Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
SAHM. Unappreciated and overworked(77 Posts)
I've namedchanged for this
rant post (something which isn't as easy as it used to be!!!) and I know it's been done to death, but I am just so frustrated with the expectations my family have of me as a SAHM.
Don't get me wrong, I have loved being at home with the children while they were young, but I always assumed that I would go back to work once they were at school. Sadly, my DS has SN and is home educated (by me) so there is no way I could find paid work in the foreseeable future.
It just bugs me that everything gets left to me... My DH gets up, leaves his breakfast stuff / coffee cup wherever he finished with them, has a shower, leaves the shower wet and towels on the floor... when he comes in, he dumps dirty clothes in the basket and sits down. I make his dinner and then clean up after him. This happens with the children too.
If I go away (which I did last week, with the children), everything just piles up. I had to do 4 loads of HIS clothes when I got back, because he'd just kept on dumping clothes in the basket.
This isn't a rant against my DH... I do appreciate that this is my job, but it feels like I never enjoy stuff, I'm just constantly cleaning / sorting / tidying or looking after the kids.
It's like I have a 24hour a day job, with no holidays, but also zero recognition. It's not like I get any respect, the way a person would working out of the home.
Just ranting really.
It may be your job to take care of the home but your DH is treating it like a hotel and treating you with contempt. You should be having a rant against him because it's quite wrong of him to be so bone idle, ungrateful and unhelpful. I'm a single parent, all household tasks fall to me, and even my 12yo knows to put the dirty cup in the dishwasher and to strip his bed at the weekend and set it going in the washing machine. Even he knows it's polite to offer to make a cup of tea or say 'thanks' when I place dinner on the table
A family is a team... where everyone pitches in to the best of their ability. It is not one man swanning about like a lord while everyone else behaves like his servants.... You've been duped. Get angry.
We have 3 yr old DTs, in preschool 2 mornings a week.
I work F/T, but have long holidays.
DH and I share the housework. I will usually hoover through at the weekend. We both do washing every day. DH clears up after tea while I put the DCs to bed. It seems a good balance.
I think you need some time off!
You do have a 24 hour job. Your husband clocks off when he leaves the office.
Point out the unfairness of this to him, and stop doing all the domestic work when he is home: half of it is his to do.
The barometer that is used her, as you probably know, is whether both spouses have equal amounts of leisure time.
"My DH gets up, leaves his breakfast stuff / coffee cup wherever he finished with them, has a shower, leaves the shower wet and towels on the floor... when he comes in, he dumps dirty clothes in the basket and sits down. I make his dinner and then clean up after him. This happens with the children too".
Presumably your DH does this as well because his mother also cleared up everything and every time after his Dad and he learnt from that poor example. Call your DH and get him to pick up the wet towels; explain that you were not put here on this earth to do this for him!. Stop helping everyone because you are truly not and are compounding the problem.
Your children as well are learning that Mum does everything from them which is also not lessons you want to be teaching them.
Its not your job to tidy up after others particularly if they are capable of doing this themselves. Enabling them as you are doing creates more problems than it solves.
You have a job - and it isn't that of maid. If it was you would get to clock off after 8 hours! Just because your DH is out of the house during the day is no reason why he can't pick towels up or put his breakfast things in the dishwasher before he leaves. Or do the washing if you're not there. The proportion of home tasks and housework done by each spouse is based on availability but it's everyone's responsibility.
It is absolutely NOT your job to be a slave for lazy people. Tidying up after yourself is just basic respect for the other people in the house. You're no longer a SAHM - homeschooling is a full-on demanding job, and that should be recognised by your family, your DH in particular. The way to look at it is, you are responsible for the house when you are the only adult there, but when your DH is there, he is jointly responsible. He is treating the house like a hotel.
Would you consider having a serious talk to him about this?
How old are your children?
I am enabling this. I just don't know how to change things.
My DH very much feels that he earns the money, so the house is my job. I'm actually not unhappy about that... it's the fact that there is no recognition that it would cost well over £100 just for a cleaner once a week for our house.
The elder children are my step kids and I can't tell them what to do, as that is down to my DH. The other children are really too young, plus DS has SN which mean he can't do alot of things you might expect him to be able to do.
Think it's just the fact that I'd always assumed that, by now, I'd be back at work and therefore able to demand a more equal distribution of housework / hobby time / finances.
It's one thing to feel the house is "your job" and another to treat you like a slave. I'm a SAHM and while I do do more housework than DH, I don't do his laundry or pick anything up after him. Once he is home in the evening I am no longer "on duty" - if anything needs doing whoever is available does it. He cooks more than I do, and does pretty much all of the gardening and DIY.
Constantly picking up after people is just soul destroying - it feels so pointless to tidy a room because you know by the next day it'll just be a tip again.
What do you think your DH would say if you brought this up with him?
1. Just because he earns the money this does not entitle him to act like a lazy slob. If he stayed at a friend's house for the weekend and behaved that way, littering the place with dirty stuff, they'd think he was a really shit guest.
2. The older step-children are part of your family and are therefore in the team. They are supposed to contribute and you are entitled to make them. Otherwise you're being servant to not only DH but his DCs as well.
3. Small children are capable of doing something, even if it's only minor. The principle of 'helping' is important, not the amount. Your DH is the result if you never establish that principle
4. Just because you are home 24/7 does not mean you are solely responsible for the place. He is taking advantage of your skewed ideas of what it means to be a SAHP
If you know that your H would laugh at you, ignore you or get angry if you ask him to do his share of the domestic work, then your H is a prick, and an abusive one at that. Abuse isn't just hitting or shouting; treating a partner as though s/he is your servant and your property is abusive.
I don't think DH would talk about it. He already feels that I have an easy life.
And, yes, it just feels monotonous to make beds, clean showers, wash clothes, make meals... knowing tomorrow the place is going to look exactly the same as it did before.
Ironically, it was DH having a shower that made me feel so depressed this morning. He just jumped into a (lovely clean) shower and jumped out again like you would in a hotel. I never do that. I have a quick shower, while two children look at me, then I limelight it, clean it, dry it, pick all the towels up and put a wash on, then maybe try and get dressed...
But, I don't feel I can demand any time 'off' given I don't actually 'work'...
One of the first things my DH will say when he comes home is 'give me a minute'... I just couldn't / can't do that.
But you do work, educating your child. That's a huge job, along with
running a hotel taking care of the house.
One thing though - do you clean the shower every single day?
The leaving wet clothes on the bathroom floor really riles me its a lack of respect.
my DP did this (whilst I had crippling SPD)
I told him if he ever did it again I would put dumped clothes in the bath and pour bleach on them tidy floor and full basket ever since.
Sometimes you just need to stand your ground.
A lot of ment aren't doing it to be mean but perhaps have been very pandered by mothers?.
"But, I don't feel I can demand any time 'off' given I don't actually 'work'... "
Then, to fix this problem, you have to adjust your own thinking at the same time as demanding he changes his behaviour. If you think you're supposed to be a slave, he'll keep treating you like one.
Cognito - I really see your point.
I am looking to going somewhere else for the hours DS is 'being educated', so I am simply not in the house. I think it would be good for DS too, and it would mean us simply not being in the house all day.
And, yes, I clean the shower daily.
I just wonder are you making work for yourself. Could the shower be cleaned every second day? Just lowering your standards for yourself would ease the pressure a bit. I'm not saying that's a solution by any means but it might help a bit.
I am at your husband. How fucking dare he treat you like his personal servant?
You need to get angry, and adjust your thinking, and then tell him that things are going to be different from now on. Also, that you expect him to tell your step-children that you won't pick up after them any longer.
Stop cleaning the shower every day, not necessary.
Not being in the house all day is probably a good start but it doesn't tackle the kind of laziness that let things pile up for a week, waiting for you when you got home.
You have to deal with it head on - think of it as team management. My only caveat is to make sure your standards are not unrealistic..... no quicker way to put someone off helping than if they think their contribution isn't going to be good enough. Be very specific about what has to happen next and who has to do it. Start with a few small tasks that others are responsible for (including step-children), remind people frequently to complete the tasks and, as those become habit, add some new ones to the mix.
If you are met with hostility or non-cooperation, up the ante. Relationships die over less.
I would just stop doing laundry for DH and anyone over the age of 10.
I don't get the not able to tell the step/grand children to tidy up after themselves, I do it all the time when they come to stay, but then im a nagger by nature and we all get on well I think anyway
As for dp tidying up after himself, comments like 'the dishwasher doors not broken btw' and 'why is that lying there', 'do you think there's a f* washing fairy ' all seem to have the desired effect, I don't really need to say anything now. In fact when I got up this morning the kitchen was tidied and dishwasher was on
Why are you home educating your DS?
This is not meant as a criticism.
Would you look at charities to give you free time from him? I know one single mother who home educates her 14 year old SN son. I know why she does it but the reality is that it isn't good for either of them.
7to25 - There isn't any other option. HE is not something I had ever considered (or wanted to consider) being honest. But the indie sector won't touch him with a barge pole and the state sector couldn't give a rats arse about him. He did go for a few weeks but without a statement (which we won't get without a tribunal) he's on his own.
The last day I sent him, he got beaten up by 3 other children. he is 4. I cannot send him there. The teacher's view was that, if it happened often enough, my DS would overcome his autism and 'get it'. . Obviously, if she simply spoke latin to all the children at school, they would all come home as proficient latin speakers
So, right now, school is not at option. But without a statement, accessing anything approaching 'SN' support is impossible. So, I have no other realistic option.
How do you know you won't get a statement without a tribunal? Not being nasty, just a genuine question. 4 is very young to get a statement but if he has a paeds diagnosis of autism and has seen the ed psych then there is every chance he'll get statemented. It's a tough process and LEAs tend to turn many down initially butmoften back down before it gets to the tribunal stage - it's almost as though they try to weed out the parents who won't kick up enough fuss
I certainly don't blame you for HE, I wouldn't send my 4yr old into the sort of situation you describe but don't give up on any chance of him being educated in the school system.
Not much advice on the home situation I'm afraid, it's very similar here
Sorry, not sure what SN is so can't comment on that really. However, I would think that once a week for a shower would be enough and using towels more than once is the norm (even hotels ask you to keep them longer as unnecessary and has an environmental impact), so there is some leeway to cut down on the workload.
Would annoy me though if a person could not be bothered to hang the towels on a rail. Was you DH on his own for a while before you got together, how did he manage before you came into his life?
Self-esteem wise, you seem dis-empowered because you don't really want to be a SAHM, I can understand that, I'd hate it. The answer there would be to have your son's education by someone else or somewhere else while you work. Before that happens you need to find some assertiveness somehow and get the rest of the family in training - make them pick up after themselves and take their dishes to the kitchen/dishwasher. There is something fundamentally wrong in that you feel you cannot tell your DH's DC's what to do, this is not a correct expectation and I wonder if this has come from your DH or the step-children (kids will use any excuse not to be tidy).
Join the discussion
Please login first.