Post # 1
So my husband’s office has recently been filled to the max, which means they are now asking some people to work from home. My husband was one of the first people asked since he works with the team that is based in Switzerland & that is where his direct report is located.
So for the past month my husband as been working, on average, 3 days from the house, and 2 days he goes into the office.
When he worked at the office, he usually got home later that I did, so we got into a pretty solid routine that I would handle all grocery shopping, cook dinner & he would clean after. This worked because I am a better cook and I enjoy cooking more then cleaning. I also have minor chores like emptying out the dishwasher that I do when I come home from work.
So the issue is now that my husband is working from home, I am becoming annoyed that he isn’t doing more, and for some reason when I call him as I am leaving the office, and he in his sweet voice innocently asks “what are you cooking for dinner?” I feel irratable and annoyed.
I know that he is a very diligent worker, and at home, he is locked in the office working (most times when I get home he is actually still in the office working,) but I don’t know how to get that voice out of my head that thinks “why don’t you go to the grocery store and start dinner since you are at the house?”
So ladies that have a SO working from home, do you ever feel the way I do? How do you handle it?
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
To get the obvious out of the way, have you talked to him about this?
Speaking as someone who works from home sometimes (not every week but nearly), even though you’re working from home, you’re still working. The line between working and not working also blurs more; when I go in to the office, work starts when I get in and it ends when I get out. When I work from home, I don’t have a train schedule to worry about, so I’m typically logged in 1 to 2 hours after the time I would normally sign off to catch the train. So maybe he just doesn’t have the time it seems he might to get out of the house and go grocery shopping or do whatever. In fact last week I took a day to work from home, and I did go grocery shopping after I signed off! And while I was in the store, someone from the office called my cell phone, and I had to sign right back on after I got back.
Just a different perspective 🙂
Post # 4
I solely work from home and I can honestly say that I work harder than I ever did in my office. I am at my desk from 8 am until at least 7 pm. When I first started working home, FI would ask why I wasn’t doing laundry, cleaning more or cooking – well it’s because I am working.
Whether its from my home office or at a client’s office, I am still working. You can’t expect him to stop working to do stuff around the house – he wouldn’t expect you to stop in the middle or your work day to do these things.
You need to have a discussion with him about both of your expectations and responsibilities arond the home.
Post # 5
My husband has worked exclusively from home for the last 6 months, and probably will for the next couple of years. We had the same transition issues you are having – I was getting up at 6:30, coming home and still doing everything, even though he got 2 more hours of sleep and has an easy job! If he is 100% working all the time, he does still have his commute time free, so I think he can still pick up some slack.
We worked it out that he had to pick up slack around the house since he doesn’t have a commute, and I have a 2 hr/day commute time. I think it’s all about communication! We were really kind and laid out our wants/needs/expectations and found a routine that helped for us.
For example, it’s easy for him to throw loads of laundry on while he’s working – something that would eat up a big chunk of time being home on the weekend otherwise. He takes breaks and does dishes, he signs for packages, makes the bed (since he gets up later). He does any daytime errands, like going to the post office, etc. He also vaccums since it gives me an asthma attack – so nice that he can do it while i’m not there!
I make dinner/do the shopping/clean the bathroom. I also do the finances and some other more minor chores.
The split of chores works really well for us!
Post # 6
Nothing has changed in his work life except the location where he works.
Ask yourself a few questions:
Why do you think that the change of location gives him any more free time during the day to shop, cook etc?
Why do you think that the change of location has made him a bettter cook?
Whys do you think that his change of location will make you like cleanng any better?
Post # 7
@julies1949: Nothing has changed in his work life except the location where he works.
And his lack of a commute, which she still faces…
Post # 8
@julies1949: “Nothing has changed in his work life except the location where he works.”
Agreed. DH works from home one day a week and I tend to find that he’ll put in even more hours on his day at home than his days on site.
Post # 9
I work from home at least 2 days a week. What PP have said is true, you may be home but you are still working. It is sometimes even worse to be home.
I do agree however, that if his day is shorter due to a commute maybe you can talk about him doing some small chores during that time. But honestly, he may be burnt out from a hard day. I sometimes enjoy my commute because it disconnects me from work and transitions me to home. It kinda sucks to sign off and jump in the kitchen or wherever to do chores right away.
Maybe on occasion you can say, hey can you throw this in the dryer at some point today or similar. That way it’s not a chore list and probably something he can do during a bathroom break.
Post # 10
My SO works from home a few days a week, and somehow always manages to have enough time to take the dogs out for a walk as well as do some chores around the house. I really don’t know how he does it.
Post # 11
I work from home 100% of the time. When my SO asks me “what’s for dinner?” I respond with “whatever you are picking up on your way home from the office!”
Being the one that’s at home, what I do around the house varies. I usually take care of the laundry because it’s easy to get into the washer, then into the dryer and folded while I’m on a conference call. But it depends on my conference calls because some I just listen in, while others require me to run a presentation/speak the entire time. Some days I am tied up from 7 am until 6pm when he walks in the door. Some of my free time I spend walking the dog or working out. I tell my DH…do you want me to have a flabby ass or do you want the dish washer empty? Easy answer 🙂
I agree that you need to talk about it. My SO gets up before me and while he’s up, he feeds the dogs, empties the dish washer, packs his lunch, etc. I think it balances out. If I get a chance to start dinner before he gets home, great! If not…then it doesn’t happen. My DH is in charge or running errands close to the city and I take care of people coming to the house such as cable guy, etc.
For the dinner issues, maybe you can come up with easy crock pot recipe’s for your DH. He can throw everything in and keep an eye on it so you have dinner ready by the time you get home?
Post # 12
I do want to add… I have a hard time believing anyone is going at 110% ALL of the time. So when you do talk do him, talk about things he might be able to pitch in with during his down time. Ask him in the morning before you leave for work “Is today a heavy day at the office for you?” If he’s like “meh – it’ll be ok”. Maybe that’s a good time to suggest something light for him to do like sweep the kitchen floor, throw load in, etc.
My DH generally needs specific tasks assigned to him.
Post # 13
When one person works from home you need to stop dropping hints, feeling annoyed etc and have an honest conversation with each other.
I work from home and the deal is that we differentiate between working at home and being at home – they are not the same thing. I do laundry while I work and run errands but only if I have time and I don’t do more round the house just because I work in it.
I for one would not start dinner while working as that’s the kiss of death to any healthy division between work and home – I really don’t recommend you let one creep into the other.
Post # 14
Thanks everyone – yall have brought up some really interesting points.
I initially felt bad for bringing it up because although he is at home, I know he is head down getting his work done and being diligent. But your right, my main issue is that I am annoyed by my own commute (45mins – 1 hour each way) which of course, he no longer has any commute.
I do know that he would be willing to do a few extra things around the house, if I just talk to him about it. I just didn’t know how to proposition it as I do want him to have that feeling of division that work is work and home time is home time.
@julies1949: Very true, in reality I still want to be the one who cooks & have him clean.
Post # 15
My fiance works from home and he takes his job as seriously as if he was in an office. In fact he works even harder .
I think that it could help that if one who is at home gets dinner started etc provided that they are finished work and dont have to commute home but it shouldnt be expected
Post # 16
My SO will sometimes work from home, and he genuinely does have a lot of work to do. It’s the same old stuff, but in a different location. However, there are some days where he literally has nothing to do, or had something to do that was finished at 10 in the morning, and so I’ll walk in and find him playing video games. I only get annoyed when I know he could have used a few minutes to empty the dishwahser and put dirty ones in or something like that.