A stay-at-home mother has sparked debate online by revealing that her partner doesn’t think she does enough and has created a strict list of duties for her, prompting many to sympathise but others to suggest she may be ‘spoilt’.
The woman took to the UK parenting forum Mumsnet to ask whether others think her situation is ‘normal’ for a stay-at-home mother, or whether her husband is ‘micromanaging’.
She explained that she shares two sons, aged nine and 15, and a three-year-old daughter with her husband who works full time, but he’s complained that she’s not doing enough around the house.
To combat this, he wants to introduce a list of chores to be carried out on particular days, which he will check on when he gets back from work.
Reponses were divided with some claiming that his suggestion is ‘weird’ and ‘unattractive’, but others argued that it sounds like the mother is ‘spoilt’ and isn’t pulling her weight.
According to an anonymous British woman, she and her husband don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to how much housework she does (stock image)
Explaining the situation, the mother wrote: ‘He has recently started moaning about how I’m not doing enough around the house.
‘Daughter is at home full time other than being at nursery one day a week. I do most of the cooking, cleaning and general household admin. However, DH has said there is no not enough “output”.
‘He therefore wants to introduce “routines” and “duties” whereby he will set out what needs to be done on a particular day and carry out checks upon returning from work.
According to the poster, she has three children, two of whom are of school age, and one who is just three. But her partner thinks she should be doing more housework during the day
‘So Monday will be garden day for example and the lawn will need to be mowed and leaves sweeped. Tuesday will be bathroom cleaning day and so on.
‘Is this level of micromanagement normal for stay-at-home parents and should I just be grateful?’
The vast majority of respondents blasted the husband, and said the situation did not sound tenable.
One said: ‘That’s frankly not up to him. Duties on certain days? Tell him to jog on! Utterly weird!’
Another agreed, adding: ‘Well that would get very short shrift from me! Does he think he’s running a business and you’re his employee? Unless you’re living in an uninhabitable hovel I’d tell him to e** off and ignore.’
A further forum user questioned the dynamics of the relationship, writing: ‘I think even the fact that you’re not sure if he’s being unreasonable shows that this behaviour is normal for him and he’s been treating you somewhat like this for some time. You’re in a controlling relationship with a power-mad man. None of my male (or female!) friends would dream of treating their partners like this. It’s not normal.’
And another simply said: ‘So he’s basically designated himself your boss? Attractive! Just what a marriage needs to thrive!’
But some posters felt that perhaps the husband thought the poster isn’t contributing enough to the household, because two of the children are at school.
One strongly worded response said: ‘I don’t understand the outrage and being asked to look after your own home when you have two children who are at school.
‘Your husband works out of the home and wants you to contribute to home life.
‘Your children are 15, 9 and 3. You are spoilt.’
A more diplomatically worded response appeared to somewhat concur.
It said: ‘He’s become irritated that you’re not earning and is trying to get more bang for his buck. I felt this way when my partner had a stint as a stay-at-home dad. I didn’t go as far as suggesting duties and a rota, but being completely honest, if it wouldn’t have made me look like a controlling a***, I’d have loved to!
A minority of forum users questioned whether the woman could be failing to meet her obligations within the partnership – with one going as far as branding her ‘spoilt’
‘Unfortunately once the idea takes hold with the wage earner that you’re not pulling your weight, the only resolution is to get a job.’
A further Mumsnetter agreed, saying: ‘Responses incredibly one-sided. Isn’t this what people suggest that women do for their husbands?
‘No offence but you can clean with a three-year-old. Give them an activity as you do it. People are really underestimating the time spent. I have a one-year-old and even with him I can fit in cleaning, cooking etc.
‘Clearly he has an issue with how the house is kept. Impossible to say whether he is being unreasonable as we can’t see your house!’
Another asked the poster if it is worth considering whether there is any merit in her husband’s suggestion that she doesn’t do enough around the home.
The response said: ‘Is this the first time he’s raised his unhappiness at the current position you’re both in? What do you do on the days the three-year-old is at nursery?
‘Do you think he might have a point or are you happy with the current upkeep of your home?’
A number of Mumsnetters suggested that the partnership may work better if the poster returns to work and the couple divides the childcare and housework
Some respondents suggested that the woman might consider going back to work herself, and hiring a childminder to look after the three-year-old.
One said: ‘I would put the three-year-old in nursery full time and go back to work full time. With the second income you can pay for some of household work to be done, and split whats left on evenings and weekends.
‘That way you are both contributing the expense of having a family, and the domestic and child related responsibilities, and the hired help takes care of what it can, and there is less resentment.’
Most of the people who responded to the post were sympathetic to the poster, and felt that her husband was being unreasonable
In a similar vein, another added: ‘Nope. Time to get yourself a job and have him contribute more at home.’
And a third wrote: ‘I imagine he’s starting to resent you not working now that 2/3 children are at school all day and one is not far from finishing high school.
‘I’d look at getting back to work.’
And another chimed in to say: ‘I’ve not voted because although it’s not a normal set up, it sounds as though you aren’t actually getting what needs to be done done and would benefit from some sort of structure.
‘Perhaps it would be easier on you to go back to work full time and then you can split all of the chores equally.’