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If you are a SAHM and your dh/p works FT, how much does he do around the house?

(69 Posts)
Olihan Sun 14-Sep-08 13:12:19

Just wondering whether I'm BU and expecting too much of DH or if he's being a bit lazy.

He works full time, he leaves the house at 7am and comes back around 5:30 - 6ish, depending on meetings, etc.

I'm a SAHM to 3 dcs aged 4.8 (just started in Reception so still only in part time), 3.0 (does 1 day and 2 mornings at pre school) and 20mo (at home all the time).

Dh clears up the kitchen after dinner (which I've usually cooked before he's come in), as in he stacks the dishwasher, wipes the clear bits of work surface, wipes the table but he doesn't wash up or clean the hob, tiles, underneath anything, etc. He occasionally puts a load of washing in or hangs up what is in the machine but he never puts it away. He does iron sometimes but it stays in the piles in the lounge, he doesn't hang it up. He also unstacks the dishwasher if it's his mornning to get up with the dcs at the weekend but often doesn't clear the breakfast stuff into it. He will empty the kitchen bin if it's overflowing ( maybe once a week, max) but usually puts the full bag by the back door rather than take it outside. He's mown the lawn 3 times this summer too.

I do all the tidying, hoovering, dusting, putting away of clothes, cleaning the bathrooms, making the beds, changing the sheets, washing of floors, cleaning windows, emptying bins, sorting recycling, bringing dirty washing down, cleaning the hob, wiping down tiles, washing up, and all the little jobs like wiping the kitchen cupboards down, emptying toast crumbs out of the toaster - all those things that need doing every once in a while but aren't regular jobs. I do the bulk of the washing and ironing. I also do all the watering in the garden, tidying up the garden, weeding (sometimes) and clearing out the car. I also do all the sorting of paperwork, money, etc.

I'm feeling a bit like I'm doing running round like a mad thing trying to keep a permanently messy house in some kind of habitable state and he ought to be doing more to help.

What happens in other people's houses? How much does your dh/dp do and are you happy with that?

mrslurkalot Sun 14-Sep-08 13:16:18

Sounds exactly the same as my house and I am NOT happy! Think my DH does even less than yours though.

Goober Sun 14-Sep-08 13:17:08

You have a good thing going on there, don't rock the boat.

My DH wipes over the cooker after a meal. He will hoover up an area which he has messed up by doing a job. Ie. he was in the loft this morning and cleared up that area. He does all the gardenning and washes both cars.

I do everything else and I'm happy to do so. It's an old fashioned set up but it works for us. We respect each other and if I needed him to do something I would just have to ask, he would do it.

traceybath Sun 14-Sep-08 13:19:50

Well i have a DS aged 4 so just started reception and a DS aged 9 months.

I do everything at home - my DH doesn't do anything.

However two different things:

- i have a cleaner once a week which helps
- my DH works very long hours - leaves about 7am and gets home anytime after 8pm eats dinner and then generally works until midnight. Also works most sundays so saturday is his only real day not working.

He has his own business so has a lot of financial responsibility.

I sort of just accept thats the way it is - its a partnership and we both feel we contribute equally.

If he is around he does help a bit but to be honest i'd rather he spent the time with the children as he's fab with them and takes them out for walks etc.

Its a tricky one - i think the key is you both have to feel happy with what works for you in your relationship.

Onlyaphase Sun 14-Sep-08 13:20:56

Different for me as we just have the one DD (22 months, no childcare so at home all the time). DH also works away alternate weeks.

I do everything, bar drilling holes in walls, cleaning cars and big bits of DIY. All washing, ironing, childcare, gardening, cooking and shopping, present and clothes buying, and bin emptying When he is home, he will do lots of stuff with DD, both with me and without me, baths and nappy changes etc, and whatever gardening takes his fancy. If we have people coming around, I will ask him to hoover or do stuff to help which he is happy to do.

I do think the balance is different if your DH works away - during the weeks he away I have to do everything, so I'm in the habit of just getting on with it. Also I think it is different with us just having one well behaved DD, rather than a whole tribe making continual messes. Plus, he works really really hard during the week, and I don't want to nag him when he is at home.

expatinscotland Sun 14-Sep-08 13:21:24

I worked FT and DH was a SAHP to the girls.

I left home at 8 and returned around 6.

We still did the housework 50/50.

We made up a rota, though. He did have to be gently reminded about his chores on the rota.

Because he has severe dyslexia and dysgraphia, all the paperwork in the house is mine, including chasing up stuff. There's a fair bit of it because DD1 has severe dyspraxia.

But I never saw my working FT as a reason to shirk out of any duty.

Thing is, with many men, IME, it has to be really spelled out to them because otherwise, they literally don't see dirt in the detail we do - not all, but many and definitely my DH.

My sister gave me the idea for the rota - she is a FT teacher and her husband a FT engineer. Now their kids are older, the kids are on the rota, too!

Rotas are a PITA, but they do help avoid resentment, IME. You can swap chores, too, but it has to amended on the rota.

Can you tell my dad was a former Army drill sergeant?

Elf Sun 14-Sep-08 13:22:15

Olihan it sounds like you both need to sit down and talk about this. He needs to know that you feel the share is unfair and he can say his piece and hopefully between you you can work out a new system

DH and I have our own 'areas' so that we know what is our own job and there is no confusion, usually. So, he does most of the dishwasher stuff, bins, garden, some cooking. I do most other stuff and it can feel a bit much sometimes I agree.

It sounds like you have different ideas of getting a job done. You mentioned a few things where he doesn't finish things. He's probably not so bothered or just lazy and needs to be told that you need things finished otherwise you don't feel properly helped.

I hope if you talk about it all he will be understanding. You listed all the things you do, maybe that would wake him up if he heard all those things.

The other thing is, if he hears that you feel it is unfair and too hard for you, hopefully he will care and want to help? Fingers crossed. HTH

expatinscotland Sun 14-Sep-08 13:23:08

I don't see it as your rocking the boat at all.

Unless the other half is working away, he/she should do his/her fair share of the work around the house.

Looking after children is a FT job - after all, people get paid to do that!

As my father always says, 'If you want an easy life, don't have kids.'

Dropdeadfred Sun 14-Sep-08 13:29:18

a good thing going???? Goober - what makes you say that??

MuffinMclay Sun 14-Sep-08 13:33:36

Mine doesn't do masses, but he works longer hours (usually out by 7am, rarely back before 10pm at the moment).

Now we have 2 dcs he does a lot more than he used to, recognising that one person can't do it all.

Mine will empty and load the dishwasher, do cooking at weekends, some DIY and gardening stuff, take stuff to the dump, very occasionally sweep the kitchen floor, other bits and pieces if I ask.

We've come to a compromise solution whereby when he is at home we share such tasks as need doing. I now have zero tolerance for him playing computer games and the like whilst I do household drudgery or look after the dcs.

expatinscotland Sun 14-Sep-08 13:35:09

'I now have zero tolerance for him playing computer games and the like whilst I do household drudgery or look after the dcs.'

Same here!

EVERYONE works hard in this life.

'If you want an easy life, don't have kids.'

magnolia74 Sun 14-Sep-08 13:41:46

Dh leaves at 6am and gets home at 5pm.
I have 5 kids but do work 4 hours on a monday, 3 on friday and 3 on Saturday.

Dh does the weekly shopping every saturday morning, he cooks after work maybe 3-5 times a week, he will run the hoover round when I am work on a saturday, he does all the gardening, he gives the kicthen a good blitz about once a week including the cooker, he also cleans the toilets smile

I do all the washing, drying and ironing and the general tidying up around the house and maybe some cooking but he's better at it than me grin

We both do kids bathtime and bedtimes about equal amount in the week.

As for computer games, we tend to both sit down in the evening and sit on mumsnet (me obviously) psp or on the Wii.

There are times when he is knackered and just sits there while I run round tidying but I sit on mumsnet while he cooks dinner grin

DorrisMcWhirter Sun 14-Sep-08 13:42:05

I have Dd1 (nearly 4 and just started am nursery) and dd2 (11 months). Dh works FT and is away one night a week but works long hours even when not away.
I do most things e.g. tidying, cleaning, ironing, washing etc and yes I'm happy to do so. He will do things when I ask him to during the week and he always has a list of jobs (lovingly provided by me!) to do at the weekends.
He will tidy the kitchen if he sees it's dirty, this is his thing! On the down side, he leaves dirty washing in piles upstairs, can't iron for toffee and only remembers to feed the kids if Dd1 reminds him -oh well!
At weekends I try to keep the list small as it's our only time together with the kids as, during the week, he is often not home intime to see them before bed.
I suppose, when written down like that, it does seem an old fashioned way to do things, but I'm happy with my lot!! smile

Olihan Sun 14-Sep-08 13:44:29

I have tried talking to him but it tends to degenerate into tit fot tat and doesn't get us far sad. He makes me feel like I'm being unreasonable and I get more resentful - that's why I was wondering how it works for other people. We've tried him having specific jobs but they get done a couple of times then it fizzles out. I try not to do it for him, try not to nag then get completely hacked off, do it and we row about it. It's daft things too, like not putting his clothes in the washing basket. He takes off his clothes at the end of the day, drops them on the floor and there they stay, despite me asking over and over for him to take the 3 steps and put them in the basket. I've actually stopped picking it up now - if it's not in the basket it doesn't get washed but that feels like I'm treating him like one of the kids rather than an equal.

Part of the problem, I think, is that he lived away for 10 months of last year and was only home at weekends, when I wanted him to make the most of being with the dcs and not waste time on housework. Then when he got a new job at home he was working all day and still had 2 or 3 hours of work to do in the eveings so it didn't seem fair to expect him to do housework too.

The not doing something properly drives me mad because I am a self confessed perfectionist and control freak. If I'm going to do a job I might as well do it properly. If he does something he just wants to get it over with as soon as he can. If he does DIY he'll do the job, but the tools stay out, the dust stays where it is and I end up sorting it (because if I didn't it would stay that way forever).

To be fair to him, he is good with the dcs, he always does bedtime with me and we have 1 lie in each on a weekend morning.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Sun 14-Sep-08 13:47:17

dh washed up last night. its the first time in about 6 months he has bothered helping and im meant to be gratefull that he did it. i fantasize about leaving him all the time.

MuffinMclay Sun 14-Sep-08 13:51:31

Olihan - my dh does that with dirty clothes. I used to run around and pick them all up, but now don't. If they're not put in the laundry basket they don't get washed. He is (slowly) getting the message.

DustyTv Sun 14-Sep-08 13:54:53

My DH does 50% of the household cleaning/tidying. Yes he works out of the house full time but I work in the house with DD. Being at home with dc all day is just as demanding (if not more) as having a full time job.

I do 6 nights a week with DD if she gets up in the night DH does one night at the weekend as he does have to be out early and I can nap when DD does if I need to.

Although I do work pt now, but when I didn't DH still did 50%. We take it in turns to do the nighttime routine with DD. I do all the cooking but I love cooking and it is my way of relaxing.

I don't make him do this, it is just how my DH is, but TBH if he wasn't like this there is no way at all that I would let him be like that. I wouldn't stand for it, just as he wouldn't stand for it if I didn't pull my weight.

magnolia74 Sun 14-Sep-08 13:59:08

The thing is Oli is that he feels like he is being treated like a kid probably because he knows he is acting like one. Its so bloody childish to leave clothes on the floor when the basket is behind you for gods sake but typically men are pretty stubborn so the more we go on the less they take notice hmm

Dh does leave clothes on the floor but thats because so do I and it doesn't bother me at all. I scoop them up in the morning and put them in the basket which in fairness is not in our room.

In the great scheme of things you have decide if it's worth worrying about if he does do some things and you aren't left feeling like a knackered wreck while he sits on his arse watching you.

mrsleroyjethrogibbs Sun 14-Sep-08 13:59:42

TBH it really depends on what works (or not) for you and your dh. if you are not happy you need to say something rather than think on it too much.

My dh does anything and everything outside the front door - garden/chickens/dog walking/cat and dog poo picking up/gardening/hedge cutting/grass cutting and all car orientated stuff. Outside is not my domain.

However I do everything inside...everything even his lunches for the next day. it works for us as whilst he is outside he generally entertains/watches the children playing so I can get on.
It would'nt be for everyone but it works for us

AnAngelWithin Sun 14-Sep-08 14:00:45

DH works 45 hours a week, and i happily do everything while he's at work, but when he is at home he does everything that im not doing at the time. if i am cooking, he will start the washing up, if i am hoovering, he will do the dusting etc. if i am out for the day or unwell, he does everything and manages the 4 dcs very well! i realise though that i am very lucky! I am the old fashioned sort that thinks that DH has been working all day so he shouldnt have to come home to start cleaning, but he happily does it and tells me that I work all day everyday looking after him and the kids which is right i suppose smile

Olihan at least he isnt sat on his bum all day watching telly! He sounds like he does more than a lot of men do!

mytetherisending Sun 14-Sep-08 14:03:40

My DH actually does more than I do. Mostly we have a split of evening /mealtime jobs. i.e. if dh feeds the baby dinner I cook while he does it. Whoever cooks doesn't wash up so does the childrens bath instead etc. If you are washing up then you also have to hoover/tidy the downstairs while dcs are upstairs. It works for us. DH does the ironing every week while I go and do the weekly shopping on the weekend.
DH leaves at 730 and gets back at 1630ish

sweetkitty Sun 14-Sep-08 14:06:24

I can't complain either. DP out the house 6.30am-6.30pm Monday to Friday. At night once he has had his dinner he plays with the DDs then will help get them ready for bed, does the supper/milk and puts one of them to bed I'll do the other. He then will help me tidy up. He does his own ironing I do mine and the DDs.

During the night I'm up BFing DD3 so he will get up if any of the other two wake (which is most nights).

Weekends it's spilt 50/50.

bloomingfedup Sun 14-Sep-08 14:12:41

This sounds like a very similar situation to ours. TBH I think your DH does a lot as well as working long hours![smile}] I know you do a lot too BTW.wink

bronze Sun 14-Sep-08 14:14:32

Not much.
He goes in fits and spurts where he starts being good again and it gradually wears off until I have a paddy at him then we start again. I'm getting to the point of losing it with him again.

no1putsbabyinthecorner Sun 14-Sep-08 14:17:46

My dh works ft and shifts too. I am SAHM to 19 month dd and 3 week old ds.
Ashamed to say my dh does almost everything apart from ironing as I know he hates it, but will do it if I keave it long enough.
I do most of cooking,but he clears tidies,sweeps up after me. Its not that I wont/cant be bothered to do it, its just he only goes over it after me anyway.
I used to feel very inadequate about this when we first met, but now let hom get on with it.
He does
Washing pots and clothes
cleans up dog mess ( after I nagged for a dog when he didnt want one)
he cuts grass
takes rubbish out
cleans windows
cleans cars
cleans bathrooms
basically everything
We clean every day as you do with kids and pets but share the 'big' house clean together once a fortnight.
Although I try to be out so he gets on with it himself
How bad am I
But before you think I am lazy.
Remember he only goes over my efforts anyway, and it would drive anyone mad. I think....

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