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To think it's maternity leave not housewife leave, and act accordingly?

(172 Posts)
maternitart Mon 15-Jul-13 19:50:17

I'm on maternity leave at the moment and my priority is spending time with DS and making the most of the time off.

I try to clean up after us both and maybe do some of the everyday stuff like emptying the dishwasher, hanging out laundry etc during the day but I rarely do any housework like vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, changing the beds etc. I do do some cooking, cleaning or sorting in evenings and weekends while my DH is with DS.

Something my mum said however made me think perhaps AIBU, lazy, or unfair to DH. Am I? Should I take on the lion's share of keeping house and do more during the day?

<Dramatic voice> Mumsnet Jury: YOU decide!

spookylittlekitty Mon 15-Jul-13 19:51:58

I always said to my grandma that it's maternity leave not cleaning leave.

YouTheCat Mon 15-Jul-13 19:53:34

I'd say yes.

No need to do everything and go mad but I'd say vacuuming and keeping the bathroom clean to be everyday kind of tasks anyway. And changing beds needs doing. Do what you can. There will be some days where doing loads isn't an option.

monkeynuts123 Mon 15-Jul-13 19:54:27

If you're home all day and partner is at work all day then yes of course, why not? Do you really define your life by employment law and terms. It seems like splitting hairs to me. YABU

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Mon 15-Jul-13 19:54:41

I very much think that you're there in a mum role not a housework role. If, overall, you feel better about things by getting housework done and having a clean house, then by all means use some time to do housework. It's all entertainment for babies so no need to think you're neglecting ds. However, if you prefer not to and get basics done outside working hours as you would if working, where's the problem? I like to do a bit of both as I'm really zonked by the evening with three to look after, but I certainly don't feel guilty if we're doing stuff and nothing gets done.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Mon 15-Jul-13 19:56:28

Mind you-looking at our living room, I might not be the one to ask. I normally tidy and sort while dh looks after bath time but he's away overnight.

ediblewoman Mon 15-Jul-13 19:56:44

Don't do it! Doing a bit more because you can is fine but don't take it all on, and read Wifework to reinforce your decision.... Wish I hadn't it has taken several years and a lot of talking to get us back to a more equitable place following my first maternity leave and got a bit Stepford ( not helped by PND).

mumofboyo Mon 15-Jul-13 19:58:13

I just did what I could, enough to keep the house looking and feeling clean and tidy and us fed with enough clean clothes. Everything else either waited til my husband got in, the weekend or never.

It is maternity leave, there for you to recover from the birth and give your baby a solid start re. bonding and feeding and sleeping etc.

Yanbu, do as much as you need but your dh is not exempt just because he works out of the house.

Dackyduddles Mon 15-Jul-13 19:59:50

You should seriously think about jobs you are happy to take on and ones you share or ones for dh as you will spend time snipping at each other. You both have expectations of some sort. Surely it's just courtesy to check in with each other and agree for this very short time frame?

ImNotBloody14 Mon 15-Jul-13 20:01:16

I think as long as the place is reasonably clean then you're doing great tbh. you live in the house aswell as DH and you get a say in what needs done and what would be 'nice' to have done for you. run a wipe round the bathroom once a day and the hoover round downstairs once a week (unless pets?) and you'll be grand.

if you're struggling (you don't sound like you are though smile) i'm sure your mum would be more than willing to help you out wink

HooverFairy Mon 15-Jul-13 20:02:22

I just did what I could, when I could. Make the most of your time with your baby, but I think if there are opportunities when you could do some cleaning you probably should otherwise your house will end up like mine did. I suppose if your DH is at work all day then having to do everything else on top of that is a bit much, but you are 'working' too - all day, without a break remember! You sound like you're doing all the important things anyway. I just did bits and pieces, now I'm back at work we're organising a cleaner to come and do a one off 'deep clean' and then we'll just do surface cleaning until the grime takes over and we have to organise another deep clean. I just wish we could afford a regular cleaner!

DontmindifIdo Mon 15-Jul-13 20:03:06

YANBU - as I have pointed out before, if you hire a nanny then they are expected to just look after the DC, only really cleaning up after them and cooking for the child, not doing general housework, because it is understood that looking after a child is a full time job that commands a good salary. My friends who are childminders do the bulk of their cleaning in the evenings/weekends.

So why is it when you provide the same labour just for free, it suddenly is seen as part time and you are able to find several extra hours a day compared to a nanny?

It also sounds like you are still doing hte bulk of the housework, just in the evenings and weekends when your DH has DS. So you are only being "unfair" to your DH if he sees spending time with his child as hard work and not something he should be expected to do. I would say if you are still doing pretty much all the cleaning then you are being very generous to your DH, who is being rather unfair to you if he's not pitching in during hte evenings.

Shenanagins Mon 15-Jul-13 20:03:38

To be honest i will do the majority whilst on mat leave as i will have the time. For me it is more important to spend the precious time we get together as a family at the weekends rather than tidying up which is the only time my oh would have to do such things.

belatedmaybe Mon 15-Jul-13 20:05:24

Are you saying that you do the housework but that you do it evenings and weekends whilst your dh has baby time? If so then I would say that is totally reasonable. If you are leaving it for him to do then I would say that was unfair really.

stargirl1701 Mon 15-Jul-13 20:05:48

YANBU. It's all too easy to start doing everything and fall into a pattern that continues when you return to work. DH & I have kept to our old routine (before DD) despite my MIL commenting.

ComposHat Mon 15-Jul-13 20:05:54

I agree it is maternity leave, not pretend to be a 50s house wife leave.

So long as your husband is getting sone chance to spend quality time with his child and bond with them as he's spending every waking hour he's not at work cleaning and tidying a bomb site of a house.

NiceTabard Mon 15-Jul-13 20:08:53

Depends on how the baby is and how many other children etc. and how you are feeling.

It's one of these things where there can be no hard and fast answer.

FWIW then if a person is feeling fit and well and the child is easy / napping a lot then seems sensible to do some houswork.

OTOH if baby is a nightmare, or there are other children, or parent is feeling crap or BF all the time or whatever then no-one should be berating them for not doing housework.

SaucyJack Mon 15-Jul-13 20:08:56

I think you sound a bit childish tbh. If your sheets on your bed in your house need changing (for ex.) then...... change them like a sensible grown up. I don't get why you would make a point of leaving them when you have the means and the opportunity to do them.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 15-Jul-13 20:13:35

I think you should do as much around the house as you would expect your DH to, if not more, because you have more time to.

I think it's quite selfish to do nothing except baby stuff. Looking after the majority of babies really isn't that difficult. And I had a high needs baby who I could barely put down, even while asleep.

thebody Mon 15-Jul-13 20:15:27

no if you are at home then that's your job.

AidanTheRevengeNinja Mon 15-Jul-13 20:15:50

YANBU. I'm on maternity leave at the moment. My job is looking after our baby, his is working outside the home. Therefore we both have jobs; and therefore we split housework, just as we always did. In reality, this usually means one of us does it at the weekend while the other entertains the baby.

I did have 1950s housewife aspirations before realising that you can't necessarily put a lively baby down and do stuff when you want to. or cut the hedge with a sling

From your OP, it sounds like you are both pulling your weight and both happy with the situation. Ignore your mother. She sounds like mine grin

tigerlilygrr Mon 15-Jul-13 20:18:31

OP your post made me think. I have a cleaner whom we've kept on during my mat leave so I don't clean much. However I do do more than when I was at work, and more than my DH. I don't resent it though (despite the fact I detest all forms of housework bar cooking) and I think that's because I am only doing extra because I am personally generating extra. If I left the house at 9am and returned at 6pm, with children, the house would be pretty tidy. Therefore if I'm at home, I will clean up after us, because it's my choice to allow that to happen.

WipsGlitter Mon 15-Jul-13 20:21:25

Who does the cleaning when you're not on mat leave?

maternitart Mon 15-Jul-13 20:22:09

Sorry the title should have read housework not housewife...

Almostfifty Mon 15-Jul-13 20:22:52

I can't understand why you can't do the housework. It would mean you'd then have nights and weekends together.

I managed to do it all and still have time for my children. We'd both clear up after dinner at night and sort out the children though.

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