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Sharing the Housework

(96 Posts)
hazz1991 Mon 28-Dec-15 22:48:51


Im a SAHP and have been for a few years now. My DP works quite long hours and are quite tired when they get home and just wants to relax.

I can understand this but it is getting a bit frustrating that DP doesn't do anything to help around the house or the household chores. Its got worse in the last year or so and don't know if i should do something about it or I'm just being unreasonable?

I understand and agree that I should do most of the work as i am at home but i would appreciate just a little bit of help sometimes especially at the weekends when we are both at home!

Is anybody else a SAHP and feels like this? Whats the best way to go about sorting it out without causing arguments?

Thank you!

Joysmum Mon 28-Dec-15 22:57:59

Personally, I've always gone by the guideline that we should have the same amount of leisure time and that work time should be compatible in stress. Eg if DH was asleep on a train in work hours that's not compatible to dealing with a teething baby!

Tbh, there's no way on earth my DH should have been doing housework as his hours were so much longer than mine. However he knew when I was stressed, just as I knew when he was, and we'd both support each other's needs to cut ourselves off and regroup on the odd occasion.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 28-Dec-15 23:04:41

I don't understand why men with wives and children do less housework than men without either. If you have children, your workload goes up a bit, surely. I work and I still have to cook and do the laundry. DH works full time and still has to clean.

Are the children at school? Because if you have a few hours in the day to yourself, that does change things.

RealityCheque Mon 28-Dec-15 23:59:32

As a sahm, unless there are additional SNs or lots of kids, you should easily be able to do all the housework during the week whilst he is at work.

Then all that should need sharing at weekends / evenings is mealtimes / looking after the kids (bath times, bedtimes etc).

There really is no reason/excuse to be cleaning / washing / ironing etc at weekends and evenings.

buckingfrolicks Tue 29-Dec-15 00:57:37

You are not being unreasonable. He is.

BackforGood Tue 29-Dec-15 01:08:25

This is going to depend on if you have a 12 and 10 yr old, or if you have 2 yr old twins and 3 yr old triplets, tbh - it makes a MASSIVE difference to my reply.

LineyReborn Tue 29-Dec-15 01:13:22

Whether you are male or female, there should be a fair split of 'down time'.

HamaTime Tue 29-Dec-15 01:15:35

How old are the dcs and what is 'quite long hours'?

As pp said, a squad of pre-schoolers is different to a couple of older kids. Also 70 hours a week as a coal miner or orthopaedic surgeon is different to 40 hours behind a desk. Not doing anything seems extreme. Does s/he look after the dcs when at home or do they sit and read the paper and smoke a pipe?

hazz1991 Tue 29-Dec-15 18:09:38

We only have one child at the moment. Possibly thinking about another in the future but not right now. She's 3 so takes up quite a lot of time and obviously not at school yet.

Its just in the evenings for example i always do all the washing up and cleaning the kitchen after eating and at the weekends i clean up after DD and do all the meals and shopping too.

I understand DP wants to relax at the weekends because she has a busy week. Normally goes to work around 7 and gets back at 6/7 in the evening
so i don't mind as much doing everything in the evening on weekdays. But would appreciate more help on the weekends.

Im just don't want to get into a big argument about it and I'm not sure the right way to go about it or if i am being unreasonable.

I think its more that its all seen as 'my job' even when we are both around and thats what annoys me

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 29-Dec-15 18:36:56

"Relax' at the weekend? Does that involve doing lots of child time or is it sitting in a chair?

hazz1991 Tue 29-Dec-15 18:40:42

Probably say about 50/50. Some time just playing with DD and doing activities and some time just doing hobbies or reading a book that kind of thing

pocketsaviour Tue 29-Dec-15 18:52:41

You say that it's got worse in the last year or so. Has that coincided with her working longer hours or being more stressed at work, or has it just been a gradual slippage? and have you said anything up til now?

hazz1991 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:44:51

Well she's had the same hours generally. I think yeah has just been a gradual slide. Ive always done all of it during the week and evenings but generally she did some at the weekends but now is just me.

Iggi999 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:57:02

A three year old is hard work. Are they at nursery sometimes though?
I don't get the idea that evenings can involve NO housework, can't tidy up as easily until the lo is in bed, there is food to prepare and dishes to do. I can't imagine sitting at the weekend watching a partner work while I sat on my arse either.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 29-Dec-15 21:04:28

Do you get time at the weekends to do hobbies and just read?

hazz1991 Tue 29-Dec-15 21:16:04

She is a lot of hard work lol keeps me on my feet a lot. Obviously I don't mind though but can be very tiring sometimes.

Yeah i agree generally there is a bit to do in the evenings with cooking and stuff. I do the cooking and washing up after.

Well i do get a bit of time when she is playing with DD or doing something with her but generally at the weekends when she is doing that I will do a quick general tidy of the house or laundry or something so i don't get that much time.

I think she maybe sees the time when she is playing with DD as times helping out.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 29-Dec-15 21:25:29

I think she maybe sees the time when she is playing with DD as times helping out. Of course she does. As do you from the sounds of it. She is a lot of hard work lol keeps me on my feet a lot. Child-time is not 'free time'.

It sounds like she looks about DD most of the day, most of the evening and quite a lot of the weekend. You work most of the day, cook and clean most of the evening and chores and DD a lot of the weekend.

I think you need to rejig all the time. Looking after a three year old, particularly an active one, isn't chill and it doesn't leave a lot for housework. Laundry and so on can be done with a LO but not bleaching the bathroom. Why not talk to you DP about the weekends. Say that you want more time with DD and less time doing housework. Can you take DD out while DP cleans?

Oh and the one shining rule here is if you cook; you don't clean.

hazz1991 Tue 29-Dec-15 21:37:36

Sorry you're right and i didn't mean it like that in a negative way, just trying to work out her perspective incase I'm just overreacting.

It is nice to have a break for a bit from looking after her but as i said generally i do a quick bit of cleaning whilst she is doing that so don't get much 'me' time.
I meant like counting towards the housework etc. so because she does that then therefore she doesn't do any of the housework. Also i think playing with her for a bit is slightly different to actually feeding her, changing her that kind of thing which i generally do.

She is at work not me. So I'm at home looking after her. I think she just sees all the housework as my job because she's at work so thats why she doesn't do any.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 29-Dec-15 21:51:48

Sorry, yeah, wrong way around. I think any child time counts, though, even playing.

I also think that variety is much easier than monotony. So 8 hours of work then three hours of kid time is MUCH easier than 12 hours of either work or child time. You have a lot more of the same than she does, which is tough.

I absolutely don't agree that all housework is the job of the SAHP. It's just not realistic. If you have an active 3 yo, you don't have time to clean properly through the day. It's like shoveling snow during a blizzard as they say here in Canada!

I like DH's habit. He takes DD out for the day for playdates or park on the weekend. I then get to sort the laundry AND get to sit around a bit.

You're probably both tired and a bit pissed off. Would any of the usual MN suggestions help:

Jobs assigned (you laundry, her kitchen)

Joysmum Tue 29-Dec-15 22:25:04

In general as a SAHM I've never had to do the hours DH did working. sometimes it could be more stressful if she was going through a stage, but then DH's job was high stress anyway.

I never cooked every night. I batch cooked 3 meals in one go and froze into foil portions. It'd taking 1/3 of the time and washing up (only plates, cutlery and cups dirtied) and shopping would be done online with just a mini shop needed each week.

Playing with a child can be hard work as I did it during the day so him playing with DD in the evening meant he was still 'working' when he got home from work. Add that into his full time hours and I was still doing nowhere near the amount of work he was.

hazz1991 Wed 30-Dec-15 17:39:39

I talked to my wife last night but we ended up getting into a bit of an argument.

I suggested a rota but she said she sees it that all the housework is my responsibility whether she is at home or not. As in that it's different to her work which is set hours. Mine is just Spread out over the day. So now I feel a bit guilty bringing it up.

She said in the evenings during the week she just wants to relax but doesn't mind taking dd out occasionally on the weekends to give me a bit of a break or time to do a bit of housework.

Does anybody else think that's reasonable?

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 30-Dec-15 18:01:51

she sees it that all the housework is my responsibility whether she is at home or not. Well that's bullshit. Time to look for work maybe? Then you'd both be responsible for childcare and housework.

Lots of people will tell you that SAHP should do all the housework. I disagree. I had a very active kid and looking after her, without doing all the housework, was harder than my job had been. No one should be a passenger in their house. I'm not sure I'd really want to be married to someone who thought all the shitwork was mine.

Joysmum Wed 30-Dec-15 18:12:32

Do you honestly think the amount of work and stress that you do is equal or in excess of her commute plus working hours?

If so then she's being unreasonable, if not then you are.

I never saw all my waking hours as being time to entertain my DD by playing. From an early age she was 'helping' me which meant I could get on with chores as well as her learning.

Children at nursery don't get one to one supervision so assuming they'll always need this at home isn't realistic.

Of course there will be difficult days, but not all the time unless there's an underlying issue.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 30-Dec-15 18:17:44

Joy you would expect your child to help you with housework but a perfectly healthy adult shouldn't offer to wash up when someone else has cooked? Or contribute to deep cleaning on the weekend?

I may be biased because DD was very close to a ADHD diagnosis so we had to be out of the house a LOT. I still don't see why someone goes form having to do housework (before children) to not having to do any (after children). Makes no sense to me.

Joysmum Wed 30-Dec-15 18:40:32

My DH could be back at 7:30 if we were lucky. So he'd come home, get changed and eat. This would take us to 8:15 or so. Why would it be fair to expect him to then wash up and wipe down the kitchen when we could be sat talking. He'd need time with our munchkin too. Very hard to fit it all in. So how on earth could it be fair for him to have to do more hours and have more stress than me?

Even if I didn't batch cook and cooked every night, the hours I'd do were nowhere near the hours he'd be out of the house.

Housework really doesn't take that long. I'd certainly not leave any deep cleans to the weekend so when DH was home it was quality leisure/family/our time. His life would be all work and no play otherwise with little time to parent or nurture our marriage. Not what either of us would want.

This is why I asked the OP if they honestly thought their hours and stress was comparable. It's the question I asked myself and in all honesty he had the tougher job most of the time.

If the OP isn't doing the same hours/stress and his DW then I do t think it's fair to expect home chores to further increase that divide.

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