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how to explain what "wifework" is it to DH

(20 Posts)
MistyMountainHop Tue 27-Sep-11 16:53:12

i recently read about "wifework" and it really resonated with me, for various reasons

i really want to try and explain it to dh but i am nowhere near as articulate as some of the ladies i have seen talking about it on here. So i was wondering if someone could perhaps direct me to somewhere where it explains what it it, whether its a thread on here or a good article about it please?

MistyMountainHop Tue 27-Sep-11 16:53:56

grrrrr sorry, my thread title should have read "how to explain what "wifework" is to DH"


StewieGriffinsMom Tue 27-Sep-11 17:05:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 27-Sep-11 17:06:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MistyMountainHop Tue 27-Sep-11 17:09:11

i feared someone would say that..... grin

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 27-Sep-11 17:13:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlysWorld Tue 27-Sep-11 18:25:24

I've read an article on it. I agree re reading the whole thing (despite not having read it, just more on principle) but if that's totally no go then it might be something. Will see if I can find it...

AlysWorld Tue 27-Sep-11 18:27:52

might have been this. An excerpt rather than an article but maybe useful anyway

AlysWorld Tue 27-Sep-11 18:30:17

there's this too but I'm not convinced it's all that useful.

Bonsoir Tue 27-Sep-11 18:31:15

"Wifework" is the reason why, when DP is packing his suitcase to go on holiday, I cannot simultaneously pack mine, because he has to ask, and I have to give, my opinion every 5 seconds on what he should take. Grrrrr.

PlentyOfPubeGardens Tue 27-Sep-11 19:22:59

I'm going to ask DP to read it when I've finished. I'll have to order another copy without the pink cover though I think. I wonder if they do a Man's Edition, like the Harry Potter editions with covers for grown-ups grin

Wifework is so bits-n-bobsy that I think a thorough overview of the whole thing is necessary to really get a handle on it. Otherwise it just looks petty bringing up any one aspect of it IYSWIM.

SweetTheSting Tue 27-Sep-11 20:20:44

PlentyOf, mine has a black cover! I got it from eBay.

OP, you could point him towards the MN Feminist Book Club discussion of the book, which is still ongoing, as a starter?

Dozer Fri 30-Sep-11 12:38:11

At an antenatal class once we all listed all of the various tasks involved in running a household (lots of which are "wifework") and discussed who should do what.

I recently realised that I was doing too much (IMO!).

We now have a whiteboard on which our respective house and admin tasks are listed in the kitchen, one list for me and one for DH. I now put stuff on it (e.g. sorting out kids' uniforms, packing away their old clothes that are too small, doing thank you cards after a birthday) that I wouldn't have in the past, and DH puts stuff on his list (e.g. DIY, sort car insurance, get quotes for a new boiler) that I never normally think about.

Since we've done this we're now doing more of the other's stuff when one of us is overloaded, and appreciating more what the other does.

We also have a system for reminding us of upcoming dates, e.g. birthdays, insurance up, car service or whatever. DH set this up on his computer. Whoever is least busy generally organises whatever needs doing.

DH used to expect me to think about what HE might want to eat that week (he eats different stuff from the rest of us), shop for it (he cooks it). Now, if his stuff is not on the shopping list it doesn't get bought and he does the shopping some of the time.

God, it sounds dull, but I like it as feels fair and organised.

Dozer Fri 30-Sep-11 12:41:23

So, more to the point of the thread, think it's all about exposing what is involved in family life that requires time, thinking and energy and making sure this work is fairly split between the adults in the household.

I said to DH "I feel that there is stuff that we each do that the other needs to understand more and sometimes help with, and that we need to get more organised about how we run the house to reduce stress and make sure we both have time for fun things".

(I was being tactful, for once, what I really meant was - do more, and take some responsibility for the wifework you chauvinist!)

mathanxiety Sat 01-Oct-11 23:03:08

Wifework is explaining stuff to your DH that he could easily read for himself but he is not going to have to because you are going to go to the trouble of doing it for him?

How to convey to him what it consists of is to stop doing it until he notices the elements of his life that are missing.

garlicslutty Sun 02-Oct-11 02:12:25

I was just going to write what Math did grin

Women baby men. Stop it this instant. And stop expecting him to baby you.
That should do it: in no time, he'll have thought of the whiteboard all by himself (I hope!)

garlicslutty Sun 02-Oct-11 02:41:42

Helpful phrase suggestions. (Ignore this if rubbish, I'm having a waffle break ...)

Who's making dinner tonight?
What do we need to get ready for the kids tomorrow?
Get some tampons while you're at the shops, please.
Isn't it your mum's birthday soon?
Ask Daddy to do it.
I'm going for a bath.
Thank you, that was lovely.
I don't know, did you wash any?
Yes, it is dirty isn't it.
Where are the school activity forms?
I'm taking the car for a service.
The dishwasher's broken, will you sort it?
When you take DC to ballet, pick up some wine will you?
Why is the baby crying?
It's OK, I've done the bins.
I'm watching this, it finishes in 40 minutes.
DC, who's picking you up from ballet?
DC, tell Daddy what you need for school tomorrow.
I'll be out on Thursday night.
I'm in a meeting, please will you ring my husband about DC?

PlentyOfPubeGardens Sun 02-Oct-11 09:45:50

To add to garlic's list ...

'oh' is useful for all sorts of occasions:

'we're running out of ketchup'

'I don't have any clean socks'

'I need a lift'

etc. grin

startail Sun 02-Oct-11 12:19:40

It's easy to explain wife work to your partner. It's all those things you lookhmm or confused when asked to do or say in a minute and then forget (generally laundry related in this house). It's the every day boring tasks you leave for me that you can do (cooking here, just occasionally when he's not at work I wish DH would plan and cook a meal). It's playing dumb about DC related things that you understand perfectly and getting me to write you task lists instead of listening to what your told. You get DD1 of to school each morning, so you can do it!
It's stepping over the line of getting me to do things I don't mind like packing your suitcase or sorting what your going to wear (I know what's clean and where it is) but please don't loose your shoes or forget your coat and then moan at me, there are limitsangry
The latter really winds me up because DHs coat is very likely to be in his car and his shoes could be absolutely anywhere. If the DDs are expected to find their stuff if it's not in the hall, so can he!

lenomchange Wed 05-Oct-11 12:31:21

thanks SO much for this thread, OP. Just ordered Wifework, but I know DH won't read it. I don't want to baby him, so garlics list and the use of 'oh' is extremely helpful.

DH does a lot around the house, and helps with the DC. I tried to explain that I felt he could do more, and it just led to a row. I know he does practical stuff, but a lot of the invisible stuff falls to me (thank you cards, cleaner/nursery sorting, budgeting, childcare research, holiday booking), and I've had enough of being in charge of life admin.

<am a mn regular, but have namechanged for anything vaguely controversial since joining the bloggers network and potentially outing myself>

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