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to ask how much your DH does with the DCs if you are both around?

83 replies

MaybeNotThen · 27/05/2013 20:04

Because I'm wondering if the default in anyone else's house is sometimes that you do much more with the DC than your DH does.

I should say that DH is a great day to our 18mo DD. He works shifts and at least 3 times a week looks after her for 3-5 hours before going off to do a long shift, and often only gets 6 hours sleep because of this. I have a much easier 9-5 job and generally get at least an hour or two of my own time every evening. The housework is shared pretty equally too. So often if we are both in all day (which doesn't happen that often) he will have time to himself while I have DD because he really doesn't get much time off during his working week, while I do.

However sometimes we get days like today where I don't think he has had any involvement with DD at all. He spent all morning doing chores, which was fine, and then we had friends around for a BBQ. But during the afternoon he didn't really have anything to do with the kids, I did all the food and naps etc. Then after our friends had gone he decided he wanted to go for a bike ride. I was a bit narked by this but he promised he would be home for bath time. However, bikes being bikes, something broke and he was late and I did bath time and bedtime. So all in all, I don't particularly think he had any involvement with DD at all.

I'm not saying is he a twat? because I do know this is just one day gone a bit wrong. But it's made me realise that if we are both in, I tend to end up doing more things for DD, and I'm wondering if other DH's can be like this?

OP posts:
MaybeNotThen · 27/05/2013 20:50

Signet Grin

OP posts:
CAF275 · 27/05/2013 20:53

Short answer - fuck all. Grin

MoreSnowPlease · 27/05/2013 21:01

I think we tend to do 50/50 but often I have to ask and feel bad about asking as he's been working all week. However, this weekend has been nice I had DS all day yesterday and then got up with him this morning so DP could lie in, til about 11 and then he's had DS all day pretty much apart from when he's needed breastfeeding. He's taken him out to park and visiting people and then made me food and drinks, and dinner.

I tend to find that if I try and do things for DP he will reciprocate whereas if I get worked up about thinking I'm doing everything then he tends to do less....!

FredFredGeorge · 27/05/2013 21:10

I have lots of bikes mounted on walls... I don't really see the connection with amount of time spent with a toddler.

I probably spend slightly more time with DD when we are both in - but then I don't see her when I'm working where as DP does, so tend to take more of the time so I actually get to spend time with her, while DP can do other jobs that only she sees the need to get done.

We don't have a checklist - there really isn't that much to do!

Beatrixpotty · 27/05/2013 21:14

I do 99% with bf 11wk old DS3.
DH does bath & bedtime with DS1 &3 most nights & takes one/ both out one morning at weekend.
I also do about 80% household stuff.
I feel he does enough & is hands-on.

DorisIsWaiting · 27/05/2013 21:18

DH does as much (if not more) than me.

He cooks the majority of the time , helps with bedtime and medical needs of dc.

I on the other hand do all most of the DIY type stuff.

Middle dc (5) when chatting over tea was discussing what she would do when she's married and cooking - indignant voice "I won't do that my dh will" Blush might need to be seen in the kitchen a little bit more!

Yama · 27/05/2013 21:20

Dh is in charge of the mornings - so breakfast and getting them dressed. He also does bath/bed with both dc.

At all other times we to and fro with keeping an eye on them/homework/playing etc.

I do get (significantly) more holidays than dh so spend a lot of time on my own with them that way.

IfNotNowThenWhen · 27/05/2013 21:27

Not got a dh, but when ds's dad is staying here he does 90% and I read, lie in bed and go out. Used to be that I would still do most of it, but as DS is older now, and I figure that he will remind ex when ex has forgotten to make lunch etc, I kind of check out.
If I was married I would expect 50/50. Nothing more, nothing less.

MaybeNotThen · 27/05/2013 21:34

Interesting mix of responses! I think I'm going to make DH be a bit clearer on his plans when we both have a day off, I'm more than happy for him to have some time to himself but I guess he needs to be clearer about what he is doing so I don't sort of stagger through a day like today not really knowing what is going in.

Sometimes it is hard to work out how much each parent has done. I cling to the comment I keep hearing on MN, that's it's probably less what you do and more how much time off you get. You should both get the same amount of time off. I think we do, if anything I might get more time off that him - but the lack of clarity is really annoying.

OP posts:
Kiwiinkits · 27/05/2013 21:38

DH very good when asked (or when given the Hmm look) but a natural default would be 65 % me, 35 % him.
I'm VERY good at saying, "I'm going out for a ride, you've got the kids for the afternoon". Or "It's my turn to stay late at work tonight, you're on bath and bed". If I didn't assert my rights, he'd totally assume it was my job 90 % of the time. It's just an implicit, unsaid entitlement.

YoniWheretheSunDontShine · 27/05/2013 21:40

Loves them and interacts as much as me, both of us do equal I'd say.

Kiwiinkits · 27/05/2013 21:41

MaybeNotThen it is swings and roundabouts though. DH may go off for a mountainbiking trip one weekend and have a week of late nights at work. I don't mind as long as I know I've got my alone time lined up. Counting and weighing every second isn't a very generous trait in a relationship. I would just be really proactive at having your activities and 'time-outs' lined up in advance. Get a shared outlook diary, schedule your stuff in it and make him schedule his.

Kiwiinkits · 27/05/2013 21:43

I also think it's worse when both of us are home with the kids because we tend to look at each other and say, "its your turn to take her to the potty" or "you're on dinner tonight". Sometimes it's easier when I'm the only one in the house who's responsible because then I just get on with it rather than thinking about what he could be doing, but isn't IFSWIM.

Jojobump1986 · 27/05/2013 21:52

DH does pretty much everything in the evenings or on the weekends. I deliberately take a backseat so he gets a chance to spend time with DS. It's partially because it gives me a break from my usual routine but mostly & I know this is ridiculous so that they'd know how to carry on together if something happened to me! It's important to me that DH is familiar with DS's routine & that DS is used to DH being in charge. I'd hate it if I got ill or died & they had to deal with adjusting to each other as well as coping with the grief.

MaybeNotThen · 27/05/2013 21:52

True, kiwi, it isn't, but I think it is hard to find a way of balancing time without taking a slight note of it. And also yes, while I do wish we both did 9-5 jobs and had more time together, it is easier to know you are the person responsible and just get on with things.

OP posts:
nenevomito · 27/05/2013 21:54

DH does more than I do, if I'm honest.

dreamingbohemian · 27/05/2013 22:03

I think you're right about communication being key. We are pretty 50/50 but quite often one person will do more because the other has to do extra work or is sick or just a bit fed up after a long week of intense toddlerdom. But we try to be open about how we're feeling and give each other time whenever we can.

On a side note though, I'm a bit Hmm when people say oh give them time, they will be more interested in dad time when the kids are older and more fun. I mean, it's not like playing the cup game for an hour is interesting for anyone. But it's rarely the mums who get to check out of boring child phases for a couple years.

Sorry, rant over.

MaybeNotThen · 27/05/2013 22:04

True, bohemian, very true. But I have a feeling I'm going to find watching her re-stack four cups for half an hour more interesting then I'm going to find watching a five year old's football match Grin We shall play to our parenting strengths!

OP posts:
Kafri · 27/05/2013 22:05

I don't get a look in if dh is around though i get ds to myself while dh is at work.
dh does bedtime every day as most days ita all he gets to see of ds so that's tgeir time and while i sort our tea (ds is only 5m so is going to bed at 7 and dh only gets home gone 6)

on his 2 days off dh generally takes over and I tend to use that time to get housework done. ds absolutely adores dh (and rightly so)

we make some time to go out as a family each week, we do shower before bed as a team (I shower with ds and dh dries and dresses ds, not me, I can dress myself

and we do story together as a family too.

works for us so far Smile

georgie22 · 27/05/2013 22:07

Dh is fab with dd (2.5) - I'm pregnant with dc2 at the moment but he's always been great with dd. He makes up fun games with her and she chooses him over me for games. He's also great at doing the routine stuff without being prompted. He does compressed full time hours over 4 days so has 1 day each week doing childcare whilst I work part time.
I'm very lucky but interestingly that seems to be the norm amongst my group of friends. I'm surprised that so many men don't seem to regard parenting as a joint approach.

Imsosorryalan · 27/05/2013 22:11

Prob. 60/40 at the mo. we have 2 dds under 5.
Although, dh works and I'm a SAHM. However at weekends we both do either cooking or childcare related stuff. I do know what you mean about not being fully there. Dh thinks being in the same room on his iPhone is the same as interacting with dd Hmm he also doesn't really chat to them that much.

HorryIsUpduffed · 27/05/2013 22:11

Hmm. He is better when I am pg and need more support, but otherwise I am default parent, yes. He very seldom changes a nappy or organises food, although that's partly because we meal plan tightly and so we can't afford for him to make it up.

He is now good at bath/bed but only when reminded - he would happily get to nine at night and think "hmm maybe the DC should go to bed" which given the eldest is 4 isn't ideal.

I'd rather he could take the initiative but I don't mind doing the bulk of it.

dreamingbohemian · 27/05/2013 22:13

Ok fair enough Smile

I have a hard time imagining anything more boring than cups though! Gawd.

calypso2008 · 27/05/2013 22:15

Absolutely nothing until we separated.

Now he has to, once a week.

To be fair, I would let your DH off his bike ride OP, he sounds hugely supportive and lovely Smile

CoffeeChocolateWine · 27/05/2013 22:35

It probably balances out as 50/50. But that can be 50/50 some days, 70/30 other days. And we often have days at the weekend where I'll do pretty much all of it and he'll go off cycling or windsurfing or something...but then another weekend he'll take them off my hands for the day and I can have some me-time and he'll do all of it.

DH barely sees them during the week so he loves taking them off for the day to have some proper 'dad time'. But we both need time to ourself too and we always make sure we give each other that.

DS is 4.5, DD is 10 months. I think DH wasn't so good when DS was really little as there was only so much 'fun' he could have with him. He's definitely got better as he's got older. And DD, being our second and likely to be last, he's just enjoying every moment of every stage and he's wonderful with her.

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