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about DH or is he about me???

(47 Posts)
Frustrated101 Sat 23-Aug-14 21:36:32

Name changed and changed a few details for this post as it may out me.

Me and DH have been together since high school and have been together for 23 yrs. We have 3 dc, (DD) 11, (DS1) 7 and (DS2) 2.

My DH has a very stressful job as a manager and works different hours each week. I have 2 PT jobs which total 11 hours a week but are dotted over 3 days.

I mainly look after the jobs at home i.e. washing (I pay my mum to do my ironing for me), cleaning, food shopping ordering (I get it delivered), cooking, all the paperwork for kids school, bills, insurance etc, putting things away, organising our diaries, all the big events (christmas, birthday parties etc), taking the kids to their social engagements. I don't mind doing any of these jobs. I like doing them.

DH has some jobs that he always does. He empties the bin, feeds and cleans out the cat and empties the dishwasher but he is good at helping out other times too. When he is on a late shift he will help with getting the kids ready for school, making breakfast, tidying the kitchen, getting bags ready etc and after the school run he will do either some DIY job or help with the washing. He tends not to do as much if he comes home at tea time as I am just in a routine with bedtime and prefer to do it myself but he always offers his help which occasionally I take up.

The problem I have is that he is always moaning at me that it isn't clean enough or tidy enough. He does admit that he is a little bit of a perfectionist and wants it to be spotless. I have explained that it really isn't possible with 3 children but he still thinks I haven't done much all day. He has also used the term Lazy which I most definitely am not. DS1 has MLD (1:1 TA at school) and DS2 is going through his terrible two's. Even if the house is looking really tidy, by the time they have been home from school for half an hour, it looks a mess. Usually when he is home late it the kids are in bed and house looks tidy except the kitchen which usually still has some thing about but when he arrives home during tea, homework, bed time, he comes in and just looks at all the mess and sighs.

He says that he looks after the dc on his own and keeps the place looking tidy which he does but he never for instance is cleaning the bathroom while they are ransacking another room.

I have just become the chair of a group and am doing the admin for another. I see these as my hobbies just as he goes to the gym but he is annoyed as while I am doing these things during the week, it means that housework has to be done on a weekend when we could be out with the dc. I would be happy to leave the jobs til the week after but he doesn't.

DH thinks he is NBU and if we asked people, they would probably think I didn't do as much as I should too.

NotSoYummyMummy23 Sat 23-Aug-14 22:00:46

I have the same problem with my DP!! Except we only have one DC, so god help me when we have another!! I don't think you're BU at all!! You do a heck of a lot! It really annoys me when they say that they can do it fine when they've got the children, so why can't we!? But I'd love for my day to day life to be filmed so he can see what I actually do do!! He works really hard for our family and I get that, but I work too, like yourself, and a child and a house to keep. He just has a job. They just don't get it... So again, YADNBU!!!!

pudcat Sat 23-Aug-14 22:02:33

I think your solution would be to go sick for a week and see if the house is still spotless and tidy after that. I somehow do not think it will be.

hambo Sat 23-Aug-14 22:03:07

Your DH is BU! You have a 2 yr old!

LuisSuarezTeeth Sat 23-Aug-14 22:04:02

If he wants perfection, let him achieve it himself.

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Aug-14 22:04:11

Does he do a share of the housework at the weekend and this is about him thinking he's doing what he sees as your work?

Because the alternative is that he really does see it as his role to schedule what housework you do and when.

Fuck that! He's not the boss of you <Father Damo's voice>

If anyone's got anything to say about a house not being kept to their standard then they have to be prepared to do the extra work themselves.

Either they do the work or they STFU.

I can't help but ask whether he's got any other parts to his life where he's equally as controlling?

CarmineRose1978 Sat 23-Aug-14 22:05:27

I think he's being unreasonable. If he wants it cleaner/tidier than you are making it, he'll have to pitch in a bit more.

CheesyBadger Sat 23-Aug-14 22:08:58

Dp does this and the reason he manages to keep the place spotless is because he constantly entertains dd. I cook, clean, make calls etc and as you say, a mess is made. So annoying. I just wish I could swap with him.

You are doing more than enough and deserve to have hobbies too

RoganJosh Sat 23-Aug-14 22:11:36

I think it sounds like his standards are not realistic.

That's kind of irrelevant, though. For me the point is that you're trying your best and therefore if he wants more housework to be done you need to discuss it together and work out how, if you both want to.

Coughle Sat 23-Aug-14 22:11:58

He's BU, and rude too.

NotQuiteWithItAtAll Sat 23-Aug-14 22:16:36

He is BU and rude!

Tikimon Sat 23-Aug-14 22:23:33

He's right. It should be spotless. Hire a cleaner and send him the bill.

Goldmandra Sat 23-Aug-14 22:24:37

Maybe he should take on some of the cleaning then, perhaps while you are doing the bedtime routine. That would free up some of your time for the tidying.

He does allow the DCs to play, I hope. There is some sense in the adage about messy homes being happy homes. Children need to be allowed to make a mess when they are playing without worrying about someone coming in and being irritated.

FloatIsRechargedNow Sat 23-Aug-14 22:31:34

So after 23 years together is this a new thing? Did you maintain high cleaning standards prior to the young dc being there and did DH use to help before then? Tough one for me as I couldn't imagine being 'chief cleaner' in a household anyway...but then I've been alone for years and previously wouldn't entertain the 'chief cleaner' role and definitely relationships were broken because of it. But this was before I had DS so I might be less blase about telling a guy to feck off because of it.
But nor would I have a relationship now with anyone that expected it.

So, my take is that your DH is generally pissed off and can only moan about the state of the house when really he wants to have an hysterical, screamy lady fit about 'life in general'. Let him do that and comfort him and he'll be a bit less 'Aggy' about the housework.

You know I'm right grin

Frustrated101 Sat 23-Aug-14 22:52:14

The thing is that he will do it himself. He comes in from work and starts wiping stuff and picking stuff up. He knows that some are because of him being a perfectionist and is ok with doing these but others he thinks I should already have done, especially if he is home late and I have had loads of time to do it. When this happens, I usually get the "so, what have you done today".

He does help on a weekend with some jobs or he looks after the dc (changing nappies, getting drinks, making dinner etc) while I do the jobs. He also takes them out sometimes on his own so I get time to do the jobs without little ones around. He is a hands on dad and without this issue we get on really well.

This is not a new thing as such. I am a tidy person myself and pre-dc, our house was spotless and didn't have much out of place. When DD was born, I was a SAHM and she was such an easy child that I still kept on top of my jobs. Life got more difficult when DS1 arrived as he has MLD which means that still at 7, he acts more like a pre-schooler in some aspects of life and I started one of my PT jobs. Then since DS2 arrived, we moved into a large house which requires more cleaning, I started my other PT job and started doing the work for the 2 groups.

He is fine with toys being out as long as they put them away afterwards.

Coughle Sat 23-Aug-14 23:00:13

So does he not grasp that it is literally not possible to increase your workload and maintain the same standards? Sounds like he has an unrealistic idea of your superhuman powers. Very flattering reallysmile

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Aug-14 23:26:52

'"so, what have you done today".'


He's asking you to justify yourself and your time to him?? hmm

Fuck that! (again)

He thinks it's his job to make sure you're not wasting time looking after your three children and the house, on top of your two part time jobs, who does he think he is?

Maybe he'd get off on like to jot down his instructions on a spreadsheet, one where you could mark off each job as you do it, then hand over to him as he comes through the door? He can then take you round each job to make sure it's done to his satisfaction?

If he's either looking after the DC or doing some of the jobs himself at the weekend, surely that's what this must be about?

He wants you to look after the children all weekend as well as all week (if you're the main carer they always end up coming to you or you do routine things for them because it's easier), plus you end up doing work he'd have to do.

Cushty, for him.

But not only would you do more work and look after the DC for longer, you'd also lose time doing something you enjoy (the hobby thing).

Velvetbee Sun 24-Aug-14 09:57:06

'didn't do as much as I should do.'
Should do?
Should do?!
Who made him the boss?
If he sees something he doesn't like he can fix it.
If it's clean enough to be healthy and tidy enough to find stuff then you should both be able to relax and enjoy family life. If he has perfectionist tendencies then they are his to deal with, he doesn't get to impose them on you.

Velvetbee Sun 24-Aug-14 10:01:39

Sorry, just seen that he does do stuff.
He can get on with it then. But I would robustly counter the criticism. Get angry, you're doing more than enough and have a perfect right to hobbies and a social life.

ChasedByBees Sun 24-Aug-14 10:05:33

Agree with others, he's not your boss. Why do you have to meet his unrealised expectations? He sounds like a bit of an arse TBH.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 24-Aug-14 10:07:14

When this happens, I usually get the "so, what have you done today".

Write him a list. Or go sick for a week and see how immaculate it is. Do it the week before going back to school when all the extra prep needs doing and the kids are at their most frantic/excited.

If my OH said that to me I'd ask him what his last slave died of/tell him to fuck right off. You are allowed hobbies; and if it isn't clean enough for him perhaps he needs to cut down on his hobbies? How much free time do you each get by the way? If you get less than him then you need to step it up a bit.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 24-Aug-14 10:09:58

And also, how about criticising his jobs for a week. The bins not being done quick enough, the cat litter not being done often enough, the dishwasher not loaded correctly; when he bites back just say you are doing to him what he does to you and it's not nice is it so how about shutting the fuck up from now on?

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 24-Aug-14 10:11:16

Anyway - you have asked and we have responded. Are you going to read these out to him? If so...

gingercat2 Sun 24-Aug-14 10:17:39

Wow gosh he's definitely being unreasonable. When you are the "household manager", as I am, and I think women often take up that role in the partnership, you are trying to keep the house running smoothly as a whole. So this means that a room being messy, for example, may not be that important when you are focusing on getting a healthy meal into the kids, getting them to bed on a school night, and having their school paperwork all signed etc etc. Whereas if the non-stay-at-home parent looks after the kids for a period of time during the day, they are not having to think about all those other things concurrently, so it might seem like an easy job to them.

silverstreak Sun 24-Aug-14 13:42:57

I can see both sides of this, esp as you say he works v.long hours as well and does help with certain chores that are 'his' & with child care on weekends..... He's prob feeling tired & stressed as well and when you're feeling like this little things can niggle and make you go 'gaaahhhh!'! Not saying he has a right to question your efficiency or standards just that people notice different things and maybe this is how it is for you guys too? For eg my dp hates it when I scatter clothes around the bedroom (getting dressed/looking for certain items - I'm a messy sod, admittedly!) which I barely notice, whereas I hate it when he makes snacks and then just leave everything as it is (dirty bread board, knife, food out of fridge, etc) & wanders off, clearly not even giving it a thought! We have agreed to just accept that each has their irritating quirks and either try to ignore them or accept that in these few small areas we should just take them upon ourselves (Thank God we are both equally imperfect/messy!).... Wrt the `what have you been doing all day' moan, i am a sahp and am totally in same situation as you, with dp often grumbling about the mess when at home (just normal clutter from having a toddler, not dirt) whereas I barely notice it anymore.... Constantly clearing 'as you go' is like swimming against the tide with a toddler and only really gets done once a day here, after wee one is in bed! Doing it the other way once or twice on a wkend like your dh does (and he probably makes sure he does it to prove the point to you that it can and should be done that way!) is completely different to doing it All The Time along with trying to live the rest of your life! Maybe either go through your week together itemising both your free times and working times (inc all breaks for both) to show him how it is and what chores he would like you to stop doing in exchange for others (as long as it's not unreasonable!)? Might be irritating but worth it so he can actually see that you're working as hard at your 'job' as he is at his?! Good luck anyway!

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