Thursday, 22 November 2012

A division of labour {who does what in your household?}



Despite the fact that I can happily whinge about my darling husband from time to time {are there women out there who don’t?!}, I definitely found myself a wonderful man when I met him in a Sainsbury’s carpark in London one frosty January night {true story}.

Paul is a very hands on father.

He works long hours to keep a lovely roof over our heads, good food on the table and nice things in the children’s lives. And he thinks nothing of coming straight in the door at 7pm, rolling up his sleeves and cracking on with whatever child-related duty demands his attention at the time.

He gets the best reaction on walking through the door, reads the longest bedtime stories and gives the best goodnight hugs. But he’ll also clear up vomit, wipe bums, and deal with tantrums and tears {mine included}.

I wouldn’t say he’s always been this way. It took him a little while to wave farewell to his former child-free self but, due to a fantastic opportunity offered by his office in Sydney he finally understood. You see, when Oliver was nine months old, Paul spent three months at home looking after him full time. By himself. And it was then he realised. He got it. Being a full time parent can be incredible, amazing and so rewarding, but also draining, exhausting and somewhat boring all in equal measures, day in day out.

And that’s why now, two children down the track and with me as a stay at home Mum, he never underestimates my role in this house or makes me feel undervalued in any way.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that despite the commute, the longer hours and less time at home, he’s now better than ever with the children and also around the house.

Mostly we divide and conquer to tackle the daily mundane that keeps the child-rearing wheels turning. There are some things he always does and some that he never ever does. Same for me.

He’ll never be a cook, but does all the washing up and attempts to stack the dishwasher {why oh why are men so bad at this?}. I do bathrooms, he does bins. I never do bins. I do washing, stain removal, hanging out laundry, folding laundry, putting away laundry. I never iron. Not even his shirts. He does late-night dog walking and clears up poo. I dust and mop. He cleans dirt from wellies and deals with muddy prams. I scrub crayon marks from walls and coffee stains from clothes. We both vacuum. He does bills, I remind him to do them. I shop for food, he does late night runs to buy me emergency chocolate. And so it goes on.

We’re a team. And I like it that way.

Do you have a hands on or hands off husband? Is there anything you refuse to do?

*This post is sponsored by Vanish {and thanks to them, I'm currently giving this product a whirl - it's winning with me so far}. All words and opinions are my own.

26 comments:

  1. I love hearing stories of how couples met - it gives me that little 'ahhhh' in my head.

    I do admit to grumbling every now and again, but mainly when I'm tired and have had enough - he understands - so I try not to grumble too much.

    Nina x

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    1. I think a bit of grumbling now and then is ok! Our meeting story isn't overly glamorous but had a very happy ending! x

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  2. We share here too ... my OH is a lovely man who also gets the effort which goes into staying sane as a stay at home parent ... thankfully ... but he has no idea how to load the dishwasher :) ... Bee xx

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    1. Thanks Bee - glad you have a helpful hubby too. Makes such a difference. And what is with the dishwasher thing?!

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  3. Another brilliant post Anna!
    I am extremely thankful that I have two of these wonderful beings, 1) my ex husband (my antenatal mates always told me i was spoilt with Steve!) is so hands-on and continues to be, even after our separation; Our like minds make for a united front on all things child-related.
    and my new partner (Ryan) revels in "his" chores around the house that keep the wheels in motion and make my life, as a working mum of two, easier. I'd be lost without them both. FACT. Horrah to teamwork for the greater good. x

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment Anon. Sounds like you have a great set up at home, lucky thing. So nice when you can share the load. x

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  4. I also love hearing stories of how couples met! At the moment I'm a single lady but I grew up in a house where my mum was the main breadwinner and dad was more often home with us kids - his job as a school teacher allowed him more time at home.. x

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    1. I think it's great when the Dad's get a full taste of what it's like to run a household. Makes such a difference to how they view things. Thanks for commenting x

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  5. We so happy here: *nobody* does ironing! ;)
    But otherwise, I feel so lucky to have married a man who enjoys cooking - he does dinner, we take turns on cleanup // baby bedtime.
    Isn't it weird how some things you hate they don't mind doing? (like vacuuming - I am happy to clean and tidy to ankle level then I throw my hands up)

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    1. Haha! Ironing is the pits. Goodness knows what we'll do when the kids are at school. Perhaps I'll have to learn then. Glad you have a good balance at home too. x

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  6. Hands on hubby here, and I like it that way. I cook and clean up the kitchen...it is my space and I like to look after it. He does the bathrooms, takes out the trash and recycling, picks up the dog poop in the yard, cuts the grass. I do laundry and dust, we both vacuum, but mostly him. I grocery shop, again because the kitchen is my space. Teamwork is the best!

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    1. Funny how most of the time the roles are split by men doing all the grotty ones and women doing all the housey ones! x

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  7. My partner is hand on but he doesn't do dirty nappies unless he really has to!! Great you have a hands on partner

    I am giving away a month planner, meal planner and shopping list pad and pencil for the fridge if you want to check it out http://takeshapefitness.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Hi Anne - thanks for the link. I'll check it out. My FIL has never once changed a nappy - despite having two kids and four grandchildren! x

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  8. My husband is hands on too, but there are definitely still areas I wish he'd do more of to help with :) To me, once he walks in the door, it's equal responsibilities for us both in terms of the girls - either one is watching or playing or bathing them, while the other tidies, sorts out tea etc. My one 'issue' is that my husband does a lot of work in our yard and garden and while I appreciate beautifully kept lawn and weed free green gardens, if the outdoors aren't tended to for a week, no one will notice. However, if something indoors doesn't get done for a week, it is noticeable :)

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    1. That's good to hear - and I agree, work is work, but it doesn't stop at home. Paul's downfall is that things are always done in Paul time, not my time or kids time! x

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  9. Nodding away as it's all very similar here too.
    It's just great when the balance feels right, isn't it.
    :-) xx

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  10. I am so grateful that my husband is also pretty hands on. Although he does sometimes need a gentle reminder, I really can't complain. A Sainsbury carpark...It is truly amazing how fate and the universe work isn't it.

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    1. Oh they always need the gentle reminders. And sometimes not so gentle! And yes on the fate thing - so random, but so right! x

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  11. Hello! First, thanks for calling in at my blog, it's nice to meet you and find a lovely new blog to read :)

    My husband is fab with our girl, can't complain at all. Tho I do sometimes wonder what would happen if I wasn't here and he had to deal with getting her school stuff ready, washing and ironing the uniform, lunch box, sorting her long hair out in the morning etc! I expect he'd cope but I suspect she'd look a little strange...

    The only thing that used to bug me (and probably will do again when I have baby number 2 in April) is when he comes home tired and grumpy from work and looks around and says 'what have you been doing all day?'!!! He says he's just interested in my day but I'm sure I can detect a 'why haven't you done the ironing/washing-up/vacuuming', especially as his stares pointedly at the pile of laundry/dirty dishes/bits on the floor.
    Perhaps that's just me being over sensitive and hormonal tho! But it's not ;)

    For someone who just said their husband is fab I've just moaned quite a lot so I'll just finish by saying that he's a lovely dad who has wiped bottoms a lot and very often gets up in the night to let me stay in bed. X

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    1. Hi Anna! And a big hello to you too. I know what you mean about men in the mornings, Paul is great but can't multi-task at all! Have a lovely weekend x

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  12. Oh Anna I want to hear the sainsbury car park story! Is that a nosy thing to say?? I always love how we met stories :) your man sounds like a great catch! Mine is great on the home front too, but I do wish he really knew how full -on being the stay at home parent actually is! Thanks for your comment on my blog too - nice to know it's not just me. I do hope you get loads of rest this weekend xx

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  13. Your husband sounds like a keeper! It's great that he experienced what life it like at home with a baby. Not many men would do that! I am at home full time and do most of the housework, shopping and washing. It makes sense that way. My husband loves cooking so we probably share that fifty/fifty. He has to mow the lawn, wash the car and trim the hedge. I do the "pretty" gardening. God. we're so conventional!! It works though.

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  14. We are very much a team here too. K is pretty obsessive about the vacuuming which always cracks me up. I do have to coax him a little to get out in the garden though ;)
    x
    Oh, and I don't do bins either! (how old fashioned)

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  15. Lovely post- my guy is a dishwasher stacker extraordinaire! And a pretty good dishwasher and laundry man too! We have an equal distribution of domestic activity, where we each do the things we like best (if you can say that about domestic duties!!) Jx

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I truly appreciate each and every one and try to reply as often as I can. x

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