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full time mum!!!!! a little help from dear husband y/n?

(22 Posts)
baby2011and2012 Sun 02-Nov-14 22:10:43

Hi ladies, I am a full time mum I've got 3 children, 17, 3 and 2... Just 15 months apart are my little ones. My husband works full time (shifts), sometimes overtime. I don't get any help from him apart from doing the supermarket shopping together. He says once I start "working" again when kids start school, he will start doing things at home, makes me feel he thinks I am not doing anything at all for our family, and sometimes I feel I never stop doing things around the house. I used to work full time 5 days a week, from 8 am to 5 pm, never felt as tired as I feel now after my day is gone and I can go to sleep. Do you get any help at all? smile

Walkacrossthesand Sun 02-Nov-14 22:18:19

With 2 preschoolers at home, I don't imagine you get any 'breaks' during your day at home. So, when DH gets in from work, you are both in the same position - you've done a day's work - so one of you shouldn't expect to sit down while the other one carries on working. Does that ever happen in your house? If so, I bet I can predict which one is sitting down smile and it ain't you - so a good starting point is to say, no-one regards their day's work as done, until the jobs are done for the day.

baby2011and2012 Sun 02-Nov-14 22:29:15

Yes my day lasts 29 hours his just 24 I guess smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 02-Nov-14 22:31:16

The way I look at it, there are five people in your home, some there for longer parts of the day than others, some more able to do things than others. When in the home everyone including children has a responsibility to keep on top of the chores or at least keep the place tidy. It's a team effort, not one woman acting as a maid to the other four.

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Sun 02-Nov-14 22:35:41

I worked and was/am a 'full time mum'. I didn't stop being a mum when I wasn't there.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 02-Nov-14 22:54:19

I'm a SAHM of one 2yo. I don't get 'help' at all, no. DP and I both pull our weight domestically and we share parenting tasks.

I find the idea that you are 'at work', including being permanently on call, 24 hours a day, while your DP clocks off work and takes leisure time, incomprehensible. It's deeply unfair and only a stupid person could think otherwise, I'm afraid.

You both work full-time during the day (or whenever he's on shift), then you're both at home, so sharing parenting and domestic tasks, obviously. That's fair, being a team, all being part of a family.

As an example of our approach; each evening one of us cooks, the other does bath and bedtime for dd. During the week, DP gets home about 6pm and takes over care of dd for the evening. At the weekends, I do her bedtime, he cooks. During the baby-years and since, I do nights, he covers 5-7am before leaving for work.

Managing two by yourself must be really hard. Is he cooking for you while put them to bed? Why would he not want to be playing a part in family life? Didn't he want to have children?

lottiegarbanzo Mon 03-Nov-14 13:38:35

You're not getting many responses and I know my earlier one might not have seemed entirely helpful, though it was meant to be. So, a question to you.

Your OP is written as if all domestic work and childcare is your job and anything your DH does at home is 'helping you' perform work that is yours. Also as if you assume this is normal.

To me the situation you describe is not normal at all, not what we, or friends or family do and not a way of life I'd be interested in adopting, or accept.

So my question is, when did you adopt this way of life and why?

Understanding that would help people (or me anyway) be more constructive about what you can hope to change and how.

Have you and your DH both grown up with an expectation that domestic work and childcare is a woman's responsibility and anything a man does is 'helping' her? Did you both accept this when you got together? When you decided to have children? Has he ever lived alone or in a shared house? What would he do if he lived alone, or suddenly found himself a single parent?

What I don't understand is why you've accepted his ideas about helping and not helping. Couldn't you say 'you've got to be joking, dream on' or 'no, that's not going to work' or 'let's look at all the tasks needed to keep this household running and make sure they're divided fairly, so we each get equal leisure time'?

What happens at weekends / his days off? You both used to have leisure time. Now there's constant work to do because of the DC. How do you share it out? If he ever takes whole days off from family tasks, do you? When are your days off?

baby2011and2012 Mon 03-Nov-14 13:55:56

lottiegarbanzo, He used to help when the kids were babies when everything was hard, now he says is my job. He keeps telling me his mum had 5 children, she did not need help and she had 2 part time jobs, honestly I don't know how she did it!!!! He says all the job concerning the house and the children 100% was his mum tasks, not anyone else.
He did want children, I think he wanted children but he was not aware of the hard job that involves being a parent, it is not just about paying for the bills. When I was working full time before getting married to him, I was in charge of everything, the bills, the housekeeping, my daughter etc etc etc and I will do the same once I start working again, I am not expecting to stop being a mum and doing my chores at home. He thinks different, unfortunately. sad

AMumInScotland Mon 03-Nov-14 14:00:43

I hold to the 'same amount of free time' argument when it comes to this.

If the two of you have around the same amount of time that you get to choose what to do with - not work out of the house, not commuting, not childcare, not household chores, etc - then the division is fair.

If not, then it's simply unfair!
The fact that his mother was a martyr from a previous generation proves nothing.
It's not about him 'helping' you, it's about him doing a fair proportion of what needs to be done. Part of his proportion is the time he spends going out to work. But not all of it.

Stripyhoglets Mon 03-Nov-14 14:18:42

Just ask him why he thinks he should work 8 hours a day (or however long he is out the house) and then relax but you should work for 12-13 ( or however long your little ones are awake). Then work for another 2-3 hours a day doing house stuff after they have gone to bed and then be on the call for the remaining 8-10 hours? Ask on what planet does he thinks that's fair? He should at least be taking an equal shard of parenting while he is home.

lottiegarbanzo Mon 03-Nov-14 14:47:57

What has what his mum did got to do with your relationship and your family?Why does he get to dictate what you will do? Why would you accept his wishes rather than saying 'dream on'?

Did you ever agree to be 'just like his mum'?

What has happened to partnership, discussion, compromise, mutual support here? You know, the normal ways people conduct relationships.

I don't understand how you go straight from 'he'd like life to be like this' to 'and so it is' with no discussion, no consideration of what works in your family and for both of you. No space for you - as an equal person and partner in this relationship, with needs, hopes and opinions of your own.

baby2011and2012 Mon 03-Nov-14 22:15:13

Lottiegarbanzo, When I met him, he lived on his own in a flat, everything was tidy. We used to share chores. I think at some point after DD1 from my previous relationship moved with us he changed. He started saying no many men will go to work pay for all bills and help around the house.
On his days off he goes out on Friday afternoon, not until this year I asked him why we never go out as a couple, eventually we went out for a meal a few times this year, but not sure he was going ever to think I might like to do something different other than staying at hime.
I mentioned to him before I've never got days off and he always says I am not the one paying the bills.
This is not what I wanted but I don't find the way to stop it, and I can't see a solution because everything I suggest or ask for will start a masive argument and then turn into a nasty fight.
I don't even know why I accept ALL this.

Walkacrossthesand Mon 03-Nov-14 22:24:35

Well, if you've tried reasoning with him, and met a brick wall, I guess it's time to consider withdrawing wifely services - eg switch to eating your main meal at midday and don't cook a meal for him in the evening, don't do his laundry, don't clear up after him. 'My job is to look after the DCs, not to be your servant'. It may be time to start looking at getting some child care and part time work for yourself - being a financially dependent SAHM depends totally on the wage earner respecting the SAHM role, and it doesn't sound like your H does.

FelicityGubbins Mon 03-Nov-14 22:26:55

If he lived on his own would the fact that he had a job and paid his bills suddenly make his home permanently sparkly clean? would their be an invisible and magical cooking/laundry/domestic team of staff to do everything for him, or would he have to get of his arse and do it himself?

Joysmum Mon 03-Nov-14 22:44:11

I work in the basis that we work, be it paid or unpaid, an equal amount in terms if time and intensity. My FH worked far greater hours than I did as a SAHM so it wasn't fair to expect him to do anything at home unless I was going through a period where I'd struggle, when of course he'd want to ease the load smile

lottiegarbanzo Tue 04-Nov-14 08:22:40

So you've had discussions and he's pulled the 'I bring in all the money' line. For some reason he thinks money is the only thing of value in a family, the only contribution worth recognising - that is odd. Again, it sounds as though he's not really interested in family life and having children.

On money, you could work out how much FT childcare for two would cost (approx £20,000 a year at nursery, then one of you, or someone would have to cover days when they're ill). Then cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, doing all the household admin etc. That's the financial contribution you make to the household. If you didn't, it would all have to be paid for. He'd probably say it wouldn't, as even if you both worked FT you'd do a lot of this stuff yourselves - but he doesn't do it, so that's not true.

Even then, with all other tasks covered, if you were both working FT, you'd have children to look after and spend time with every evening and weekend. He's not pulling his weight there by the sound of it - or enjoying being part a family.

It sounds as though he made a lot of assumptions about what family life is like and that he is imposing these on you, rather than finding out what you want from life, talking things through and agreeing a shared approach.

It's interesting that he draws upon 'what he thinks other people (the examples he picks to suit his case) would do' all the time, instead of focusing in what the people in your family want, need and can do.

It really doesn't sound like he cares about what you want, or whether you are happy, at all.

It is going to be difficult though, if you've almost always done everything, to explain why things need to be different now. He's used to being able to get away with laziness and having all the free time and will continue to as long as he can.

Starting from where you are, I'd say you need to make a case about what's different now, how much more work there is with two small children, that you do contribute and do need time off sometimes and and how you'd like him to be more involved in family life and their lives.

SpuffySummers Tue 04-Nov-14 08:27:21

DH works full time, I'm a SAHM. He is fantastic around the house. My ex did nothing and I mean nothing I didn't realise it wasn't normal until DH and I moved in together and he would hoover/tidy/clean of his own accord. I've been poorly with tooth ache and a stomach bug the last few days, house had gone a bit to crap due to it. I wake up this morning to a spotless house barring hoovering as he didn't want to wake us up (he gets up at 4am). I could cry. He's so lovely and brilliant yet thinks I'm overboard with my gushing and thankyous because he just sees it as a his contribution to the running of the home he lives in and therefore doesn't want/need praise but he gets it.

Quitelikely Tue 04-Nov-14 09:31:46

You need to sit him down and say: your role as a husband and father does not begin and end at work. Your role as a husband and father begins when you get through the door after work. This means I want us to do tea time and bedtime for the kids together, as in a joint effort. I want you to help me run this house, not just live in it.

If you cannot help me do these things then our relationship is seriously compromised. The ball is in your court.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 04-Nov-14 09:49:03

But I don't want to ignore you saying that everything you suggest turns into a nasty fight. Because maybe that is the issue here.

I don't know exactly what you mean by nasty fight. But if you are scared of him, or he threatens, bullies or browbeats you into doing what he wants - then that is the problem and it's a serious one.

No amount of me saying 'that's not normal amongst my friends' or other people agreeing it's not fair is going to change that. Going 'on strike' would probably enrage him.

So if that's the real problem and it's serious - temper, aggression and control over you - then I'd suggest you start another thread here, with a different title and you'll get people much better able to advise on those issues.

Sickoffrozen Tue 04-Nov-14 10:24:05

I would say being a SAHM is much harder when the kids are toddlers as it's actually almost impossible to do any house related work with children of that age. On that basis he should be helping out.

Does your 17 yr old help?

If you were a SAHM to school age children I would say you should do most of the jobs in the house apart from when school holidays as you have more time to do them.

DuelingFanjo Tue 04-Nov-14 10:29:15

Do you do his washing? Stop doing it.
Do you do his ironing? Stop it.

These are two things he can do it himself, as a fully grown adult.

Granville72 Tue 04-Nov-14 11:00:55

It's a tricky conversation to have I think, and often falls on deaf ears. My OH hoovers once a week and does the dusting but that is about it. He feels if anything more needs doing then I should ask him or point it out.

We both work full time - him 7.5hrs a day 5 days a week, me 11hrs a day 5 days a week. (I'm a childminder so work from home)
We have a 26 month old child, I do 95% of the childcare
I do all the cooking
I do the majority of house work & all of the gardening
I pay half of all household bills even though he earns twice as much

He moans that I'm tired (no shit Sherlock). Once I've bid farewell to my last mindee in the evening, done dinner, done bath & bedtime, I'm knackered.

Does it occur to him to help out more round the house? Nope, not unless I ask him and I get fed up of talking to a brick wall.

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