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post #1 of 41
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Edited by yukookoo - 6/26/11 at 5:03am
post #2 of 41
Your dh does a lot, IME! Mine works about 20 hours a week 7 months a year. He now (this is pretty new) takes out the trash, mows once a week (I stopped this year), and has been given dishwasher duties. Though I do all of those things on occasion. He has been more hands on with the kids so that helps when he's around b/c I'm a little burnt out. He plays with our toddler a lot, too, and occasionally gets her food. Sometimes he helps out with dinner, too. I call him my "sous chef". I tell him what to do, he does it and I do the baking and seasoning.
post #3 of 41
Originally Posted by yukookoo View Post
Dh takes out the garbage and takes care of his own laundry and sometimes will wash the dishes he uses, take care of his own car, like gets an oil change, if i ask or demand he will take mine in too, but never clean it or wash it or anything like that.
that's normal in this house, with the exception of the fact that if DP does the dishes, he does it for everyone. Then again, I am the one usually doing them. I cook 90 % meals, although, DP sometimes makes dinner or lunch during weekends.

I do everything else pretty much, he thinks he is being superman if he plays with dd and i mean play as in friends because he takes no responsibility for actual parenting, making her do anything she doesnt want to etc.
that's a real problem. What does he say when you bring this up?

ex: last night i went out to dinner with friends for the first time since dd was born. He took her out for a burrito and ice cream. They left at 630 (her bedtime is 7) didnt come home until right before i did at 9:00!
Is exclamation mark a good thing or a bad thing? that sounds like fun for everyone.

In our house, I do majority of housekeeping. When DP was unemployed, he did majority of housekeeping. I don't mind. It seems very fair to me. I get home 3-4 hours before he does, so it's natural that I have more time to relax and to pitch in. His commute is by far more demanding than mine. I'm okay with being the one to wash the floors and vacuum the carpets. I'm okay with being the one to wash the bathrooms. I can tell that he is more tired than I am. At different times in our lives depending on work schedules etc. we had different arrangements in house responsibilities. However, parenting was always on his shoulders: as dsd is his daughter, and for variety of reasons it made more sense for him to uphold the discipline with DSD. I take her to appointments, make sure she gets to work on time, spend fun time with her, but he checks in with the teachers, and okays outings, discusses behavior, etc.

Some things to think about:

Working FT is hard. It is. Knowing someone depends on your paycheck is tough and stressful. Having someone for a boss is stressful. Do you think he feels appreciated?

When he does parent your daughter, do you criticize or allow him to do it his way?

In any case, I think you and your dh could use some time to reconnect and discuss how you are approaching parenting. Also, I think there is an issue of maybe not feeling appreciated on both sides here. Do you think he'd be receptive to a discussion for all of these topics?
post #4 of 41
My husband is responsible for almost all outside work. I do help with our summer garden. But he mows, maintains everything etc.

He maintains both vehicles including keeping them clean and gassed up at all times as well as serviced.

He unloads the dishwasher every day.

He does the grocery shopping and much of the cooking.

We have a rotating daily chore list. I go over it daily and assign every member of the household tasks. So he might vacuum or dust or sweep or mop. Whatever needs doing that I won't get to. I'm busy! We both volunteer A LOT. The kids are in activities. We have church. I do occasional freelance photography gigs. And I'm homeschooling.

Crazy house! I couldn't manage it without him!
post #5 of 41
It doesn't really sound like your DH only does 1% of the work, TBH. He sounds like a typical dad. I wouldn't have had a problem with staying out to have ice cream until 9 pm with a 2 yo, considering we don't even eat dinner until that time some nights. I know you said 7 is bedtime, but for a fun evening, when mom is gone so things are 'off' anyhow, it doesn't seem like it hurts anything. I certainly wouldn't say anything negative about it to him, because you see, it will make him want to do even less of the parenting if he feels like someone is criticizing every move. Similar with the sweater incident. At almost 3 yrs old, I would assume my kid could either go get a blanket or warm clothing by themself - or let an adult know. I can't see being upset at my DH if our youngest was running around in half naked even when it's cool inside.

I do understand wanting him to take more charge of the responsibility as in instead of having to be told it's time to change the baby's diaper, taking the initiative himself. I struggle with that, too, at times - even after 4 kids - but I just don't think a lot of men are wired that way, if that makes sense. Not to say my DH never changes a diaper on his own w/o prompting - but that's just an example.

Anyhow, to answer your question, I do feel like my DH does a lot around the house - from yardwork, to trash/recycling, cooking, dishes, and laundry. Not all of it, of course, as he works full-time, and I'm a SAHM - so naturally, I tend to do the majority (though, on the weekends, I feel like he does way more than me). As far as parenting the kids - I'd also say I do the most, but he does a lot, too. Again, it's me who is home all day, and he who works to support our family.

Good luck talking to him about taking more responsibility and making your DD do things she may not want to. I know it is hard feeling like you always have to be the bad guy, and it does sound like you need his support and help in that area. Maybe try to focus on the things he does do, to keep it positive, while still letting him know how overwhelmed you feel at times.
post #6 of 41
dh isn't "officially" responsible for anything except mowing the lawn. his work extends beyond the 8 hrs. a day/40 hrs. a week quite often and i can't complain because we are getting by on his salary alone. many evenings he also comes home from work then goes to the gym, so i'm left with a lot. i know how important it is to him to stay in shape, so i really can't deny him that. he gives when he can and i try to leave it at that. work can be really stressful for him, so i try not to expect him to start on chores the minute he gets home.
i agree with pps that getting upset because he was out late one night doing something fun with your lo is not worth it. i had a similar incident with dh & ds recently where we got in a huge fight because he brought ds home later than i would've liked. i realized later i was being too controlling. they both had come back in a good mood and i was the one who turned it bad. try to think about letting dh enjoy time with your lo his way or he won't want to if he gets criticized every time. part of being a kid is getting to stay up late sometimes and have different experiences with different people. as much as they thrive on a regular schedule, IMO they also thrive on varied experiences.
i also agree with pps that dh just isn't wired to always think to do "caretaking" things for ds without me reminding him(changing diaper, brushing teeth, etc.) i think it's a guy thing
post #7 of 41
My husband works for money from 9-5 weekdays. I stay home during those hours. During the rest of the week--mornings, evenings and weekends--we share duties more or less equally.

We absolutely have equal parenting duties, including discipline and play. Some household duties--cooking and dishes, laundry, beds, tidying the house, correspondence, grocery shopping--we share equally, while others--lawncare, trash, anything that turns my stomach, things involving heavy lifting (him) and gardening, organization, home improvement, non-grocery shopping (me)--are divided.

It works well for us. We pay close attention to the other's mood and energy level, so we're definitely sharing work and neither of us is exhausted.
post #8 of 41
Reading your post, to me this doesn't sound like a "division of labor" problem but something much deeper.

From your description, it is not 99% to 1%. It may not feel equitable to you, but the first step in resolving something like this is to lay things out accurately and think them through rationally. If you say "I'm doing *everything*" his response to that would be a perfectly reasonable "That's unfair to me", because it is. He does work, and does bring home money. Yes, he'd be working if he were single, but so would you (unless you're independently wealthy ). So if you want to be home, then yes his 8 hours of work is very valuable in allowing you to be able to be home. If there are bills that aren't being covered, and bills he doesn't know about, it's time to haul out all the financial stuff and hash it out together with him.
As to caring for the child--it sounds like he does it. He doesn't have to do it exactly your way in order to be loving his daughter and taking on some of the responsibilities of raising her and caring for her. Staying up 'til nine with her daddy once in a while is not the end of the world, and in fact is a pretty sweet treat.

Your dh does a lot more in the home than mine does. But we do not have this issue. Dh is out of the country so literally 100% of the daily stuff is on me. Not fun, but it's temporary.

When he's home he:
-works 40-80 hours a week. He has full-time work and then a rental business after that
-does all the home maintenance
-takes care of the cars
-does all the outside work
-participates in the adacemic and moral training of our children whenever he can, and I anticipate this increasing as the children get older and can work with him more often.
-fills in for me when I am sick (which is rare). When I was going through miscarriage, he cared for the boys during times when he'd normally be working so I could get a rest. When I've been laid out iwth morning sickness, he'd take over supper cleanup and evening care of the boys so I could lie down.
post #9 of 41
DH works full time. But he gets up with the kids, gets them dressed, makes them breakfast (either eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, etc), empties the dishwasher, does the dishes and cleans the kitchen before he gets dressed and leaves for work. When he gets home the kids are in bed, so no night time parenting. On the weekends he does probably more of the parenting than I do because I try to step back and take the help while he is there. As far as house work goes, he does what I mentioned above plus he takes out the trash/recycle. He lets the dog out each morning and cleans up the accidents if she has any (she's old!) and when he is letting her out he waters the garden. On the weekends he will do the yard work like mowing, etc. About once a month he will clean the toilets (I do the rest of the bathroom and the in between stuff but he "deep cleans" them). He also will often sweep the kitchen. We go grocery shopping together on the weekends. He does all the car maintenance. He'll wash them, too.

So then I cook dinner every night. And make the kids lunch. I keep the rest of the house clean that isn't part of what I mentioned above. If he doesn't get to it I do the dishes, etc. throughout the day. I am in charge of all the bills. I do the meal planning. I do the vast majority of parenting during the week. I do the laundry (well, sometimes he will do his actually... he just does it, it's not that I won't). I clean up all the toys. I make all appoints or do any phone calls that need to be made. I take the kids to different playdates and activities. I also do homeschool with my older DS (and DD tries to participate, too).

I'm sure I'm leaving stuff out on both ends but that is the major stuff.
post #10 of 41
my dh works third shift, so he is either gone or sleeping while i'm dealing with kids and stuff.

his jobs in the house are to take out the garbage and recycle stuff, change the catbox, and do the dishes. even those i have to beg him to do, most of the time. at this very moment there is not a single piece of silverware in the drawer, cuz it's all in the sink. but i will be darned if i'm going to wash it!

he does, during the school year, get everyone up when he gets home in the morning, and get them dressed and on the bus, so there is that. and in summer he handles the early morning stuff so i can sleep a little more. i am so not a morning person. no one even tries to talk to me before 9am, usually. i am totally useless before that, i admit it

also, he will let me go and stay over at my best friends house on his nights off, once in awhile. when i get home, tho, ugh, what a disaster. you can't find the floor through the crunchy coating of chips and crackers.

in general, the cleaning, childcare, dr appts, therapy, laundry, school functions, etc... all fall on me.
post #11 of 41
Your DH sounds pretty typical.

I mean this gently, but it sounds like you have pretty high standards for you DH when it comes to parenting. Yes, he's doing things differently than YOU would do them, but that's okay. It's SO hard for mamas (especially SAHMs) to let go and let their DHs parent in a way that feels right to them. Without realizing it, you may be discouraging your DH from spending more parenting time with your DD. From the way you described the clothing incident in your OP, it sounds like you came down pretty hard on your DH because he didn't do things the way you wanted him to. I'd be willing to bet that your DH isn't going to volunteer to dress your DD again anytime soon.

To me, it doesn't sound like your DH isn't parenting, it sounds like he's not parenting the way you want him to parent.

All of that aside, I've BTDT. It's hard when you're learning new roles in a relationship. I felt overwhelmed when I was a new SAHM with a baby. But I kept talking with my DH, and let him know what I wanted him to do. For us, we didn't make a chore chart or come up with specific jobs for each of us. We just decided that we'd be more conscious about being PARTNERS and splitting the work evenly between us. It's not my job to tell DH to do something, and it's not his job to tell me to do anything. If I need a break, or I could use my DH's help with something, I tell him. And vice versa. I will admit that it took a few years before we really perfected this, but at this point, it works GREAT for us. It just takes a lot of good communication to make it work. Also, we've learned that often it's the person who cares the most about a certain task who does that task. DH doesn't care if the bathroom is wiped down, so I'm the person who does that. I have stronger feelings about nutrition, so I'm the person who does most of the meal planning, shopping, and cooking. DH cares about what the lawn looks like, so he does the yard maintenance. I care more about the kids taking music lessons, so I transport them to those classes. DH cares more about getting the kids to bed early, so he supervises bedtime.
post #12 of 41
our house is 50/50. Some of our tasks are divided by our strengths, such as me doing the bulk of the cooking, DH does a lot of the general tidying. He also does a bunch of yard work so long as I'm out there with him. That said, when I'm well, a lot of it is done without him since I am home all day.

As for the kids, it's definitely at least 50/50, if not more on his part when he comes home. He misses them, he wants to spend time with them and is an exceptional father. He has no problems taking them for the day or even weekend if I have something to do.

Since I've been really anemic, he's been stepping up to the plate and "yelling" at me if I do too much. I can't help it, I want to get a few tasks done each day at least, I feel like it's my job, but he's been very big on me resting a lot.
post #13 of 41
To the OP, I resonate a lot with what you are saying. My DH works long hours (from 6-6 pm nearly every wkday) and I stay home with our 2 yo and 15 yo. I don't expect him to do anything around the house - he is too busy. The "chores" he does around here are car maintenance and mowing/ trimming. Our yard is really small and it takes less than 20 min to finish it up including the edging, etc. so it's not a huge chore - sort of like me doing a load of dishes and wiping down the counters. So hopefully he does not feel he is overburdened by that. Timewise, he spends a lot of time with the 15 yo at ball games/practices or fixing ours or other family members' or friends' cars.

What frustrates me is it seems there is never time for DH to play with our 2 yo. I have to ask him to "watch" him so I can make dinner. Usually our dinner dishes are left till the morning because daddy does not have time to play with DS so I can clean up. Then I hear him complain that the kitchen is a mess "all the time." It's not that he doesn't have the time, it's just he wants to relax and not have to bother with DS. I have also heard him complain that he is "supporting" me and I don't do anything. I guess that is where the bitterness comes from - he insists that I don't do anything, and don't have a care in the world. I am toying with the idea of actually not doing anything so he can see what the house would look like in reality.
post #14 of 41
I think the reality here is that lots of working parents don't grasp what staying home entails. Partners who come home at night and just want a break don't understand that SAHMs often go without ANY breaks during the day. (When she doesn't nap, I can't check email, clean up the kitchen or do much else around the house. I *know* parents who work use little 5-10-15 minute chunks to fool around on the Internet or otherwise turn off their brains.)

The reality is that everyone needs a break sometimes, and when we had kids, we left decidedly less free time in all of our lives. Just because we're the mothers, and just because we're home during the day doesn't mean we should be responsible for the kids if dad wants to take an evening off. And, if we do choose to give him whole evenings off, we deserve them too. Parenting is a 50/50 thing, regardless of what we do 9-5.

Or am I just living in dreamland? Do I have the only understanding husband in the world?
post #15 of 41
The short answer: DH and I have pretty equal amounts of time "off" and time "on". We have different burdens.

His are primarily: work, the morning routine, DD1's bedtime, garbage, car, lawn, dog, and giving me a break from the baby (which often involves running errands with her)
post #16 of 41
I'm the breadwinner but my role as wife/mother is undiminished. I still do the laundry, shopping and the cooking. My husband does breakfast, packs lunches, brings them to school and picks them up and takes them to the park/activities. He brings them home after and we split bath time and I do dinner and bedtime. Weekends it's pretty much all me, except Sat morning when I get my "sleep in" day!
post #17 of 41
Our house runs fairly similar. Now that our DS is older he does a lot more out of the house with him, bike rides etc. He does diaper changes and is actively involved in our DD's potty learning.

But I can probably count on one hand the number of times he's given our kids a bath. His mode of getting them to bed is to let them stay up watching TV until the crash out then carry them to their beds once asleep. And the housework? all my responsibility. He does do trash and our land lord pays for a gardener but DP does the mid week yard care.

For me it's a bit of a trade of. First I think I'm good at what I do and I do find it rewarding. My kids are well taken care of, they eat healthy foods I cook from scratch. My house isn't perfectly neat at any given time but it's in alright shape. Not working out of the home also gives me the time to dedicate to things I otherwise would not have ime for is i was working outside of the home. I belong to a few committees at church, at my son's school, and the local homeless shelter. So I'm out at a meeting one or two nights a week. An yes the kids will be up and still in heir clothes, no teeth brushed yet with toys all over the place when I get home. But they had fun. They got to eat Chinese take out or pizza for dinner which to them is a treat. And really i's not the end of the world. I got to go out and do something meaningful for me. Now I get everyone all ready for bed, and i can leave the dinner dishes until tomorrow if I'm tired.

Also if DP loaded the dishwasher, I'd probably pull everything out and rearrange it the "right" way. I know I can be a bit of a control freak, so I let it go that I'm the one who has to take care of things.
post #18 of 41
My dh works about 65 hrs/wk so I do the bulk of the housework, cooking, and the childcare since I am home. He always takes care of the trash and the vehicles.

I think the main reason it works so well for us is bc my dh shows me so much appreciation for everything that I do. He tells me and he shows me. If he comes home from a long day at work and I have had a rough day with the kids he will start helping me around the house w/out even being asked. He is very tuned into how I am feeling and if I need any support.

We also both get time off bc we understand and appreciate how hard we both work for the family. Dh usually plays golf and I do various things like go to movies w/friends, get a massage, etc.

Op, it will take some time to settle into a routine once the expectations are hashed out. Plus, it can feel like you do everything and he doesn't help much if you don't FEEL appreciated. It may not be an accurate reflection percentage wise, but if you don't feel like a team then the burden is heavier.

PPs gave great advice about letting your dh find his own way w/the lo, and really showing him appreciation for what he does. I've found that if my dh feels loved and appreciated he is more likely to show me the same.
post #19 of 41
dh occasionally takes out the trash or recycling, especially if i put it by the back door so he can just grab it on his way out to smoke. he will also sometimes take the cans to the curb on trash day if i remind him, but usually i do that because it makes me too mad when he forgets (even when i remind him!). he takes the dog out more often than i do. he snowblows, i shovel. he mows (usually), and i do the edging, planting, weeding, etc. most days, he will do something around the house - if not one of the things i mentioned above, then he may do a load of dishes or pick up the toys. i do the sweeping/mopping, the bathroom, the laundry, all shopping, errands & appointments, paying bills, most home maintenance, car maintenance, most of dishes and all deep cleaning. i'd say we share cooking and parenting pretty evenly.

he's the sahp. i'm the wohp.

clearly i have a biased perspective, but i do think that in the hours when both parents are home, housework and parenting should be shared. it's not right that he works 8 hours, 5 days/week, and does almost nothing at home, while you are "on duty" 24/7. even if you get 8 hours of sleep, that's still 16 hours a day that you're working. or maybe you stop the housework when dd goes to bed at night and when she's napping (if she naps) . . . so maybe you're "only" working 12 hours a day (seven days a week). when do you get a break? how is this fair?

are you really saying you just went out kid-free (for fun, not on an errand) for the first time in almost three years?!
post #20 of 41
Originally Posted by BreakfastyMichele View Post
I think the reality here is that lots of working parents don't grasp what staying home entails. Partners who come home at night and just want a break don't understand that SAHMs often go without ANY breaks during the day. (When she doesn't nap, I can't check email, clean up the kitchen or do much else around the house. I *know* parents who work use little 5-10-15 minute chunks to fool around on the Internet or otherwise turn off their brains.)

The reality is that everyone needs a break sometimes, and when we had kids, we left decidedly less free time in all of our lives. Just because we're the mothers, and just because we're home during the day doesn't mean we should be responsible for the kids if dad wants to take an evening off. And, if we do choose to give him whole evenings off, we deserve them too. Parenting is a 50/50 thing, regardless of what we do 9-5.

Or am I just living in dreamland? Do I have the only understanding husband in the world?

I totally agree with this. In fact I don't frequent this board very often because the general attitude among many of your SAHMs is that your WOH partners "work so hard" so they "deserve a break" when they get home, and I think this is crap. Sorry. It makes me mad.

OP I think that your husband is milking a good thing he's got going with you. Time to draw a line in the sand and make him responsible for more of the parenting and household maintenance. Even if he does not do things how you would like at least he will be an equally contributing partner to your family. It sounds like now all he is doing is bringing in the paycheck. And frankly the only reason he is able to do that with no cares is because you are at home watching his kid!

Honestly I didn't have my kid until I was almost 35 and so I worked full time at a very difficult job in the years before that. I can tell you that being a SAHP is harder (and less rewarding IMO) than working a "real" job. One reason is that the responsibilities are never absent...you never get a real break. And like the proverbial frog in boiling water, we get used to having the constant expectations and stress on us. We get used to constantly working, so eventually stop expecting a break.

Well its time for your DH to stop expecting the break.

My DH works from 8-6 M-F and often does many more hours of work from home (although I help him with some of that). If I cook he does the dishes (and vice versa). He gets up every morning with DS so I can have two blessed unbroken hours of sleep. He changes and washes diapers. He bathes the kid. He parents. He does everything I do, because if he does not I will make his life hell. I made this clear before DS was born (heck, before we got married actually), but I think he would have done all this anyways because he is a pretty responsible guy.
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