Working Moms

Who does the pick-up and a ?

If you or DH/SO does the pick up, do you/they get dinner started, etc? We have an almost three year old and a 7 month old. I went back to work full-time in June. My DH does the pick-up. I do the drop-off. I get home from work about 45 minutes to an hour after him. Is it unreasonable to expect him to start dinner almost every night during the work week? I know it can be tough at the end of the day when everyone is cranky. But I feel like 9 times out of 10, he just can't seem to get it together. When I come home last night, I walked in the door and my DH and DS were just finishing up a skype session with my DH's dad. Of course, the minute I come in my DS starts immediately complaining that he wants a snack, etc. I had to get dinner started and because my DD has a cold, I had to drag the humidifer out and clean it to make sure it was ready for her bed time. I was irritated that they were on skype etc. while the "chores" went by the wayside. I was further annoyed by the skype thing because my in-laws only live an hour and fifteen minutes away. We see them once a month but complain it's not enough. Furthermore, they were invited to our house this past Sunday. My MIL came but my FIL didn't (for no apparent reason) thus the skype. If they want to skype on the weekends, fine but during the week it's too chaotic. Are my expectations are too high? Just looking for some perspective. Thanks!



Re: Who does the pick-up and a ?

  • DH gets home about 45 minutes later than DD and I do. DD is usually in the high chair having her dinner when he gets home. He and I eat together after she goes to bed. The chef varies from night to night.
  • DH does pick up, beats me home by about half an hour, but I don't expect dinner to be started. He's gotta get DS situated, take the dog out, get changed, etc. After I get home, one of us cooks, and the other one hangs with DS. I don't see why your DH can't have some unwind time and let his dad get to see your LO during the week. Chores can wait an hour.
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  • I do the pick-up and get home around 5pm, DH doesn't get home until at least 7:30 so I usually start dinner.

    DD goes to bed at 7pm and I usually don't start dinner until after she has gone to sleep, unless it was prepped the night before or it's something like a whole chicken that I can season in 2 minutes and throw in the oven and fix the sides once she goes to bed.

    I would find it difficult to get home and start dinner within that hour if my child was still awake and full of energy.  I can't get chores done with a baby crawling around so I wouldn't expect my DH to do it either.  Most chores and cooking is done while DD is asleep or while one person can occupy her.

    You may have just been a little irritated yesterday so the situation may have bothered you more than on a regular day.  I would suggest pre-prepping a meal the night before and have DH stick it in the oven or whatever is necessary.  Or make freezer meals on the weekend and just heat them up during the week.

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  • DH works 7a-7pm and gets home about 8pm. I work 745a-245p so I pick up and drop off. I also prepare dinner, and prepare everything for the next day since DH is still at work. When DH gets home from work he cleans the kitchen, washes and prepares bottles for DC the next day.
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  • My husband teaches two nights a week so those nights I do the pick-ups but he does them the other days along with doing all the drop-offs.

    A lot of nights we get home right around the same time but whomever gets home first normally either starts dinner.  If you dh is home typically 45 minutes before you are then no, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect him to get dinner started, although I think you also need to cut him a little slack with regards to it being every night and exactly on your time table.  Trust me, I get the frustration with in-laws but I try and focus on how important it is for my kids to have a positive relationship with their grandparents and if that sometimes makes things inconvenient for me then I try to just let it go.

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  • Before both kids were in school I did the pick up (as child care was close to my work) and DH got dinner ready (he gets home before me).  Now he picks the kids up from after school care and gets dinner ready (as he still gets home before me).   I do the dishes...


    I think it he is home 45 min to 1 hour before you, that he should have dinner started.

    Cheryl, Evan 4.25.05, Paige 7.2.07
  • I do pickup at 4ish, DH is home at 5ish.  We start dinner then.  If I cook, DH plays with LO.  If DH cooks, I play with LO.  We all eat together.  Then one does bath and one does dishes.  Then we all play together until bedtime.

    The last thing I feel like doing after getting LO after not seeing her all day is stick her in the high chair so I can prep dinner.  I want to hang out with her!

  • On the IL thing- while I hear you (I have similar fruatration w/ my IL's), let it go.  These are your DH's parents and he's going to want to give access to them to see the kids.  It may not fit YOUR schedule, but if it "fits" DH's... let it go. 

    As for dinner.... have you ever picked them up and been the first one home?  I ask only in that now there are 2 kids.  Have you experienced the 'reality' if getting home from work with 2 kids in tow and having to do dinner, entertain them, etc?

    If you HAVE, then try to give your DH some suggestions on how to streamline things so that he can perhaps get other things done, like start dinner. 

    If you HAVEN"T, maybe try to do so a couple times just so that you can have a full understanding of what it's like for your DH so that you can 1- simply understand, and 2- again, back to "if you have", you may come up w/ some ideas to help him. 

    Also, do you all have a menu planned for the week?  One of my biggest stumbling blocks w/ making dinner is that if I don't already have a plan, I'll sometimes get home and just have NO idea what to make.  If you don't, then put some kind of plan in place!  If DH knows what to make/ what to get started, it might make it easier for him.

    And really- that's where yo uneed to start.  Put the irritation aside and just ASK your DH about how the evenings go and what HE feels he needs in order to get more done/ to get dinner started. 

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  • I think it is unreasonable for you to expect him to start dinner almost every night of the week when he is caring for a 3 year old and a 7 month old.

    Sometimes?  Sure.

    You are frustrated because you are coming home and having to start 'working' again right away but you are expecting him to do the same thing.

    Time for a talk.

    promised myself I'd retire when I turned gold, and yet here I am
  • We don't have this issue because we have a nanny but I'd start talking to your DH about what is going on. Is he happy with a later dinner? Does you DH want to cook? Did he cook before? Could you or he do some prep work after the kids go to bed so that dinner is easy to get going.

    Overall I rarely cook if I am alone with my 2 kids. I arranged for my nanny to stay an extra 30 mins every nigh so I can cook without having to be so involved with the kids. I am somewhat sympathetic to your DH that it can be hard to get dinner going with 2 small kids.

    Now to be fair if your DH doesn't cook when he is home alone with the kids that doesn't mean you have to do it once you get home. I think you could guys could trade off on that each night or he could be doing other things that would make the night better.

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  • I do the pick-ups, we get home about an hour-1 1/2 before DH does.  And I do the cooking...but DH often preps the meal the night before, so I don't have to spend time chopping etc.  Maybe doing that would help your DH get on the ball?
  • H does most of the pick ups. We usually get home at the same time. Our daycare is on his way home from work.

    Dinner is not on the radar for us yet. We eat once they go to sleep and it's usually leftovers or something thrown together quick. 

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  • I usually do both drop off and pickup (but sometimes dh is working close to home and he picks the girls up)...most of the time when I get home I usually give the girls a snack at the table and start dinner and dh gets home 15 min after that...usually once a week dh beats us home (with or without the girls) and he starts dinner. some days dinner doens't get started until we are both home and someone is tehre to entertain the kids and the other cooks. we also always have something in the freezer, and I usually pre-make something on sunday for monday that just has to be heated. I would try prepping some dinners ahead of time...I find getting home with 2 kids to be hectic some days - its good to have super quick meals on hand for those times. talk to him and see what would make it successful and work for both of you. I will say when the girls were 0-12 months, I often barely had time to dump the diaper bag out on the counter and give the girls a bottle within the first I do think its unreasonable to expect dinner from him every nite.
  • DH used to do pick up (I recently changed my hours, so I do p/u now) and would get home anywhere from a half hr to hour before me. The gameplan was for him to start dinner- some nights it happened, some it didn't.  Either way I cook big on the weekends and we generally reheat during the week, so it usually didn't take much to get dinner on the table.

  • DH does drop off and pick up because daycare is on his way. He also does all the cooking (we get home at the same time). 

    I don't do much of anything right now because I'm pg and exhausted, but in better circumstances, I settle DS down, and take care of clean up.


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  • I do the pick-up, and I make dinner. But if I were going to be home late, I'd expect DH to pick up a little of the dinner slack - even though he hates cooking.
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  • We have different schedules on different days.

    Mon/Wed: Husband does dropoff and pickup, and I get home 60-90 minutes after he does.  He's responsible for dinner those nights, but usually doesn't get started until I get home and take the baby.  She eats on demand, so sometimes she'll be napping, and those days he'll have gotten dinner started.  These two days are our busy days.

    Tues/Thu: I work from home these days and am responsible for dinner.  I usually have dinner ready by the time he gets home, or maybe a half hour later, but we still eat at the same time as Mon/Wed.  Because the baby still needs to be looked after, and I'd rather we ate together.

    Fri: my husband works from home, and I do dropoff and pickup.  Husband does dinner, but again, we usually eat after the baby is either sleeping or peacefully settled in her bouncy seat. 

    This is offtopic but I think all companies should allow flex scheduling and wfh.  Honestly, I just don't think our little family could make it work without it!!!

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  • Most nights he picks up, and we get home at the same time. We alternate cooking, and the other person plays with DS. Whenever one of us is alone with DS, that person is not expected to cook - it's just not practical. I think if you want dinner to be ready soon after you get home, you need to plan things like crock pot meals, or maybe something that can be prepared the night before and then your H can stick it in the oven when he gets home. 

    Funny you should mention skype, because last night I planned to skype with my parents, because it was DH's night to cook. I figured he would pop in and say hi, and then start dinner. I do this all the time while he talks to his parents. Nope, he hung out in the living room chatting with us. I kind of wanted him to start dinner but I didn't want to tell him he couldn't socialize with my parents. We ended up eating after LO went to bed.  

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  • DH does pick up, but he only ends up getting home with DS about 5 minutes before me. If I am running late for some reason, I will call and ask him to get things started, which he will do. I don't think it;s unreasonable to ask your DH to start getting things ready, though I wouldn't expect it to be right away or anything. We have such a small window before getting home and getting DS to bed that I try to minimize the time spent making dinner as much as possible. It's also a lot easier now that he is older and occupies himself if necessary.


    ETA: Except for when I'm late or need help, I do all the cooking. It's just easier/faster for me to do it. 

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  • My DH and I are both working just minutes from home so this is our situation for now but will change when my DH is sent back to the next city over after Christmas.

    For now...I do drop off & he does pick up at 3:40pm. I'm home by 4:15pm. In that 35 min. he gets DD settled, unpacks her lunch bag, cleans up, unloads the dishwasher and puts any new dishes in. They are usually playing together when I get home.

    At that time, I play with DD for a bit, then handwash her cups, get dinner started, get back to playing, get dinner on the table, and enjoy some dinner time together while we listen to music.

    After dinner, my DH cleans up while I give DD a bath. I then hand her over to him and she occasionally has a cup of milk while she sits & relaxes with him and usually falls asleep during this time. I'm taking my shower and picking out clothes for the next day (for me & DD). Typically by the time I get out of the shower, she is asleep for the night, which is around 7:30.

  • I do everything in the evenings. My DH works until 9.

    I don't think it's an unreasonable expectation for him to do it sometimes, but I think he deserves a little bit of slack on this.

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  • I do pick up.  I also make dinner.  DH gets his own dinner because he gets home after DS goes to bed. I have about 45 minutes to get dinner for DS and get him fed, then it is bath time.  Weeknights suck - I have no idea what I am going to do with two kids.
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  • Every mother knows that dinnertime is when the sh*t hits the fan. You are tired, DH is tired, the kids are tired. Everyone is cranky and hungry. And everyone wants something NOW. The hours between 4:30 -6:30 are my least favorite, but here are my tips to getting by.

    - I give DD (who is also 3) a snack immediately when we get home, and she is allowed to sit in the living room and watch cartoons. This gets her out of my hair while I tend to DS, who needs his dinner right away.

    - Yes, I do dinner in shifts, because I can't HANDLE one dinner with eveyone right now. DS goes to bed sometimes at 6:00. DH and I aren't always hungry until 6:30. My priority is feed DS, and sometimes DD, get them settled, play with them a bit, and DS goes to bed. Then things slow down a lot.

    - DH and I tag-time duties. If DS has eaten and is really tired, I will give him his bath and get him to bed, while DH preps our dinner and plays with DD. It works pretty well. The harder times are when DS stays up later, til 7:00 or so. Then we usually do eat all together, but that is rare.

    - I forgot what your main question was :) Yes, DH should help out by getting dinner started. 

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  • DH gets home w/ DD about 45 minutes - an hour before.  DH normally comes home for about 10-15 minutes before he gets DD too.  Its rare if he doesn't start dinner or pick something up (and sometimes feed DD if I'm really late); when I come home, I set the table and then we eat.

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  • Our house rule-who ever gets home first does dinner. We share p/u responsibility. Usually, we discuss dinner the night before and have either prep the meal, sometimes cook it (only requires to be heated up) or make something quick and easy (under 15 min). 

    Maybe think about dinner the night before or even cook it so it will only have to be heated up. My H is not the best at multi-tasking house hold responsibilities and this is what we found works best.

    Mommy of two girls: DD1 4/14/9 DD2 4/15/11
  • My DH and SD (15) are usually the ones that make dinner during the week.  Mainly DH but SD helps get stuff ready.  He get's home at around 4 with DD 2 and me not until closer to 6. If I have something planned for him and ready to go then he cooks it.  I don't think it's unreasonable. 
  • I do the pickup most days but DH cooks dinner every night, even if he gets home after me. I usually feed DD though if we beat him home since she can't wait. She tends to eat simple foods though.
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  • image mabenner1:
    DH does pick up, beats me home by about half an hour, but I don't expect dinner to be started. He's gotta get DS situated, take the dog out, get changed, etc. After I get home, one of us cooks, and the other one hangs with DS. I don't see why your DH can't have some unwind time and let his dad get to see your LO during the week. Chores can wait an hour.

    I read this as "my husband does pick up, then beats me. " lol

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  • My DH gets home before me because he's a teacher. Also he drives to work while I take the train. So it makes more sense for him to do the drop off and pick up.

    He gets home by 6, feeds the baby and turns the ovens on. We eat frozen dinners from a local restaurant.

    However, every family is different and you've got to work out what works for him. Also, you've got to roll with the punches and some nights are going to be chaotic. But I've found if I don't bother with dishes or other chores, in happier in the long run.

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. -Philo

    Baby N conceived after 1 miscarriage and more than 2 years of TTC. Diagnosis was low sperm count. We found success after 3 months of anastrozole to increase DH's testosterone and one IUI.
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  • DH picks up DS at 3, and I get home around 4. I make dinner most nights.
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