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SAHD - division of domestic responsibilities?

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#1 Rosiebird

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:16 PM

Another topic got me thinking - for those EBers who have a working mum /SAHD situation, how do you divide up the child rearing/ housework / "thought work" of the household? Do you think you do more than the average full time working dad?

#2 Guest_LeChatNinjah_*

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:21 PM

I'll start by saying I'm not a SAHD, lol, neither do I share a life with one, but I think it should be exactly the same as any other family where one parent works and the other is a SAHP.

And that, in my own humble and personal opinion, is that the person who is the SAHP, barring any special needs for themselves or the kids, should do a greater share of the household chores.

Now, when I say special needs I don't only refer to medical conditions, etc.  If you are a SAHP with, for example, 4 kids under 4, then you're clearly going to have less time during the day than a SAHP with only 1 or 2 kids home during the day.

For the most part, though, I believe that the person who actually spends more time in the home should, whenever possible, be able to take care of a lot of chorey stuff.

#3 Mitis angelam

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:26 PM

Shall watch this with interest, as we plan to transition to this sort of set up.

In principle I agree with LCN.

I have to say, though, knowing my DH - I plan to get a cleaner (never had one while I've been SAH).  And I fully expect to carry most of the thought load; I have since before we were married, and though I'd love things to be different, I can't reasonably expect DH to suddenly "get" something he never has.

#4 Fifi LaRue

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:30 PM

DP isn't exactly a SAHD - he is an athlete, so beside training, team meetings and games/competitions, he is at home with the kids the majority of the time, particularly during the day.  The kids are both at school now, so it's not exactly the same as when they were little, but yes, generally speaking DP does the lions share of the 'heavy' work of household chores.  That's not to say that I don't do anything, but vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, general tidying, and the majority of the cooking is done by DP.  He also usually takes care of any odd jobs and billy paying, although I do the shopping, and generally do the laundry.  That being said it's a fluid division, rather than something that's set in stone.  When DP has a particularly difficult game approaching he will have more team responsibilities, therefore I usually take on more duties, or we sometimes hire a cleaner.  Also if I have a difficult client or project that seems to be taking up more time DP will take more on.  I guess even though I do the predominate amount of 'outside' work, we still work as a team, so there's always give and take there.

Edited by Fifi LaRue, 30 December 2012 - 09:30 PM.

#5 Lifesgood

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:32 PM

At the moment DH is a SAHD as he has taken 4 months off work while I went back to work and before DS starts daycare.

I work 3 days a week.

The way we split the workload is that DH does all of the home duties/child care on the days that I am at work until I get home, then we split whatever is left for that day 50/50. I don't do much in the mornings on the days I work as I leave fairly early.

On the days I am home everything is 50/50, with DH taking charge of most of the 'thought workload' ie. he tells me what needs to happen. We decide as we go who will put on a load of washing/do the grocery shopping/cooking etc depending on who feels like doing what, so long as we each do 50/50.

When I was the SAHM and DH worked full time, I took care of the majority of the 'thought workload' and covered child care and home duties while he was at work, but he took on 50/50 whenever he was at home, including in the mornings as he didn't have to leave so early and takes less time to get himself ready for work than I do. So he would change DS' nappy and dress him, get the kids brekky, nag DD to get ready for school etc. I'm quite sluggish in the mornings so I really appreciated not having to do much first thing.

Both of us feel that we are complete equals in our relationship and rarely ever have any problems with dividing up the responsibilities. Sometimes I get a bit cross because I feel overloaded on the thinking/planning side of things, but not often, and if I blow a gasket DH quickly picks up some of that workload. Mostly I like being the organiser and he likes being the blue-sky man. We're a good team original.gif

ETA: we have a cleaner and she also does all the ironing (plus she babysits for us!). Obviously this relieves a lot of pressure on the at-home person, however there still always seems to be loads to do around the house!

Edited by LifesGood, 30 December 2012 - 09:34 PM.

#6 knickerless

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:32 PM

My husband was a stay at home dad for three years and to be honest it was a big failure.

If he cooked, it wasn't healthy (it was always an easy option). He did barely any of the housework or ironing. I still paid all of the bills, took care of doctors appointments, speech pathologist etc. he didn't even take the children to swimming lessons.

I was working flexible hours however still working around 60 hours per week. I was exhausted and frustrated. He basically had a holiday and watched tv whilst I did everything else. He just didn't have the skills or inclination to do otherwise. I still experience a lot of guilt and regret at missing out on so much of my childrens' early years.

That is not to say it cannot work, I think some men are just not cut out for it!

#7 Holidayromp

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:33 PM

Set ground rules before doing so.  The last thing that the working parent wants to do is to work full time and then come home and do all the chores as well and some SAHD take full advantage of this fact whilst sitting on their bums doing the bare minimum leaving it all up to their working partners which builds huge resentment and marital issues.

The parent at home does the lionshare of chores - shopping, cleaning, washing, meal preparation and obviously childcare.

However the chores are equally divided once home - ie washing up, bedtime routine etc and weekends are shared chores but one would expect all house cleaning would be done during the week to allow for quality family time over the weekend.

#8 blueberrymuffin

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:34 PM

I work full time, DH is a SAHD.

DH keeps the house clean, is main carer for DS, and occasionally does extra stuff (eg. paint, mow the lawn). I do the laundry and a bit more on weekends.

He's a better SAHD than I was a SAHM  blush.gif

#9 JRA

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:34 PM

I dont work ft, but dh is home pretty much home ft. At the moment I am working between  3 and 5 days/wk

How do we separate the workload? Whatever works.

DH cooks, and pretty much always has  - I am crap. So he also has the sh*t job of decidng on food, grocery shopping etc. THe fact that I am full time on crutches also affects some of this.

Dh does the school drop offs and pick ups, and most after school sport activity drop off etc.  

Dh has also done most of the school volunteering, operations mgr for the fair, school excursions etc.  I am the hockey secretary.

I tend to do most of the clothes washing as that works for us, it is something done at night, and not a lot of standing.

housework, dh does the day to day stuff.  When I am not working we tend to do the bigger stuff together - we both hate it, and tend to motivate each other.

#10 Rosiebird

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:35 PM

It's a little different with breast feeding / night stuff though. And I find when I am home, my baby wants me and only me, so she is pretty much glued to me after work!

In my house, I work long hours 4 days a week (10-12hrs) with 3 days off. DH does everything around the house (cooking, cleaning, gardening, washing etc). He also makes me lunch and brings it to me at work (with DD who is still breast feeding 1-3x a shift). On my days off and before/after work I have DD pretty much 100% of the time (dressing, bathing, reading, playing, preparing meals, bedtime etc)

I do all night time wake ups, he gets up early with her so I get to sleep in (although he usually waits 10min to see if he'd whinging stops so I'm normally wide awake by the time he takes her out of the room). He had a sleep in 1-2 x a week depending on how crappy her sleep has been.

It sounds fair I guess but the fact I am on deck for DD 3 days a week means he has much more R&R time alone and can do whatever he wants on my days off whereas on my days off, I'm entertaining DD...which makes me appreciate work on some days!

#11 Holidayromp

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:36 PM

Also set a trial period ie six months and if it isn't working he needs to go back to work.  The last thing is to have something that is clearly not working grinding on to the detriment of all with no end in sight.

#12 cinnabubble

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:46 PM

I work in the office three days a week and from home two days a week. He works mornings and early evenings two days a week and during the day on Saturdays.

Monday to Wednesday: I walk out the door at 6.20am and back through the door 12 hours later (Tuesday and Wednesday I have the two year old in tow). On those days, I don't lift a domestic finger apart from doing bedtime. He cleans the house, does school pick up and drop off, homework supervision, cooks dinner etc.

Thursday and Friday: he works outside the home, I work from home, cook and childwrangle.

Saturday: he works, I childwrangle, cook and do the work I didn't do the days before.

Sunday: we're together. He will often take the girls to the park or somewhere so I can get more work done.

Washing, dishwasher stuff, general pottering is done by whoever gets there first.

Thoughtload is mine. I'm a control freak like that.

ETA: yes, I definitely do more than the average working father, but the bar is set extremely low for what constitutes a "good father" and it's heavily tied into "good provider + dinner/bath/bed a couple of times a week". Studies have shown that kids with SAHDs have a lot of advantages that mostly come from having two highly engaged parents.

Edited by cinnabubble, 30 December 2012 - 09:52 PM.

#13 bellemae

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:54 PM

I work ft, DP hasn't been working.
Both our boys are now in school.
He gets them ready for school and is there when they get home. He does all the cooking/shopping/washing/cleaning. His days are much more free than mine, he can go to the gym/beach etc my evenings are more free where I can hang out with the kids, or take some time to myself and he cooks dinner and cleans up afterwards.
On the weekends we share whatever needs doing pretty evenly.

My income is our only income. Financially it would be easier if he were working too, but this way we both have more time and energy for each other and our kids and that's what works for us original.gif Money can come later...

#14 BadCat

Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:11 PM


Edited by BadCat, 30 December 2012 - 10:13 PM.

#15 Rosiebird

Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:16 PM

It's probably just a "replied in the wrong thread" post but dammit Badcat, I'm curious!

#16 Rosiebird

Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:42 PM

I'm interested to see how many people split housework 50:50 on their days off. I figure that work is my job and house stuff is his job, but child rearing is equal responsibility.

#17 Fifi LaRue

Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:50 PM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 30/12/2012, 10:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm interested to see how many people split housework 50:50 on their days off. I figure that work is my job and house stuff is his job, but child rearing is equal responsibility.

We don't really, but that's mainly because DP has already pretty much done everything during the week.  At most I will put a couple of loads of washing on, and a general tidy if needed.  What DP does will often revolve around his competition days/times, and if it's during the season or the off season.  But neither of us do much housework at all on the weekend.  Our kids are both in school though now, it was a little different when one and both were at home - but DP tried really hard to get the majority of the work done so that our weekends are 'free'.  Also now, I work from home (though depending on clients and differing projects I'm not solely 'at home') so can chip in at times during the week a lot more than I used to when I was working fulltime out of home.

#18 Mitis angelam

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:49 AM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 30/12/2012, 11:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm interested to see how many people split housework 50:50 on their days off. I figure that work is my job and house stuff is his job, but child rearing is equal responsibility.

As the SAHP, I'd be very unhappy with this.  Sure, I think I should do much more than 50%, because I'm here.  But I'm not a domestic slave and I would be beyond furious very quickly at a partner who doesn't lift a finger.

What we do, which works, is that DH cooks on his days off (this is something I value very highly).  He doesn't tend to notice/take initiative on much, but he often does dishes.  He does bits and pieces sometimes at my request - not very much, but, for example, if I say, "While I'm out, could you hang out the washing when the machine is finished," that would generally get done.

What I'd like, which generally doesn't happen, is that on the weekend we set aside one hour a day and do housework together.  I don't think that's excessive to ask of him, and I feel much less taken for granted if he pitches in alongside me a bit.  I'd probably manage to get to big jobs like mopping the floor (most of our house is floorboards) more often if I had a bit of a hand managing more of the small stuff which I struggle to get through on my own!

#19 Mozzie1

Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:59 AM

QUOTE (LifesGood @ 30/12/2012, 10:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The way we split the workload is that DH does all of the home duties/child care on the days that I am at work until I get home, then we split whatever is left for that day 50/50. I don't do much in the mornings on the days I work as I leave fairly early.

Just out of interest, how do you distinguish between what should be done during the day and what is 'left'? For example, vacuuming, mopping, washing, groceries could all be done during the day, or be left for the evening. How do these chores get split?

#20 MintyBiscuit

Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:05 AM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 30/12/2012, 11:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm interested to see how many people split housework 50:50 on their days off. I figure that work is my job and house stuff is his job, but child rearing is equal responsibility.

We mostly split 50/50 when DH is home, but I've already done 80-90% of what needs doing if that makes sense.

It would never work in our house because DH would go stir crazy, but if he was at home with DS I'd expect much the same from him as I do from me - the majority of housework and related jobs are done by me while DH is at work so that his time at home can be spent with me and DS. There are chores that we both share, and if I'm shattered he happily picks up the slack without being asked, and I would expect that to be the same regardless of who was at home. The main difference would be that in that situation I would continue to do most of the thought work and look after the finances - DH is not great with it and I've always done it in our relationship, so no point in changing.

#21 Madeline's Mum

Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:19 AM

My husband is a SAHD to our 16mo son, who is also in daycare 2 days a week. DH isn't studying or working PT although he does a couple of hours a week on our small business.

TBH, I do expect him to do a little bit more of the housework in terms of daily washing, toy tidying and making most dinners. On the weekend though, it's 50/50. I'll do washing, I'll clean the bathrooms, he'll vacuum and he'll mow the lawns etc.

Especially now that DS is in daycare a couple of days a week I do expect him to do a bit more, and the arrangement works for us bc DH wants to continue being a SAHD knowing that this is the deal. DS naps for around 3 hours a day and that is DHs down time, he'll watch tv or go on the computer, so he feels like he gets a good balance.

#22 Tigerdog

Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:22 AM

When my DP was the SAH parent he just cared for the child and that was it.  I still had to do all the housework and take on the 'thought load'.  Not fair mad.gif However he never did stuff properly anyway so I really did prefer to do it myself.

Edited by Tigerdog, 31 December 2012 - 10:23 AM.

#23 seachanger

Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:33 AM

We are 8 years in to this arrangement and DD2 starts school in 2013.

We have changed and adapted according to what hours I was working, ages and stages of the kids but generally DH has shouldered all the cleaning, house maintanence, pick up and drop off (school, kinder, day care) and at times has worked part-time. He has also renovated a house whilst at home with DD1.

We moved 18 months ago and decided as DD2 was starting school in 2013, he would not bother to find a part-time job until after she starts school. The location of our new home has meant a greater opportunity for outdoor activities so both kids have had a great time with DH doing things I wouldn't have taught them such as fishing, boating and biking at the local bike track.

I take care of the finances, do the shopping and menu planning and we share the load with regards to cooking. I also do the homework side of things and the school discussions. This is more due to DH's confidence level with his own acedemic ability as he left school mid teens. I keep saying the kids learn more practical stuff from him than they do from me and academic ability doesn't always equal intelligence. wink.gif

We have one activity scheduled deliberately on a Saturday so that I can take them and they participate in another activity during the week so that he can take them.

We're happy with the arrangement and look towards both working part-time in years to come as the kids get older in order to be more accessible if needed.

#24 Rosiebird

Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:11 AM

Angevert, you would be "beyond furious" to have 3 days a week where you needed to do nothing except cook dinner and put the dishes in the dishwasher? Weird. My DH is quite happy to have 3 days of TV, golf and pottering around by himself while his DD has some mum time.

#25 Rosiebird

Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:23 AM

Doing the maths - 7 days in a week, 1 day Dd is with her grandparents, 3 with mum, 3 with dad. Mum works 50 odd hrs per week. Do you honestly think that there is more than 50hrs worth of housework in a week with only 1 baby?

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