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to think DH has an attitude problem...

(173 Posts)
printmeanicephoto Wed 07-Aug-13 14:17:28

He is v. uptight about the house operating efficiently and makes me feel like a failure because I can't manage to complete all the chores (the weekly shop, most of housework, errands, most of clothes washing, cooking and ironing) during school hours on my two days off (Thurs and Fri) so we can have a chore-free weekend. I work 3 days plus one or 2 eves a week.

He has a lot of responsibility at work, leaves at 7.30am and gets in at 7pm each day. He puts the kids to bed when he gets in and reads them a bedtime story. He sometimes does the washing up and tends to cook at the weekends (I cook in the week).

Although I am generally more laid back than him in terms of my personality, I rarely sit down on my days at home and am not lazy but somehow I just don't manage to get it all done. So by the weekend he is disappointed that he has to muck in for most Sat morning to get it all finished, taking his precious time away from our primary school age kids who he doesn't see much of in the week.

His disappointment is really affecting my self-esteem and is making me resent him. Is he being unreasonable or am I for not managing to get it all done before the weekend? Is our situation normal or do most people in our situation manage to have a relatively chore-free weekend with plenty of quality family time together?

MrsKoala Wed 07-Aug-13 16:20:03

DH and i used to live in a tiny 1 bed flat (total shoe box) and i worked 3 days a week and i only just managed to do the cleaning/laundry in 2 full days. I shopped and did laundry one day and then batch cooked and cleaned the flat & put clothes away the next day. It took the whole 2 days. Not 9-3 and i didn't work 1-2 evenings a week either - which people seem to be overlooking the OP does too. So she really works 3.5/4 'days' a week while her dh works 5. Not sure about my mths but that makes about 20-30% more time the OP does not work so she should do 20-30% more than her dh not 100% by my calculations - please someone who can work it out come along! confused Therefore, if both OP and her DH have equal free time, this is clearly not enough.

I also wouldn't expect anyones working conditions to involve running, blue arsed fly like from office to office, having rushed meetings and speed typing emails etc. So if this is considered part of OPs 'job' then it is unreasonable to expect her to do the same.

Crinkle77 Wed 07-Aug-13 16:20:47

tell him to eff off. If he thinks that he can do so much better tell him to book two days off work, give him a list of jobs to be done and see if he can manage it.

dreamingbohemian Wed 07-Aug-13 16:21:31


So I'll say it again, make the evening washing up his job. You've cooked so it's fair that he cleans, plus it's something that can wait til the kids are in bed. And it's not like he can argue that you should have done it during the day!

If he's not willing to do this simple 10 minute job then I don't see why you need to worry about cooking for him.

dreamingbohemian Wed 07-Aug-13 16:25:05

And just to reiterate, when you are looking at things, don't think of it in terms of how I can do them better, think of it in terms of how these things can be taken care of more quickly by whoever -- you, DH, delivery guy, cleaner, etc.

Also get your kids involved if they're old enough.

Thesunalwayshinesontv Wed 07-Aug-13 16:27:14

I would just tell him that, given he chose to marry me and have children with me, he's got two choices: do it himself the way he likes and shut up, or let me do it the way I like and shut up.

As you will see, both choices involve shutting up. Moaning and nagging is such a colossal waste of time and energy.

Mumsyblouse Wed 07-Aug-13 16:32:15

Three days a week and one or two days a week, plus all the childcare in the mornings and the school run is a busy life as far as I am concerned- the evenings basically fill the hours of at least another day. I suspect his 7-7 is a commute as well. I am not sure he is doing much more, but the plain fact is you are tired and busy and doing chores all day and then going out to work is tiring and I don't see why he thinks this means there's no more housework to do on the weekend.

Also, it's very boring doing housework for two 5 hours a week, I would be tempted to do something much more interesting and have a dirtier house. He sounds a misery but it also sounds like you all have high standards, I certainly don't do half a day of chores on the weekend, more like 1 hour quick whip round plus the usual daily bathroom (5 min) and kitchen surfaces and washing up.

Basically you get to care for the kids and do the drudgery while he advances his career, not a great deal as far as I'm concerned.

Mumsyblouse Wed 07-Aug-13 16:34:13

I meant to say three days a week plus one or two evenings is quite a lot plus all the school runs, childcare and daily chores. That's pretty hard work.

Ask him if he'd like to swop, he wouldn't in a million years as his 12 hour a day job is probably easier and gets him out of lots of housework, I'm in his position but my husband works away so I do all the housework too which is why I don't think he's killing himself really.

BlingLoving Wed 07-Aug-13 16:35:25

I'm almost always of the opinion that the DH in threads like this is being an ass. But I think that possibly like many are saying, he's not really being unreasonable. You say you're often still doing the washing up when he comes down from putting the DC to bed? It takes us about 30 -45 minutes to do bath and bedtime with DS. In that time, I could easily clean the kitchen entirely and probably hang out a load of washing or two and then be ready to sit down at the end of it.

I wonder if you're not being particularly efficient? We have a cleaner for 3 hours a week and DH does the vast bulk of the washing during the week (he's at home with DS) and keeps the house generally tidy. Cooking and tidying up after is more or less shared (well, I do the cooking, he does the tidying!). On the weekend, chores are mostly limited to day to day things like cooking and cleaning up after meals and other activities and tidying lounge/bedrooms as we go. One of us tends to do a good clean up including sweeping etc downstairs while the other one puts DS to bed on a Sunday but that's it.

But I think it's possible he's pretty inefficient too - even if we didn't have a cleaner, both worked and had to do all the cleaning ourselves, DH and I could do the entire house together in less than three hours, with the exception that the washing takes longer as you have to wait for it a bit. Our house isn't tiny, but it's certainly not huge either. Four bedrooms, one bathroom (and a toilet), kitchen/diner and lounge.

UnexpectedStepmum Wed 07-Aug-13 16:40:02

How did he manage to have a pristine flat when he lived alone before meeting you? If he was working full time then, he must have done house work in evenings and weekends. Why does he think that no longer needs to happen when there are DCs to look after too? I am home full time at the moment on maternity leave and there is still stuff to do at weekends. I agree that he should take two days off and try to do it all.

toomuchtoask Wed 07-Aug-13 16:41:02

2 days to keep on top of the house is plenty if you ask me. I would be pissed off too if I ended up doing housework at the weekend if my partner had 2 days work free to do this.

MrsKoala Wed 07-Aug-13 16:41:18

Agree Mumsy. My DH used to have a 4 hour commute a day. This involved 2 one hour nice train journeys where he could sit, read, snooze etc and he got a full lunch hour to potter round a gallery/go to a restaurant with his book. I'd have loved to have 3 hours per day to do that. So there was no sympathy from me.

mycatoscar Wed 07-Aug-13 16:41:57

I also work 3 days and on my 2 days off I walk the dog, do the laundry, clean the house, do admin for dh's small business and also do paper work for my own job (teacher) between 9 and 3.

The only house work type things we do at the weekend is another load or 2 of Laundry and cut the lawns but sometimes I do that in the week too.

Honestly, I think your standards are too high. If I can do all that in 2 school days then you are either doing everything too well or you are not planning the time well.

Internet shopping is my saviour, as is the belief that my house does not have to be scrupulously clean every day. I don't iron much either.

Whatever, you need to speak to your dh and be honest with him.

MrsKoala Wed 07-Aug-13 16:46:27

So on the days 3 days (and evenings) you both work you cook and wash up? I don't think that sounds fair. It depends what food you are cooking but here cooking takes about an hour and washing up after takes about half hour. that's 1.5 hours x 5 plus the 8 hours you have to clean on your 1.5 days spare (remember you should have time off to make up for your evening work - if he gets to sit and have a beer while you are working, you should have equal time in the week for yourself).

printmeanicephoto Wed 07-Aug-13 16:47:13

I just don't see why I am expected to run around being mega efficient for those 11 hrs just to please someone else!

Why can't I just do the jobs at my own pace. I have to be v efficient for work so why can't I be a bit more relaxed for 11hrs of the week!

Life is not a race!

mumofweeboys Wed 07-Aug-13 16:48:05

I usually get all my housework done on sat morning before oh gets home at lunchtime so 7 to 12 and get it all done. I shop online so that makes big difference

MrsKoala Wed 07-Aug-13 16:50:13

Does he count your evening work in your WOH hours OP? Or is it because it's in the evening it doesn't count?

Mumsyblouse Wed 07-Aug-13 16:51:36

Anyway, I would object to being reduced in a marriage to my efficiency in cleaning. Ok, if the place is a tip, that's one thing, but if you are cleaning every day the usual chores, cooking, tidying up, plus doing at least one/two more days a week, that's really enough. I don't like the tone of this criticism. I would be very annoyed if my husband was that interested in my cleaning prowess, he's not all that when it comes to housework and neither am I as it is simply not that interesting.

BIWI Wed 07-Aug-13 16:53:28

It sounds like you're whining a bit now, OP! What about the questions I asked you?

HopeClearwater Wed 07-Aug-13 16:56:13

I still don't think OP has given enough information for people to help her. Would still like to know what it is that her DH and she are having to do at weekends.
Plus, it's no good people saying, 'Well, I'd be able to do it in that time' or 'I wouldn't be able to do it in that time'. What matters is what the OP herself is able to do. Which is why I asked the question about what her (or her DH's) standards are.

squoosh Wed 07-Aug-13 17:03:16

Exactly, all these super cleaners showing off how much they can get done and how quickly doesn't really add anything. The problem is the different attitudes the OP and her DH have towards housekeeping.

Are his standards impossibly high or are hers too low?

printmeanicephoto Wed 07-Aug-13 17:03:54


1. Went part-time when DC1 was born because I wanted to spend time with him - DC1 is now 9 and DC2 is 6 - I am still p/t - but work more hrs now than I used to when DC1 was little.

2. We didn't really agree anything - the expectation was just that I would do as much as poss.

3 & 4. I would like to do some exercise on those 2 days off but feel I will manage less housework if I do so I don't. I occasionally have a coffee with a friend but would like to do that more.

MrsKoala Wed 07-Aug-13 17:07:20

Could you get a cleaner?

Could you make your house more efficient? (ie better storage? My old house was always a mess because we had too much stuff and no storage or potential for storage)

printmeanicephoto Wed 07-Aug-13 17:08:51

In answer: my standards are probably fairly normal - (am comparing the state of my house to my friends' houses) although am probably a bit slack in the week with paperwork filing, washing and clutter - esp on the days I work!)

Whothefuckfarted Wed 07-Aug-13 17:11:01

I can't get everything done that needs to be done during the week and I DON'T WORK, so well done you. Here's a wine

DontmindifIdo Wed 07-Aug-13 17:11:48

I think the truth probably is that you are a combination of being not very efficient in the way you approach the housework/chores, that you underestimate how long things take, and that you are probably being distracted by other things.

You have 11 hours, I have a 3 bed house and pay my cleaners for 3 hours. In that they clean top to bottom, hover, they don't tidy up in that time, so if you have tidy as well, and as you aren't a professional cleaner, I'd say you should allow 5 hours to clean your house from top to bottom. That's one full day. Realistically, you're unlikely to keep up the momentum in that time, so perhaps say Thursday mornings you do downstairs, clean every room and hoover, Friday mornings you do upstairs. that gives you the afternoons to do everything else.

I can easily spend a couple of hours or longer on food shopping, including driving to/from and putting it all away/clearing out the out of date food from the fridge etc - so i'd say you need to remove that job from your list, do on line shopping, this will also help if you meal plan and think of relatively quick to cook meals, or things you set going (like stews) earlier in the day and just leave to cook. When working, I tended to get a food delivery on a Monday night, so spent sunday evening when DS was in bed deciding what I wanted to eat that week, doing the order - if you have something like Ocado set up, you can have a regular shop order that just dumps all the basics (like milk, bread, carrots, peppers, things you order every single week) into your basket so you only have to think about additional items for your meals.

Spend one afternoon running errands and one for other things round the house. I would say you need to put the washing machine on every evening, on your work days, can you set it on a delay so it finishes just as you get home from work and can hang it out and on your non-work days, set it to finish first thing in the morning so you can hang that out. Washing clothes daily will keep on top of it, not have it as a day's job.

If you have a dishwasher, why on earth are you washing up in the evening? Particulary if it takes you 30-40 minutes? Again, just wash up things that can't go in the dishwasher (and avoid using anything that can't go in the dishwasher) - wipe down the kitchen surfaces, fully unloading then reloading a dishwasher shouldn't take more than 15 minutes, a quick wipe down of the kitchen tops, that's a 20 minute job max.

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