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to expect OH to do something in the mornings

52 replies

Niceguy2 · 05/04/2011 09:21

This is the situation. OH has recently started a new job and has to leave the house at 8am.

Previous to this she's always been a SAHM for the time we've been together.

The old routine was that I'd wake up at 7:30am and I'd sort DS out ready for school. OH would wake at 8:30 and sort DSS out then take him to nursery. No problems with that.

Now she's started work, the routine has had to change. Except now she wakes at 7am. She'll spend the entire hour getting herself ready, making her own lunch and eating breakfast before leaving the house with her breakfast still out & any mess she "didnt get time" to clear up from her lunch.

I still get up at 7:30. I have to now get both kids ready before walking DSS to nursery which makes me then 30 mins late every day to start work. Luckily my job is fairly flexible since I work from home so its not a huge deal but I do feel guilty still when I am not online at 9am. Oh not to mention I have to then spend my lunch hour fetching him then miss more time whilst I make him his lunch have him wittering away in the background all afternoon.

It's not that I'm expecting her to do loads. Just something!...other than the entire hour getting herself ready. Eg. Put clothes on DSS or get him some breakfast....Hell even finish a cup of tea! (This morning she managed to pour water into a cup).

How do other families manage when both parents work?

OP posts:
worraliberty · 05/04/2011 10:01

Why not employ a child minder OP?

This is really not fair on him to be stimulated all morning at nursery and then left in front of a TV or computer Sad

Also, finding alternative childcare is not 'dumping' him.

worraliberty · 05/04/2011 10:04

You haven't even thought about the holidays and yet your OH has accepted a job? Shock

Really, you need to sort this out your two.

Sorry but children come first

Entertaining themselves and playing outside, often involves endlessly knocking at the door with various problems/requirements etc, and how on earth can you keep your eye on them out there if you're engrossed in your work?

You really do need to think about childcare.

ScroobiousPip · 05/04/2011 10:06

Well it does partly depend on when your DS and DSS wake up but I think your OH is being a bit unreasonable. I'm a sole parent and very soon 3 mornings a week I will have to get myself and DS out of the house by 8am. It's perfectly do-able for her to speed up her routine or get up a bit earlier so she can help out more.

For example, if your OH has the car, why can't she do the nursery run in the morning on her way to work? That way, you could start work earlier.

I agree with other posters that it's unfair to leave a 4 year old playing by himself all afternoon - I think you need to arrange a childminder while you are working.

stream · 05/04/2011 10:06

I think your routine just needs a little tweaking. But, cut her some slack, if she's just gone back to work. If she's not even making herself a cup of tea properly before work she sounds stressed to me.

TattyDevine · 05/04/2011 10:07

Its seems a bit "your kids my kids"

You will need an "our kids" outlook in the long run.

I might be reading more into your phrasing than there is though, to be fair.

It seems she shouldn't make mess in the kitchen, you may be at home but you work too and are not her slave. Still not sure of timings of child wakings etc but it might be she leaves too early to be of any great help, but ideally you would get that 2nd car, even if its a little runaround bomb to do the nursery run in and free up some time.

When they've all started school, during the summer holidays, I think you might need a holiday programme to keep them busy so you can get a working day in but the extra money should help sort that.

Bearinthebigwoohouse · 05/04/2011 10:09

If she's doing all the housework at weekends, then it probably evens itself out.

stream · 05/04/2011 10:13

Who does what in the evenings?
Do you need to go to bed earlier so you're both not too tired in the morning?

MorticiaAddams · 05/04/2011 10:17

YANBU. She could at least make the lunches for them when she's doing her own. Gomez does this and I'm a SAHM but he doesn't see the point of leaving it when he's making/made food anyway.

It is hard to work at home with a small child but if his nursery doesn't do full days then it makes it harder. Is there a childminder he can go to for a few months? Also what are you planning to do during the summer holidays?

You partner does need some time to get used to getting back to full time work but she has to realise that you work full time too and needs to help out more especially if you are doing dinner every day, does she clear up after dinner?

RamblingRosa · 05/04/2011 10:18

I'm with you OP. I have almost exactly the same situation with DP. I get up at 6am, get showered, dressed, ready, get DD breakfast, have breakfast with her etc while yelling at DP to get up. He then sleeps through his alarm and carries on snoring until about 7am at which point he grumpily gets up, spends the nex 20 mins having a shower and getting himself sorted...all the while making me late for work because I don't want to leave DD sat on her own while he faffs upstairs Angry

Surely the answer is for your OH to get up earlier and to make her lunch the night before?

TheSmallPrint · 05/04/2011 10:18

I think she needs to help out more in the mornings. I have this in reverse with my DH, I work from home (used to work out of house) and since I set up on my own he seems to have assumed all childcare is my responsibility and shoots out the door at 8am every morning while I have to get the DCs ready for school and preschool including their lunches, teeth dressing etc. It drives me nuts.

To be fair to your OH, if she has long hair it can easily take an hour to get ready in the morning, it used to take me that long when I went into the office. She needs to look well presented at work but the key is just getting up earlier. I used to be up between 6-6.30am (in fact I still do) to make sure everyone was fed and ready to go by 8am.

Have a sensible non shouty conversation about it later.

Niceguy2 · 05/04/2011 10:19

Sorry Tatty. I'm just using the "your kids my kids" thing here so people can understand what's going on. At home we treat them equally.

OH can't drop off in the mornings because when I say nursery, I should be more specific and say it's pre-school. So it doesn't open until 9am and she has to set off at 8am.

Childcare-wise I think you are right Worra. We need to sort something out for DSS during the holidays. I forget sometimes because up until now OH has been at home so its never been an issue and my kids are older so are perfectly able to organise themselves. I doubt at 14, my DD will want a minder! lol

It's taken so long for OH to find a half decent job that we bit their hand off when it was offered. Decent jobs round these parts are like rocking horse shit. Am sure we'll find a way.

I'll feel better after my coffee has brewed!!! Brew

OP posts:
hecate · 05/04/2011 10:28

Why don't you get up at the same time and do it together?

Lay the table for breakfast the previous evening, for starters.

make lunch the previous evening too.

Make sure the kitchen is clean and tidy and all the pots are done in the evening so you come down to a clear sink.

Put out a pot of coffee so you only have to add the hot water and switch it on in the morning.

A lot of this is down to organisation.

And team work.

Our mornings are - Himself gets up at 6 and runs the kids bath. He then goes downstairs and lays their breakfast out. He brings me a coffee in bed. He goes downstairs to wait for the kids to get down there and has his coffee and watches some news.

Meanwhile I am drinking my coffee and the kids are in the bath. I then make sure they are safe in there, then get them out and supervise them getting their uniforms on. By which time my coffee is finished and I've pissed about on mn for a bit Grin.

The kids go downstairs and I get ready while my husband supervises breakfast. I go downstairs to supervise them and my husband goes upstairs to get ready.

We don't need to bother with ironing or anything like that, because I do all that on a sunday for the entire week.

One of us takes the kids to school while the other gets cracking (we work from home)

It can be very easy indeed, you just need to work together.

Tanso · 05/04/2011 10:33

I think she should get up at 6.30, get ready for an hour and do child related things for the final 30 mins before setting off for work. It is not fair to leave it all to you while spending so much time on herself

lynniep · 05/04/2011 10:36

Well I dont see why you cant both do mornings but it does depend when the kids get up. An hour to get ready seems a long time to me (But maybe I'm not normal) The fact that you work from home makes you more flexible, but its still work and it still counts (my last job was wfh)

I'm usually up by 6.30 (not by choice - thats when DS2 gets up) and I never shower on a morning, because theres no one to watch the (lunatic) baby whilst I do, unless I get DH up. (He has his turn twice a week to get up with the baby, unless he gets up with DS1 first who occasionaly wakes early)

Make up takes 5 mins or I nip to the loo at work before I go in the office to put it on. My hair gets brushed and thats it -I'm such a slob! Night before I bring all clothes downstairs so I'm not being noisy upstairs if DH and DS1 still asleep. I get dressed on the hop. I make my lunch whilst I feed the kids breakfast, if I havent made it the night before.

All nursery bags are packed the night before. I leave for work at 8.10 and drop the kids at nursery on my way. DH has to start earlier than me so doesnt do drop off. DH has been a bit pants previously at helping in the morning - I guess cos he was used to me working from home before, but has been told this so is helping a bit more with breakfast and nappy change etc so I can do bits and bobs like getting the washing in the drier and stuff.

I sometimes end up leaving the breakfast stuff in the sink, but I just let it fester and do it when I get home!

He also does pick ups from nursery twice a week and feeds them when they get home.

If the kids are up before 8am - then I think that she should be helping before leaving for work, getting them breakfast and dressing them etc. Theres no reason one person has to do this even if you do need to do the nursery run yourself. Share that burden!

I do agree with other poster - you should be (urgently) thinking about childcare. School holidays are going to be a nightmare otherwise. You cant just leave young children to their own devices every day. I'm already panicking about DS1 not getting into our chosen school (not our catchment) because otherwise theres no before and after school club and there arent any childminders with vacancies near us to take him (that do a school run -our childminder lives 2 minutes walk from our catchment school, but doesnt do school runs as shes waiting for other children to arrive)

Sorry Ive waffled right on there...

hecate · 05/04/2011 10:38

I'm just gobsmacked it can take someone an hour to get ready. I'm trying to make it add up Grin

5 minutes in the shower, 5 minutes (10 if you're really slow!) to put on a full face of make up. 2 minutes to run a brush through your hair or 5 minutes to do a quick style or maybe 10 minutes if you faff about with equipment and stuff, 2 minutes to whap some clothes on, 10-15 minutes to make and eat some toast, 5 minutes to slap some lunch together.

ScroobiousPip · 05/04/2011 10:40

Hmm, pre-school is a bit different to nursery. I think you are both being a bit unreasonable to think you can both work FT and get away with a half-day pre-school session.

Why not invest in a morning and afternoon childminder? Your OH could drop off in the morning on her way to work, then you could pick up once you're done for the day.

TerrysNo2 · 05/04/2011 10:41

Is it just me who is Grin that this thread is a man complaining about a woman, its very refreshing!!

Niceguy in the morning DH and I take it in turns depending on who needs to get to work quickest - often he gets DS ready as he works from home so doesn't need to have a shower, dry hair, get ready so quickly. And it does usually take us women a bit longer (mainly drying ridiculous amounts of hair!)

Have you asked OH to help more? Maybe explain that you need to start work by 9 and are finding it difficult to do that atm.

What about making her lunch during the day when you work from home and then she would have some extra time to help with the kids in the morning?

worraliberty · 05/04/2011 10:46

Well if your DD is 14, I'm sure she'll be off doing her own thing during the holidays that does leave your youngest on his own.

As the kids break up on Friday (in most areas) you really need to get a move on with some sort of childcare arrangements.

I appreciate the fact your OH really wanted/needed this job, but honestly kids really do come first.

Good luck...and get a shifty on!

ChocHobNob · 05/04/2011 10:53

I get up at 6:30, sort myself out, iron all our clothes, make all of our lunches, get breakfasts ready ... then H gets up, I go to work and he gets the kids ready for school and takes them.

This is how it works for our house. We both help out. I don't mind ironing the kids clothes while I'm ironing mine, sorting their lunches out while I'm in the kitchen or making their breakfasts while I'm making mine.

Could she help in any of those ways?

stream · 05/04/2011 11:31

Is she doing more than you in the evenings?

TattyDevine · 05/04/2011 11:42

Re taking an hour to get ready - Hecate's breakdown was fairly spot-on unless she's a bit funny about her hair. Which makes me think she's not being left to it as much as you might think - does she keep getting interrupted?

I might be wrong, but if I wanted to just have a shower, do my makeup, put clothes on, have breakfast etc, it would take probably 40-45 minutes on my own but easily an hour if I had my little witterers wittering around my feet! So whilst she does nothing "helpful" as such, is it that she's still getting stuck with some "childcare" of sorts? Stab in the dark...

I'm sure you'll work it out. She doesn't sound dreadfully entitled and nor do you...there will be a middle ground here. I think if you had a cheap runaround car that might free up some time though, so hopefully her extra income can make that a priority

Niceguy2 · 05/04/2011 12:42

5 mins in the shower, 5 mins for make up!?!?!? If ONLY!

OH is famously slow. No idea why or how. Being a man, I am clueless at how long these things take. It's more like 20 mins for each, leaving 20 mins to make her lunch and eat her breakfast.

Don't get me started on how long it takes her to get ready for a night out! lol

I once joked that if we needed to leave at 7:30pm for a night out, she'd have to start getting ready at 4:30pm. She didnt think i was joking. In was pretty close!

Yes, Tatty. A cheap car is top of the list as not having one is killing me. I really don't know how ppl who don't drive survive! It's like losing an arm. But we have to be careful as she's only just started and I don't want to rush into a financial commitment if her job turns out not to be what we thought and/or things don't work out. Plus I don't like credit so would rather avoid a loan if I can possibly help it.

OP posts:
abenstille · 05/04/2011 12:50

Im with tatty

DownyEmerald · 05/04/2011 12:58

It takes me at least 15 minutes in the shower and I'm not high maintenance at all - I just have hair to wash, wash and condition, and then the rest of me. It takes me at least an hour in the mornings (and that is just to jeans and t-shirt level) - but I am also supervising dd in getting dressed, getting her breakfast, hair and teeth. DP sometimes gets her breakfast. He makes lunches. We wake at 7 and actually get up at 7.30ish. veryish these days roll on the holidays. And are more or less ready at 8.35 to wonder across the road to school. DP leaves about the same time. I see dd in to school and then leave for work (flexi-time thank god, as my journey is usally 1.15 hours) or go back home and finish tidying stuff if it's a day off. DP is pretty good actually about clearing up his mess. Not so good at clearing up dds!

You really need some childcare for the post-nursery afternoons - at least some of them. It's not really fair on DSS however self-contained he is.

I think also if your OH was SAHM and now has a full-time job that you should really have discussed all these things a bit more than you seemed to. But maybe that's just me!

InWithTheITCrowd · 05/04/2011 13:09

is it just me, or is there a really simple solution to this? Just get up earlier, and sort it our between you! Grin

My DH is up at 3:30 every morning, and has left the house by 4am, so mornings were never going to be ideal for me us. I start work at 07:30, 10 miles away, so i just get up at 5:45, shower, get dressed, get breakfast (by which time it's usually about 06:30), then I go and wake DS up, sort him out, drop him off at nursery and get to work. It's so easy, I don't really even think about it!

it just takes a bit of planning and adjusting, I think. I'm sure it will even itself out, OP

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