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how do you manage to divide up housework?

(33 Posts)
soggy14 Sun 18-Sep-11 12:44:01

dh and I both work FT and from home. Both often doing lots of (unpaid) OT at teh moment (recesion etc). dh will not agree to get any help (does not want a "stranger in the house"). In theory we split the HW but in practice the following always happens:
One of dhs "allocated tasks" needs doing before a certain time (say washing uniform in time to dry it before school or bathing children in time for bed). dh doesn't do it but spends time doing something else non-essential. If I mention that this task needs doing he says he will do it "later". Later comes too late so kids end up with wet jumpers for school or going to bed too late (as in school have complained that they are too tired).
I physically cannot do all the HW and my job and love my job (and we need the income). So what do I do? Any attempt to talk to dh about time management has failed. I've started putting kids to bed most nights (so they are not tired) but even that has caused us to row as he likes puttign the kids to bed and says that I'm doing it delibarately to stop him doing it. Have tried agreeing that they need to be in bed by xxx but it still gets later and later each night. Ditto with washing - he is currently watching recorded TV show - last week they ended up with wet jumpers on the Monday but was sunny so okay. I mentioned that washing needed to go on soon if it were to dry in time and he got relly cross and shouted that I was only saying this as I had a problem with him watching TV. So I give up and I do washing - okay minor point here smile - am not bothered about the washing - just an example as this happens with everything - ie he puts it off so long that either I do it (as will negatively impact on kids/me if I don't) or it doesn't get done (in which case he often gets cross and shouts at me about state of house etc).

Any suggestions? (Sorry - post got long smile )

peterpan99 Sun 18-Sep-11 12:44:53

i do it all sad

2cats2many Sun 18-Sep-11 12:47:05

DH refuses to share the housework, so he pays for the cleaner who comes 3 hours a week. In addition, I do the vast majority of the laundry, food shopping and cooking. He'll empty the dishwasher and push the vacuum cleaner around when asked to with good enough grace.

Witchofthenorth Sun 18-Sep-11 12:50:23

I would just get a cleaner, if he has that much issue with a stranger being in the house, the he can get off his arse and help out.
As it stands just now, I do the lions share of housework in my house, I only work 12 hours a week though and DH works 50. At the weekend, or if I am struggling with stuff (am 6months pregnant) DH will help if I need him to. (I have to ask though as he doesn't see mess smile) he also knows that if he is not prepared to help out at times, then I will go and get a cleaner without consulting him.

clam Sun 18-Sep-11 12:57:21

You have to ask him to unload the dishwasher and hoover?

OK, so I only WOTH part-time, so I take overall more responsibility on the grounds that I'm here two days out of 5. Beyond that, we each tend to do what we like/are good at. So DH food-shops and cooks all meals, cleans the kitchen and occasionally the bathrooms, walks the dog and probably does about half his own ironing. I sometimes do his (as well as everyone else's) but when the pile grows too big with his workshirts which ought to be done properly and are therefore time-consuming, I send them out to be done. I do tidying, cleaning, hoovering, laundry, admin, household organisation, gardening and basic DIY...
Oh and the DCs are commandeered a lot now too (early teens), so they'll lay tables, clear kitchen after dinner, walk the dog too and remove all crap from downstairs to where it should live, sort non-iron laundry and so on.
Just about works. None of us except DS is particularly tidy or houseproud but the house scrubs up well when necessary.

Yama Sun 18-Sep-11 12:59:50

I don't know how you resolve your situation. He is letting his own children down.

As for us, we have a fairly even split. And we appreciate what the other does for the household.

Yama Sun 18-Sep-11 13:01:48

Just to add - our 'fairly even split' includes the notion of responsibilty. I don't ask my dh to do anything or organise the household or the dc. We are equally reasponsible.

motherinferior Sun 18-Sep-11 13:08:59

Wot Yama said.

He may not consciously be doing it, but he's definitely pushing you to pick up the slack.

I would take on doing the kids' washing and bedtime - only because of the kids - and stop doing other stuff. And when he shouts, point out that you're doing half and what is he doing?

But really, I am flailing around in the dark here as I tend to think that having a penis does not disqualify you from being a responsible adult.

Yama Sun 18-Sep-11 13:12:58

Yes, MotherInferior - I wanted to suggest that op pick up the dc's stuff and neglect something non-dc related. I swithered because I wouldn't want to be with a man who is not responsible for our children. I'm in two minds.

And the penis thing is well put.

SeldomSeenCake Sun 18-Sep-11 13:23:10

i allocate certain jobs to DH. He has dishes, putting the bins out, cleaning the windows, and cleaning the bathroom. I have everything else. We both work full time (i do 4 hours a week more) so i see that as fair. However, DH is also a "do it later" man and i end up getting annoyed and doing the lot myself whilst doing all i can to make a big show of my annoyance and guilting DH to get off his arse up and help! Sometimes works, sometimes doesn't.
I say, if there are important jobs that your DH just leaves until its too late, why not shuffle jobs around and do the important ones yourself whilst giving him things that are less crucial to be done straight away and you dislike doing more than others on your 'list'! Sneakily getting you out of doing some things you hate whilst also getting the important things done without feeling that you do absolutely everything.

motherinferior Sun 18-Sep-11 13:23:12

I share your indecision, really.

soggy14 Sun 18-Sep-11 13:48:05

>..if there are important jobs that your DH just leaves until its too late, why not shuffle jobs around and do the important ones yourself..

he then says that I'm being control freaky/taking all the "nice jobs" etc. and we row. In particular he likes doing the kid-centred ones (like bed time) but the kids then suffer (as get tired/cross and then he shouts at them).

It gets stupid - 5 year old sometimes still up at 9-10pm on school night as he has not got round to doing bedtime as is mowing the lawn or something. If I do bed time then he says that I'm just doing it to stop him having time with kids. There isn't much that is not time critical or important really. If it isn't vital then we don't have time to do it anyway so it is only the vital stuff that we are dividing up smile

NickNacks Sun 18-Sep-11 13:59:03

Gosh my 5 yr old would have taken himself off to bed by that time! Really not on of your DH or you in fact to sleep deprive your child like that! Do you really let him/her stay up until 9/10pm just because your DH isn't organised enough to do it? I would rather have an arguement with my DH than that.

RandomMess Sun 18-Sep-11 14:01:06

How would he react if you said to him "It is x bedtime, can you start doing it now or shall I do it?" Then if he says "I'll do it later" you can say "no we agreed x bedtime is 7pm it needs to be done now, do you want to do it or shall I?"

soggy14 Sun 18-Sep-11 14:08:58

How would he react if you said to him "It is x bedtime, can you start doing it now or shall I do it?" Then if he says "I'll do it later" you can say "no we agreed x bedtime is 7pm it needs to be done now, do you want to do it or shall I

he'd say/shout "no you said that, I didn't agree and then divert discussion into one about how I always have to be right etc etc. and shout that he is sick of being told what to do.

RandomMess Sun 18-Sep-11 14:14:38

well it sounds as though the first step is to agree what time is bedtime.

It's begining to appear that this a bit of a deeper issue?

swedishy Sun 18-Sep-11 14:24:05

We both work long hours, plus my DH has to commute. I don't know how it happened but we've just slotted into doing certain roles, and it seems to work for us. I do all the cooking, we tidy up the kitchen whenever there's stuff to be tidied up, both load and unload the dishwasher. I clean the bathroom, he does the laundry and hoovering. It's never really been spoken about in terms of dividing chores. He has acknowledged that he likes to do the laundry etc to pull his weight because I do the cooking, which I think is awesome.

I don't know what to suggest - well, I would say go on housework strike, but then you have children which makes it more difficult. Could you just employ a cleaner for the ironing etc and then divide the children-related jobs?

soggy14 Sun 18-Sep-11 14:30:17

It's begining to appear that this a bit of a deeper issue

you are probably right in that I struggled to think of what to put as a thread title smile

I guess I meant something far longer as in "I am struggling to find a way to disucss things like childcare/housework issues with dh as we appear to be unable to agree on how to do things and with some things (like bed time needing to be < 8pm on school night for 5 year old or whether to give rather plump but not yet really fat dd chips from deep fat fryer to eat for just about every meal) I find that his approach (chips for lots of meals) seems too wrong for me to go with and when I try to discuss it he shouts and says I'm a control freak ... so how do you go about trying to discuss things that you disagree strongly on" but that wouldn't fit in the thread title box grin

clam Sun 18-Sep-11 14:41:37

Hmm. Tricky. It sounds as if he's really difficult to have a sensible, rational conversation with.

<<goes off to have a think>>

RandomMess Sun 18-Sep-11 14:43:11

I really don't know, go to relate perhaps, just as the conversations would hopefully be more constructive that way or you may work out where the "control freak" accusations come from?

Does he genuinely think his opinion of late bedtime and unsuitable food for an overweight child are correct or do you think it's all about something else and he's trying to assert himself over you?

soggy14 Sun 18-Sep-11 15:28:35

I think that he doesn't like taking any kind of "tough love" type desision with the kids. With dds weight he says that he was fat as a kid and she has his genes so will be fat. I try to limit her intake of fatty foods etc but he then says that I'm depriving her of "nice food" etc. With bed time - our 5 year old never wants to go to bed and dh never wants to go to bed and so he sees me as being mean again. Basically I think that he spoils the children and he thinks that I'm being mean. I can try to diuscuss it and compromise with him but he then goes back on what he has agreed once teh children ask for chips or want to stay up - it is always "just this once".

motherinferior Sun 18-Sep-11 16:08:37

I'm sorry, but I am getting the impression of someone who is quite...deranged in some ways. He appears almost to have decided to do them most damaging thing for everyone - you and the kids - and press on with this.

The fat genes thing is truly crap. Ditto the bedtimes.

soggy14 Sun 18-Sep-11 16:52:36

quite...deranged not really - just can't do time management - like today - he has been saying all day that he wants to take the kids out for a walk. Kids are not fussed but happy to go. I am working. I know that taking them will take a good 2 - 2 1/2 hours and then a good hour to feed them and get them ready for bed. He still has not left with them so there is no way that ds will be in bed by 7.30 as nearly 5 now but he will not agree (he says that he can have them back in an hour which I know is impossible). This happens all the time - he will do things like "pop to the supermarket" with them on a school night at 7pm (suupermarket is half an hours drive) and think that he can stillhave the in bed by 8. He claims it is only 20 mins drive (it is IF you do not meet a single other car and do 60 all the time) and that he will only be in there for 10 mins (ie does not ever allow any contingency)

RandomMess Sun 18-Sep-11 17:03:27

Sounds to me like he does it provoke the arguement...

soggy14 Sun 18-Sep-11 17:29:49

I don't think that he does - he had "major time management issues" flagged as a development need at his last job, along with a tendancy to promise more than he could deliver. With his current job he works from home and so the fact that he is often working until midnight+ to complete something that he probably shouldn't have agreed to do in the first place is not noticed by anyone (except me)

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