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How do you split the housework? And in this scenario, how would you?

(22 Posts)
LadyOfWaffle Tue 21-Jul-09 15:51:59

Not really having problems with it (well, apart from it's not being done fully) and I am not sure what is fair with regards to splitting it. At the moment we are just muddling through, so wasn't sure if we should designate jobs. He works 12 hour days (gone 14), home at gone 7. I am a SAHM but... DS1 (3.4) is a handful, DS2 feeds all the time and needs watching, basically it's hard for me to get much done, as well as night feeding which leaves me exhausted. Is a 50/50 split fair, or me do most and he does the bits I hate (only a few really - anything to do with drains, any oven cleaning, any fridge cleaning, anything to do with the actual toilet and bins, oh and clean clothes away). I do feel I should definatly do most, if not all but I am worn out myself which I can't really help I guess... how do you split it?

BodenGroupie Tue 21-Jul-09 17:50:25

Not what you want to hear, but with the hours he's working I don't think I'd expect any help with actual housework, but certainly clearing up after himself, maybe helping with cooking.

If he's a reasonable man could you not broach the subject of how you don't feel you're coping and need a bit more structure around who does what?

At the end of the day, there isn't that much housework that is really essential - you'll never again have a pristine pre-children house and perhaps it shouldn't be a priority - take time to enjoy your DCs. Mine are teenagers and I do regret being quite so houseproud when they were little.

Just make sure if you go back to work eventually you get it sorted - biggest mistake I ever made!

cannydoit Tue 21-Jul-09 17:58:56

he should do his fair share and u are right o think that he shouldnt do as much but dishes in the evening and putting a wash on or hoovering, then at weekends a bit extra to give u a break. he has his job and currently urs is raising children unlike his job u dont get to go home at the end of the day its 24/7. he should definatly be prepared to help out. also agree with boden enjoy ur kids and try not to worry to much about how the house looks.

Geepers Tue 21-Jul-09 17:59:23

I'd expect him to do half of what needs doing while he is home. So helping to clean the kitchen after dinner for example. I think you should be doing the lion's share of stuff, sorry. No way should he be doing 50% of housework after being out of the house working for 12 hours a day.

BodenGroupie Tue 21-Jul-09 18:05:58

Lady....do you get any time to yourself? sounds like you need a break. I used to go to an evening class or do a dance class just to empty my head of child related stuff. It's important to hand over full responsibility occasionally. Alternatively, send him off swimming with the kids on a Sunday morning AND DON'T DO HOUSEWORK WHILE THEY'RE OUT!

MarthaFarquhar Tue 21-Jul-09 18:06:24

You both deserve the same amount of time sat down doing nothing. Work backwards from that.

My DH works insane hours, (I WOH but part-time) but as a bare minimum is expected to clear up after himself, top-up essentials if he has used the last (bread, milk, coffee), and put the laundry in the machine if the basket is full.

mumblechum Tue 21-Jul-09 18:06:42

Sorry but if I was out 14 hours a day at work I'd expect to be able to come home to rest not start the housework.

At weekends he should of course pitch in but if you're at home all day and I presume your ds1 is at nursery some of the time and the baby naps, you're going to have to get on with it or hire a cleaner.

Agree you'll have to only do the essentials & cut unnecessary corners like ironing etc.

MaybeAfterBreakfast Tue 21-Jul-09 18:17:01

3.2yo and 17mo dcs here. Dh also typically out 14 hours a day (plus occasional all-nighters and trips overseas).

I do pretty much everything on a weekday. He might unload the dishwasher in the evening if he's standing nearest to it when it needs doing, or help with cooking if he's back unusually early.

At weekends it is 50/50. Has taken a while to get to this stage though.

cannydoit Tue 21-Jul-09 18:20:08

lol maybe i hear that had to fight tooth and nail for about year to get my OH to lift a finger

MovingOutOfBlighty Tue 21-Jul-09 18:21:35

Osrry, I think that a 50/50 split is totally unreasonable. With Mumblechum.

Equally, you can't be falling down dead from exhaustion. I think perhaps you need to budget for a cleaner.
After my 8 hour days at work I am a gibbering wreck in the evenings, way more so than my at home days (and yes, both my dcs are fairly hard work and not angels!). so although i do sympathise with the tiredness I don't think this is fair on him at all.

LadyOfWaffle Tue 21-Jul-09 18:22:43

OK, so most of you think same as me then, I do most. I like the idea of a total break for the odd hour! I think that would help a great deal. DH can just do the stuff I really dislike, and generally help out Thanks

I don't get any time off at the moment, but really because DS2 is so young

MovingOutOfBlighty Tue 21-Jul-09 18:24:19

And let the dust accumulate. My house was a tip for the first 6 months of my ds's life.

If you can't cope with that, get a cleaner just even every other week.

shhhh Tue 21-Jul-09 20:01:24

Dd is 4 and ds 2 and im a sahm. I do everything from housework to taking the lo's to classes,pre school, organising events like birthday, sorting birthday/christmas gifts for friends/family and even take care of dh's off bit of paper work.

Dh is self employed and works silly hours and can be away most weeks BUT I have mostly come to the way of thinking that its no use to keep asking him.

When dh is home there are occasions when he helps with the dinner/lunch etc or with the lo's and will do the odd chore if asked (by that I mean a load of washing in the washer etc!) I find its easie to do it myself.

I remember my mum saying that to me years ago as thats how she was/is with my dad and I huffed and puffed "no way" BUT years on and 2 dk's later and im doing the same.

I guess it depends on your relationship and like others have said when both home then things should be equal.

We don't always have that equal split however. BUT dh is good at allowing me the odd hmm time out..nails/hair/shopping etc.

kitsmummy Tue 21-Jul-09 20:04:54

I'm in the same position as you and would suggest you do the actual cleaning (eg hoovering, clean bathrooms, wash floors, dusting etc) but he should help in the evening with tidy room if messy, tidy kitchen etc, wash up. If I'm cleaning at the weekend I get DH to help (or to sort the kids) with the cleaning

sayithowitis Tue 21-Jul-09 20:10:39

Sorry, but I also think that if he is out of the house for 14 hours a day, working for 12 of them, he shouldn't have to come home and start doing housework in the evening.

I do appreciate that it is tiring being a SAHM, I did it for a number of years when mine were small. But I do think that it should be possible to have a reasonably clean and reasonably tidy house even with young children who do take up time. I don't think anyone expects a totally pristine house when you have young kids anyway.

At weekends though, I agree it should be a roughly 50/50 split. BUT, only as long as you genuinely do the lion's share during the week, not just leave it all for the weekend.

panicpants Tue 21-Jul-09 20:21:07

I think he should do some of the housework..I work 2 days a week (teaching - so also do work at home too) but even when I was on mat leave or during the holidays he does his share.

I do the day to day cleaning/cooking/hoovering/dropping ds of & picking up etc.

Dh ALWAYS puts dishwasher on at night (I load throughout the day...dh puts dinner dishes in it) and then he unloads in the morning. He does the bins, the lawnmowing and does his own ironing. I also expect him to tidy up after himself (shouldn't everyone??)

panicpants Tue 21-Jul-09 20:26:38

Also I found it's easier to have a clean/tidy house to start with..then the actual 'housework' I tend to do it as I go along by just cleaning up aftermyself or ds during the day..so tbh it never feels like I've spent 'hours' doing it.

Also...top tip!!!.....since having slate tiles laid in the kitchen (as opposed to the white ones previously) I found i have cut the need from vacuuming at least twice a day..to just once a day (or even every 2/3 days blush) because it always looks clean!

bigchris Tue 21-Jul-09 20:30:16

be like us, i work part time, dh full time

no housework is done in the week

we do it Together at w/ends

BodenGroupie Tue 21-Jul-09 20:44:48

I'm overcome by the urge to run off with a few of the husbands on here wink. I fell madly in love with a man at work when he mentioned that he does downstairs, his wife upstairs. It's so much easier without children and unequal "working" hours.

I've just come home from work, done some washing, cooked a meal, shouted at the kids, sorted out their lifts for the next few days and I'm now trying to sort out a driver problem with DH's camera driver (whilst feeling guilty about dipping into MN).

He is sitting watching a programme about sodding French bats [hmmm]. Overcome by exhaustion, obviously.

shhhh Tue 21-Jul-09 20:52:07

in dh's favour..he prob would never win as im OCD about housework blush.

Don't think he could keep up with my cleaning demands grin.

ALSO...I do a better job grin.!!

notquitenormal Tue 21-Jul-09 20:53:45

How old is your youngest? If you have a baby and are still doing night feeds I think a 50/50 split is fair actually; 12hr days or not.

A 50/50 split of some very lax standards though.

pingviner Tue 21-Jul-09 23:46:26

Things just get done without much discussion
we are both pretty tidy minded, and keep the place organised, and we both work full time
he tends to do dishes and vaccum while i tend to do bathroom and washing
cooking is done by whoever has time/is hungry/has a plan for a meal
we each do little bits of tidying while the other looks after or plays with DS: big stuff gets done at the weekend
I have never had to show him any domestic skills or how to work an appliance - each time we move house he is quite as capable as me of learning how the dishwasher etc works
I maybe do things differently but I never pick at or critisize how he does them

I can only fall at the feet of his parents who seems to have brought him up with a sense that meals, cleanlieness and cosieness just dont happen, and most importantly that its just part of being an adult, its not someone elses job to provide them.

The upshot of it is that the place bumbles along pretty organised and hygenic, and neither of us feel resentful, and we still seem to get a good amount of leisure time each (and sometimes even together!)

Advice? talk about it: if you are struggling- can you afford to get someone in for a few hours a week Is there any way you can get extra sleep? lower your standards a little? He sounds pretty reasonable if you already have an arrangement that there are some tasks he does but it sounds like you are both working flat out so it may not be that easy to agree on any more demarcation of tasks

off topic but dont iron, life is way too short to iron anything, its such a depressing, pointless Sysiphusian? task, it builds up in a corner and then the pile sits looking at you like some glum lifesucking toad, ready to eat into your few leisure moments or at least make you feel guilty about them. I attribute all my happieness to having purged my days of ironing...

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