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Old 09-26-2011, 08:55 AM   #1
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how do you share duties with sign other?

So there is a constant struggle in my home to balance responsibilities between both DH and I. Using I have a little “meltdown” every couple of months when I get overwhelmed or frustrated and this leads to the same quarrel between us. I have yet to figure out a compromise to correct this problem – what do you do?

Here it is:
I work PT – 28 hours per week – actually four 12 hour shifts and one 8 hour shift in a 2 week period, and DH works normal 7-4 Mon-Friday. Since I’ve worked PT since having babies, I’ve felt it was more fair for me to take care of the house. Seemed like a fair deal – right? Well, it isn’t working for me. DH will help if I specifically ask him to do something, but I really feel like I shouldn’t have to ask. If the kitchen floor needs to be washed – wash it. If there are dirty dishes do them. Seems simple to me, but honestly, it just isn’t important to him so he doesn’t pay attention. The days I work, he gets the girls dressed on off to the sitter, and picks them up. I usually put out something for dinner, or give him a heads up of what to make – which is fine – cooking and nutritional choices are not his strong suit – so that is easier for him. The thing is, I leave at 6am and get home at 830pm. And from dinner til bedtime nothing else gets done typically. This is what I don’t understand and what frustrates me. So, all the chores fall to me on my off days

I brought this up to him and his response was, “that’s the difference between us. I play with the kids more and you get stuff done.” Ok, this made me feel like CRAP. Daddy turns into fun daddy and mommy into work and no-so-fun mommy. What do I do? Laundry needs to be done, and the kitchen floor need to be washed when the girls throw food on it, etc., and we need clean dishes to eat off of…When my 2 year old asks “wheres daddy” when I explain to her that we will play in a little bit – well you can imagine how that makes me feel!

How do you balance playing, getting necessary things done, and going to work with your significant other?

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Old 09-26-2011, 11:44 AM   #2
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Re: how do you share duties with sign other?

It is hard. Both my DH and I work full time. We each have things we do and chores we share. We have an arrangement that works for us.

DH is in charge of lawn care--mowing, trimming, removing snow in the winter. (I do landscaping)
I mostly take care of the laundry.
Everything else we share.

I work from 6:30am --2:30pm, Mon-Fri
DH works from 11:00 (or earlier)-- 9:30pm (or later) Tues-Sat

He has to get the boys up, dressed, and off to daycare every morning. Monday he is home with them all day.

i will leave him notes to start the washer, put clothes in the dryer, empty the dishwasher before he leaves for the day.

I try to keep things picked up at night.

If the house is out of control by Saturday morning than we spend an hour cleaning together-- picking up toys, vaccuum, cleaning kitchen, bathrooms.

I still do most of the cleaning but he does help. I do put playing with the boys before cleaning. If that means the same basket of clean laundry sits by our bed all week then so be it.

My house is never completely picked up. Dishes are done almost each night but toys are usually left out, there is usually at least one basket of clean laundry to be folded on the end table.

I keep a package of cleaning wipes under the sink in each bathroom. It is a lot easier to give the counter a quick wipe in the mornings after I get ready or while the boys are in the tub I clean the other bathroom. I can still talk to them and have fun with them and listen to them tell me stories about their tub toys while I clean the sink/toilet.

If you made it through all my ramblings I would say clean what you have to and start playing with your kids more. Either he will learn to live with a little more mess or step up and clean up more.
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Last edited by Nerissa; 09-26-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:27 PM   #3
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My house is just a mess. A lot of things we've just let go. The table doesn't get wiped down very often. The laundry doesn't get done until we run out of underwear. There's crumbs on the floor half the time.

I think we contribute equally but it's just not enough. He fixes everything and he cooks and does the shopping more than half the time. He also does the deep cleans once in a while. I do the dishes most of the time, all the laundry, all sheet changes, cooking/food shopping maybe 40%. I vacuum and pick up and sort the play room, and all non-food shopping. We have hired a cleaning person who comes every other week.

Can you relax your standards a bit so you can get more time with the kids? Maybe if you let it slack some he'll pick up some of the slack?

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Old 09-27-2011, 07:45 AM   #4
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Re: how do you share duties with sign other?

I guess I shouldn't have made it sound like I have extremely high standards Toys are rarely picked up and the table is a mess. What set this off, is we had mice in the kitchen recently, and I got frustrated because I couldn't keep up, and he wasn't either.

I do put my DD's first, but everything gets so behind that it is inevitable that I spend an entire day doing laundry or dishes because we run out of clean forks and clean diapers, etc. I do all the shopping and errands...he isn't big on taking the girls to the store. Now we are expecting a third, so I am sure this is part of my current melt-down!

DH does things, but not until things get really bad and I get frustrated. My younger DD is one that eats whatever is on the floor so if Play Dough is left out - she eats it! you know that kind of thing.

I think I just feel like I go non-stop and he seems to get time to play his Xbox game or watch Sunday football or the like. Hmmm...

I love my DH so much, and he is a good husband. I don't think things will ever be 50/50 in reality, and I can cope with that - I just would like to find a solution so that I don't have these periods when I just feel so overwhelmed and over-worked
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:01 AM   #5
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In that case... I think your DH needs to help more. If there are mice and the toddler is eating stuff from the floor, and he is still playing his xbox instead of helping--to me that's just not acceptable. He needs to step up, particularly when you are having a third!!

The dynamic changes for us each time the family size changes. I don't know what you need to do to get him to do more, but he needs to do it. If he wants to be in charge of the older kids, is he at least doing bath and bedtime? That would give you time to straighten up the kitchen and do the dishes.

Also are your kids helping yet? Mine have to pick up their toys (we try to do a nightly sweep--it helps if I limit it to x number of minutes) and bus their dishes to the sink. (Put DH in charge if he wants to be fun dad--he can make a game out of cleaning up.)

If he really won't help, I think the other option is to hire a cleaning service. (That might make him more willing to help

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