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How much do you do around the house / did you do around the house when you were the parent of a young child / young children and a sole bread winner?
 

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A lot! I am a get things done kind of guy so as we were raising kids I did whatever needed to be done, dinner, homework, coaching sports, chauffeur, bathes, bedtime routines, mowing lawn, home remodeling, house cleaning, shopping, barn building, taking care of horses..... on and on and on. During that time my wife didn't work or worked around 10 hours a week at a small business we set up for her. I was working 50 plus hours a week, at times starting at 4 or 5 AM so I could get home early enough to get done what needed done.

In the beginning of our marriage I accepted this arraignment but as the years rolled on I became very very resentful, it became a huge wedge in our relationship, honestly the catalyst of what eventually drove us apart and to divorce.
 

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Even though I have worked throughout our marriage - some small side jobs... I have always considered myself just a SAHM, .... and he the sole breadwinner..

In our marriage.. ..I've never expected my husband to help me with the kids -as far as diapers, bottles, bathing, things like that.... just spending time with them, interacting... the Fun stuff... and he's always given them THAT...abundantly.

We talked about our future many times while dating.... we wanted the Traditional set up ...if it was doable & we could afford to swing it....

He knew I wanted at least 3 kids and if they were all boys, I told him I'd want to keep going till we had a little girl..
. He made me a promise...pretty open ended...

He told me I could have as many was I wanted on 1 condition... if I took care of them all..could I handle it?..... that meant not asking him to get up in the middle of the night, complaining it was too much work... that sort of thing, I needed to know this was what I wanted... and do my part as a wife and as a Mother.....

He honored his side of that bargain...we ended up with 6 kids...and I've never complained he didn't help enough or anything like that... sure he's changed some diapers over the years (I used cloth on the 1st 3 -so not too many-he hated those)...and if I was sick he'd step up happily.. but I can't say we've ever had an argument over me feeling he wasn't doing enough.... or his feeling I expected too much.

I've always strived to get everything done while he is at work..(cooking, cleaning, laundry, all the mundane stuff).....so when he comes home....we can relax, have the night open for whatever...kids functions, other projects he needs my help with...

My motto has always been....anything I can do -on my own to run our household, I do, as this is less stress on him...I've always been very thankful to stay home -feeling it has been a privilege -as in the beginning we worried we might not be able to afford it..

I have always had an abundance of energy though, even when we were younger, he'd be falling asleep before me at night, and I'd stay up hours later...
 

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Dh has always been a helper. He worked full-time, but still got up with the babies to change their diapers at night before bringing them back to me to nurse. He wanted the kids and wanted them breastfed, and was willing to do whatever needed to make that happen.

I don't think he sees it as, "Listen, you are a SAHM, and you better do x,y,z." I think he has always been grateful that I accepted to be a SAHM, and has tried to help in any way he could think of. Sadly, I think there were many times neither of us could think of much that could have helped. Little kid years are just intense, in my experience.
 

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When I was a SAHM, I did pretty much everything... cleaning, cooking, shopping, childcare--even if I was sick, it was ALL ME. It wasn't healthy, though, and I got soooo tired and sick from that much work. I think since SAH parenting is kind of looked down on still, it can make you feel like you have to do twice as much work as the employed spouse, and even then you can end up feeling like you're not pulling your own weight. It's really, really difficult.

My sister has a SAH husband, and she does so much housework and so much childcare. He's a "you're home, here are the kids I'm out of here" type, which I don't agree with either.

Ideally, when one partner is out earning money, the other is working hard at home too. When they're both home in the evenings and on weekends, chores should be split 50/50. Or as close to that as is possible.
 

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I am not the sole bread winner anymore but I do pay all the bills, my wife's job provides us health insurance and she buys all the food and the kids stuff.
When she was a SAHM she took care almost all the household stuff, I cooked weekends and big meals(I taught her how to cook when we were first married) but other than the yard work I didn't do much domestic stuff(worked 7 days a week lots of 12-14 hour days).

Since she returned to the work force and the kids have gotten older I have taken over much of the household stuff. My schedule is not as crazy like before so I get home earlier than she does so I cook, do the laundry and some basic cleaning.

Now that we are into our 40's the energy level goes down some so it is important for everyone to pitch in and help besides I don't want her tired if the night is destined for some romance.

For those with young children it can wear you out, if the SO is working a standard day(8 hours) then they should help out a little at home unless they are working long hours breaking rocks or other physically demanding stuff then it's hard just spending time with the kids and spouse let alone doing chores.

Either way it's all about balance one person picks up the other's slack and vice versa, to me it doesn't matter who does what anymore it is about getting it done so we can both enjoy each other.
 
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DH was the main bread winner while the kids were little, still is, though we decided I would go back to work during school hours now that they are both in school.

From day dot he always had great involvement with the kids. Just because he worked didn't mean he couldn't take part in all aspects of raising them. When he was there we took turns with changing nappies, bathing them, disciplining etc, (obviously not breast feeding though, lol). He didn't just want to be the 'fun' parent. He wanted to be a part of all of it, and as such, we didn't have that very one sided thing that can happen in some families where the mother is always the one the kids would turn to when they 'needed' something, and the father just felt like the 'fluff' piece. When they needed someone/something, they could turn to the handiest parent and know that either of us could look after them.

As for chores around the house, that was supposed to be my job, for all of it. Some stuff I just couldn't deal with, DH was supposed to at least do some of the outside stuff but would only do so occasionally so I'd have to call in a mower guy, or the handy man etc. Sometimes the house would look like a bomb hit it on a bad week (i.e. I/kids got sick, the Kindy committee needed a big project done etc), but at least he didn't whinge at me too much about it.

Now that I'm working, I think he's gotten used to doing so little around the house that we're going to struggle for quite a while.
 

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I'd venture to say I do 75% of what needs to be done in our household. I work full time, she doesn't work at all. As another poster said at first I didn't mind the arrangement because I'm a get it done kind of guy (or at least used to be). I was never sitting around doing nothing. Always cleaning, cooking, fixing, building, etc. One day I thought "WTH??? Why am I doing housework that she should be doing as a stay at home parent?" So I reduced it dramatically. Now it just doesn't get done. I still take care of the things a husband in a normal relationship would take care of; the yard, the cars, the outside of the house, etc. But I haven't cleaned a bathroom or done laundry in years. As a result even after she "cleans the bathrooms", the tubs still look dirty.
 

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BeachGuy, I really think that your (and my) kind of situations come down to a compatibility issue. Some people are always doing something, never resting, even choosing hobbies that benefit the family (my hobbies are gardening and sewing. I get to unwind, and we get food/landscaping and cheap, custom-made curtains, pillows, and clothing. Win/win as far as I'm concerned!)

But when people like us pair up with people who aren't as hyperactive/workaholic, it's a hard dynamic to maintain. I think it can be done, don't get me wrong, but it's just one more thing to have to work at. If we were on the same wavelength as our spouses, it wouldn't be an issue.
 
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