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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:
Oldraver · 27/05/2013 23:27

I think he probably does much more than me, he doesn't need prompting.

Alibabaandthe40nappies · 28/05/2013 09:14

When we are both around we do 50/50, I wouldn't stand for it being any other way.

We have been away this bank holiday, and it was really interesting - and depressing - watching other families at breakfast and dinner. In about 80% of cases Dad was sat there eating his food and relaxing while Mum fed the kids, wiped them up, took them to the loo and so on and tried to grab a mouthful in-between. It made me really angry.

turkeyboots · 28/05/2013 09:21

When we are both at home DH does 90% of childcare and will do at least one meal. We've an overall 50-50 split but its over the month rather than a specific day.

ILiveInAPineappleCoveredInSnow · 28/05/2013 10:36

When we are both at home, my DH does much more of the "playing". I am 16 weeks pregnant and shattered, so at the moment when DH is here, he does a lot of the house stuff too.
My DH is away a lot with work, so when he is here, he wants to get as much time with DS as he can.

Plus his dad was shocking, and never really played with him or his brother, or told them he loved him/ cuddled them etc, so he wants to be the best dad he can be, and does everything he can with my DS.

Flosshilde · 28/05/2013 11:37

50/50 here as well, though the balance is skewed in my favour at the moment as I'm on mat leave with a 10wk old DS2 and DH can't breastfeed.

He is perfectly capable of a whole day in charge of 3yo DS1 and wouldn't forget to do anything. The house looks like a bomb has gone off by bedtime but he'll tidy up after DS is in bed. I'm rubbish at playing and DH is much better at it. I'm better at reading with him and responding to the endless questions.

We don't even discuss what needs doing, one of us just gets up and does it. The only rule is that neither of us goes off to our hobbies and leaves the house as a shit tip for the other to deal with alone. It works well as it concentrates the mind on keeping the place tidy if we want to go out that evening.

SuffolkNWhat · 28/05/2013 11:49

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quoteunquote · 28/05/2013 12:10

He does about 90% if we are both around, we work together, so we juggle everything work included,

but if we are both about, DH does about 90%,

We all muck in on everything household wise, no one tells anyone what to do, I have always taken great offences if anyone in the house puts me/us in the position of having to guide their actions and input, major mistake in this house, to ever have to have someone remind you of your responsibilities.

We only have three of our five children (two died, as well as other losses), my husband had a very difficult childhood, the combination, means he relishes every second of their idyllic childhood, we also have other children here occasionally, he would rather be engaged with children than not. It seems mean not to let him, so I leave them to it.

ivanapoo · 28/05/2013 13:06

Alibaba your post reminded me - yesterday I saw a mum walking along in town cradling a tiny baby, feeding it, while herding two boisterous young kids maybe 3 and 5, while the dad strolled casually in front pushing the empty pram!

LaQueen · 28/05/2013 13:36

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MaybeNotThen · 28/05/2013 14:02

Good point about skillsets, LaQueen. DH does plenty of stuff around the house but it's not always the stuff I would do, so sometimes I get grumpy because he's decided to reorganise the cupboard rather than tidy away the toys. On a bad day, that will leave me thinking "and I do all the washing up, and all the tidying..."

That's a good rule, flosshilde, and I'm sure it makes things feel a little fairer. I might steal that one!

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LaQueen · 28/05/2013 14:14

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FaithLehane · 28/05/2013 14:15

Well it depends on what it is really. As far as playing with them, setting up toys, building Lego (yawn) that's DH's department. If it's baths, hair washing etc it'll be me doing it these days as they're both girls and dd1 is 10 and developing now. We take it in turns to put them to bed. I'd say we're pretty equal really, we just do different things with them.

charleyturtle · 28/05/2013 19:57

asking my dp to hand me a bib or expecting him to play with the baby so i can have a shower seems like too much to ask in my house. he has probably fed dd twice in the last 4months. i do the get up and bedtime routine completely solo and if i want help with the housework it takes a lot of nagging (and usually me "accidentally" breaking something) for him to actually get up and help. and he complains that i go to bed too early because i'm tired before midnight... men eh?

FredFredGeorge · 28/05/2013 21:02

charleyturtle No,not "men eh?" just the person you decided to be with, that's not a description of any of the men I know with children...

Kafri · 28/05/2013 21:42

I agree with fred there charley
how many of the men described in this post fit your description of yours. reading through tgem all, its lovely to see how the dads pull their weight and how the families juggle everything between them and work together in whatever way suits them.
I adore watching my DH doing his daddy bit. my DSis is often complaining her DH doesn't help out enough and asked me hiw I got my DH to do all he does around his job. one sentence sums it up for me
I dont EXPECT him to do it, I expect him to WANT to do it
We entered into parenthood together and certainly had a battle getting there (ds was ivf after a long wait) and we tackle it together and we have a fantabulous time along the way
so, please rephrase your 'men eh' to 'my man, eh' cos mine more tgan pulks his weight along with nany otgers on here so it seems.

MaybeNotThen · 28/05/2013 21:57

Charley, I'm not sure if that was tongue in cheek or whether that was a quiet little cry for help. Either way, your DP is not doing enough. Well, that's a bit of an understatement. He's being ridiculous.

(Fred, I don't think comments like "that's the person you decided to be with" is enormously helpful, some men only show their true colours when the baby arrives)

OP posts:
FredFredGeorge · 28/05/2013 22:52

MaybeNotThen So "women" always show their true colours? or do you think removing the gender based bashing from the entire conversation would be more helpful?

Some parents of all of sorts disengage from their children / discover it's not what they thought / enter it for the wrong reasons and regret etc. etc. It's not the norm for a parent, either male or female.

MaybeNotThen · 29/05/2013 07:44

OK, not sure how you got a gender bias/slant out of that, but I'll rephrase it. Some people only show their true colours once a situation arises. No, it's not the norm. But comments like "he's the person you decided to be with" is grossly uphelpful for anyone who is struggling with a disengaged partner, male or female, the implication being "touch, you chose to have a baby with a useless waste of space, so suck it up."

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Cat98 · 29/05/2013 07:55

He does more than me at weekends with ds, definitely. But he enjoys it and ds is a real daddy's boy! He does less around the house though, but not massively less.

MrsHoarder · 29/05/2013 08:07

We juggle as I'm studying.

When I don't need to study and have been at home ask day, dh does more childcare and I do more chores, but we aim to sit down at the same time with all chores done and ds asleep in bed.

On holiday dh did more child-herding than me, plus I got an afternoon off whilst dh stayed with ds

Wincher · 29/05/2013 08:25

We do 50:50 when we're both in. Dh has always done his share but he is enjoying it far more now that DS is nearly 3. They love rough and tumble play together and silly games round the house. Dh is much better than I am at getting DS to eat his tea and at washing his hair etc in the bath. For ages and ages (probably linked to bfing till after he was 2) only mummy would do for lots of things, but we have finally now got to a daddy phase which I am loving!

cece · 29/05/2013 08:31

Ha ha. That is why I am up mumsnetting whilst DH has his 4th lie in of the holiday. I have also been to the beach twice so far this week with the DC alone, whilst he lounges in the holiday cottage.

I keep telling myself that it is him that is missing out and not me....

attheendoftheday · 29/05/2013 10:15

We do half, and we have little 'planning meeting' discussions to arrange our time. So, it might be one of us doing DIY or cleaning while the other has the kids, or it might be us taking turns to pursue our hobbies while the other one watches the kids.

Mintyy · 29/05/2013 10:17

You are not being unreasonable to ask the question. This is more of a chat topic though isn't it?

loofet · 29/05/2013 10:33

I'd say I do 70%. He'd probably disagree but that's what i'd go with.

He works shifts so sometimes won't see them for 2 days. Works 5 days a week. On his 2 days off I like him to help out in the morning because most days I do it alone and there's 3 DC 3 and under so it's hard work. He thinks I should let him lie in and not expect him to help but then when do I get a lie in? I don't think it's fair, maybe i'm wrong. When changing nappies I usually change two and he does one, I always get them food, clothes and I dress 2, he does 1 but there have been times when i've done all 3 whilst he's 'gone to the toilet' (more like played on his phone in the bathroom Hmm) Playing wise I do majority of that too... so i'd go with a generous 70%. He does do chores if I ask though but he's usually huffy about it so often i'll just do it to keep him quiet.

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