It's another housework thread- perspective needed.(9 Posts)
I'm a SAHM (not by choice) since I had to give up working due to health issues. Dp works full time, in a job that he hates, and finds it really stressful supporting us all. He is definitely one of the good guys. Dd is 3, from my previous marriage and spends an average of 2 days/week at her dad's or the childminder.
When I was working we spilt the chores etc pretty equally but since i have been at home I seem to be doing more and more housework, until now where I am doing almost all of it. DP does the bins, about half of the cooking, and washes his work clothes each weekend, and happily does his share of childcare (he treats dd as his own). When I am feeling well-ish I don't mind the housework, I have enough time to myself to rest and to do most of the essentials, although the house is never a showhome, and dp pitches in at weekends (although I always have to ask). But when my illness flares up I don't manage anything and often have to spend a couple of days in bed/on the sofa, and everything falls apart as dp doesn't pick up the slack. If i'm not around to organize things then nothing gets done, and I'm becoming increasingly resentful. He says he'll do it if I ask, or if i do it with him so its not so boring, but I just want him to get on with it while I sleep or whatever.
He really hates his job, and is exhausted and frustrated when he comes home, so he's really not in the mood for housework, but I'm often in pain and don't have the option of opting out! We have just had yet another row about it that has left us both feeling angry and unappreciated. I just want him to see what needs doing if I am struggling and get on with it, without me being involved.
I'd suggest a good old fashioned rota - work out what you need/want to do and when, make a rota and put it in a prominent place. Then when you are out of action your dh can easily see what is due to be done. Maybe assign the larger jobs (thorough hoovering, changing beds etc) for the days your dc is out of the house.
Also think about what is important to you to do regularly, and how often those things really need to be done. How organised are you? Good storage and tidying as you go - make sure worktops etc are kept clear so cleaning is quick and easy - will make life easier.
If you are both really struggling, would it be possible for you to pay for help for an hour or two a week?
Thanks, a rota might work and dd could get involved too. I've not wanted to do it before because again it's me taking change of the house and organising everything. But I guess I could spend my whole life waiting for dp to see the mess and sort it out on his own, and It.would be useful for me too to manage my energy I think.
I am pretty disorganised naturally but have developed my own systems, and try to tidy as I go. I struggle when I'm ill or heading downhill as I can't really focus (combination of depression, pain and painkillers is a killer). A large part of it is probably my anxiety about the state of the house, and me feeling guilty about not coping when I'm unwell, which is why I find it hard to know how much to ask of dp.
We can't afford a cleaner or any help, money (or the lack of it) is another source of stress.
I am pretty disorganised naturally but have developed my own systems
Which he may not remember and doesn't want to interfere with. So a timetable of what needs doing when may just work.
I don't have health issues but as a SAHM of 1 I do pretty much all the housework, cooking, shopping and decorating.
Even so, my hours are less than the time my DH is out of the house for work or commuting.
My aim is to get everything done whilst he wasn't at home so when he did get home we could enjoy quality time together and he could enjoy time with DD.
I think it's only fair to divide duties so that time and intensity of work is equally divided. In our case, that meant he would have been doing far more than me if he needed to do any chores and that wouldn't have been fair. Not only that our quality time would have been non-existent due to his work hours.
I honestly think a flylafy type routinecwith written down basics would work well for you . I also think you need to cut him some slack you are obviously poorly butfrom your description yor dh may also nbe on the edge
Unfortunately this is difficult and your husband probably feels put upon and resentful as well. Not only is he working but has to look after his poorly wife and do all the housework. Been there unfortunately.
The only way over and above the list suggestions is to perhaps be openly 'grateful'. Even though it isn't your job to do the housework, show some appreciation of the things he does? Hopefully that wouldn't go against your ideals too much?
Normally I'd be inclined to say he needs to pull his finger out, but it sounds like he does a fair bit and works hard outside the home. If you have longterm health issues, are you getting all the official support available - disability payments and/or home helps or whatever? (I appreciate that in the current political/economic climate you may well be entitled to fuck all even though you are struggling, but it's worth looking into if you haven't already checked). Otherwise lists and rotas are the way to go - along with deciding what bits of housework are not essential and can be dispensed with. Housework is both miserable and not that important as long as your home is clean enough not to make you ill and you can find stuff when you want to: a lot of the culture of having pristine perfect houses is simply a way to waste women's time and stop them getting ideas about being real people and not just servants.
Thanks, I think you're all probably right and I should just let it go. It always seems to end in an argument because when I stress about the house being messy (not at dp, just generally) he takes it as a criticism when I think all I really need is a hug and for him to tell me the mess doesn't matter.
He is really struggling at the moment too, and we're both stressed so when we try to talk about it we both get all defensive and it's not very productive. Thanks everyone- some helpful and constructive ideas here that we can have a sensible talk about.
Hopefully things will change soon, I'm waiting for an operation which should help and have a job that starts in the summer (only a couple of intakes per year), so dp will be the stay at home person, which he is actually much better suited to. I think I just really hate being the one at home, I'm not good at it and resent the expectations of me as a woman to be a cake making, organic eating, crafting, park going supermum and have a perfect home, while simultaneously feeling guilty for not earning. Argh! Christmas has been the tipping point I think, I hadn't been able to go out and buy a few planned things so dp was going to get things for his side online. He forgot, so now all the presents will be late. His family will be fine with it, he knows they will understand, but I feel horribly guilty. The same with the Christmas cards we didn't get round to sending. My family are difficult so I've put too much pressure on myself to make our own Christmas perfect.
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