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The work women do

(131 Posts)
MoonriseKingdom Sun 21-May-17 10:09:20

Apologies if this has been posted before. I saw this on Facebook this morning and it sums up everything I struggle to articulate to my DH. He really does want to be helpful/ do his fair share and I love him but it is the taking of overall responsibility for the thinking in our house that I find exhausting.

MoonriseKingdom Sun 21-May-17 10:10:43

I don't know why the links not working but should do if you copy and paste.

NeoTrad Sun 21-May-17 10:15:54

This has had a lot of media coverage in France. It is, of course, totally true. I'm not holding my breath from r widespread change anytime soon.

ItchyFoot Sun 21-May-17 10:41:38

Thank you for the link it was very interesting. It articulated how I feel better than I could have.

ChocChocPorridge Sun 21-May-17 10:58:03

That's very good.

And it really is a shared experience, every little thing she said, is my experience ('I did the washing!' - no, you bloody didn't. You put some clothes in the washer, and maybe moved some into the dryer. You didn't go around and find the socks under the kids beds, or the dirty teatowels in the kitchen, you didn't fold it and put it away, you didn't soak DS1's stained top or deal with the delicate cushion covers. All you did was the least time consuming and the easiest possible bit of the washing)

PacificDogwod Sun 21-May-17 11:05:18

I have just forwarded this to DH - thank you!

It is SO, SO true.

CaptainWarbeck Sun 21-May-17 11:19:30

I just had this discussion with DH this afternoon. I asked him recently if he could do the hoovering for the next few weeks because I'm heavily pregnant and finding it knackering. He doesn't do it. House is a shit tip. I ask him to do it today. He does half, then asks if I want him to do the rest. IT'S HIS BLOODY HOUSE TOO!

He will put on a load of washing occasionally, but won't put it away. He won't finish washing I've started, ever. He never washes towels or bedding, only darks, because that's what the majority of his clothes are.

He doesn't think about the veggie toddler, making sure he gets enough protein and iron in what he feeds him, because that mental task is apparently my job.

He'll run out for bread or milk, but won't do a big food shop, or meal plan, or order an online shop.

And I generally think he's pretty good! I'm tempted to forward this to him, but think it'd just start another argument after today's one.

DJBaggySmalls Sun 21-May-17 11:22:29

And dont forget its enabling evil twin; strategic incompetence.

MoonriseKingdom Sun 21-May-17 11:26:54

Captain - I did forward it to my DH. We have had quite a good chat about it and I am at least feeling a little more appreciated. While I'm not expecting radical change I do think this article is a good way to open discussion.

Wonderflonium Sun 21-May-17 11:34:50

the clearing the table bit actually brought tears of recognition to my eyes.

CaptainWarbeck Sun 21-May-17 11:34:50

I may have been a bit pregnant and hormonal and ranty in my approach earlier, so not sure if this would be helpful or stoke the flames sadconfused

Collidascope Sun 21-May-17 11:51:08

This is the main bone of contention between me and my partner. Left to his own devices, the house would be disgustingly squalid. If he prepares food, he leaves crumbs on all the surfaces and splashes sauce across the hobs which he then burns on. When he takes on the burden of cooking (less than once a month) he'll make some gourmet meal that requires packets of expensive, special ingredients (if I suggest we replace an ingredient with something similar we already have in, he looks ready to cry) which we'll never use again and will go off in the fridge -until I think to throw them out.
If he tramps mud in and I point it out, he says, "oh, I'll clean it up for you." As if it should be my job but he'll do it for me cos he's so nice.
He'll carry plates through but not just stick them straight in the dishwasher.
He has a couple of jobs which we agreed he would do without ever having to be asked, because I was furious that I was having to nag him to do things. Guess what? He still NEVER thinks to do them until I've reminded him four times.
We agreed to get a large dog that sheds a lot on the proviso that he would do half the hoovering. He's never once done it.
If I don't empty bins, he'll just keep trying to shove more stuff in to the point it tips out when you open it.
I'm getting myself furious just thinking about it.

SylviaPoe Sun 21-May-17 12:20:40

I know that the cartoon probably reflects the experience of many women, but that just makes me jealous.

Because many men, when reminded, don't say yes, they say no.
And some men, when reminded, scream and yell and refuse, and blame, and say it is your job, until you stop ever asking them.
And some men deliberately make the house squalid constantly, so that they can control you by making it impossible for you to have friends over, or for your kids to have friends over, for you to always worry about what would happen if you were reported to social services.

And then you feel like you can't leave the house, because before you go you'd have to check how much cigarette ash they have flicked on the carpet, how many beer bottles they left on their sides with beer dripping out of them, whether they flushed the toilet, if they left food remnants all over the kitchen, if they left electrical things turned on. And because your partner takes photos of all the mess they made last night, before he goes out to work, as evidence that you don't keep the house clean for the kids.

And then other women say, but why don't you just insist that your partner cleans up, because when they 'manage' their partner, it works, and their partner agrees to manage. Or why don't you just have lower standards, as if they'd feel at home in such squalor.

Because this whole housework thing isn't about men being lazy or not really thinking. It's deliberate, and planned, and it's about controlling women.

And it's why no longer living with a man is the best thing I ever did.

VoidoidDash Sun 21-May-17 12:45:46

My dh isn't the greatest for keeping on top of some household organisation- washing, food in for meals etc I'm the one who worries if uniforms are clean or pack ups done.

But he does much more cleaning than me, orgaisines everything else, bills, repairs, garden, cleaner. He does more of the shopping/pack ups etc despite my worrying and he deals with more if the schools calls/organising dentists and doctors and so forth. He takes responsibility for most of the running of household.

MoonriseKingdom Sun 21-May-17 12:53:02

That's great voidoid. Among my friendship group I think this article is the experience of most of the women. In fact I am often told I am 'lucky' because my DH is unfazed by looking after the children for an hour and will do some housework if asked. I find this very sad.

PencilsInSpace Sun 21-May-17 13:04:09

Brilliant! It's like Wifework in quick cartoon format.

wetcardboard Sun 21-May-17 13:05:18

What really irritates me is not only do you have to ask men to do things, but they then define the task so narrowly the job is only half finished. When my husband washes the dishes that's literally all he will do, just wash them, and not put away the dishes that are already sitting clean and dry on the rack from last wash-up. Before you know it every fucking dish and utensil we own is sitting on the drying rack and stacked up beside and overflowing onto the counter. And if I get shitty the response is "well you asked me to wash the dishes and I did."

Most household chores are actually made up of many small tasks, and it's absolutely exhausting to have to specify and request every one -

"Can you put away the dry dishes, and wash the dirty ones, and wipe down the counter where the dirty dishes have been resting, and rinse out the sponge when you're done?"

I'm just not going to spend my life rattling off instructions like this every time something needs to be done. I have told my husband that our marriage will not last if he doesn't take initiative in the house. We've only been married a short time, and he is just late 20s, so I am on his case all the time because I don't want these bad patterns to become set in our relationship, where I have to project manage everything and he just follows the occasional instruction. I can see it's going be an ongoing struggle, however.

*hehe, I was typing this all up quite angrily, and halfway through DH got up and went to the kitchen and he is right now doing the washing up without being asked. He must have read my mind as he can't see my screen.

NoLoveofMine Sun 21-May-17 13:12:51

That was extremely interesting and I've found a lot of the discussion on here about this eye opening. My parents have what I'd say was a very equal marriage, both have good careers, my dad was and is always involved with my brothers and I from when we were born, cooks, does things around the house. But I've started to realise how much more my mum does almost unthinkingly. He does the weekly shop but she writes the list, she keeps tabs on what we're running out of, she organises and keeps a diary of their social engagements (always seems to be her reminding him/us if we're going somewhere), she picks things up as she goes along in the house, and so forth. So though I'd always seen them as being very equal and my dad would definitely think he does a fair bit (relative to many he probably does and he doesn't only do things when asked --unlike my brothers and I--), my mum is still doing the bulk of it.

VoidoidDash Sun 21-May-17 14:34:24

Very sad moon. My dc are all girls. They see their dad, our male cleaner, male tutor and their male carer (baby sitter really but funded so termed carer) all do the 'wife work' in our house. I look after them and their dad acknowledges this is much harder than his paid job outside the home by enabling me to have more free time than he gets. I love my girls see this.

Theducksarenotmyfriends Sun 21-May-17 14:56:48

This is really interesting. I've always been messy and v resistant to housework and my dp is relatively tidy. We've lived together a few years and I've learned to be tidier cos he would gently remind (on the cusp of nagging!) me to do my share. It's only now we have dc and I'm on maternity leave that I'm starting to see this 'mental load' work taking effect. He now works long hours in a physical, tiring job and I feel really responsible for keeping the house tidy, all meals and pretty much everything to do with the baby. And he's sort of gone along with it and sitting back a bit more....I've kind of noticed this increasing divide in our responsibilities where before it was v much equal, simply due to having dc. It does worry me but having the term mental load will really help with me articulating these worries to him.

QuentinSummers Sun 21-May-17 15:20:27

My DH does loads but what annoys me is he now thinks he does everything and I don't pull my weight.
I still do all of the invisible jobs like taking old food out of the fridge or stale bread out of the breadbin. All the cat stuff. All the children's medical stuff. All the wiping skirting boards/doors and dusting. All the taking too small clothes out of the kids drawers.
It's just invisible to him

Ineedacupofteadesperately Sun 21-May-17 15:26:41

This is spot on, I love the anecdote about the dinner at the beginning - why do (some) men think you'd rather be doing the cooking while they sit down and 'help' by entertaining YOUR friend that has come to see YOU?

Anyway, although DH and I were quite equal in our twenties, I became a sahm and now I do basically all the household management. When the second baby came I had to explain that the baby itself was a full time job (currently waking every 1 to 2 hours at night and breastfeeding so more than that really) and I simply can't do it all (and DH has stepped up to be fair despite a stressful job). My mind is constantly buzzing - what does DC1 need for clothes / food / money / other stuff each week at school.

Of course part of the reason I ended up being a sahm was that I was entitled to a years paid leave with DC1 and at the time DH was not (no shared parental leave). Hence the gender roles / sex role stereotypes were perpetuated.

OpalTree Sun 21-May-17 15:29:46

Very good.

NoLoveofMine Sun 21-May-17 15:43:42

Men also seem to be praised just for doing any household work. Even as I wrote my post on this thread I was thinking "isn't it good my dad does these things" when nearly always women do far more and it's just expected.

RufusTheRenegadeReindeer Sun 21-May-17 16:09:01

Dh is very hands on and does a lot

But when he says 'i ran round with the hoover for you' it still makes me want to smack him

How the fuck is it 'for me' hmm

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