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AIBU - split of household work(15 Posts)
So I don’t think I am BU however I can be quick to jump to my own defence and wanted to gauge some opinion.
Dh and I have been married 4 years, lived together for 12. I knew when I married him his recognition and completion of household chores and tasks was....low. He doesn’t seem to proactively notice what needs doing and I’ve ultimately accepted that for all his wonderful traits, if I want him to put a wash load on or stick the Hoover round I have to ask. Fair enough.
Now we have 7 week old DD.
She’s going through a phase of being very clingy during the day and DH is naturally much hotter than I am and we are finding his body temperature is making dd too warm if he holds her for prolonged periods, meaning I’m pinned to the sofa with her for feeding / soothing (not that I’m complaining at getting all the baby cuddles!)
Today we have been for a walk and had a picnic which was lovely. When we got home around 2pm we found a box set on sky and sat down to binge watch it. I had the baby the whole time. Dh got snacks and drinks as I asked for them. I then went and made dinner (the extent of getting a batch cooked lasagne out of the freezer but still, I made sure we ate!) and served it up, waiting to eat mine after him because I had to simultaneously feed dd.
After dinner we did her bedtime routine and as I was putting her in her snuzpod- the understanding is I go to bed with her as I then do the night feeds as he has to get up for work- I asked him to wash up the two dirty bottles of left by the sink and stick the steriliser on, and put a wash load on so I could take it out tomorrow. These jobs I anticipate would take 5 minutes at the absolute maximum. It was 9pm.
Here’s my AIBU - dh said “you know that in my evenings I just want to sit and relax and watch a bit of tv, but every night you give me a list of jobs!” He was calm and it was more said in a way of pointing it out than being nasty but am I asking too much??
To give more context the only thing I ask him to do every night is make sure the dishwasher is loaded and put on after tea and that bottles are washed. I also ask that every morning before work he takes the overnight bottles from our room to the kitchen and only if he has time to wash them up so I can sterilise them.
Ask him who he thinks should do those jobs, if you are doing all wake-ups with the baby in the night.
Lazy git. He should realise that life changes when you have a baby. For both of you.
Then make a list of chores and divide it so he knows what he has to do.
I don't think you're asking too much. Is there some of it he could do in the morning or do the bottles have to be done at night time? I usually leave the dishes in the kitchen overnight and load the dishwasher in the morning because I feel tired after I eat - I know some people would hate that but that's how I do it.
Does he do anything at all around the house except for those things? Perhaps some kind of rota system would help? I think he should be able to just do stuff without being told, but failing that, a rota would be a one off job to make, and then save you from having to ask for him to do things he should be doing.
It isn't really 'fair enough' that you have to ask him to do simple, obvious household chores.
You've both obviously got into a dynamic of this over the last 12 years and this most definitely isn't okay with a baby added to the mix.
You need to have a straight forward discussion with him about him pulling his weight, esp if you're doing the vast bulk of the childcare.
I think it's very U that you even have to ask. What does he think should happen to the dirty bottles, unless he does them? They will not clean themselves.
I am very houseproud so hate to see a job left longer than necessary but am trying to relax that with a new baby - we just have different standards on that front! I have a load of laundry that has dried on the clothes airer in the living room. I know it will still be there in the morning where if he were up here in bed and I were downstairs I’d have taken it off and folded it with whatever I were watching on tv going in the background.
I think that’s part of the problem we both know my expectations are much higher than his!
He does typically only do anything around the house if I ask, it’s a nice surprise if he does any chore proactively.
I do like the rota / chores list ideas though - plus it gives me something to do if I can get dd to nap tomorrow 😂
You need to get this sorted ASAP. My DH is exactly the same, mainly due to my MIL having a v traditional view on women's roles. It has been a massive issue for us, almost leading to divorce. If I ask him to help, he does 5 minutes and then disappears. We have 2 children, and both work, although I do 4 hours less per week. My DC do as much if not more than him. It sends me potty. If you don't get him to help now, when you have a baby, he never will, and will just expect you to/let you do it. It causes resentment, and also means you never have time to sit and relax, because you're always doing chores. I made the mistake of not tackling it sooner, and it got blown into a huge problem.
This often becomes an issue in a marriage after a baby is born. We resolved it by getting a nanny/housekeeper very early on and me going back to work. Basically contracting-out the shit work. I think this saved our marriage, so while it was expensive it was cheaper than a divorce. And my husband is one of the "good ones".
By the way my kids are a lot older now and they really thrived with a nanny. No separation issues or weirdness at all - in fact they still see her regularly and love her like they do their grandparents.
He might want a rest but unfortunately that might not be an option right now for either of you.
Yes a rota is the way forward. Use it as a way to write down how much you actually do. I would be tempted to do a trial week as well where you both log how long it takes to do chores and then add up the time you each spend on the housework so that he can see how
piss poor much less significant his time investment is in the daily chores. He might be quite shocked to see how long it all takes, written down. If you decide on a compromise how much the house needs hoovered, bathrooms need cleaned, how many washes a day too then it will be easier to stick to.
I would show him the mental load cartoon and ask him if expecting you to delegate household tasks to him is fair, and then if him not completing them and/or complaining about you delegating is fair, and then considering that you are doing night shifts alone and constantly tending to his child.
He should be coming home and asking himself is there anything I need to do, if he can’t see any ask, and then before bed asking the same question again. He is your husband and babies father he should be actively trying to take care of both of you during a very tender time, rather then passively waiting for instruction and then complaining ‘poor me’ about receiving them.
Thank you all - I didn’t think I was being unreasonable but it’s good to have it validated!
I can’t remember the last time I sat and watched tv uninterrupted or had a shower without rushing or feeling guilty that I’d left him to be totally responsible for the baby - I know, I know, she’s half his and if he can make her he can take care of her; I’m a part of the problem as I allow it and allow myself to feel guilty for taking ten minutes to myself!
Ask your DH to point out a time in the day when you are able to relax with no responsibilities or jobs at all.
Definitely draw up a list of responsibilities to make this more fair. If he wants to relax and unwind at night then he'll just have to get more done during the day to facilitate this.
Clearly he has no issue using your labour to buy himself leisure time.
If he would act like a proper grown up and just do what needs done (and it needs done every single day so a monkey could learnt the routine) then you would not need to give him a list, would you?
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