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AIBU to ask those working from home with young children...

(27 Posts)
Minimumstandard Wed 10-Jun-20 23:21:10

...how you have lowered your standards to cope?

Here wfh with son just gone back part-time to daycare very recently. DH working in/out of house but not really much help. He would say that he has 'tried' hmm.

So I have....reduced housework to bare minimum (bathroom, kitchen surfaces, hoovering only occasionally even if floor dirty, no putting away toys) and have deliberately left those tasks I know will annoy DH enough for him actually to do them.

Meal quality/variation in huge decline...Beans on toast, fish fingers and beans, tinned tomatoes and beans on rice. Lots of cheese sandwiches. Who knew scrambled eggs and boiled carrot was actually a meal? It is now. DS doesn't seem to mind too much, DH minds more but gets his head snapped off if he says anything...We both hate cooking but somehow muggins here gets stuck with it all. I'm currently testing how bad I have to be for this to change.

Parenting standards non-existent, apart from a long walk each day. 'If you watch TV quietly for 10 minutes, you can have a biscuit'. 'If you have your bath, I'll let you watch Peppa Pig while I answer emails'. 'Just let Mummy check this document and you can watch the YouTube video where they splash paint everywhere for the sixth time this morning'. 'You want to watch that episode of In the Night Garden again? For the third time? Good choice, go ahead!'

I'm not really feeling that guilty anymore (got past that point weeks ago and now DS back at daycare some of the time so not so neglected), but just curious as to whether anyone else's lockdown has been similar?

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Dylaninthemovies1 Wed 10-Jun-20 23:27:21

Yes! Before lockdown my son watched barely any tv. Now he gets a good few hours of it (not all at once but throughout the day) as we both have to pop onto various conf calls. And if I’m honest, sometimes I just let him watch telly for 30 minutes so that I can get a break from work and from my son demanding 100% of my attention

Minimumstandard Thu 11-Jun-20 12:07:19

Glad to see not alone! Yes, TV used to be my 'break' time, but now feel guilty when it's on and I'm not working... Standards have got so low here...my child is basically being raised by cbeebies in place of parental involvement and playing with friends!

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Twickerhun Thu 11-Jun-20 12:13:35

Yes! We do a walk a day, beyond that it’s crap. Regular quick meals, lots and lots of crisps and biscuits.

To get me some quiet time to work Cbeebies is on for much of the day.

They don’t seem to be in too bad a state despite this.

Dylaninthemovies1 Thu 11-Jun-20 12:39:28

My son has also had some crisps! Again not something that happened before. Feel a bit sorry for him not having pals to play with

Minimumstandard Thu 11-Jun-20 12:39:53

2.5 year old has almost mastered the Paw Patrol theme tune and knows all the catch-phrases for the different pups...He's beginning to be able to quote from his favourite episodes...confused.

Oh well, at least we're stuck in the house with minimal social contact so no worries about being judged by anyone grin.

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FrankieDoyle Thu 11-Jun-20 12:42:47

YANBU flowers
However I would be telling DH that from now on we are taking turns cooking hmm

nosnugglesforyou Thu 11-Jun-20 12:43:41

Get your partner to pull his weight and stop being a dick

Minimumstandard Thu 11-Jun-20 12:45:02

@Dylaninthemovies1

No friends here either...And his childminder only has one other baby due to government guidance so not much going on there when he does attend.

His 'friends' are his cuddlies and some Night Garden figures we bought him a few weeks ago. He talks to them, has tea parties with them and takes them out to the sandpit to play with him...Makes me feel a bit sad, tbh sad. He had lots of little friends before lockdown and was turning into a very sociable little boy and learning to share/take turns etc.

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InterestingIris Thu 11-Jun-20 12:51:51

There’s not enough hours at the minute to do it all so we’ve developed a pretty clear up/down divide.

Downstairs has mainly maintained normality...pretty clean and tidy. I just cannot function in mess during the day so it’s essential.

Upstairs is like something from the lost world. Piles of laundry that never gets put away, toys everywhere, bathroom needs a good going over. Haven’t hoovered the carpet in weeks and ds1 and 2’s room smells like a gym locker. I don’t even remember when I last changed our sheets confused

We go up to bed at night and then get the hell out of there first thing to the normal, maintained downstairs.

Minimumstandard Thu 11-Jun-20 12:54:47

However I would be telling DH that from now on we are taking turns cooking

I have...and it's worked somewhat but not completely. It's not that he's anti-helping in principle, just that he's never around when anything needs to be done (back home late when working, on calls over dinnertime if wfh...) and I definitely carry the 'mental load' in our house. For my own sanity, I've stopped nagging but also stopped doing anything that I can get away with not doing, so I have managed to claw back some time for myself. It helps that he's actually a bit of a neat freak and has a much lower tolerance for mess than I do wink. When he comes to tell me paints/crayons need tidying up or there's flour all over the kichen from 'baking' with DS, I just pretend to be asleep and too tired to understand...And magically it's cleaned up in the morning, like some little fairy has visited us during the night! So things are moving slowly in the right direction.

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InterestingIris Thu 11-Jun-20 12:55:39

Would like to add that that’s the best standard we can reach even though dh is a SAHD.
He’s the one that maintains downstairs, does all the laundry and all the cooking for us all, all the cleaning he can and the shopping...and has toddler ds3.
I’m working 60 hours and homeschooling ds1 and 2.
Upstairs is the casualty.

Minimumstandard Thu 11-Jun-20 12:56:53

Piles of laundry that never gets put away This rings a bell. We have a massive plastic box that all the laundry gets put into...I just pick out items in the morning, no folding or putting away. I gave up folding DH's a long time ago...Just chuck it in the bottom of his cupboard now.

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InterestingIris Thu 11-Jun-20 13:07:13

We have a sock basket now.

I’ve always hated pairing socks but gradually over the last 3 months it’s stopped altogether. Everyone now has empty sock drawers and pot luck in finding two matching socks from one huge communal basket 😂

Minimumstandard Thu 11-Jun-20 13:09:46

@InterestingIris. Genius! I remember DH's bewilderment when I stopped pairing his socks (a while back now). 'But how will I find two that match?' Now he's lucky if he can actually find two socks at all since I no longer put his laundry away grin.

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TheHoneyBadger Thu 11-Jun-20 13:17:37

I think you’ve taken the sanity saving approach. I hate the phrase ‘help’ though who is he helping by doing a bit of work in his own home?

Notlostjustexploring Thu 11-Jun-20 13:34:17

We have what is referred to as the sock pile of doom. Usually it's about 30odd socks at any one time. It now fills two large laundry baskets.

The rest is a combination of rigid routine and absolute chaos. Bedtime is half past 6. Lunch is half past 12. Breakfast is porridge, lunch is one of 4 choices (scrambled eggs, french toast, cream cheese sandwich, and something else that I've currently forgotten) and dinner is a rotation of six. Other than that it was a maelstrom of mess. There was just never enough time by the time the kids' basic needs were dealt with and our work hours were done. Many quavers were consumed and screen time probably averaged out about 4-5 hours a day.

Now the kids are back at nursery and taking stock of the chaos. Every square foot in the living room is strewn with bits of toys, pile of laundry in front of me, kitchen looks like a hoarder's dream, laundry in the dining room, the kitchen floor crunches underfoot. And it's the downstairs is the bit that's okay in comparison!! It's all just awful.

FromTheAllotment Thu 11-Jun-20 13:47:21

His 'friends' are his cuddlies and some Night Garden figures we bought him a few weeks ago. He talks to them, has tea parties with them and takes them out to the sandpit to play with him...Makes me feel a bit sad, tbh

Not trying to diminish the effect of your DS missing his friends, but just think, if this was happening out of lockdown, you’d probably think it was adorable and really good social development! Tea parties and talking to cuddlies is a totally normal way to play, don’t worry flowers

I’m only working a little bit now so not really in the same boat, but my standards have still dropped substantially confused between home schooling, occupying DS and the work I am doing, housework is LOWWWW down the priority list. Especially during the good weather, sand/mud getting tracked in all the time like the summer holidays, except we’re also home schooling so less time to clean, and less chance to spend the whole day out somewhere and have a day off from making mess. It’s all mess, all the time, no escape. shock

Suzie6789 Thu 11-Jun-20 13:54:28

Who knew scrambled eggs and boiled carrot was actually a meal? It is now.

Lol, yes this is happening here too.... I’ve had enough spaghetti hoops on toast was last nights dinner. I was Just was so sick of thinking about what to eat. DH did a bit of an eye roll and said he’d make himself eggs... fine go for it then.
My kids are old teens and pre teens, but we’re doing pretty much same as you. All ironing ceased back in March, it’s on my to do list to fold washing and put away, floors are dirty but I don’t care enough to sort it or nag the teens into doing it.

Minimumstandard Thu 11-Jun-20 14:04:10

DH did a bit of an eye roll and said he’d make himself eggs... fine go for it then.

Yes, my DH here seems a bit surprised that I don't care whether he eats my food or not. FFS, he's an adult and I'm not his mum...what do I care if he goes hungry or not because he doesn't like what's for dinner?

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TheHoneyBadger Thu 11-Jun-20 14:08:12

And wtf at make ‘himself’ some eggs? Please tell me he asked everyone else if they’d like some? Even 13yo ds offers me eggs when he’s making them

Suzie6789 Thu 11-Jun-20 14:23:11

TheHoneyBadger we were all happy with the spaghetti hoops option, and it was surprisingly tasty. If you don’t like what’s being made, you should sort yourself out and that’s what happens here.

TheHoneyBadger Thu 11-Jun-20 14:25:15

I’d have happily accepted an egg on top if only to remind him of his manners

Minimumstandard Thu 11-Jun-20 14:26:21

what’s being made. I think I'm just coming more and more to resent always being the default for everything.

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Suzie6789 Thu 11-Jun-20 14:37:18

TheHoneyBadger ha ha, I hate eggs so he was welcome to them, stinky things.
Spaghetti hoops with an egg, That’s the lockdown equivalent of haute cuisine.

Minimumstandard its not good if you are the default for everything and I’m not surprised if you are resentful. Have the chat about splitting cooking again and ask him what he has planned for dinner? Or you could just wait it out and see if he produces anything without being reminded?

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