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Child care/ house work split.

(28 Posts)
Babydontcry Sun 28-Aug-16 19:06:21

I'm currently on maternity leave, my DS is nearly 8 weeks old. I usually work full time as does DP. I'm just wondering what others experience of splitting house work/ childcare is under similar circumstances.

Currently I do all of the cleaning, cooking, washing up and laundry for us all. DP spends time with our son between 10 at night and anywhere between 11.30 and 1am to allow me to get some sleep. The time depends on when DP chooses to come to bed as he has always been a night owl. One night a week I stay at my DM's so he doesn't do this. Does this seem reasonable?

The back story to this is I for the first time asked DP to have DS so I could have a couple of hours sleep after a bad night today, which he did. My DM later contacted me and asked of I wanted to visit tomorrow as DP had commented he may do a social activity tomorrow. When I asked DP about this he stated that he wasn't but I could still go out as it would give me aneasier day as my parents are more willing to spend time with DS. When I asked about this comment He stated that if he is watching DS he gets nothing done! I was also upset about a comment he made the previous day about a weekend away we have coming up with my family. When he commented about getting an extra two days off work I suggested we leave a little early so we could get DS settled and if need be make some stops on the way without arriving too late in the evening. He responded that I was already planning his time off, he winked to make a joke of it but he sounded very sarcastic. If I'm honest I'm also concerned when I go back to work there still will be the expectation that I do everything in the house and with DS

I Am a first time poster so please be kind- apologies if this is all a bit waffley!

UmbongoUnchained Sun 28-Aug-16 19:09:59

We do it that whoever is at home with the kid does the housework (majority) and the working one helps out with whatever's left when they get home.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 28-Aug-16 19:12:30

I have said it before and will say it again, why do some men do LESS housework when they have a wife and child than when they are single? At the least a single working man would have to wash his own clothes, cook for himself and clean a bit. But when they reproduce they magically start needing to rest after work and do fuck all. It's so odd.

Equal time completely 'off' is fair. And if you are up at night, you need time to sleep.

KindergartenKop Sun 28-Aug-16 19:17:29

It's tricky. He needs to appreciate that it's not just your life that's been turned upside down by being responsible for a baby, it's his baby too and his life will have to change.
If he's getting one evening a week down time when you and the baby are at your mum's house then you should be getting the same. Also when are your days off?
Yanbu and you do need to get this sorted before you return to work or you'll be stuck with it. I would recommend getting a cleaner btw, it's saved my marriage!

user1471421772 Sun 28-Aug-16 19:53:20

I'm on maternity leave at the minute with 4 month old and I also have a 7 year old. I do all the cooking and cleaning currently as I'm at home (when I was working it was whoever got home first did cooking and cleaning was shared). However as I'm at home I take on all the shopping, laundry and cleaning as that makes sense - plus it's so much less stressful being on mat leave than being in work! I would say to make sure you're happy with the division - DH works long hours - is out of the house 7am to 7pm or later most days and this week worked 6 days due to a conference. However if he comes back earlier he will whisk the youngest straight off me and play with him and our eldest, bath them etc and we take it in turns to put our eldest to bed. Also, because he has been out of the house practically all day every day he got up with the boys this morning and took them out til about 1 (baby is combi fed) so I could lie in and relax. I think the key is to appreciate the other person's role and chat if you are not happy.

XinnaJane Sun 28-Aug-16 19:58:58

How much you're able and willing to do depends on how much sleep you're getting, whether baby can be put down etc. I was of the view that I was on Mat leave, not housekeeping leave, so I didn't take on all cooking, cleaning, washing. My full time job was baby care. You should both have equal down-time and he needs to realise that his life has to change as much as yours!

It took my DP a few weeks and a couple of arguments to get this, but now he does smile

Important that you thrash it out now - as you say, otherwise you'll be doing everything forever. Really - make your expectations of equal free time clear. Even if breastfeeding, DH can look after baby for a morning and just bring to you for feeds.

XinnaJane Sun 28-Aug-16 20:00:18

It's also important for DH to do this, so that he bonds with baby and feels competent at childcare

clare2307 Sun 28-Aug-16 20:07:11

We just go with the flow really. Some weeks I do more, some weeks he does more - I'm sure it evens out eventually. Although DH definitely needs a little direction in what actually needs done, but generally always happy to do whatever needs done. While on mat leave I did more but now I'm back to work it's evened out again. No chance I'd be running myself ragged while he sat about.

ToffeeForEveryone Sun 28-Aug-16 20:10:19

DS is 5.5 months. He is bottle fed now and still awake for feeds 1-2 times a night, I do the night shift Sun-Thurs and DH does Fri-Sat so I get a couple of full nights sleep each week.

I get up with DS around 6.00, although if it's been a bad night I will hand over to DH around 5 and go into the spare room to have a bit of sleep before the day starts. We both pitch in for the mornings to get DS changed / fed etc and both of us showered and up.

I do most of the housework during the day, laundry, cleaning, shopping, although bigger jobs like full clean of bathroom wait until the weekend. Evening routine is not on strict timings, so although I make dinner, it might be ready when DH gets home (between 6.30 -7.30) or we eat after baby is asleep. If he's home in time, DH does bathtime and often gives DS bottle/settles him to sleep.

If there are chores still to do after we have had dinner and baby is asleep, we each do half. Weekends DH takes the lead on "baby holding" to give me a bit of a break, although I still end up doing all the housework. He also finds it hard to do anything else chores/work wise whilst watching the baby.

BoredOnMatLeave Sun 28-Aug-16 20:16:08

My DD is 6 weeks. I do all housework minus the washing up which he does. We split cooking 50/50 and I do the majority of the childcare. He spends time with DD for an hour or so in the evening whilst I have a bath and clean up.

This is the absolute minimum that I basically make him do...

I do think men struggle a lot more with adjusting to life with a baby. There really isn't an excuse for it, they just need to grow up. If you feel he isn't pulling his weight enough say something

AutumnMadness Sun 28-Aug-16 20:18:37

OP, I honestly do not remember doing much housework or cooking at all when DS was a newborn. I was just stuck on the couch for hours and hours breastfeeding and then walking for hours outside as DS would not sleep anywhere during the day but the sling when I was on the move. And then up all hours during the night. It's all a blur. I remember the house being a mess and me trying to cook something to maintain normality but failing. If anything got done, it was after DH came back from work and took over the baby a bit.

I always told DH that when the baby is born, the baby will be my job, that I am not taking over the housework when I am on maternity leave. I am pregnant with the second now and I told him already several times that I will be stuck on the couch with boobs out all day and that he will have to come from work and feed me. I have no expectation of taking over more housework. I expect to do less of it. Babies are hell for me.

Clairejessica123 Sun 28-Aug-16 20:22:42

I generally do the cleaning, wipe down kitchen, run Hoover over in the day time. When dp gets home he normally gets ds ready for bed and feeds him dinner while I cook ours.

After dinner I wash bottles while dp puts ds to bed then I normal,y read watch tc ect.

At weekends we share duties. I normally do slightly more household stuff still as its a bit of a break for me and dp doesn't see much of ds in the week.

Dp does all garden duties, picks up most dog poo and does most of cooking on weekend as he enjoys it.

I found it easier to do things around the home when ds was slightly younger and non mobile as now he is 9months old and on the move he needs more entertaining

AutumntoWinter Sun 28-Aug-16 20:43:16

I don't currently have a baby but we have DC and I work term time only whilst my DP works FT.

During the holidays when I'm off with the DC I rarely do any more than our usual 50/50 split of actual housework/cooking etc. (we have specific jobs in the house rather than rotate e.g I cook, he washes up)
By being at home in the holidays I save us very expensive childcare costs. I used to work FT all year round, childcare was extremely expensive.

I do take on a lot of the 'other' jobs that need sorting though, the things we just don't get around to when we're both working in term time. At the moment that's mainly wedding prep.

DP doesn't feel hard done by (and why should he!) and always takes on 50% care of DC whenever he is home.

DoinItFine Sun 28-Aug-16 20:50:12

You are not given leave after your baby is born to run around skivvying after a grown man.

There is a lot more work now.

You are doing most of it by virtue if being at home.

If he's not mucking in when he gets home, he's failing at being a father and husband.

Sadly this is a common failing.

But no more acceptable for that.

Babydontcry Sun 28-Aug-16 22:03:23

When I'm at DM's it does feel like a break, I.e someone cooking me a meal, although nothing gets done when I'm not in the house so feel on catch up when I get home

Babydontcry Sun 28-Aug-16 22:05:18

Thought I was replying to comments but they r going to the bottom of the thread sorry! Thank you for all of the comments, I think communication is a big thing and maybe I need to be a bit more vocal.

mathsmum314 Sun 28-Aug-16 22:14:11

Problem is that men and women have a different perception on what half the house work is. eg I might hover the flat twice a week, boyfriend was happy to do half the chores but he thought flat only needed hovered once a fortnight. So for him half the hovering was once a month but for me it was once a week. Yet society always seems to assume men are always wrong and women are always right when it comes to cleaning. Isn't that sexual discrimination?

Who is it in a relationship that gets to decide when something has been cleaned enough?

PhoebeGeebee Sun 28-Aug-16 22:21:31

Does your DH do no parenting until 10pm at night??

arethereanyleftatall Sun 28-Aug-16 22:25:56

We did - I did all hw and all admin whilst at home with babies/children, during day whilst dh at work. When dh was home, childcare was spilt 50/50 ish.

MGFM Sun 28-Aug-16 22:26:54

I am just starting my second maternity leave. I didn't do any extra house work the first time round and I don't plan on doing any more this time round. Fortunate that we have a cleaner anyway. We both work FT. Our DS 18 months old will be with me at home aswell (not paying for nursery if I am not working). Usually when I am working, we just work together as a team to get stuff done. I do majority of cooking , he does majority of DIY. Except I tend to do more painting etc. All the rest of housework is just done by whoever. I fell asleep on the sofa a few weeks ago and woke up t find DH had cleaned entire kitchen. He doesn't expect me to take on more house work on Mat leave.

MGFM Sun 28-Aug-16 22:31:29

And he is a really hands on dad. Feeding, bathing, bed times, middle of night wake ups, nappies, playing. He is rubbish at choosing an outfit for DS. Our DS when sick, hurt, clingy will just as happily (if not more so) want to be soothed by DH as by me. I would say he soothes him better these days as I am so freaking pregnant and massive that it isn't easy to pick up/cuddle an 18 month old.

Babydontcry Sun 28-Aug-16 22:32:58

Phoebe 99 percent no, if DS is settled in his bouncer I might ask him to keep an eye whilst I cook/ do some washing

MGFM Sun 28-Aug-16 22:33:43

I could never have married someone who tonight that housework and looking after our children was predominantly my job. We are 100% a team. Which is why he is my DH and I think he is the best! Or maybe I am super hormonal from being 9 monhs pregnant! Lol

MGFM Sun 28-Aug-16 22:34:40


Babydontcry Sun 28-Aug-16 22:34:46

I tried to save baths for DP as thought that would be nice bonding time, just feels he resents it and now do bath time before he gets home

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