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Caught between being a "modern woman" and a bit of a housewife

(32 Posts)
Poley Wed 21-Sep-11 09:38:16

My dp is a good lad. He cooks, does the food shopping, and is a lovely dad to our new baby. He is currently unemployed and when he isnt doing the above hes on his playstation or doing pointless things on his laptop. Since dd was born Ive had days where Ive either been ill or spent the day having a "babymoon" and during these times the house ends up looking a tip, with him just sitting there on his laptop oblivious. He doesnt like doing any washing-up, hoovering or ironing, so just doesnt bother!
Part of me thinks oh well hes a man, he doesnt feel the same way about cleaning and tidying as I do, but the other part of me thinks for Gods sake, why are you just sitting on your arse all day, please tidy up after yourself at least!!!

Whats the general consensus on this, am I wrong to think he should think like me when it comes to the cleanliness of the house? Or should I just accept that if I want things done then I'll have to do them myself!

Flisspaps Wed 21-Sep-11 09:39:34

Don't just think it - say it to him.

AliceWyrld Wed 21-Sep-11 09:43:59

No you shouldn't expect him to not carry his weight.

He is an adult and should behave like one. We all do things we don't enjoy.

It is nothing to do with him being a man.

Why would he want to see you having to run round after him?

You should both have equal leisure time, genuine leisure time where you are doing what you want. If you don't, then it's not OK.

Poley Wed 21-Sep-11 09:48:01

Haha tried that! Tried being calm, and shouting my mouth off! Hes just a lazy sod!

Pagwatch Wed 21-Sep-11 09:50:19

It is nothing to do with him being a man.

It is to do with you running around while he sits on his arse and you complaining about it on here instead of saying ' is there something wrong with you. Clean up after yourself'

I have an 18 year old son. He cooks and cleans because he is not useless.

Are you happy that you will both be teaching your dd that men sit on the sofa while women clean up?

Poley Wed 21-Sep-11 09:50:32

...blaming the fact that "hes a man" is my mothers influence lol, she does everything for my dad as she knows he could never do things to her standards! Im very much like that too, its so frustrating!

Pagwatch Wed 21-Sep-11 09:53:13

It's not frustrating. It is your choice. And you are going to teach your daughter exactly the same.

pictish Wed 21-Sep-11 09:53:51

I have never bought into this 'men just don't see mess' train of thought that many women seem to have, including my own friends.

Yes they do, they just don't care and can't be bothered.

It is beneficial to everyone to live in a tidy, pleasant environment that is ready for whatever life chucks at it. It is far better to be able to find things, prepare food, have clothes where they are easily accessible, and clear worktops and floors so you can operate.

I think it's grossly unfair when one partner doesn't pull their weight. Man OR woman. Having tits doesn't make any of us more qualified to pick up toys or get the hoover out.

Men have been getting away with it for years.....and a lot of women enable and facilitate their selfishness and laziness, with indulgent, draconian ideas such as 'ooo you know what men are like!'

Fuck that. Pitch in or fuck off.

Poley Wed 21-Sep-11 09:54:03

I do go on at him about this, to the point where I am officially a nag! There is no way Im having my daughter believe that men should only be responsible for certain things, and if I have a son I am damn well teaching him to do his fair share at home!
I wish I could blame his mother for the way he is but she didnt do much for him at all, his washing/ironing would sit in baskets for months in his minging bedroom!

Poley Wed 21-Sep-11 09:55:17

I agree Pictish sad oh dear, I can foresee yet another day of being pissed off..

Pagwatch Wed 21-Sep-11 10:00:12

I agree with the sentiment Poley. But to be honest it is going to be difficult for you to teach your dd that men and women are equally responsible for cleaning up after themselves if she watches you do it and him not.

Don't nag. Explain it. Tell him it is unreasonable and stop cleaning up after him. If he has no clean clothes and nothing ironed it will become his problem too

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 21-Sep-11 10:00:29

What are you getting out of this relationship now?.

You seem to be now carrying the mantle that your mother instilled in you i.e running around after her H whilst he sits there and does very little. Your man is more than happy to let you do all this for him, he's treating you like a mug. Who died and made him king?.

Get rid of the bloody playstation as well; he sounds like a manchild rather than a man. Is he not actively looking for work?

You mention that he's a good dad - well he is patently not if he is treating the mother of his child like this. Also the "good dad" comment seems to be to be the default position for women who have nothing positive themselves to say about their man. What do you feel about him yourself now?. Saying "oh well he's a man" just martyrs yourself.

dreamingbohemian Wed 21-Sep-11 10:02:19

Can you be more specific about what he will and won't do, and what you would like him to do?

You say he doesn't like to do the washing up, but he does the cooking. That's kind of fair actually, usually for us whoever cooks doesn't have to do the dishes.

You say he doesn't like ironing -- why is there ironing, if he's unemployed and you're on ML?

Not meaning to defend him if he's lazy, but what specifically would you like him to do, and have you told him? Have you tried to practically divvy up what needs to be done, instead of just a general 'you need to clean more'?

meltedchocolate Wed 21-Sep-11 10:03:10

See I think doing the cooking and the weekly shopping are the big jobs actually. If he tidies up after his cooking then I would think he is doing a good share. If he cooks but does not tidy the cooking mess then he is being unfair and should do that. Perhaps you should be in charge of daily tidy ups around the house and then once a week for an hour you as a family all do a big clean together and then include your kids in this hour when they are old enough. Also, what is a babymoon?

meltedchocolate Wed 21-Sep-11 10:05:00

By the cooking mess I mean puts the stuff he cooked with away and wipes surface, not the dishes.

AliceWyrld Wed 21-Sep-11 10:05:27

OP - I think you need to shift a bit of responsibility. You are blaming yourself, calling yourself a nag, blaming your mother, and his mother. Do you spot a pattern?

Being a man is not some get out. Not all men aren't bothered and don't pull their weight. Plenty of men recognise that they are an adult and act like it.

All this talk of nagging, and 'men eh' just facilitates the behaviour. You are adults in a mutually responsible relationship. My partner would never call me a 'nag' nor would I say he wasn't capable because he was a man. They are ways of talking that facilitate this set up.

pictish Wed 21-Sep-11 10:06:11

Well you know....nothing will change until you do.
Your bloke sounds a reasonable, kind sort.....so this really must be addressed with zero tolerance.

We have a slightly quirky arrangement here. I am a SAHM (and I never say housewife...I am here to look after the kids, not my husband) so obviously I do the cooking and the day to day maintainance. I don't think my husband has EVER cleaned the bathroom, for example.
However, in return he takes care of pretty much ALL of the laundry. He washes, hangs up or tumble dries, folds into piles and puts away. With three kids, including two toddlers, it's a hefty and never ending task. With all the towels and bedding on constant rotation, it's a fair way of doing things.
He does all the hoovering as well. He also loads and unloads the dishwasher and wipes down after dinner.
We get the little ones ready for bed together, and take it in turns to do the story and tuck in.

As he is out from 8am till 6.30 mon-fri, I think that's all fine.

meltedchocolate Wed 21-Sep-11 10:09:54

Oh laundry. Forgot about that. Who does that?

dreamingbohemian Wed 21-Sep-11 10:16:04

I do think some people honestly don't see the same mess.

My DH just isn't as neat as I am. He will look at the living room, for example, and say it looks perfectly fine. Then I spend half an hour dusting and hoovering and tidying and he'll say, oh you're right, that looks much better. He just doesn't notice the details. I believe him because I used to live with a clean freak and be mystified when he would get upset about mess that I just didn't see.

But there are ways to work around this. DH basically does all the kitchen cleaning (dishes, bins, floors) because that's more obvious mess and I loathe all those tasks. And this way we have no rota or arguments, either the kitchen is clean or it's not, it's his responsibility.

I know some people pretend not to see mess because they are lazy, but some genuinely don't see it.

dreamingbohemian Wed 21-Sep-11 10:18:47

pictish my DH thinks it's perfectly reasonable to clean the bathroom every 3 months (ewwwww)

FiniteIncantatem Wed 21-Sep-11 10:46:40

This about men's attitudes to housework was linked to on a thread in the feminism section and makes for very interesting (and rather depressing) reading...

FiniteIncantatem Wed 21-Sep-11 10:47:53

This article blush

pictish Wed 21-Sep-11 10:56:02

Good article - I concur with some, if not all of it.

Roxy33 Wed 21-Sep-11 10:58:48

It's such a fine line between being helpful and being a nag. I've had several honest discussions with my DH about this very topic and he says that I should tell him what should be done as it's not always obvious to him.......although to me it's very obvious. I do that and most of the time it's ok but sometimes he will get annoyed and say that i don't have to state the obvious!!! You can't win. As a matter of rule i do not pick up after him, even when he's finished bathing our DD and he's left the bathroom in a state, towels everywhere, her shampoo open and her bath not drained...i step over it or use another bathroom. He eventually clears it up and is slowly getting better.......slowly being the operative word.

Dusting - hmmmm, generally I do that when we are about to sell the house!!! (casts her eyes down in shame).

Roxy33 Wed 21-Sep-11 11:05:31

Forgot to say, Pictish you're one lucky lady your DH sounds like a wonderful modern man! Does he have a brother??

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