When you cook, does spouse do the dishes (or at least the pots?), and/or vice versa? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Does your partner do dishes if you cooked?
No, s/he doesn't have time 7 5.79%
No, it's just my job as the at-home parent 36 29.75%
Yes, we try to have the one who didn't cook do the dishes 36 29.75%
Yes, we usually both help with dishes regardless of who cooked 17 14.05%
Other 25 20.66%
Voters: 121. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wondering if the "you cook, I'll do the dishes" system/rule is ever used for SAHMs.  I don't usually cook complicated meals and we take in dinner a couple times a week - so I don't actually produce many dirty pots in one night very often (once a week perhaps) - but when I do (like I did this past Saturday evening) I would so appreciate the gesture of dh stepping in to wash the pots afterward (and I hate cleaning pots!).  He says it's my job, as a SAHM. He works pretty long hours on weekdays and does work at home on the weekends too. But if we're both free after dinner and have time to relax and watch TV, he thinks it should be me who does the dinner dishes, since I have time then. I usually am too pooped after dinner and kids are in bed to do anything much so I clear up dishes from table and counter and tidy up, but I leave the actually dish washing until the next morning.  He gets frustrated in the morning that there are dirty dishes around.  

 

Anyway - - is it fair for him to do some dishes in the evening? Or is it my job since I'm the SAHM and he's working a lot of the time that he's home too?

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#2 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 08:41 AM
 
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My opinion:

If your kids are little so you're busy all day while he is at work, then  housework that takes place when he is not at work should be shared, so that both of you get a break.  Maybe take turns washing dishes, or he does the dishes while you put the kids to bed, or whatever results in a similar amount of evening work for both of you.

 

If your kids all go to school and you get some downtime then, then you should do the dishes so he gets a break too.  

 

Basically, in my opinion, the total amount of work in home plus out of home should be roughly equal for both partners.  It depends on your situation whether that means you do the dishes.  


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#3 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 08:56 AM
 
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Your DH's attitude about it would bother me more than the actual washing of the dishes.  I go back and forth as to whether I wash them at night or the next morning, but I pretty much do the dishes 95% of the time.  I also do all the cooking unless it's something on the grill.


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#4 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 10:38 AM
 
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I use to wash all the dishes,do all housework etc because he goes to school full time and works full time. Now, I work part time at a store everyday, work full time a online job,take care of kids and go to school full time while doing all the household chores etc and I honestly got burnt out. Now, I cook,he washes dishes and I am responsible for all the chores except dishes. Works for me.


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#5 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 10:50 AM
 
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My dh does 100% dishes and i do 100% laundry.


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#6 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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too me this isn't a SAH/WOH issue but a family one. 

 

Family meals are just that FAMILY meals. Part of being a member if the family means doing the stuff that keeps the household running.  Your husband doesn't seem very respectful. Its not a competition on who works harder or is more tired at the end of the day. Unless he is not eating the dishes are just as much his responsibility as yours or your kids.

 

My son is in school all day and is exhausted at night but he is still expected to pitch in (set the table, clear the table, feed the dogs, etc). My husband expects to do his share and I expect to do mine. Its give and take.


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#7 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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Your husband is not the one who gets to define what your "job" is.    I would let him know that who does the dishes is not decided by his unilateral decision, but that you would like it to be a shared responsibility.  Remind him that marriage is a partnership.

 

I really wonder how many marriage (or family) issues would disappear if people stopped watching television or gaming to relax.  Hmmmmm...

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#8 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 11:27 AM
 
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I voted "other" because I'm not happy with what is going on in our family, so I kind of didn't want to report on my role as one that should somehow be taken as a model.

 

In my opinion, it's reasonable for one parent to do all the cooking, IF the other is helping with other things, such as giving the kids a bath.  I would consider that a reasonable division of duties.  Once the WOHP comes home, then the jobs should be split, because the SAHP has been working with the kids all day.  And yes, it's work, if it wasn't, I could get someone to take care of my kids for free.  Really.  Being genetically related to them does not magically make it not work.  So anyway.

 

That does not mean it's the natural thing for one person to cook and the other to clean.  There are lots of ways to divide it up.  But I don't think WOHing entitles someone to take evenings off.

 

Though in practice, I do 100% of the work at home, in addition to other crap for my husband, just because it's less work than begging, whining, and nagging, none of which I care to do anyway.  I much prefer to do it myself.


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#9 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the responses so far.  This is really a SAHM issue only because his reason for why it's "my job" (and yes, I don't like his attitude and wording about that) is that dishes are part of the home duties that he thinks I should take care of.  For the record, he does a lot. He works the long hours, spent most of the weekend raking leaves and most of the rest of it working, and the rest he played with kids. He does the finances, fixing things at home, gives kids baths when he's home for them, puts one kid to bed while I do the other, etc. He's busy all evening before bedtimes and so am I.  We don't usually eat a "family meal" since he's not usually home yet when the kids are eating and I don't generally cook a big grand multi-part meal.  BUT - on the occasions I do, I feel I put in the extra effort that the meal takes (cooking doesn't come easy to me!) and he could, as the supportive team member and appreciative partner, do the pots.   So - he does a lot but seems to draw a certain line at what's my job 100% and what's his.  I don't like how he's done that unilaterally either.  Bleh. It does not give me the warm fuzzies that we're a team working together.  It sure is more the attitude than the actual dishes that are the issue.  But I told him I think there are plenty of stay at home moms who have husbands that help with dinner dishes.... so I made the poll! 

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#10 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 12:09 PM
 
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When I married my ex, we had a "you cook, I do dishes" deal. He was going to cook, and I was going to do dishes. That fell through for many reasons...but it also didn't apply if one of us was home and the other at work. But, that was pre-kids!! Huge difference.

 

For many years, I did everything, including the earning of the money our family lived on.

 

These days? We don't have a hard and fast rule, and we have a teenager. In general, it's ds1's job to load the dishwasher. I usually do the hand dishes. But, I tend to do dishes on an ongoing basis. I never get them all done, but there are never very many sitting out, either. I don't do them after dinner, unless I'm feeling very energetic. I usually do them through the day. Once every couple of months, dh will get up early and clear up all the dishes (the ones from the night before and whatever I had sitting out). However, dh and I both cook. I'm a SAHM, but I have four kids (including a toddler), struggle with depression and PTSD, and have some health issues. Sometimes, I'm just not up to cooking. And, there are times, like this evening, when I'm driving people around all through dinner time (I'm the only driver in the family), so dh will cook.

 

I think there's a lot of room for flexibility on this one. However, I'd be pretty annoyed if my husband decided that after dinner was his time to relax but I wasn't supposed to do so. You do the dishes - you just don't do them when he wants you to do them. I don't see that it's up to him.


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#11 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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I voted "other." DH and I don't have a system. We are both busy from the minute he hits the door until bedtime. Whether that means he does the dishes, I do the dishes or they sit until the morning so that other household or work tasks can be dealt with, we are both working. Neither of us keeps track. We both ask if we need help or need to reprioritize. No household task is my "job" since I am a SAHM. We are both parents. We both live in our house.


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#12 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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Well, addressing your situation first--if he wants them done in the evening, he should do them.  You do them eventually.  But if it bothers him that much, he should take care of it himself.

 

Now, for us...

I do the dishes most of the time.  When I am pregnant, usually by the time I get supper on the table, I'm whooped, and need to lie down, so dh takes care of the dishes then.  He will also do them if he doesn't have other work to do.  It's technically "my job" and I'd never insist that he has to do them for "fairness" (because he already works way more and way harder than I), but I am grateful when he does them.

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#13 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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I voted other. 

 

My teen daughter does the dishes that's one of her designated chores. 

 

 

In my family, all household chores, from cooking to dishes to taking out the trash, to changing the oil in the car, it's all divided fairly among those of use who are able.  Even the 2 year old helps by helping us pick up the main floor before she goes to bed at night. 

 

There is no designation of chores simply because "you are the SAHM" or "you are the guy"  or whatever.  We sat down as a family and determine who does what chores based on time available based on school and work and so on, as well as who is capable of it (ie heavy lifting etc.)  I have no problem with the spouse not doing dishes if he is doing an equal amount of other things like giving the kids a bath or mowing the lawn or whatever else.  I would have a problem with him making a unilateral decision without discussing it with anyone in the family about what chores he won't do just because "that's a SAHM's job."

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#14 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 12:48 PM
 
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I voted the one who didn't cook cleans, although I'll do it if he's doing something like baths or whatever. I also agree w/ the PP who said that unless you're home all day w/o kids, you ARE working! Personally, I feel my kid/house-related workday ends when DH comes in the door and from then on it's shared duty time w/ him carrying more weight w/ the kids. If I alone were expected to be responsible for the house and kids all the time b/c I wasn't earning a paycheck, I'd never get a break and I'd be pretty.darn.bitter about it.

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#15 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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You know, it's changed over time. I think the fact that your dh seems to be working 7 days a week is something to take into consideration. But I don't like his attitude about it either. In our house, we both cook and we both clean but often he cleans when I've done most of the cooking and vice versa. But when he worked 60-70 hours a week I did almost all the cooking and cleaning.

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#16 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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DP and I tend to share the dishes and the meal prep, but she's the one who usually cooks the meal since I hate standing around stirring, but she LOVES it. When there's a meal that doesn't require standing around stirring, like perogies or pasta, I'm usually the one who cooks it. That's probably under once a week though. We tend to share other chores fairly equally as well. She does most of the laundry, and I do most of the folding. I do most of the tidying, and she does most of the vacuuming.

 

She earns nearly all the money for our household, and my job is taking care of our LOs. But I love how she recognises that mothering is work, and it has long hours too!


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#17 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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It depends on what's in there.  Some days I do it, some days dh does it and when there's not a big mess (like just a pot and the food to put away) ds does it. Some nights we tag team and we all do something.  Even dd has the job of scraping plates and putting them in the dishwasher.   Dh is really good about helping get stuff done so I can't really compare.  If I was tired or asked he would clean up the kitchen at night.  I honestly prefer to do it because they don't do it right orngtongue.gif

 

I hate the idea that anything around the house belongs to the sahp. When the hell does my day end??  

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#18 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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Dishes have generally been an issue here, for a variety of reasons.

 

Now, right after dinner, I leave DH to field both kids and I do the kitchen right away.  Or vice versa.  That way it's already done when the kids go to bed.

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#19 of 58 Old 11-15-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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I do all the dishes. DH would argue with that but I don't count once every other week as appreciative as I am when i wash them twice a day. When he is home and not busy I would rather relax with him than have him wash dishes while i relax. If  i wash dishes at night it is when he is in the shower or working. It doesn't bother me at all because we are equally busy and DH doesn't make any demands of me. If the dirty dishes bug him he is welcome to wash them but he would never dare say anything about them.

 

I would adopt the same policy with your DH. If he complains he washes. That complaining would bug me more than the lack of him washing. 


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#20 of 58 Old 11-16-2010, 07:22 AM
 
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I voted "Yes, we usually both help with dishes regardless of who cooked" because that's generally how it goes. We put DS to bed soon after dinner - DH bathes him and gets him dressed, then I nurse him and put him down. After the bath, DH usually comes down and gets started on the kitchen, and then I come down and help. But it's more like we're cleaning up together and talking about our days, not like it's either person's responsibility. Or some nights (like last night) I sit and relax while he cleans up. Sometimes, if he has work to do, I'll volunteer to clean up on my own. Really, it all depends, but there are never any hard feelings about it.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by reezley View Post

He says it's my job, as a SAHM.

 

Yikes. I'd have trouble with this line of thinking.
 

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#21 of 58 Old 11-16-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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No.  There was never a decision made for this-he used to help and just stopped.  


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#22 of 58 Old 11-16-2010, 12:31 PM
 
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Our situation is generally that I wash up the breakfast and lunch dishes during the day, and when I cook dinner (which is most evenings) DH will almost always wash up then.  We don't have a dishwasher.  This is the result of some negotiation - DH originally insisted, like the OP's husband, that because I was the SAHM it was all 'my job'. 

 

I used to just let the dishes from the day pile up and do one big wash.  DH hates that, so our compromise is for me to do the day's dishes, so he only has the dinner ones to do.  He doesn't really do anything else in the way of housework though, except cooking occasionally - which he is quite good at!


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#23 of 58 Old 11-16-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post

Well, addressing your situation first--if he wants them done in the evening, he should do them.  You do them eventually.  But if it bothers him that much, he should take care of it himself.

 

Now, for us...

I do the dishes most of the time.  When I am pregnant, usually by the time I get supper on the table, I'm whooped, and need to lie down, so dh takes care of the dishes then.  He will also do them if he doesn't have other work to do.  It's technically "my job" and I'd never insist that he has to do them for "fairness" (because he already works way more and way harder than I), but I am grateful when he does them.



 

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#24 of 58 Old 11-16-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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Currently I do it all mostly because DH works long hours and does his fair share in other ways. If he had more downtime I would expect more but I am also sure he would pitch in more. Mostly it is me with my butt on the couch while the kids are in bed while he is still working.

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#25 of 58 Old 11-16-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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 Our rule is that the person who cooked ALSO does the dishes. This is b/c I'm a neat cook, my husband is really sloppy. I do dishes as I cook, while he waits until the end. This just works out better for us.

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#26 of 58 Old 11-16-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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I chose the 2nd option, but I really wish the 3rd option was true for me.  I usually don't get around to doing the dishes until some time the next day though.

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#27 of 58 Old 11-16-2010, 09:25 PM
 
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My husband and I both agreed when we got married that he would work and I would do the vast majority of the inside house-work.  I would say that I do the cooking and dishes 99% of the time, but he will gladly help if I ask him.  He's NEVER said anything like, "it's my job" and I don't think he ever would.   He does a lot for the family and is always busy with some sort of project.  It's a give, give relationship. :)


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#28 of 58 Old 11-16-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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I voted "both help with dishes regardless of who cooks". DH does 80% of the dinner cooking, and I do 80% of the dishes (and most other housework since I'm home more). If I am having an off day or it's a weekend, he will do dishes. Likewise I do the cooking and dishes both on days like today, since he worked 14 hours and is exhausted. He has a high tolerance for mess- ie dirty dishes lying around doesn't bug him as much as me. He works FT, I work PT. Our schedules vary, as some weeks we both work, some weeks I am sahm all week, but generally whoever notices something needs to be done steps in and does it.

It did take us several years to get to this kind of balance.


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#29 of 58 Old 11-16-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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I cook and then do the dishes while DH handles bedtime with all three of our kids.  It's an arrangement I'm very happy with.  I'm a pretty neat cook, so I'm usually loading the dishwasher, wiping surfaces down, etc. as I go.  I usually don't have a ton to do AFTER dinner--maybe 10-15 minutes worth, plus I'm working on getting my older kids to load their dishes themselves and DH will usually load his, or at least bring them to the sink for me.   I put my feet up, read, practice the piano, whatever I feel like doing until it's time for family prayer before the kids go to bed.  I stay on top of my kitchen all day most days.  Our main living area is a great room, so the kitchen is visible all the time, and if the kitchen is dirty/cluttered, it's not a restful environment for me.  I hate going to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.  Plus our dining room is our school room, so I try to have that neat and tidy to start out the next day.


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#30 of 58 Old 11-16-2010, 11:04 PM
 
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Dishes belong to my husband (I cook almost every day). The only things I wash are things that only I use (like the coffeemaker parts, my french press, breast pump parts). He also does all his own laundry (I don't touch it!) unless he really needs me to do it for him for some reason, which is rare. Garbage, kitty litter, mowing and edging, taking the recycling and trash bins to the curb, sweeping the kitchen at the end of the day, wiping counters at the end of the day....all of those chores belong to him. I do everything else. He helps with other chores if I ask, but I try not to. I SAH, he works outside the home full time, and occasionally more than full time.

 

Our separation of chores is not exactly 50%, but he realizes that being a SAHM is a full-time job, NOT including the housework, so we try to keep it as even as possible so that we stay happy. We are both pretty happy with our current situation.


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