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Hi everyone!

I've been reading so many posts these last few days since I joined up (it's so addictive huh?) from mothers having trouble with their partners in the good old realm of domestic chores and role division. As a relatively new mum, I know how hard it is adjusting to being at home while hubby goes out and brings home the bacon - sometimes you feel like you're stuck in a 1950's vacuum cleaner commercial! But it doesn't have to be that way. So I just wanted to share a few thoughts, let me know what you think. Here goes:

Being a mother is a full time job, plus overtime, and then some. The housework should not be one of your Key Performance Indicators in this job - the health and happiness of your child or children is your main objective. Housework is an optional extra! You have not failed in your role if the washing isn't all folded and put away at the end of the day, or if the vacuuming isn't done twice a week, or if the sheets only get changed when someone pukes on them! If the kids are loved, fed, clean, cuddled and happy, you are doing your job.

When your partner does the dishes, hangs out the washing, or cooks dinner, he is not "helping out". He is doing his share. Sure, if you're the stay at home parent, you will naturally do more of the housework, but you shouldn't have to do all of it. He's not doing you a favour when he does something - it's his house too, his mess, his dishes, at least a little bit his responsibility. You don't have to act like Christmas has come early if your man does some work, and you should never let him make you feel lazy.

Don't get me wrong, if your partner is out working full time, chances are he's working hard, and comes home tired, and no doubt he's doing a wonderful thing, working and sacrificing time with you and the kids, so that the family is taken care of financially. I'm not saying you should be cracking the whip (unless that's what you're into of course!) and making him work his butt off at home, but remember this: at work, out there in the world, he gets lunchbreaks, possibly coffee breaks too, and they come at times he can rely on. Mums don't. So by all means be appreciative of what your man does for you and the family, but don't fall into the trap of waiting on him hand and foot! You need some waiting on too.

I think we have to remind ourselves now and then, that while we live in the same house as our partner, we have pretty different lives if one of us goes out to work, and one works at home with the little darlings. Mothers are all too eager to sacrifice their own comfort and time and space for their families, and I think being a mum means we find it easier to look at things from someone else's perspective than men do. You might need to remind your man just how hard you really work! If you can, leave him with the kids for the day, or for an afternoon, or even for an hour while you go to the hairdresser. They're his kids too, he's not doing you a favour.

Have pride in yourselves mothers, and celebrate the work you do and the things you achieve every day! If nobody else gives you recognition, recognize yourself. Buy a nice bottle of wine (or if you're breastfeeding like me, a cake of chocolate, a fave magazine, anything!) and when your partner asks "What's that for?" you can reply "I had a great/horrible/challenging/memorable day today, and I deserve a treat".

Ask for more from your men, and you just might get it. Chances are they're actually living in awe of all that you accomplish for them and the children every day.

Best wishes Mums! smile

This new forum is strange ...

put wonderfully ninasmum i totally agree with you and i have to say that is how things work in our house most of the time! the only thing that my hubby doesnt get is that he gets to go out once or so a week without the kids and i NEVER get to be by myself, also my parents and inlaws are always saying oh dont get upset that he goes out he earns it he works all week aghhh so do i!!!!
anyway good luck to all the mums who are trying to acheive some equality!

Charlie 5, Imee 3, Laura 13mths, and ttc #4!

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