Am I lazy?(43 Posts)
Ok so I just want to know if my husband is being unrealistic in what he expects from me.
Both kids are now at school (primary), most days there's a lot of shuttling about to various clubs and classes after school.
I have started working freelance from home but need to find more clients, I've started going to networking groups etc but his takes time.
I still do all house work, food shopping cooking, kids home work school stuff ( meet teachers, go to shows, fill in the forms for school trips etc)
Oh find time to exercise ( this has pretty much dropped off the list but I need to fit in training as I've signed to do an event with friends)
So I need to bring in money ( preferably around 50k per year) and do all house work etc, oh and be skinny.
Anyone doing this? How do you fit it all in? Do you ever sleep?
Your DH has told you this is what he expects of you?
He sounds awful. Tell him to fuck off.
We had massive row, I did indeed tell him to fuck off. But he's still here and so am I.
Truth is having not worked (earned any money, obviously looking after children is work) since having my kids I would really like to start earning. I feel a bit trapped being this house wife. I'm rubbish at house work, I don't want to do it!
But I also want to pick my kids up from school. So let's ignore my arse of a husband for moment ,if nothing else it's made me realise that I am not happy with how my life is going.
Am I being unrealistic to expect to work from home while kids are at school and do all the other stuff it takes to run a home? Is anyone doing that? What does your day look like?
Well as long as you recognise your husband is a delusional twat, that's a start.
My life is managed by:
- A cleaner 4hrs a week
- DH taking the kids (2 DSSs and DS) so I can spend a weekend filling the freezer. This means I grab some Tupperware each morning and it gets heated for tea
- A friend co-works a couple of times a week and plays with DS (13mths) so I can make urgent calls/tidy up
- I am very focused during work time (DSs naps) and use apps on my IPad while he's awake to plan my time
- I have structures in place (eg. DS takes 45 mins to eat breakfast - that is when I start laundry, empty dishwasher, clean kitchen and choose dinner)
But the main thing is a great DH who pulls his weight. It only works because he's behind me catching the plates that get dropped.
Am I being unrealistic to expect to work from home while kids are at school and do all the other stuff it takes to run a home? Is anyone doing that? What does your day look like?
I work from home lots on a 0.8 contract. In practice, this means I do the school run with dc 7 and 10, sit down at my laptop and work through until 3pm, grabbing food when I fancy it. Then dash off to collect dd (ds walks home with friends) and start a sort of new day where I feed kids, supervise homework, do some housework, supervise bed time etc.
I might do a bit more work in the evening as well. I also try and have a simple 'little and often' routine
which I don't always stick to which involves a wipe around the bathrooms in the morning, load of washing on before kids go to school, that sort of thing. Try and do a load of washing every day which goes on the dryer early and gets put away during kids bedtime when I wander about upstairs as they faff about settle themselves.
I am trying to get DH to realise that he doesn't actually pull his weight as much as he thinks he does . He means well, of course, but I think subconsciously he knows I will take up any slack so there's not a huge incentive. I could do less, but then we'd live in a dirty home where people didn't have the things they needed, plus we'd spend a fortune popping down to Tesco Metro when DH realised 5 minutes before dinner that people are hungry and he should probably organise some food .
He doesn't demand I do anything though and isn't critical .
Does that help?
That's impressive, I think I need to focus more /kick up the arse. Also was trying to fit it all into the 9 to 3 slot, which just doesn't leave enough time to do client work.
Think a mix of lack of confidence/feeling overwhelmed means my day isn't structured enough. Tend to flit from one thing to the next in a constant state of panic.
Going to start getting housework done in the mornings before school run, great idea. I tend to help the kids with their homework in the morning as they have a lot of after school activities, so might have to get up 30mins earlier.
Do you spend every weekend cooking for the week ahead? Having meals cooked ahead of time would make life much much easier. Do you cook one meal for all the family or do kids have something different? I'm still in the kids tea/adult dinner later. I find the after school rush the worst part of the day, especially if I haven't got dinner sorted (I love my slow cooker!).
I would really like to go to the gym in the morning after drop off but I think that will have to move to the evenings. Would love to be one of those people who gets up at 5am and runs 5k but I can't see that happening.
Had to get rid of the cleaner as it was expensive and she was rubbish!
Thanks so much, I feel a lot clearer now about things. Definitely being unrealistic about what I can fit into school hours.
Makes me feel a lot better too to know that its possible.
Sorry your DH isn't being supportive.
I think the crux of the matter is that you were (I assume) using the c30 hours a week whilst they were at school to manage the household. If you are going to try to earn anywhere near £50K you will need to give those hours over to freelancing (and potentially more of an evening). You might be able to do a little of what you did do whilst the kids are with you (online shop whilst they do homework?) but not much esp if you are out and about at clubs.
I suggest you write a big list of all that needs to be done in the household and split with DH. You can keep things ticking along like loading washing whilst you are a home, but anything more time consuming will take you away from earning/developing business, so will need to be left. Being organised will help here - load the machine the night before, hang it out before you take the kids to school etc.
The stuff that cannot be done during the day either needs to be done of an evening, the weekend or outsourced.
I am going to make an assumption here that your DH has enjoyed the benefits of you being at home all this time and now thinks you can simply add 'earning money' onto your list of to-dos.
If you are going to be working, you both need to adjust your mindsets to the fact you are now a 2 working parent household and that requires a different approach to when you were at home. Will he be able/willing to take time off if they are sick and you have an urgent deadline etc?
Ha, well if the impressive comment was directed at me you should know that I am totally overwhelmed, stressed, clinically depressed and off to see Occupational Health at work this week .
So from someone who has tried and is currently failing to fit things in, I'd make the following suggestions:
1. Simplify as much as you possibly can. Be ruthless with clutter, both mental and physical. This is what I am working on right now, both with the house and work (work clutter being little, unimportant things; I want to focus on a few important things)
2. Routine is your friend. Get a massive calendar and discipline yourself to write everything on it as soon as it appears. That way you don't get that feeling of everything being so out of control. In fact… <dashes off to write football fixture on calendar>
3. Build habits gradually. Start with one change you want to make, whether that's just putting on a load of washing during the before-school time. Give yourself time to bed each small change in, a couple of weeks at least. Don't expect to change everything all in one go, you will get totally overwhelmed.
4. Set yourself regular goals with time limits on. E.g. I will spend 10 minutes running around madly picking up everything that has been dumped downstairs and put it away. It's amazing how much difference small chunks of time make.
5. Be kind to yourself! Work out what you can let go and what you can do to make things really easy. I am trying to work on this one for myself.
Maybe we can cheer each other on!
But also, I don't like the sound of your DH's attitude. You aren't trying to completely revolutionise yourself and your life just because he's telling you you aren't good enough are you? Because that's not good. Really not good.
Maybe consider finding another cleaner? We had ours (stopped as having lots of building works and now on mat leave, first thing I am doing in March is getting another one) do every other week which is cheaper than weekly - obviously! I just relaxed knowing that at least it would be cleaned properly a couple of times a month.
If you are going to do it yourself...not used it myself but there are lots of people on the MN housekeeping boards - should you not know - that use something called Fly Lady which is all about cleaning more effectively/efficiently I believe which might help.
I cook one weekend every 8-10 weeks. Mostly casseroles/curries/stroganoff for me and DH. Every five weeks I make a pasta bake that the kids get on Thursday nights. DS is 13 mths so changes week by week what he eats. DSSs here Thus and alternate weekends - I cook on their weekends for them. They are responsible for helping to menu plan.
I plan obsessively and would struggle without my iPhone and iPad. I'm also strict with the kids. DSSs are 8 and 5 and understand that we are a family that works together. They sort laundry, tidy up and generally contribute. That's not to say they always do it happily but you can't live a full life if you're rowing alone. Incidentally my DSSs are involved in household decisions from paint colours to holiday destinations. It cuts both ways.
Well you are impressive, I can barely manage to get myself out of bed in the morning.
Yeah I don't want to paint him as a total wanker, but at the moment that is pretty much how I fee about him. Bit of a shame...
I think I will start with re-adjusting my mornings to fit some housework in.
It's really easy to feel like I'm doing "not very much" as most days I don't feel like I have anything to show for it (housework). And when I sit down to do client work I feel that when he gets home & the house is a mess and the kids aren't achieving academic excellence that he's taking a mental note so save up to throw in my face later.
So I want to get to the end of each day with a tidy house with dinner on the table with 2 washed fed and read DCs before he gets home. oh crap, did I just write that? I can't believe it?! What has happened to me? Not sure who's the twat now me or him...
Really I think he wants me to stay home and be a traditional housewife but he doesn't earn enough. I don't want that, I feel too dependent on him. So this is really about me getting my life back so I don't have to put up with his shit.
Yes I have been home doing the majority of the household stuff. No way he would take time off to look after sick kids. He does work a lot, hardly takes any time off for holidays as he's self employed so if he doesn't work he doesn't earn any money. So there's a lot of pressure there.
So this is really about me getting my life back so I don't have to put up with his shit
Ok, so what does that look like? What is the life you want back?
When I feel really low and wonder what it is I am doing and why I'm bothering, I find it helps me to imagine my ideal day. Not in a fantasy wake up in a 5 star house in the Maldives with Ian Somerhalder way, but in an everyday good day.
For me, it's wake up early and not feel tired, have a nice shower and put on clean clothes from the wardrobe that make me feel attractive. Make a healthy breakfast for everyone that we sit down to eat together. Gather the dc's stuff with minimal panicking and worrying about being late. Walk to school together chatting about stuff. Come back and switch on laptop, excited about wrestling with an interesting issue in my work. Walk the dog at lunch time, eat something healthy. Greet the kids from school with a smile, do homework and necessary tasks in the house, eat dinner and spend time with kids. They go to bed, DH and I enjoy some time together.
Really simple, for me. It rests on being organised, calm and prepared.
What does it look like for you? (Note: not what does it have to look like in order for you not to be criticised by your DH)
Hmmm the Maldives, lovely. I actually went there once, before children when I earned money! <googles Ian Somerhalder> Didn't have him with me though, that would have been nice!
waking up with some energy and not dreading the day ahead would be good (I suffer from anaemia so not being tired would be wonderful!).
whip around house with the cleaning wand and prep dinner (take out of freezer/stick something in slow cooker), have breakfast & do home work with kids.
head off to school in gym kit, and without last minute search for socks/school books/ and the "what do you mean you haven't brushed your teeth?!" conversation (shout-athon)..
Go to gym after drop off, do 45min exercise/see other grownups be back home at my desk for 10.30 work till 3 (have lunch at desk).
Pick up kids from school, dash about to various clubs/classes get dinner which involves pulling something out of the slow cooker or reheating something I pre-cooked.
Get kids off to bed & put away laundry.
Have a couple of hours to relax before bed.
ok the gym part might be a bit of a fantasy!
Oh this makes things much clearer. Not totally insane, will involve being organised on the food front.
FIrst, why not try and just focus on getting yourself to the gym after school drop off? I find that if I can exercise regularly, I feel happier and with more energy so everything else is better as well. And perhaps it might help with your sleep issues too.
In order to make this as easy as it can possibly be, you will need to put out your full gym kit the night before, so you get up and get completely ready first thing. Then, it's much simpler to just go straight there once you've dropped the kids off.
One step at a time.
You don't sound lazy to me, you sound unsupported. I'm where you are in setting a business up, but DS is younger. He's currently doing mornings at nursery. My day looks something like this:
Get up (sometimes with tea in bed from DH depending on when he's getting up) and shower.
Feed both of us breakfast (porridge). Put washing machine on whilst DS finishes his.
Dress DS, hand him to DH to take to nursery, dress myself and get on laptop to work or go to meet a client.
Mid-morning, put the kettle on for a cup of tea and unload washing machine (to line or tumble dry depending on weather).
Work for another two hours.
Go and pick DS up
Spend time with DS which includes playing and chores. So vacuum, go to supermarket etc (he is young enough to enjoy this).
Cook dinner whilst DS wanders about with the TV on.
DH gets home and dinner hits the table 5 minutes later (if he's late his is left to stay warm).
Family relaxing time.
DH takes DS for bath. I dash about tidying everything.
I settle DS into bed (including bf). DH washes up and irons.
DH and I collapse onto the sofa with a cup of tea. At this point "ideal me" would go out for a run but that's a bit too much.
The important difference there is that DH is pulling is weight throughout. You should be able to manage something like this. Could the DC be doing their homework in the kitchen so you can supervise and cook for example?
Another way to look at things.
If you want to earn 50k per year, start with the number of hours you have available to work right now, before you make any changes. I reckon, going on what you have said here, you probably have around a day a week in total of 'wasted' time, ie time when you are not looking after children, shopping, cooking or picking up after your
twat quite unsupportive husband.
That means, in order to earn 50k a year, you have to work 50 days at 1k a day - actually, more than that when you think about tax and NI, but lets keep the numbers simple just now.
How achievable does that sound from a standing start?
So you have to carve out more time. Now undoubtedly some of that can come from being more planned and more efficient wrt to things that need to happen at home.
But if you managed to release the hours between 0900 and 1500 every day in term time at least, you'd suddenly have around 150 7 hour days to play with (6 hours x 180 term days / 7). That means you'd then need to earn £330 a day - which is suddenly looking a lot more achievable, isn't it?
So you don't need to become superwoman - you need to stop doing chores! And find another cleaner - mine earns £9 ph. I earn £35 ph. So it costs me £35ph if I do the cleaning - think of it that way!
Really enjoyed this thread - I've been trying to find my direction. I'm contracting at the moment and not enjoing it as much as I could, but muddling by as it is easy enough. I'm only working 4 days a week, but full days, and I really liked the advice to picture the ideal day as a starting point.
We are also eager to outsource whatever we can so that time at home is spent enjoying each others' company (while DS3 and 5 still want to spend time with us!) rather than running errands, cleaning toilets or whatever. This has been my DH's big push. (He's been contracting for a lot longer so the equation of time = money is more natural for him.) But my one issue with this is that managing the outsourcing - be it getting the plumber in or finding a better clearner or putting ads out for a nanny - all falls to me. So I'm still finding there aren't enough hours in the week. But hopefully once we have some regular help, things will fall into a nice pattern.
I would love to find a contract though that allowed me to work around school hours but I've never seen anything like this advertised.
I agree that the gym (or something which is for you) needs to be your priority because frankly the idea that your husband is passing judgement on your day is abhorrent. Clear your head and get some space to decide what it is you want.
Decide how much money you want to earn, how you want your home to look, how you want your days to go. It's infinitely easier to motivate yourself if you're doing it because it matters to you.
I don't cook ahead much btw (although I always make a double batch of curries, stews etc). I see the hours between 3 and 5 as 'everything else' time - pick up DS, go to the park after school if its fine, come home, supervise homework and snack while sorting out something for dinner. Then at 5 I'm usually back on the computer again for an hour or so till DH comes home or until it's time to feed DS. Or I quite often feed me and DS, then back to work, DH comes home picks up bedtime etc then feeds himself.
Family dinners only happen once or twice a week which is something I regret but between clubs, DH working long hours and me usually having something to get off so its with a client for first thing, somethings got to give. I chose family mealtimes rather than my sanity!
I just wanted to say "thank you" to everyone who's replied, it's been massively motivating. After I picked up the kids and ran them round to their various clubs and wash and combed one nit ridden head, fed them and got them to bed. I also pre-chopped my veg for stir fries (DH came home and having seen this pre-made tubs of salad for the week.wow )
Hoovered, did an extra load of washing, put laundry away, did a meal plan for the week, did a 'todo' plan for the week ahead and got my gym kit out for the morning.
This morning I cleaned the bathrooms, did breakfast/homework, school run then went to the gym.
Bit knackered now
I feel much more in control, if a little shaky after my workout.
I will cook a couple of meals ahead (I do usually have a spag bol in the freezer on standby), and the pre prepared veg just makes things a little quicker/easier come the dreaded 5pm.
wilsonfrickett, that's such a good way of looking at things, also makes it much easier to know how much I should charge per hour which is about right.
Yes I think putting the gym first is a really good idea, just worried that there wouldn't be enough time to fit in client work but I need to put myself first.
Feeling really motivated now, thanks!
I work with small businesses on a freelance basis so it's project based rather than a set number of hours, so I can work when I want, which in theory is marvellous. In practice however I does require a lot of discipline and also other elements I hadn't counted on such as the constant need for new clients/projects.
Well don't Iwish! now just congratulate yourself on what you've achieved and sit down for 10 minutes. Don't add anything else to your list of changes for now because you'll burn out, just concentrate on putting out that gym kit ready for tomorrow and keeping this one small change going.
I am cheering you on from the benches!
That was meant to be "well done Iwish"
If your h wishes you to earn 50k a year while working and doing all the childcare/chauffeuring and housework, then (a) he needs a big kick up the backside and 9b) a reality check.
What do you do? Is it realistic for your business to bring in such money??
I'm freelance and have the following routine: cleaner. online shopping - always
Drop off kids at school, go home, put wash on, tidy up breakfast, put on dishwasher, get food out of freezer for tea. Work till 3. 15 mins cooking/prepping tea. Collect kids from school. Home - homework, tea, play etc. Work in evening after kids i bed.
I've always worked from home, fitting in around DC school runs, holidays etc. I've only just started to take on more work outside the home now they're teens .
How does it work? Well forst of all you must accept that no one can do everything. Some men think it's possible and some idiot women give them that impression....
But you and I know it's simply not doable.
So first, you need to work out how many hours you want/need to give to work. Br realistic. Don't underestimate.
Now work out all the jobs that need doing around the home. Again be realistic. Some chores do not need doing all the damn time. Work out your priorities and how long they take.
Now divvy them out.
What you can't/won't do between you, needs outsourcing.
Yes that definitely helps, sometimes it's just good to know I'm not the only one trying to fit it all in. Youngest is in year 1 so I kind of gave myself last year to figure out what I wanted to do and this year I really need to make it happen. Would really rather not have to go out to work just in terms of the logistics/childcare. Although the idea of have colleagues is appealing, and also the separation of home/work.
I'm a computer programmer/web developer so I should be able to bring in that sort of cash in terms of an hourly charge. I also need to work on my confidence and get myself "out there" a bit more.
Don't know if anyone else is in that line of work?
From DH's point of view I guess he is thinking I need to bring some money in, it was always the plan that I would go back to work once the DC's were in school, which is what I want too!
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