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stay at home parent = gets everything to do?

(54 Posts)
Winstonsma Thu 10-Dec-15 09:15:28

totally happy* with my decision (nearly 5 years ago) to look after little one
and not return to work. Now have 3 little ones so life is busy.

it seems over time that not only is childcare, and meal provision, my area but now everything else in the world has crept into my job description, including (but not limited to):

gatekeeper of the fridge, and cupboards. DH will literally stand next to it and ask me whats in it

Maker of the dinner. No matter what (tummy bug, pregnancy sickness, my birthday - you name a date and i'll be cooking

Most of the cleaning, bins, maintenance

Buyer of all presents, even his relatives. near enough buy my own birthday gifts now

purchaser and writer of all cards

in charge of all child related decisions, even at weekends and all homework duty

cutter of nails, washer of hair, cleaner of teeth, administrator of calpol.

Head of vomit clean up

{always} designated driver

in charge of Christmas cheer (santa visits, where we go, what we do what we buy, elf on the shelf and advent calendar).

head of birthday parties

psychic visionary (who should apparently "just know" when he's about to run out of shaving cream, hair product or deodorant)

in charge of making all phonecalls, emails etc not related to OH job

now we are moving house I am sole co-ordinator, quote obtainer and liason for solicitors, estate agents, buyers, removal men, surveyors etc and sourcer of packing boxes - and supposed to be dismantling stuff now!

not quite sure how I let this happen :D confused blush I didn't mind/realise until he know comes in and is properly pissed off that the house isn't tidy... angry the little one is 4 months and the 2 year old is possessed!

anyone else?????????

*overall... on bad days I would skip back to my lovely job in a heartbeat! :D

honeysucklejasmine Thu 10-Dec-15 09:17:50

I think you need to speak to your OH ASAP.

No, this is very much not right. In fact it has filled me with rage on your behalf.

Oddly, the bit that has given me (second) most rage, is always being the designated driver. Does he not view you as an actual person who might like to do fun things occasionally?

The worst is 'properly pissed off' (WTF?) that the house isn't tidy. Who the fuck does he think he is, the lord of the manor dealing with a lazy serf?

I'll just add that my own father was pretty much like this (other issues too) - I have very little meaningful relationship with him as an adult, and very little respect for my mother for letting it happen.

ShelaghTurner Thu 10-Dec-15 09:42:24

Yep. Pretty much. DH will have a tidy round while I'm taking the dds up to bed and he'll do the park etc but otherwise yes. It's not so much the housework though, it's the organisation. The house is festive looking, the presents are bought and wrapped and waiting, the Christmas cards are waiting for him to write his ones (I gave up writing cards when I was ill 5 years ago and never took it up again). We know where we're going on which day, it's all set. But if it wasn't for me Christmas simply wouldn't be happening in this house. He has no idea what the girls have or even wanted or anything that's on the calendar. Just doesn't enter his radar any more.

captainproton Thu 10-Dec-15 09:43:42

Not in my marriage! You got to be firm. You are not a bloody slave!

slicedfinger Thu 10-Dec-15 09:46:34

I'd draw the line at vomit clear up. DH knows if he leaves that to me I will vomit too. Designated driver needs to be shared, and if you can afford it, get a cleaner. He needs to understand that he has to job share home with you. There are only so many hours in the day.

SewingAndCakes Thu 10-Dec-15 09:48:56

Same here I'm ashamed to say, but I'm starting to address it. I'm starting work each day in January and there's no way I'm still doing what I do now.

I stopped reminding/buying cards and presents for his family a few years ago. I don't iron his clothes. I don't remind him when it's bin day.

Your primary role is that of caring for the children. When both parents are at home I consider housework/childcare to be a shared responsibility (still trying to get DH to understand that).

You need to speak to DH.

Winstonsma Thu 10-Dec-15 09:54:49

my OH is lovely by the way, just sees it as part of my house-wifey job I think. to be fair to him, I haven't told him how I feel biscuit - it's kind of crept in over the years and I literally just realised last night (when he said I had to do all the Christmas cards or there wouldn't be any) how one sided it's gotten. I'm passive aggressive so never say when i'm annoyed!! he is, however, VERY good at playing with the kids at the weekends (til they get annoying lol).

The attitude about the untidy house does make me feel bad and guilty sad he's been helping out with cleaning on Saturdays since baby arrived and not happy about it, and I probably need to remind him that I just can't do it all.

my dad was extreme hands off (my mum had an emergency operation when I was 5 and he had to take me to a neighbour to be dressed lol) and I still liked him...

CQ Thu 10-Dec-15 09:54:59

Rings a horrible bell. Also would add nit-comber, finance manager, travel agent, social organiser, maintenance manager and many more.

And he wonders why I'm never in the mood for a shag unless we go away.

I think it's that time of year when we are running ourselves ragged with the extra burdens of Christmas that we suddenly realise they are pretty much absent from the whole family dynamic.

I had a huge blow-up the other night at DH about just this. He is now walking on eggshells and helping a bit more - emptying dishwasher etc, but I know he thinks this will blow over and we'll go back to normal once I've 'calmed down'.

Not this time.

My kids are a lot older than yours OP and I've wanted to go back to work for some time but it's just impossible with the hours he works and the logistics of school runs etc. I've started volunteering, with DH's encouragement, but he still begrudges helping me do that in any way, even though it's building back up my workplace skills. Last week, I asked if he could do the morning school run as I needed to leave early to get to a session 45 mins drive away. 'But I'm going to cycle to work tomorrow' was the answer. After he'd picked up his chewed up head off the floor and put it back on his shoulders, he agreed to do the school run.

I've had enough. I'm seriously thinking about going to Relate in the New Year. People on the outside would think I was mad that I am seriously wondering if there is any future in my marriage. Gilded cage and all that. And he truly is a lovely bloke, it's half my fault for letting this slide into this situation.

So put your foot down now, OP, in 10 years time, don't be where I've found myself.

CQ Thu 10-Dec-15 09:57:07

X-post! I'm not doing any cards this year unless he sits down to do them with me. The worm has turned grin

Seeyounearertime Thu 10-Dec-15 09:59:59

I've been thinking about this a LOT lately and have decided on course of action. I'm a SAHD, for now at least, my GF works.
Basically what will happen from now on is she work 30 hours, so will I, everything left will be split between us. smile

So,
housey stuff: hoover up 1hr twice a week, washup and cook tea 2hrs 7 nights a week, general tidy 0.5hr an evening, changing beds all fucking day 1hr per week, shopping 1hr online per week and general admin (sorting money, bills, paperwork etc 1hr a week)
19.5hrs ish, round up to 20.

Childcare stuff: traipsing to the park in winter because my DD wants to feed the ducks 2hrs once a week, bathing DD 1hr 3 times a week, bed time (teeth, change, stories) 1hrs 7days, miscellaneous duties (vomit cleaning, library trips, playing tea parties, painting, etc) TBC 7times a week.
12hrs, not including miscellaneous.

House + childcare = 32 (miscellaneous not included)
I do 30 worth, OH does minimum of 2 bedtimes and then half the miscellaneous duties.

grin
(Though this is an attempt at a lighthearted type post it is sort of how we actually do things, but we don't really do it to harsh timings with clip boards and stop watches.)

Winstonsma Thu 10-Dec-15 10:00:17

oooooh he does iron his own shirts :D yes Shelagh it's all the organisation behind the scenes. I recently said that if I died, it was my dying wish that he try to do something (anything) for the kids birthdays after i'm gone shock

He has been a bit more crap than normal recently - I had to guilt trip him into going to the biggest ones nativity (in year R)... but he was glad he went in the end. His work is quite stressful... (although I reckon mine is worse haha)

Winstonsma Thu 10-Dec-15 10:04:30

oh CQ that's sad. I can see how resentment could build up and now you're not allowed to do your own thing. It is funny how the one at how ends up feeling the kids are more 'theirs' - however good to see a system that works seeyounearer. my oh loves spreadsheets so maybe i'll divvy up our time on one :D

Winstonsma Thu 10-Dec-15 10:05:11

should read 'the one at home...'

Winstonsma Thu 10-Dec-15 10:06:46

p.s: one role that I agree with is I am sole "get-up-in-the-nighter" since I don't have to make tough brain decisions from 8am at a desk then I accept this one. Still bloody tired though :D

Gliblet Thu 10-Dec-15 10:26:00

Hmm. I work FT and DH is SAHD - yes he does night wakings during the week but on a Saturday or Sunday (or both if it's been a rough week) I'll make sure I'm up with DS at whatever ungodly hour he decides is getting up time so DH can sleep in. We split laundry duties, he does the cooking through the week (pure practicality), I cook at weekends. I know what DS's term dates are, where the Calpol is, which cupboard the cheese grater's in, how the hoover works... Yes some household tasks are going to fall to the non working parent and it's definitely easier to arrange trips, shop, ring utility companies etc. during the day but that's no excuse for the working parent to shirk everything.

MrsPear Thu 10-Dec-15 10:27:30

You are not alone op. What really pisses me off is when I am ill - like I am at the moment - and he lounges in bed all day - out all night with friends - while I run about doing everything as normal. There is never any thought - I would love to be told sit down and here is a cup of tea; I will do it. Pigs will fly.

NickyEds Thu 10-Dec-15 12:58:57

I'm a SAHM with an almost 2 year old and a 5 month old. I do;
-all laundry and ironing.
-all food shopping.
-all Christmas/Birthday shopping/card writing/present wrapping
-all cleaning- bathroom kitchen, hoovering, dusting etc.
-all finances/budgeting
-all DIY
-obviously most of the chidcare
-night wakings

DP;
-gets up with ds and has him for an hour most mornings whist I stay in bed with dd (we swap at weekends so he can lie in until 7.30 when dd gets up)- he gives ds breakfast on these days.
-He's been having to cook a couple of night a week since dd was born as until 2 days ago she slept on me in the evening. Now she's going to bed I'll be doing the cooking.
-Perhaps 2-3 days he'll do the washing up.
-He can be flexable with work so will give me a hand if either of the kids have doctors appointments.

It's mostly fine. I'm at home so have the opportunity to do more cleaning. What winds me up beyond belief is how messy he is and how little he tries to keep the house tidy. He forgets to put a bib on ds so he needs fresh pjs every night/new tops whenever he feeds him-increasing my washing. He lets ds mess about with toothpaste that gets everywhere/crayons/eat in the living room-increasing the mess. I have to stage manage everything so all change bags/arrangements have to be done by me.

SweetAdeline Thu 10-Dec-15 13:08:15

It's not like that in our household. Except when he is away with work (so probably the equivalent of 6 days a week) DH does bedtime with me (we take one each). He tends to cook for himself most nights because he's low-carbing and we're not. Sometimes he'll cook for all of us. He buys about 1/4 of the presents (choosing and actually buying, I tend to wrap because I'm better at it) etc etc. I could do it all (and in the past he has worked away for long periods so I have) but there's no way he would sit around whilst I was getting on with stuff outside his working hours.

I'm not sure it's just because you sah though. Lots of friends of mine have gone back to work and they still end up doing almost everything.

tribpot Thu 10-Dec-15 13:24:31

he said I had to do all the Christmas cards or there wouldn't be any

So don't send Christmas cards. The world's hardly going to end as a result. I certainly would not be spoken to in that tone of voice by my so-called partner in life. If anyone asks, simply say he refused to do them.

You have walked into the trap, not of being a SAHP, but of being a SAHP to someone who does not regard that as a proper job and has no respect for you because you aren't earning money. There are certain things you can do to address his lack of respect, but make no mistake, this is his problem. He's treating you like a servant. You're letting him.

ThereIsIron Thu 10-Dec-15 13:26:27

You don't have 3 little ones - you have 4!

BathtimeFunkster Thu 10-Dec-15 13:33:46

I've never heard of a SAHP having to always be the designated driver before.

What a very selfish man you married.

Winstonsma Thu 10-Dec-15 14:20:57

think you're right, it's not sahp issue - if I now returned to work (and will when childcare costs are less horrendous!) it'd be hard to imagine him stepping in more.

he does do the dishes nearly every night - after he said absolutely no to a dishwasher I feel like that's his burden.

the annoying thing is, if I tell him what to do he does it but very obviously begrudges it, so I end up more annoyed. hes off for 2 rare weeks from the 21st, hoping that will b a good time to have a "chat". :D

Winstonsma Thu 10-Dec-15 14:22:31

p.s: im really shocked that everyone isn't the same - I really though all the replies would be 'me too' blush

Winstonsma Thu 10-Dec-15 14:23:50

oh, and the designated driver thing is habit now after 3 pregnancies and breastfeeding stints - probably doesn't occur to him to drive!

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