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Mums who work, how does your household work?

(46 Posts)
Flossam Wed 15-Jun-05 09:45:23

As some of you may know things haven't been great between me and DP. I am disapointed with how, er, pro-active he is around the house and with DS (read - not!). I will be going back to work in the next few weeks and for the sake of my sanity and possibly the relationship I really want to get tha balance between work and home right. For that to happen DP needs to get off of his arse.

My idea so far has been that certain things around the house need to be done on set days. Ie, clean kitchen on Monday, hoovering on tuesdays, etc etc. Our shifts are very varied, DP works four week rotas, four days off four days on, five days off, five days on then back to four. I will be working part time, on his days off. So I will still be doing the majority, as I will be at home more. I discussed this with DP last night, and needless to say he wasn't too keen. He jokingly said it was because it would mean he had to 'do' things, but many a true word spoken in jest!

Does this sound like a good idea? Should I push it further with DP until I (hopefully!) get my way? So far he has not come up with any alternatives. I wondered if you could share what you do so I can compare and contrast and maybe gain some inspiration! If I end up doing what I do now you will have to put up with a very bitter and twisted mumsnetter!!!

Enid Wed 15-Jun-05 09:46:11

get a cleaner

its the only way

starlover Wed 15-Jun-05 09:48:46

oh flossam i had the same problem (although i wasn't going back to work)... i was doing EVERYTHING around the house.

we basically had many many rows and it culminated in me telling him that i was going to leave unless things changed.
He genuinely didn't realise how bad i felt... i think men just don't get it! he also said that he would do things if i asked... but that he never really thought about doing them otherwise!!!

anyway, i have made a rule now that on a saturday and sunday morning whilst DS is sleeping we both do certain jobs.

So, I think your idea is good. If your dp knows what needs doing then he has no excuse for not doing it. Our system seems to work ok... and i make sure Dp actually SEES me doing things so that he realises that I don't jsut sit around all day on mumsnet... !!!

Flossam Wed 15-Jun-05 09:51:12

Meant to add. No money at all for a cleaner (won't have enough time to work to earn enough) and thinking about it earlier, I don't think I like the idea!

northerner Wed 15-Jun-05 09:52:48

Dh works full time I work 3 full days each week. Dp will clean up after himself and tidy toys away and stuff, but the lions share is mine.

Actually while I'm on the subject, I do the main part of my housework when dh is at work so he doesn't see me doing it, so occassionally, he'll get a bee in his bonnet, pick up a dish cloth and the anti-bac and starts cleaning the kitchen, huffing and puffing as he goes as if I never do it. Makes me so mad.

expatinscotland Wed 15-Jun-05 09:54:15

We can't afford a cleaner. DH and I work together in the evenings to keep the place spotless. If DH didn't help, I wouldn't be married to him. I would not stay with a man who didn't do his part of our partnership.

We clean from 8-9 or sometimes a little later. Daily.

starlover Wed 15-Jun-05 09:54:29

northerner...wish my DP would do that! don't care if he thinks i never do it!!!

beachyhead Wed 15-Jun-05 09:55:03

My husband does kitchen floor, all washing up and all hoovering.......I do all shopping, most cooking and changing sheets etc. We share laundry. We do have a cleaner who also does bathrooms, dusting etc and more laundry. She also irons.

I would leave his ironing to him and you do yours and then divide up the other major jobs.

Also don't let this become a big issue between you - better to have happy campers in a stinky house than be on your own in a clean one, IMO!

elliott Wed 15-Jun-05 09:57:55

I think its difficult if you've got into the habit of doing a lot more while you've been off work.
how did you do things before ds? If you shared responsibility then, perhaps that will provide a way forward.
Also, once you are back at work (even if you are not working as many hours as him) you will probably find it easier to insist that he does his share, as you simply won't have time.

But to answer your question, for us it works like this:
1. We have a cleaner (sorry!) - 3 hrs a week
2. We work the same hours (both 4 days a week) so there is no argument that we should each be doing equal share of stuff
3. We agree in advance who is cooking each night
4. we both do washing as and when needed
5. When things are falling apart and getting too untidy (often!), we try and set aside time when we tidy up together. That way it minimises resentment.
6. I am inherently lazy about housework whilst dh is very domesticated for a man - so overall we are at a similar level. It is not on in our house for one person to be rushing around doing chores whilst the other one sits around doing nothing.

Flossam Wed 15-Jun-05 10:06:02

My DP is very complex!! Northerner, DP is very similar. He goes nuts if he comes home to a messy house after he has been at work all day. Don't think we would be able to do your method expat, DP gets home at about eight and is in no mood to be doing that, I won't be getting home till probably about ten. Beachyhead, Dp likes things to be obsessively tidy. I prefer things to be reasonably clean. He expects me to tidy, but thinks I clean for the sake of it. Likewise, he will say so and will refuse to help as 'he' dosen't believe it needs to be done. Are you beginning to get a good picture of the type of creature we have here?

elliott Wed 15-Jun-05 10:15:55

a rather unreasonable one I would say!
If he likes it tidy, and you like it clean, why doesn't he tidy and you clean? I mean once you are at work you won't be there to tidy up for him will you?

The other way things work in our house is that on each of our days off with the boys, we do not expect that day to be spent doing housework. Because dh does childcare too, he knows that it is a full on job. The toys don't usually get tidied away until the boys are in bed - by both of us.

Flossam Wed 15-Jun-05 10:19:49

I have no worries that the house won't be tidy. But tidying imo dosen't equate to washing, cooking and cleaning. Am I expecting too much?

expatinscotland Wed 15-Jun-05 10:20:47

Flossam
I work two jobs, am pregnant and will start a uni course in Autumn. But you know what? I have to do a lot of things I'm not 'in the mood' for. That's part of maturity and being a parent.

I like things tidy as well, so I can't exactly expect someone who's had their hands full with a toddler all day to be a maidservant as well.

Show him the broom. And if he doesn't like that, show him the door.

Sorry to be brutal, but life's harsh.

Nightynight Wed 15-Jun-05 10:23:15

dx never did a thing round the house. Things just trundled on, but he had to get used to me being permanently knackered and the house not v clean or tidy!

elliott Wed 15-Jun-05 10:24:02

no, you're not expecting too much. cooking is easy - just agree who is doing it when.
Washing - we need to do some every day, but it doesn't take long.
Cleaning - hmmm, we're not so good on this one. But I think your idea of a weekly plan is good. Or, if he really won't clean, why not get him to do more of the other stuff instead?

Mothernature Wed 15-Jun-05 10:26:45

Dh works from 7am - 3pm Monday to Friday, up to today I worked 1pm -5.30pm, dh does all cooking, I do housework in morning, but from tommorow I will be working 9-5.30pm, whilst I do my training, therefore dh will do cooking and some cleaning, but the Kids will have to do their share too, when I have fininshed training my hours will be 9.15am - 3.30pm I can then come home to cook the evening meal and the cleaning, dh will take over other jobs i.e walking the dog, cleaning and heavy duty cleaning i.e cooker, bathroom etc..

foxinsocks Wed 15-Jun-05 10:30:19

I have to agree with Enid. Get a cleaner. Believe me, it will save so much resentment on your part because from my experience (of a dh who's never cleaned anything his whole life), just because you're going back to work, he won't suddenly take the hint and change!

Flossam Wed 15-Jun-05 10:33:05

Maybe I should get him a star chart!! A whole week of good behaviour equals a four pack of beer!!

moondog Wed 15-Jun-05 10:33:12

I like your style expat......
Don't take any shit,that's my motto too (but then I am blessed with a man who regularly sweeps the shed and the garage!)

Gobbledigoose Wed 15-Jun-05 10:35:25

Haven't read other posts but you need dp to help and that's that. He'll just have to - it's his son and his house too. If he continues to be a lazy arse - just don't do his washing - do yours and ds's and leave his and see how he likes it! That's what I'd do!

Gobbledigoose Wed 15-Jun-05 10:36:14

Or withold all bedroom favours!

robin3 Wed 15-Jun-05 10:37:53

DP does all the washing and hanging up and putting away. And he changes the beds, empties the bins/recycling and keeps the garden. He also washes up afer I've cooked. That's it. We don't have ironing (other than the odd shirt) because DP hangs things up well when drying.

I genuinely believe that men can't read situations....they can't just know what to do. Allocate him specific tasks, explain how you want them to be done and then leave him to it i.e. don't constantly look over his shoulder (which is hard to begin with). If he runs out of clothes he'll learn a lesson, if he dyes everything pink he'll learn a lesson. Dare I say it DP takes pride in doing these tasks now.

Not sure how old your child/ren are but also suggest you do as much as you can in the evenings so that weekends are free to enjoy.

moondog Wed 15-Jun-05 10:40:10

gdg,are you a newbie or do we know you already?
That's what Queen Eagle did-to great effect apparently!

Gobbledigook Wed 15-Jun-05 10:41:42

Ha ha- was messing about on Cods 'food related names' thread last night - changed back now.

Which - washing or bedroom?

Flossam Wed 15-Jun-05 10:42:15

Its going to be quite a strange way of life, DP will work two weekends a month and then I will probably work the others. Will get more money for doing so. The time we have off together will probably be few and far between, so we really will need to be signing from the same songbook ISWIM.

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