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How do I make DH appreciate how hard it is to be a SAHM?

(63 Posts)
oneplusone Tue 17-Jul-07 13:40:48

I know the obvious answer to this is to leave him alone with the kids for a couple of days and then he will realise just how hard it is and how much there is to do with very little to show for it at the end of the day.

Trouble is due to his work he won't be able to take any time off for quite a while and for the next few weekends we have committments that we can't avoid.

We had a row at the weekend as I had a go at him about not clearing up after himself and leaving a messy trail wherever he went. I pick up after the 2 DC all week and I don't expect to have to pick up after DH as well at the weekend. He said he couldn't clear his own mess as he had got up early and spent 3 hours with the DC's in the morning so I could have a lie in. I get up at 5.30am from Monday to Friday whilst he gets up at 6.45 so I think I deserve a lie at the weekend.

But anyway, the argument still hasn't been resolved and today he told me in a text that he thinks what I'm doing at home is not good enough. I think it stems from the fact that I don't cook from scratch every night, we have take-aways or ready meals sometimes but I do cook on the other days. He thinks I don't always cook because I can't be bothered and I just can't believe he thinks that . I'm sure he wouldn't want to cook with a crying 14mo clinging to his legs or screaming in the high chair.

I could try and list every single thing I do every day but I don't think that will give him a real idea of the reality of being at home all day with DD 3 and DS 14mo as it's not only the million and one things that need to be done each day but also the things you can't do like go to the loo alone, eating lunch in peace and quiet, having an adult conversation occasionally etc etc, I'm sure all the SAHM's will know exactly what I mean. I also have no help from family or friends so maybe I was just tense at the weekend at the thought of the next 10 weeks on my own with the 2 DC as DD doesn't start school again until end of September as it's a staggered start for the new reception class.

Anyway, apart from swapping roles which just will not be possible for a while do you have any suggestions?

I also think he sets his standards by his mum... ggrrrrrr....but really only by how his mum is now. Of course he has no idea how she managed when her kids were very young and her kids are 7 years apart and she had lots of help which I don't have.

I am just so angry at him and I've told him if I'm not good enough then he's free to go and find someone who is. Haven't had a reply to my text yet but I absolutely mean it, I'm doing the best I can and he doesn't appreciate it at all.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Gobbledigook Tue 17-Jul-07 13:42:58

Go on strike. Don't wash any of his stuff, don't pick any of it up (hard I know, but go with it), don't iron any of his stuff. Just don't do anything for him at all.

You're right - leaving them alone is the only way really.

Iklboo Tue 17-Jul-07 13:43:39

Look after your children & yourself. DO NOT do a fecking thing for him. He's an unappreciative selfish @rse

MoreHarryThanHermione Tue 17-Jul-07 13:44:51

I did this to the bottom of an A4 page (listed EVERYTHING from 6.30am)and it was only 10am.

Or alernatively, do what he expects and do NOTHING. Apart from nappy changes, just leave them lying about. Dont do a thing, not even get dressed. Then see if he likes fact try it for a week.

saffymum Tue 17-Jul-07 13:45:30

hear hear, go on strike. Tell him to do the cooking every night from scratch and just take care of you and the kids. See how long you can hold out and then make up a list of chores you can share.

LilRedWG Tue 17-Jul-07 13:47:00

Go and stay with a friend or your Mum this weekend! Leave him to cope!

tribpot Tue 17-Jul-07 13:48:58

I would have thought that simply getting him to cook a meal and look after the DCs at the same time might be enough to demonstrate what it's like (I can't do this either). I find it quite astounding that he thinks it's okay to criticise your skills as a SAHM - by text of all things. Just bloody rude apart from anything else.

meowmix Tue 17-Jul-07 13:49:33

treat it like a job. what would you do if you had to account for your time at work to a critical boss?

- do a timesheet of time spent, and mark things like "demonstrated use of toilet to DCs"
- do a schedule of activities for the next day

On the cooking thing, do things that you can cook one night and make last 2 - ie mince for bolognese one night and shepherds pie the next. Or tell him he's getting fat and so 2 days a week you just get salad. or tell him he is welcome to help by taking on 2 nights cooking.

Oh and tell him to get a grip. From me. I work long hours, DH is Sahd. I cook 3 nights a week, do the laundry, get DS up in the morning and put him to bed. Because he is my child and I want to spend time with him. Because I want DH to be a person not a slave. WOHPs don't get a "work at home' exemption certificate.

Iklboo Tue 17-Jul-07 13:50:35

OH yes - and wait till he's aslepp then clap his bollox between two VERY HEAVY books, like the new HP or something

meowmix Tue 17-Jul-07 13:52:45

... ooh what Iklboo said, that too.


Balls Tue 17-Jul-07 13:53:07

It may be hard work but ready meals are a new invention - think of the millions of women over thousands of years who have cooked from scratch with toddlers clinging to their legs and no help at hand.

mazzystar Tue 17-Jul-07 13:53:11

"he told me in a text that he thinks what I'm doing at home is not good enough"


can you enlist help of mil to get him to see reason -should you want to of course, i'd be off to a friends and leaving him to it for a while if it were me

CountessDracula Tue 17-Jul-07 13:53:59

get him to take a week off and do it all

meowmix Tue 17-Jul-07 13:54:11

actually a friend of a friend of mine had strategic flu to great effect in this situation. She was apparently unable to leave the bed at all for a week, at the end of which her DH had hired a cleaner...

mazzystar Tue 17-Jul-07 13:54:23

oh balls, balls

MoreHarryThanHermione Tue 17-Jul-07 13:54:36

Or - hold a knife to his throat just as he wakes up and ask him to just say it again...dare him

BettySpaghetti Tue 17-Jul-07 14:00:48

I once read a joke (on here?) which I'll attempt to summarise - a man returns home from work to find the front door wide open, broken glass everywhere, contents of cupboards strewn around rooms, clothes everywhere, food up the walls, overflowing sink etc etc. He suspected the worst and thought his home had been ransacked and was worried about his family. However he found his wife upstairs and asked what had gone on, she replied "You know how every day when you get home you ask me what I've done all day. Well today I haven't done what I normally do every day"

ie. don't lift a finger for a day. If DS/DD spill something, leave it. Don't put away any toys they get out. Leave everyons clothes/shoes where they discard them.

meandmy Tue 17-Jul-07 14:01:51

i know how you feel my 13mo dd also clings when she not into everthing just making sure they are up dressed fed at right times keeping them out stuff they not supposed to be doing is a job in itself then youve got housework and shopping to do whilst having a walking stool holding th bck of your legs,
i used to leave dd with dp whilst i went out with my mom we were gone 2hrs at most iv never heard anyone moan so much she played up something stupid.
the other thing i have done thats worked is only clean after myself and dd its hard to start with but it worked for me i even left his washing just made sure i told him the washer is empty when you want to do your washing its embarressing but at the end of the day its him that gets embarressed as its his mess.

oneplusone Tue 17-Jul-07 14:02:39

Thanks but going away at the weekend just won't be possible for quite a while as we have loads of things on for the next few weeks eg DD's birthday parties (one for school friends one with family) etc which I obviously don't want to miss.

Also, knowing what he's like, he'll have them for the weekend and somehow manage to bust a gut to get everything done just to prove to me that it's easy like he thinks and so that he doesn't have to apologise or say he was wrong. He will also put the kids in front of the tv all day so he can get things done around the house, he wouldn't take them out even to the part as I know already he finds it too much of a hassle to get them both ready and leave the house. He will also leave them to scream and cry again all day if necessary just to get things done as I've seen the way he does things when he is left with teh kids for a while.

He is completely stubborn and will go to any lengths to prove he's right. I would probably need to plant some secret cameras when I do leave the kids with him to prove that I'm right. I'm not saying I don't sometimes put the kids in front of the tv or leave them to scream if I need to get something done, but I also play with them, read,chat with them, take them out and try and involve them in what I do.

Any more ideas would be great, or any success stories, my DH is a harder nut to crack than most worse luck.

tribpot Tue 17-Jul-07 14:04:08

Balls, I'm choosing to interpret your post as 'aren't we lucky to live now and not 100 years ago when there were no ready meals as an occasional break for the knackered parent'

mylittlestar Tue 17-Jul-07 14:06:14

BettySpaghetti's idea is great.

And I love meowmix's suggestion - tell him he is getting fat so 2 days a week he gets salad! Brilliant

He sounds like a selfish arse. I think some of the suggestions like BS's, and to go on strike, are probably the only way to make him see some sense!

Balls Tue 17-Jul-07 14:07:23

tribpot - couldn't possibly comment!

Balls Tue 17-Jul-07 14:08:46

Off to cook supper. If I can get downstairs with that toddler on my leg.

Mumpbump Tue 17-Jul-07 14:09:19

Tell him you want to get a job and send the children to nursery. That should put scare the crap out of him. Get details of the cost of the childcare for which you would have to pay and tell him that although you don't bring any money in, you are saving your household that amount by being at home, but if he doesn't appreciate your non-financial contribution, you'd rather be at work...

Mumpbump Tue 17-Jul-07 14:10:26

And of course that since you will be working, you expect him to share the housework equally with you...

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