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Question for the ladies re: Household duties...

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  • Question for the ladies re: Household duties...

    Prior to our having children (twins boys, 1 month old this coming Tuesday!), my wife and I divided the household duties as follows: I did all of the housecleaning and the lawn, whereas she did all of the cooking, to include washing the dishes.

    With the birth of the twins, however, I took a month off of work, and I've been doing all of the housecleaning, cooking, dishes, washing of clothes, lawn, etc., and I've been staying up at night with the boys, so that she doesn't have to and so that she can get a full 8 hours of sleep.

    However, she is gradually recovering and getting back on her feet, and I will be going back to work soon, but I'm thinking that a re-organizing of household duties, etc., is in order, especially since by the time I get home from work (I work dayshift) she will have dealt with the twins all day, and will be tired from that.

    So, in addition to still doing the housecleaning as I was before, I'm also thinking about taking over the cooking, but I'm wondering........

    How do you ladies see it? You've been home all day dealing with screaming babies, and your husband has been at work. When he gets home, what do you feel is appropriate for him to do by way of relief for you? What do you feel is an appropriate split of household duties??

    I was just tossing this around in my mind, so I figured it would be interesting to see how the ladies see it.......

    THANKS!
    'If the grass is greener on the other side, water your OWN lawn.'

  • #2
    Talk to me!!! That was the hardest.... all day saying and listening to goo goo and no intellectual discussion made me crazy!! Its a hard spin because both parents have had a hard day.... one at work and one at home.

    I would suggest putting the baby in the "swing-o-matic" and you both make supper together. Otherwise, dividing up the chores is the best way and hopefully you both like the opposite type chores.

    I did want to add that as much as I hated going back to work after maternity leave, it was a break compared to being at home! Go figure!

    [ 06-28-2003, 07:52 PM: Message edited by: wonderwoman ]

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    • #3
      Let her do the housecleaning during the day, you do the cooking at night. I have a four-year-old, and when they're little you can clean while they take naps, and as they get older they amuse themselves. I was never "housewife" material(I'm a single mom and work and go to school), but I manage to get it all done on my own.

      Kristen

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      • #4
        Take over the care of the children for a little while. Personally, I don't mind the cleaning, I keep up fairly well during the day and make sure to clean up a bit before my husband gets home. My kids are 4 1/2 and 15 months, so they can be a handful. If he takes over for me with them for a bit, I feel I can regain some sanity, then have a nice conversation with him and go fix dinner. Besides, the kids usually want only him for a while when he first gets home.
        I try to rememnber that he has had a long day too and needs to unwind as well. (Playing with the kids helps there too [Wink] ) I have no mercy on his off days though, they become my off days as well.
        A rookies wife.

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        • #5
          We talked about it for a bit this evening, and I'm definitely going to keep doing the housecleaning. I've always done it, I'm good at it, and I LIKE it.

          As far as the cooking is concerned, she is a good cook, and she really LIKES to cook on top of that. However, she tends to cook massive, ponderous meals (which I would dutifully eat when she fixed them), and I gained weight I just didn't want.

          Since I've been doing the cooking, I've managed to trim off some of the excess that I gained. So, I told her that even if she cooks, from now on, I will still cook my own meals, so that is why we are leaning towards me doing all of the cooking.....makes things simpler.

          Dishes? I tend to do them immediately, I don't like to see them pile up, and lawn work is a given, as we have a large lawn, and I know she doesn't want to be in the hot sun doing that, and besides, she couldn't lug the lawnmower up from the basement.

          So, it looks like I may still be doing the majority of the housework, and I will take over with the twins when I get off work, EXCEPT for the two days that I go to the gym. However, there is a trade-off to me doing the majority of the work, and that is that when the kids get up at night, SHE will primarily be the one dealing with that.......

          We are still working out the details, but this is how we are leaning so far.
          'If the grass is greener on the other side, water your OWN lawn.'

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          • #6
            Let me get this straight...you will be doing all the yardwork, all the housework, probably all the cooking, working full-time, and "taking over" with the kids when you get home?? And all she has to do is get up in the night with them (like you won't hear them and wake up too)? Ladies, let's give the girl props, her man is OWNED!!! LOL

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            • #7
              Kentuckian, your parents must have raised you extremely well and taught you how to be sensitive and respectful to women. Are they by any chance doing seminars around the country?

              It sounds like you're already getting this worked out, so I really don't have any suggestions other than you two deciding which chores you like to do and which ones you're good at, and then dividing them accordingly.

              I hope your wife appreciates what a gem she has.

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              • #8
                LOL, no, I'm no gem! However, I DO appreciate the value of a good night's sleep, so if I hear them cry (which I do), and she gets up to tend to them, I can drift right back to sleep, easily.

                I also appreciate having my own time and space to do certain things. Going to the gym is a priority of mine, and I want to be able to take the time on the weekends to attend to my various interests. I figure time wise, we can pretty much split the time with the twins in half on the weekends, and my downtime can be spent on my interests.

                Also, I learned with my first three kids that children can be GREAT stress relief. If the kids are in the middle of the floor making a bunch of noise, drop what you are doing and get down in the middle of the floor WITH THEM. I think that dropping some of our adult worries and baggage, and hanging out with the kids is awesome, and helps us keep things in perspective.

                Anyway, she is not one who can spend an entire day doing nothing (if they are asleep), so I'm guessing that she will horn in on a few more of the household chores anyway, but the way we have it set-up, at least she will know that it's not all on her, and that relief is in sight..........

                [ 06-29-2003, 02:03 PM: Message edited by: Kentuckian ]
                'If the grass is greener on the other side, water your OWN lawn.'

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                • #9
                  A friend of mine with two kids (11 and 2) works it out with his wife this way:

                  She works from home ("telecommuting") and he goes off to work, when he gets home the kids are his. All weekdays he is responsible for chasing after, changing diapers (now training pants), feeding, bathing and putting to bed. While he does this she catches up on some work and does a lot of housework. He goes out one night a week with the guys and the weekends are free for errands, social/family events, etc etc.

                  I can only hope to have such an organized arrangement if/when I happen to get married and have kids.

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