About chore divide between DH and me?(23 Posts)
DH and I have our own company - he does the work and I run the office. I also work part time for another company. I work 30-40 hours a week on average, DH works 60-70 hours per week but we both can fluctuate although if I'm honest his would be more mine would be less.
So this means that at home, I tend to do pretty much everything. I cook dinner, make packed lunches, put out his breakfast, do the washing, shopping, take care of dogs, change light bulbs, sort the cars out with garage, make appointments... literally everything. We don't have kids yet.
I don't mind for the most part, he doesn't get in until late most days and Sunday is his only day off. His job is very physically demanding and I know he is tired after being out of the house for 12 hours.
However I am starting to feel like I'm taken for granted. I've been feeling quite stressed lately; I've recently started doing more hours for our business, I hate my other job, I'm trying to lose weight and get pregnant and I've had a couple of seperate health issues (PCOS flare up and an infection that has caused me some pain). I've not been sleeping very well either.
In all this time, DH has not done anything extra to help me. If there are days that he finishes early, he still says he is tired then too and doesn't help. The house needs so much DIY doing to it and he just won't do it. He wont even do little silly things, like he takes his socks off when he gets home and leaves them on the living room floor and they would stay there literally forever if I didn't move them, or he wont even rinse the shower out when he uses it so I have to scrub dried on dirt and foam off the side of the bath.
He isn't a lazy person, he works incredibly hard and he's really kind and generous. If I bring it up, he just says he is exhausted from working so hard to try and make a nice life for us so I feel very guilty. I don't expect him to come home and start making tea, I'd rather have it ready for when he comes home so we can eat together at a semi reasonable time and have an hour together before bed but I would like him to notice if I've had a bad day and help me out, or just pick up after himself a bit more.
We had a massive argument this morning as he was late for a networking breakfast meeting and he was shouting because he couldn't find something which I had tidied up, unaware that he takes it to this meeting, and I had forgot to fill his drink container for his packed lunch (I'd done everything else, and washed it out, just forgot to fill it) and it's really upset me. He's just rung me and we talked about it but it's clear he doesn't feel like he's done anything wrong.
AIBU to feel taken for granted, and to expect him to help me out just a little bit more?
You should be equal partners.
Work out how much time you spend 'working' including the house stuff. (We already know he does 60-70 hours).
Work out how much downtime you get and how much he gets.
Is it about equal? If not, you have a problem.
The socks and not rinsing the bath would be unacceptable to me.
I'd hold off on getting pregnant until you've sorted it. It will all be 100 times worse when you have children to deal with as well. Don't go into parenting in a partnership that isn't working.
A 70 hour week must be very hard work, so while I have some sympathy with him for that, it does not mean he gets to treat you like a skivvy! Put your own socks in the wash, making your own packed lunch, and rinsing your own grime out of the shower are just part and parcel of being a grown up. And the "working hard to try and make a nice life" wouldn't wash with me. You too are working hard to try and make a nice life for you both.
Would you be able to have a constructive conversation with him about this? Perhaps on Sunday when he's not so tired, and not about to rush off to work?
If he can't respect your contribution, then I would stop doing all the extras for him, and calmly tell him why. I would leave him to wash his own clothes, make his own lunch, and I would dump all the stuff he left lying around in a box, smelly socks and all.
I think you should be doing more around the house as you're home more than him, but that shouldn't include making his breakfast and picking up his socks- that's just part of being an adult!
As for the DIY, I think expecting him to come home from a 60/70 hour week to do DIY is a bit of an ask - if it's really important, can you not hire someone in to do it for you? I certainly wouldn't be impressed if I had to do DIY on my one day off a week.
How much downtime do you both get? If it's equal, you can't really complain, although he does need to start picking up after himself. If he gets more than you, then something needs to change. Although I struggle to see how he has much downtime when he works over 10 hours a day, six days a week.
IMO, you need to protect the health of the person who is bringing in the most income. I appreciate your working hours would even out if you count your housework hours as well as your paid hours, but you don't lose any money
and it's not a big deal if the housework doesn't get done.
If it's a big deal if DH gets paid less because he's had to reduce his paid hours to do some unpaid housework, then YABU. If it doesn't matter if he gets paid less, then YANBU.
He may not have time to actually help out much but he certainly shouldn't be making even more work by out and out laziness (e.g. not rinsing the bath). That's just selfish.
The thing that always gets me here is if he is doing 60-70hour weeks, only 1 day off a week. When do you spend time together? A quick meal and a hour before bed 6 days a week? 1 full day when he is exhausted?
Would he maintain this routine when you are pregnant? When would he see the baby? Would he help at all?
To me the point of being self employed is flexibility in hours. I would hate DH to work 60-70 hours a week on a permanent basis. You need to figure out what you want from life before you get pregnant.
If help with chores/baby is important to you then figure out a routine adjustment. If you are happy as you are accept chores are your job BUT bug him about the little stuff that takes seconds like socks on floor.
If he didn't have you, he would have to do a certain amount. Even a cleaner is not going to fill up his drink bottles and pack him a lunch He's acting like you're the help, and expected to do everything. Yes, housework will be more you because you have more time. But dropping socks on the floor is telling you something VERY important about how he sees you and it's not pleasant.
OP, does your DH need to work stupid hours in order to pay the bills, or is he choosing to work that much?
If he can afford to work, say 50 hours, would he consider it? That way he would have more time off to spend at home and he could be around more in the future when you have DC. A man who is out of the house 6 days a week, working 70 hours won't be a great help when a baby arrives.
Stop preparing his lunches. And point out that if he put his things away he'd be able to find them again.
I can't imagine it's remotely sexy to have a husband you have to treat like a schoolboy...
I agree with PPs who advise against starting a family before you've sorted this out.
Given he works 30 more hours than you, and the tasks you describe probably don't take that long, you probably should be doing the housework, cooking etc. On the other hand, he needs to find the energy to pick up his own socks, rinse his own hair from the shower, and behave like a civilised human being if you overlook filling his drink for work.
I don't think you can expect him to do much, if any, DIY when he's working hours like that. Can you do it? Or could you afford to pay someone to do it?
You put his breakfast things out?!!!!
Your little prince can't open the fridge door for the milk then?
I don't think it's the hours of housework that's the issue, it's the skivvying.
There's a difference between doing the laundry, and picking dirty socks up off the floor!
If you both see a need for him to work 20 hours a week more than you, then yes - it's fair enough to do things like lunches, laundry.
But no more picking up after him. Decide what you will and won't do, tell him, and stick to it.
And seriously - do not try for a baby until you have this SORTED.
Thanks for the responses. I am happy to do more, I don't mind about the big stuff it is just the smaller things that get to me so much as I feel it's disrespectful to get me to do things like pick up socks and it would be virtually no effort for him to take them upstairs to the wash basket when he goes to bed.
We are trying for a baby but I have similar concerns to what a couple of you have mentioned but we are hoping to take on some staff in the business to help reduce his hours. It's hard because I want one so much but I do worry too as I would really be the sole carer although I would hopefully be able to quit my other job and then just do 10-20hrs in our business.
If you can afford it - is a cleaner an option? Would take some stress away from you. When we both started working ft hours we agreed it was worth it and it completely is. Neither of us liked doing it and we were both too tired anyway! We have a 4.5 year old too. As for diy why not get someone in to do some bits? Our handyMan charges £25ph. DH doesn't particularly like or have time for diy so save stress/arguments if you can afford it?
He chooses to work so much really. We're lucky that we have a lot of work on and we are a bit busier than we can comfortably handle. We're looking to take on more staff but he finds it hard to trust or even really like people so it's a slow process. But although he would like to reduce his hours a bit he would always still work a lot of hours, IYSWIM.
I think you need to get his work pattern sorted before TTC. Please don't bring a baby into this, you'll feel so resentful if you end up doing all the housework, picking up after him and everything that comes along with a newborn.
How will a man who works 70 hours a week be able to help with night feeds or bedtime or mealtimes? He won't be there! He needs to get his workload down to a much more manageable level before you consider a baby. It's a recipe for disaster otherwise!
Dirtymugpolice - a cleaner would potentially be an option for us and if I did get pregnant we definitely would get one but I feel like right now if we got one I'd have no leg to stand on at all because it would only give me more free time
He sounds like a bit of a workaholic to me. Does he realise how much work a baby is? You won't have the time or energy to make all his meals and to pick up his dirty socks when you're heavily pregnant or have a newborn to look after.
He needs to cut his hours and establish a better work/home balance BEFORE you get pregnant.
Apocalypse - life is very nice in general. I feel quite bad for even posting this really but it's just the argument this morning, he said "I really need you to help me", all I do is bloody help him! And I wanted some outside perspective to see if I was BU.
There are a few issues here. He is working exceptionally long hours. I think you suspect that he will always be like this and that this is not a temporary situation while he sets up his/your business. In which case you need to think carefully about whether you can live your life with a partner who will put the business before you, family, holidays etc. Think carefully as this will have a serious impact on your life and relationship. Also upon his physical and mental health.
It is not reasonable for you to pick up all the slack. If he will not work less hours, you need to pay for outside help: cleaner, decorators, gardener etc.
You are not his housemaid. It is disrespectful of him to expect you to pick up his dirty socks. Stop demeaning yourself.
If you add a baby to your current situation you will be on your knees with exhaustion and resentment very very soon. Make changes before you get that far.
Join the discussion
Please login first.