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When you went on maternity ...

(8 Posts)
birdbirdbird Thu 16-Jun-11 09:54:25

did you realise you would end up feeling like a skivvy for your other half? as i dont go out to 'work' i do most of childcare, washing, housekeeping etc. simply hate the way he drops his plate in the sink for me to wash. and leaves crumbs on the table for me to clear. never felt like a domestoc help before but now i do hate it hate it hate it! anyone feel the same?

MySweetAnnie Thu 16-Jun-11 10:08:33

Yes, i hated it. But now I am back at work and OH is a SAHD, I consiously make the effort not to do that.
TBH, whilst on Mat Leave, there was enough time in the day to keep on top of housework etc. If I had a whip around for 30mins in the morning (basically cleaning up all his crap), then i had the day free to do what I wanted.

JambalayaCodfishPie Thu 16-Jun-11 10:21:29

Im not on maternity but took a reduction in hours in September. Overnight i became the skivvy, to a point that I now feel mother to two children - one of 6 and one of 26.

Its manifested itself in a real resentment of my DP, and I feel so strongly about it that we may actually split.

I urge you to discuss it with him because these little things can become so big.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 16-Jun-11 10:32:42

Not really as I was so sick when I went on Mat Leave that he worked full time and came home and cooked every night and did the cleaning, shopping and gardening too.

So what if he leaves his plate for you? DH did this when we were childless and both worked full time. You get to spend loads of time with your children and thats a luxury many don't have.

TadlowDogIncident Thu 16-Jun-11 10:36:42

I didn't, because I didn't marry a twerp who thought no paid work = domestic slave. Your OH is treating you very disrespectfully, and once he's got into that pattern it's going to be hard to break it when you go back to work (if that's what you're planning to do). Have you talked to him about it? If so, what did he say?

birdbirdbird Thu 16-Jun-11 13:21:33

thanks for your responses ladies

JiltedJohnsJulie if i said him leaving his plate irritated me then that was my point, you saying 'so what' isnt really useful now is it.

yes we can all run around for 30 minutes cleaning up the crap but i dont want to feel i have a teenager in the house who thinks hes living in a hotel, services included.

yes i have to agree with you tadlowdog it feels that way

i have told him, no doubt he forgot will try again because im not having it

WriterofDreams Thu 16-Jun-11 14:25:38

My DH has a tendency to do the same and it really bugs me. He has specific jobs that he does - cooking every night, cleaning the bathroom and sorting out the bins - and it's great the he does those but that does not mean that he can leave crisp packets around the place or throw his sports gear in the hall and leave it there for a week. I don't complain about it all the time as I know he's tired and he can forget now and again but if it starts getting out of hand I just mention it to him without getting cross so that it doesn't lead to an argument. I just say "Don't forget to put away your gear" or "could you take those crisp packets out on your way?" I've told him before how much these things annoy me so rather than harping on at him I just remind him in the hope that it'll sink in and he'll start to do it automatically. It has worked to a certain extent although he does seem to go back to square one now and again.

It's not about a single plate it's about respect. Effectively the house is your "workplace" and you don't want it left in a mess every day. DH used to say "I'll clean it up when I get home" but I explained that that then meant that I had to work around his mess for the day and be annoyed at it or just clean it up myself, neither of which is a good option. Every adult, and older child, should tidy up after themselves. Expecting someone else to be a skivvy and to pick up after them is lazy and disrespectful IMO.

EasyFriedRice Thu 16-Jun-11 20:48:28

I find a very direct (but not confrontational) approach of asking for what you want works really well.

Just decide the tasks you want DH to do and say "would you please do x and y". When there's lots of stuff to be done, say "If I do x, would you do y? Would you mind doing it today?". Or "would you do y? I don't mean now, but if you could do it before tomorrow, that would really help".

You have to get over the fact that you have to ask him to do things. I know we think men should just notice and think of things to do, but they don't. You have to accept that and not resent it. So work out what it is you want to get done round the house and ask specifically. It really works! No hinting, or emotion behind it, just a straight request using "would you"... honestly, try it! If he says no, you just say "OK. I haven't got time to do it as I'm doing x, y, and z, so it won't get done before the weekend" etc then leave it. So he knows you're busy too.

Additionally (and this takes some getting used to), men respond really well to praise (think dog training). So when he does what you ask (even if he didn't do 12 other things you asked) say "thank you so much, I really appreciate it". When he regularly starts doing nice things say "you're so kind and thoughtful". Just like kids, anyone who is told they are one thing (clever, kind etc) becomes more like that thing. I'm not saying men are like kids or they are simple or anything, this kind of psychology works on everyone (managers do well to use it on their staff).

I've been doing it on my DH for a while now and it's great. I get him to do his share of the work and we're both happy. For example, I said to him yesterday "We're running low on food (he never notices this). Would you have time at the weekend to go shopping?" He suggested one of us go to the market/local shops and the other can go to the supermarket. He offered to take our DD with him. Problem solved and I don't feel like I have to do ALL the shopping again.

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