Do you feel that our working husbands should help us a lot around the house? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a spin off from my other post "How do you focus more on your kids".

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 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)

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?

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.
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#2 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 02:32 AM
 
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I'll be interested in the responses you get. My thinking is that DH should be helping out on weekends since, in fairness, I am also occupied in the home while he is working out of the home. BUT I think his thinking is that I should still do most of the work because we have a nanny and we have cleaning help. I am still busy tidying (the cleaning help cannot do this) doing all the laundry, taking care of the baby when nanny is not around and working part time but I don't think he buys into this argument. Basically, it's a sensitive issue and he values having "me time" on the weekends, which basically means that I am often on my own with the kids.

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#3 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 02:43 AM
 
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DH helps out A LOT both around the house and with DS. I don't expect him to do much around the house, but I do expect him to help out with DS. I think it also depends a lot on the age of the children. During DS' first year, I did expect a more help around the house, because caring for and exclusively breastfeeding a new baby is full-time job and I had a horrible tear from childbirth that took much longer than 6 weeks to recover from.

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#4 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 03:13 AM
 
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I think that there needs to be a balance between home and work for anyone who chooses to work, husband or wife. I feel that our child is just that...ours. Our home is also ours. Therefore we are responsible to take care of it.

I don't buy the "oh my job is so stressful and I work so much I should get a break" argument. If your job is taking that much out of you then it needs to be addressed at work, not made up for at home by slacking.

I grew up in a household where my dad always showed the work card, and I saw what it did to my parents marriage. I do not want this to happen to mine. The crazy thing was that both of my parents worked full time, but my dad felt entitled to special treatment because he made more money. And, of course, because he was male.

Anyhoo...my husband knows how to cook and clean so we keep to the same deal as before we had kids: Whomever does not cooks does dishes. Household chores are split 50/50. Who makes the money has nothing to do with anything IMO. We're both working...I just happen to be working at home right now.

ETA: My role at this point is to watch and boob the kid. Anything else that gets done is gratis.
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#5 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 03:33 AM
 
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It's something I'm kind of torn about. When he was younger, dh really thought it was fair for him to work and then come home and be completely "off duty." He was finishing school for the first 5 years of our marriage so he got a pass there (and we only had 1-2 kiddos during that time) and I became conditioned to not expect much. Now that he's more mature, he really feels driven to help me more but he works 12+ hours a day and has a 1 hour commute, so there really isn't that much time. He talks about looking forward to working fewer hours so he can help more with the house *and* the kids. Part of me feels like "yeah, I'll believe it when I see it" but I'm trying to keep an open mind and give him a chance to show that he will help (instead of watching TV or playing video games...he actually used to be addicted to video games but quit about 6 years ago).

Currently, he asks for "to do" lists and offers to pick things up at the store and take care of projects for me. In fact, he came home early a few nights ago to work on the yard since I was having a little gathering and he hadn't mown the grass in several weeks. I really appreciate his efforts to help more and I look forward to him having a little more time.

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#6 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 08:20 AM
 
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I do work part time from home, but I'm done early in the morning so I don't have work responsibilities during the day. DH works full time with a long commute. We share household duties and childcare responsibilities in the evenings and weekends. Actually, weekends are mostly shared family time. We don't have a formal plan in place or anything, but if laundry needs to be done either one of us will toss a load in. No one gets a free pass or guaranteed "me time," though if either one of us needs a break all we have to do is ask. I am not the maid, and I do not clean up after DH. I do try to keep the house in order (though it's far from spotless) but if someone makes a mess it's that person's responsibility to clean it. I do the floors because I do a better job than DH, but he's does the dishes because he's more particular than I am. I wipe the fingerprints off the fridge because I notice them, and DH sweeps the dog hair off the stairs because he notices it. I cook dinner because I like to, DH sets the table and cleans up after. He does bath time, we both do storytime, I do bed time. Etc. We've sort of just reached a division of labor based on what's important to us and what we're good at.

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#7 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 09:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mamaluu View Post
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 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).
Ok this is the way we look at it in our house. During the day DH works full time at his job, and I work full time at my job (primary duty of care for our kids, secondary duties of housework). They are even if you will. So when he gets home, we split things evenly so we can both have some time "off" at night. Why should he have a 40 hr job and me have an 80 hr job? That doesn't make sense to us.
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#8 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 09:11 AM
 
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I don't expect mu husband to do anything around the house. A few heavy lifting things I cannot do maybe-- but if he doesn't get around to it I don't get on his case.

However.... I do expect my KIDS to help. My kids put away laundry, clean the bathroom, clean the floors, and generally neaten up. They don't always do a great job but I do expect them to do it.
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#9 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 09:19 AM
 
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It's my opinion that we BOTH work all day, have demanding jobs, and deserve some time off. We have three children under 5 and I love being a SAHM but I worked a full time job before this and it is definitely harder being "on" all the time with young children, having work all around you that needs to be done, and never getting a day off (like your DH might get on the weekends). I don't "expect" DH to help around the house, he just does. I definitely shoulder the larger load of home responsibility, but when he is home, he does the dishes from meals, does laundry, and of course, manages the kids along with me. I do all the heavy cleaning, grocery shopping, home mgmt stuff, and meal preparation. I am also always doing something in the evenings or weekends, so it's not like he comes home, I put my feet up and he gets to work.

I think there is TOO much to do to do it all alone. Years ago we would have had servant help. I have a wonderful book about the history of domestic life in America and up until about the 1930s or 40s (when modern conveniences were invented) the average middle class home had a staff of four or five. Even poor families had at least one servant. (Not advocating servants, of course, but you get my point). Of course, we do have modern conveniences now so we don't have to hand wash laundry, but we also added a ton of new responsibilities with modern life (managing kids activities, bigger homes with more stuff, etc.).

Edited: Squrrl said it right (below) that when my DH is done working, he gets on with living, and living includes work. This was never a conversation my DH and I had, we just do what needs to be done when we're in front of it.

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#10 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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I think that during the day, during the week, I should work to the best of my abilities in the house. Meaning errands, laundry, cleaning, taking the kids places, etc., rather than sitting on the internet, reading books, watching TV, doing my own hobbies. (I do think that a show while folding laundry, MDC while nursing the baby, reading a magazine while I eat my lunch, etc. is ok...)

After dh comes home from work, I feel that the household chores should be split. He worked all day, so it's not fair for me to put my feet up and dump it all on him. But * I * worked all day (and all night) too, so it's equally unfair for him to pull the, "Oh, I'm beat, I worked all day." So I may cook dinner and he may clean up, or I might do baths for the kids and he does bedtime. Weekends are similar.

I also think it is fair for him to have jobs that are solely his, like taking out the garbage.

There are exceptions of course. Like, if he had a particularly rough day at work when I spent the day picnicking in the park with the kids, heck yeah I will take care of the evening stuff without asking him to "do this--do that." And if he walks in to find me an emotional wreck with a screaming baby and a disastrous house, he is likely to take the kids and encourage me to order dinner and go sit in the hot tub.

He gets up with the kids on the weekends and I sleep in, because I get up at night with the baby and don't ask/request any help from him. When the baby is sleeping through the night we will split it and one will sleep in on Saturdays and the other will sleep in on Sundays. Although it's still not really even. When * I * get up from sleeping in I find the kids in their jammies watching TV and eating dry cereal, dh zonked out on the couch. When dh gets up from sleeping in he finds the kids bathed and dressed, the dishwasher running, eggs and bacon on the stove and coffee brewing in the pot.

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#11 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 09:56 AM
 
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I don't expect mu husband to do anything around the house. A few heavy lifting things I cannot do maybe-- but if he doesn't get around to it I don't get on his case.

However.... I do expect my KIDS to help. My kids put away laundry, clean the bathroom, clean the floors, and generally neaten up. They don't always do a great job but I do expect them to do it.
You know, if that had just come out of my mouth, I would be seriously reviewing my base assumptions about now. Not saying that it's unjustifiable given the right base assumptions, but I just feel like a comment like that requires some justification.

I'm surprised this whole conversation is panning out like this, actually. I'm surprised at the number of people who DON'T expect help, or even think it's due, from their husbands.

My husband works all day, and I work all day. Each of us gets done what we get done, the difference being he has bosses that actually consider whether what they're asking of him is reasonable, whereas I don't. When he comes home, this is his home just as it's mine, and his child just as she is mine, and if there's still work to be done (which of course there always is), then he does it too, as suited to individual capability and taste--like, I always do the cooking because I like it and am good at it, and he always mows the lawn because he's stronger (and we have a mechanical mower). What's more, he's an adult and he can bleeding well take care of himself. He packs his own lunch, buys his own clothing, cleans up his own messes, and if he knows he's out of socks, he can durn well wash some laundry. I might get to it first, but I don't think it's at all unreasonable for him to make that call--I didn't swear to "love, honor, and do maid work" for him. And even so, he goes to bed at night and sleeps. He's totally off nighttime duty, and there's not much choice about it, because waking him up would be as much effort for me as just taking care of the situation. So he knows my job is incredibly demanding, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and he respects that.

We don't tell each other what to do...at most we comment that we'd like some help with a particular task, and then maybe the other person does it, or maybe they don't. But if either of us gets to feeling, over the longer haul, that the other person is not doing as much as they could be or that their priorities are getting too incompatible with ours (my husband is a workaholic, for example, and is prone to neglect time with his daughter in favor of mowing or gardening or cleaning up the shop. His measure of happiness is how much he got done ), then we have to have a conversation to bring things back in line.

Of course, even my husband doesn't consider his job to be the most important thing he does, even though he likes his job. To us, it's the thing he liked to do that people would pay him money for, so he does it. Then he comes home and gets on with living. Living involves work. I literally cannot imagine him just chillin' with a beer, so to speak, while I kept wiping noses and doing dishes, and I'm quite sure that he can't either.

This isn't a very well-organized post, but...well, I'm honestly just shocked that so many people still don't expect participation in the home-life from their husbands. I don't even know just HOW to respond!

I should add that actually right now my husband's job has been moved so far from home that he's not coming home during the weeks, and I am VERY, VERY OVER trying to be supermom. I can, and have been, give the kid a rich daily experience and feed the cats and water the chickens and put in some garden time and take out the trash and cook and clean up abandoned popsicles and play doh and get out of the house to socialize a little, but lemme tell you, the house is falling to pieces and I am experiencing pretty bad physical stress symptoms. If I had to parent without help long-term, I would definitely let a lot of things go--less quality time with the kid, less cooking from scratch, less homesteading...
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#12 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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My husband takes the trash and cleans the litterbox. I do everything else. I'm fine with that, he works hard, so I work hard, too.

However, he does spend a lot of time with the baby, he gets home around 5 pm, baby starts getting ready for bed at 7 pm. Most of those two hours, he watches the baby, and I'm free to shower, exercise, do any little things that need doing. Then as I put the baby to bed, he gets an hour of relaxing time on the computer (WoW player, haha), then we can spend some time together (or he gets more computer time and I lay down and read, sometimes).

On the weekends, I still do all the routine cleaning, but he'll do a lot of yardwork or help with big projects like cleaning out closets.

ETA: We have no hired childcare or cleaning help, we're strict-budget so that I can be a SAHM.

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#13 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 10:40 AM
 
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Nope.

For one thing, my dh doesn't do the traditional "weekend off" sitting around not doing much of anything. When he's not working his official job, he's building the family business and rehabbing houses. The man feels guilty and lazy at the end of every Sunday which is our whole family's day off.

I too would rather have him spend what little off time he has doing family stuff. And he does. When he's home, he's home (and right now he's over seas ). He eats with us, takes the kids walking, talks with me, always prays with us as part of the kids bedtime routine, etc. Some evenings we sing. At times when he wasn't busy with work for reasons beyond his control, he took the time to help my oldest with his schoolwork and tried to teach him. When our boys saw him getting the toolbox out once and he noticed their interest, he spent a long time showing them each tool and how it worked. It was so sweet I just watched from a distance and cried. I'd rather he be doing that in the little family time we have than working through a honey-do list.

So I do the housework and practicalities of childcare. I think if I'd kept up the way I was going about things, I'd be burnt out for sure. But I've been working on letting some things go (my baseboards are dusty) and being more efficient about others, and I have found that I can keep a home reasonably tidy and still have most of the day free for homeschooling, free time with the kids, and myself. It gets easier as the children get older. I never have to pick up toys strewn all over the floor because they can do it, and they know they will do it or the toys will go on vacation. If there's vacuuming to be done, my kids will literally fight over the chance to do that job.

He's not unwilling to help, either, and picks up the slack when I'm pregnant or sick. I just feel that already my life is a lot easier and more fun than his, and it would be unfair to expect him to pick up a large percentage of the home care on a regular basis.
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#14 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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I'm surprised this whole conversation is panning out like this, actually. I'm surprised at the number of people who DON'T expect help, or even think it's due, from their husbands.
I think it really depends on the stage of parenting. When I had one easy baby and we lived in an apartment, I easily did everything and could have written those post. Flast foward to two kids, one with special needs, and my Dh and I both worked non-stop every minute we were awake and shared nighttime parenting!

We've been together for 15 years and our oldest child is 13. I go to school part time, but my main job is our home and children. My DH works about 60 hours a week. Sure I do a lot more than him, but we do stuff together, he is very grateful for eveything I do, and he when he is home we enjoy working together. Part of it is just about attitude.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#15 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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I'm not currently a SAHM anymore (my husband and I both work, opposite shifts), but when I was it was clear that he was responsible for 50% of the childcare and housework while he was at home.

He went to work for 8 hours a day, with a one hour drive each way.
I took care of the children and did as much housework as I was able to for the 10 hours a day that he was working.

Just because I worked in the home and he worked outside of it shouldn't mean that I need to put in more hours than he does!

Edited: I should add that when the boys were babies, our division of labor when my husband was at home was usually that he would spend time with the children (because he wanted to and I was sick of them!) while I did whatever cleaning and cooking needed to happen. So realistically I did almost all of the housework, but that was only possible because he was spending time with the kids (which was a higher priority for all of us!)
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#16 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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I think it really depends on the stage of parenting. When I had one easy baby and we lived in an apartment, I easily did everything and could have written those post. Flast foward to two kids, one with special needs, and my Dh and I both worked non-stop every minute we were awake and shared nighttime parenting!
I agree with this. When we had just one child and he reached about 6 months old, I had plenty of time to take care of him and do all the house stuff and still get a nap in when my son napped.

But with every additional child (we now have 3) my time and energy is in HIGH demand and I just can't do everything all the time. My workload has tripled in the last 5 years.

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#17 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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my DH helps w/ house stuff after work & on his days off, but I do try to make it possible for him to spend more time w/ DD. there are just some things that have always been his 'job' (litter box, vaccuming, dishes, taking out trash & recycling). He does not expect me to spend all day doing chores. I am home w/ DD so that I can spend time w/ her. If the laundry does not get folded for a few days b/c it is beautiful outside it's not a big deal.

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#18 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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Ok this is the way we look at it in our house. During the day DH works full time at his job, and I work full time at my job (primary duty of care for our kids, secondary duties of housework). They are even if you will. So when he gets home, we split things evenly so we can both have some time "off" at night. Why should he have a 40 hr job and me have an 80 hr job? That doesn't make sense to us.
This is kind of how I feel about it, too.

Plus, we both view my main job as being childcare, so I don't think it's unreasonable to get help with the rest of the tasks involved in caring for our home.

Have you seen the updated user agreement yet?
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#19 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 11:59 AM
 
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I think that there needs to be a balance between home and work for anyone who chooses to work, husband or wife. I feel that our child is just that...ours. Our home is also ours. Therefore we are responsible to take care of it.

I don't buy the "oh my job is so stressful and I work so much I should get a break" argument. If your job is taking that much out of you then it needs to be addressed at work, not made up for at home by slacking.

I grew up in a household where my dad always showed the work card, and I saw what it did to my parents marriage. I do not want this to happen to mine. The crazy thing was that both of my parents worked full time, but my dad felt entitled to special treatment because he made more money. And, of course, because he was male.

Anyhoo...my husband knows how to cook and clean so we keep to the same deal as before we had kids: Whomever does not cooks does dishes. Household chores are split 50/50. Who makes the money has nothing to do with anything IMO. We're both working...I just happen to be working at home right now.

ETA: My role at this point is to watch and boob the kid. Anything else that gets done is gratis.
this is how we work. I feel that watching the kids *is* a full time job... in fact, I've worked both in a daycare and as a nanny where watching someone else's kids *was* my full time job. How is it different just because it's *my* kids? So, instead of "bringing home" a paycheck, I'm saving us the cash it would cost to have our kids full time in daycare. I doubt I could really make more money than that would cost, anyway, so it's sort of ridiculous for me to WOH full time just to turn around and pay someone else that money.

I do take care of what I can around the house during the day - I do the lion's share of laundry, I'll do dishes, i'm pretty much the only one who ever cleans the bathroom...sometimes I go grocery shopping, but the grocery store is on Dh's way home, so usually he just makes quick (20 min or less) stops on his way home.

Dh often vacuums, he likes to cook so sometimes he does that but mostly we prepare dinner together... I guess when we're both home we work as a team, since we've both been working hard all day - he at his paid job, and I with the kids.

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#20 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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On work days, dh helps out w/ the dc, but I cook, clean etc. Weekends we both share in all the chores inside and out.
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#21 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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I don't think they should get a free pass just because they work all day. They, presumably, would be doing that anyway even if they didn't have kids. So they've got to expect to be doing more at home once kids arrive, so that their wives aren't on duty 24/7 - while they work, what, 40 hours a week? I just can't get into the June Cleaver thing.
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#22 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 12:30 PM
 
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Ok this is the way we look at it in our house. During the day DH works full time at his job, and I work full time at my job (primary duty of care for our kids, secondary duties of housework). They are even if you will. So when he gets home, we split things evenly so we can both have some time "off" at night. Why should he have a 40 hr job and me have an 80 hr job? That doesn't make sense to us.
I'm not SAHM. I WOHM full time but this makes so much sense to me. I am on for 4 days of 12 hr shifts and then off for 5 days and on my 5 days off this is how I feel.

Proud Mama to DS 04/23/06reading.gif DD 02/18/09 modifiedartist.gif, 2 dog2.gif, and wife to wonderfuldh_malesling.GIF and adding another baby.gif. Here's my blog: http://nessabean.blogspot.ca/
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#23 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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I think it really depends on you and your family and the job in question.

Full disclosure: I'm a WOHM (saw this thread in New Posts). DH and I have both worked as long as we've been married. When DD first arrived, we had to do a lot of adjustment to deal with the added responsibilities. At first I felt that an even 50-50 split of responsibilities was fairest, but I have changed my mind a lot as DD has grown and we've discussed this and tried different approaches. The reasons I've listed below. I think my feelings would be the same if I stayed home full-time. On my days home with DD, I feel just as busy, I just have more time IN the home, which makes certain things like laundry and cooking easier. But there are some things, like making phone calls or sending e-mails, which are much easier to do when I'm at the office.

First, there is the difference in our jobs. DH started his current job about one year before DD was born. My job is much more flexible than DH's, and I am able to work from home one day a week. My commute is 5 minutes, while his is 45 minutes to an hour each way. In his job, he is constantly having meetings, answering e-mail, and managing difficult issues. In my job, the pace is much slower, and I have much more autonomy and time alone (which is why I can take an MDC break right now, as a matter of fact). He often has to work late, while I never do. DH's job also pays much more than mine does.

Then there are our limitations: DH also suffers from depression, anxiety, and OCD. All of these are managed with therapy and medication, but it still takes a toll on him. He needs much more sleep than I do. That being said, he loves this job and it suits him really well. He worked from home for a while and was miserable, even with a much reduced schedule. He thrives on the challenge and is happier than I've ever seen him in all our years of marriage.

Then there are our skills. I'm a much more experienced cook than DH. I can cook faster, cheaper, and better than he can. And believe me, we've tried.

Finally, there's our tolerance for mess. DH has a higher tolerance for untidiness in the house than I do, although I have a higher tolerance for actual dirt (part of the OCD). If I want the house to fit my needs, I have to do something about it, because it won't occur to DH to do it.

All of this adds up to me doing most if not all of the shopping, cooking, and tidying around the house, at least on the weekdays. On the weekends, we try to make sure that we both get some "alone" time. At this point, DH is working so many hours that when I do see him the last thing I want to do is tell him to go do laundry or take out the garbage. I want to connect with him. But it took a lot of discussion on our part to make me feel okay with this arrangement.

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#24 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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My dh doesn't have a standard job, he was gone 75% of last year and when he is home he works 100 hours a week, sometimes more sometimes less, but we feel quite lucky when he has an 80 hour week. I suppose if he worked a 40 hour a week job I might feel differently, but I do not expect my dh to do anything around the house. Honestly I feel like being a SAHM is a very easy fairly stress free job, especially compared to what my dh does. Sure I am "on call" 24 hours a day but I have been sitting at the computer for close to an hour, the baby is sleeping and my boys are off playing. The house is clean, my housework is done, breakfast and lunch are done and cleaned up, we spent the morning at the playground and will spend the afternoon with friends. So I guess I am "working" and have been since we woke up at 6:30 this morning and will be until we get in bed at 7, but what kind of job could I have where getting together with friends for a few hours counts towards my hours worked? I really feel very happy and blessed to be home with my children, working and playing with them, I don't feel like it's a job and if you put the hours that I am actually working and not just hanging out with my kids in a week it would not equate to even one days work for my dh. So why would I expect him to come home and do house work?

That said, my dh is a wonderful man. When he is home he is asleep or with us. He doesn't go out with his friends, he doesn't sit and play video games or watch TV and ignore us. If I ask him to do something he is more than happy to do it. If he sees that something needs to be done he does it. There have been several nights during my current pregnancy that he has gotten home at 11pm, mopped the kitchen floor before bed and then got up at 4am to go back to work. If he is home on a weekend night he will take the boys (the three oldest) and "camp out" in the living room with them, playing games and watching movies on the pull out couch all night.

I used to feel that my job was watching the kids while he was at work and everything else was to be split 50 50. My house was a disaster, no one was happy, and I was bored. Sitting and building a block tower for my 2yo to knock down is fun for about 10 minutes. I was lazy and unmotivated and just plain unhappy. Since I have taken on more responsibility we have all been much happier. So there's my two cents on the matter.
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#25 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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I somehow convinced my dh early in our marriage that the perfect hobby for him was yardwork. This is my most hated chore, and I feel like it was a perfect coup. I very much appreciate our beautiful yard and tasty tomatoes, and I tell him this all the time. But, that's his major (and to me, it's huge) contribution to our household.

As far as laundry and dishes and cooking? Well, I'm home all the time. Those things are (most of the time) easy to fit in around my normal day to day activities. It doesn't make a lot of sense to ask dh to do it.

I'll admit, like a PP said, my standards are low. If we eat ramen for supper, so be it. If my baseboards are cleaned once a year, so be it. We've lived in our house 5 years, and I am still finding things that I've *never* cleaned here. So, I do the basics, we're sanitary, but it's not crazy clean, and I don't cook gourmet meals every night, either. My main goals are a happy, relaxed household. And, that we have.

I also see my job as the manager of our home. So, I'm the one that knows when things need to happen. And, if I can't get to it, I'll ask dh. He has no problem vacuuming or stopping at the grocery or whatever. So, I ask. Frankly, this works a LOT better for us than me expecting him to just *know* what needs doing, then jump in to do it. That just leads to a lot of frustration in our marriage (I know; I've tried it).

edited to add: my dh is gone from home from 6-6 most days (he has an hour commute), so basically he's gone about 72 hours/week. This is really common and normal where I live (suburbs of a big city), but around MDC, this can seem like a lot. That does play into things. My dh gets home at 6; my kids go to bed at 7. It seems silly to expect housework instead of playing with kids during that one brief hour, you know?
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#26 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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I also see my job as the manager of our home. So, I'm the one that knows when things need to happen. And, if I can't get to it, I'll ask dh. He has no problem vacuuming or stopping at the grocery or whatever. So, I ask. Frankly, this works a LOT better for us than me expecting him to just *know* what needs doing, then jump in to do it. That just leads to a lot of frustration in our marriage (I know; I've tried it).

edited to add: my dh is gone from home from 6-6 most days (he has an hour commute), so basically he's gone about 72 hours/week. This is really common and normal where I live (suburbs of a big city), but around MDC, this can seem like a lot. That does play into things. My dh gets home at 6; my kids go to bed at 7. It seems silly to expect housework instead of playing with kids during that one brief hour, you know?
I think communication is key for getting help when you need it. Dh and I communicate constantly (his job has him on a computer/the internet all day, so he's almost completely accessible by instant messenger, and his company is ok with that), so we discuss if anything needs to be picked up for dinner or what have you. I don't really *expect* him to do things (except the cat litter - and probably the heavy lifting for the garbage), we just work together well, imo.

The other thing is that we both take care of things that are more strongly important to us. I guess I'm lucky in that my DH is sort of a neat freak, but is willing to do what he feels needs to be done to keep himself happy. Case in point: he's not ok with going to bed until the kitchen is completely clean. He has a higher standard for the kitchen than I do, and he kind of considers it like a "zen garden" - sort of mindless work that he does to relax, I guess? I help with the kitchen, but usually he'll come in and re-tidy/wipe down/reorganize the dishwasher. It used to annoy the heck out of me when he did this, taking it as a disapproval of my work in there, but now I realize it's just how he unwinds and I'm happy to let him have-at

ETA... I on the other hand have higher clenliness standards for the bathroom, so I generally do *all* the cleaning in there (well, except at the end of my pregnancy when I couldn't really reach, but I did have to ask him a few times before he'd get in there and do it... but I don't really blame him - I procrastinate on jobs I don't like, too.

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#27 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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If both work full time, outside of the home, the housework should be split as evenly as possible.

If one is at home and one is working outside of the home, the WOHP should not get to come home and simply flop on his/her butt. That parent should be pitching in with meals, baths, homework, whatever needs to be done.

I am SO over this "I am the one who earns the paycheck so I can sit on my butt", mentality. I cannot believe that in 2010, there are men who still carry this old fashioned mentality.
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#28 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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I also see my job as the manager of our home. So, I'm the one that knows when things need to happen. And, if I can't get to it, I'll ask dh. He has no problem vacuuming or stopping at the grocery or whatever. So, I ask. Frankly, this works a LOT better for us than me expecting him to just *know* what needs doing, then jump in to do it. That just leads to a lot of frustration in our marriage (I know; I've tried it).
Yep, yep. I agree completely... and yeah, perhaps it is just because I have one baby, so it's easier for me to get things done (although a lot of it is not sweating everything being "perfect", and being satisfied with it being "acceptable", haha). It's not like if I was like "hey babe, will you vaccuum the living room?" he'd say "I will not, woman, for I am the man of this household!" It's just that he only gets two hours of baby-awake time at home as it is, and I'd rather say, "hey, play with the baby while I vaccuum the living room," because I get to play with the baby all day, when he gets home it's good for him to have some time with her.

Also, the nature of our work is different-- I may work longer hours, but I get more downtime, as a PP said... I can go hang out with friends, walk in the park, sit outside and have a picnic or go to the pool, even (as right now, hehehe) chat on the computer while nursing the baby. My husband doesn't have a desk job or a low-key job, he does painting/drywall/construction, which is pretty physically demanding, plus there isn't much hanging out, he's working basically the whole time.

Kelly (28), in love with husband Jason (38) and our awesome babies:  Emma 4/09, and Ozzy 8/10

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#29 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 02:04 PM
 
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When my DH is home, I expect him to help. I def do the lion's share b/c I'm home all day, but once he get's home he's on the clock and I take a break. He isn't mopping the floor or cleaning toilets, he's pretty much doing what I did all day--playing with the kids while getting the bare necessities (dinner clean up, baths, etc) done. I think we have a pretty good system. Personally, by Saturday after 5 days of of 24/7 toddler+preschooler, I'm happy to clean toilets while DH takes them to the park.

I will also point out that DH has intentionally stayed in a less stressful job so that he can come home before 6 and not have to always work 6 days a week. If he did, I'd hire someone to help out before I'd do it all myself and get resentful. Like others have said, we ALL live in the house. I'm cool with managing it (which is a lot of work in itself), but not doing all the grunt work as well.

Yeah to what a PP wrote about hired help. I was reading a comment on the NYT where someone said that her middle class g'parents had a live in servant/cook plus a daily maid and yard guy, her middle class parents had a 3x a week maid, and she--a labor atty--had to do all her own housework. My own parents had a maid a couple of times a week and a landscaping/yard svc. DH and I have the grass mowed and that's it. I think this generation is unusual in that dual incomes are the norm yet for most of us, hired help beyond an hrly cleaning svc and weekly basic yard maintenance is unaffordable.
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#30 of 142 Old 04-08-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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Yeah to what a PP wrote about hired help. I was reading a comment on the NYT where someone said that her middle class g'parents had a live in servant/cook plus a daily maid and yard guy, her middle class parents had a 3x a week maid, and she--a labor atty--had to do all her own housework. My own parents had a maid a couple of times a week and a landscaping/yard svc. DH and I have the grass mowed and that's it. I think this generation is unusual in that dual incomes are the norm yet for most of us, hired help beyond an hrly cleaning svc and weekly basic yard maintenance is unaffordable.
Heck, my Dh makes a really awesome wage for around here (I guess we're technically upper middle class in our area) and there's not a chance we could hire a lawn service. Ok, maybe that's not true, but we've had a lot of "little things" come up lately - uh, like needing a new furnace the month before the homebirth of our third child... oh, and our washer died the day after the furnace... and blah blah blah. Anyway, things keep coming up that eat away at our monthly "savings" (or what SHOULD be going into savings...) *sigh* No way could we afford a housekeeper, although I do dream about it

my grandmother used to really harass my mother (while my mom was a single mother!) about her "bad housekeeping" - my mom pointed out that she was working full time, also a full time student, and did EVERYTHING else at the house while raising two kids- my grandmother started huffing and puffing about how she homeschooled the kids and whatever - my mom, dumbfounded, pointed out that my grandmother had servants when my mom was growing up. Makes a huge difference, you know??

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