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SAHM and WOH Dad. What's fair?

(165 Posts)
SecondHandSnake Sun 08-Oct-17 18:53:16

I'm on mat leave until the end of the year. I stay at home with our 2.5 year old and our 9 month old. DH works all week, he has a 1.5 hour commute each way and is out of the house 7.30am-7.30pm.

So I do all the kids stuff on my own every day. Up, dressed, breakfast, keep them entertained all day, do all the housework, cook dinner, do bath time, story, bedtime, all on my own... at which point DH comes through the door just in time to kiss them goodnight as they go to sleep.

DH works hard and he does all the DIY and boring paperwork stuff like making sure the cars are MOT'd and insured, sorting the house insurance, all the dull stuff like that. I would happily take care of all those things BTW but I am the one at home all day, so it makes sense that I do the shitwork and he does the paperwork, which can be done remotely from his office.

At weekends, he usually disappears into the garden or starts a DIY project to do something both useful and necessary towards the upkeep of our house. Which is totally fair enough. But I just want him to take the fucking kids and let me have some time on my own!

He gets all day, every day during the week to himself. Yes he's commuting and going to work but he can use both his hands, he can drink a hot coffee and have grown up conversations, he can go for a wee, he can eat something without having to make it or versions of it in triplicate and feed it to someone else while feeding himself, then have to keep getting up to get drinks/kitchen roll/dropped soppy cup/dropped cutlery so his own food goes cold.

You get the picture.

What I'd really like is for him to take over all the kids stuff and cooking during the weekend so I get a break from it. I've cracked today and have decided I've just had enough. I've barricaded myself in the bedroom and told him he has to sort the kids dinner and bedtime and make us a meal - JUST LIKE I DO ON MY OWN EVERY DAY - while I just have an hour of peace.

To be fair he's doing it all with very good grace. So much so that I feel a bit guilty. But AIBU? He works all week and has weekends. I work all week too, but it never stops at the weekend unless he takes over. But then it's not really a weekend for him is it? What's fair? How do other people divide it?

I'm just so tired. And bored.

Msqueen33 Sun 08-Oct-17 18:57:15

I'm the same. I don't think a lot of it people see it that way. As I pointed out to my dh would he want to work seven days a week at his job. Because that's essentially what I'm doing. He obviously does to work so it's not a holiday and loads of free time but it is different and probably only appreciated when you spend months if not years doing the shit jobs. Can you ask him to split it a bit more at the weekend?

Rufustherenegadereindeer1 Sun 08-Oct-17 18:57:50

Seems fair enough to me second

Dh always did bathtimes and mealtimes on sunday and tea on the Saturday

Still does now

Scrumptiousbears Sun 08-Oct-17 19:02:42

You should do a weekend day each. You get a day at home to do your stuff and he gets a day at home to do his stuff. I do see your point that he had the whole working week without dealing with the kids and gets time to himself and adult conversation etc but that is the nature of the beast. He probably had no option to stay at home with his kids. The grass is always greener.

We both work shifts now so don't actually have many weekends off together but when I was on maternity leave we'd share the kids stuff on his days off and we'd both get a lay in each wherever possible.

It's never ever equal though and never will be. Nature of the beast being the mum really.

Luckymummy22 Sun 08-Oct-17 19:04:00

Not unreasonable at all. 2 kids are hard and that is a long day (my DH works 12 hour shifts so know how you feel). Realistically I think DIY needs to take a back seat at this time. And it's all about muddling through. You do need a break although so does he.

WorraLiberty Sun 08-Oct-17 19:05:24

I agree you should do one day each at the weekend.

DIY isn't a regular thing unless you're living in a 'project house' and paperwork takes minutes online.

But you both work very hard from the sound of it, so you should try to divide the weekend to give you both the chance to chill out.

FenceSitter01 Sun 08-Oct-17 19:08:17

So if he is in paid employment all week plus does large house upkeep jobs @ weekends ... and you are at home running a house 24/7, if he picks up the child care and general house running at weekends will you be doing all the DIY and admin etc, albeit with unaccompanied toilet breaks and unlimited coffee?

PaintingByNumbers Sun 08-Oct-17 19:13:23

Day each at the weekend, plus less diy projects unless absolutely necessary - are they really 'hiding in shed' jobs?

PaintingByNumbers Sun 08-Oct-17 19:13:49

Admin jobs take a few minutes btw

AuntLydia Sun 08-Oct-17 19:19:24

Yeah I agree with Worra. You both need some down time. Alternate lie ins. He does both bedtimes at the weekend and you share the childcare so you each have a break. It gets better as they get older and you can send them out to 'help' their dad grin

Smarshian Sun 08-Oct-17 19:24:31

I would suggest he takes the kids for a regular thing one morning at the weekend. Soft play or a walk or whatever. Give you a couple of hours to yourself. Reconvene at lunchtime and decide what you're doing for the rest of the weekend.

Bluetrews25 Sun 08-Oct-17 19:32:45

Going to work is way easier than being at home, IMHO and IME.
Can you go back to work earlier than planned?
Alternatively, can you not parent together at the weekend? I don't get all this my day off, your day off stuff. (Must just be me) If you work together, it's family time and you both get the same amount of rest later, surely?

Allthewaves Sun 08-Oct-17 19:36:27

Dh takes us out for lunch in saturday and then cooks sat night. Sunday he gets up with the kids while i lie in (read my book), then he makes lunch. It's all about balance

tinytemper66 Sun 08-Oct-17 19:37:08

Just go out on he weekend and leave him to look after the kids!

ChickenJalfrezi Sun 08-Oct-17 19:37:29

I agree re splitting the weekend time but I’d go one further and say you need time ‘off’ each but also time altogether in there plus time without the children as far as possible.

I disagree with the PPs that day admin takes minutes. I did my own car insurance this year - took hours - not something I am keen to repeat 😂

Witsender Sun 08-Oct-17 19:38:42

Getting him to do all of it would be very off, as you are classing it as work (I'm not disagreeing) meaning he works 7 days and you 5.

However it should be shared, of course. I would object to projects every weekend all weekend that can't involve the kids as well...unless you are in the middle of a massive renovation which needs pushing on with for example.

With kids that age it is to be expected that you both muck in on shared time, with a lie in each for example.

Nightsleepneeded Sun 08-Oct-17 19:40:41

Im sure that DIY projects and admin don't need to be done every weekend Fencesitter. I'm sure DH is not going to be treated unfairly.

stitchglitched Sun 08-Oct-17 19:42:09

He needs to spend time with his kids at the weekends and get involved in their care, otherwise when is he going to see them? You need to change the status quo of you doing everything for the kids or it will continue even when you go back to work.

MattAlbie Sun 08-Oct-17 19:43:03

Just go out on he weekend and leave him to look after the kids!

That's fair if she agrees to do his job for two days a week.

RedSkyAtNight Sun 08-Oct-17 19:43:06

Well on the basis that you both seem to be busy pretty much all day, every day, I don't think your current division is unfair.

So you either have to cut back on jobs (gardening and DIY are obvious potentials, but also potentially are some of the household jobs -cooking doesn't have to be a huge deal every day,for example.

Or you swap jobs, so he takes the DC at weekends, but you pick up the slack with regards to the stuff he's currently doing.

PaintingByNumbers Sun 08-Oct-17 19:44:54

I do all the admin, ok minutes is an exaggeration, but spread out over the year, yes it is minutes a week

Permanentlyexhausted Sun 08-Oct-17 19:45:54

What Fencesitter said.

TBF, you lost my sympathy at He gets all day, every day during the week to himself. Yes he's commuting and going to work but he can use both his hands, he can drink a hot coffee and have grown up conversations, he can go for a wee, blah blah blah... He doesn't get all day to himself does he. He's working, as are you.

He can use both his hands Presumably he uses them to work in the same way you do.
He can drink a hot coffee Really truly never understood that one. Presumably he's just as likely to be interrupted or distracted as you are?
He can have adult conversations Yeah, I find meetings and work discussion really personally enriching too
He can go for a wee Surely that's what pushchairs, playpens, and stair gates were invented for.

Sorry, but this is just the same self-pitying twaddle that has been churned out for years. If you want a hot coffee, drink it when it's hot. if you want a wee, go for one. Just put your children somewhere safe whilst you do. Now, I'm certainly not suggesting that looking after small children is a holiday, but it does sound as though you think your DH's lengthy working day is.

You both need to find time to have some me time and mix up the routine. So one day at the weekend when you have the children and he does the household stuff, and then one when he has them and you do the DIY. And when the chores are all done, that's your relaxing time.

TwigTheWonderKid Sun 08-Oct-17 19:47:21

I'm out the other side of this so have a bit of perspective. You are both working really hard and your DH is doing things at the weekend for the benefit of your family. Looking after small children is boring and relentless. A fair solution would be for him to take sole charge of the children for 1 weekend morning, giving you a lie-in and some time to yourself, plus cooking lunch that day and one weekend dinner to relieve you of the tedium of thinking about that. I think it would also help you to spend time together as a family. If you each have one day to yourselves then there won't be any family time.

However, you may have to accept that a couple of hours "off" a week whilst nice, may simply not feel enough and in your position it really helped me to remember that, although the toddler and baby years feel like they go on forever, they really don't and one day your children won't need you like they do now and you can have whole days of doing exactly what you want again.

flumpybear Sun 08-Oct-17 19:47:31

Sit down and just talk to him and tell him how you feel
Can you get a job to get you out of the house and have nursery etc for the children?

Tbf I get the same way as you and I couldn’t wait to get back to work after a year with my first child and managed nearly 6 months with my second - plus my mum died so my mood was very low - Work helped me to feel human again
I still spend loads of time with my children and we do loads at weekends and holidays etc - much more positive time compared to when I was a SAH parent

Joinourclub Sun 08-Oct-17 19:49:37

We are in a similar situation in my house. We've got into a routine where I have a lie in Saturday morning while he does the kids breakfasts. Saturday kids dinner is his job too (usually something from the freezer that I've cooked!). I wouldn't expect him to completely take over all the kid stuff at the weekend, but I definitely expect a bit of 'me time' and therefore for him to do more than he does mon to fri. He gets some 'him time' too.

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