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Do you feel that our working husbands should help us a lot around the house? - Page 3

post #41 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathless Wonder View Post
If my husband were single, and working full time, he would have to come home and make his own dinner, wash his own dishes, do his own laundry, mop the floors, vacuum, take care of any pets, etc.

There is no reason he should not be helping when he is part of a couple, full time job or not.
I guess, for us, part of the benefit of being a couple is that you get out of doing stuff you don't like or aren't particularly good at. Or at least you have help to make the work faster.

I haven't mowed the grass since I coupled up with dh. And, he has cooked less than 15 suppers in the last 10 years. I also haven't had to pull in a paycheck in the last 4 years.

And, we're both thrilled with that.
post #42 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathless Wonder View Post
If my husband were single, and working full time, he would have to come home and make his own dinner, wash his own dishes, do his own laundry, mop the floors, vacuum, take care of any pets, etc.

There is no reason he should not be helping when he is part of a couple, full time job or not.

If I was single, I wouldn't be able to stay home with my child all day. So I can't really think of it in those terms.
post #43 of 142
I'm responsible for keeping our house clean and the family fed. That means that I'm the boss. If I need DH to do the dishes or whatever, I tell him and he does it.

That being said, we are both sensitive to the others varying work/stress load. If I've had a rough day, I don't feel bad asking DH to do more work. And if DH has been working extra hard at work, I try to give him a break at home.

My DH is the best.
post #44 of 142
I have lots of random thoughts on this:

As a basic marital expectation, yes, I expect my DH to help me if I need help or things are rough. I'd expect that regardless of the topic.

I happen to be a weird person who loves cleaning (except a few tasks). Seriously, even as a kid I enjoyed being in my own world, cleaning and scrubbing and making things organized and beautiful.

So where does that leave our everyday situation? It means I happily pick up the majority of cleaning and errands. I love couponing, making lists and grocery shopping. I love tidying up the house, decorating and "making my space" so to say. DD is a fairly agreeable kid so it's not difficult to make things work.

Additionally, I do feel an awareness of DH's work/school life and I want to keep him from as much stress as possible. He works ft, pt and goes to school ft. And his primary job often runs overtime by as much as 15hrs a week. When he has a tough schedule, I try to have his meals pre-made and packed, his outfit lying on a chair, even his shoes and socks picked out. The poor guy was working 9PM-6AM and 8AM-6PM Holy Week. Just terrible!

Due to his schedule, our main priority is making sure he has quality time with his family. When he has an evening off, I don't want him cleaning and gardening and running errands. I want him hanging out with DD, talking with me, enjoying a drink on the porch, etc. You know?

All that being said, there are definitely times where I reach out to him and ask for some help. During the 1st trimester, he took over most of the household duties and a lot of the cooking. He's my hero! lol. Also, DD loves waking up really early and eating fruit, so that is Daddy&Baby time while I sleep in, and then I get up and take over when he has to leave for work.

HTH
post #45 of 142
It is interesting for me to see these replies. I have been a SAHM for 6 years now with three kids (the youngest two were definitely high needs). Now I also go to college full time online.

I do everything with regards to our household and our children. We have no outside help, and no family or friends that are able to help. My DH will help if I need it (for instance, running a child to an activity on the weekend) but that is rare. He doesn't even do the outside yard stuff as my 14 yo ds does that. I think of my job as taking care of the kids and the house. I guess I would never even consider asking him to cook, clean, do laundry, grocery shop, bathe kids, etc after he worked his tail off all day. Once every couple of months I do ask him to make pancakes for dinner but that is because my dd loves his pancakes.

He doesn't have a "I am the one who earns the paycheck so I can sit on my butt" mentality. It is just what works for our family. There are times where the floor doesn't get swept and vacuumed every day or we might have a less than stellar dinner but if he minds, then he is welcome to sweep, vacuum or cook. I guess I just always thought that part of SAH is taking care of the house, kids, etc.

Again, it is very interesting to me to see the replies and see how other families work these things out.
post #46 of 142
It is interesting how different all our families handle the division of labor. I think it also comes down to personality types. My DH is very helpful around the house, just naturally. He is the younger of two sons and he was his mom's "helper" his whole childhood. He's an excellent cook, he knows how to clean, do laundry...all very well. He knew all that before I met him and we met when we were 20. So when we were living together before we got married and then after marriage but before kids, things were divided very evenly (we cleaned the house together on weekends, we both did laundry, split cooking responsibilities, grocery shopped together). Now that I'm a SAHM and we have 3 kids, I do most of all that stuff now, but he is very versed in it and if he sees the laundry piling in the closet he'll do a couple of loads. Same goes for other household chores.
post #47 of 142
Once dh gets home he is done he lays on the couch watches tv then goes to bed. I would love help with the house have begged for it as a matter of fact but he has a hard job that demands a lot from him and I do not feel right asking for help even though I desperately need it.
post #48 of 142
Of course I expect it.

When he's at work, I'm here working (cooking, cleaning, parenting, homeschooling, gardening, managing our finances). Why should he be exempt from household duties because he works out of the house?

I do try to get everything done so he doesn't have to pitch in but sometimes I don't (especially now that I'm pregnant) and he does what needs to be done. Last night while I was getting the kids to bed, he cleaned the entire kitchen/dining room without me having to ask for help.

If something needs to be done, one of us does it. He's also just as involved with the kids as I am. No prodding required.

I also expect the kids to do their share (appropriate to age of course). Life moves much more smoothly when everyone pitches in.
post #49 of 142
Thread Starter 
Hi ladies, thanks so much for all the responses. I've only read a few so far but I just feel urged to make some clarifications before I continue reading.

1) Just wanted to make sure I clarify that my husband is my no means trying to slack, and that's not why I'm starting this discussion here. He is more than willing to help with everything (kids, cooking, cleaning, shopping, whatever in the house). It's me who is wondering if all those (with the exclusion of caring for "our" kids) are part of MY job (the one who works inside the home)

2) It absolutely makes sense to me that while my husband is working all day in the office, I'm working all day caring for our baby at home, therefore when it's nights and weekends, we should all share all the responsibilities at home. But my thought is - husband doesn't see our baby while he is gone all day, so when he is home we should try to maximize his time with our son, for both of their good. So after work at night I do all the cooking & cleaning while husband feed the baby & bath & put him to sleep. I don't know how this arrangement sounds to you but there are only the two of us, and one of us needs to do the house work (cooking, cleaning, laundry diaper, etc) while the other one watches the baby. Since husband doesn't get to see our son all day, he gets to do the baby stuff & care when he comes home. That makes sense but that leaves me having little break at nights, and I I hear many saying that their husbands do the housework, but I wonder just how that works when if he does the housework, then you will need to feed, bath, and put the baby to sleep....

3) The other reason why I try to get all the housework done during the day by myself (with a baby) is so that both our baby & myself can get some quality time with husband when he is home on nights (2 hours a night after work till bedtime), and weekends. Husband's time at home is limited. Those who have them help with housework, how do you get enough time with him?
post #50 of 142
I see many replies here stating that DH does childcare instead of chores, but it leaves me wondering...why can't chores be done after baby goes to sleep? My DH usually does dishes/cleans the kitchen in this time.
post #51 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post
From briefly reading some of the other related "how do you do it" kind of posts, I see that many rely heavily on their partners or husbands for help. A side Now I'm curios, how much do you think our husbands (who work fulltime as the sole financial provider) should help & do around the house? I see that many SAHMs rely on their husbands to do the cooking, cleaning, watch the kids on nights & weekends so the moms get a break and more time. I've always felt bad having my husband do much around the house because I feel like he already has a high-stress-level fulltime job, and that his job is to bring home the money.
I used to have a high-stress (extremely - I'm still in touch with several former coworkers and we all still show some signs of burnout, nine years later), full-time job. I also did all the cleaning, cooking, shopping (on foot), laundry, childcare, etc. My ex helped ds1 brush his teeth before bed. That was it. We had paid childcare while we were at work (my ex's job wasn't full-time - he was a furniture mover, and only about 6th or 7th on the seniority roster, so he only got called in when they were pretty busy). There were times when he got home before out son got off school, but was "too tired" to pick up our son, so I had to do it, four hours later, after I got off work...and from the babysitters, which was an 15 minute uphill walk from the school. I don't think I should have had to do all that, especially as our son was at school until 2:30, so if my ex wasn't working, he had the whole day free (I walked ds1 to school on my way to catch the bus to work).

OTOH, we paid someone to watch ds1 after school. That's all they were getting paid to do. If it's worth money for us to have someone else look after our child, why isn't it a job when I'm the one doing it? It is. Childcare, if your'e not doing the "stuff them in another room and tell them to be quiet" school of parenting, is a lot of work. I'm pretty laissez-faire, and it's still a lot of work. I would never expect dh to do all that I used to do (although we've certainly had spells where he's doing more than his share, imo...but we have four kids, not the one I had then). I don't think that's reasonable at all. But, I don't think it's reasonable for him to get evenings and weekends off, while I'm still on duty full-time every day. I don't actually know how anybody can think this is okay.

We need money to function in this society. That doesn't mean that money is a more valuable contribution than the wellbeing of the children. Monday-Friday, 9:00 to 5:00 - sort of - is when dh is contributing financially to our family. When he gets home from work, he contributes in othe ways. Monday-Friday, 9:00 to 5:00 - sort of - is when my contribution to our family is full-time childcare. I usually (when I'm feeling well) do most of the weekday cooking, because I'm here, and it makes no sense to wait until dh gets home. I do a lot of the laundry, for the same reason. I take care of our bills, because they need to be taken care of, and I have more eye for that kind of detail than dh. But, everything? Hell, no. I never signed a contract to do cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc. in exchange for room and board. I just didn't.

Quote:
I see his main job as "bring home the money", and my main job as "everything else related to and around the house including caring for the kids" (the only domestic work he should do is to share parenting responsibilities). Maybe this is the belief that got me to become so overwhelmed, busy, and tired all the time, and feeling like I don't have enough time to "be a mom" because I spend too much time being "the maid" for the household. But I just can't bring myself to get my husband to grocery shop, cook, and clean after he comes home from work or on weekends he is home. (He actually does do some cleaning on weekends but I'd feel like he is doing my job if he did much more than his own laundry & the floor)
Do you know why you think it's your job?

Quote:
I just want to get some ideas on this role playing concept of what's our (SAHM's) responsibilities and what's the husbands'. And for those who use a lot of their husbands' help for housework, what's yours & hour husbands' idea on the roles & responsibilities?
IMO, and in dh's opinion, as well, the "M" in SAHM is for "mom", not "maid". My job is the kids. I do what I can on top of that, but my "main job" is the kids. I keep them fed, clothed, safe, engaged, etc. during the day. That's a job, all by itself. We both see the home more as my domain than his, because I'm here more, so I try to do what I can during the day, but it's not all my responsibility. We've got six people here making messes (dd2 is just starting to contribute), and I'm not going to the only one responsible for cleaning it all up, yk?

Quote:
Besides the point of whether or not husbands SHOULD help around the house on weekends & nights, I'd rather have my husband spend time with me and our baby when he is home than to do housework, because he is not home a lot.
I would, too. The reality is that there's enough housework here that if dh isn't doing it, then I am, so we're not spending time together, anyway. Usually, dh will come home and deal with the kids and hold dd2 while I continue to make dinner (having started while he was still at work/commuting)...but he frequently ends up actually putting dinner on the table, because I'm feeding the baby.

DD2 has been crying every time I put her down for the last three days. DS2 has been creating complete havoc (today, he's hit both his sisters, dumped milk down dd1's back, climbed into the kitchen sink wearing his pants, and deliberately filled dh's bike bag (one on his rear rack) with water. I've done some dishes, and shifted some laundry and fed the kids, but that's about all I've got. There is no way for me to get significant amounts of housework done when the kids are being this high maintenance, except by neglecting them. That's not okay with me, and it's not okay with dh.
post #52 of 142
I do all of the cooking and cleaning. I do the groccerty shopping. I do the laundry. I walk, feed, and wash our dogs. DH and I both do yard work. DH takes the garbage out and he takes care of the pool. If it's full, he'll empty the dishwasher for me.

I definitely do more chores around the house, but I'm a sahm, so I feel like those responsibilities are my 'job'. I don't think it's fair to expect dh to work 40+ hours a work and then come home and cook/clean. I LOVE homemaking, which is why I gave up a career to do it.
post #53 of 142
Heck yeah I expect DH to help around the house (and w/the kids), and he does. On the weekends he does a lot more cleaning than I do, that's for sure. Dishes, laundry, whatever needs to get done - he's better at just looking around and jumping right into see what is a mess/needs work. I'm lazy and will wait until the laundry piles up, or we run out of clean spoons.
post #54 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawberryFields View Post
But my dh works 39 hours a week in an office, sipping coffee, checking his facebook and e-mailing in between projects. I have several friends whose husbands do ZERO housework and minimal childcare. But those husbands work long hours at very physical jobs.
FWIW, I found it harder to get off my butt and get things done at home when I worked in an office than when I had a more physical job. I'm not saying those guys should still come home and do their bit, but a physical job doesn't always leave you more burned out. (The long hours can - but my dad worked about an 80 hour week, even when he didn't, because if he wasn't moving furniture, he was doing yardwork or taking on odd jobs. IME, a lot of guys in physical jobs are the type who can't stop moving.)

Quote:
However, spending a beautiful 70 degree day at the zoo with my kids & friends is hardly "work" compared to building a house in the blazing sun or wading through knee deep sewer muck to fix a burst pipe in the middle of the night.
I can't really argue with that, although if it were a hot sunny day, you woudln't find me killing myself at the zoo, any more than building a house. If I did, I'd be in worse shape than my dad used to be after spending 10 hours moving furniture, because heat wipes me out.

I'm working through the thread. One thing I've noticed that only a few people have touched on is individual strengths/challenges. I hate housework, and I'm not good at it. I'm far too easily overwhelmed when things get out of control. I've also got chronic neck/shoulder/back pain these days, which means I can't wear the baby and do housework, the way I used to. I'm prone to depression. I've also spent a large chunk of the last few years pregnant, breastfeeding, recovering from a c-section, struggling with PTSD or some combination of the above. I seem to be suffering from serious overall depletion of my mineral stores.

I'd do more around here if I were up to it. I'd also do more if my kids napped more. They don't. I read about people lying down to nap with their kids, and just think "huh?". DD2 is currently asleep and I'd get up to do something useful...but every time I shift her from my lap, she wakes up cranky. *sigh*
post #55 of 142
StormBride-

I agree! my kids both stopped napping before age 2... No lying down to nap, here, either, though I did put on the TV for them and zone out on the couch in the 1st and 3rd trimester...

ETA... re: our limitations - after ds1 I had PPD and DH picked up pretty much alllll the slack besides diapering/feeding during the day and nursing.
post #56 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
I'm not much of a fan of doing kid things - going to the zoo, park, etc, w/a toddler, preschooler & infant, heck even getting out of the house PERIOD feels like work to me.
This. I enjoy the actual activities, for the most part. But, I'd rather stick forks in my eyes than get my crew out the door...seriously. I know I've spent as long as 2-3 hours (not straight through - fixing snacks and cleaning up and changing the baby in between) posting here while trying to work myself up to the "let's get out the door" point. It's hands down the worst part of the SAHM thing. I'm okay when I can actually stay home...but the kids need to get out and do stuff, especially since I'm "home" schooling.
post #57 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly1101 View Post
If I was single, I wouldn't be able to stay home with my child all day. So I can't really think of it in those terms.
Yes, but the way I look at it- I can do it, or he can pay someone to do it, but I can guarantee you if he was paying someone to do it, they would NOT be cleaning his house for him, running errands, taking the kids places, etc. And if they were doing any of those things, he'd be paying a pretty penny for it, and still most likely not getting the same quality of care for the kids. YMMV.
post #58 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
I see many replies here stating that DH does childcare instead of chores, but it leaves me wondering...why can't chores be done after baby goes to sleep? My DH usually does dishes/cleans the kitchen in this time.
When the kids are asleep that's "our" time, forget chores! Here we divide and conquer to get some much needed free time for ourselves, both separately and as a couple.
post #59 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
I guess, for us, part of the benefit of being a couple is that you get out of doing stuff you don't like or aren't particularly good at.
In our case, that would require at least one other adult. Neither one of us particularly likes working for money (not so much the work as other aspects of it), but his earning potential is way higher than mine. (If I were better at self-marketing, I could probably pull in pretty close to what he can, but I'm not, and I can't.)

He enjoys cooking more than I do...at least cooking for a family (I'm very nitpicky and detail oriented when I cook, and I just don't have time to make sure every piece of onion is the exact same size, and everything is just exactly perfect - he gets the same meal on the table in 1/2 to 2/3 the time, and doesn't get as stressed).

Neither of us really likes cleaning very much. However, dh's particular strength is in decluttering and pick-up. He can do twice as much as me, in half the time...and not end up a sobbing mess, which I would (one of my challenges is a mild tendency towards hoarding)...and one of my strengths is in the wiping down and cleaning part of things. So, on the cleaning front, at least, we stay on top of things okay. He also sort of likes folding laundry, whereas I never folded mine before he moved in. I don't see the point, and I'm textile-challenged.

I hate driving with a passion. However, dh is legally blind, so that one's my job, too.

I like the being home with the kids part, and I like outings with them, except the getting out the door part. I enjoy homeschooling.

When I can think straight (ie. not for a while now), I enjoy sorting out our finances. They're kind of like a big puzzle that fits together in different ways, and I need to find the best ones.

Quote:
I haven't mowed the grass since I coupled up with dh. And, he has cooked less than 15 suppers in the last 10 years. I also haven't had to pull in a paycheck in the last 4 years.
*sigh*
I love cutting grass, but I haven't had a yard in...19 years. I expect dh and I would switch that one back and forth, just because I'd want to do it, but would probably have trouble finding the time.
post #60 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post
Since husband doesn't get to see our son all day, he gets to do the baby stuff & care when he comes home. That makes sense but that leaves me having little break at nights, and I I hear many saying that their husbands do the housework, but I wonder just how that works when if he does the housework, then you will need to feed, bath, and put the baby to sleep....
We did pretty much what you describe. It was important to us to try and have each of us end up with the same amount of spare time; who did which tasks didn't have to be divided up evenly. Some days nobody got any time off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post
3) The other reason why I try to get all the housework done during the day by myself (with a baby) is so that both our baby & myself can get some quality time with husband when he is home on nights (2 hours a night after work till bedtime), and weekends. Husband's time at home is limited. Those who have them help with housework, how do you get enough time with him?
On the days when I could keep up with the housework, I got quality time with my husband.

On the days when I couldn't (which were many), we really didn't get any time together. It stunk, but that was reality. Once the kids got a little older (we had two under two for awhile...) it got easier.
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