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AIBU to think my husband should help with the housework when I'm on maternity leave?

(38 Posts)
Halfdrankbrew Wed 11-Oct-17 15:48:16

First time I've ever posted, but I have been a lurker for quite a while.

I'm on maternity leave at the moment and I have a 20 month old and a 2 month old. My husband has recently started a career change, he's out the house mon-fri from 7ish till around 6ish and then usually does a further 2 or 3 hours of work from about 9pm. He does cook maybe 4 nights a week but apart from this he literally does nothing around the house. It takes him about 30min to cook something, he'll cook from scratch so we aren't talking microwave dinners. He plays five a side football on a Friday evening and the past few weeks he's been out on a stag do, night out with his course etc. He does a few hours work sat or Sunday but bar that and the social thing he doesn't do anything else at the weekend, yet he refuses to lift a finger!!! I'm talking taking off his coat, socks, shoes whatever and just leaving it, he'll use a plate, glass etc and just leaves it there waiting for me to clear it up. I literally don't have a minute to myself, sometimes don't even have time to shower!!!! When I've mentioned he isn't helping at all, he'll point out he does the cooking and says "I'm too busy".

Before he started this course he was self employed and only worked 20 hours a week, all antisocial hours though. I was going out to work before 7 and getting in after 7 and coming home cleaning up and spending my entire Saturday cleaning the house, even when heavily pregnant. He'd say he couldn't clean the house as he was looking after our daughter in the day, he'd take her swimming, the park etc, but did ZERO around the house. Before we were married we moved back home with our parent's after uni to save for a house, his mum and dad did everything around the house as well as having a cleaner. He was never expected to do anything (I think his mum had wasted too much time and energy in the past nagging).

Sometimes I think well I'm on maternity leave maybe I should do it all?? If I'm honest though I'm struggling to do everything, I'm breastfeeding on demand, chasing a toddler around then trying to run a house on my own. Surely he should be doing more?? Do people on mat leave still have their partner help with housework etc??

Myusername2015 Wed 11-Oct-17 15:52:11

Hmmm I think this one is a difficult one; I’m also on maternity leave and my other half is a bit rubbish at doing any house work! I do think I should do the lions share of it as he out at work; however I remember this question coming up before and a poster quite rightly said it’s about how much free time you both get. Do you get time to yourself if he’s off doing clubs etc? Though I appreciate with bf it’s hard I’ve found it so important to take an hour off each evening. Is he good helping out with the little ones? I’ve found I need to be direct with mine; I tell him ie can you stack the dishwasher now/empty etc.

Havingahorridtime Wed 11-Oct-17 15:54:24

I've got a breastfeeding baby, a toddler and a husband who is out at work 7am-6pm. I do all the cooking and most of the cleaning. My husband does the bins, dishwasher, laundry and ironing. The house isn't as clean as I would like but it will have to do unless my husband wants to do more or pay for a cleaner. I don't know whether you are being unreasonable because whilst your husband might be able to do more he might also be exhausted from working. Does he help with baby and toddler when he is home?

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Wed 11-Oct-17 15:56:07

I'm talking taking off his coat, socks, shoes whatever and just leaving it, he'll use a plate, glass etc and just leaves it there waiting for me to clear it up.

Nope. leave it. He's disrespectful.

cowbag1 Wed 11-Oct-17 15:57:14

DH has always treated me as if I'm still working whilst I'm on mat leave (in that he sees childcare as a job in itself). Therefore, anytime we're not looking after children, we share housework and ensure we get equal down time. He has no expectation for me to get anything done in the day and if I do, it's an added bonus. I think child care is a full time job and getting any housework done can be almsot impossible while they're little.

It's called maternity leave for a reason, not housework leave.

Nikephorus Wed 11-Oct-17 15:58:29

I think the one at home does the housework (if the other one works full-time). In the past if he's taken them out for the day when you stayed home & cleaned then that was a fair trade. But, to just put plates down & leave them isn't on. That is just being lazy. And you should both be looking after the kids on a weekend so that you both get free time (or neither does). It should even out so that stay at home parent & working parent do the same during the week and the weekend. If he's creating work that's not on.

SometimesMaybe Wed 11-Oct-17 15:59:34

Housework is cleaning, dusting, laundry etc NOT picking up someone else’s dirty socks. Totally disrespectful of him. I could not imagine fancying someone who expected me to pick up after him.

Due to his hours during the week and he cooks and the fact you are at ho e I would say that you should be doing whatever you can (which might not be a lot). At the weekend he should be doing more/catching up on stuff not done dousing the week alongside you.

Halfdrankbrew Wed 11-Oct-17 16:00:11

He has always done bedtime with the 20 month old, she'd never go to sleep for me, but even that is starting to go out the window! She's going through a phase where she won't go to bed so I'm spending most the night trying to get her to sleep while he does his work. So yes zero time to myself! I realised yesterday I've had only 15 minutes to myself since number 2 arrived. I think maybe I'm just a bit fried at the moment and need more help?!

Fruitcorner123 Wed 11-Oct-17 16:01:29

I am on mat leave and my DH does do some jobs around the house. Obviously I do the majority but he does clear up after himself and do some washing and sometimes cooks as well as being responsible for clearing up after dinner if I've cooked and the bins and a few other bits and bobs. He also gets up with the older kids at the weekend as I have been up in the night feeding. Does your DH help with the kids at the weekend?

In fairness to your DH it sounds like he has a very demanding job (as do you of course). I would say you need a conversation about it so that you both feel things are fair. He obviously should be clearing up after himself and I am sure he could manage a bit more at the weekends but maybe you just need to relax a bit about the housework, your house probably isn't as tidy as you'd like but thats normal with two children so small.

lightcola Wed 11-Oct-17 16:04:18

ypu technically have 3 children. I'd have a word if I were you. My partner works till 6pm. The general arrangement is I do what i can in the day and cook our meal, but we don't sit down in the evening till everything is done. Yes I'm at home all day but it's pretty impossible to get housework done with young children.

Nikephorus Wed 11-Oct-17 16:07:35

I'm spending most the night trying to get her to sleep while he does his work.
If he's working when you're getting her to sleep then that evens out surely? He's not sitting on the sofa relaxing, he's working.

Fruitcorner123 Wed 11-Oct-17 16:08:46

Just read your update. 15 mins to yourself!? That's awful you must be knackered I am impressed that you are coping at all. Do you get out and see friends at all? Do you have much family support (grandparents etc.) You need time to yourself and you deserve time to do something socially of an evening.

Have you thought about speaking to your health visitor about your toddler's sleep? I know people have had mixed experiences of HV but my experiences have always been quite positive. I would speak to DH and say that you need his help with toddler bedtime and he might have to look at his workload and prioritise while you sort that out.

Sending you
cake and brew sounds like you really need a break!

Sistersofmercy101 Wed 11-Oct-17 16:10:25

My OH treated maternity leave as time for me to recover and care for our DC, babba was also ebf. He worked full time and when he got home, he did what needed doing, cooked tea, washed up, helped older DC with homework... He said if he lived alone then he'd have to cook and clean for himself and so he definitely had to be responsible for it as he had a family and it was his responsibility!
I'd say that your 'D'H needs to grow up and grow a pair - with all due respect, he's treating you like a skivvy/nanny and it's bang out of order imho blush

Civilservant Wed 11-Oct-17 16:10:50

Not impressed with many of these responses. OP has a young toddler and baby. He has a standard job. Much less challenging than mat leave with two DC of this age IME.

He shouldn’t “help” you with the domestic work and parenting, he should fulfil his responsibilities as a householder and parent to do it.

When is YOUR leisure time?

Danceswithwarthogs Wed 11-Oct-17 16:13:58

Tbh it sounds pretty intense for you both at the moment... particularly during the week, you are both putting in a lot of hours and it's helpful that he cooks... although not perhaps if he trashes the kitchen and uses every pan....

The weekend is for both of you. He has managed a few social events and some exercise away from the home when you barely have time to shower.. you need a bit of this too or you will go stir crazy.

I think you need to have a proper grown up chat, but framed with fairness in mind

.you want him to enjoy his spare time/home/kids but so do you. Try to set a few ground rules that benefit you both.... sharing out lie ins, time out from constant childcare and a few weekend housework jobs eg zipping round with hoover etc.

Also explaining that a few considerate adjustments on his part will make life so much easier for you.... 2 children is enough, you can't be picking up after him like a teenager.

Also, if you both put in a bit of committed housework for an hour or two on sat/sun morning, you can do nice family things during the rest of the day without feeling stressed about what you're coming back to.

Oh and cheaty quick dinners are your friend at the moment, frozen pre-prepped veg to save time chopping, aunt bessies, fresh pasta/gnocci that takes minutes etc

If he insists on being obstructive and unhelpful it's his own home life he's ultimately making unpleasant

arethereanyleftatall Wed 11-Oct-17 16:16:59

Both your lives sound really hard ATM.
He works a crazy number of hours, and a toddler plus a newborn is the hardest stage ime.
I think childcare should be shared when he's not working, you should do the housework mon-fri (as in actual housework not picking up his shit), hw should be shared at weekends, and he should definitely be picking up his own stuff. That's unacceptable and rude.

WitchesHatRim Wed 11-Oct-17 16:22:45

Not impressed with many of these responses. OP has a young toddler and baby. He has a standard job. Much less challenging than mat leave with two DC of this age IME.

How exactly do you know what job he does? unless you are the OP

He works 11 hours out of the house plus another 2-3 each evening and at weekends.

Both your lives seem full on tbh.

He needs to pick up after himself.

user1493413286 Wed 11-Oct-17 16:27:28

It’s tricky and like previous person said it depends how much time you both get to yourself. In the early weeks after my DD was born my partner would leave house at 7 and be back at 6ish. He’d cook, do some of the washing up and put washing on and at weekends do hoovering etc. At this time it was a good day if I’d managed to have lunch and I slept when baby slept so it seemed fair.
Now my DD is 5 months and my partner is out from 6am to 7.30-8pm so I tend to do most things but I still get time to myself in the evenings once she’s in bed and time when she naps whereas he only has a couple of hours in the evening before bed so I’m happy to do more but when I’ve had a bad day with DD I do expect him to stop up again.
So I suppose the question is does he sit around not doing much/out at social events while you’re rushing around and do you get any time to yourself in the day when he’s at work.

user1493413286 Wed 11-Oct-17 16:31:03

But he is being disrespectful expecting you to tidy up after him and there’s no excuse for that.

Petalflowers Wed 11-Oct-17 16:36:22

During the week, I think you probably both work as hard as each other. You are both doing long hours.

However, during the weekend, he should pitch in.

Leaving things, however, is pure laziness, on any day of the week. You are not his maid. Maybe, if he drops something, you should leave it there, and if he complains, just say 'I'm busy'. Stop entitling his behaviour. For as long as you clear up after him, he will continue. If you can't bear an untidy house, just dump his clothes in a heap in the corner, or the dishes in a heap in the kitchen.

Halfdrankbrew Wed 11-Oct-17 16:42:22

I don't think there is an easy solution at the moment, maybe I just wanted to see what others do? I am often on at him for his laziness, but then again I feel bad because I know he is shattered (but I know he's also a bit lazy!)

We are in a fortunate position where we live near our families and I have started to go out with friends for a brew and a playgroup, although I have to come home to a tip if I'm out for most the day. My family are good, they come round and visit, although I end up making brews etc and don't actually get anything house related done! It does give me 5 minutes to relax, they'll chase the toddler and are happy to cuddle the little one. I don't get on with his family at the moment (that's one epic mother in law thread in itself!) my husband's response when I try to talk to him over the housework is "get my mother round she'll help" obviously joking!

He does need to pick up his socks, maybe we'll start with the simple task of picking up the socks...

TheSparrowhawk Wed 11-Oct-17 16:43:39

No matter how hard he works he should never be dropping things around the floor and just leaving them there, that's fucking ridiculous!!! I expect my four year old to pick up after herself ffs!

As for 'helping,' it's not 'helping' - he has two children that need looking after and he's simply not doing it. What's the point of him even being there?

Havingahorridtime Wed 11-Oct-17 16:47:15

Just read your update. 15 mins to yourself!? That's awful you must be knackered I am impressed that you are coping at all. Do you get out and see friends at all?

In all fairness lots of mums who have ebf young babies don't get anytime to themselves. You can't just go out and leave the baby for a couple of hours in case he needs feeding. Lots of ebf babies won't take a bottle even with expressed milk.

HeebieJeebies456 Wed 11-Oct-17 16:47:22

Before he started this course he was self employed and only worked 20 hours a week, all antisocial hours though. I was going out to work before 7 and getting in after 7 and coming home cleaning up and spending my entire Saturday cleaning the house, even when heavily pregnant

So he showed you what type of person he really is - and you chose to ignore it?
Why did you 'put up' with being his skivvy all this time?
What made you think a baby would make him change his ways when he doesn't care enough to change them for you?

I suggest you STOP doing anything around the house for him.
Don't remind him, write a list or point things out...and refuse to engage in any strop/catastrophe that arises from his own lack of actions

The best thing you could do is give him one chance to either sit down, make a rota and stick to it without him needing 'mothering'....or you make plans to separate.
This is who he is. You married him knowing he was like this and you tolerated it.
So don't be surprised if he can't/won't change or understand it from your point of view.

Civilservant Wed 11-Oct-17 16:50:01

I have assumed he has a standard job because OP has not mentioned otherwise. Working long hours is discretionary and has payoffs for his career, though not his family relationships.

OP’s drip feed further suggests he doesn’t do a fair share.

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