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How much housework does your DH/DP do- and what? - warning, long.

(32 Posts)
strawberryjelly Sun 19-Jun-11 09:48:55

Increasing tension between me and DH over this. Big show downs but nothing changes. Posted about this a few months back.

Our kids are adults but we have a son at home who's flat hunting. He does his own room and washing/ironing- but sometimes does his own cooking.

The issue is that over the past year my work has changed. I work from home 90% of the time. Before, I was working roughly half a week so shouldered all the domestic stuff- shopping, washing, ironing, gardening ( except lawn cutting), cleaning.

Now, I work almost full time some weeks- it's creative, I have to have "thinking time" even when not working on projects, so that i generate more projects- the work doesn't land on my plate. When I do have a project i can often be working flat out all day ,including evenings if I have a deadline.

After a huge amount of talk, DH has taken over loading/unloading dishwasher most days. He is also ironing his own shirts- simply because I have stopped doing them.

I am not housework obsessed but as I am here all day I need a certain amount of order and cleanliness. I also sometimes have clients visit me so that's another factor.

This is what I do:
*hoover hall every day- it's pale wood. sometimes it needs wiping over if it's muddy outside.
*dust downstairs once fortnight- clear cobwebs etc.
* hoover our bedroom once week after bed change at weekend.
* clean our ensuite ( full bathroom with bath, shower, loo) twice a week including floor wash.
* clean downstairs cloakroom once week.
* hoover stairs and landing once a week.
*hoover lounge dining room and study once a week.
*Hoover ktichen floor and utility room ( tiled) almost daily and mop 2-3 times a week.
* gardening as and when
*Do all laundry inc ironing my clothes and king size cotton bedding for us ( son does own)
* do all shopping, all cooking, all meal planning- sometimes use ocado if it's a really busy week.

DH works 8-7pm most days inc. travel. he doesn't cook, ( can't and won't learn- doesn't even know which dishes are oven proof)
spends all weekend cycling, running, going to gym, sitting in a coffee shop after these, pottering in tool shed polishing bikes etc.

Please don't suggest a cleaner as we can't afford it.


CybilsLiberty Sun 19-Jun-11 09:58:06

First glace says you are doing too much each week, ragerdless of who is doing it

Cant you give wooden or tiled floors a quick squizz with a wet floor wipe as you go through? Or just do a hoover when you are expecting company? I'm not saying you are too fussy, just trying to make life easier for YOU

Now divisions of labour- does your husband just not SEE what needs doing ?(mine doesnt a lot of the time) or are you asking him to do stuff and he's refusing?

CybilsLiberty Sun 19-Jun-11 09:59:41

Oh and my H will do laundry, wash, peg out, put away but doesnt see what stuff needs ironing before he puts it in drawers

he never dusts

doesnt hoover unles I tell him too

Would never change a bed of his own acccord unless I died, or clean a loo or bath. But does do dishwasher

TimeWasting Sun 19-Jun-11 10:01:27

Sit your DH down and talk to him about this.
It doesn't matter how much mine or anyone else's OH does, yours isn't doing his fair share.
One suggestion would be to get him to do the shopping on a Saturday and take over responsibility for the garden. Whatever of the other cleaning you haven't got done in the time it takes him to do that you share out.

Unless you have lots of pets I think you're probably cleaning floors too often.

PrinceHumperdink Sun 19-Jun-11 10:04:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thestringcheeseincident Sun 19-Jun-11 10:09:38

Yes agree with timewasting. Talk to him, tell him how you feel about it all.
Surely he'll see the imbalance.

strawberryjelly Sun 19-Jun-11 10:13:19

The hall etc is not an option re. cleaning less. We live in the country- ish- and have no porch so coming straight in from the front door means the hall is always dusty, little bits of grit from the footpaths/road outside. Even though we are a shoes off at door family, the hall still gets very dusty and grubby and I do have clients.

DH does not see what needs doing.

We were both almost 30 when we married and had our own places. His was cleanish but then he was out at work all day, living alone etc.

he seems to have no sense of cleanliness at all- until I blew my top a while back he would not even clean the utility room floor after he had covered in mud after coming in from garden- he saw it as " my" job. Ditto loos- it is only now that he has understood what the bottle of domestos besdie the loo is for- was always leaving skid marks.

he is also extremely untidy- leaves clothes, shoes, bits and bobs all over the place so that if anything needs hoovering it's nigh impossible round his "obstacle course".

I feel i am constantly nagging, yet I feel i do the bare minimum to keep thehouse clean. 2 bedrooms are out of use anyway- we have 4 and are using 2, although the other two have become dumping grounds for all DH's "stuff".

PrinceHumperdink Sun 19-Jun-11 10:15:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TimeWasting Sun 19-Jun-11 10:19:00

Agree with PrinceHump, if you've talked about it and he's not changing then he's taking the piss.

SpringchickenGoldBrass Sun 19-Jun-11 10:20:13

He thinks housework is women's work and you are his servant. The easy way to detect if you are in a relationship like this is to calculate how much free time each of you has - it sounds like this man considers all the leisure time in the household as his. Whereas a fair division of the domestic work is one which leaves both of you with the same amount of leisure time.
Sit him down and tell him that his behaviour (ie demonstrating that he considers you his servant) is so offputting that you are thinking about leaving him and see if that gets through to him.

CybilsLiberty Sun 19-Jun-11 10:27:22

Don't you think a lot of men dont think things are important enough to need doing (eg cobwebs) and yet we can't sleep if we know they are in the house?
Isnt some of this problem about priorities? I think we do create a lot of work that doesnt always need to be done, and then stress when we are always the ones doing it

And of course there are those that genuinley take the piss

PrinceHumperdink Sun 19-Jun-11 10:32:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

strawberryjelly Sun 19-Jun-11 11:03:20

I think what I resent is that this is like a record getting stuck. we have had this conversation before.

My house is not super clean by other friends' standards- i simply don't have time. Last week i had a deadline, and i was working from 7am - 10pm. In between i was multi asking doing essential washing and preparing evening meal.he can't boil the proverbial egg.

it's like he can't "remember"- I have asked zillions of times not to leave loads of shoes in the hall- great big clumpy trainer type things- as i can't hoover round them. he takes them upstairs once- when i ask- then 2 days later they are back. confused

I can live with a few cobwebs and dust in some rooms but i can't be arsed tripping over shoes when I am trying to do the basics- which for me is keeping the lounge, hall, stairs, kitchen & utility rooms clean.

I suggested a list this morning and he went all huffy and disappeared off on his bike.Threw his hands up and shouted we didn't need a bloody list - just ask him etc.

But that's it- I should not need to ask- he should take responsibility- he's an adult.

I know I have made a rod for my own ack in some ways by being able to multi task and I am a good cook, but i've really had enough.

His "excuse" are that I have more time. well, some weeks I have but others not.

TimeWasting Sun 19-Jun-11 11:08:38

Right, then you are already at the point where it's time to strike.
You don't wash his clothes, you don't cook him meals. If he leaves stuff everywhere, bag it and stick it in his shed.
He'll get the point. And if he doesn't get the point, get rid.

You've been more than reasonable up to this point.

blondieminx Sat 25-Jun-11 23:55:47

I think it's worth discussing it with him again - but this time armed with some sort of a rota and setting out clearly which jobs you want him to take on. Make it specific and get his agreement as to when the new arrangments will start. Try to keep it on a level and if he starts whining childishly don't go into nag mode, try and rise above and focus on how you can both work together to keep a nice home and both have some leisure time. Point out that you're his wife and partner and that partners work together rather than one expecting the other to take on all the boring housework!

To answer your original question, I work 3 days a week, DH does 4 and a half (both of us commute to London for work, a journey of about an hour and 15 mins) and we have one DD of 17 months, and we split chores as follows:

Shopping and Cooking
Gardening (inc mowing the lawn)
Cleaning bathrooms and bathroom floors
Household bills/price comparisons on major purchases and services
Ironining (he does always at least offer to iron his shirts though bless)
Filling up the car/arranging service and MOT etc

Washing up
Cleaning kitchen floor
Emptying the bins

HTH and good luck.

Mumelie Sun 26-Jun-11 20:37:14

Really feel for you and I think a lot of women are in this situation. My OH is just as bad, he just does not see mess and untidyness! He's getting better but it's still not any where near equal.

lucyspangle Mon 27-Jun-11 20:48:03

We both work f/t .
DH does all the cooking and the grocery shop
Most of the gardening
He often works from home and on these days will clean the bathrooms.
He cleans the oven fair I reckon since he cooks
He cleans the windows - but not as often as I would like
He doesn't hoover or dust or do wooden floors
He doesn't make beds very well flops duvet over- no airing or straightening of sheets. Thinks I am anal because I want to change bed every week.
I spend approx an hour every evening on housework.
Probaly another 4 hours over a weekend.
I also take a few days holiday twice a year to blitz house declutter etc
I do all the ironing
I think I am pretty lucky with DH I have higher standards than him with regard to housework but reckon he is pretty good really.
Think he is a good role model for our DS.

GrendelsMum Mon 27-Jun-11 21:02:57

I think you're doing a lot of cleaning, OP, even though you say your friends houses are cleaning. I think it might be reasonable to lower your standards slightly, although I see you need to keep your 'office' areas clean. Meanwhile, your DH is a lazy arse and needs to get himself in gear.

This might be a radical solution, but have you considered having seperate bedrooms? That way, you can have a tidy bedroom (yours) and a mucky bedroom (his). You could try it for a couple of months over the summer and see how it goes. You can pop over to his for sex, and if it's so revolting it puts you off, then he might get the message a little quicker.

You say he can't cook, but my DH couldn't cook before found himself in a country with no ready meals and had to fend for himself sharpish. Now he's a fabulous cook.

The thing about cooking supper is that it's the one thing your DH can't ignore, unlike all the cleaning. I think your DH should be given this as a responsibility, while you take on official cleaning responsibility (you maybe cook twice a week). If he's cooking, he'll also need to do the shopping, but if he does this from Ocado while at work, it'll take him about 10 mins. He'll probably deliberately / unconsciously cock it up for a month or so, but if you're at home, you can cook yourself a decent lunch, and then if he cooks some crap in the evening, you can just smile and tell him he's slowly improving, and then put it in the bin.

In our house, I clean and garden, and do some fall-back cooking. DH does food and cooks and does the lawn-mowing. We do our own ironing, and take it in turns to do laundry. DH works extremely long hours (far, far longer than your DH, sadly), but would never dream of saying that this lets him off housework. Your DH is a wimp.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 27-Jun-11 21:44:17

Sounds like you need a shoe cabinett in the hall for everyday shoes and a turtle mat for the floor, I live in the country too so I know all about mud.

It wouldn't solve the bigger issues but storage always helps as does anything that stops the dirt coming in.

I love the seperate bed idea.

SamsGoldilocks Mon 27-Jun-11 21:50:44

Grendels Mum - i like your approach

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 27-Jun-11 21:53:40

Get a cleaner!

My DH cooks (he finds this relaxing, I find it boring), I iron often whilst he cooks and we chat and the cleaner cleans. Kids (students) do thier own washing and ironing when home.

balia Mon 27-Jun-11 22:17:22

I think SpringchickenGoldBrass is right on the money. I do more in the house than DH, but neither of us have loads of lovely free time at the expense of the other.

He does the bins, recycling ('helped' by the kids) all DIY and garden jobs, and car, and house maintenance, plus most of the laundry (including buying the stuff to wash with) feeds the pets and buys petfood, the bathrooms (although they sometimes need a quick wipe round as we don't have enough time in the day, he does the 'deep clean') and lots of tidying. I do the cooking (because I like it) and more of the hoovering/putting clothes away/general sorting out. If one of us has a deadline or feels snowed under the other takes on the day-to-day stuff (childcare, basic keeping the house ticking over stuff). Take turns changing beds or do it together. I do online shop, he does the extras like fresh veg, and stuff we run out of.

I did have to sit down and discuss this with DH when I went back to work after maternity leave, though, as we had got into a habit of me doing much more than him when I wasn't working. We wrote down as many jobs as we could think of that needed doing round the house and then who was primarily responsible for them - that jolted him into taking on some of the jobs again (laundry, bathrooms) - he'd just got into a habit of me doing them.

GrendelsMum Tue 28-Jun-11 08:37:41

Fluffycloudland is spot on with the turtle mat!

My DH actually disagrees with SGB's 'equal free time' theory of housework, although I personally do agree with it. He argues that people have chosen to take on these high-flying careers with long hours, and that simply having a career that takes up more of your time shouldn't mean that your partner should therefore be made to do more of the shared housework / cooking / cleaning. He thinks that since he has chosen his career, that means he has also chosen to have less free time than me.

TrilllianAstra Tue 28-Jun-11 08:49:42

SGB is right - what is fair is that you both get the same amount of time to do as you like.

Grendel I see your point but I also think that in a partnership both partners should have equal spending money after bills/rent/food/child-related costs are dealt with. If we say that people choose to have high-flying careers or not does that mean that they get to keep more money for themselves because the other partner chooses to NOT have a better career?

Is your DS paying rent? If he is capable of doing his own washing then maybe he could do some of everyone's washing while he is at it. Or he could have an allocated night to make dinner.

GrendelsMum Tue 28-Jun-11 18:35:46

Trillian - I think that's a good point (and obviously I do get the financial rewards of DH's job), but DH would argue that I am already experiencing a downside to his job by him being absent a lot, and that it would therefore be inappropriate for him to expect me to spend my lonely hours at home cleaning.

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