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To expect SAHD DH to do more now that both dc are in school

(105 Posts)
lecce Sun 15-Sep-13 08:13:12

I am just wondering what is UR here and want to see what others think and do.

There are two dc, 6 & 4, both now in f/t school. Dh has always done the laundry, cooked pretty much all meals (from scratch), done nearly all dog walking, changed our bed (but not dc's), done other general cleaning and gardening. He also does DIY when needed and takes care of financial stuff and anything to do with the car, though I am its main driver.

I get up at 5am to be in work for 6.30, 2 hours before school starts, and am usually home by 5-5.30, except for meeting nights etc. Sun- Thurs I usually do 1-2 hours' work after the dc are in bed. I put the dc to bed (though dh does ds2's story) and do the dog's final walk. I sweep the sitting room floor after the dc are in bed. At weekends I tidy and clean the dc's bedrooms and do the bathrooms - dh sometimes does these but tends to do stuff like mopping the floor without sweeping properly first, so it looks really crummy.

I am now starting to resent having to do anything other than childcare, tbh. There are lots of things that, although dh does them, he doesn't do thoroughly and the house just looks a bit mucky - though all essential stuff is done.

In case I am later accused of drip-feeding, Dh has MS but he is fine atm. If unwell, none of this would apply, obviously. He also does some online marking of exams at home, but only at certain times of year. I expect to do more when he is doing this, of course.

WIBU to speak to him about this?

JohnnyUtah Mon 16-Sep-13 13:37:42

My house is generally regarded by my friends as clean and very tidy. I wouldn't clean the kids' rooms every weekend.

Maybe you should have a talk. We have just had one (after 20 years together) and agreed what DH will do and that I won't nag about things that are important to me but less important to him. He is out from 7.30 to 7.00 (which is a different issue!) and I work 17hrs pw.

He does the bins on bin night, the washing up every evening and he plans and cooks one meal at the weekend. He puts laundry away (and folds it) if it is there to be done, likewise the dishwasher, but i do the majority he irons his own work shirts. Ignoring gardening and DIY which is split, I do everything else - laundry, shopping, cooking, tidying, cleaning. We have a cleaner 2hrs pw.

it seems to be working ok. I am the only one who sees mess, finds things, knows where the kids need to be, and is able to carry an item from the bottom of the stairs to the top. But it's easier knowing what the deal is.

Beastofburden Mon 16-Sep-13 13:23:42

I think if they are at school during the day he ought to get all the housework done then.

But you have to not moan about how he hasnt done it well enough. Otherwise you are like an 1950s daddy coming home and complaining that his shirt hasnt been washed whiter than white....

FantasticDay Mon 16-Sep-13 13:23:02

He sounds like he is putting the work in tbh. If his health permits - and ifhe wants to, maybe he could get a part-time job (is supply teaching an option?) to pay for a cleaner to do a 'thorough bottoming' once a week?

IvanaCake Mon 16-Sep-13 12:47:27

Yes I think Yabu I'm afraid. I'm a sahm with one at school and one doing her 15 hours at nursery. If I were to do all the cooking, cleaning, washing, gardening, errands, DIY etc etc I wouldn't have time to do anything else. I would also be Fucking miserable!

Oriunda Mon 16-Sep-13 12:20:25

YABU. He does loads more than I do, and I am a SAHM whose DS goes to nursery 2 days/week. During those 2 days I read books, catch up on any tv (I go to bed early as DS early waker), get laundry done, bit of shopping and that's about it. Sometimes I take a nap if I've been up during the night with DS (teethng at moment). I've earned those rest days. I have a cleaner (and don't sweep the floor every day either). Am I lazy? Maybe, but when I'm with DS it's full-on, no time for myself and after he's gone to bed I'm still working, loading/unloading dishwasher, preparing dinner etc. I find looking after a toddler is harder work (but much more rewarding) than when I worked 12hr days.

Agree with the others .. Get a cleaner.

PartyOrganisor Mon 16-Sep-13 08:39:57

lecce I actually I agree with you that you can't compare your situation with the one of a SAHM and a WOHD.

And anyway, every situation is different and you DO need to take into account what you both like and don't like doing.

Maybe rather than looking at what your DH isn't or is doing and what needs to be redone as it isn't good enough plus what you are doing and not doing, I think you need to look at what you like to see happening.

From what you said, I am not sure about that one. Maybe some more down time for you at the weekend/hols. Some time for you to relax and rest with no expectations (ie no dcs to look after or HW to do)?
Maybe the opportunity to go out in the evening?
Or the possibility to organize your time so you don't spend as much time in the evening or weekends to do prep work?

Look at what you want to achieve and see how your DH could help.
It will much more efficient to discuss how you could both get organize so that you get half a day relaxing at the weekend rather than a discussion about how he doesn't do enough work in the week.
Explain to him how you feel.
Remember that doing HW is not a rewarding thing to do too. So he won't be jumping with joy at the pressure of doing more than he is atm.
And remember too that it might not be about him doing more but about redistributing work around the house. eg let's say you don't mind sorting out the dcs bedroom at the week end but resent having to mop the floor so your DH looks after the kitchen and you look after the bedroom type of arrangements.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 15-Sep-13 20:54:24

sleepyfish On the other hand if the Op's dh was a single parent he should have to put the children to bed, do all the housework himself and wouldn't have the benefit of the Op's professional salary.

The fact is that neither of them are single parents so they both get the benefit of the other one.

The Op is roughly working for about 12 hours per day during the week, she is also putting the kids to bed (another hour or so) and walking the dog (half an hour). So that is 13.5 hours of work for the family a day she does before she even touches the broom.

Her husband has the kids from 6am - 9:30am (to give him time to get home) and then is presumably going for pick up at 2:30pm. It then sounds like he is looking after the kids / cooking etc until maybe 7:30pm. So 3.5 + 5 = 8.5 hours. Plus housework.

I don't think he is doing 5 hours of housework / other stuff a day or the house would be show home like. (And it doesn't sound like it is!)

We try very hard to ensure that we both sit down to relax at the same time in the evening.

Jinsei Sun 15-Sep-13 20:40:35

I see what you're saying Jinsei but how is the OP doing a significant chunk of the housework? Tidying rooms and cleaning bathrooms on the weekend is what, half an hour a week? And her DH does do some paid work too. And makes a huge contribution by doing every morning, school runs, before and after school care, financial stuff and it sounds like a lot of the 'wifework' that isn't obvious.

But the OP clearly does a lot of the "wifework" too, so it isn't that clear cut. I don't know, maybe other people do more housework than we do, but sweeping the floor every day, cleaning the bathrooms and keeping on top of dc rooms sounds quite significant to me! Maybe because I hate cleaning bathrooms and would love for someone to take it over from me...

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Sep-13 20:40:30

I was going to type what RowanRed wrote - but only in my head - and only in a spirit of pure malice.

I suspect that the attitude behind a list like that, and the act of doing it, would ease you gently and firmly towards divorce. grin



SprinkleLiberally Sun 15-Sep-13 20:36:11

The usual MN mantra is equal leisure time which seems sensible. In this case OP has probably one hour free per week day if we ignore housework. Her DH probably has more like 8. Five and a half in the day. Two and a half after dc in bed.
She probably needs to not criticise the quality of the jobs he does do though!

Jinsei Sun 15-Sep-13 20:34:33

Honestly Op, and i don't mean to sound flippant here, but i think you need to look at the bigger picture. You are very fortunate to have someone at home to look after your children, cook your meals and clean your house. Put yourself in the shoes of a single parent who works those hours. Seriously, you've got it good.

If the OP has it good, I'd say her DH has it a whole lot better!!

Finola1step Sun 15-Sep-13 20:11:40

Hi Lecce. As I said upthread, I am a fellow teacher. Top of my scale, 3 hour daily commute, 2dc. I work four days a week and my husband is a freelancer (currently on a big contract - yippee). I too often feel that it is all so relentless. I am sat here willing two year old to get to sleep so that I can get downstairs, mop the floors and then do two hours or so prep to give myself a decent headstart on the week. This is after the hour of reading I did today at soft play and the various bits I did yesterday and Friday ready for next week.

I find September particularly hard as it takes us a while to rebalance after the summer holidays. I have no constructive advice but to say that now that both your dc are in school, it does sound like that you need to have that conversation about rebalancing. Most importantly is the free time issue.

I hope you have a productive and calm week.

kitsmummy Sun 15-Sep-13 19:59:02

I expect working 13 hours a day (5 days a week) is boring and tedious too, but the Op just has to get on with it

christinarossetti Sun 15-Sep-13 19:51:41

Because cleaning is tedious and boring and worth paying someone else to do if ay all possible.

PomBearArmy Sun 15-Sep-13 19:50:27

I agree that you should just hire a cleaner to come in on Saturday for a couple of hours so you can relax as a family.

mercibucket Sun 15-Sep-13 19:05:38

i clean the floors

they look lovely

then the kids come home!

maybe it looked tidy at 3pm?

SleepyFish Sun 15-Sep-13 19:05:16

Honestly Op, and i don't mean to sound flippant here, but i think you need to look at the bigger picture. You are very fortunate to have someone at home to look after your children, cook your meals and clean your house. Put yourself in the shoes of a single parent who works those hours. Seriously, you've got it good.

kitsmummy Sun 15-Sep-13 18:52:47

The DH has a minimum of 5 child free hours every day, whilst the op is out of the house for 11 hours per day and doing an extra 1-2 hours in the evening 5 days a week. Yes, her DH at the very least could do a full clean of the house, including kids rooms and bathrooms.

It's bloody ridiculous to suggest they get a cleaner as the solution to the problem when the Op is busting a gut at work as it is and things are financially tight. And, you know, when the DH has at least 25 hours spare per week.

whatever5 Sun 15-Sep-13 18:29:25

Excuse all my typos!

whatever5 Sun 15-Sep-13 18:27:33

The OP's husband probably thinks that she doesn't have to do anything though and to be honest she is probably right with the exception of the bathroom perhaps. It's not as if the floors need sweeping every day if everyone is out. She also doesn't need to tidy the children's rooms every week end IMO. Until two weeks ago one of his children was still at home and as well as doing most of the housework (to his standard). He also does all the DIY, financial stuff and car. Not many SAHP do all that in my experience.

bishboschone Sun 15-Sep-13 18:13:17

I'm a sahm , I do all the washing , cleaning. , ironing , cooking , shopping and childcare.etc . My dd is at school but my ds is with me ( he has special needs and is very demanding) I would not expect my dh to do anything except work. He offers but I tell him to sit down ..I agree you shouldn't have to do anything if he is at home all day. If you keep on top of stuff it doesn't take much everyday to tidy up.

whatever5 Sun 15-Sep-13 17:58:51

Rowanred- you would actually write a list how clean you would expect each room to be? That would be an outrageous, incredibly bossy thing to do.

PaperSeagull Sun 15-Sep-13 17:48:51

I agree with HappyMummyofOne: "I think regardless of the age of children the SAHP should do the bulk of the housework and anything that has to be done at the weekend should be shared." Though I would add the caveat that when the children are very little, the amount of housework that could be accomplished would be less than when the children are at school/preschool.

TBH, I struggle to understand how the cleaning would take that long if the SAHP has 4-5 hours a day free of childcare. My DH and I both work full-time outside the home, and we do the bare minimum of cleaning during the week (dishes, cleaning surfaces, sweeping/vacuuming as needed, tidying up any clutter, etc.). Then on Saturdays and Sundays we tackle the deep cleaning of kitchen and bathrooms, floors, laundry, etc. It doesn't take more than a few hours at the weekend. We don't have a gleaming show house, but everything is clean and tidy. How could anyone devote 25 hours a week solely to cleaning?

Rowanred Sun 15-Sep-13 17:43:05

I don't think yabu at all. You have 2 dc who are at school all day and a husband who is at home. I would expect you house to be sparkling and tidy every day. I would go as far as to write a list as to exactly how clean each room should be! Bathrooms/kids rooms can be cleaned m,w,f so you can both have weekends off. I mean, if your kids are at school, what is he doing all day?

whatever5 Sun 15-Sep-13 17:32:03

Lecce- I agree that MS vary a lot from person to person. However, if your DH has has a lot of relapses in the last 10 years, it seems quite likely that he does not feel totally okay the rest of the time. I only realise now how tired I used to feel when my children were small and I had "mild" relapsing remitting MS.

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