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Does working full time mean he doesn't have to do a THING around the house?

(53 Posts)
strikingoff Thu 20-Oct-11 04:34:49

I need some perspective please.

My dh works full time, 10 hour days. He's a freelance contractor therefore when he doesn't work he doesn't earn. He's always worried that he'll 'never work again' but in the 15 years we've been together, he's only been out of work for a couple of months, and that was by choice. He provides well for me and ds, he's a great dad and generally a caring and kind guy.

But I have one big stumbling block with him. I also work - part-time from home (20 hrs per week). I find myself doing all of the 'home' chores - food shopping, care of ds, laundry, cleaning. I also look after all of the 'other' stuff and this is what is driving me nuts. So if the loo needs fixing, it's up to me to get it done. If the house needs repainting, I have to organise it. If the car needs to be serviced, I have to take it in.

We moved recently and remortgaged. I did all the paperwork, all the moving organisation, I do anything to do with insurance, buy the birthday and christmas presents.

When I have tried to talk to him about it, his only response is 'I work 10 hours a day and I can't do any of that'. He's good at taking ds out on the weekends to give me some time off as I'm also studying. But invariably I end up catching up on paperwork, laundry or groceries.

I just feel like a spoiled brat.

Grockle Thu 20-Oct-11 04:48:10

Well, til September, I worked full time(60 hrs a week) and did all those things. But it was very difficult so I dropped a days work so I have time to book the the car in for a service, to hey the floor laid, to go to the dr etc

I don't think YANBU to want help but pracrically, you are more able to do those things.

strikingoff Thu 20-Oct-11 04:58:25

I know Grockle, and I am happy to do the bulk of it. That's why I only work part-time.

But I just wish he would take some responsibility and sort SOME things out.

I just feel like I am mother to two children not one.

ClaudiaSchiffer Thu 20-Oct-11 05:38:16

Well, dh and I have a similar set up to you, he works looong hours and I work pt. We tend to divide things into I do "indoor" stuff, ie shopping/cooking/cleaning/bulk of kids stuff. And at the w/end he'll help with kids (took them camping last sat night) and do most of the "outdoor" stuff ie lawns, um, wash cars, take stuff to the dump. All very 1950's really, but it mostly works for us.

Does he do anything? If my dh lazed about all weekend it would piss me off. But a certain amount of lazing about is fine with me as I get to laze for 3 days a week.

Can you afford a cleaner to take on some duties? I would adore a cleaner but we can't afford one <arse>

FearfulYank Thu 20-Oct-11 05:46:43

I get irritated too. We have a similar set up and there are things I just plain can't do ...building things, etc. Yet he complains when I suggest hiring someone. hmm

Tortoiseinadarkspell Thu 20-Oct-11 05:57:00

This comes down to, do you have the same amount of downtime? Fair enough that you're doing household/childcare chores while he's at work, given the disparity in your hours. And if he's out with the kids on the weekend while you're doing housework that seems reasonable to me as well (as long as he's genuinely entertaining them. not so much if he's taken them to the pub, fobbed them off with a packet of crisps and is watching the telly).

But if he comes home and sits on his arse and you're still scrubbing, or he spends Sunday with his mates and you're weeding, that's not okay at all. The hours that neither of you are at paid work, you need to be dividing up fairly.

ClaudiaSchiffer Thu 20-Oct-11 06:06:02

When my life was a total Groundhog Day routine of nappies/cleaning/washing/drudgery I did get some good advice from a friend who basically said that I needed too take the weekend off. So her advice was to get the housework done Mon-Fri, then make sure only the bare minimum got done at the weekend.

Then at least if dh takes the kids then you can sit and read a book. And your life doesn't feel like one long boring routine of dull house duties.

PattyPenguin Thu 20-Oct-11 07:19:23

I agree with Tortoise. I'd be inclined to work out, on paper, hours per week. Him - 50 hours + any travelling time. You - 20 hours + any travelling time. From his total subtract your total. Then I'd start a diary, noting how you spend the remaining hours from the sum above on work involving the children and the house (and that includes taking the children to school, activities, the park - anything where you're responsible for their safety and welfare is work). Once you've done those hours, stop. Anything not done in those hours either doesn't get done, or he splits doing it with you. That is entirely fair and reasonable.

Grockle Thu 20-Oct-11 07:21:59

What do you want him to do? My DP will bring milk home if we're running low or get the washing in or listen to DS read all of which help somewhat. I get annoyed when he sits on his arse or stands watching me do the dishes but generally he's quite good and makes me a cup of tea every morning.

BettySwalloxs Thu 20-Oct-11 07:29:39

Personally, I think he's a lazy arse TBH. I am out of the house for 12 hours and my DW works PT. When i get in at 7pm i get ds to bed while DW sorts out tea (or vice versa). Then i will iron or wash floors and Dw will do her jobs. Then we sit down and relax. Remember, you do 10 hour days too, its just that most of your work is unpaid. I would start dividing some of the work.

AnyPhantomFucker Thu 20-Oct-11 07:30:26

does it fuck

Tortoiseinadarkspell Thu 20-Oct-11 07:33:41

Slippery slope, Patty. Reminds me of a friend whose father was a lawyer, and insisted that her mother kept a time sheet throughout the day so he could check that her day was as industrious as his was.

A couple should be able to rely on one another that during their 'work' day (which includes commutes, and for young children I think it includes all the child's waking hours) they are working to the best of their ability. I take coffee breaks at work, I take coffee breaks at home, I don't expect to have to be accountable to anyone for either of those.

Yama Thu 20-Oct-11 07:34:56

The answer is 'no'.

Many millions of people manage to work full time and take care of the house. Dh and I are two of them.

PattyPenguin Thu 20-Oct-11 07:48:18

I can see your point, Tortoise. Well, then, I'd have another go and talking to him about sharing the work at home.

Then, when nothing changed, I'd just do the sums in my head and when I'd done my hours I'd stop and say I didn't have time to do anything else as I needed to study or was too tired. I'ld be inclined to make sure the things I didn't do just happened to be things that affected the lazy blighter, maybe putting work clothes in the wash or sorting out car tax.

FearfulYank Thu 20-Oct-11 07:57:30

Slippery slope indeed. One of my good friends has a "D"H (I've started a few threads dealing with his twuntiness) who insists that everything is bang equal, all the time. As in "well when I'm in nursing school maybe you should have a baby so you can be as crazy busy as I am." As in "You owe me rent." and then once they did have the baby, as in "Well if you want to be a SAHM that's fine I suppose but only until she's two and a half and then I will SAH the other two and a half years til she goes to kindergarten."

<boak boak boak>

It's hard to put it across here, but it became so much more about point-scoring than it did about actually having an equal partnership.

TadlowDogIncident Thu 20-Oct-11 08:12:26

If he were single, he wouldn't be able to cop out of doing any of that stuff, ten-hour days or not. I think equal downtime is the best way to approach this, but another way of looking at it is that you shouldn't end up in a position where your life is easier because you're married and your spouse's is harder. Your DH has ended up in a position where he earns the money and someone else does all the domestic work - most of us can't achieve that without being a millionaire!

I'm coming at this from the perspective of the parent working outside the home, by the way. DH is SAHD to a 14-month old: that's hard work, and when I'm at work he doesn't get a break (whereas I get lunchbreaks etc). It would be phenomenally unfair for me to say that because I was earning the money I was somehow entitled not to do anything around the house. Of the things you specifically mention, I do the paperwork and, effectively, the groceries (online shopping is a marvellous invention) and DH does the laundry. When I'm home we split looking after DS and clearing up the trail of destruction he leaves behind him.

Scorpette Thu 20-Oct-11 09:12:54

My DP is out of the house for 10 hours every day and I'm a SAHM. Whatever needs doing when we're both at home is shared equally between us. In fact, he does more housework than me, as I have CFS, get less sleep than him and am BFing on demand. His attitude is that if he was single, he'd have to work those hours and do 100% of the housework and organisation. Now he gets to do less than 100% plus he has a lovely family; he rightly sees this as a good deal. Mind you, he is one of those men (sadly rare, it would seem) who doesn't secretly think/presume that everything at home is intrinsically 'women's work'.

OP, it's your DH who is the spoilt brat, not you. What makes Ickle Diddums so special that he can cop out of doing what millions of other people have to do?! Have you actually asked him what he would do if he was single? Or pointed out that he can only work those hours because he forces you to take on everything? And that it makes you feel alone, taken for granted, put-upon, insulted, etc.? He is treating you like a servant, P.A. and his mother, all rolled into one. Does he ever acknowledge that he massively overburdens you with all the shit work?

meltedchocolate Thu 20-Oct-11 10:40:49

If he is literally out all day then it will be hard for him to do any on the weekdays surely?! Not saying he can't do anything on the weekend but surely that is your time to relax with each other? I would think his share would be there but something small like cutting the grass and doing a 'middles' hoover on the weekend?

My working ours are not that dissimilar to yours..I work 30 hours a week term time, DH does about 50 on an average week...

We share ALL the home jobs. Ok I do most of the running around with the (4) children..Mum's taxi etc but the cleaning, laundry, shopping etc etc is shared..we don't divide it we just get on and do it! Obviously in the school holidays I do more as I'm physically in the home but we both consider our home life anything that needs doing we do ..simple as that.

Your DH is being a bit precious over it..and I'd be stamping my feet if I were you!

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 20-Oct-11 10:48:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 20-Oct-11 10:49:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CobOnTheCorn Thu 20-Oct-11 10:58:04

It can be difficult working out things fairly/equally. I don't mean matching hour for hour but to be fair to each other. My DP probably does more around the house than I do at the moment because I am so stressed from looking after two dc I struggle to get excited about the hoovering, so he does it (he'd rather that than send me over the edge).

On the other hand there are things I prefer to do myself because either I enjoy them (I love ironing DS1's uniform but I don't iron anything for DP) or because I am more suited to them. Likewise there are things that DP is better at than I am so I don't care if they aren't split down the middle.

I think compromise isn't always as straighforward as 50/50.

onefatcat Thu 20-Oct-11 11:04:06

DH works full time and long hours. I don't work.
He takes care of all the bills and finance stuff.
I take care of all the house stuff- eg washing, cleaning, cooking, supermarket shopping, planning holidays, ironing, organizing builders, decorating etc. I take all repsonsibilty for childcare during week- school runs etc.
At weekends I still do most of cooking but we share gardening and looking after kids at weekends (although we do must stuff as a family anyway).
I feel we share quite equally. DH doesn't have to do any housework or laundry, he knows I am there for dd at all times, he is always fed and I know he's bringing in the cash and will help whenever he can. Your DH sounds a little lazy. What if you both worked full time? Who would do things then?

PeppermintPumpkin Thu 20-Oct-11 11:07:30

NO NO NO NO!!! Just been on about this on another thread(broken record). WHY do some people think it's ok for them to do jack all in the home they share with their family just because they work?? Booey bloody hoo. If he lived on his own would he hire a maid, live like a pig, or get off his arse and do it himself?

Why can't the chores be divided equally, allowing for the practicalities of one person working ft and one pt??

I currently work ft but was pt for last few yrs after having dc-I still come home and do as much as I can to help dp on an evening and we both do the things that need doing on a weekend. I just think any other arrangement is totally unfair and leaves one party as basically a bloody skivvy for the other one.

meltedchocolate Thu 20-Oct-11 11:17:33

Haha, it is a broken record isn't it?! Different families will do things in different ways and be happy with different shares. Op is clearly not happy though so this isn't right for her.

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