29 answers

Stay at Home Dad Not Doing Any Work Around the Home

My husband quit his job in June, which we both agreed was what we wanted. I love having him around more but I expected that he would do the brunt of the house work. I am still working full time. Am I being unreasonable to expect him to have the house clean while he is not working outside the home? (I don't have high expectations-a clean toilet and crumbs vacummed once a week, I am not a neat freak.) Help!

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Featured Answers

Hi M.,

Could he possibly be depressed? I mean like clinically depressed? Just a thought.

Best wishes,

Unspoken and not-agreed upon expectations only lead to difficulties in a marriage. My husband told me many years later that he never complained about anything he wasn't prepared to take over himself!!! If you talk it together and decide, then that would be more reasonable, but ONLY if you've discussed and BOTH agreed wholeheartedly. Good luck!

Have you tried being a stay at home mom? It's not easy. Just because he is at home doesn't mean he isn't busy all the time.

More Answers

M., I guess it all depends on your agreement w/ each other. I stay w/ my four-year old daughter full time and I consider that my primary job. My husband and I both agree on that. I don't clean - aside from general tidiness and being responsible for cleaning up messes that I make - and my husband does all the cooking.

I regard staying w/ my child and raising her my full time job - and I guess that does not have the "other duties as assigned" clause to go with it :). Any way, just my two cents.

Good luck on finding some resolution. S.

1 mom found this helpful

Coming from a stay-at-home mom. Make sure the chores are equal. Just because he stays home doesn't mean he has all the time in the world. He is not sitting around doing nothing. You do have a child who takes a lot of his time and attention. Divide the chores so that they are fair. I make sure that my husband takes the trash out, brings the laundry downstairs so I can do it, does the dinner dishes, mows the yard, vacuum and mop the floors, and if there is anything else I need help with he must help me with. Since I stay home I do the laundry, make sure the house is picked up, and clean the toilets, run all the errands, and pay all the bills, and all the other little duties that are required around the house.

For me the main question is did your husband quit his job because he hated it, because you made more money or so that he could be the one at home? The answer may guide your next steps as a family.

I supported our family by working full time while my husband was in school and now that he is the breadwinner and I am a homemaker (with a 2-year-old) our family income has reduced dramatically. However, we look at it as a good sacrifice.

We considered having my husband stay home, but realized he is not the kind of man who could do this without feeling "less than." I'm not saying this is how your husband feels, is right in the grand scheme of things, or a good reflection on homemaking being "women's work," I'm just saying this was reality for my husband. It may be something to think about.

By the way, I agree that handing your husband a list - whether you write it or you do it "together" - is emasculating. I would be angry if my partner handed me a to-do list of chores as if he were my father. Think of how your husband will feel about this. Is he a man or a mouse?

I dont know how to help you with your husband and the house work. Maybe if he would get a job that he can work from home. I have started one because it was that or go back to work. I love the people I work with and it does make you feel good to make some money to help. Have you tried to talk to him about the house and what you would like help with? I know with my husband if it is his idea them he has no problem doing it. I also know that my husband does not like the cleaning products that cause irritation (most of them from the store). I have found some great, safe cleaning products that my kids can use and I dont worry about them.
Helping families get great products

Yes, he should do that stuff. I've known several stay-at-home dads, and their homes are always a wreck. They just don't do the cleaning AND they hand the house and the kid to the wife when she comes home from work exhausted.

As a matter of fact, my sister (who lives like this) and I had a friend from childhood come to town tonight. I met the woman for dinner and didn't even tell my sister, because she's so exhausted trying to manage her job and the house and the kids that I knew it would just stress her out more to be conflicted about visiting our friend vs. dealing with her household.

Based on what I've witnessed in various families, I now try to warn women that this is what they're likely to get when Dad stays home.

Men don't think like women when it comes to housework. (consider what bachelors end up living in when left alone for too long) ;)
I suggest sitting down talking about it stick to the basics:
Use the phrase "I feel..." state your honest feeling, state what you think the problem is, then state what you think the solution is. Then wait for the response. (I only say this 'cause I tend to over talk when I'm approaching someone with a request.)
If it's plausible, make a short schedule of daily/weekly/monthly chores that might be posted somewhere for checking off, that way no time is wasted with re-cleaning anything.
Good job mommin'! & what a great decision to ensure that kiddos get full time loving parental time! Way to go Dad!

p.s. I also agree somewhat with was Marci says below. Chores should be a family team effort though!

I have one of those stay-at-home husbands, too. My husband is great with the 2 year old, but never has done alot of cleaning. Dishes, laundry, and mowing the lawn seem to be the extent of it. I am greatful that even this gets done. We now have a 6 week old, so I'm expecting even less when I go back to work. We have a maid come every 2 weeks to do a deep clean of the kitchen and bathrooms, more vacuuming and dusting of the stuff we don't get to otherwise. Maid service helps if you can afford it. I think it's well worth my sanity and saves arguments with the husband. I look at it this way- thank God my husband stays with our kids- I'd rather not pay a ton of money to have someone else raise our kids...

Have you told him how you feel. Maybe just say in a polite way. "I know it is a big job being home with the kids, but it frustrates me to come home to a dirty floor and toilet." Just be careful how you say it because as a stay at home mom I get resentful if I feel like my husband is telling me I'm not doing a good job at home. I know when I should have gotten more done and sometimes all you have accomplished during the day isn't outwardly seen.

Another suggestion is introduce your husband to flylady.net she has a website that teaches you how to clean and keep a clean house 15 minutes at a time. She has a lot of stuff on there but if you sign up for the baby steps it could be helpful. Many of us are not naturally born organized and it can be hard to keep a clean house when we are overwhelmed.

Good Luck in your situtation, I hope you find a solution or comprise with you Dear Husband.

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