Division of labour and running a home. AIBU?(59 Posts)
I would really appreciate some opinions as I'm not sure if I'm justified in feeling a bit pissed off right now or not!
DP and I live together. DP works long hours. Normally six days a week and he's normally out from 7am until anytime between 6 and 7pm at night.
I also work, although not as many hours. I have a zero hours paid job and also a voluntary job (which we get a rent free flat through, so it's a pretty vital job)
I'm currently feeling quite fed up by the way the labour is divided at home, but I'm not sure if I should just suck it up due to the fact the DP does work really hard. I easily do 80% (at least) of the housework. If DP is home for the day he will do things like washing up, clean benches etc. He'll also change beds and stuff if I ask. However all the deep cleaning and icky things like bathrooms are always left to me. I also do most of the meal planning/cooking as I'm usually home before DP on a night.
As an example... Yesterday DP was out his normal hours. My day consisted of absolutely blitzing flat from top to bottom as it was filthy. Including taking down the xmas tree and throwing it away. Sorting our overflowing washing basket. Doing a few hours work out of the home for voluntary job. Doing admin tasks that needed doing (ringing bank, chasing council about out knackered boiler) walking our dog, and then going shopping to buy us something nutritious for tea. The food was then cooked and ready for DP coming in. DP came in, ate his tea and then relaxed on sofa for rest of evening. The plates were then taken to kitchen by him, left on the side and not washed up. He hardly ever washes the plates, so even though I cooked the meal I'm left to do them the next morning.
In addition to this it always seems like most of the admin tasks like paying bills etc fall on me. As an example, we are going away for a few days tomorrow and if I hadn't sorted a pet sitter we wouldn't have one coming!
DP isn't an unreasonable person and he would listen if I brought up how I am feeling. Would it be fair for me to say something? He does work really hard and he is usually shattered when he gets in. However I'm also currently feeling like my life is an endless round of cleaning, cooking and organising and we don't even have DC yet!
How do I approach this? I want to nip it in the bud before resentment grows, but at the same time I don't want to be unfair.
You have left out how many hours a week you work. That's quite important. You say not as many hours, is it 5 hours a week or 50? Your dh is out the house for most of the day, so I would think you should do most of the housework. But again, it depends on how many hours you work.
Agree you don't say how many hours.
Why not consider a cleaner, costs on average a tenner an hour and uou could do two or three hours every fortnight.
I probably work around 30 hours a week on average. It varies due to the nature of my job.
I think if you are in the house more hours whilst the other person is at work/commuting, then it makes sense to use the time to do housework/shopping/administration. The both of you can have similar amounts of downtime.
I do think that it's fair he washes the dishes each evening if you do all the cooking and meal planning.
Goodness, you don't want to be unfair, but you are being careful about how to raise the matter of his current unfairness? Okaaaay. Why is that, do you think?
How about starting from the premise that you should get equal leisure time and working back from there? It's clearly not fair that the horrible jobs are always done by one of you. Perhaps you could have a conversation along the lines of which jobs you each tolerate and which you hate, and who will do what.
One thing to be careful of, though, is that once the other person is responsible for something, you can only really complain about something if it really matters. For example, I would always leave the kitchen clean and tidy before going out. DH is happy to leave things in the sink and 'do it all later'. So long as it is done before the next time I'm using the kitchen in earnest, rather than just boiling the kettle, that's fine. Usually, if the kitchen is messy, even if i am just making tea, I would start to clear it. When its DH's job, and he is leaving it, I just have to leave it too.
I am strongly considering getting a cleaner when we are back on our feet financially. We are broke atm though. DP recently changed jobs, so hasn't receive a full wage for nearly 2 months.
I'm possibly feeling over sensitive due to money stress. I also lost a close family member and a much loved pat in the last fortnight, so things are a bit raw right now.
Well he is doing about seventy hours a week? So forty more than you? It's shit but basically you need to try to work it together.
Sorry about uour bereavements, it does make it harder.
It's very simple, whoever works outside the home more, works inside the home less.
To be honest, with the hours he works compared to yours, I'd be thanking him for doing what he does, do.
I do 25 hours a week, dp is out of the house from 6am-7pm. He cooks at the weekends. I do the rest, because I am more often at home to do it.
NapQueen. I do get pretty annoyed that I'm always left to wash the dishes after also cooking the food. I'm going to have to do them now before I go to work, as I hate dishes being left!
FinallyHere. I'm not sure if he IS being unfair. That's why I'm worried about raising it. He does work hard and he only has one day a week to himself, so I'm trying to mindful of that.
I worry about how hard he works tbh and I want to make things nice for him. I just get a bit fed up if the endless cleaning and cooking sometimes.
It doesn't help that flat is a bit worn out (we are slowly redecorating) so it can look very grubby and dirty very quickly!
VintagePerfumista. You're lucky to get cooked for at weekends. I still do nearly all the cooking then as well.
With the hours he does I wouldn't expect him to do much at all at home sorry.
Ideally I'd like him to find another job. I don't feel that what he is doing is sustainable. I hardly see him
That's fair enough peroxidebrown. I am totally open to being told IBU.
If you do the majority of the housework in the week then at least that one day off of his can be spent the two of you together no chores etc.
He works more than twice your hours. So by that argument you ought to be doing twice as much housework as him.
Sorry but he is out of the house all day and I know how grueling a long commute is.
I'm in the similar situation as you, we both work full time but my partner has 3hrs commute every day so is out of the house 7am-7pm. I do everything at home. I have a cleaner for 2hrs every week though to help me out. I pay for the cleaner out of my own wages as I feel it should be really my job - I am just outsourcing it ;-)
Your DP works 6 days a week, i wouldn't expect him to do anything tbh.
It doesn't always work that way sadly NapQueen.
I have really bad anxiety and I always feel I need to be "doing" I'm going to try and work on that this year. It's gotten a lot worse in last couple of months.
I think that whilst he's working, you take care of stuff at home but when he comes in from work, it's 50/50 and you both get to sit down at the same time.
He absolutely should wash up if you've shopped for and cooked the meals. Let him take responsibility for some bills and assign him certain chores like changing beds and cleaning the bathrooms and the oven etc.
Working six days a week doesn't mean you should be leaving your dishes next to the sink for someone else to wash up. It's about having some respect for the other person.
Wow. Has everyone missed the fact that she basically pays the rent?? Attitudes on this thread are weird. Yes, fine, perhaps most of the domestic chores naturally fall to the one who's at home more, but that doesn't mean EVERYTHING. If he lived on his own (and paid his own rent) he'd have to do some housework.
The trouble is that housework often feels like being the servant in the relationship. If you're planning, shopping for and cooking the meals and THEN washing up as well then you would feel like that. I would anyway.
Try to sit down when you're not feeling annoyed about it and make some ground rules eg can you wash up if I've cooked please? Can you empty the bin please? etc. You are perfectly entitled to do this.
It's a relationship not a business deal which means it doesn't always have to be tit for tat. you can work on both being as happy with things as possible.
May I just ask op about your finances, do you share both your wages, I mean if you partner works so many hours and you are left cooking and cleaning do YOU benefit from this? What I mean is my husband works late, works at the weekend I clean and cook and wash up but I don't work and his wage pays for everything. So it's a fair deal IMO.
Jobs like taking down the Christmas tree and blitzing the house top to bottom - could you not have done this together in two hours over the weekend? They are rubbish jobs, and much harder to do on your own.
Are there just the two of you, no children? There can't be massive washing up, tbh. Five minutes max. He needs to take his turns. If you do some joint prep/cooking over the weekend, you don't need to cook from scratch during the working week.
If you're at home, it makes sense that you are the one to stay on top of the admin jobs. I always found it works better if one person does it and stays on top of it. But on a Sunday night, sit down together and make s list 'right: online shop - what will we eat; pay gas bill; book pet sitter..'
If I worked his hours I don't think I'd be capable of doing much in the evening!
I agree that you should aim for equal leisure time but also take account of how tiring your work/days are. Could you increase your paid work hours? This could fund eg a dishwasher or cleaner & lessen the feeling that you are always at home waiting for him. Perhaps take up an interest eg some form of exercise can help with the anxiety.
Also perhaps eg cook together on his day off? He may not be very confident about cooking. Or do some of the cleaning, household maintenance etc in a one hour blitz on that day
I'm out of the house from 7am until 7pm at work but I still do the washing up, make the packed lunches and share the bedtime routine with DH. Maybe it's different as we have kids put it wouldn't feel right to put my feet up and let him do everything.
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