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If it was compulsory to do 50/50 do you think a lot of men would not agree to have children?

(90 Posts)
honeylulu Tue 24-Oct-17 07:07:58

If it was compulsory for all childcare and domestic tasks to be split 50/50, do you think that a lot less men would agree to have children?

It's hypothetical as of course itsunenforceable (but imagine that it was enforceable). I guess you also have to assume in that scenario that both parties work equal hours outside the home.

I share everything equally with my husband and it's worked out fine BUT I would say that he enjoyed our dual income/ no kids lifestyle and was happy to leave it like that. I had to talk him into having children and he kind of assumed I'd bear the brunt of the increase in domestic life and take a bit to my career (while his would remain unaffected). I was honest about wanting to share everything and go back to work but he admitted afterwards he thought I would change my mind about this once I'd had the baby.

Things worked out fine for us (we now have two and he's a great dad) but sometimes I doubt he would have agreed to have a baby (an idea he was otherwise not terribly keen on) if he knew he was getting lumbered with half of everything as well as what we already had on our plates.

I don't think he was that unusual. Interested in what others think.

speakout Tue 24-Oct-17 07:11:33

It suits some couples not to do the 50/50.

I have taken the burden of childcare and housework- became a SAHM. That meant my OH could focus on his career.

Even now my youngest is 17 and I work only 15 hours a week, again suits us fine, I do most of the domestic stuff and bills etc, also have loads of free time to do other things.

Works for us.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 24-Oct-17 07:13:16

I don't think dh would have wanted them
on that basis.

LosingMyWay Tue 24-Oct-17 07:20:40

We wouldn’t have been able to have children on that basis. To be 50:50 dh would have had to quit his job and find a local one/start again in career taking a massive paycut which just wasn’t going to happen.

Our roles slot nicely together, although it has meant that my career has stagnated which I hate.

CPtart Tue 24-Oct-17 07:21:27

I think you're right

BrandNewHouse Tue 24-Oct-17 07:22:05

It is interesting.

You might find that Swedish style parental leave becomes the norm within a couple of months. Free childcare and probably an au pair or at least five hours of cleaning a week thrown in.

But I think relatively quickly men would be much more rigorous about their own contraception. It would be interesting to see where the chain of events/social change would lead to in terms of abortion.

Huge impact on women in the workplace of course and politics.

I wonder how society’s perception of men who walk away from their own children would be impacted.

Bruceishavingfish Tue 24-Oct-17 07:24:07

What an odd question.

Lots of sahms are sahms by choice. Not force. Many sahms do majority of childcare and housework, but their OH also do plenty.

Most men i know do loads of stuff at home and with their kids and work and dont treat their wives like shit. You see it hear alot because people are lookong for advice and dont post when everything is normal.

I have known women who wouldnt entertain the idea of working after children. My mother and lots of collegues i have met in thr last 20 years, included.

These threads always depend on the individuals, the relationship, economic factors.

Me and dh discussed who be staying at home when we had kids. The answer was neither of us. I didnt eant to be a sahp and i didnt want to be the only person responsible for the family income. Dh felt the same. So we do, do 50:50 in everything. But then nor did i have to talk him round to have kids. Again we had discussed it before we got engaged.

KoalaD Tue 24-Oct-17 07:25:06

I think you're right.

I know virtually zero couples where the man does as much child-rearing as the woman. Regardless of whether they both work full-time.

KoalaD Tue 24-Oct-17 07:27:15

What an odd question.

It's not odd at all. Why shouldn't we discuss such things?

Laiste Tue 24-Oct-17 07:28:11

I think they'd mostly agree - the drive to have kids is strong even with conditions attached -

and then they'd hate it and moan about the chores on dadsnet.

EllaHen Tue 24-Oct-17 07:28:55

50/50 here. Genuinely so, all thinking is shared. It was dh who wanted dc2.

Most men? No. The ones who want to be part of a family? Yes.

RemainOptimistic Tue 24-Oct-17 07:29:16

I don't think it would make any difference because no one understands what it's like to have kids until you have them. Men (and women) are very gung ho and then are surprised when it turns out to be bloody hard work. I think most men have every intention of being a more active parent but when reality hits all those lovely ideals go out the window, for a variety of reasons and circumstances. And women get left holding the baby generally speaking. Plus all domestic work and the mental load grin

abbsisspartacus Tue 24-Oct-17 07:30:02

I think your right ex number one walked away without looking back 14 years ago all my fault obviously 🤔 but still never made a free application to take me to court as it would cost too much 🤤(Yes I know it's not free now but at the time he was not working and it was before the cuts to legal aid)

Shoxfordian Tue 24-Oct-17 07:36:13

I agree too. I think many men would not want children on the basis of doing half of everything all the time. From what I've read on here, lots of men don't do half of everything even without children

InDubiousBattle Tue 24-Oct-17 07:39:59

We couldn't and wouldn't have had dc under such rules. Half of my salary and half of his wouldn't be enough to live on and neither of us wanted our children in childcare full time.

I don't know of a single couple where everything is split 50:50. I know a small handful of couples with SAHP (literally 5, including us), lots where the woman has gone pt and does way more childcare and 'wife work and another handful where they both work ft and the woman still does more childcare and 'wifework'.

QueenofLouisiana Tue 24-Oct-17 07:45:40

I think you are right. DH is a good, involved dad to DS and has definitely got better at doing more as he had got older. However, the mental load, day to day running of having a child is 85% my job. Shoes falling apart? Mum. Ingredients for cooking? Mum. Lost sports sock? Mum.
Even in half term, when we are all at home, it is just naturally my job.

ifonly4 Tue 24-Oct-17 07:46:14

After we had DD, DH gave me the option of us both working part-time and him staying at home with DD. I'm sure he would have done the housework, just some areas things wouldn't have been done as often as I'd like, ie dusting. So for us I think it would have worked as I know he'd have gone shopping, cooked tea, cleaned bathroom, hoovered and the gardening.

Allthewaves Tue 24-Oct-17 07:49:08

Depends if the bloke wants kids. Dh wanted kids more than me and was a sahd with our first. I couldn't have married a man who wasn't keen in having kids.

treaclesoda Tue 24-Oct-17 07:50:54

In my case, my husband was very reluctant to have children, we almost broke up because of it.

But when we did, he has always done his fair share of the childcare and probably does more than half of the housework.

RedSkyAtNight Tue 24-Oct-17 07:51:43

I think it works the other way too - there are plenty of women who only want to have DC if it means they can be a SAHM or work part time.

The number of people posting on MN who are sole earners in 2 parent families is quite small so I think we hear much more about the occasions when partners (and yes,usually men) are not pulling their weight on the domestic/childcare front than when partners (and again usually men) are struggling on the money earning front.

Funnily enough I've had 2 conversations in the last week with colleagues - one leaving his current job which he loves, purely to earn more as his family is struggling financially while his wife works part time. The other has just missed out on a promotion and telling me how he doesn't know what he will do now as his wife is a SAHM and they are stuck in a too small house not able to do a lot of what they want.

Yes, of course both parents should pull their weight, but it saddens me sometimes on MN threads that so little credit is given to the person earning the money!

whiskyowl Tue 24-Oct-17 07:54:25

Interesting question.

Yes, I suspect they would.

But I am amazed at how dishonest some couples are about children. I know of a few cases where the bloke has not been keen and the wife has basically begged, and part of that begging has been "I will do all the work". I am not sure this is a good basis for an equitable division of the labour involved at a later date. I know of at least 3 cases where this has happened, and the woman has ended up exhausted and overloaded, and the man has ended up burying himself in his work, with pretty devastating consequences for the relationship.

Of course there are cases the other way round too, but I suspect they may be less common.

I do think this is a bit of a taboo topic, because once you have kids the one thing you're really not allowed to say is that you didn't really want them!

Trills Tue 24-Oct-17 07:58:08

I think that if everyone thought about it properly there are a number of groups of people who would choose not to have children.

I suspect that there are men who don't particularly want children who go along with having kids "because their partner wants them", and it's easy to go along with it if you know that you only need to do the minimum and will get praised any time you are seen with your child in public (^oh he's such a good dad^ ).

There are also men who won't particularly want children, who have bought into the (now outdated but still prevalent) attitude that only women want children and all men reluctantly go along with it. They see other men enjoying being dads and think well it worked for him, not realising that he actually wanted to be a father.

I also think there are women who don't particularly want children, who do it because it's what everyone does and all women want children really and you'll never regret your children (none of which is true).

StickThatInYourPipe Tue 24-Oct-17 08:00:06

Well I don't know how anyone could afford to have children if that was the case tbh. When we have children dp will probably be a SAHD becuause I earn significantly more than him, we couldn't live on half of each persons wages as a pp above already said

Littlepond Tue 24-Oct-17 08:02:16

I guess it would eventually become the norm. DH grew up in a family where his mother did everything regsrding housework and children. He never saw his dad cook a meal, Hoover or wash a pot.when our kids were little if we would visit DHs parents and his dad answered the door he would literally shout for MIL before letting us in. The classic "Hi Son, I'll get your mother" on the phone.

It's hard to fight against upbringing. It doesn't come naturally to DH to share housework and parenting. I went back to work full time recently and we have had several rows about him not pulling his weight and me still doing everything I was doing before plus a full time job.

DH will do it, and happily, but needs to be reminded, told what's needed doing (INFURIATING). If I say "can I leave sorting parents evening with you?" he will do it. If I don't do it, and don't mention it, we wouldn't go to parents evening, because it would never naturally occur to him to find out when it is, or that it is even a thing.

I think DH would have been happy theoretically to split everything 50/50 before we had kids but has no concept what that actually means. I think if asked he would say he split everything now. Whereas actually it's that mental load thing where I am managing EVERYTHING and just giving him jobs to do. Drives me mad. But i definitely believe it Is because as a kid everything deferrred to his mum. What's for dinner? Ask your mother. I've got a letter from school. Give it to your mother. I fell over and hurt my knee. Judy! Little Johnny needs a plaster!

PoohBearsHole Tue 24-Oct-17 08:03:10

W do 50:50 for most things! i enjoy cooking so that role always falls to me, I hate other people washing my clothes so i do that. It irritates me he doesn't clean the bath but he does clean the bathroom confused. we do half the activities, during the week i can think of one he doesn't help with. I tend to do school run as in the other direction to work for him and he has to be there around the same time as school drop off (he's got an his ur commute+). I now contract so a lot of theses things work for me too as on my way to work/ work from home.

I think he'd have been more than happy in the basis of you op.

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