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AIBU?

To ask why women are expected to do everything?

387 replies

HolyGuacamole28 · 12/02/2024 23:33

I read a depressing article in the Economist today ‘How Motherhood affects careers’ and it stated how more and more women are not progressing as they should after having children. And SAHP is on the rise as more people opt out of a system doomed to failure. I just don’t understand how mothers are physically supposed to work full time in a career/senior role (I do), manage a household (I have a 4 year old, 2 year old and a husband, also FT) that includes washing, cleaning, cooking etc and do activities with the kids, keep fit and see friends. Is this what society expects? Who is supposed to do the household role if both adults work full time? And why do we need two incomes just to survive? (COL is so painful re mortgages, childcare, energy, food). Rant over, just can’t see how society has evolved, it’s just put more on our shoulders. I’m personally at breaking point.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

719 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
12%
You are NOT being unreasonable
88%
lljkk · 12/02/2024 23:36

Cleaners, my mother had a cleaner. So does everyone in my parents' social circle (1970s). My mom had a nanny, too, when I was little. Later a life-in housekeeper for about 8 years.

But not because she was a woman. The blokes like having cleaners, too.

BIWI · 12/02/2024 23:38

What is depressing is reading so many threads on Mumsnet where women take on all these roles without seeming to even consider that their male partners might be doing some of it.

Sometimes women are their own worst enemies.

Mumoftwo1312 · 12/02/2024 23:42

manage a household (I have a 4 year old, 2 year old and a husband

You have phrased this as if your dh is another child to manage.

Your dh should be managing the household alongside you

2024WasNotInFactMyYear · 12/02/2024 23:42

Because we’re highly capable and agreeable with a dash of silent resilience

LizFromMotherland · 12/02/2024 23:42

BIWI · 12/02/2024 23:38

What is depressing is reading so many threads on Mumsnet where women take on all these roles without seeming to even consider that their male partners might be doing some of it.

Sometimes women are their own worst enemies.

I agree with this. The bar is set so low for some women and if that isn't bad enough, they sometimes can't even see it.

"My DH is a wonderful father but I do most of the housework".

Errr no, then he's far from a wonderful father if he thinks leaving everything to the woman he shares kids with is fine.

Jas5mum · 12/02/2024 23:43

Its ridiculous.
When I worked I felt overwhelmed and got fairly depressed to start with as I had all this extra work stress on top of 4kids at home to sort out. Yeah OH stayed at home but he never checked things like newsletters, bags etc. He still didnt do the washing as that's my job.
Currently I'm a SAHP and the jobcentre are pressuring me to find a job 25hrs per week(she took 5hours off for school runs, so patrionising!) So that on top of the house and 5 kids, 1 who only goes to nursery 3days a week and 1 who is being assessed for ADHD.
I've felt stressed ever since the 1st jobcentre appointment last year. I have enough to worry about.
Everything is just on us all the time and it's just shit!!

Gowlett · 12/02/2024 23:44

I’m 47, and my work associates who are 10 years younger are still under severe pressure with this. Interestingly, it’s mostly the men who tell me that they think we’re doing life all wrong. Most of them work for US tech / banking firms. It’s relentless. I can only imagine how their wives (who also have top careers) feel… My generation lived through 2008 & negative equity, etc… But seemed to have pushed through. Most of my peers had bought their own property before marrying (age 35 or older). However, I do know plenty of women my age who’ve been keeping the show on the road just about. So many of them say they’d jack their job in tomorrow!

ErrolTheDragon · 12/02/2024 23:45

When my dd was primary age (and before) I observed that the only women working full time had youngish local parents who helped with the kids (school pickups in particular - grandpas as well as grandmas) , and/or bought help - nannies before school age, au pair, cleaners etc.

BIWI · 12/02/2024 23:45

@Jas5mum

Everything is just on us all the time and it's just shit!!

Why are you allowing that though? Why are you doing everything? That was my whole point!

YankSplaining · 12/02/2024 23:46

I wish it was economically feasible for more families to be financially secure with a single earner. Once people have kids, somebody, somewhere in the family, has to take some time off work. I also find it interesting that “working mother” articles tend to be centered on women with professional careers. It’s rarely about women who can’t really “advance in their careers” because their work is more “job” than “career.”

Out of curiosity, did the article say there were more SAHP because of “more people opt[ing] out of a system doomed to failure”? I’m a SAHM because it was financially possible and because that’s what I wanted to do.

WandaWonder · 12/02/2024 23:47

Becacue people need to own their own choices and stop playing the martyr, but as usual if you (you in the general sense) have a problem with a partner then you a have partner problem, deal with it with your partner

TedMullins · 12/02/2024 23:47

LizFromMotherland · 12/02/2024 23:42

I agree with this. The bar is set so low for some women and if that isn't bad enough, they sometimes can't even see it.

"My DH is a wonderful father but I do most of the housework".

Errr no, then he's far from a wonderful father if he thinks leaving everything to the woman he shares kids with is fine.

I agree with this. I’ve never “done everything” in any relationship I’ve been in. one particularly misogynist ex I think did expect me to do most of the domestic work when we moved in together but he got a nasty shock. I did what I could be bothered to do and no more, and eventually he gave in and did the bits that were left. Don’t just do it all then complain about it.

BIWI · 12/02/2024 23:49

When I met my to-be-DH I already had my own flat. He lived in a (horrible!) room in a horrible house share. When he moved in with me, not long after he moved in, we had this conversation:

Him: Have I got any clean shirts?
Me: I don't know, darling. Have you?

That was all it took - thank fuck - for him to realise that I wasn't there to clean, cook and do the laundry for him!

LizzieSiddal · 12/02/2024 23:49

Start with your H and ask him why he expects you to do everything?

Then twll him you aren't doing it anymore. List everything you do and ask him which stuff he’s going to take over so you share the load 50/50.

Notsoslim · 12/02/2024 23:50

Jas5mum · 12/02/2024 23:43

Its ridiculous.
When I worked I felt overwhelmed and got fairly depressed to start with as I had all this extra work stress on top of 4kids at home to sort out. Yeah OH stayed at home but he never checked things like newsletters, bags etc. He still didnt do the washing as that's my job.
Currently I'm a SAHP and the jobcentre are pressuring me to find a job 25hrs per week(she took 5hours off for school runs, so patrionising!) So that on top of the house and 5 kids, 1 who only goes to nursery 3days a week and 1 who is being assessed for ADHD.
I've felt stressed ever since the 1st jobcentre appointment last year. I have enough to worry about.
Everything is just on us all the time and it's just shit!!

If you’re being supported to stay at home by the benefits system yes they will pressure you to take work on some point if you say you’re looking for work?

I know some people who only choose to be a SAHP if they can afford it and they obviously don’t have that pressure of the job centre pushing them into work.

Are any of your children multiples or step children? I’m just wondering as you find it all stressful and sound as if you have done for a while, but (I’m assuming) you had five kids?

coxesorangepippin · 12/02/2024 23:50

Not having it all

Doing it all

Notsoslim · 12/02/2024 23:51

WandaWonder · 12/02/2024 23:47

Becacue people need to own their own choices and stop playing the martyr, but as usual if you (you in the general sense) have a problem with a partner then you a have partner problem, deal with it with your partner

This is so true. Some people do have very bad luck , but a lot of the time we are in the difficult situation we’re in due to our choices

hellsBells246 · 12/02/2024 23:53

This reply has been deleted

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LizzieSiddal · 12/02/2024 23:54

BIWI · 12/02/2024 23:49

When I met my to-be-DH I already had my own flat. He lived in a (horrible!) room in a horrible house share. When he moved in with me, not long after he moved in, we had this conversation:

Him: Have I got any clean shirts?
Me: I don't know, darling. Have you?

That was all it took - thank fuck - for him to realise that I wasn't there to clean, cook and do the laundry for him!

I had a very similar experience. We moved in together and at the end of the first week he asked me where his clean underwear was. When I’d stopped laughing I said I don’t have the foggiest idea, but maybe he needed to learn how to use the washing machine.😂.

DrinkFeckArseBrick · 12/02/2024 23:56

The only way that it's possible is if you have an equal partner. Equal housework, childcare, career sacrifices, mental load. Also accepting that you'll never live in a show home (and for me, changing beds and towels less frequently than is acceptable on mumsnet) and working from home helps

BIWI · 12/02/2024 23:59

When DH and I were married, and had moved into a bigger house, (pre children) his parents were coming to stay for the weekend. That morning, we were both making preparations for their arrival. I was cooking, and DH was cleaning.

They arrived much earlier than we had expected, so both of us were still mid-job. PILs phoned their other son to let him know that they had arrived and said, with much mirth, "oh yes, we got here and [name of son] was doing all the cleaning!" Not a word about me doing the cooking. Obviously that was to be expected, but that their precious son was doing the cleaning was clearly something amazing!

saltinesandcoffeecups · 13/02/2024 00:00

LizzieSiddal · 12/02/2024 23:54

I had a very similar experience. We moved in together and at the end of the first week he asked me where his clean underwear was. When I’d stopped laughing I said I don’t have the foggiest idea, but maybe he needed to learn how to use the washing machine.😂.

Mine told me the second time we had met that he did laundry and cleaned the kitchen. I proposed to him on the spot.

But yeah every once in awhile he will still ask a question that I have no way of knowing. He’s usually met with “If only there was a little magic box that held all the word’s collective knowledge at your fingertips…. Never mind… how on the hell am I supposed to know that answer!”


He’s a good one though.. and if left to me our house would have small fires…with goats and chickens running around while we were both naked. He does the lion’s share.

cadburyegg · 13/02/2024 00:05

I don't know.

I'm a single mum. I work 30 hours, not even full time, but it feels like it is. My kids are in ASC twice a week and get picked up by my mum twice a week. Without my mum's support I'd be up shit creek. Ex doesn't pay maintenance. My house is a complete untidy mess. It needs maintenance too. No way I can have guests over at the moment. I don't have time to tidy it or figure out where everything is supposed to go. The kitchen and bathroom are semi clean. I rarely cook for the kids anymore - they mostly eat at school or with my mum and even at weekends we really just have basic meals because it's all I can manage.

My kids are fed and in clean clothes. I get them to school every day. We have some fun times. I try my best with them with their reading and homework. It's not perfect and I can't do everything but this is really the best I can hope for at the moment.

BIWI · 13/02/2024 00:08

Being on your own (shitty though it might be) is a bit different from women taking it all on themselves when they're with a perfectly capable partner.

Ursulla · 13/02/2024 00:10

Patriarchy innit.

We crawled out of the swamp, got ourselves together then worked out that we needed stability and predictability in order to get more money/land resources than the next tribe along. And the one major disruptive to that was those bloody women keeping on having babies for decades on end regardless of poor harvest/climate/famine. So, given that we can't control that, we'll control them and also make them responsible for getting everyone fed/clean/alive. But we can't attach commercial value to such a fluctuation. So, women, you're fucked.

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