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or just naive to think DH should be more considerate?

(87 Posts)
rubytuesday75 Sat 17-Jan-15 20:48:32

Sorry if this seems like it doesn't make much sense, I can't get the words out properly...
I am currently a SAHM, back to work in March this year. I care for DD (5) and DS (10 months) and DH (40 years, not very D at the moment). DH is very unaware of the general household things that need doing and so, doesn't do them unless asked. This makes me sound like I'm nagging him, esp when he then says 'I'll do it later', later never comes and I ask again and then eventually do it anyway, having waited an hour or 2 for him to put the washing on/tidy toys/sterilise etc. In the spirit of fairness, I should say he works hard (12 hours including the commute) and is very kind and loving with us all. Yesterday morning, I slept through the alarm (got up 3 times in the night with a teething baby) and he asked me what needed doing. I told him to sterilise/turn machine on -'OK' he says. I come downstairs after he's left. He hasn't done it -ARGH. Cue bad temper, me locking myself and baby out due to rushing around and general all round misery. Today I had to get DD out to playdate - I did the usual childcare in the morning, quick shower, no time for hair/makeup etc as children to get ready - he was in the shower for 35 mins, got ready, came downstairs and did nothing towards getting children out/household stuff etc. Over Christmas, I got up early nearly every day to see to the kids, I asked for a lie in on my birthday but it didn't materialise as he slept through the baby crying and I can't lie there listening to DS scream and wait for DH to wake up.

I get that some men are not good at housework. I understand that he is tired (he is always falling asleep early, or having to have lie ins at the weekend due to tiredness). I am so resentful and angry all the time - I can't tell you how tired I am (you all know how tired I am because most of you have been there!) I play out arguments in my head and tell him that he needs to see what has to be done, not to wait for me to tell him. Don't get me wrong, if I ask him, he will (eventually) do it. But I've been waiting for him to take the broken microwave to the tip for over a month now - maybe he can't see it?! His standard phrase is 'I didn't notice/ see it/ think that it was important'. We've been together 13 years and I've had so many rows about this with him, he just apologises, is a bit better for a week and then goes back to his normal gormless self.

When I go back to work, I'll still have to do the cleaning/cooking/childcare (when they are not at childminders) as well as my full time job (teacher - so I'll have work at home as well). I'm not looking for sympathy, but I just don't know how to approach this any more. I am so sad and angry and fed up. I want to leave but can't because I couldn't do that to my daughter, she adores her father.
I'm not looking for a definitive answer (there probably isn't one), I think I just needed to rant but my heart is heavy and he's there in the other room, asleep in the chair after an afternoon at the football with his FIL.

edwinbear Sat 17-Jan-15 21:03:38

YANBU he is a selfish arse. Everyone with small children is knackered, there are two lie ins at the weekend for a reason, one for mum and one for dad. You are both working long hours, except your working hours include being woken up in the middle of the night too. At the very least, you should be going to bed Sat and Sun afternoons whilst he looks after the children for a while.

rubytuesday75 Sat 17-Jan-15 21:07:34

Thank you. I feel like I am a horrible nagging woman, always talking about housework and children, I have no time to myself - although he would never stop me going out or doing things for myself. I just don't feel I can though because if I go out, I come back to a total disaster zone and then all my calm, and happiness goes out of the window as I tidy/clean etc. Thank you for replying, I don't feel so alone now.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sat 17-Jan-15 21:09:25

With the microwave just put it out the front I guarantee that the scappy will come and take it.

Then do housework together on the weekends and evenings.

I enjoy housework but when I ask DH to do jobs like take the washing upstairs or load the dishwasher he does it.

Sit him down and talk to him, you can't carry on like this and I know many couples who have split up because of this.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sat 17-Jan-15 21:11:33

He does stop you though, if you go out then you come home to a disater zone.

Very upper handed of him.

rubytuesday75 Sat 17-Jan-15 21:13:37

Will put the microwave out tomorrow - it hadn't crossed my mind. It is becoming a battlefield tbh, at least in my mind. He doesn't seem to notice and then overcompensates by doing every last scrap of housework when I go mad, and then stops when I calm down. He is a lovely man but he is hopeless around the house and seems to have no idea how much it upsets me. I've tried explaining that it is important to me that the house is reasonably clean and tidy (we have 2 kids, it will never be spotless/minimal) but I don't like washing up left in the sink overnight and I'd like the laundry basket not to overflow all the time (maybe my standards are too high).

rubytuesday75 Sat 17-Jan-15 21:14:40

I don't hate housework, I just hate having to do all of it. He does put the bins out - I'm too good to do the bins apparently.

edwinbear Sat 17-Jan-15 21:15:44

Would you be able to get a cleaner? Or at least, threaten him with cancelling his football season ticket to pay for one?

rubytuesday75 Sat 17-Jan-15 21:17:59

I am hoping that I can get a cleaner for an hour a week when I go back to work. The season ticket is paid for by FIL, as that's probably the only way he can encourage DH to go (team are crap)

Nolim Sat 17-Jan-15 21:19:05

Have you discuss with him expectations regarding chores once you are back at work?

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sat 17-Jan-15 21:19:26

I suspect he moved out from his parental home straight in with you.

Housework is a basic task. It's part of being a grown up and taking responsibility for it.

editthis Sat 17-Jan-15 21:20:43

sad I feel very sad for you OP. He sounds like a kind man (albeit inconsiderate) and I bet he would be beyond shocked to hear you talking about leaving him.

Given how many times you have spoken to him about this, I don't know if this will work. But clearly you can't go on feeling this (wholly justified) resentment, so what I would do is write everything you do in a day down for him - everything. To the minute. All the odds and sods like sorting the recycling, sorting the washing, loading and unloading the washing machine, folding it, ironing it, putting it away. Watering/changing the water in the flowers. The number of times you remind the toddler to use the potty and then clean it out again. If you need to, spell out why you do certain things and the consequences should they not be done - even if it is as minor as the water being misty in a vase, and how that defeats the object of having flowers; I doubt my husband would notice that unless I told him, but it might help him to realise why I'm doing what I'm doing.

He is allowed to have different standards from you, but he should care that you care. Call him on it in those terms, leave him in charge on occasion so he has hands-on experience with the children and the chaos they create. He needs to be better tuned in to your life - BEFORE you go back to work, and appreciate everything you do. And when you do leave him in charge (and you must), don't DO everything before you go: leave him with a shopping list, at breakfast-time, when he and the children are still in pyjamas. He'll work out to surmount the problem, it's not rocket science and what's the worst that can happen?! But he WILL think, aargh! How do I do this?! This is what he needs!

rubytuesday75 Sat 17-Jan-15 21:20:58

Not yet. I am dreading it tbh. He is very passive aggressive and we will probably just not speak for a few days. We have never had a stand up row/shouting match - we just stop speaking to each other and then the issue is 'forgotten'. Stupid of me I know, but I hate confrontation. (You wouldn't believe how assertive and strong I am at work!)

Gen35 Sat 17-Jan-15 21:21:52

Hire someone. My DH is like this, although he's good in other areas such as cooking. Ironing goes to the laundrette, and you should tell him either he does x jobs on y days every week or you get a cleaner 2 x per week because he's not pulling his weight. I'd sit him down calmly and discuss what needs to change with specific tasks. He's not a moron so a simple list of tasks or you get a cleaner in a month should work.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sat 17-Jan-15 21:22:22

Are you on maternity leave or a sahm.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sat 17-Jan-15 21:24:07

I wouldn't get a cleaner, as he will use it as ammo. Well I pay for a cleaner why should I do any housework.

It makes sense when you go back to work, as then you will have time to spend with DC rather than housework.

rubytuesday75 Sat 17-Jan-15 21:25:06

editthis - that's it. I care and he doesn't seem to care that I care. You've hit the nail on the head.

rubytuesday75 Sat 17-Jan-15 21:25:48

I am on maternity leave, due back 2 March. The idea of the cleaner is the only thing keeping me sane at the mo.

missusmrs Sat 17-Jan-15 21:27:09

Have you tired a list? I'm a list junkie and haven't had a situation where it hasnt worked. Make a master list ..all the things that need doing, brief run through/chat...this is my load.. its HUGE, what can he take off as his resp? / new list for him, hand over/pin up.... No more nagging/debates...ideally!! Generally works...

rubytuesday75 Sat 17-Jan-15 21:27:49

He was a student, then shared a house with other men (who cleaned and cooked etc) and then we moved in together, after 3 or 4 years together. He has always been like this. The thing I find hard to understand is that his mother made him do stuff around the house, as much as his sister, so it's not as if he is used to being waited on hand and foot.

rubytuesday75 Sat 17-Jan-15 21:28:52

The list is a good idea and I'll try it, but I suspect he'd just use the old ' I forgot/didn't see it/ thought I'd do it later' argument. Still, worth a shot. It's all cheaper than a lawyer!

Linseed Sat 17-Jan-15 21:29:51

Try to look at the big picture which is that one day one of you will die and leave the other to grieve and arrange a funeral. A lifetime of family memories and ups and downs behind you.
I have been where you are now and know your frustrations and how they are made so much worse by tiredness and by the added stresses of outside work, especially those of teaching.
Some people may advise small acts of rebellion eg don't do his washing, don't make him cups of tea. This approach is unkind and when that end day comes not something that you will want to remember or have your kind, loving husband remember.
What helped me with my grinding frustrations was an attitude shift. I let my standards of housework slip a little, made everything I did for my family a conscious choice rather than a chore, and tried to focus on the rest of our life together as a family. The pre school years are short and things will get easier, you won't always be so exhausted from childcare.
I work 12 hr shifts now too. When I come in from work I am exhausted, good for nothing.
If you want my advice then I would advice you do what you do now, breathing deeply to relax and out of love, whilst not yet back teaching, and tackle a fair division of duties once you are back at school. And yes get a cleaner if you can afford to.

MuddlingAlongMum Sat 17-Jan-15 21:30:32

YANBU at all. I could've written this about my DH to the letter. I don't think he really understands how much it upsets me either. I think he just thinks I worry about things far too much. Like you, I know that things will never be perfectly clean and tidy with young DCs in the house, but there is a bare minimum that needs to be done to keep things ticking over day to day and I'm so fed up that it's always me doing it. I don't know how to effect a change in our house when it just feels like me nagging all the time.

SolidGoldBrass Sat 17-Jan-15 21:31:17

He is not a nice man. He is perfectly aware that household tasks need to be done, he just thinks that you should do them. Because, in his mind, housework is women's work, and you, being the person who doesn't have a penis, are effectively his servant.

rubytuesday75 Sat 17-Jan-15 21:32:37

You are so lovely, Linseed. I am trying to be as big hearted as you, and hoping that this will pass. I think the 3 wake ups a night, plus locking myself out may have tipped me over the edge. I hate feeling like this over housework. Trust me, my standards aren't that high to start with but I know what you are saying.

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