is it unreasonable for this SAHM to expect DH to... - Mothering Forums
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Stay at Home Parents > is it unreasonable for this SAHM to expect DH to...
meowee's Avatar meowee 02:15 PM 08-01-2005
This is another "is it too much to ask a working DH to..." thread. Basically I want him to, on the days he is home (not work days):

do the dishes once (we have no dishwasher)
put away his own laundry (I will wash and dry)
put one of the children to bed on his own
help me put the other children to bed
If I ask him to carry something heavy, to please do it.

Is this too much? Please be honest either way. He acts like I am crazy to ask him to do these things, since I SAH and he works.

oceanbaby's Avatar oceanbaby 04:52 AM 08-02-2005
Maybe I'm the wrong person to ask, cuz dh does all those things every day after coming home from work.

The way I look at it is we are both working during the day - me at home and him in an office. When we are both home, we are both on equal duty.

So my answer is no, I don't think it is unreasonable.
Sharlla's Avatar Sharlla 05:35 AM 08-02-2005
Well my DH won't do anything housework related but I wouldn't want him to anyway. I don't think it's ever unreasonable for you to ask him to be a dad to his kids ever. He needs to be doing those things even on the days he works. I think if he's not doing yard work, car work, ect. on his days off it's not unreasonable to ask him to help you out.
~Megan~'s Avatar ~Megan~ 05:53 AM 08-02-2005
dh has done a lot better once I realized he needed time to relax when he got home. He needs to put work behind him and move on to home. It takes 30-60 minutes and then he's really helpful.
Patchfire's Avatar Patchfire 09:53 AM 08-02-2005
Wow. No, I don't think it's unreasonable... I don't even think it's an unreasonable amount to ask on days when he *does* leave the house and go to work.

We actually did sit down and divide things up to help, somewhat. On a daily basis, dh is (theoretically) responsible for the dinner dishes (after I cook dinner), taking out the garbage if it needs it, putting dd to bed, rocking ds to sleep if he doesn't fall asleep nursing, sweeping the kitchen & dining room after dinner, and emptying the cat box. Some of it doesn't get done everyday, and that's not saying that he might not do something else on as needed basis - but that was a 'minimum' we could both agree on.
amyjeans's Avatar amyjeans 10:06 AM 08-02-2005
from what I understand (and enforce with my dh) he works from 7a-7p. Then comes home to us. I work from 7a to 7a with the kids. No break, no commute to unwind, no lunch hour to read the paper.
So he works 40-50 hours a week, I work...lets see, how many hours in a week? 24hrs X 7days =168! With no pay, no health benefits, no adult coworkers to converse with(accept other moms, and we talk about the KIDS!)
So, I say to him...don't tell me you work...cuz so do I!
I only had to discuss this once with him. He saw the light and will always help out when home.
Coming home for him is a release in his day. I have no release. Kwim?

sorry for the rant. It makes my skin crawl when people try to pull the sahm card on me and claim its not work.

So its not unreasonable I feel to ask him to do these things. You are partners right? you help eachother out.
Sharlla's Avatar Sharlla 12:12 PM 08-02-2005
Wow, how many kids do you have? I don't think I could manage not getting any sleep or breaks ever. I think he "works" more hours a day but his work is continuous, mine is a little bit here and there. So it may seem like 24/7 but really it's not. If you count up the actaul things I do by minutes then it still falls way short of his 10 hours at work.
meowee's Avatar meowee 12:58 PM 08-02-2005
Lol, thanks for your replies. I also hate it when SAHMing is not regarded as work. DH is home only 3 days a week, the rest of the week he is in a hotel (with maid service, take out, cable TV, and no kids). He does have to travel a lot but still, on the days he's here, he needs to help IMO. I'm lucky if he does the dishes once.
alegna's Avatar alegna 01:20 PM 08-02-2005
Wow. That is not a lot to ask of a parent and a co-inhabitant of your house. My dh does more than that after he gets home from work.

-Angela
sunnysideup's Avatar sunnysideup 02:14 PM 08-02-2005
Sharlla wrote:
Quote:
If you count up the actaul things I do by minutes then it still falls way short of his 10 hours at work.
Really? What does your dh do? Because I know my husband usually takes hour long lunch breaks (often with friends!!), frequently takes 15 minutes here and there to check his e-mail, chats with co-workers, etc. My husband also takes more time for himself in general than I do --he runs, meets with friends after work, and so on. We have a nine-month-old plus three older kiddos, so at this phase of life my job is much more intense and demanding than his is (and he has a high stress job with a lot of responsiblity).

I don't think it makes much sense to compare though. We're partners-- this is our family and our house-- so we work together and help eachother out as much as possible. But I want to stress that when he does housework he is not "helping you" per se, as it is his house too.

Meowee wrote:
Quote:
Is this too much? Please be honest either way. He acts like I am crazy to ask him to do these things, since I SAH and he works.
No, it's not too much. He's your husband, he should want to do what he can to make your life easier, just as you should for him.
katebleu's Avatar katebleu 02:24 PM 08-02-2005
no, it's not too much to ask.

but i dscovered with my dp that these housekeeping and even the parenting things just don't naturally occur to him the way they do to me. he's just not a housekeeper, at all, and i think he's **** a little unsure of is parenting instincts. he will, however, do anything i ask if i ask. i feel a little uncomfortable, like i'm ordering him around, but it doesn't seem to bother him. you might want to find out if 'remindng' him might help.
Sharlla's Avatar Sharlla 02:50 PM 08-02-2005
He works in a factory and is on his feet all day making doors, he gets a 30 min lunch and two 15 min breaks. So technically he's only "working" for 9 hours a days (unless he has to stay late) but sometimes he works saturdays too and then he works at our house all weekend.

I guess with the ages of my two children days here are pretty mellow and easy. I can understand how someone with more kids or high needs kids would need the extra help with the housework. I get the work done first thing in the morning while the baby is having his morning nap so I pretty much have the rest of the day just for the kids.
amyjeans's Avatar amyjeans 03:01 PM 08-02-2005
its all relative to everyone's situation. And- yes I am not working literally 24/7, I do sleep occasionally- but with 1 nursing at night- I really don't sleep all night.
Regardless, I am "on call" 24/7. He on the other hand "punches out" at the end of the day. kwim?
Sharlla's Avatar Sharlla 03:20 PM 08-02-2005
Yeah, I guess I got lucky, my little one usually only wakes up once during the night to eat.
Leilalu's Avatar Leilalu 03:56 PM 08-02-2005
I think dh and I split things up pretty evenly.Although, smetimes we squabble about chores:LOL

He helps by:
taking out trash in th emorning on the way out for wrok
sometimes mailing packages during workday
helping clean up toys at night
miscellaneous regula things such as vaccumming spiders and spider webs from house(we seem to get alot here)
taking car of car
random house projects I need help with.And babyproofing
washing kids up after dinner
sometimes putting his clothes away

etc....





I kind of have to ask him, and he USUALLY doesn't mind. Sometimes it takes him awhile to do things.And I am really a slave-driver when it comes to cleaning I'm working on it...

I think we trade off pretty evenly most of the time. he understands I work hard, he just feels I am better than him at doing kid and baby type chores.He has told me this. He is totally confident in my abilities. I do expect him to do his share, since we both live here, and it is so hard to get zztuff done with 2 small children!I do alot of cleanign when he comes home, so he watches while they play together.
fire_in_july's Avatar fire_in_july 04:11 PM 08-02-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby
The way I look at it is we are both working during the day - me at home and him in an office. When we are both home, we are both on equal duty.

So my answer is no, I don't think it is unreasonable.
:
fire_in_july's Avatar fire_in_july 04:16 PM 08-02-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee
Lol, thanks for your replies. I also hate it when SAHMing is not regarded as work. DH is home only 3 days a week, the rest of the week he is in a hotel (with maid service, take out, cable TV, and no kids). He does have to travel a lot but still, on the days he's here, he needs to help IMO. I'm lucky if he does the dishes once.
Holy cow, if I got to spend 4 days a week in a hotel with maid service, take out, cable TV, NO kids and the uninterrupted nightly sleep that goes with that (and my books and phone and bubble bath ) I would look at that as a life of leisure! So yeah, I'm assuming he works during the days while he is away, but to be able to come home to the hotel FOUR nights a week to that kind of relaxation?! I would be MORE than happy to help out the other 3 days a week at home! Methinks he is a bit spoiled. JMO of course!
meowee's Avatar meowee 06:01 PM 08-02-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by fire_in_july
I would be MORE than happy to help out the other 3 days a week at home! Methinks he is a bit spoiled. JMO of course!

I have considered going to stay in a hotel on a night or two when he is home... we couldn't afford it but I still fantasize about it! I can't imagine someone cleaning up my bathroom and making my bed for me, or having total silence and privacy like he does.
RubyWild's Avatar RubyWild 11:43 PM 08-02-2005
Here is how we do it. When I'm at home alone, I do the work. When my Dh is home in the evenings and weekends, we both do the work around the house. Our thinking is that we both work all day while he's at his job, so we both need to take breaks and work when he's not at his job. It's only fair that the person at home should have breaks and relaxation.
UnschoolnMa's Avatar UnschoolnMa 05:10 AM 08-03-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee
This is another "is it too much to ask a working DH to..." thread. Basically I want him to, on the days he is home (not work days):

do the dishes once (we have no dishwasher)
put away his own laundry (I will wash and dry)
put one of the children to bed on his own
help me put the other children to bed
If I ask him to carry something heavy, to please do it.

Is this too much? Please be honest either way. He acts like I am crazy to ask him to do these things, since I SAH and he works.
I don't think that is too much at all. Yes you are the at home provider, but when he isn't working his job he is AT HOME too, and they are his children and you are his wife. I think the things you listed are not extreme. It's not like you are asking him to mow the lawn, fix dinner, do all the dishes, scrub toilets, and mop KWIM? One of the things that gets on my nerves the most, and that I will NEVER understand is when one parent (and in me experience it has been the father) cannot or will not parent thier own children. I have a friend who's Dh almost can't take care of the kids without her around, and I find that apalling really.

On the days that Dh works I do not ask for anything usually, unless it's something big/heavy that either Ds or I can't tackle. I try to make sure he has something to eat if he is hungry, and that he has clean clothes to change into (his job tends to be dirty). He appreciates it and would do the same for me. On his days off after some relaxed time I do appreciate help, and he gives it.

lula's Avatar lula 05:19 AM 08-03-2005
Yes, it is totally unreasonable...he should be doing more! :LOL :LOL

Ok, seriously though it seems totally fine to ask, I can't imagine not asking. I mean if both of you were working outside of the house he would have to do at least that. You may be the at home parent during the weekdays but he is still A parent to the children! And he still lives in the house...I would go crazy if dh didn't do things...then again I would be screwed because I just run out of energy.

for the record: we both work at home and travel a lot. I do "work" far less though and so most of dd day to day needs are met by me. But this may influence my perspective a bit in that dh just has to do more home/dd type stuff because of our lifestyle.
pageta's Avatar pageta 12:10 PM 08-03-2005
I've found that since I've been at home, I've taken on more and more of the household responsibilities. My dh works full time and is in graduate school. So even when he comes home in the evenings, he needs to study.

He is an equal participant/caregiver when he is not at work and not studying. And I don't have a problem getting things done. But sometimes I feel like I do EVERYTHING and he does NOTHING. For example, he used to mow the lawn...even when we were dating he always mowed my lawn. Now I mow the lawn. He still does the trimming, but not every week, of course. Well, it had been weeks and weeks since he had done it, and I really needed him to do it: a) because it needed to be done and b) because I needed to feel like he was doing something. So he trimmed the yard before he started studying one Saturday morning.

From the things you have on your list, like putting away his own clothes, putting one of the kids to bed, etc., it sounds to me like they are things that you certainly could do, but you need to feel like he is participating and doing his part. I was single for a few years before I got married and I learned that I COULD lift heavy things - I am sure you could do that too, even. It's the feeling that you're doing it ALL, and I think that's what you need to address.

There may be other things that he would be willing to do that would address that need for you. He may not want to put the kids to be, for whatever reason, but he could play with them when he gets home. Or when bedtime comes, he could read child A a story. "Putting a kid to bed" can easily overwhelm someone who doesn't do it all the time. Perhaps if you asked him to have the child put on their jammies, read the child a story and then tuck them in bed, he might be willing to do that though you might have to be in charge of baths. And let him take over the responsibility of deciding how that is done. My dh has finally started putting ds to bed and they have developed their own routine. Now when we're both available to put ds to bed, ds wants to do the stuff daddy usually does with him WITH DADDY.

Guys have weird hangups. You have to figure out what they are willing to do, what they feel comfortable doing, and then let them do those things. Then you get the rid of the feeling that you're doing EVERYTHING and they aren't pushed outside of their comfort zone. And anyone does better when they can take ownership of a task, I think.

So re-examine your list a bit and see if there might be other things that he could do to help you out and make you feel like he, too, is participating in getting things done.
mommy2twinsplus1's Avatar mommy2twinsplus1 04:19 PM 08-03-2005
No, I do not think it is too much to ask.

My husband does none of those things. On occasion, he cooks dinner, but that's only once or twice a month.

I take garbage out every week, wash, dry, fold and put away laundry, prepare meals, clean the house, sweep, mop, vacuum, make beds, do dishes, etc. The only thing dh does is go grocery shopping, but that is because he has the money. Otherwise, I'm sure I'd do that, too.

On the 2 days during the week that dh is home (he works weekends), he stays in bed until 11 am or noon and then shuffles off to his office on the 3rd floor, not to be seen until 5 ish when it's dinner time. Technically, he's on call 24/7, though he is not always needed. And, there are plenty of weeks when he has no days off and has been know to work 21 days straight. Sometimes that requires him to be in bed by 7 pm so that he can be up and at the station by 3 am to prepare for his broadcast.

Anyway, I do not think it unreasonable for you to ask your dh to help you out. He does, after all, live there, too. And you DO work during the day. Raising children is no easy task. I SAH with 3 boys, all 4 and under. I know that, despite what my in-laws think, it IS work to be at home with them all day long. There is no reason he shouldn't help you out when he is home, if for no other reason than to ease the strain on you just a bit.
meowee's Avatar meowee 06:20 PM 08-03-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2twinsplus1
No, I do not think it is too much to ask.

My husband does none of those things. On occasion, he cooks dinner, but that's only once or twice a month.

I take garbage out every week, wash, dry, fold and put away laundry, prepare meals, clean the house, sweep, mop, vacuum, make beds, do dishes, etc. The only thing dh does is go grocery shopping, but that is because he has the money. Otherwise, I'm sure I'd do that, too.



Thanks for all the supportive replies!
momsgotmilk4two's Avatar momsgotmilk4two 09:10 PM 08-04-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyjeans
from what I understand (and enforce with my dh) he works from 7a-7p. Then comes home to us. I work from 7a to 7a with the kids. No break, no commute to unwind, no lunch hour to read the paper.
So he works 40-50 hours a week, I work...lets see, how many hours in a week? 24hrs X 7days =168! With no pay, no health benefits, no adult coworkers to converse with(accept other moms, and we talk about the KIDS!)
So, I say to him...don't tell me you work...cuz so do I!
I only had to discuss this once with him. He saw the light and will always help out when home.
Coming home for him is a release in his day. I have no release. Kwim?

sorry for the rant. It makes my skin crawl when people try to pull the sahm card on me and claim its not work.

So its not unreasonable I feel to ask him to do these things. You are partners right? you help eachother out.
DITTO to this! When I hear of dh's who claim that sahming is not work it makes me want to advise them to go away for the weekend, have dh handle it all and see for himself how much "not work" it is.
momsgotmilk4two's Avatar momsgotmilk4two 09:17 PM 08-04-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharlla
Wow, how many kids do you have? I don't think I could manage not getting any sleep or breaks ever. I think he "works" more hours a day but his work is continuous, mine is a little bit here and there. So it may seem like 24/7 but really it's not. If you count up the actaul things I do by minutes then it still falls way short of his 10 hours at work.

You also have to consider that your dh is probably not actually working for 10 hours straight either. There is lunch hour, coffee breaks, bathroom breaks, chit chat with coworkers, possibly going online for a few minutes here and there depending on if he has an office job or not.
Rainbow Brite's Avatar Rainbow Brite 03:05 PM 08-05-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby
Maybe I'm the wrong person to ask, cuz dh does all those things every day after coming home from work.

The way I look at it is we are both working during the day - me at home and him in an office. When we are both home, we are both on equal duty.

So my answer is no, I don't think it is unreasonable.
: Both my dh and I see it this way.
UnschoolnMa's Avatar UnschoolnMa 03:37 PM 08-05-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by pageta
Guys have weird hangups. You have to figure out what they are willing to do, what they feel comfortable doing, and then let them do those things. Then you get the rid of the feeling that you're doing EVERYTHING and they aren't pushed outside of their comfort zone. And anyone does better when they can take ownership of a task, I think.
I am not sure that, as a parent, he has the room to pick and choose what he wants to do. Wierd hang up or not, when you have children you give them baths, dress them, help them get to bed, and feed them even if it you'd really rather not right? Why would she need to rework her list so that there are things he is willing to do? That just doesn't sit right with me.
veganbaby's Avatar veganbaby 09:23 PM 08-05-2005
I asked this on another board and got jumped on. Glad to see that my husband isn't the only one helping around the house.
pageta's Avatar pageta 10:22 PM 08-05-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
I am not sure that, as a parent, he has the room to pick and choose what he wants to do. Wierd hang up or not, when you have children you give them baths, dress them, help them get to bed, and feed them even if it you'd really rather not right? Why would she need to rework her list so that there are things he is willing to do? That just doesn't sit right with me.
Some people like doing some things more than others. That's a basic negotiation skill. I have my preferences for household chores, and so does my spouse. He is a person too. I try to treat him like I want to be treated. If trimming the lawn isn't my thing, he does it. Cooking isn't his thing so I do it.

My dh is much more comfortable getting down on the floor and playing with ds than I am. On the other hand, changing diapers doesn't bother me at all. So when we're both around, I change the diapers and he spends time playing with ds so I can do other things.
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