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Doing all the work

(23 Posts)
intelmallard Mon 15-Jun-20 12:32:41

Hey all,

Just wanted your opinions on something and how I might approach it. My wife and I are currently going through a DIY home renovation all whilst expecting a kiddo.

As it's DIY I'm doing 90% of the work, which involves all of my free time on evenings and weekends. Throughout the pandemic i've been working my usual 9 - 5, coming home and then working on the house till late whilst my wife has been furloughed / pregnant - she's 15 weeks currently. As you'd expect with a house renovation, the house is in a bit of a state, a lot of boxes and such upstairs in our bedrooms.

The issue I'm having is every time I ask my wife to cook dinner or clean up some mess / do the pots I get shut down every time. She brings up the same argument each time that she's not doing anything whilst the house is in such a mess - so every time the responsibility falls onto me, to cook the dinner and do the cleaning once I've finished breaking my back doing the renovation work. If I'm honest it doesn't feel like we're a team anymore... I want her to share some of the responsibility but just keep getting it thrown back in my face. I'm trying my best to make the house we're in as best as possible for our little one that's due. (it was previously damp, unsafe electrics and poorly laid out).

Some of the other things i get thrown in my face are that we should have got someone in to do the work and it would have been faster - which is true, it would have been faster but I'm saving us thousands of pounds by doing it myself. This post is turning into more of a vent than anything - it just feels as if I'm pulling all the weight for both of us whilst she's furloughed, catching up on tv and playing online games all day. I will totally admit as well and I won't lie - some of the pots are mine, some of the mess is generated by me.

Does anyone have any advise how I can get her more involved / motivated / willing to do a bit of work whilst I'm doing the house? I totally appreciate pregnancy fatigue, but she's literally doing nothing all day and still expects me to do everything sad

OP’s posts: |
SummerDayWinterEvenings Mon 15-Jun-20 12:38:39

Do you have children -if so and she is looking after children whilst you are at work -this is not going to mean she has time. I don't know if this the case for your wife -but with all my pregnancies - I slept as much as I could -growing a baby was exhausting. I think you need to have a proper sit down and say can we write a list of all the jobs that need doing together -I want your input. Then say which of these do you feel you can do or learn? What do you want me to do -and so on. A calm coversation over a cuppa. Health and pregnancy are obviously important but so is sorting this out now.

intelmallard Mon 15-Jun-20 12:43:13

SummerDayWinterEvenings

Do you have children -if so and she is looking after children whilst you are at work -this is not going to mean she has time. I don't know if this the case for your wife -but with all my pregnancies - I slept as much as I could -growing a baby was exhausting. I think you need to have a proper sit down and say can we write a list of all the jobs that need doing together -I want your input. Then say which of these do you feel you can do or learn? What do you want me to do -and so on. A calm coversation over a cuppa. Health and pregnancy are obviously important but so is sorting this out now.

Thanks for your reply! No other kids apart from the one we're expecting - I would totally understand if she was looking after kids but there is nothing else going on in the house. I also get the growing a baby is exhausting - i get tired watering the hanging baskets, nevermind growing a baby.

I won't have her doing any of the house stuff - it's too hard and heavy work, just literally a bit of cooking and cleaning. I don't even mind cooking now and then, I enjoy making a bit of sesame honey chicken and stuff! Appreciate your reply and will see if the above works RE making a list to talk through

OP’s posts: |
pixiecircles Mon 15-Jun-20 12:48:04

OP, just a suggestion - I suffered from antenatal depression, which is exactly as it sounds, depression induced by my pregnancy hormones which was exacerbated by my work situation at the time. Could this be part of the reason? I'm sure if your wife is furloughed she will be anxious as it is never mind throwing pregnancy hormones into the mix. It may not be "depression" as such but a mix of all of these things happening at once, it can be very overwhelming. Being furloughed is an anxious time as it is with so many people losing their jobs and companies folding at the moment.

I think you're doing really well, my only advice is a gentle conversation, ask how she's feeling when emotions aren't running high for both of you and discuss how to move forward calmly?

LiteraryType Mon 15-Jun-20 14:01:22

Get Trades in to finish the house! It might be saving some money but is it worth it to live this way? Maybe she's doing it out of protest. I have lived in a building site and it is not pleasant. It needs to be better before the baby is born.

Get Trades in and as a compromise she can cook.

TheSandgroper Mon 15-Jun-20 14:18:19

I understand where you are coming from. Your life is unpleasant at the moment and I don't blame you one iota for feeling resentful. Is your wife normally not interested in housework? Is this behavior very much out of character?

Pregnancy can do funny things to a woman. I could have stayed in bed for the whole nine months and had an intimate relationship with the crack in the ceiling perfectly happily. I really had no interest in doing anything. And everything I did do felt like I was wading through a vat of treacle, I was so slow at it. I was slow in my head and in every cell in my body. All that stuff about feeling really good after the first trimester happened to other people.

Just a thought.

intelmallard Mon 15-Jun-20 15:21:56

Thanks for all your replies so far

I should have mentioned this has been a 'thing' long before pregnancy / the pandemic, both of the above definitely have exacerbated the situation but it's always been there.

The depression side initially was something I pondered but I don't see the same tendencies in every other aspect of what she does in life, it seems specifically directed at house work / cooking / sharing responsibility for things. I think she likes to be looked after as well, which i wouldn't have an issue with if I wasn't also renovating an entire house at the same time.

I look forward to being 'that dad' who cooks the sundays roasts and dinners, but it's a real struggle when I'm doing it all on my own - finishing renovating the house an hour or two early so i can cook and clean doesn't feel like an efficient use of time when baby is on the way.

I guess I'm just a bit disappointed that when the going got tough I thought she'd muck in and help out

OP’s posts: |
TheFlis12345 Mon 15-Jun-20 15:26:11

She is being completely unreasonable. Can you spell out to her Exactly how long the house will take to finish if she helps you by cooking etc, and how much longer it will take if she doesn’t and you have to stop the DIY to do the housework?

Chamomileteaplease Mon 15-Jun-20 15:31:28

So you are working OTH, cooking and clearing up, doing the DIY project.

She is doing............ nothing?

I don't think this relationship is looking good! She sounds a nightmare. What was she like before the house/pregnancy?

Sorry to say, I think large home renovations are a fast track way to divorce sad. I hope it is over soon.

Do you or she have any friends/relatives who can knock some sense into her?

intelmallard Mon 15-Jun-20 15:41:30

Chamomileteaplease

So you are working OTH, cooking and clearing up, doing the DIY project.

She is doing............ nothing?

I don't think this relationship is looking good! She sounds a nightmare. What was she like before the house/pregnancy?

Sorry to say, I think large home renovations are a fast track way to divorce sad. I hope it is over soon.

Do you or she have any friends/relatives who can knock some sense into her?

That's a good idea TheFlis12345 - I'm losing at least an entire day each week with time spent finishing early to make dinner and such, good idea

I don't think i'd ever go as far as divorce Chamomileteaplease - it's an absolute nightmare and causing me a bunch of stress but I do love her and she's an amazing person (carry our baby!) - it's just lucky I don't have any hair to pull out on my head!! I have threatened to talk to my relatives about her in the past but never carry through with it, i dont want to publicly shame her..but also do! but i won't confused

OP’s posts: |
Mintjulia Mon 15-Jun-20 15:43:05

Go to the supermarket on the way home and get bread, pork pies, salad, and donuts. And beer.

Every day. smile

I imagine she’ll cook something. I would if faced with a week of pork pies & donuts

Gobbycop Mon 15-Jun-20 15:46:11

I hate to say it but my other half mucked in right into the final week when she was pregnant.
Firstly because she wanted to, we're on a smallholding of 18 acres and there's animals to feed ect.
Secondly, it's good for you and advised by pretty much everyone in the medical world I believe.

The days of 9 months of being immobile are gone.

Unless of course there's medical reasons.

intelmallard Mon 15-Jun-20 15:50:09

Mintjulia - your reply was EXACTLY what I needed to see, what a glorious suggestion!!

I think i might have to invest in some maternity-scruffs, Gobbycop!

OP’s posts: |
eurochick Mon 15-Jun-20 15:57:22

I'm not sure there was ever nine months of being immobile. Unless there was a good medical reason for it.

It does sound like she is taking the piss. Most women work full time, look after other kids, do stuff around the house and garden, etc whilst pregnant. I would say the poster mention antenatal depression might be on to something save for the fact that you say she was like this before.

Oxfordnono12 Mon 15-Jun-20 15:58:16

Pregnancy is exhausting but that doesn't give her permission to do nothing! I've had 4 and I we moved house, redone inside and outside our house (along with husband) I was climbing ladders, painting doing what I could do obviously in and around 30/35 weeks the stuff I did was limited but I was still able to cook and clean.

I'm sorry but I do think shes taking the piss. She can still lighten the load for you. And I think shes being incredibly unfair. I'd be having a chat with her but also, cut back on the amount of stuff you do.

SunshineSmellsLikeSummer Mon 15-Jun-20 16:48:04

I had HG when I was pregnant. I had to put blinkers on and just get through it! I slept for most of the first trimester with my first - I literally couldn't keep my eyes open! Then, with the second, I lost weight and she was born early because I was so ill.

But you dont mention any of this. Most women work throughout pregnancy (I did, despite being really ill) and unless there is an actual reason, theres no reason to be inactive.

However... what I will say is that lethargy and apathy are self perpetuating. Could it be the case that she is just so bored and frustrated being at home all day during the lockdown, and in the midst of a building site, that she has just lost all motivation?

She might well even recognise that she's being unreasonable but just unable to motivate herself up from the sofa and have 'shut down' to the chaos around her.

I know that if I have a day of doing nothing but lying on the sofa playing online games (which has happened a couple of times during lockdown), I feel so lousy at the end of the day that I literally can't face doing anything! She's possibly also lonely. I don't mean for a second to minimise what you are doing or to point the finger at you but I'm trying to think of reasons why this might be happening.

Could you afford to get someone in to do some of the work? Could you have a night off from it and order a takeaway? Just something different and something to look forward to?

Dollyrocket Mon 15-Jun-20 16:50:03

Sorry OP but unless she has a medical reason for sitting on her precious arse 24/7, then she saw you coming and won’t change.

I expect you’ll be back on here in a few months asking why you’re working full time and getting up every night for feeds and your wife is sleeping through each night.

You need to have a serious conversation with her about being in a partnership. Unless you’re happy with your child(ren) growing up in a really one-sides household where mum sits on her arse and dad dies of a heart attack at 50.

hmm

Seaweed42 Mon 15-Jun-20 17:28:21

How long do you expect the Renovations to take? Have you written down all the tasks and put an estimate of the amount of hours beside them. Are we talking months and months? Have you a working kitchen or are you living in one room type of thing?
She is staging a protest because she had an expectation that you would get work people in. Then you decided to do it yourself and it sounds like she had no say in that decision. Therefore she feels has taken the stance of 'right so, you said you wanted to do everything yourself, so off you go. You won't listen to me so I am not facilitating this one-man renovates a house in his spare time lark'.

Babysharkdoodoodood Mon 15-Jun-20 17:57:11

Just grab something to eat from the supermarket, for yourself, and leave everything else. Just go to work, do your diy and then chill for the evening.

She's 15 weeks not 35! I decorated the house from top to bottom after work, on my own when I was pg. And I had SPG, so I was wearing a corset.

She's just a lazy cow.

jeaux90 Mon 15-Jun-20 19:15:24

OP. Can i ask what kind of upbringing she had? Was she expected to do chores growing up or did her parents do everything for her?

It's sounds awfully like you have a parent child relationship with her rather than one based on a partnership.

Fairycake2 Mon 15-Jun-20 19:31:39

She's definitely taking you for granted. Most women function fairly normally during pregnancy (unless there is a medical reason why they can't) as you've seen above. I worked full time up until 2 weeks before my due date and helped to decorate 3 rooms in preparation for my DD. I continued to cook and clean as normal and certainly didn't expect to sit on my bum all day. A serious conversation is defended. You're supposed to be a team

RLEOM Tue 16-Jun-20 14:52:29

I was exhausted and a nightmare when pregnant. And very lazy, too. Consequently the laziness made me very unfit by the time I was in labour. I gained 5 stone (I was already a bit chunky) from eating what I wanted and from lazing around, but labour is like running a marathon! For the sake of her health, she should try and stay active, and that includes doing her fair share at home, especially if she's doing sweet FA all day.

GarlicMcAtackney Tue 16-Jun-20 19:45:26

Lady Muck has been like this the whole time you’ve been together?! Christ. Why did you think impregnating her was a good idea? You’re going to give yourself a heart attack for this woman to continue to sit on her hole. Aim for better in future.

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