Dreaded topic....Housework and the SAHP

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Dreaded topic....Housework and the SAHP
187
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 12:45pm
It seems there are quite a few here who view it as the SAHPs responsibility to take care of ALL the housework, regardless of the age of the kids they are caring for, whether they are in school, how many kids there are etc. So, I'm curious what it is everyone defines as housework.

Is it just the CLEANING of the house, or does it also include all the picking up? Should the SAHP be responsible for even picking up after the WOHP?

Does it include doing all of the cooking, setting of the table, cleaning off of the table, doing the dishes, and cleaning up the kitchen after meals?

Does it include yard work? Should the SAHP be responsible for all of the weed eating and mowing and fertilizing and leave gathering and gardening, etc?

Does it include car maintenance? Is the SAHP responsible for all oil changes, car cleanings (inside and out), regular maintenance, etc?

Does it include only the major cleaning of the house such as vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms, moping, cleaning out the fridge, laundry etc? Or is it also the smaller things like picking up the toys from the living room floor or straightening up the bathroom after bath time?

Does it include all of the family errands such as paying the bills, grocery shopping, renewing the tag for the car, running to the bank, etc?

My view is that it varies based on each individual family. There is no "MUST" or "SHOULD" in this....but then, that is just my opinion. :)

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 1:04pm
I do feel that if there is a sahp, they should be the one to handle the majority of the household chores. But of course it's up to each individual family who does what.

When I was a sahp/wahp 100 years ago (ok maybe not 100 years but several years) I did it all..Yard work..mowing, raking, gardening, groceries, cleaning, spring and fall deep cleaning, paid the bills, did all of the laundry, all the cooking and cleaning up..and I took care of my 2 kids plus several others. Of course for 18 years of our married life Jeff was working 70, 80, 100 hours a week so he didn't have time for any of it and I was at home so the responsibility fell on me. I didn't mind because I figured it was just part of my job but looking back on it it makes me tired! LOL Now that he has a regular 40 hour a week job he does all the yard work, he does laundry when I can't get to it, he helps with the cooking and cleaning up, he even goes grocery shopping. He also services all of our vehicles and pays most of the bills. All I can think is sure..now that I don't really need much help since our kids are all grown up, I have more help than I need! LOL Life sure has gotten easier.


Sue

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 1:13pm
Dh does most of the yard work,although I'll pick up a rake if I'm outside or have time.I do most of the cleaning while my kids are school/preschool.I don't mind cleaning, but I *very much* mind picking up after people, so dh and the kids pick up after themselves.He cooks on weekends, but he enjoys it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 1:22pm
DH ends up doing a lot of the non food shopping because Wal-mart is close to his work, so it is easier for him to get in and out on his way home than for me to make a major trip...and I would just buy non food items at the grocery store instead of driving to another town,which sends him into visions of bankruptcy.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 2:06pm
First I hate the to put in it in terms of whose responsibility it should be and I do agree that it is something for families to work out themsaelves. But for me it is a time issue. When my DH was workihg 40+ hours a week and I was at home it meant that I had much more time to take care of those things. When I went back to work I had less time so he took more over.

This is not the way it should be for everyone but the way it was in our household:

Is it just the CLEANING of the house, or does it also include all the picking up? Should the SAHP be responsible for even picking up after the WOHP?

Everyone physically able should pick up after themselves, that includes children and spouses.

Does it include doing all of the cooking, setting of the table, cleaning off of the table, doing the dishes, and cleaning up the kitchen after meals?

Since I was already there is made much more sense for me to make meals rather then wait for him to come home. Since he had spent the entire day outside of the house it also made more sense for him to spend time with the kids while I did those things, I got a break from trying to work and watch the kids and he got to spend some time with them. DD3 was an early to bed baby we could not keep her awake past 7:00 and he did not get home from work until 5:30 so that hour and a half was very important time. He would usually feed her while I did the finishing touches of dinner. The after dinner while I cleaned up he would do the bedtime routine with her. After the she was in bed he had time to spend with the other girls. When the girls became old enough they took over kitchen detail.


Does it include yard work? Should the SAHP be responsible for all of the weed eating and mowing and fertilizing and leave gathering and gardening, etc?

Unless there is a reason that she can't. I did give a lot of that up when I was pregnant.

Does it include car maintenance? Is the SAHP responsible for all oil changes, car cleanings (inside and out), regular maintenance, etc?

That was the one area that he did do more then I did. But is more of a personality thing then a SAH/WOH thing. All I car about is whether a car will get me where I am going, he can get a bit anal about vehicles. But now I do take care of the oil changes, since I work part time and he full time. I can go in right after work and be out in 20 minutes, he would have to go in in the evening weekend and spend 1-2 hours waiting.

Does it include only the major cleaning of the house such as vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms, moping, cleaning out the fridge, laundry etc? Or is it also the smaller things like picking up the toys from the living room floor or straightening up the bathroom after bath time?

Picking up of toys was done by the girls when they became old enough. Bathtime clean up is done by whoever takes the bath or whoever is giving the bath for infants/toddlers.

Does it include all of the family errands such as paying the bills, grocery shopping, renewing the tag for the car, running to the bank, etc?

Those all fall under the time issue that I mentioned earlier. I handled all of those things. I still do since I work part time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 2:19pm
Here's our take on it.

Is it just the CLEANING of the house, or does it also include all the picking up? Should the SAHP be responsible for even picking up after the WOHP? -- Adults should never "pick up after" each other. My god, we're ADULTS. Pick up your own shoes, your own socks and put your own milk glass in the dishwasher. IMO, work status shouldn't ever include that crap. Now, as to picking up after the kids ... probably MORE is done by the SAHP, butnot all.

Does it include doing all of the cooking, setting of the table, cleaning off of the table, doing the dishes, and cleaning up the kitchen after meals? -- Most of the cooking should probably be done by the SAHP, cause they are there to do it. If teh WOHP doesn't get home til 5:30-6pm when would they cook? However, on weekends, I think the cooking should be shared. Dishes? about the same. Cleaning up after meals? Both should share.

Does it include yard work? Should the SAHP be responsible for all of the weed eating and mowing and fertilizing and leave gathering and gardening, etc? -- When I SAH, dh did all the yard work. He was the "outside" guy. However, living in Arizona the point is moot. We have no lawn .. only rocks.

Does it include car maintenance? Is the SAHP responsible for all oil changes, car cleanings (inside and out), regular maintenance, etc? -- Car maintenance, such as oil changes, etc, has always been dh's job. Either to do himself, or to take to Jiffy Lube. Car cleanings are the responsibility of whoever drives the car. Dh does his. I do mine. It wasn't any different when I SAH.

Does it include only the major cleaning of the house such as vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms, moping, cleaning out the fridge, laundry etc? Or is it also the smaller things like picking up the toys from the living room floor or straightening up the bathroom after bath time? -- Although I think the SAHP probably does the majority of that stuff, after all they areh ome more, I don't think a SAHP is responsible for ALL of it. The WOHP still need to be a responsible adult.

Does it include all of the family errands such as paying the bills, grocery shopping, renewing the tag for the car, running to the bank, etc? -- When I was a SAHM, I did all the errands, etc, except for grocery shopping. We usually do that as a family. But dh still paid all the bills. He's anal about that. lol

My view is that it varies based on each individual family. There is no "MUST" or "SHOULD" in this....but then, that is just my opinion. :) -- I agree. With the exception of my first comments above about adults picking up after themselves. Having a SAH spouse is no reason for an adult to be treated or to act like a child.

Hollie

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 9:32pm
I don't think my husband would let me work on our car. But I do do the cooking cleaning, paying and recording of bills, laundry, and childcare. My husband does the lawn care but I do the gardening. My husband is responsible for packing his own lunch, getting his own clothes ready for work and cleaning up his own messes.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 10:15pm
My first instinct is to say, yeah, I'm a sahm and I do most of the housework. But when I see it broken down like this, I am humbled.

I haven't really kept track before, but I must say dh definitely does his share. In our house there are no rules, someone just does what needs to be done when they have the opportunity.

I do most of the major cleaning in the house...vacuuming, dusting, mopping, cleaning bathrooms. I say most because if by some strange chance dh is home during the week, or if I need an extra hand to get ready for visitors, he will help.

I prepare dinner, but dh and the kids help clean up afterwards.

Everyone puts their own clothes in the hamper. I have to take them out and wash them:(

Dh does oil changes on his car. I do mine.

Dh does most of the yardwork, but I do the raking because it seems to be more important to me.

Dh cleans the cars, inside and out, because this is more important to him.

Dh does the bills because I hate that job.

I make all the appointments.

Jill

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 10:36pm
I think this pretty much sums up the way it worked for our family. While I did a bulk of the cleaning during the day, there was always something left over for in the evenings or at night.

My husband has always done alot of the laundry because...well...I lack in the discipline to do it. (laundry is evil...laundry is evil....)

We have always switched off on doing the cooking and cleaning up after dinner as it made sense, or just whoever felt like doing it.

I do NO yardwork, nor will I ever!!! I don't care if we hire someone or if my husband does it, but I won't do it. lol...that is where I draw the line! :)

I deal with most of our family business, including all of the legwork and information and computer work for my husbands medical board through the military. I pay all the bills, take care of all the shopping, including holiday and birthday shopping for his family, etc. He just will not do it. Heck, I typically end up buying my own presents too! lol

It isn't necessarily something we negotiated and wrote down in contract form, with both of us signing, it is just the way it seems to have worked out. :) Now that we are both home, we both kinda hit or miss around the house, and of coarse the kids have their own chores. As I become the FTWOHP and he is the FTSAHP, I'm sure things will change again, but it is just how it works out...not some "plan" either of us has.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 1:46am
I agree that it varies with each family, and I also really think it depends on how much of a partnership you feel that your marriage portrays. I feel like my dh and I have a true partnership and balance. He does the majority of the work outside the home at this point in our lives. But that does not excuse him from some household chores because we BOTH live in the house and we BOTH help mess it up. The heavy duty cleaning is done by me, simply because I am the one there most of the time and I am the one who cares about the house being clean. However, I dont see housework as part of my *job* or any kind of *exchange* for dh working 40 hrs a week. I work part time, I go to school part time, I manage our investment property and ALL the finances. My days might not all be spent actively earning that hourly wage, but they are spent managing our lives and financial future. Dh certainly does not demand or expect me to clean and cook, although I do both. If he gets home and dinner isnt ready, he asks if we are ordering pizza, lol. If he needs his bike gear washed and I havent gotten to it, he does it himself. He takes out the trash and does most of the yard work in the summer, and he snowblows the driveway in the winter. He really has it very easy, imo, because I do end up doing the majority of the work around the house.

I dont know, if we both worked fulltime, I think he might have to do more household work, but I dont see that it would make our quality of life better. We'd both be tired and *neither* of us would want to clean. Might make for a rather nasty looking house, lol!!

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 9:22am
I agree, it varies by the number and ages of the children, and the parents' natural inclinations and abilities.

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