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Is housework part of the SAHM job description???

post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 
i can't get over how many times i've been asked by my girlfriends (childless) AND other sahms about doing housework during the day. everyone seems to think that in addition to taking care of my child (nursing, changing dipes, feeding solids, rocking/walking/bouncing to sleep, play time, strolls around the neighborhood.... repeat repeat repeat repeat) i need to be keeping the house clean.

is it just me or is this absurd? i didn't sah just so i could clean the house every day. i stayed at home so i could take care of ds. why should i have to clean the freaking toilets just b/c i'm at home??

and although i know that babies are high maintenance (b/c they can't really do anything for themselves), if i stay home after for longer than a year (which i probably will) i still don't plan on cleaning the house while ds plays or naps or whatever. i plan on being with him, doing stuff with him, or heck, doing stuff for ME rather than cleaning the house.

part of it is that i HATE housework. just about the only thing i like to do is laundry (LOL great for us b/c we cd). and i'll clean up after ds has solids or i eat my meals. the rest of it? forget it.

i hope other mamas here with wrecked houses can back me up on this....
post #2 of 102
I agree completely! I sometimes feel guilty about my messy house (and sometimes it is truly messy), but I spend so much time with my son, and when he's napping I either nap, do work (for pay) or laundry. Rarely do I have time to sit and read a book or anything lazy when not watching him. I feel my job is taking care of him. Oh, by the way, as they get older it gets to be MORE work, not less! I have a toddler and I have to watch him much more closely now that he can get into things!
post #3 of 102
If it weren't for being able to pay somone to clean once every 2 weeks our house would be a wreck. I hate to clean too and other than picking up when I know someone's coming over or cleaning up after cooking I don't do anything. Luckily my dh completely understands and doesn't think it's "my job". He's been alone with the boys enough to understand how hard it is to clean when they're awake and how much you need a break when they're alseep .
post #4 of 102
I know my dh secretly thinks that cleaning is my "job". I disagree. I think that since I am more the cleaning person that I would clean even if I had a job outside the house. Therefore I don't clean during the day when I'm home with the kids. I think the kids are my job. We homeschool and are very busy with other things as well. My job is to take them to the library, music class, gymnastics, dance, etc and to PLAY with them! When dh is home and on the weekends I have him watch the kids and then I clean. If I can't get to stuff then I just don't do it!
post #5 of 102
my dh doesn't seem to expect me to clean the house, but then again, he doesn't come home from a long day at work and start vacuuming.
i do most of the cleaning, like ekblad on the wknds, b/c i'd rather clean than wrangle kids (not that i like cleaning, mind you, but trying to play w/ 2 kids at very different developmental stages gets exhausting by the end of the week and its nice to be off duty, even if i'm doing chores.)
i do do more housecleaning during my workday lately than i ever have before, and that's because i realized how much it got me down to live my days in the middle of constant chaos. so i started decluttering and trying to stay more on top of the messes, but i did it for me -- just to give myself a more pleasant environment to be in. i spend *so* much of my life at home or in the yard that i realized it was important to me to be uplifted by these surroundings. so, i also started using essential oils and a diffuser and i cut flowers from the gardens and bring them in and i try to remember to plug the fountain in on my little altar, all to improve the ambience. but i still blow off cleaning in those parts of the house that i don't spend much time in...
post #6 of 102
I feel the same way. Being a SAHM is about being a MUM and not so I can do all the housework.

My feeling is that either A) housework is divided equally between me and DH as if I were WOH or B) a cleaning lady should come.

We fluctuate between having a cleaning lady or sharing the work (we move alot, lol).

Now that we're into cloth diapering, I'm actually enjoying doing laundry (I know...it's a sickness, lol).
post #7 of 102
Wow --- just glad that I found thsi post. Several months ago, I posted about how much DH/DP helps with housework and most of the people who responded said they felt it was their job to do the housework. One person even went so far to say that if I was not keeping the house clean for my DH, then I was not doing my duty -- this person likes her DH to come home to a clean, nice smelling house so that he can relax. This board was fairly AP oriented, so I was surprised by he responses and wondered how these SAHMs found the time to interact with their children AND do housework (not to mention have time to post on-line). I do try and get some things done, but often find myself conflicted between housework and playing with the children. Of course, I try to involve the kids in housework, but this has limited success right now --- kids still pretty young. DH does not put pressure on me to do housework and says he'd rather come home to a messy house and know I've spent time with kids than a clean house where kids have been wanting for my attention. The only problem is that he isn't helping with housework as much as he used to. He is tired in the evenings and has been bringing work home with him, so our house is just not as kept as it used to be. DH does 95% of yard work, so I can't complain too much. He also does cat care on daily basis (feeding, litter) and does trash about 75% of the time. He bathes children and gets them in their pjs and then we each put one down to bed. I do dishes about 75% of time. We are always behind on laundry. Both of us hate the folding/hanging/putting away step to laundry. I have one room that is a true mess and has been for a month -- needs major organization (office stuff). I am behind on organizing pictures in albums. I got a sewing machine for mother's day last year and it is still sitting in the box untouched. I am six weeks pregnant and just utterly exhausted and sick in the late afternoons and evenings. I think DH is going to try to help a bit more -- like he used to help. All in all, it sort of works for us but we both feel overhwelmed with the housework. I'd rather feel this way than feel our children don't get attention they need...and right now my 3 year old needs me to tape his "Thomas" train picture together...so off I go!
post #8 of 102
I feel it is my job. Our house is not spotles mind you (I amsorry if this needs otbe spotless we need someone else to clean) but dh is rarely home and for the most part doesn't make the mess. It is also my childrens responsibility. So I guess we still do stuff together. How are they gonna learn how to clean a house if htey never see me doing it. Dh does pitch in because the rate of cleaning doesnot equal the rate of mess . And just for the record. even if I wasn't home the resposibility of cleaning wuld still fall to me.
post #9 of 102
I don't think it is part of the job BUT I do enjoy having a clean house. I would be annoyed if dh expected the house to be clean, but thankfully he does not and he does just as much around the house as I do.

On a side note (please note this is my personal belief), I do believe it is important for children to see us engaged in meaningful work. We tend to be more family centered, rather than child centered around here. I guess I don't feel comfortable just hanging out and playing all day. I get satisfaction from doing "chores" and it is a learning experience for the kiddos. We make chores fun! We do save the big stuff (cleaning the floors, bathroom, etc) for the weekend, when we can both blitz though it, but I would go crazy (and feel sooo overwhelmed) if I didn't do basic cleanup throughout the day.

That being said, QuinsMami, life with an infant is a whole different deal.
post #10 of 102
post #11 of 102
It is primarily my job, as is taking care of the kids, and preparing meals. However, when dh is off, he does housework and takes care of the kids. He primarily does the yardwork, but I sometimes do some of that, too. I primarily do the finances. He doesn't expect me to keep everything 100%- he used to be the primary housekeeper when we both worked. I do try to keep things neat, though.

We sort of fell into our roles, but I don't expect him to do anything and he doesn't expect me to things. We just usually do them. If I need help with something, I ask and he'll help and vice versa. It always works itself out. I'm pretty fortunate that way.
post #12 of 102
I don't think it's part of the job. I think DH used to think so but he has changed his tune. I started filling in at my old job 4 hours at a time on the days when DH is home so he has learned what it's like to be a SAHD. Now he understands that after playing, bouncing, rocking, changing diapers and wiping up spit that once DD finally falls asleep the last thing I want to do is clean. I either want to sleep or do something for ME. If DD is fine on her own and I feel like I have time and energy to wash a few dishes then great but I don't stress about it. My sanity and DD's needs come way before a clean place.

I do try to straighten up every evening - just very quickly to get the big chunks and we do dishes every couple of days. The big things like scrubbing out the tub or washing the floor wait until he's home to watch DD and then I do it just because I care more than him if I bathe in a dirty tub not because either of us think it's my job.
post #13 of 102
Yes, being a SAHM also means keeping the house tidy. I don't keep it spotless, and sometimes I REALLY let it go. It is however in my job description. I get ZERO help with the house!

DH does do the yard work (mowing weedwacking and edging but no trimming bushes). Trimming bushes is also my job. Washing the cars and keeping them clean inside is also my job.

Cooking is also my job!
post #14 of 102
I don't consider cleaning house as soley my job, but it seems that DH does. DH is alway talking about how stressed I am, but I can't get him to see that if I just had to take care of Danielle, then there would be no stress. But because I have to take care of everything else, then I am stressed. Danielle doesn't take kindly to being put down, or having to sleep alone, so it makes every chore around the house a big deal. I keep dropping hints that he needs to help out more, but he seems to think that washing the car is a household chore! Hopefully I can get this straightened out before I go crazy!!
post #15 of 102
Oh, Jesse! I am sitting here with tears because I'm laughing so hard at your post! Hope you don't mind. But dang, it is hilarious - the liptstick, q tips, CDs, refolding the clothes. Too funny. In a tragically funny sort of way.

I also can relax when things are put away and clean. Whenever that lady is on Oprah - the organization lady who says 'a place for everything and everything in it's place', I drool with attraction for that kind of life.

The problem is I need someone to overhaul my place first to get me started.

I've done a bunch of decluttering and that's gone a long way toward tidiness on a daily basis.

My DH doesn't say the housework is my job but if I suddenly stopped, he would protest. We are considering hiring cleaning once I'm too pregnant to bend over and the baby is born. The older DS gets, the less I accomplish. With a newborn, I would be an idiot not to surrender that last bit!
post #16 of 102
Hi, I just mentioned this on another thread, but I have really been helped by Flylady (http://flylady.net)

I don't like housework either, but having a messy house just adds to my stress - and I want to ingrain neat habits in my kids so they don't have to struggle with it as adults as I did.

DH works hard so we can afford to have me stay home and I try to think of it as a Thank You gift to him to come home to a relatively clean house (not that I always manage it - I have an infant too.)

As Flylady says, it's all about babysteps. I set aside little chunks of 5 minutes at a time (and literally set the timer on my stove so I am free to quit when those minutes are up). You might be amazed at what you can accomplish in 5 minutes.

Boy, I'm just full of advice tonight.... Better quit rambling and go to bed.
post #17 of 102
I think it is part of my job to clean. Mind you, I do not do all of the housework but I do a good majority of it. The house is not spotless by no means, it is very lived in, especially since the living room is ds' main play area. I try to vaccuum 3 times a week, with spot dustbusting daily. I wash the dishes at least every other day and wipe down the counter tops every day. Big jobs or anything upstairs usually waits for dh's day off and we take turns cleaning whatever and watching ds. My place is pretty small but I try to keep it to where it would be presentable for company within 15 minutes. Just don't look in the bedrooms
post #18 of 102
I am just now starting to feel like I should clean during the day, and that's just because DS is crawling everywhere now and likes to put his hands on/under everything! Otherwise, DH and I share the cleaning, when it gets done.
post #19 of 102
My views on housework has changed a lot over the last 10 years. When we were first living together, we split all chores 50/50. When we had babies and toddlers who were nursing, DH would be the first to say that as a SAHM my "job" was to take care of the kids, and anything else that got done (including cooking) was extra.
When the kids weaned, and got older, DH's views on housework seemed to change. "Well, you're home all day- you have time to do the housework" is what he would say. And he began to expect a meal to be cooked. ("Well, you have to make something for yourself and the kids anyway") As first I was very rebellious and bitter about this change in attitude. Having a messy house didn't seem to bother him much, whereas it really bothered me a lot. I started doing the flylady thing to help me keep up with things, and gradually got myself into a cleaning routine. Now I realize that there are only 24 hours in the day- most of those my husband spends either at work, or sleeping. Keeping the house clean does take a certain amout of time each, and since I am here, it does naturally fall to me. Woudl I really want my husband to spend valuable family time or time for us as a couple scrubbing toilets? No way! I also want my children to learn what it takes to keep a house clean, and over time I expect to teach them exactly to do each chore, at an age appropriate time. As someone else mentioned, this is a more family centered approach. I too believe that it is important for the kids to see me engaged not only in things that I enjoy, but things that need to be done.
post #20 of 102
Uh, yeah. It's Stay At Home MOM not Stay At Home Housekeeper. Jeez. Dp helps me clean a bit, but mostly we live in mess and I'm the only one who complains. MIL got me a Supermom Tshirt when I was preggo and I wore it after Sephie was born and MIL noticed and said, "hey Supermom." I said, "I'm hardly Supermom, you should see my filthy house." MIL says, "You're not the house's mother." Sometimes I really love that woman.
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