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Is housework part of the SAHM job description??? - Page 5

post #81 of 102
When I was a SAHM I did do housework and take care of my 3 dc's. I was frantic and tired all of the time.

I vacuumed and dusted and cleaned. As part of my homeschooling routine, I taught my dc's how to clean and organize things. Some science lessons were included as how to use cleaners and hot water and soaps and the care of electrical equipment.

BTW, none of this rubbed off on my dc's. My daughter is a slob, my ds#2 is a slob; my ds #1 is fairly neat though, and the jury is still out on ds #4.
post #82 of 102
Thread Starter 
This is what I don't understand.

Is the assumption that if the person staying at home isn't doing housework, they aren't doing anything all day?

Originally posted by Ocean
but if one person is at home all day, I think that person should do the bulk of the housework.
Or that the sahp "plays" all day?

Originally posted by glh

I don't know if anyone has said this but could you really just play with the kids all day and not do housework?
Or that SAHMs don't work long hours?

Originally posted by natmother

My husband works long hours so I am respectful to that.

My day/week looks very much like tara's. And, like tara, my dh and I have decided that we are willing to put up with some clutter in order for both of our jobs (bringing home a paycheck and taking care of our ds) to be appreciated. So, he doesn't spend all or even much his time at home cleaning, he spends it with ds and with me. And I don't spend time when I am home doing major housework; I spend it taking care of ds. We allot a few minutes each night and a couple of hours on the weekends to get those chores done which we think are critical. And the rest just isn't important enough right now.

And like many of us "non housework" mamas have admitted, most moms who think they don't do any housework actually ARE doing light housework during the day, so IN ADDITION to the more important work of taking care of child(ren), most moms are doing housework. I don't think there is a SAHM on this earth who would describe her job as staying home and playing all day.

And I think this bears repeating, b/c it is so often forgotten:

Originally posted by jbcjmom

However, as a sahm, I am "on duty" 24 hours a day.
One thing that has been bothering me throughout this thread is the implication that mothering is not ENOUGH work, and that SAHMs need to make up for the fact that they are "just" mothers or "only" mothers and therefore need to do MORE than mothering. And IMHO, I don't think we do. I think that mothering (and all the nursing, feeding, diaper changing, putting to sleep, talking to, cleaning up after, and yes, even PLAYING) is such a huge job in and of itself-- and, unlike my dh's job, MY JOB NEVER ENDS.
post #83 of 102
I think we all agree that it all depends on the situation, I have already said that when I have a nursing baby, I hardly do any housework, but now, with 2 toddlers who play together, I have lots of time for housework, and I like us all to hang out as a family when dh gets home, when he comes home, he is not done working, he's just changing hats from "graphic designer" to "Daddy"-the title he prefers!

Again, it depends on the situation, but for us, I try to get as much done as possible during the day, so that dh can be "daddy" as much as possible when he gets home.

In my house, "mommy" is not the only one who works 24 hours a day, "daddy" does too. When the kids are nursing, I take more of the childcare, and he does more housework. When they wean, I do more housework, while he does more childcare (not more than me, but more than before)

Another 2 cents from me.
post #84 of 102
, QuinsMami!!
post #85 of 102
My question is if the sahp doesn't do most of the housework, who does? My dh works 12 hr shifts overnights. Yes, I'm also working those same 12 hrs, as well as the 12 hrs he's not working, but the difference is when he's at work, it's physically impossible for him to do ANY housework, whereas it is possible for me to do it simply b/c I'm there. He does do things when he's home, he does yardwork and plenty of other things, but when he's home (and awake) I'd much rather have him playing with the kids and me clean. They miss him so much when he's gone- I don't want to tell them they have to wait while he cleans the house.

I'm guessing we are all talking about mostly the same thing. When I said I cleaned, I meant I vacuumed, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, usually cook (with the crockpot, but it's still hot food), and try to keep the clutter under control. I can easily go weeks (or even months) without dusting, mopping the floors, scrubbing the toilets or bathtubs, or cleaning the windows and mirrors.

I guess for some people, my house isn't clean. It is picked up and not at risk for being condemned by the health department and my kids are happy. That's all that matters to me.
post #86 of 102
My husband works like 65 - 70 hours a week. I saw him for like 5 minutes before I went to bed last night. He does manage to do all of our laundry on his 1 day off and miscellaneous other stuff so I shouldn't say that he doesn't do anything. For the first 18 months of Cassidy's life we lived with my parents and I did nothing but take care of the kids and my business and pick up toys then. My retired dad and mom did most of the housework then.
Right now since we are in our new place I manage to get the dishes cleaned, sweep, and pick up toys..... but that's about it, my house is not spottless. LOL
Our dream is that my business will grow so well and we both can stay home and share all childcare, household, and business responsibilities.
post #87 of 102
Originally posted by QuinsMami
I think that mothering (and all the nursing, feeding, diaper changing, putting to sleep, talking to, cleaning up after, and yes, even PLAYING) is such a huge job in and of itself-- and, unlike my dh's job, MY JOB NEVER ENDS. [/B]
OK, I guess maybe this is the major difference between our perpectives, because my dh's job never ends, either. He works out of the home all day long, and then when he comes home, he fathers. He isn't "off duty", or "done working". His job isn't over. He starts the second shift, parenting our children.

To be honest, I do some of my housework after he gets home. When he is here, why should I read a book to ds, or give him a bath? I've had the entire day to do those things. DH gets those few hours after work and before bed to play and read and do care. I really don't want him to have to see our son while he is doing dishes, or cleaning the bathroom.

I think it is in our children's best interest for them to have time with their dad. Not just part of his attention while he cleans or cooks, but real, honest to goodness attention. There isn't enough time in the day for DH to give them that if he has to do housework. During the hours that he is gone, I can give our children undivided attention, and time shared with cleaning and cooking. I consider that the best of both worlds.

I know that if parenting is a full time job for me, then it is also a job for my DH. I don't think I can have it both ways, and say that the mothering I do is work, but the fathering he does when he gets home isn't work, it's time off.
post #88 of 102
My dh is a great dad too Unfortunately not all dads are (well, not all moms are great moms either of course! I'm not just picking on men). And yeah, some men do come home and sit in front of the tube, ignore the kids AND refuse to do housework.

It's true I do most of the housework during the day, but dh comes home and just like Mothersong said, he's starting his second shift. He is a DAD He gets Bridget ready for bed every night. We have two kids who still nurse to sleep so he spends an hour getting her ready (mostly playing and reading stories) while I nurse the baby down. Then he takes the sleeping baby while I nurse dd down. From the minute he walks in the door he has a child attached to him. Usually dd who is very much a Daddy's girl right now. And sometimes it's ds since my dh adores babies. But it's not like he comes home from "work" and now he's off. If what I do is work (and I think it is!!!), then what he does at night with his kids is work too. In some ways it's MORE work where Bridget is concerned. With me home all day she plays by herself a good bit but she doesn't give her dad a minute's rest! (And to think a few short years ago he complained because she would have nothing to do with him, lol!)

I just wanted to say I don't think anyone really thinks SAHM's play all day. When this thread started however, we had a lot of misunderstandings simply because we were thinking of this in black and white! There were more than a few posts where people wrote that their job was to "be with" their kids, play with their kids, teach their kids, take their kids for walks, etc, and that they weren't going to let housework get in the way of that. I think somehow it ended up sounding like some of us play all day and live in pigstys, and some of us polish silver all day and neglect our kids It's not so cut and dried as all that.
post #89 of 102
Mothersong -- I agree completely with what you've said!!

I'm a SAH, homeschooling mom who also has a work-from-home part time job, and I still feel that getting some housework in during the day (in addition to everything else I do) IS one of my household responsibilities. Dh works six days a week, and when he's home I don't want him doing housework...I want him spending time with ds, giving him undivided attention, talking and playing with him. It's more important that they have that time together than it is for me to have help with cleaning, you know?

When I'm sick or need help, dh helps. Without complaining. And he always makes a point to say thank you when I've done all the laundry and put his clothes away, because he knows that laundry is my least favorite "chore." Sometimes he does the laundry for us. It's just never been an issue with us.

I guess I don't understand how someone could be home all day and NOT feel like they should get some of the housework done. Even with children.....it doesn't have to take all day (I usually just straighten up and then do one "big" cleaning project each day -- like clean the bathroom or do laundry or dust and vacuum). I never try to do it all at one time.

If roles were reversed and I was working outside the home, and dh was staying home with ds, I would expect him to handle most of the housework. I certainly wouldn't want to come home and clean house when I could be spending the evening hanging out with ds instead.

Just my perspective. In the end, we all have to do what works for us and our families. Clean house/don't clean house...it's an individual choice.

post #90 of 102
Mothersong has it for us as well. When DH comes home, I'm "off duty" so to speak. Granted, my boy is 19 months old and not nursing any more, so it's possible, but even when ds was a newborn DH walked in the door and took the baby.

I consider it my job to maintain the home, but childcare is a joint responsibility. It wouldn't be fair to DS or DH to have it any other way, I don't think. Besides, if DH had to do half the housework, that would have to come from time he would have been able to spend with DS and that's just not fair. I have all day with him, DH deserves as much time in the evening as he can get. Also, I get a 2 hour break from childcare duty everyday when DS naps. DH doesn't get anything like that at his job. It's more than enough time to keep our apartment pretty darned clean.
post #91 of 102
Thanks mothersong!

That same issue has been nagging me regarding this thread- I just couldn't articulate it as well as you.

If dh was hands-off then I would probably have a whole different perspective. But b/c he spends so much time with the kiddos and doesn't get all the breaks I do during the day, I like to have the place tidied-up when he gets home. Believe me, I never thought I would be this person! But I really don't feel like a sellout to my feminist ideals. We both work hard and we are a great team.

We are in the process of role reversal- I'm going back to work and he's gonna be the homeschooling papa! I'm sure he'll have the place pretty clean, but I'll still be the laundry goddess!
post #92 of 102
I can't beleive how long this thread got. it is so intersting to read all the different views and see we all want the same things strong bonds with our famalies and happy homes

As far as the points being made about the dads helping out, my dh does help he gives the kids their baths gets their p.j.s on and reads to them and tucks them in along with helping our dd set the table. He helps dd with homework plays with our ds while I get dinner ready and either helps clean up and I finish while he plays with the kids. It serves both peoples interst this way dh gets bonding time while taking some of the workload off me. I don't think my dh helping with housework means he has to do laundry or clean the bathroom just set a good examble for our children by picking up after himself and lending a hand with dinner and clean up. We do yard work as a family, but it is easier for me to just do the majority of the house work. I don't have spotless windows you could probally find a couple of cobwebs on my walls and some dust bunnies under the couch but my house is tidy enough for drop in company which we get alot of: and safe for my children. I have to really try and not stress over how clean my house is not I can get swept up in the cleaning of it, I think for me it is an escape. I really do love it when my house is clean but my kids have to come first my house will be in need of cleaning forever my kids will be little for just so long
post #93 of 102
I was thinking of this thread today! Dh came home unexpectedly (thank you nasty weather!!! ). We ate dinner and he was going to shovel but instead, I handed him the baby and I did it. Then, with him still playing with kids, I washed the dishes and did laundry. So I guess it looks like I did all the "work" and he did nothing but play with the kids tonight (and I don't mean anything lame like him watching the tube and saying "uh huh" while dd gabs - they actually got on the computer and made a map of the house with visio and then played pirates and buried treasure under the chairs!).

So I started thinking about "fair" division of labor. We all agree that watching kids is work. So why isn't it work when the WOH parent does it? If watching kids is work and housework is work, then we both worked tonight, we just did different work.

And as much as I love and adore my kids and love staying home with them, I have to say 20 minutes shoveling snow in peace and quiet by myself was niiiiiiiiiiiiice
post #94 of 102
I guess I figured it to be part of the deal. Me being home is my contribution to the family and if I can juggle my baby and the housework then when dh gets home we get family time without being hindered by a long "gotta get done" list. I'm not great at the juggle act yet, but I hope to improve as time progresses and eventually strike harmony between motherhood and house duties. I can't wait till my dd can share in the joys of house cleaning (I enjoy a clean house) and learn how to help in ways that are fun .
post #95 of 102
I very happily keep our house clean and prepare dh's meals. He has a very tuff job (not that being a mother is EASY - cause it is probably the most demanding and rewarding job on the planet) and I don't expect him to come home after 12 sometimes 16 hours of work and clean house. He comes home, eats and then spends as much time with the kids as he can before he drops into bed exhausted. I also don't ask him to get up with Kaeleb in the middle of the night (during the week). He is the bread winner and his job requires that he drive all day. I would much rather take a nap during the day (if I am tired from being up the night before) than him have an accident (from being too tired from being up the night before).

That being said...weekends are an entire different matter. Not only do I expect him to help with the kids, but also the housework and the yard....hey, I gotta have a break too!!!
post #96 of 102
If it's good for kids to see their moms doing work around the house (the whole continuum concept thing), why isn't it ok for them to see their dads doing housework, too? Why is it more important for them to have time just playing with Dad when he gets home instead of time together making dinner, setting the table, working in the yard or whatever?

Last night when my partner came home, he and Jackson went outside to water the new grass seed we planted over the weekend. Then, they pulled a few weeds. Then Daddy made dinner while Jack and I played in the kitchen and kept him company. My partner would prefer time like this than time just 'playing', but that's just us.

Can we just agree that we all do what works best for our families? And that if we are doing what works best for our families nobody is being neglected or short-changed or over-worked?
post #97 of 102
Originally posted by tara
Can we just agree that we all do what works best for our families? And that if we are doing what works best for our families nobody is being neglected or short-changed or over-worked?
I just want to say that I thought that was what we were doing. I certainly don't mean that because my family does things a certain way that every family should do them that way.

The question was asked and the opinions given. No dictates here.

And to answer your question, in the course of living life, my children do see their father doing things around the house. He cleans up the bathroom after he gives them a bath, he helps clean up the kitchen lots of nights. He always helps them pick up their own things before bed. As I said before, I have a grown dd who is 24, and two teenage daughters, besides my littler guys. Not one of those older girls thinks only women should clean, nor that daddies only "play.

Still, we both want him to have one on one time with them without having his attention divided. That doesn't always mean "play" in our definition. He reads to them, he talks to them, he helps with homework, and sometimes they help him do things. Lots of times they do "play" I guess, if reading and computer games are play. But he can't spend that time one on one relating to them on their level while he's mopping.

When I clean, the kids are around, sometimes talking, sometimes helping, sometimes playing on their own. During the day I make sure I spend time focusing on each of them, reading a book, playing tea party or pretend, or just cuddling. DH just doesn't have enough hours at night to do both cleaning and cuddling, and cuddling comes first for our family.

Again, this is our family. No soapboxing here. Every family is different.
post #98 of 102
If I were a SAHM, I would absolutely consider the housework as part of my job. Dh is a teacher and is home during the summer and on school vacations. I won't say he gets a ton of housework done, but he does make an effort, and he gets dinner started.

My feeling is that we both have an obligation to contribute at least 40 hours a week to the running of the family, whether that be through working outside the home or otherwise. I, personally, don't think that I'd be living up to my part of the deal if I were spending the entire time playing with the kids. This is my opinon about my family--I'm not saying anything about anybody else's family.

When I am home during the day with the kids I do try to get some housework done. I try to find ways to have them entertain themselves for some of the time. Of course, I never get done anywhere near as much as I plan to do...

I have a SIL who really does think that her job is to play with the kids all day and not do any housework at all. Her house is filthy beyond belief--not just messy, but unspeakably dirty. They are quite well to do. Her dh has tried to hire cleaning help for her many times but they won't come back after the first time. He works very long hours and doesn't clean either. If it works for them, that's fine with me, but I couldn't live like that.
post #99 of 102
Originally posted by mothersong
When I clean, the kids are around, sometimes talking, sometimes helping, sometimes playing on their own. During the day I make sure I spend time focusing on each of them, reading a book, playing tea party or pretend, or just cuddling. DH just doesn't have enough hours at night to do both cleaning and cuddling, and cuddling comes first for our family.
This is what I think too. As the SAHP I am with my kids 24/7. I don't need (nor do I believe it would be good!) to spend every minute focused on the kids. We get quality *and* quantity time. Because I'm with them all day, we have plenty of time for cuddles, reading, computer games, playing AND cooking, sweeping, vacuuming, grocery shopping, etc. During the week, dh just doesn't get a lot of time with them so he has to focus on quality. For the few hours he is home and awake each night I would rather he actually does kid things they want to do and give them focused attention.

When he does do housework it's on the weekends and even then Bridget usually helps him. I also agree kids need to see their PARENTS keep house, not just the SAHP. But I want my kids to grow up learning how to keep house too and for me, that means I want to teach them to do daily maintenence. Because of that I'm not willing to put it off til the weekends just so dh will be here. Anyway, IMO there is always *something* to be done around this old place, I don't have to put off chores just to find something for dh to do :LOL (I wish!!!) This weekend the plan is to clean the garage and do yardwork (if the weather cooperates). And, as usual, dh will do a lot of cooking on the weekend just because he's good at it

I also think that we're just sharing ideas here! I hope no one is getting offended. I also don't mean to tell anyone what to do, but I am sharing my opinions as asked, that's all
post #100 of 102
I do just have to add something! All of this is out the window when I have an infant : I have only started keeping up on the house since my baby started crawling. Now he's walking so he enjoys walking around the house after his sister a lot! But when I have a newborn or non-mobile infant, I just let the place go.
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