Or could you take on more, like sorting out house maintenance (getting workmen in, getting windows cleaned etc). You could ask DH what he would like help with and see what he says? I think if it's case that illness, such as anxiety, has stopped you doing your share then that's fair enough, you can't help that.

HumpheadWrasse Sat 12-Jan-13 16:01:54

Thanks CailinDana, I wouldn't want to hide behind the anxiety if I'm honest, I don't think there's much reason I don't do any of this stuff (other than maybe dealing with the bills, fear of being in debt etc is a big flashpoint for me), it's just the way it seems to have worked out.
I'll have a talk with DH tonight.

HoratiaWinwood Sat 12-Jan-13 16:52:24

There's a difference between managing that's overseeing (like most political and business leaders) and micromanaging where you know the detail of what has to be done, which is what mothers often control.

I'm not sure if where that fits into the debate...

coribells Sat 12-Jan-13 17:01:55

Haven't read all this thread. My relationship with my ex husband ended for the reasons you listed. I.e home relying on me to organise every aspect of our lives. I have two sons , I didn't want to be mother to him as well. I talked, shouted, had counselling etc nothing ever changed. I resented having to be in charge of all the decision making and I began to hate him. We have been separated for 3 years now, we get along reasonably well. He hasnt 'manned up' though, and still leaves it to me make arrangements for visitation etc, however at least now I don't feel daily resentful on a daily basis.

Mandy21 Sat 12-Jan-13 17:42:31

Thank you for all the replies. Its interesting how it differs in some households, and I agree that it makes sense to play to our strengths (I'm quite organised especially when it comes to finances) and my H isn't, but it does worry me that at 37, he should have some idea of important stuff like that! I agree that it probably because he's never really been financially independent - home, uni, back home, moved in with me. Always had someone to do it for him!

I agree though that the issue is with resolving it before it makes me resentful - as other people have mentioned, I don't want to nag and I don't want to be his mother so its time he changed.

I think I'll probably take over most of it again, but hopefully by him doing it for a short period, he'll see how important it is and how much effort / thinking time it takes and take on some of the tasks that he's more than capable of!!

deleted203 Sat 12-Jan-13 22:22:57

On a positive note, ladies, at least if we are left alone in old age (or earlier) we will be able to cope with the day to day stuff! I do remember my Gran being utterly confused when she lost her husband because he had always done EVERYTHING to do with the organisation of their lives. She had literally no idea how to pay a gas bill, write a cheque, sort out the council tax, etc. Grandad had just handed over the housekeeping money every week and she had pottered off to the shops and done the cooking and housework, while he did 'man' jobs. She was very lost without him.

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