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Love & Marriage Love & Marriage

How much help around the house is it reasonable to ask the husband of a WAHM?

Posted by on Sep. 7, 2013 at 7:43 PM
  • 14 Replies

 Two weeks ago my 5 year old started school.  At the same time I began watching a friend's baby and trying to make money writing articles online.  My day starts at 6:50 and ends at 8:00 at night.  I feel like adding my friend's baby has been like adding a full time job (I watch him for 8 hours a day).  Don't get me wrong, he's a sweet baby, but just like all babies, he's a lot of work :)

I have never been a perfect housekeeper, but I manage not to have a disgusting house about 95% of the time lol.  I don't really ask too much of my husband... he helps out whenever I ask, though. 

What I want is for him to help me help the kids keep their rooms clean, help keep our room clean, do the dishes maybe twice a week, clear off the desk and the table daily and help remind kids to pick up after themselves when he's home.  For him I think all of those things adds up to about a half hour a day of work.  For me, no joke, keeping the house totally clean would be 5ish hours every day, on top of child care, getting kids to school and meal prep.

I'm feeling really overwhelmed and exhausted.  My kids are feeling neglected and I find myself in that old trap of "I feel like I have so much to do that I can't get anything done".

I also need some time where the kids ask HIM for food and drinks and to fix their stuffed bunny's ears and for a song (ad infinitum).  He's more than willing to let me have time to myself, but I feel like such a jerk leaving the house and probably spending 5 bucks on a latte while he's here at home with our kids... especially since we're trying to save money for a move.

Anyway, is that list of stuff too much to ask of him?  Do I need to adjust and suck it up?  Or is that reasonable?

by on Sep. 7, 2013 at 7:43 PM
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woodit2u
by on Sep. 7, 2013 at 7:58 PM

When I was a SAHM I babysat for 4 children on top of my 4-- ours were at the time two in elementary, one in p/t preschool, and one was at home f/t, and the 4 I watched were all under 2. My husband worked long hours at a physically demanding job and I felt it was his responsibility to bring home the dough and my job to take care of the home.

Now the tables have turned, he is a SAHD and I am working out of the home full time. I ask him to keep the house generally clean throughout the week: dishes, do laundry at least 1x per week for each member (I put away), have the kids keep their rooms and toys picked up, etc. Just enough that when the weekend comes I can do whatever deep cleaning is needed for the week.

IMHO: the SAH parent should take care of the home. Reminding the kids to pick up is just general parenting, not a "chore," that both parents should do. Depending on what sort of hours he works I don't think asking for help with dishes a few times per week is unreasonable. Otherwise, if the rest of it is 30 minutes for him to do per day I don't see how that equates to 5 hours for you. It's the same amount of work. If it really is too much maybe it's time to drop the kid or drop the online work.

Depending on how old your kids are maybe it's time to start assigning chores.

pittymama
by Silver Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:03 PM

i agree with the children/child having chores ^^ i'm a SAHM and the only things i ask of my husband are take out the trash once or twice a week (i do it the rest of the time whenever i run errands), rinse your own dishes before stacking them (so when i wash them, they are at least rinsed), and picking up after himself. when i go back to school, i might designate certain things that we share or a few more things for him to do, but i like things done my way for the most part. the things you're asking him to do don't sound like much, and he should be involved with helping the kids whether he works or not. 

AtiFreeFalls
by Bronze Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:14 PM

 I'm going to reply in-quote in red, to make sure we stay on the same page and I address all your points :)

Quoting woodit2u:

When I was a SAHM I babysat for 4 children on top of my 4-- ours were at the time two in elementary, one in p/t preschool, and one was at home f/t, and the 4 I watched were all under 2. My husband worked long hours at a physically demanding job and I felt it was his responsibility to bring home the dough and my job to take care of the home. Wow!  Super woman!  It is my opinion that child care and home care make up a whole lot more work than an out-of-home job.  Mostly I say that because when he's home for the day he rests.  When I'm home I'm hounded constantly to break up fights, entertain the kids, make everyone's food, etc.  I don't have the down time he does.  If he wants to spend the 4 hours he's home on the computer he does and no one bugs him.  I have to completely leave the house to get peace and quiet.  So while my job may be less intense, it is more demanding.  That's why I feel both parents should pitch in at home. 

Now the tables have turned, he is a SAHD and I am working out of the home full time. I ask him to keep the house generally clean throughout the week: dishes, do laundry at least 1x per week for each member (I put away), have the kids keep their rooms and toys picked up, etc. Just enough that when the weekend comes I can do whatever deep cleaning is needed for the week.  I'm feeling a little like you expect much less of him as the SAHD than you expected of yourself as the SAHM.  I disagree with that, and that's not how my relationship works.  I'm glad it works for you... if everyone is happy that's what matters.  In my relationship, with these added responsibilities, I'm floundering a little.  That's just me, of course.

IMHO: the SAH parent should take care of the home. Reminding the kids to pick up is just general parenting, not a "chore," that both parents should do. It is most definitely a chore in my house, because it entails doing the picking up WITH them, or at least immediately supervising.  Depending on what sort of hours he works I don't think asking for help with dishes a few times per week is unreasonable. Otherwise, if the rest of it is 30 minutes for him to do per day I don't see how that equates to 5 hours for you. It doesn't.  I think I may have misspoken.  The extra chores I would like for him to do would equate to a half hour for him per day, on average.  It would save me about an hour's worth of work because he doesn't get interrupted the same way I do.  So it would cut down my housekeeping duties by 1/5 while adding only 30 minutes of work for him.  It's the same amount of work. If it really is too much maybe it's time to drop the kid or drop the online work.  Not really an option.  I feel like I can handle the kid, I just need more help when hubby is home while I adjust to the added responsibility, and we need the money coming in.

Depending on how old your kids are maybe it's time to start assigning chores.  They have chores.  Getting them to do their chores is another chore for me, though lol.  I have to be right on top of my 3 year old, and even then he will only really clean in a timely manner if I am doing it with him.  So I can't be, say, doing the dishes or sweeping and ask him to clean his room.  My 5 year old is getting better about cleaning without direct supervision, but she still stuffs clothes in her toybox and toys in the closet and sometimes she, too, needs me to be doing it with her.  If another adult pitches in it really makes the load SO much easier to handle, even for just a little while each day.

 

woodit2u
by on Sep. 7, 2013 at 11:31 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

 I'm going to reply in-quote in red, to make sure we stay on the same page and I address all your points :)

Quoting woodit2u:

When I was a SAHM I babysat for 4 children on top of my 4-- ours were at the time two in elementary, one in p/t preschool, and one was at home f/t, and the 4 I watched were all under 2. My husband worked long hours at a physically demanding job and I felt it was his responsibility to bring home the dough and my job to take care of the home. Wow!  Super woman!  It is my opinion that child care and home care make up a whole lot more work than an out-of-home job.  Mostly I say that because when he's home for the day he rests.  When I'm home I'm hounded constantly to break up fights, entertain the kids, make everyone's food, etc.  I don't have the down time he does.  If he wants to spend the 4 hours he's home on the computer he does and no one bugs him.  I have to completely leave the house to get peace and quiet.  So while my job may be less intense, it is more demanding.  That's why I feel both parents should pitch in at home.  I understand. I agree that it is important for both to pitch in.

Now the tables have turned, he is a SAHD and I am working out of the home full time. I ask him to keep the house generally clean throughout the week: dishes, do laundry at least 1x per week for each member (I put away), have the kids keep their rooms and toys picked up, etc. Just enough that when the weekend comes I can do whatever deep cleaning is needed for the week.  I'm feeling a little like you expect much less of him as the SAHD than you expected of yourself as the SAHM.  I disagree with that, and that's not how my relationship works.  I'm glad it works for you... if everyone is happy that's what matters.  In my relationship, with these added responsibilities, I'm floundering a little.  That's just me, of course. I don't necessarily expect less of him. I just have higher standards than he does when it comes to deep cleaning and would prefer to do that myself. IE: with mopping he would mop the floor. I would make sure to clean all the corners and grout as well each time. It's not something that HAS to be done every time, but it is my personal preference that it be done every time. I think if you are going to be picky, like I am, that it's not fair to force that onto someone else. I won't say, "hey can you do XYZ but make sure you do it MY way."

IMHO: the SAH parent should take care of the home. Reminding the kids to pick up is just general parenting, not a "chore," that both parents should do. It is most definitely a chore in my house, because it entails doing the picking up WITH them, or at least immediately supervising.  I guess I consider that part of parenting and not a chore. Agree to disagree =)

Depending on what sort of hours he works I don't think asking for help with dishes a few times per week is unreasonable. Otherwise, if the rest of it is 30 minutes for him to do per day I don't see how that equates to 5 hours for you. It doesn't.  I think I may have misspoken.  The extra chores I would like for him to do would equate to a half hour for him per day, on average.  It would save me about an hour's worth of work because he doesn't get interrupted the same way I do.  So it would cut down my housekeeping duties by 1/5 while adding only 30 minutes of work for him. *sigh* joys of being a mom. My kids are daddy's boys so when he's home he gets the same experience lol paaaayback!

 It's the same amount of work. If it really is too much maybe it's time to drop the kid or drop the online work.  Not really an option.  I feel like I can handle the kid, I just need more help when hubby is home while I adjust to the added responsibility, and we need the money coming in.

Depending on how old your kids are maybe it's time to start assigning chores.  They have chores.  Getting them to do their chores is another chore for me, though lol.  I have to be right on top of my 3 year old, and even then he will only really clean in a timely manner if I am doing it with him.  So I can't be, say, doing the dishes or sweeping and ask him to clean his room.  My 5 year old is getting better about cleaning without direct supervision, but she still stuffs clothes in her toybox and toys in the closet and sometimes she, too, needs me to be doing it with her.  If another adult pitches in it really makes the load SO much easier to handle, even for just a little while each day. I guess I feel that as long as they do it, to the best of their ability, it is a job well done even though it may not be up to my standards. If I want my 4 year old to pick up the toys he is going to pick up like a 4 year old. All of the bins are organized and labeled with what goes inside. But he's 4 years old, so as long as the toys are all picked up then it's a job well done. Will it drive me batshit crazy? Yep, but he accomplished his task of picking up. I feel that by redo'ing it is showing, "well you did it but I can do it better." Mabye "clean your room" is too broad for them; have you tried breaking it down into steps for them? "First, you are going to pick up your shoes." And then she's done, "ok, now you are going to pick up the toys." And then she's done, "ok, now it's time to pick up clothes." I think it sends a message to have them do their own work, praise the shit out of it, and the result is a boost in confidence: Yes, you can do it on your own and you did a fantastic job. Maybe having her learn new a routine would work-- as soon as you take off your clothes it goes right to the hamper. Throw some fun in there! Pssst did you know the floor is shirt-eating lava, it sure would be a shame if your favorite shirt melted. If they don't do their chore, especially at 5 years old, maybe it's time to start exploring a consequence.

 

I'm sure it's just going to take a little while to get into the swing of things with the new schedule. Best of luck!

 

 

MagicTemptation
by Christina on Sep. 8, 2013 at 12:07 AM

5 hours a day cleaning?! Girl you need to downsize! Less is more! The less stuff you have to maintain the more free time you have. I'm a mom of 6. One day a week I will clean for several hours. (Usually Monday after the kids go to school.) But the rest of the week really is simple if you get yourself a system worked out.

As far as how much to ask of him. That is really only something you and him can decide on. My guy works overnight, comes in around 9am, does school work, hangs out with me, or the kids if it is a weekend, and sleeps from 3pm to 9pm, gets up and goes to work again. There really isn't much down time for him, so I handle 99% of everything.

Pincher
by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 1:06 AM

I have always said if I'm helping bring home the bacon - he can help cook it! Meaning if I work outside the house he can work inside the house. We have a deal that whoever cooks dinner ( usually me) the other does the dishes (usually him). He vacuums, I dust. I do bathrooms and laundry, he does 90% of the yard work. We both pick up after the kids and such. I'm lucky he helps, but it has always been expected. I never nag. I'll ask nicely and if he doesn't do something and I really want it done - ill do it myself (without complaining) and that usually makes him feel bad he didn't get it done and at the same time appreciate me for not flipping out that he put it off. Life it too short to get mad about stuff that really doesn't matter. But you deserve some help. Maybe have a conversation with him about him taking over some chores around the house. And then let him do them! He won't do it like you do (lol) but you can be happy you didn't have to do it. :)

lapcounter
by Gold Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 6:26 AM
I work from home, our girls keep their rooms picked up, I hardly ever ask for help, I make schedules and list so I am not overwhelmed.
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98765
by Silver Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 6:54 AM

I work 3x weekly and get home around 2pm or so I also have my real estate lisence and work with that some evenings and weekends. My DH works FT out of the hosue and is gone for about 11hrs a day. We have a 2nd grader and a 3 year old about to start PT pre-school.

I do 99.9% of the household chores. I do lots of cleaning Monday and Friday's when I am home and touch up cleaning the other days. Laundry is almost daily! Lol 

He helps when I ask him to without complaining, but generally thinks "the house looks fine!" Lol I feel it is my job to take care of the house. Plus, I do it better than him. :)

hannahsmom0107
by Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 11:52 AM

i think that when you are partners that includes everything... it's not like your asking him to do EVERYTHING all the time.. and you should be able to ask, if you need help!

i do am not a great house keeper (never have been) i've been a nana for 19 yrs!! and there are days when i am just DONE, and need help!

robin7771
by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Everything should be 50/50 on everything

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