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To expect appreciation for "extra" gardening chores etc

(18 Posts)
FlibbertyGiblet Wed 16-Nov-16 20:13:20

Honesty appreciated, I can take it!

I am currently on maternity leave with a 6 month baby and a 4 year old DD. The baby is pretty placid and DD is at nursery 3 days a week. I do the majority of household chores and wife work but DH also chips in. I am much tidier than him so he has to make an effort, which he does. This arrangement works. We have argued / discussed it in the past and are both happy with the status quo.

While the baby naps / watches I have been tackling a lot of deep cleaning and gardening on top of day to day jobs. I am happy to do this but I get really frustrated by my husband not noticing and not being appreciative, particularly as lots of people would just relax in that situation (definitely him). He says it's my choice and no one makes me do it plus he doesn't get thanked for going to work.

AIBU to want this appreciation? Last time I spent days doing all the hedge trimming and we argued as he essentially refused to acknowledge it until I dragged him outside to look, when I got a reluctant "yes you've done loads" When we discussed it he said he doesn't notice but he would try to make an effort in the future. He also said I tell him after work, when he is tired etc and should just leave it until a better time.

Over the last few days i have chopped another hedge and done 2 car loads to the tip, on Sunday he also took a load that I had previously chopped down and loaded into the car. He knows all this, we chart about our day etc Today he was unloading the dishwasher before work and I said "look (out the window) at all my hard work" He replied "the recycling? You've embarrassed us by leaving metal sticking out" I said "no, all the hedge clearing" and he said "yeah, oh right" I sat down with DD then he said "what's wrong" and I said "nothing" (in what I thought was an upset voice and he thought was grumpy) He then aggressively said "you're pathetic" and stormed out.

Sorry for the pathetic level of detail but I feel his reaction was way OTT and he thinks I set him up and then got in a strop. We have these sorts of flash points regularly over "nothing" which is why I have gone into such detail as I could do with help making sense of it.

I could say more about the argument we have just had but my first is a genuine AIBU to want some appreciation or should I just suck it up?

FritzDonovan Wed 16-Nov-16 20:25:49

Hi Flibberty, I feel your frustration! Very similar situation in our household, always been the same, have given up hope of it changing substantially in the future, I'm afraid. I started a protest last week by not tidying the living room (full of everyone else's crap), which dh told the kids they'd be tidying up at the weekend. Literally have no clear surfaces, have to step over things to get around. Not even sure anyone has noticed or cared!
Only thing you can do is ladle on the (non sarcastic) thanks for the things he does, while (non confrontationally) pointing out what you've contributed and hope he gets the idea to reciprocate. Does it make you feel taken for granted? Good luck tho, I think you'll be waiting a while.

FritzDonovan Wed 16-Nov-16 20:26:30

Oh, sorry, yanbu!!

Meadows76 Wed 16-Nov-16 20:30:29

I think it's BU generally to expect appreciation for doing any sort of chores or household maintenance on your own house. I don't really know why that needs appreciation? I cook, clean, fix broken shit and do the garden because it needs done, not because I want approval or a pat on the back from someone else confused

Mondegreens Wed 16-Nov-16 20:36:58

But why don't you relax? He sounds irritable and not terribly appreciative, but I think I'd be baffled if DH was on leave with a young baby and a part-time toddler, doing most of the housework and childcare, and then opted to do extra, apparently solely for my praise...? Things sound very unequal with you two, though.

BackforGood Wed 16-Nov-16 20:42:11

I think YABabitU too.
I mean, it's nice to be appreciated, but I wouldn't necessarily notice what someone else had done in the garden when I got in from work in the Winter - I mean - who would? confused

As for saying "Nothing" in what I thought was an upset voice - now that is pathetic --although perhaps less than tactful of your dh to say so.
If you are upset - TELL HIM WHY. Don't expect him to guess then be upset if he doesn't hmm

If I feel I've gone over and beyond in something, I'll say so, and it becomes a bit of a joke asking if anyone has notice anything different in the garden, or whatever.

FritzDonovan Wed 16-Nov-16 20:42:21

It is nice to feel the work you do is appreciated though. I get that bit. So much 'housework' etc goes unseen, and is on constant repeat. Yes, it's something we all have to do (possibly in place of paid work out of the house), but I get where op is coming from. If a big job has been done which could have fallen to either party (eg hedge cutting), it's nice if it is at least noticed.

JennyHolzersGhost Wed 16-Nov-16 20:56:41

You sound as though you need to communicate more honestly with each other OP.
At the moment you're playing the Martyr and he's playing the Grudge. You want him to spring through the door with a bunch of flowers and lavish you with praise for working your ass off to make home lovely. He .... well I don't know what he wants, maybe you can fill in the blanks.

If you feel that he's not pulling his weight then tell him so. If you're doing all the stuff that 'needs to be done' and feel it's inequitable then tell him so.

How was your relationship before you had kids ? How was your career before having kids ? What are your plans for work in future ? Are you feeling perhaps a bit emasculated ( hmm ) about being stuck at home and unappreciated while he's out living his normal life ?

FlibbertyGiblet Wed 16-Nov-16 20:57:40

Good points, well made smile I get all of that.

Thank you Fritz I guess it is about feeling unvalued. It was 2 very big hedges right by the front door, plus all the tip runs, so pretty obvious.

Meadows that is the old argument about general chores and we now run like that (although I maintain it would be nice to say thank you sometimes )

Back I understand what you are saying, although it wasn't intentionally an anything voice, I was genuinely hurt by his reaction. I do explain why I am upset but I knew it would be a massive argument... As it has been tonight.

And Monde not sure, things to do etc and I feel like it is the ideal time to get our relatively recently bought house under control. Plus no cash to pay people. Things are pretty uneven as he doesn't care about the hedge (or anything along this lines) and quite frankly doesn't want to do it. So either I do it or it isn't done.

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 16-Nov-16 21:14:59

You realise that Yabu to call inside housework "wife work" though don't you? 😜

FlibbertyGiblet Wed 16-Nov-16 21:16:41

I meant wife work in the sense of all the other crap I do!

FlibbertyGiblet Wed 16-Nov-16 21:17:41

Jenny I do tell him stuff... And that's how I knew there would be an argument.

I ask him to do jobs in the garden the odd weekend but there is always some procrastinating and reluctance which pisses me off whether he does it or not. I am away with the children in a couple of weeks so have asked him to do some painting, he said he might but he will be relaxing and hungover. He'll probably do it but it's annoying. I have suggested doing some big garden jobs in his 3 week Christmas holiday but he says that is for relaxing and he works hard. Again hecll probably do it but I hate being the "enforcer"

He reacts really badly to me saying this sort of stuff. It's since reading mumsnet that I challenge more and won't let crap lie. I am also trying to be more rational in arguments. I confront him when I think he is unreasonable but he says I twist it all and make something out of nothing. This has happened this evening, he says I provoked him by creating a situation this morning and he reacted to me as I was winding him up.

Generally we actually get on well, it's just these "flashpoints" I think I am trying to genuinely see how much the fault is with me and how we move on. I don't want to be having these out of hand arguments every couple of months for the rest of my life.

FlibbertyGiblet Wed 16-Nov-16 21:19:43

Good other questions as well jenny we are generally quite equal although since both maternity leaves I care more about the house etc. Whereas previously we were much more similar so it is me that has changed the status quo really.

FlibbertyGiblet Wed 16-Nov-16 21:29:42

BTW I know I have "drip fed" but I wanted opinions on the first bit... And they were so astute I want opinions on the rest smile

YelloDraw Wed 16-Nov-16 21:43:11

I think mutual appreciation is a good thing in a relationship.

"Look at the progress made with the hedge" needs a "wow yes that looks SO much better" reply

You should thank the person who's cooked dinner. Say thanks for a cup of tea. Generally be enthusiastic and nice about each others contribution.

parrots Thu 17-Nov-16 10:59:56

Things are pretty uneven as he doesn't care about the hedge (or anything along this lines) and quite frankly doesn't want to do it. So either I do it or it isn't done.

This seems pretty key - if he's not bothered about the hedge, he's very unlikely to thank you for cutting it. He may also feel that by doing it yourself and then pointing it out, you are having a subtle dig at him (I know you're not, but if he's feeling guilty about the fact that he can't be bothered doing it, he may respond in that way).

In terms of wanting praise/appreciation for extra things you've done generally, I remember reading about personality types and different sorts of motivation: some people are more driven by extrinsic rewards (praise, recognition etc) whilst others are more driven by intrinsic rewards (ie the satisfaction of cutting the hedge well and doing a good job).

You may be more the former type, in which case you just need to sit down with dh and carefully explain why it upsets you when he doesn't acknowledge or appreciate your efforts.

It can be very hard for SAHM with small dc, because suddenly you're no longer getting the recognition you used to get in the workplace, and instead there's an awful lot of unacknowledged hard work to do. Small dc can't tell you that you're doing a great job and if your partner isn't openly appreciative either it can feel pretty thankless at times. I found that my friends could be a great source of (mutual) admiration and support.

peggyundercrackers Thu 17-Nov-16 11:35:02

You should thank the person who's cooked dinner. Say thanks for a cup of tea. Generally be enthusiastic and nice about each others contribution

really? that sounds like hard work...

Sparlklesilverglitter Thu 17-Nov-16 11:41:05

I don't need appreciation to do things in my own home and quite honestly if DH came home and was like oh wow that planted flower looks fab he would get a hmm look and I'd find it patronising TBH.

We also don't thank each other for cooking dinner or making a cup of coffee. Why would we? we are a couple and that's how living together works. We know we are loved and appreciated by the other and don't need thanks for everything

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