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If one parent is home more (SAH, WAH, etc.), do they do more around the house/kids?

  1. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @mrsjyw: There are so many points to discuss, but to answer the original question, I don't have a 50/50 split of housework with my husband. We have a housecleaner, my mom takes care of my son, I do the laundry and my husband does the housework.

    Achieving a 50/50 split isn't something I strive towards. Does everyone else?

  2. mrsjyw

    GOLD / wonderful apricot / 22646 posts

    @looch: I really am not looking to debate anything here nor do I think that 50/50 is realistic, I think it's more fluid in any household balance; which again, is different in every home on how that balance works out. I literally just had issue with the statement "he works, and I just stay home." And what that implied for my interpretation.

    ETA: I think you were just going back to answer my original question. Just clarifying my follow-up responses.

  3. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @mrsjyw: Yes, I was answering the original question.

  4. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    I'm on a year long mat leave so I definitely do more (most) of the house/childcare. It's just the nature of me being home 24/7 and DH working 60+ hours a week.

    When I'm back at work next year, it will be more evenly distributed but I will still take on more percentage wise - i work minutes from daycare whereas DH has to commute, I am done work at 3:30 whereas DH is rarely home before 6:30, etc.

  5. cat620

    pear / 1809 posts

    I'm a SAHM of two kids, and I do the majority of the housework. We have a cleaning lady who comes once a week, and she is awesome to have! DH and I have high standards as far as cleanliness, and it was too much for me to take care of the kids and keep the house clean as well as cook the meals. So the cleaning lady helps me keep my sanity.

  6. Mrs. Sketchbook

    GOLD / nectarine / 2884 posts

    I'm a full time SAHM and I do not do dishes. This is because the time for dishes is also the time for sex. So, no. I cook and put one kid to bed, and he does dishes and puts the other kid to bed. He hates it, but he appreciates the benefits. I don't think of sex as an obligation, so I'm not willing to "endure" sex after slogging through mealtime, putting two to bed, and then dragging to do dishes. That does not make me feel sexy.

    I get the idea that SAHMs should look at their situation as a "job," but jobs end at 7 PM. So anything that goes into evening hours is not my "job." Also my job is to take care of our kids, so if chores is starting to interfere with that, then I lower expectations accordingly. I try to move my thinking away from obligations to want. As in, I want healthy meals for my kids, or I want to want to have sex. And then fill in the how-do-I-get-there part.

    Other than dishes, yard work, and bill pay (which is largely automated), I do the rest. I also have extremely low standards for myself.

  7. SweetiePie

    honeydew / 7463 posts

    @oliviaoblivia: amen, Girl. If I forget something (and I only have 1 LO!) he's like "how can you forget that? Shouldn't you have this down by now?" and I see red. He has no clue what it's like to get himself and the toddler ready.

    I literally can't fathom getting 3 kids and myself ready. It seems impossible.

  8. Mrs. Champagne

    coconut / 8482 posts

    I sah and I do more throughout the day. But after dinner DH does the dishes. He also does almost all child care when he's home.

    This weekend I had my son at a party and DH mopped the entire house which is a big job. So that was great. But it's the first time he has mopped since we moved here in november. Lol. He realized what a big job it was though!

  9. SweetiePie

    honeydew / 7463 posts

    @ShootingStar: He's just not one to do housework. At all. Like I said, I mostly understand that it's my job right now since I'm at home. But when I was working before we even had LO it infuriated me and was the reason for a lot of fights. His mom really spoiled him. She literally followed behind them and cleaned up every mess. He never had to clean his room, no chores, nothing.
    The lounging as soon as LO is in bed does legit piss me off some days. But it's one of those things that just isn't worth a fight. I can tell him to do anything for LO but if it's a household chore, forget it. I've always kind of known this is who I married and his expectation was that he wouldn't have to do housework.
    And I should clarify, he doesn't CARE how clean the home is. It's not like he expects me to clean top to bottom. He has never and would never comment on the tidiness or cleanliness of the apartment. So it's more of a "if you want to clean and don't want to hire someone to do it, that's on you." He has told me to hire a weekly cleaning lady or even a couple times a week if it will make me happy. But he doesn't get that it would make me feel super weird (we already do biweekly) and I like my own way of doing things, so it's not a real solution.
    And while he doesn't care about tidiness or cleanliness, I totally do. So I literally can't relax until the vast majority of chores are done. Mainly the kitchen and putting away toys. I think this is necessary, he thinks it's not.
    I've thought about showing him what it would be like if I did what he did (i.e. Off the clock once LO is in bed) but I can't stand it myself! And he probably wouldn't notice, he has that male pattern blindness disorder He just doesn't see mess or doesn't care, or both.

    And last thing I'll say - because I feel guilty to be talking smack - he really truly is wonderful in so many ways. That's why I sort of pick my battles on this topic. If he does something truly egregious I would say something. A few weeks ago I went out to dinner with my friends and came home late and a little tipsy. The next morning I woke up and dinner was still out, highchair caked with food, food on the floor, milk cup with milk sitting in sink smelling to high heaven. THEN I sorta lost it. Haha. Like come on. Use some common sense.

  10. gingerbebe

    cantaloupe / 6131 posts

    @SweetiePie: We had to have one of our "I need you to be more proactive and considerate" conversations last weekend because I was getting resentful about some similar crap DH was doing. The most effective way of framing the conversation for me has been to make it like some linear algebra equation for my mechanical engineer of a husband, like:

    "When you leave your dirty underwear in front of the hamper, I know you say its because you genuinely didn't think about it, and I believe you to a certain extent, but you have to see it from my perspective. To ME its like you're saying 'she will clean it up.' Because the assumption is SOMEONE that ISN'T YOU is going to clean it up, and since I'm the only other adult living in this house capable of doing laundry, by process of elimination, you are leaving those funky boxers for me. Every time you leave dirty socks on the ground, or leave a crusty plate out on the counter, realize that what you're saying to your exhausted, 33 week pregnant wife is 'YOU CLEAN IT.' And then realize that its going to make me pissed off. You can help me avoid this by putting your dirty clothes IN the hamper or putting the dirty dishes IN the dishwasher and think of it as a way of saying 'I love you.'"

  11. Boogs

    hostess / papaya / 10540 posts

    @regberadaisy: @mrsjyw: Yes! I SAH mom so I naturally do more, but I wish there was more of a split, though that's not completely realistic either. In my dreams I would be able to afford a cleaning person!

  12. arosebyany

    clementine / 955 posts

    @regberadaisy: that is MIL, she totally has the he works so I do everything else attitude.

    I SAH and DH works 50plus hours a week so Monday through Friday he's gone at 4am and doesn't get home till 630 pm. I do almost all child care and the cleaning. He cooks a lot more than me, and if I haven't got my workout done by the time he gets home he watches DS so I can. Anytime I ask for some me time he never says no.

  13. Happygal

    pomelo / 5000 posts

    I always find these little peeks into others' lives interesting!

    I don't know how I'd break it down....I definitely do the most with DD and would have to instruct my DH on how to do stuff. I think a lot of that stems from breastfeeding days when she relied mainly on me. He is much tidier and does all the dishes, but I am the one who does the nitty gritty cleaning (which isn't on a regular basis, I will admit).

    I love John Gottman's advice for relationships. He discusses the danger of resentment and how to handle it. I found it helpful for those times I was sleep deprived and stuck at home while my husband was well rested and dashing off to wherever he wanted to, whenever he wanted!

  14. SweetiePie

    honeydew / 7463 posts

    @gingerbebe: I love how you worded the logic to DH! Id be curious how it would go over with mine. He's an engineer too

  15. akcoffeebean

    cherry / 204 posts

    Our balance fluctuates.
    Until I became pregnant with LO2 my DH was working 70+ hours a week. He was self employed so he had some flexibility with when he worked, but even when he was home he was working or planning for work.
    I did most of the childcare and most household tasks then. DH has always handled bills (auto pay!) dishes and hauling trash- we live in an area that doesn't provide pick up. I'd end up doing dishes or a trash run a few times a week because his schedule was just so much and if he was home I wanted him to spend time with DS.

    The perks were fun though- we'd travel with him for work and it was easy to add on family vacation days to his trips. He had flexibility to meet LO and I for lunch and well child visits during he day. His job also gave us a lot of fun social opportunities and the lifestyle was fun and busy.

    When I was 3 months pregnant he accepted a job offer that is in the same field but the pace is really different. It's a salaried job that supports the school district so he's busy when school is busy and will have very quiet summers. He still works a lot, but it's a lot less stress. Especially since he's not trying to manage the office side of running a small business anymore!

    Now that he's working fewer hours he's really made a point to spend the freed up time with our son and also doing things at home. Right now he's actually pulling all the weight with keeping up on household stuff while I'm pregnant with LO2 and dealing with spd pain that limits my mobility. Right now I take care of our son while DH is at work and do some of the cooking and I try to keep things tidy throughout the day. But DH does the groceries, at least a third of the cooking, cleans the kitchen, floors, bathroom, etc.

    His philosophy, our philosophy, is that we don't do things fifty fifty. We both give 100% of what we have to give and together it's enough. When LO2 arrives next week our balance will adjust again and I think I'll physically be in a position to contribute more to household tasks.

    It does help that my DH is tidy by nature. Clutter stresses him and he automatically picks up after himself and believes in teaching LO that we pick up as we go along while playing. Even when he was working crazy hours he'd make the bed if he was the last one to get up, he hangs up his towel, washes his cup rather than leaves it in the sink.

    He also has always done the Sams club run. Since we moved in together ive only had to buy TP once, and when I did I realized I don't know what brand we buy- because he always does it.

    It feels like we have a good balance and even if our house isn't as clean as we always want it to be- it isn't something that we fight or stress about.

    When we first moved in together it was hard. We both had pet peeves and anal tendencies that took a long time to smooth out. I think we've learned a lot about what battles to fight and what to let go of since then.

    I really appreciate how much my DH does. He grew up in a very traditional family with stereotypical gender roles where his dad worked out of home but was not active in taking care of his kids or helping around the house. I know DH gets flack from my FIL about how much he does at home.

  16. 2littlepumpkins

    grapefruit / 4455 posts

    @regberadaisy: @mrsjyw: ITA about the "I just stay at home."

    I would say when I sah I did even more of the housework but still not 100%. And that was partially because I was being something of an enabler!! It wasn't so bad when I just had lo1 and she napped but with two of them it's more difficult. It's more even now because dh's schedule allows him to be home more days (longer days at work) and I'm also taking a class, and then on the weekends when I have the kids I just try to get a lot done.

  17. youboots

    honeydew / 7622 posts

    I SAH and do almost everything. DH works long hours and travels a fair amount. I like to have everything together so when he's done working we can do fun things as a family or just hang out. He pitches in when he can. I prefer to do the grocery shopping/ cooking. We have a 1x a month houcecleaner which helps. He takes care of the yard and dogs.

  18. SugarplumsMom

    bananas / 9227 posts

    I do more around the house because I have a lower mess-tolerance. But because I'm a FT student, I realize I can't do it all - I've almost completely ignored the housework. DH has tried to clean up the kitchen (a vast improvement from before) but he just doesn't take initiative = he does not see a mess. It's been the cause of some arguments. But interestingly enough, this was never an issue before we have DD. By not an issue, I mean that the house was still a mess, but it didn't bother me back then.

    I suppose it's normal for a SAH parent to feel more pressure in cleaning. But it really shouldn't be that way! I personally think it's harder to be a SAH parent as is. Doing everything is most definitely draining and something's gotta give.

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