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Think I may have made a mistake. Housework AIBU?

(92 Posts)
Chebs Thu 03-Mar-16 13:29:59

This may potentially be a little long, so apologies in advance.

My H and I both work full time in weekdays, but H works dayshift 2 weeks, then night shift 2 weeks whereas my hours are fixed days. He is always a moody bugger by week 2 of nightshift, and I typically try and pick up the vast majority of the housework and childcare (8 yr old DS) during his night shift as it does take it out of him. He works long shifts over 4 days/nights, and has a very manual/heavy lifting job. Mine is office based and can be quite high pressure.

Recently, I have noticed that this is becoming the norm. My typical day is up at 6am, quick tidy around, washer on, empty dishwasher, get DS ready for school, leave house for breakfast club drop off at 7.30am and start work at 8am. I then finish at 4.30pm, get DS from afterschool club and get home to change washer over, start dinner, tidy around, spellings, homework, make beds etc. I don't normally finish until after I put DS to bed at 8pm, and even then I may need to iron things.

His day in comparison is, get up and leave house by 6.15am. Return at around 5.40pm. I do ask for help and sometimes I get it, sometimes I get a huffy 'I'm tired' and he will do it later. I must point out it has only recently - last couple of months - become more of the huffy response.

The last 4 weeks he was on fixed night shift due to a shift change - I must point out that we discussed this change beforehand and told him he needed to help out more as I was feeling quite burnt out. He admitted that he had slipped in the housework stakes and would do more, but this hasn't really materialised. I came in from work last week on a day he would normally tidy up the house a bit, and nothing - I mean not one thing - had been done. It was actually worse, and he was having a nap. I (gently) woke him, as he needed to be up shortly or his body clock would have been all to pieces otherwise and we talked about what needed to be done in the house. He wasn't particularly listening or actively helping me (we were time restricted for DS pick up from school) and I am actually a little embarrassed to say that I had somewhat of a melt down. The upshot of it is that I have passed on every single household chore onto him. Explained that I will now be taking 3 weeks off, and he will be doing all shopping, meal planning, cooking, cleaning, tidying, washing and any other job I normally do without thinking, bar taking DS to school and his normal clubs as he is restricted by working hours.

WIBU? I have been quite non negotiable with this and am literally not doing a thing around the house unless he specifically asks - and even then I am giving his typical responses. I even went so petty as to leave dirty laundry in the bathroom and NEXT TO the laundry basket as he does blush

MN jury - am I being too evil?

AnotherNewUserName Thu 03-Mar-16 13:33:16

Well, i really don't think that you are BU. I notice, however, that the solution to your meltdown has come, again, from you. In your shoes, I'd ask him what solutions he suggests. And then really listen.

All the best.

TheyCallMeBell Thu 03-Mar-16 13:36:02

Absolutely NBU from me. If he can check out of pooled irresponsibles and leave it all to you, you can do the reverse.

If he cracks on and does it all, has a revelation and apologises properly, then I would reconsider.

lilone1234 Thu 03-Mar-16 13:38:45

Haha! I often feel tempted to do this, but DP still wouldn't do anything, because it doesn't bother him things not being done like it does me and I would get all twitchy because whatever he did do would be the 'wrong' way. But that's me, don't know if you'd have the same issue! I think it's probably unrealistic rather than unreasonable and won't benefit your DH's grumpiness and therefore overall house mood. I would give him set jobs to do by a certain time while he's around. "While I am doing this, can you please do that, and then we will do this..."

whatdoIget Thu 03-Mar-16 13:48:03

I think this will hopefully be a way of making him realise exactly how much you do. Keep us updated as to how it works out. Good luck flowers

Chebs Thu 03-Mar-16 13:49:21

See, I have previously approached this from that perspective Another but it slipped back to the old ways in a few weeks/months time.

I doubt he is going to crack on and do it all - the bathroom looks an absolute mess in my standards, but maybe this is what he thinks is 'acceptable' lilone shock

Goingtobeawesome Thu 03-Mar-16 13:51:07

I told the kids if they didn't do their jobs in the morning I wasn't bothering with washing or cooking. I forgot until now and washed their clothes but no dinner will start until the jobs are done. Tbf I am having a bad day, I've cried, I'm about to go out and I'm in a foul mood so probably best you don't listen to me.

PennyHasNoSurname Thu 03-Mar-16 13:53:14

Nbu at all to try an extreme solution to yhe problem. however night shifts (especially when they are alternated with day shifts) massively fuck up your sleep habits and I would give him a tiny bit of leeway overall due to this.

Being able to have a regular bedtime and wake time every day is a massive perk of working days only. It does wonders for your energy and overall outlook.

Chebs Thu 03-Mar-16 13:56:17

Oh Going I hope you are feeling better soon. I cried. I actually threw crockery, which I am both angry and embarrassed about!

Unfortunately I cant halt dinner prep for 2 weeks of the month, as we are like passing ships and he would end up leaving the house with no dinner!

CauliflowerBalti Thu 03-Mar-16 13:59:16

I am placemarking. I want updates on this. You HAVE to tell us what happens when the 3 weeks is up.

Chebs Thu 03-Mar-16 13:59:18

Penny I know. Well I don't really know, but I completely understand that. I normally let him sleep whenever and pick up the vast majority of household stuff to let him rest, but it is just getting too much.

I am starting to feel resentment towards him, which I hate.

SatsGrrrr Thu 03-Mar-16 13:59:24

Yanbu. But you know that in three weeks time you are going have a huge backlog of stuff that you'll probably end up having to do. hmm

houseeveryweekend Thu 03-Mar-16 14:09:51

YANBU im a stahm and my partner does more around the house than it sounds like yours does!! The housework is an ongoing thing that should be shared imo (obv I do a bit more than my OH as im at home) It is basically an extra job and why should it be your responsibility when you both benefit from it! When my OH has a day off he often does the housework that day (not to a very high standard but he does make an effort) because otherwise I am working constantly without a day off. Everyone needs time off its not fair that one of you gets it and the other doesn't.
My Oh also does some nightshifts and although I hate them as it does wipe him out in terms of spending any time with him, he still manages to cook dinner for us all before he leaves for work each night and often does the washing up as well.
I think expecting him to do it all altho I can see why you have said this and are angry with him, its not going to make it any better. You need to come up with a rota or something where he can clearly see what his responsibilities each day are and you can clearly point out if he hasn't done his share. Its sad but true that most men have lower standards of cleaning than women and so if you just leave it up to them to do what they think needs doing not that much may get done. If you make a clear list of jobs that need doing daily and weekly it will be easier to keep track of and to point out how much you do and how much he needs to do. It will give him less reason to be grumpy as he cant pretend you are getting at him unfairly if its all down in black and white. It is difficult when you are tired but its tiring for you as well having all the responsibility of a job AND all the domestic stuff. He needs to take some of the weight.

eddielizzard Thu 03-Mar-16 14:09:52

completely reasonable. good luck.

LoveBoursin Thu 03-Mar-16 14:10:04

YANBU IF and only if you actually don't do a thing during these 3 weeks.

And I would aslo enciourage you to have a chat about whose responsibility it is to do different tasks.
Eg Dh does all the hoovering and the ironing in our house and I always do the meal planning and the shopping.
Then stick to it and DO NOT I repeat DO NOT give him a hand/help because he is looking tired etc..
On the contrary, if you see him slip up, reminmd him that's your agreement and he needs to stick to his part.

PitPatKitKat Thu 03-Mar-16 14:16:10

YANBU, you do need more help. But I also agree with Penny, night shifts are hell. So maybe he just doesn't have the capacity to help.

I read an article by someone who works on fitness & nutrition with firemen/hospital workers in the US. And he said that basically if you wanted to design a way to break someone's metabolism, putting them on rotating day/night shifts or anything where people do less than year consistently on one or the other would be the best way to do it. It takes years off your life. It leaves people totally unable to cope with any change in their routine.

So maybe find a way you can face this together, rather than pitting yourselves against one another. Even if it means looking at deeper stuff (e.g. like where he works).

TheyAreNotBuns Thu 03-Mar-16 14:17:28

Watching with interest. When you do get round to realigning responsibilities I would also start getting your DS to do more. I rarely empty the dishwasher as I ask DD (9) and DS (7) to do it. Something they are perfectly capable of doing and have done for a couple of years.

Likewise they can run the hoover round (not a great job but it gets those in-between ones done).

lertgush Thu 03-Mar-16 14:22:22

* But I also agree with Penny, night shifts are hell. So maybe he just doesn't have the capacity to help *

Really? My sister has a job with rotating nights and days, heavy lifting, long hours, and still does a huge amount of housework, looking after kids, etc. Her OH does the same job as her. They've survived 10 years of kids so far...

Chebs Thu 03-Mar-16 14:23:17

Pitpat it's interesting you say that, I would really like to have a read up on how shift working like this affects you. He slept for 18 hours Sunday night through Monday into the afternoon!!

Chebs Thu 03-Mar-16 14:24:25

Also, my D'S is pretty hot on helping out. He also empties dishwasher and hoovers if asked... but I don't want to put on him what - I feel - are chores that H should be helping with iyswim?

PitPatKitKat Thu 03-Mar-16 14:41:10

here you go Chebs and also here and here.

It increases your chances of stroke, heart disease, diabetes...so yes, really lertgush some people might cope with it better than others, but it doesn't mean that no-one ever suffers because of it.

CanadianJohn Thu 03-Mar-16 14:44:42

Just a point about rotating shifts: the local automotive plant has about 6,000 employees, and operates 24 hours a day. The day shift and afternoon shift switch every two weeks, but the night shift stays on nights all the time.

Switching from days to nights is a really hard.

BigQueenBee Thu 03-Mar-16 14:45:53

Working rotating shifts happen to be one the most physically and mentally draining occupations.
Sleep patterns are all over the place and it is impossible to get proper rest when there are other people in the house.
I expect you are both feeling pretty knackerd.
I think the only long term solution would be for your DH to find a job with more sociable working hours.

lertgush Thu 03-Mar-16 14:57:06

yes, really lertgush some people might cope with it better than others, but it doesn't mean that no-one ever suffers because of it.

I didn't say no one ever suffers because of it. I did give an example of a couple who are managing to get on with life without either of them deciding they can do absolutely nothing around the house any more.

peggyundercrackers Thu 03-Mar-16 14:57:18

im not surprised he sleeps for 18 hrs at a time - its quite normal for a lot of shift workers do have this kind of sleep pattern. I can only echo what others say about shiftworking and changing regularly - its hell and extremely difficult. Anyone who hasn't done this kind of shiftwork over long periods of time has no idea what it takes to do it.

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