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Division of childcare

(18 Posts)
PercyPeanuts Sun 30-Apr-17 13:27:24

Sorry, this old chestnut again, but I'd really welcome some views/perspective...

DH works fulltime, me 4 days a week, with one young DC. DH is great domestically - does the vast majority of the shopping, cooking, DIY etc. I generally don't have to think about food being in the fridge, what we are eating, although I generally do DC's food. I do the vast majority of the childcare. DH, who it must be said adores DC, is only really involved if I am not around. He doesn't (often) take the initiative to 'do' things or entertain DC, and it feels like it is all down to me. As is bathtime, bedtime, homework, getting ready etc etc.

My issue is that I feel as if I have no real time for me. I've voiced this eg, this weekend I've done all the DC activities in and outside the home. DH reasonably points out that he spent most of yesterday doing shopping, cooking, gardening etc. I fully appreciate that, and it takes that sort of pressure off me but it is also the case that DH likes his own company, enjoys cooking etc so this is also not altogether a chore.

Equally I love spending time with DC, but I would also like some time to do things I'd like/need to do and, if I'm honest, to be on my own every now and again.

My AIBU is, is it unreasonable to expect this, or should I just be more appreciative of having a DH who is so happy to do so much of the domestic stuff, and accept this is just the stage of parenthood that we are at?

Thanks in advance.

ScrumpyBetty Sun 30-Apr-17 13:41:20

So what is your DH doing today now that all the 'chores' are done? Is he having a day off?
You both need equal amounts of downtime in my opinion.

My DH is FT and I work 3 days per week. At weekends we normally choose one day where we each do half a day of looking after the DC and then have the other half of the day 'off'. By unspoken agreement, we do some chores in our half day off each, but I will often use a few hours to go out for a coffee or a walk, or even a nap if I'm feeling very lazy/tired. I find this time off really important for my own mental wellbeing, it's time just for me and I don't have to be employee or mummy, I can just be me.

BToperator Sun 30-Apr-17 13:44:24

It sounds like you are both working hard, and pulling your weight at home. I'd be wary of getting into a competition over who does the most, as it will cause friction when there doesn't need to be any. Is it worth accepting that you both do a lot, and trying to schedule in some down time for both of you?

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Sun 30-Apr-17 13:47:30

How old are your dc and what do you do on your extra day at home? If you get that to yourself (no childcare and v few chores) then I think it sounds fine. If not, then I agree you should get a few hours to yourself on a weekend. Although good that your dh does all the domestic stuff aside from childcare, I actually sometimes find this a real pleasure to do given that it involves time without having kids hanging off me blush

positivity123 Sun 30-Apr-17 13:50:43

It sounds like it's equal but that sometimes it's tiresome. Why don't you 'swap' jobs one night a week so he does kids and you do dinner so you get sometime to potter in the kitchen on your own.
I'd also book a few hours 'off' from the kids. Maybe he could take responsibility for something like swimming on a Saturday morning so you have time to chill out. But to be fair you have to make sure that he has a similar amount of time off as well. I think that getting into a routine for this kind of thing is important.

museumum Sun 30-Apr-17 13:51:34

It sounds like you do equal amounts but just need to swap a house job for a childcare job or two. It will give you alone time and help him bond with dc. Dh and I divide like you but we do alternate bath/bed times and we each have a couple of hours for exercise (me sat morning, him Sunday).

QuiteLikely5 Sun 30-Apr-17 14:50:18

Can't you ask him to take responsibility for homework?

Surely you are allowed out of the house on your own?

Or ask your dh if you can sit upstairs and read for a few hours alone?

PercyPeanuts Sun 30-Apr-17 15:13:14

Thanks so much for really helpful replies.

Scrumpy - you've hit the nail on the head, I don't feel as if f I have any time being me as opposed to an employee or mother, and that's what I need to fix I think. It can feel a bit suffocating without it.

Itsnice - on my day at home I often have to pick up a bit of work but not too much usually, so I do have sometime for me in between the school run. I tend to use it as a catch up day (to save having to do admin etc at the weekend) but appreciate I'm lucky to have it. I was playing a regular sport on that day but for various reasons (to do with parental ill health and a bereavement) I've had to give that up. I hope to get back to it soon though as that was good 'me' time.

Positivity and museum - I suspect that's right. I think we may both be so embedded in our 'roles' that we don't see how the other one is feeling.

Quitelikely - DH is back too late in the week to take over homework and at this stage it really is no big deal. Yes, I'm allowed out!! I think my point is that the default is that DC is my domain and I'd appreciate it if once in a while he said he'd like to take DC out to do x,y or z.

Thanks, I'm feeling much better and think you are all right and we need to rebalance the division a bit for the sake of family sanity smile

BackforGood Sun 30-Apr-17 15:17:02

It does sound as if you have a pretty fair balance. It seems to me you just need to find a place to go once a week, to do something where you are 'Percy' and not either at work or being your dcs' Mum.
Just join a choir / book group / class / sporting thing /craft group / Church / or volunteer somewhere {whatever you fancy} so you have that little bit of 'space' each week to be you. Sorted smile

PotteringAlong Sun 30-Apr-17 15:19:12

I don't feel as if f I have any time being me as opposed to an employee or mother,

But you have one day a week when your child is at school? That's quite a large chunk of time.

PercyPeanuts Sun 30-Apr-17 15:25:46

Pottering - that's quite true. I suspect I should try and make better use of it.

PercyPeanuts Sun 30-Apr-17 15:28:55

Back - yes I think that would really help too, thanks.

Love51 Sun 30-Apr-17 15:33:31

My dh has just taken both my little ones to the tip, stopping at a shop on the way back. They have done, and will do, more exciting things this weekend, but he recognised that I need a rest.
Sometimes it can all get so busy that being able to clean the bathroom in peace counts as a break, (we have one still at home on my day off and OHs been working 6 days a week lately) but you need time without kids hanging off you. Although I've had 1-2-1 with the eldest today, and that's fun too!
It's getting everyone out in the morning I struggle with - I get jealous of him leaving before it all gets critical. Not my greatest trait, and the alternative is him being very late home, but I find it hard to always be the one insisting they can't just stay at home today.

marabounuts Sun 30-Apr-17 15:38:16

I thought you have a toddler whom you look after on your da, off. just saw that your DC is at school. So you have actually a very good balance with one day all to yourself and DH pulling it's weight.

apart from that, it is called parenting, not childcare.

PercyPeanuts Sun 30-Apr-17 16:23:10

Love - yes, it doesn't need to be anything particularly exciting/special, just recognition that the responsibility is shared in relation to the DC. That said I'm sure my DH would say (perfectly fairly) that it would be good if I would be more pro-active about other family things e.g. shopping etc.

Marabounuts - yes, that's right and a perfectly fair point about my non working day. I'm not sure my issue was a parenting one really, but more a question of a fair division of family responsibilities. As you say, I should be grateful for what I've got!

rookiemere Sun 30-Apr-17 16:45:53

I get what you're saying OP. At the weekend DH will choose what chores he does and they're all perfectly valid i.e. mow lawn, do DIY, go to tip etc. etc., but the default parent if we aren't allowed to call it childcare is always me.

Not so bad now that DS is older, but was a real pain when he was young and needed more looking after. In the end, I just found reasons to leave the house and leave DS with him such as going out to do the shopping and taking up running so that I got some time alone.

RedSkyAtNight Sun 30-Apr-17 16:50:23

Having to cook and meal plan all the time gets really really tedious. Why not swap jobs sometimes, so you cook and meal plan and he looks after the DC?

Also, you've not said how old your DC is, but you mention homework, so your DC must be old enough not to need the tedium of constant hands on care that a baby/toddler would need. So although you might be spending time "looking after" him I'd expect you to be able to sit and read a book, or listen to music or ... I know it's not the same as time entirely to yourself, but cooking a meal gives you even less scope to do something you want to!

Trifleorbust Sun 30-Apr-17 17:15:41

A division of chores, however equal, is only truly fair if both partners agree to it. You should not be the default parent. Tell him.

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