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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!

TarkaTheOtter Mon 15-Jul-13 21:28:07

I agree with the PP who said you need to try and equalise leisure time (and that includes sleep time). That may mean that you do more, or even less than your dp depending on how well you baby sleeps during the day/night.

Annunziata Mon 15-Jul-13 21:31:36

You are at home, they are your jobs.

caramelwaffle Mon 15-Jul-13 21:33:01

When we have equal paternity and maternity leave, we shall look, forward to everyone giving exactly the same answers...

TarkaTheOtter Mon 15-Jul-13 21:37:55

Annunziata by that logic if one half of a couple works from home they should do all the housework.

MortifiedAdams Mon 15-Jul-13 21:37:56

Hmmm....I work Saturdays and some Sundays. I dont give a shit if I get in and no laundry has been done or my dinner isnt on the table - my.main hope is that my DH and my DD have had a great day.

Same as he wants when I with her.

mycatlikestwiglets Mon 15-Jul-13 21:39:48

I finally got a cleaner when I was on maternity leave, having held out for ages when DH wanted one to save us spending our weekends cleaning. I certainly didn't have time to clean the house properly when DS was a baby and the only time DH really got to spend quality time with him was at the weekend when we wanted to be together as a family. YANBU but the housework does need to be divided up in a fair way if you and your OH will be doing it yourselves.

SaucyJack Mon 15-Jul-13 21:40:30

We will caramelwaffle because we are clearly not all as obsessed as you are with labels and the constraints of gender roles or whatever else he did, she did yadda yadda.

Noone wants to go back to the 30s, but if you can't even take your dirty cereal bowl out to the kitchen without have some feminist dilemma over whether to wash it up or just sling it on the side like a tramp, then frankly it's time that grips were got.

Annunziata Mon 15-Jul-13 21:40:55

No it doesn't- OP is on leave from her job, someone who is working at home still has work to do.

DontmindifIdo Mon 15-Jul-13 21:43:38

Annunziata - would you expect a nanny to also clean?

Annunziata Mon 15-Jul-13 21:45:08

I don't know anything about nannies.

maternitart Mon 15-Jul-13 21:46:09

I don't want to get into the minutiae but as soon as DH is home (he's out of the house approx 11 hours a day) he hangs with DS, does bathtime, cuddles etc usually while I start dinner and do a bit of tidying. I don't know why some of you assume he's slaving away at the housework every night while I just sit there mumsnetting

I wish my baby was entertained for 20 minutes in a bouncy chair but it's more like 5...

Pilgit Mon 15-Jul-13 21:47:25

It's maternity leave - not cleaning leave. How much you can get done will depend on your baby. But, as I'm going back full time if I pick up more than my 'fair share' past experience tells me it will be hell when I go back and DH isn't used to doing it (he just doesn't see mess or that housework needs doing so has to get into a habit of doing it iyswim). But really, whatever works for you and your DH is what is really important.

Bearbehind Mon 15-Jul-13 21:53:16

Mmmm, maybe because you said 'I rarely do any housework like vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, changing the beds etc' OP.

Even if you meant that you do these things at weekends or your DH does them, it's a pretty precious, selfish mindset.

What will you do when you go back to work and have even less time for house work?

Not many people enjoy housework, it just has to be done and fitting as much as possible around your daily routine means it doesn't take one parent hours to do at the weekend.

You asked if your Mum had a point, I and others think she does.

Nagoo Mon 15-Jul-13 21:53:20

Use the equal leisure time thing.

Unless you live in a hovel because he's out 11 hours a day.

Then do some fucking cleaning wink

Part of raising a child is making their environment nice for them.

caramelwaffle Mon 15-Jul-13 21:57:15

I am not obessed with labels saucy.

I suggest you are projecting. A lot.

I believe women and men who wohm tend to know, and understand, the limitations on their time - work/commute/housework/childcare - plus more -and when on maternity or paternity leave, this is brought into sharp relief.

Excepting adoption leave, maternity leave and paternity is not yet equal in the UK and females have pressure exerted on them to perform hidden work.

As it is, I have cooked a full meal and will happily clean the kitchen tonight/put washing on/ have fed and bathed children/will paint my nails/watch James Bond/tidy two bathrooms etc etc

SaucyJack Mon 15-Jul-13 22:09:26

With all due respect, you are not doing anything to convince me that it isn't you who is obsessed and projecting......

She is a physically able woman in her own home.

If she drops toast crumbs on the floor, then she should get the hoover out. If her baby's clothes need washing, then put a washload on.

It's just what grown ups do. It has nothing to do with her being persecuted by the dastardly penis possessors.

caramelwaffle Mon 15-Jul-13 22:10:15

Ah. I see.

Kendodd Mon 15-Jul-13 22:11:56

Yes I think you should do it. It's easy to vacuum with a baby on your hip and besides, babies sleep a lot during the day, do it then. The reason I think this is that if you do it during the day you BOTH have your evenings and weekends free. And yes I would think the same if the SAH parent was the dad although unfortunately I think a SAH dad who did all the house work would be treated like some sort of saint, god knows why.

maternitart Mon 15-Jul-13 22:12:25

I would rather spend most of my time playing with, stimulating, feeding and enjoying my son than cleaning, during his awake time. Of course if he's asleep --not on
me-- and I'm in the house I get on with stuff, and do things for him like prepare his meals, wash his clothes, while he's awake as much as I can. It's just my focus is on him. My DH says he wouldn't want it any other way.

Think I am happy to be labelled PFB if that's what it makes me. He might be my POB (precious only born) and I can't imagine regretting not doing more cleaning once I'm back at work. It's interesting seeing the different POVs though - sounds like a bit of a split.

Arisbottle Mon 15-Jul-13 22:12:57

When I took maternity leave I did the vat majority of the house work, it doesn't take long to do and gave me family time in the evening

Arisbottle Mon 15-Jul-13 22:13:55

It would seem unfair to sit at home twiddling my thumbs or being a lady that lunches whilst my DH was working.

Bogeyface Mon 15-Jul-13 22:15:42

It depends. With DD she had terrible colic and ex worked shifts so some times he would get home at 6am and I would be more tired than him because in 24 hours he had had more sleep than me! Then, nothing got done because I was caring for her, and my older son too. Sadly, he did sod all either as he assumed that maternity leave was actually cleaning leave. Due to financial reasons I had to go back to work when she was 4 months old, with 8 weeks I was signed off with severe PND, I was on my knees with exhaustion because he seemed to think that as soon as she exited my vagina, he didnt have to do a damn thing.

3 months after that, I left him.

Bogeyface Mon 15-Jul-13 22:17:27

Sorry, should add that with my others who were all a dream baby wise, I did do housework, I mean why wouldnt you? Its not like in my grandmas day where everything was done by hand, shopping had to be done daily, bread baked daily etc. We have online shopping, washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners etc, its hardly onerous to bung a load of washing on and run the hoover around the place!

Dackyduddles Mon 15-Jul-13 22:17:44

I clean tidy etc when baby is awake so I can sit down when it's asleep so I'm strong enough to be a mum 24/7.

Babies enjoy watching you. Toddlers enjoy helping you, USE THIS

Bogeyface Mon 15-Jul-13 22:30:51

Dacky makes a good point.

The baby in a rocker chair in the kitchen while you put the washing on can be very stimulating for him! I talk all the time to DD about what I am doing, "Ooh look a RED tshirt! We dont want that in the WHITE washing do we?" "Shall we have JAM or MARMITE on our toast" it was an ongoing babble of pointless chattering!

She really enjoys the "conversations" we have. Now she is 2 she will talk back but when she was little she would babble in the gaps in the conversation, it was lovely!

One word of warning, if you get into the habit of talking and pointing everything out (not in a Performance Parenting way, just in a quiet interaction way) then you can make a bit of an arse of yourself by asking a stranger on the bus "What do ducks say?!" grin

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