1 at-home parent, 1 WOTH parent -- how do you balance chores, childcare, etc.? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-03-2011, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I work full-time outside of the house (M-F 9-5ish), while my husband cares for our 11mo son. I am curious about how the household balance works in other families. Specifically, when you are both at home on weekends/evenings/vacations, who does what? Is one parent more responsible for household chores, like cleaning, or do you share equally? What about childcare when both parents/partners are at home? Do you each get "alone time" without the baby? How much? Does the stay-at-home parent do housework while the baby is napping on weekdays? Who cooks dinner & prepares the baby's food?


Our current system is not working for me, so I'd love to hear about others’ arrangements.


As to what our current system is...I think I am feeling too resentful and stressed out to even articulate it. Basically, I do the vast majority of the childcare & housework whenever I'm home, while DH sits on his computer for hours...and hours...and hours. It annoys the crap out of me, honestly. I'm happy to play with the baby for an afternoon, but I can't do anything else during that time (cooking, cleaning, making food for the baby, taking out the trash, etc., etc.) & DH apparently doesn't think any of this is his responsibility. I get that he's tired after caring for DS all week (it IS an exhausting job, and much harder than my own paying job, IMO), but I'm tired, too, and there's a lot of household stuff to be done.... greensad.gif

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#2 of 8 Old 06-03-2011, 08:29 AM
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For OUR family, it works best that I do the majority of cleaning/cooking/housework etc.  My dh will do dishes, help with laundry, and anything I ask.  But overall, I am entirely responsible for the running of our home.  Since I've been diagnosed with RA he steps up a lot more, but he's never once thought "gee, the kids could use clean sheets" or anything like that.  He's very very spoiled!


My personal opinion is that the stay at home parent should do the majority of the housework and cooking.  I have 12 hours a day with my kids, my dh has 4.  I don't want him to spend that time cleaning or to have to say "sorry buddy, I can't _____ because I have to cook dinner." I can get it all done each day spread out over the day.  Some days nothing gets done, some days it all gets done, but I don't depend on my dh to do much of it.


I know a lot of people disagree and think that the stay at home parent is there to only parent....but I think even the most dedicated parent has time to wipe down the bathroom and start dinner,  barring unusual circumstances.


Your dh sounds spoiled.

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#3 of 8 Old 06-03-2011, 09:26 PM
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You may need to spell out clearly for your husband what you want from him. Personally I would find spending hours on the computer unacceptable.


Me and dh, we work opposite shifts so we don't have to put dd in daycare. Dh takes care of things around the house, we take turns cooking, he does more cleaning than I do. I pay the bills and do the laundry. Basically, we tend to do the chores we prefer.


There are days when one of us is just burnt out and spends all day in front of the computer. On good days, one of us takes the kids for a walk and lets the other one sleep in.



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#4 of 8 Old 06-04-2011, 10:05 AM
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well we have older kids that have chores so that helps a bit.  I work out of the house 3 days a week and he stay at home so I'm still home quite a bit.  i cook on occasion but mostly we all eat what we want and when we want and we just kind of take turns cooking for the littles.  DH does way more around the house than I do.

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#5 of 8 Old 06-04-2011, 10:32 AM
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when i was a SAHP I did all the housework and cooking but x would do all the parenting stuff when he was home.  i thought that was fair.  No way would I woh and then come home for more work.  IMO the role of the SAHP is to do the housework and that the parenting is the shared responsibility

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#6 of 8 Old 06-04-2011, 10:55 AM
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OK.. This is just my OWN thinking.  Not that anybody else has to agree with me.


If my husband worked outside the home, and allowed me to be a stay at home Mom, I would do all the housework and childcare.  Yes, it's more work, but I would feel blessed to be able to stay home with my kids, and I would do anything to make it worth his efforts.  


I would also make it my job to save as much money as possible.... coupons, hanging laundry etc.  


I'd do all the shopping and cooking... but, I would expect help at least in the yard on the weekends.  I would expect my husband to help with the childcare and playtime on the weekends, because that is family time.   I can't do 100%, I need some help.. but, if I were staying home, I expect to run the house as best I can.


Baby carriers (Ergo, Mei tai) are awesome to help get things done while the baby is awake.  I understand needing some down time when baby sleeps, so the stay at home parent might nap or get on the computer during the baby's nap... but, while the baby is awake, other things should be getting done.

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#7 of 8 Old 06-04-2011, 11:06 AM
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When my dh was a full time stay at home parent and I WOH full time he did all the cooking/laundry/ house cleaning during the week.  We split the cooking duties on the weekdays and he took all day Sat and I took Sun so that each of us would get one day of sleeping in.  We did things like making the baby food for the week together.


He now works full time and I work part time.  I do everything - he can be sitting right there while I am folding laundry and he doesn't help.  I get our 15 yo son to mow the lawn and I do most of the other outside work or it doesn't get done.  It sucks.  e've talked and talked and it generally doesn't get better.

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#8 of 8 Old 06-04-2011, 04:22 PM
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DS was a SAHD when DS was 4m-2y3m and then returned to graduate school right when I went on maternity leave. I did everthing in the morning, solids or breakfast when we got there before work. He did lunch and play and did it well. (no tv, great food, nice routine) When I got home, DS was attached to me like a leech (and vice versa), he would make dinner and take "a break" in front of the tv from whenever dinner was done until he went to bed. On the weekends, he pretty much did nothing except some meal prep no being-wtih-child. And we both love to cook so getting to cook a nice dinner was actually a break as well. He would do the weekly laundry and often cleaned the kitchen for 30m before bed. (Not really clean, not to me, but got us through the days) So, basically I never, ever had a free minute ever but once I was home he did. Now I had a lot of issues with working and probably wouldn't have relinquished a lot of time to DH but it would have been nice to be asked. And he did make the assumputtion that I should do all childcare/spending time and not from a don't-you-miss-him but from a I-already-did-my-part.



When he went back to school I pretty much did everything 24/7 either working at my job or taking the kids, plus all meals and him complaining about his lunch. He just graduated and now he is doing dinner and laundry but nothing else. Whines about making the kid's lunch. And provides no childcare because we have a full time nanny. And he sleeps by himself "to get more sleep" while I do the co-sleeping. He does help a lot but it isn't equally mostly because the kids are little and just getting bad and go-to-bed can take a long, long, long time. Who know what he is doing...

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