To be in a massive grump(29 Posts)
Let me set the seen.
DH works full time on his own business, self employed. It's profitable, we split the profits as I am shareholder and do accounts and other admin. He works away from the house mon - fri, leaves at 7.30 am returns at just before 6pm. Never works evenings.
I work 1.5 (weekdays) a week in quite well paid job plus do approx 1 day a week other freelance work (some paid some unpaid for friends etc / own projects) I also do all our business admin, VAT returns, annual returns, expenses, payments. This takes up approx 3hrs a week, often done in evening.
We are ok for money but not really 'well off'
In terms of childcare and chores. DC1 is at school, DC2 in childcare 3 days a week. DC1 goes to after school club if I am in office otherwise usually comes home and watches TV if I still need to work.
I do almost all drop off or pick ups unless I specifically say I have an early meeting / late one and then DH will do it, that's approx once a fortnight.
I do all household chores and most cooking, he does tidy up kitchen after eating and takes bins out, will empty dishwasher and he also does his own washing (and never puts away...) but no other washing. He does no other tidying / cleaning so recently I got a cleaner, I wanted once a week but he said waste of money so we got every fortnight for 3 hours. It's quite a big house but 3 hrs is a help but I would estimate I spend 2-3 hours a day minimum cleaning, washing up, tidying and doing washing, cooking for all. House is never clean or that tidy I should add!
I also do almost life admin, I organise the payment of bills, I do the online shop, I buy the kids clothes, I do all school organising (trips, lunch money, after school payment). I also sort out all car maintenance, take in for service etc and organise any home 'jobs' that need doing. DH does the odd bit of DIY out of choice ad hoc and also does mow lawn in summer. I do other gardening when I can (rarely). I sort out all medical appointments (DC1 has non serious condition requiring appointment 4 x year). I buy new shoes, I sort hair cuts and uniform. I don't iron as I can't find time. I book holidays, train tickets, trips etc, I clean car or take to car valet.
DH is absolutely wonderful with our kids, in the eve he comes home (they've been fed normally unless I am working late) often baths them and then puts one to bed / plays. He also is often the first to get up in the night if they wake (this is wonderful I know). He also takes them to clubs on the weekend so I can tidy the house (again) but he's started saying it's too tricky to take both out...he would rather take one at a time!!! But in all honesty he does no more. He thinks he's very helpful and does all he can but I can't help feeling my to do list is never ending and I'm constantly stressed out and fed up. I am being taken advantage of or do I have it easy?
I'm quite an optimist and often compare life to those I know have it much much harder so would never say I'm hard done by but just really wondering how people split these things out? Should I be doing what feels like almost everything because I'm effectively getting half a day 'to myself' a week plus 2 full days where I care for a non napping 1.5yr old and do school runs etc for the other 5 yr old? DH's argument is always that I have more time but It doesn't feel that way at all. I also feel the time I do have with my kids is never fun, I'm always needing to do other jobs...
This has come to ahead today as DC2 is ill (second time in a fortnight) so no childcare and of course I'm here looking after. I had booked today off anyway because I wanted to have a special day with DC1 whilst DC2 was away but that's had to be cancelled.
AIBU to feel unhappy? Does anyone have any awesome life balancing tricks / willing to share how you share chores out? I feel like the balance just gets worse and worse in our house...
Sorry but I think YABU, although it does indeed sound like you do a lot, I think being out of the house for almost 12 hours a day, 5 days a week is pretty exhausting for your DH. The way you have divided the chores sounds fair to me.
Thanks pineapple. He is out for 10.5hrs a day but remembering back to when I was out working 10.5 hrs a day (single) no one did any of these jobs for me...by that I mean my life admin, obviously I didn't have kids then but I've just realised I've taken on all of our combined life admin and also the co-ordination of all our 'fun' stuff and holidays too...I guess that bit is out of balance.
We both work out of the house full time, our life admin and everything else is sorted out by me, dh does ironing and puts dcs to bed, I do all cleaning, I'm pregnant and don't have a cleaner, your split sounds pretty fair to me.
I agree it's v hard to get the balance without someone feeling they are doing too much. My perception may be skewed as I work 4 days a week while DP stays at home! He doesn't work due to disability. Our DS is 9 and I or my mum do all school runs, and I do all the school related stuff, homework and ferrying about to Cubs, sports clubs etc. DP does all our cooking and supposedly does the housework, though I find myself doing it later as he tends to miss things that annoy me eg skirting boards, floors etc. Sometimes I feel I'm doing too much but we'll muddle doing until I can afford to get a cleaner I think! Getting a decent work life balance is hard, I ended up dropping one of my days at work so I could have some me-time, otherwise I would get really fed up.
It sounds quite balanced to me.
DO you think your split is fair wriggly? Makes me feel better that's for sure! I'm not really annoyed with him (he does appreciate what I do as do I for him being at work!) I think I just get fed up of it all that's all!! But I guess it's just life! I always feel there must be better ways to manage stuff but have never found them!
Does 'life admin' really take up much time?? I work ft and had never really considered it as a 'job' it's just something that needs doing surely?
sorry but I do think YABU as being out of house long hours is v tiring. I've experienced both sides of this coin, all I can add is I know how you feel about being so busy, there's not much time for 'fun'
I think people are being a bit unfair here OP- I think YANBU.
I work long hours and it's harder work to be at home with the kids and doing everything house related. You are being stuck with what seems is 'woman's work' - your DH needs to step up and help organise life a bit more.
Thanks Marceline! I think what is is that when we both worked full time pre children things like sorting out the car tax or TV license would be done around our desk job. So when people say sorting out life admin doesn't take that long I think it can do when you're doing it with two kids around. For me going to the post office with one toddler and a five year old is bloody annoying! It's hard work, one runs off and the other usually cries and we stand in line for 10 mins or whatever because there's always a queue. I personally find that stressful. In the past I would have sorted these jobs on my lunch break but DH seems to feel I can fit it in amongst all the 'fun' we are having and it should be easy. He takes an hour lunch break most days to go to gym or out for lunch with colleagues (socially) and I kind of think it's a bit unfair. I'm thinking I might start a joint To do list and just get him to see that we both need to do stuff on it because there's always the odd thing to do each day. Admin is especially high at the moment as we are having building work done, changing mortgages etc so there's stuff on. Sometimes there's obviously a lull thankfully!
It sounds like a fair split to me.
If the housework is really getting you down, ease up on it. As you say, it gets messy again quickly enough anyway so let it go. And you never know, a bit more mess and he might be open to getting the cleaner in more often.
Also, if you are running the household finances surely you should be the one with the casting vote as to whether a cleaner is a waste of money? My DH does FA around here and I would be very if he started questioning how I ran things or spent the household budget.
As far as I can see, you already work 4 1/2 days a week in paid or would have to be paid for work- so 2 days childcare, 2 1/2 days in paid employment, plus then doing his few hours admin on the evenings. So, you are working effectively full time and personally I would find that juggling worse than working in one full time job. I think the two key things then to sort out are whether he does enough 'WifeWork' running of the home, buying of school clothes, ferrying to appointments, to which the answer is probably no, plus to work out when you both get downtime.
Under no circumstances should he be disparaging the amount you do, or referring to it as 'having fun' as if he has the harder life. If he does that, I'd be tempted to leave him to it for a week and go away, take a week off work or even just a weekend, and leave him to do all the wifework and household admin and child activities and shopping that apparently takes no time at all.
I work f/t and do all the wifework as well for different reasons, and I am exhausted all the time.
I don't think your split sounds intrinsically unfair, though, just that you are both a bit overloaded and it's easy to play competitive tiredness/busyness and that has to stop.
Car tax takes about 2 minutes per car, once a year. TV licence - I put ours on direct debit for our first house over 20 years ago and apart from updating the address when moving house, haven't given it any thought since.
I make our 'household admin' unnecessarily complicated because I chase deals and have bank accounts and credit cards all over the place to earn as much interest/cashback as possible and it probably doesn't take more than about an hour or two a month. If you didn't bother with that it would probably be about an hour a quarter, if that.
2 or 3 hours a day cleaning/cooking/washing in addition to having a cleaner sounds like more than is necessary, so maybe look at cutting that down?
TBH i'm skitting a bit at "Life Admin", It sounds to me that you are trying to make that stuff sound more challeging that it is to bulk up your side of the jobs pile, I'm not sure i know anyone who lists organising lunch money, booking the annual family holiday, signing forms for school trips as a job.
To me it looks like a fair enough split, your husband works 5 long days, is good with kids/bedtimes/activies as well as lawn mowing and some diy
Given that you work part time, i would argue that you and your clearner should be able to your other "jobs" done in your two days off so that ye both have evenings etc to relax a little, i think it that was my situation than thats what i would aim for
For context, DH and i both work full time and have 3 DS's, I tend to do the bulk of housework and all " life admin"- and he does all the gardening, diy, tax returns, bed times and we split the kids activities 50.50.- The other one normally uses that time to blitz the house.
Also, if you want a cleaner every week, get one, I have one and it has made my life hugely easier, three hours is a whole afternoon off on weekends to rest, spend with the children, make a cake, have a nap, and it's unlikely you can do that three hours uninterrupted anyway, definitely just do what you want on that score.
I think it depends what 'life admin' consists off- if it's just a few bills, this doesn't take a long time, if it's all housekeeping, shopping, cooking, cleaning, childcare when children not at school, clothes buying, appointments, school play/event attending, activities, car MOT and so forth, there's a lot of that stuff. Work out what it is and divide it up. You are working, though, I think your paper hours make that look less than it is when you add it up.
Blimey I work 30 hrs/ week with 3 dcs to run around and do all the admin/ shopping/ cleaning etc as dh works away , so I think you're doing ok tbh!
Are there a couple of 'admin' jobs you could offload on him?
Otherwise, it sounds fair enough. He works full-time, you don't. He is good with DC in the evenings. One of your DC is in school. It doesn't sound horrendously unfair or difficult.
I'm not belittling 'wife work', but many couples both work full time and manage to get all the admin and housework done between them (albeit to a low standard in our house ).
Yes bounty, I should perhaps refer to it as 'life admin', 'business admin' and 'kids admin' of which I basically do all except for the bits and bobs of DIY he does and the lawn mowing and washing up after dinner. But I take onboard these comments, I think I just need to divide it up. I tried to give him the business admin (Vat return, annual accounts, expenses, payments) but I still had to remind him to do it, explain it all to him and I felt it was easier to do it myself! But I should probably hand it back over really as it seems the simplest split. I also think he could take time off in the day to sort those jobs really (as it is his business too) without anyone raising an eyebrow. I'll suggest this and see how it goes. Whoever said we are both overloaded is right though. I know he's really tired too and works hard so I don't want to be a grumpy nagging wife but sometimes feel like one!!
I think the question is - do you have equal leisure time?
Are there admin jobs he could do in his breaks at work - I bet there are!
I think you are right in thinking this is "just life". Our set up here is similar to yours although DH is out of the house for a bit longer each day. I think it all feels a bit relentless when you both work and the children are little.
The only difference is that we split the 'life admin' (I've never heard it called that before and will start using it forthwith.) DH organises the finances, bills etc. but I do all the practical stuff like school uniform, new shoes, medical appointments (similar situation to yourselves), online shop and school appointments. It might sound a bit traditionally gender split but actually we're just playing to our strengths.
We each look after our own car maintenance and we sort out holidays together and count it as 'fun stuff'.
I do a lot of the house work as I am just here more often. This sounds odd but DH does the vacuuming and I found that it took quite a big job off me. Nothing is set in stone either so DH might sort out the washing while I get to bath and read a story for example. It relieves the drudgery.
I'm currently learning that it's fine if I didn't dust the bedroom this week or strip the children's beds or something. I wouldn't leave it for weeks obviously and I rotate jobs so that it's not always the same thing that I didn't get round to. I get your stress I really do.
Your split sounds like ours. I work pt during school hours. I take dc to school/nursery, dp goes to work, I collect dc from school/nursery. I o housework and tea. Have tea ready for dp. dp does bath time whilst I rest for 5 mins, he does washing up most of the time, then we share bedtime. We also share nightime duties but I will takeover if ill/not sleeping at all as he is the breadwinner.
I do all life admin, but most of that is direct debit. Extra stuff like school stuff, clothes etc is what I find tricky to manage if it all happens at once!! Christmas can be a nightmare with all the clubs, parties, school stuff dc do.
I too feel like my mind is always thinking about what needs doing and that can get me down if I'm tired or something happens to make it too much.
But my dp recognises I do the extra thinking. It just makes sense to have one person sorting out the life admin, discussing any issues with dp then executing what needs doing.
Life hacks that I am myself attempting to put into place:
-be efficient - put things away straight after using them. Don't let mail pile up on side - put it away as soon as it's looked at. Teach everyone in the house to do it too.
-do one job and finish it before moving on to the next one - reduce multi tasking to single job tasking. This is a hard one to do as I'm used to thinking multi-tasking is more efficient.
-Get dc to help with cleaning. I have set up a jobs for cash rota for my older dc and so I can ask them to hoover and put a tick on their chart / hang up washing / wash up /
-shop as little as possible. Work out what you need to buy for each day in one big shop. Take one night off for a takeout. Buy stuff easy to cook - pre chopped veggies, a pack of mediterranean veggies to throw in with meatballs/chicken and a sauce.
-shop online for as much as possible and have it delivered
obvs dc aged 5 can't hoover but can do polishing with wipes....more when they get older this one. They can tidy but you have to show them how first.
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