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What is the job description for a SAHM?

(27 Posts)
JuneBugJen Fri 19-Sep-08 13:20:31

Just wondering... what would be written in the job description for a SAHM apart from looking after the children?

I have a lovely friend who doesn't think that housework and cooking are part of being a SAHM as she is often cross about her DH hoping for the house to be half way clean and to have supper made.

Just before there is a tirade against him, he is not a neanderthal, he leaves the house at 7am and is not back till 7pm and at the weekends is a real hands on dad.

I have kept quiet about whether housework etc should be 50:50 with parents like this. I kind of assumed during the times I have been a SAHM that pretty much the running of the house is down to me with DH helping out. Is this old fashioned now?

When did we stop being 'housewives' and become 'SAHMs'?

This is just out of interest!! I have no strong views either way, I just wondered what everyone else thought.

JacobsPrincess Fri 19-Sep-08 13:24:38

I know a lady who point blank refuses to do housework as a SAHM, and when her DP gets home from work she hands over the kids and expects him to do tea/bedtime routine, and cook for the adults, then do the cleaning.

I just wish I had the cahoneys to suggest this to my DH!!
Personally I feel I should take responibility for most of the housework, as DH is working jolly hard to keep us in this house and feed us all - the least I can do is cook dinner and whack the hoover around.

lucysmam Fri 19-Sep-08 13:28:02

I'm a sahm & do run the house mostly. I cook/clean & look after our lo plus a friends through the day. I'm in charge of sorting out money/budget and make most decisions relating to the baby or house and then discuss with oh to see if he agrees (which he DOES wink )

My oh does pull his weight though n helps out sorting washing, cooking occasionally, gets our lo up on Sunday so I can have a lie in. He's off today and has spent most of the day with the kids, giving me a break to play on MN

I don't think it's unreasonable for your friends hubby to expect the house to be at least half way tidy when he comes in from work, if it was the other way around, I know I would expect the house to be at least a bit clean and tidy when I got in.

JuneBugJen Fri 19-Sep-08 13:29:10

Really JB? That sounds a bit mad! Poor guy.

My friend will do more than that, but not much more!

The reason I asked is that I got back from work yesterday (8am-6pm) and DH had an afternoon off. In that time he had done all the laundry and was making homemade pizzas for us all! I just thought 'how lovely to be looked after like this after a hard day at work!' It felt like being a real victorian dad with pipe and slippers etc.

hotcrossbunny Fri 19-Sep-08 13:29:36

I feel the house is up to me, but equally I'm not a cleaner being paid for my time, so I also go for coffee with friends, MN, read a book etc. If all I did was clean, and do household things, I'd be so depressed and unhappy. There's a balance I thinksmile

JacobsPrincess Fri 19-Sep-08 14:29:13

We share some jobs. I sort washing and put machine on. DH hangs it out or loads tumble dryer. I put dry clothes away. DH irons own shirts.
I do all the cooking, DH pays for it and provides dinner out/takeway once a week.
I clean lounge/kitchen/bathroom and do the dusting. DH vacuums.
I tend garden beds and veg patch, DH cuts grass and does other DIY jobs.
As for childcare, DH feeds and dresses DS1, I feed and dress DS2. Then I have them to entertain all day. DH does take over for an hour when he hets home so I can cook dinner. We all eat together and do bathtime together. DH does bedtime story and prayers, while I wash up.
Not sure what will happen when I go back to work, but I'm very fortunate to have a wonderful Mum to help out.

norksinmywaistband Fri 19-Sep-08 14:38:04

Very old fashioned here.
Dh works, pays for house/ food/ bills/ clothing/holidays
His contribution within the house, is to assist with bedtie routine for Dc, Help me wash up in the evening, Mow the Lawn. Occasionally Take DC to the park for an hour on Sundays.

My role is all housework other than shared evening washing up. All laundry including putting away once ironed. All organisation of DC and purchasing of clothes etc. Food shopping, cooking( with exception of takeaway on a friday night for adults only)Sorting car.

I also have an external cleaning job 2 mornings a week which gives me some money for things I want to save up an buy for myself.

This works very well for us, as I am a control freak with very little money sense.
So I get housekeeping for food shopping and clothes and DH sorts the rest.

quickdrawmcgraw Fri 19-Sep-08 14:41:49

I work 6 hours a day from home and while I have the house tidy all the time dh does all the laundry. He also hoovers upstairs. I do bedclothes and we share bathrooms.
I would think that keeping the house tidy is in the job description of a sahm but if you have little children and babies it's pretty hard. If your children are in school then yes definitely!

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 19-Sep-08 14:44:11

Message withdrawn

Here is the actual adveristment

Job Vacancy -Parent

grin

RubyRioja Fri 19-Sep-08 14:47:31

Realistically though, just being at home means you do some housework, don't you think? If you feed everyone, you clear up afterwards. If you get them dressed, you sort of do laundry at same time?

Our rule is that if there is stuff to be done outside office hours (ha!) we pretty much share it

Sazisi Fri 19-Sep-08 15:03:43

Anything that needs doing while DH is at work is done by me, then when he's home we hopefully share duties.
We are both quite slack though!
He has never had a go at me if he comes home and the house is a mess (god help him if he did ), but I do get pissed off sometimes if he doesn't pull his weight.

Ultimately, I usually do about 80% of the housework, DH 20%. I think this is about right for now.

cafebistro Fri 19-Sep-08 15:04:15

I do pretty much everything in the house and with the children. DP works full time but I still think he should do more to help when he's on his days off. Both my DC's are at home with me full time ( 3 yrs and 6 months) so I am on the go constantly. Ive told DP during arguments that I gave up work to bring up the children ...not to be a cleaner/maid. He does cook sometimes and mows the lawn but thats about it! In an ideal
world it would be nice if he did the bath and bed routine ( even for one of the children would be nice!), picked up after himself and got up with the DC's on one of his days off so I could have a lie in.

Spink Fri 19-Sep-08 15:19:34

Before i went back to work, and was technically, I guess, a SAHM, I did housework and most home admin, dh and I shared cooking.

Now I am at work and dh is SAHD, he rarely does housework. Not because he doesn't think he should, but because he doesn't get round to it.

Partly I think that's because ds is more active now, and so looking after him is more time consuming than when i was at home with him.
I also think I'm better at 'multi-tasking' than dh - I'll pick things up and put them away while I'm going through a room, and clean in ds' room while he is playing around my feet. Also, I feel uncomfortable if the house is in a state around me, so it is more important to me, if I'm at home all the time, for it to be reasonably clean & tidy.

It does frustrate me when I get home from work and it looks like a bombsite, though. But I try not to let myself get indignant about it. He does so much for ds and isn't lazy in the slightest, so it's not fair on him to be stressed that he's not the same as me in terms of fitting in bits of housework here and there.
If I were to find out he's really sitting around on Facebook for hours every day, I'd feel differently though!

notsoteenagemum Fri 19-Sep-08 15:20:09

When I was home all day it was down to me to do everything
cooking
cleaning
laundry
anything child related
decorating and DIY
and other stuff in between.
I always complained I was a Mum not a Housewife! Now I work 9-3 DH still works 6-6+ depending on where he is. He has written us a frankly punishing rota, I do more than I ever did before and work he does a lot too but I'd rather go back to my laid back ways. The grass is sadly always greener.

crokky Fri 19-Sep-08 15:26:24

DH earns the money and works very long hours to the extent I don't see him for days. I do absolutely everything else to do with children/house/garden/car. Not the right balance really, but anyway!

justneedsomesleep Fri 19-Sep-08 19:27:25

i have this job description of a mum -

JOB DESCRIPTION:
Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
The rest of your life: Must be willing to be disliked, at least temporarily, until someone needs money. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zips. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION:
Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE:
None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION:
Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS:
While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

Am sure it's not an exhaustive list, but it's a start!

belleymum Tue 23-Sep-08 10:26:35

Does a SAHM usually do all the housework and cooking? Or am i just a moaner?
My DH doesn't do any at all and we have a 3 month old and a 18 month old - I'm not coping.

I know that when i go back to work eventually it will still be this way.I try telling him it is very old-fashioned and don't want our daughters to think this is normal when they get older.

I ask for help but he says it is my job now.My house is a tip!

belleymum Tue 23-Sep-08 10:48:43

Another question -
What do you do with/where are the LOs when you do the housework?

Fizzylemonade Wed 24-Sep-08 17:53:37

belleymum - when you have two very young children you are exempt from doing any housework wink make him look after two children day in day out and see how much he gets done! I hoover in the morning as there is no point tidying or hoovering when ds2 undoes all my work in seconds.

I have just started to get on top of mine and my boys are 5 and 2!!

I do the majority but Dh does do loads, he gets up before me, unpacks the dishwasher and lays out the breakfast stuff, puts the filter coffee thing on. Dh is then done for the morning.

I get the boys up, come down, pour milk on the cereal and the coffee from the machine. I get the boys dressed, Dh goes off to work.

He comes home and if I need to escape the boys he happily takes over, otherwise we are all here together.

I pack the dishwasher throughout the day, put a load of washing on, flick a duster round, etc because I am here and I can. If I can't the world doesn't come to a grinding halt grin

I prepare tea but most of the time he cooks it, we clear the kitchen together.

Dh happily irons if I haven't got round to doing everything, he puts the bin out, does the on-line banking stuff.

It isn't about a 50/50 split, it is what works for you.

TheCrackFox Wed 24-Sep-08 18:40:30

I am a SAHM (7yr old and 3yr old DCs) and TBH I do most of the housework. DH is a chef and works long hours. However, on his days off he does pitch in. The house isn't perfect but it is not embarrassing.

We both want to enjoy his days off and not waste them arguing over housework.

sagacious Thu 25-Sep-08 12:25:28

I deal with children/house/cooking/cleaning/booking hols etc.

At weekends he does the garden/plays with the dc's

He gets a weekend lie in and an afternoon nap
I don't

BUT

Children are 4 and 6 (youngest at nursery 2 hrs a day allowing me time for gym/swimming/uninterupted mn'ng/coffee and shopping)
DD will be at school full time from January, and I'm going to help out at the school for an hour or two in a Friday morning.

He gets up at 5am and returns home at 7pm to see the kids put to bed then will be working past 12pm.

I think I get the fairer deal by far.

(though when they were younger I was very resentfull of him swanning off to work/meetings)

sagacious Thu 25-Sep-08 12:25:28

I deal with children/house/cooking/cleaning/booking hols etc.

At weekends he does the garden/plays with the dc's

He gets a weekend lie in and an afternoon nap
I don't

BUT

Children are 4 and 6 (youngest at nursery 2 hrs a day allowing me time for gym/swimming/uninterupted mn'ng/coffee and shopping)
DD will be at school full time from January, and I'm going to help out at the school for an hour or two in a Friday morning.

He gets up at 5am and returns home at 7pm to see the kids put to bed then will be working past 12pm.

I think I get the fairer deal by far.

(though when they were younger I was very resentfull of him swanning off to work/meetings)

sagacious Thu 25-Sep-08 12:50:29

And I don't know how I did that !

Pendulum Thu 25-Sep-08 12:53:06

belleymum- it will certainly continue that way when you go back work if you let it.

IME you need to be quite assertive when going back to work because DP has quite naturally got used to having things done while you are at home. For instance I introduced a new rule that one week DH is responsible for food- i.e. menu planning, online shop, and cooking, and next week I will do it. It has worked quite well for DH because he has set responsibilities rather than having me silently fuming because he doesn't spontaneously offer to cook.

We are lucky enough to have a cleaner but if I didn't I would apply the same principles to cleaning i.e. share the burden and have a rota to allocate fixed responsibilities.

In answer to the OP's question, I am not SAHM but when on maternity leave I considered it my responsibility to look after the house as well as the children i.e. cleaning, laundry, food, finances. For me personally the idea that I was "running the house" would make being an SAHM more attractive because it involves broader skills than childcare alone. I often think that I would have been more tempted to be SAHM if things were the way they were, say, 60 years ago, with fewer labour-saving devices, more effort involved in sourcing and making food, and extra skills such as sewing, mending etc. That seems like a challenging, skilled full-time job to me (although it is a complete mystery how anyone managed to get the jobs done with small children hanging around their ankles)

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