So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

I want to hear what others think. In my mind, my spouse is doing about 1/2 of what a stay at home spouse should be doing. We have 2 middle school aged children. I work 40 hours a week.

Give me your list. Let's hear it.

1. ?
2. ?
3. ?
etc.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

1) Talk to spouse, decide together reasonable expectations.

2) Talk to spouse, decide together reasonable expectations.

3) Talk to spouse, decide together reasonable expectations.

4) ?????

5) Profit!
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

If you go to change your baby's diaper, you are free to expect to find diamonds and jelly beans. The reality is you'll have to deal with whatever crap is there. Frustration comes from expecting Y but getting Z.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

It is whatever you two have agreed upon. That being said, here is a list that I think is not unreasonable.

Laundry, ironing
Grocery shopping, cooking (5 days a week, share on weekends)
Housework (dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, cleaning)
Run errands
Chauffeur children
Overseeing homework

I would also like to point out that 2 middle-school students should be setting the table, doing the dishes, keeping their room clean, folding/putting away laundry, cleaning bathrooms (on weekends), helping with yardwork, helping clean garage/basement.

They should also be learning how to cook, sort/wash laundry, iron clothes, mend clothes (buttons, small tears, fix hems), make grocery lists, help with grocery shopping, etc.

My grandmother was HORRIFIED when she found out my mother made my 2 brothers (as well as my sister and me) LEARN to wash clothes, iron, cook, clean, do dishes, run a sewing machine, and sew on a button. My mother's response, "I don't want them to marry some girl just so they can have a hot meal or a clean shirt." Good on ya, Mom!

You TWO need to make up a list of chores and assign them to EVERYBODY in the household lest the children grow up lazy and unwilling to help a future partner. Too many people FORGET that SAHMs usually have to cook/dishes/clean SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. They don't get weekends off like people with 'paying' jobs. Keep that in mind.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

Errands, shopping, cooking, baking, cleaning, laundry, pay the bills, chauffering, homework help, assist my husband, etc.

I don't ever want my husband to regret letting me quit my job. He helps out a lot but I do most of the work around the house.

I will say this though. There isn't a whole lot of free time even when you are home. If you aren't careful lots of other things can suck your time away like friends, hobbies, the internet, etc. It's like any other self employed or work at home job it takes some serious discipline to be a homemaker and some woman just don't have it.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

Every household varies...what do you feel she should be doing and what does she do..
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

Ok, thanks for the replies. This is what she does/doesn’t do (btw, we’re in our 40’s; not kids):

1. Gets the kids off to school daily. Lunches, backpacks, etc. Has to drive them so she spends about an hour and a half a day in the car. They go to two diff schools that start/end an hour apart.
2. During the day she does laundry, dishes, sweeping, bathrooms, vacuuming. It pretty much ends there. And she doesn’t do a great job with any of those. But she does it.
3. She buys groceries but not everything we need. I have to go to the store frequently.
4. She doesn’t plan or prepare meals. I do all the cooking. At one point I asked her to take over M-F and she did it for one week and stopped.
5. I pay the bills, do the yard, take care of the cars, etc.
6. She only does the most obvious chores. Example: the trash can in our bedroom has not been emptied in over 3 months. Doesn’t notice burned out light bulbs and change them. Doesn’t dust in the not-so-obvious places. Things like that.
7. Our house is a perpetual mess. She literally cannot clean a single room. She will pile things in corners because she can’t make a decision as what to do with things.
8. She’s never held a paintbrush, planted a plant or flowers, or hung a picture or anything like that in her life.
9. The plan was for her to return to work part time after our kid were in school, then she refused when the time came.
10. She gets on Facebook daily, talks on the phone multiple times per day, and texts daily with her friends into the night. Not excessively, but constantly.
11. The carpet in our house is disgusting. She doesn’t know how to clean stains and won’t call anyone to have it cleaned regularly. I’ve seen her sit on the couch watching tv while the cat is tearing up our carpet next to her and she doesn’t even notice. She can’t even change the bag on our vacuum cleaner we’ve had for 14 years.
12. We’ve owned our house 10 years and she’s never dusted the blinds one single time. And I’ve asked her to.
13. And the biggie….she waits on our children hand and foot and doesn’t make them do a single thing, nor teach them anything. I try and teach them and make them help out but she never does. And that’s how she was raised.

I’m not really looking for advice on how to approach her about this, fix it, etc. We have been down that road many times and went to counseling, etc., etc. I think she'll never improve. I really just wanted to make sure I wasn’t expecting too much from a spouse that is home all day and won’t work.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

Cooking or preparing 3 meals plus shacks, cleaning : windows,window seals, blinds, dusting, baseboards, fans, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, laundry, dishes, bedrooms, bathing kids, chauffeuring, shopping, Dr appointments, book keeping, bills, extra curricular activities for the kids, homework, play with kids, make sure kids do chores, read stories to kids at bedtime....business phone calls, garden and outside cleaning, sheets, ect...this is my schedule and things I'm sure there is more that I cant think of. This keeps me busy especially because we have more appointments due to a special needs child.

There can always be a discussion at any time to reevaluate the duties and adjust them and delegate them to accommodate the couples own desire for responsibilities /time.....it is a very touchy subject to a sahm so choose how to approach it wisely.

As an example you may say honey ive noticed that you must be tired lately because of the looks of things is everything okay...are you feeling ill or unhappy with the decision to stay at home.....again even his could be offensives so tread lightly...lol.

Good luck!
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

BeachGuy,

You need a responsible adult to supervise your kids while you are not around. Having someone to do the laundry, no matter how badly, is a big help because it takes a lot of time and if you had to do that all yourself, it would really put a big dent in your off-work time. Other than this, anything else that gets done is a big bonus. My suggestion is for you to come up with one or two tasks per day and try to orient her toward getting them done. It sounds to me like you want her to be self directed, to see and do what needs to be done. I text my wife during the day with little jobs I need done and more often than not, they are done when I get home.

Believe me, you are way ahead of the game here. Concentrate on working with what you have.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

You are not expecting too much, however - it sounds to me like she is just a slob, or a "princess". Either way I am betting she was like this way before you had kids? People who live in filth are just not going to be the type to "notice" when the blinds need to be cleaned or the corners dusted or whatever. They are usually not detail-oriented.

I am a bit over the top when it comes to cleaning, a bit OCD. I have been that way my whole life. My husband is not a slob by any means but he is OK with a level of dirt that is beyond what I can tolerate. Rather than berate him all the time because he does not clean the bathroom floor behind the toilet, or always misses one spot of the kitchen counter, I take over the jobs that I know I want done to a certain specification. I praise him for helping me on those things because the effort was kind, and I own my extreme perceptions as my own problem, not his.

Do you ever leave her a honey-do list? When I stayed at home my husband would leave me one, and I didn't mins it at all. It often contained those things that are time consuming like sitting on the phone to dispute a bill or making appointments for the carpet cleaning you mentioned. You said she doesn't get all of the groceries...do you send her with a list and she just misses things?

All of your complaints could be fixed by hiring a cleaning service. Even if you aren't able to force your wife to do the work, you will come home to a clean house and remove some of your own stress. That would be worth it.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

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Originally Posted by kag123 View Post
All of your complaints could be fixed by hiring a cleaning service. Even if you aren't able to force your wife to do the work, you will come home to a clean house and remove some of your own stress. That would be worth it.
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Hire a cleaning service??? When I have a wife that refuses to work and is home all day? Not a chance.

I've tried the honey-do list route. As long as it's very simple things, she does them. But I put "dust the blinds" on it once and she never did it. Or any of the things that require effort.

She was raised this way. She's not a slob but she is a princess (without even knowing it). She thinks she's a good housekeeper and homemaker. Even thought she can't clean or cook.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

With my ex-husband, I handled pretty much everything:

1. Finances (except investments).
2. Kept the house spotless and organized.
3. Did all cooking...always made sure we had something special for dinner and packed homemade lunches that he liked.
4. Took care of gifts for his friends and family.
5. Always had great food and drinks when his friends were over.
6. I almost always made sure the chores were finished before he came home so that we could play together...(i.e...play music and sports, and make love).

However, none of these things were done out of sense of responsibility but rather out of Love and Appreciation. I loved this man, and what I did for him arose from my desire to make him content and feel loved by the woman he married. Everything I did was an expression of my love for him, so I never viewed any of it in terms of responsibility.

When things were "good" between us, he was the happiest man in the world, and often insisted on hiring someone else to clean and do errands so that I could devote more time to my own interests. (I hired someone twice and decided I could do a better job). We never once argued about finances or who/how the house was run.

Perhaps, your dissatisfaction with your wife isn't necessarily about how little she is cooking/cleaning/etc, but rather her not making an effort to make you feel special and loved...what do you think? Did she ever (before or after marriage) make you feel like the most special man in the world?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachGuy View Post
I want to hear what others think. In my mind, my spouse is doing about 1/2 of what a stay at home spouse should be doing. We have 2 middle school aged children. I work 40 hours a week.

Give me your list. Let's hear it.

1. ?
2. ?
3. ?
etc.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

I bet if you hired a really hot woman in a french maid outfit (who showed up only when you were there) she wouldn't have to work more than just a few minutes before you'd see your wife miraculously healed and fully capable of taking care of the house without hired assistance.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

Your expectations are not unreasonable, but it sounds like she, for whatever reason, isn't living up to them. So you have some choices. Either you accept her the way she is and hire a cleaning service, or get out of the marriage, or do it yourself. Seriously. Dictating to her what she should be doing with her OWN time isn't going to get you what you want. She isn't your maid, she's your wife. It won't work that way. SHE has to decide to change her own ways - you cannot change her. The two of you have different views on what 'clean' is it sounds like.

What do you do around the house?
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: So just what are the responsibilities of a stay at home spouse???

I wanted to add that we didn't have any children at this point and acknowledge that children do change relationships.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marielle View Post
With my ex-husband, I handled pretty much everything:

1. Finances (except investments).
2. Kept the house spotless and organized.
3. Did all cooking...always made sure we had something special for dinner and packed homemade lunches that he liked.
4. Took care of gifts for his friends and family.
5. Always had great food and drinks when his friends were over.
6. I almost always made sure the chores were finished before he came home so that we could play together...(i.e...play music and sports, and make love).

However, none of these things were done out of sense of responsibility but rather out of Love and Appreciation. I loved this man, and what I did for him arose from my desire to make him content and feel loved by the woman he married. Everything I did was an expression of my love for him, so I never viewed any of it in terms of responsibility.

When things were "good" between us, he was the happiest man in the world, and often insisted on hiring someone else to clean and do errands so that I could devote more time to my own interests. (I hired someone twice and decided I could do a better job). We never once argued about finances or who/how the house was run.

Perhaps, your dissatisfaction with your wife isn't necessarily about how little she is cooking/cleaning/etc, but rather her not making an effort to make you feel special and loved...what do you think? Did she ever (before or after marriage) make you feel like the most special man in the world?
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