Women’s work was a thing, but that notion died when women started doing their fair share of men’s work. I’d argue that most women have trouble getting dad to help with housework. Whatever the family dynamic may be (two working parents, a stay-at-home-dad/mom, a work-at-home dad/mom), the housework’s gotta get done and it shouldn’t all fall on mom.
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During my husband’s stint as Stay-At-Home Dad, we debated over who does what around the house. But I couldn’t believe my ears when I walked through the door after work and grabbed our baby out of his hands as he asked me, “What’s for dinner?”
Not just that, but dishes were overflowing and laundry was still in the dryer from the night before. This women’s work wasn’t getting done because the woman was at work. Obviously (to me), the stay-at-home parent was responsible for all the things we would expect from a stay-at-home mom: grocery shopping, laundry, vacuuming, cooking, the works. The solution was clear to me (just do it), but any wife knows it takes more than logic to get through to a dude.
Men need tools
Every dad isn’t the same, but breaking the laziness out of their bones is easy when you find tools that make the task simple. Think about it: men used to climb trees for hunting/building purposes. Enter THE LADDER. This is the sort of brilliance that has made our species so advanced. But laundry? Dinner? That’s some tough stuff.
I realized I needed to make housework complement his masculinity. With the right tools, he doesn’t feel like Cinderella and I don’t feel like an exhausted nag. So the magic question is: what tools get that job done?
The Right Vacuum
The cordless Dyson is more than a vacuum. It’s literally unbelievable. The best part? Guys treat it like a weapon. It’s so powerful and he thinks it’s his magic touch that makes it clean better than any vacuum the world has ever seen lol.
I’ll be the first to admit I never thought I’d spend $400 on a vacuum, but it is one of the greatest household investments we’ve made! Hands Down, Top 5! Don’t let the pink paintjob fool you, this thing is the real deal. He actually LOVES vacuuming. It’s never an argument: HE gets to do it.
BONUS: the attachments make it perfect for cars too! (hint hint) You can buy yours here!
A Grill (+ Gear)
Wondering what’s for dinner? Whatever’s on the grill. Let his barbecue dreams come true and get your family fed at the same time. There are other, indoor options, but the point is – Make it Manly – Seriously though… I am not productive in his man cave/area, why would he be productive in a feminine kitchen that looks like it stepped out of Better Homes and Gardens (on a good day)? If I want him to work in it, it has to appeal to him.
My friend and her husband would grill every Sunday afternoon. That was their version of weekly meal prep and Dad did it ALL! I was so envious, I had to start investing in stuff like this!
Click the images to shop and find sweet cooking relief!
Another excuse I’d hear was that the baby doesn’t want to be put down, so all the work he wants to do can’t be done. Bummer. There are so many dad-friendly carriers that don’t look like a papoose. Wearing it around the house frees up hands and doesn’t leave him emasculated.
BONUS: babies tend to fall asleep in them, so it’s an awesome nap transition. You’re welcome, Dad.
The right dad-bag
Now is not the time for Petunia Pickle Bottom to rear her [ugly] head. No disrespect, but asking him to carry what is clearly a woman’s bag has been difficult since before kids.
There are cool diaper bags, sure. But a diaper bag is really just a bag. So treat him with a bag he wants!
A good (or used, but still good) jogging stroller gives dad an excuse to work out and takes away the mom-qualities of the typical stroller. Suddenly it isn’t a stroll it’s a workout and gives dad an excuse to show off his calves and kick the cabin fever. Sure he isn’t doing housework, but we all need extra self-care in our lives. This is a great way for him to take care of himself, get the babe some vitamin D, and get endorphins flowing.
this is the set we have, and we love it!A nice power drill duo can make a guy feel rugged AND do work. After a week of wiping butts and finding his culinary genius (hopefully not at the same time), taking the hard part out of a home project is exactly what he needs. He gets to use some man-strength and you get to realize some Pinterest project dreams.
With stressed, homeowning, working mom probs, I was constantly wondering when I would find the time to hire a pro to fix the SIMPLEST issues in our home. Let’s not even talk about affording it… Asking my husband to do it was ludicrous… He didn’t have the tools.
Since we invested in some REAL tools, he’s able to make quick fixes around the house and take any guesswork out of weekend projects. No more fruitless “stud hunts” and poorly hung shelves around here, so you can finally embrace your Ikea fantasies!
In all seriousness, these playful ploys won’t keep him productive forever. Effective communication is key, and probably should’ve been first on the list. However, it’s so important that I wanted it to be last!
Communicating your desire for him helping with housework is the absolute first step. We women tend to get upset when he isn’t fulfilling our expectations or picking up our slack. I used to do this, but before getting mad, ASK for what you want. Express your concerns (“I’m tired and overworked.” “I just want some time to be with my baby” “I don’t want to cook 5 nights a week”) then discuss resolutions, and make them happen. When he starts wavering, remember that reminders aren’t nagging.
You are a team, after all. Picking up each other’s slack is necessary during stressful times. We have to keep that in mind when he’s hurting too.
NEXT – Check out:
- Self-Care Gift Guide for Pregnant Women
- 5 Controversial Tips to enjoying a short maternity leave
- Shocking Truths you Can Expect the First Week Home with Baby
- Are You Ready to Buy Your First House?