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Women bring home the bacon - and then cook it

(96 Posts)
Wuldric Sun 21-Jul-13 05:29:15

A recent study has shown that 40 percent of women are now the main earners in their households.

Which is great and frankly a far higher percentage than I would have guessed.

However the downside is that women are still doing 70 percent of the household chores.

So there's more inequality in the home than in the workplace!

I can't link to the study from my source (the Sunday Times) as it is subscription-only.

How do we address the inequality in the.home? How do we address the remaining inequality at work?

The article mentions having parental leave rather than maternity leave as being key.


exoticfruits Sun 21-Jul-13 07:20:39

You just start at home with yourself.
There seem to be a lot of women who rant about it in general when they are not getting equality in their own home.
You get your children doing household tasks from a very early age. Unfortunately if you mention on MN asking a 4 yr old to set the table they will make akin to going up chimneys! They also won't let 8 yr olds boil a kettle or have a sharp knife etc.
My DSs can all cook a meal, clean a bathroom etc. They have watched DH from an early age- if he wants a button sewn on he gets out the sewing box- he doesn't think that women are born knowing how to use a needle! Equally I am quite capable of using a power drill.
Set your own house in order first!

Wuldric Sun 21-Jul-13 08:17:59

I think the division of household labour is fair at our house.

It's interesting that it clearly isn't in a lot of homes.

BlingLoving Sun 21-Jul-13 22:23:59

It's a basic problem in that a lot of people don't see that there even is inequality. Women have been brainwashed to believe that men are less good at chores and so they should do it. Similarly men are taught that its ok to simply sit back and let others do it.

The problem is that a) men don't want to change things because its easier and b) women are so brainwashed they don't even see it.

I have lost count the number of times I've sat gobsmacked because the woman I am chatting to casually mentions some "small" thing at home that bothers her or worse, that she doesn't even think is a problem.

Few examples from the last few weeks alone: the women whose husband has never got up in the night or given her a lie in. Her ds is 3. The women who cleaned her flat while her dh sat on the couch watching tv.

Wuldric Sun 21-Jul-13 22:29:25

The thing is, we are all part of society. So every woman whose DH does sit on the sofa doing nothing, makes it kinda worse for the rest of us, in a way.

exoticfruits Mon 22-Jul-13 06:38:40

I don't think that it so much brainwashing as women not only want them to do it, they want them to do it to their standard. If they are doing it you have to let them do it their way.
If I iron I do it to my standard and people either accept it or are handed the iron and they can do it! It is the same with any household tasks- if I do it then I do it my way- any criticism then I let them do it. Many women expect to be the one in charge who supervises and want it done a certain way- it isn't acceptable in my view. If DH does something I leave him to it.
There was a thread lately with someone complaining her DH never washed up. He said that he would do it 'when he got around to it'- because he didn't do it immediately she did it. I would have left it, putting it in a bowl or bucket if necessary until he did get around to it.

exoticfruits Mon 22-Jul-13 06:41:02

Every woman who lets her DH sit on the sofa while she cleans makes it worse for the rest. You need to start from day1 to make it clear that you are not the housekeeper.

dashoflime Mon 22-Jul-13 06:49:58

Here's the only think I've ever found to make it fair:
1. Start from a position of both unemployed.
2. Beat DH to finding a job.
3. Leave for work, handing DH the baby on your way out. Don't look back.
4. Then, as exoticfruits says, don't interfere. He's at home all day, not you. If he wants to live in shit so be it. Do what seems reasonable only.

peteypiranha Mon 22-Jul-13 07:02:08

Totally agree with exoticfruits. You always see women on here moaning about its pretty simple just tell your husband to do it as you have been working. If he loves you he will do it, simple as.

Wishihadabs Mon 22-Jul-13 07:02:10

I read this article yesterday. I was hoping there'd be a thread about it. I was very surprised by the 40% figure too. (Although pleased obviously). TBH the 70% was better than I was expecting too. Wasn't it a bit lower if the woman worked more than 30 hours ?

I work 24 hours a week (more like 30 with commuting and extras) DH does 35 ish (some from home).We earn the same, I do all the food shopping, the meal planning, the lion's share of the cooking, 90% of the laundry. However he sorts out all the bills, does all the diy and the gardening. Childcare is 50:50.

In most respects I think we've got it pretty good. We certainly have a more even balance than the majority of our peers. But sadly yes I agree with this study I outearn him on a prorata basis and I probably do 60% of the household chores. I have to say we do have a housekeeper so some is outsourced.

peteypiranha Mon 22-Jul-13 07:09:34

Dh does as much as me, and always has done. Why? Because its not my job and why on earth would I be such as mug as to work and do everything? Anyone that does deserves it if they are that much of a weak person with no backbone.

Wishihadabs Mon 22-Jul-13 07:09:35

X-post....the way that we have found our balance is:

1) 1st job after maternity leave was weekends DH was my childcare. So used to looking after dcs single handed.

2) Consistently outearn him prorata, so all childcare is always 50:50 (my working hours are no less valuable than his)

3) Have an economic recession so that it becomes economically unviable for the lower earner (DH to work)

4) He has a Period of being SAHP.

5) DH returns to work force with the proviso we need to work round the other's commitments.

exoticfruits Mon 22-Jul-13 07:15:05

You just tell them- I cooked- you wash up! ( or the other way around). If they won't wash up you don't cook- simple!

exoticfruits Mon 22-Jul-13 07:16:04

However you then leave them to it- you do not act as instructor or overseer!

peteypiranha Mon 22-Jul-13 07:16:45

exactly exotic its not hard I dont get what the big deal is confused Why not say if you think women should be in the home and do all the work I wont bother working then mate and threaten to quit.

Wishihadabs Mon 22-Jul-13 07:17:44

Yes exotic fruits. There is a spirit measure and half a cut up lime on the side in our kitchen since Friday night. It's going to stay there for the foreseeable....

StrangeGlue Mon 22-Jul-13 07:23:24

Some of these responses seem a bit harsh - cant we just talk about it with our partners? Me and dh talk about things and as a result I think it is 50:50 and we play to our strengths so I do bills and money and he irons, I do laundry he does vacuuming and the garden, I do the bathroom he does the kitchen. You don't need to go in all guns blazing just start with a chat. Save the guns for when you need them this person is meant to be your partner and you are meant to like them (and if you don't then you have a bigger problem than washing up)!

StrangeGlue Mon 22-Jul-13 07:24:34

And don't be passive aggressive. If something is annoying you bring it up!

Reality Mon 22-Jul-13 07:26:12

DH and I used to really struggle with the inequality in household stuff, both thought we were doing the lion's share (he wasn't).

It took me (more wifework hmm) sitting down to go through everything I did to keep up at a sustenance level of hygeine for him to really see it.

I have to say that it is now much, much fairer.

I work from home so naturally end up being able to do more. However if I get the job I'm hoping for today, he'll be picking up even more of the house stuff (I'll be out until 6pm and he's home at 4.30...).

Reality Mon 22-Jul-13 07:28:36

I agree to playing to strengths.

DH used to wash up after dinner and it woudl take him an hour. One of the things we did when we reshuffled was decided I can wash up (and tidy the kitchen, something he never did properly) which takes me fifteen mins tops, and in the meantime he can clean the bathroom while bathing the kids, or run teh hoover round upstairs, or put a load of washing away.

This has worked for us. What would also have worked would be him learning to wash up and tidy the kitchen quicker (we have a dishwasher...) but this way was less antagonistic/stressful for both of us.

Wishihadabs Mon 22-Jul-13 07:34:36

Strange glue what are you talking about ? Don't go in all guns blazing?? Saying I cooked you wash up is hardly W w3. Just straight forward communication. So don't be straight forward but don't be passive aggressive either. TBH this sounds like tip toeing around, when actually youare just asking them to do their share. Thanks but no thanks the little cocktail bar stays (I have mentioned it once that should be enough).

MousyMouse Mon 22-Jul-13 07:40:35

sadly this doesn't surprise me.
we have everything pretty evenly split, I maybe do a little aroud dc. partly because I work 4days a week (condensed hours) and partly because dh hates childrens birthday parties.
childcare for sick dc is split 50/50, sometimes we take whole days or we do 2/3 days at work, one starting very very early, the other leaving as they come home.

Wishihadabs Mon 22-Jul-13 07:54:38

So is this as good as it gets ? Somehow I find that very depressing. We are basically saying yes we know it uneven, we know we probably earn more, we are doing 60% at home. But what can you do ?

The problem is all the unseen work isn't it ? The wifework, party invitations, school meetings , football practice. ......leave them to it you say, thats fine but We don't want our dcs to miss out, because daddy was in charge that day

Wishihadabs Mon 22-Jul-13 07:55:34

Depressing myself now, got to go to work will check in later.

Wishihadabs Mon 22-Jul-13 08:02:22

And yes DH is doing the school run this morning for which he undoubtedly deserves a medal for equality. Yes I washed and dried the school uniform yesterday, bathed them and nit combed them last night......

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