I am feeling burnt out with parenting: Am I expecting too much?

My husband and I have three children (ages 14,12,10) Our 12-year-old is moderate/severe on the autism spectrum. I am burnt out. My husband and other two kids see it and seem to really sympathize with how draining it is some days. My husband wants me to take a step back and stop doing so much for our ten and 14-year-olds because they should not need my help with everything anymore. I also really need to lighten the load, but IF the kids do what they’re supposed to do, they don’t do it how they know it’s suppose to be done. So I either have to do it again, or I have a giant mess to clean. Them “doing it themselves” means there’s going to be food all over the counters from them making their own dinner plates. It means the bread not tied shut, there’s a puddle on the bathroom floor, anything dropped will never be picked up, and they won’t even do their very basic chores unless I tell them to. Did I mention I’m burnt out? My husband says, “Don’t say anything. Wait till I get home and I’ll talk to them.” Nothing changes. I’m so sick of dishes in the sink and an overflowing trash cause, “they can’t learn to do it if I do it,” but it’s not getting done! My ten year old won’t even attempt to match clothing, will eat spaghetti with their hands, and lies about stuff for no reason. Meaning you can’t say, “Hey A, did you finish your chores?” without checking if the answer you get is true. Now I’m not supposed to ask, right? But the husband doesn’t check. I’ll realize at bedtime A has been on electronics for an hour and hasn’t even gotten school clothes together or washed up. My husband thinks I’m upset about the clothes or the late shower, but it’s not that at all! It’s that I can’t expect anything to be done without me making sure it’s being done, and I’m exhausted! Our 14-year-old is just a full-time lazy teenager. Sweetest kid, but super sensitive. If I mention them not doing something, they feel awful and fall all over themselves to apologize repeatedly. No matter how many times I’ve explained, that’s not necessary. I would love it if a million apologies could just become doing things when they supposed to be done. So, yeah, as bad as this child seems to feel, I’m still sitting here with a kitchen full of recyclables to be brought out, and the full trash will be walked past over and over again until I request it changed. I’m quite sure you all will be honest. Am I expecting too much to expect things to be done on time AND done CORRECTLY!? Not talking about skills being learned still. I mean things like dressing weather-appropriate, eating with a fork, remembering to close the freaking door when they leave to get on the bus! The door has been left open three times this year! My 12-year-old is a complete danger to himself and is basically a giant toddler. I have no choice but to do things for him that most 12-year-olds should be able to do. Everyone thinks I’m getting upset about things that don’t matter, but they don’t matter to them. They matter very much to me! I feel like a failure cause my capable children just don’t care about doing things right, and my husband thinks I need just to let it go. Am I expecting too much? I get TONS of compliments about how polite my children are. I am so proud of them. I just think they’re old enough that I shouldn’t have to make sure they do what they’re supposed to. I know that’s very long, so if you’re still reading, I’d love anyone’s input.


I think it’s time for a chore chart and if it’s not done then they cant do anything they want to do until all their chores are done and you have to learn to accept it’s not going to be done how you want it cause you are not the one doing or teach them to do it the way you do it just in their own way also


I feel so much for you. I’m kinda in the same boat. I have a chore chart on the fridge for them to earn money. It’s things like your stated, but minimal pay. It helps them think about things they need to do without me asking. I could go on and on about it but sometimes they just have to fail for awhile. I hope you’re able to step back and let them learn and take care of you.

instead of going behind them and fixing what they havent done, have you tried taking them and showing them how to do it correctly so they know what to do the next time. and maybe you should make a chore chart so they know who needs to do what at what time you want it done. I know you think they should know what to do but sometimes at that age it takes a minute for them to learn responsibilities


QUIT! Seriously. Just quit doing everything your doing. Focus on the child that needs your attention and do the things for YOU only. But screw everyone else. When the trash overflows and the clothes start to stink and they start complaining tell them to fuck off and if they want it done they can do it themselves and continue to do it themselves until they start appreciating you.


Sounds like what i used to feel. I too have an autistic child and high standards at home that i used to feel were unattainable by my family. You are indeed burnt out. It sounds like you may also have some depression creeping in- hence the feeling of needing to oversee and control tiny details of everyone’s efforts. I used to think it was just me being a perfectionist and caretaking for my family- turns out i was using these methods to distract myself from feelings of being ocerwhelmed but ironically I was just fueling that overwhelmed fire.
With help of a therapist Im learning to let go. That messes happen. That kids and men arent perfect. That part of my kids learning to adult is letting them fuck up. That my trying to nitpick every bread bag left open was actually my anxiety and not about the bread. That those dishes that are dirty in the sink are far less important than quality time with my family. This wasnt easy and i work at it every day but its so worth it. That mess on the floor is worth smiling kids. Ask yourself, are there underlying reasons that these issues have gone from petty issues to real problems for you.

Its okay to burn out. Give yourself credit for recognizing it. Now you have the choice to take control of it. Seek help. Its okay to not be okay.


Have you ever started a new job and been thrown in without training or supervision? It sucks! And can be very discouraging when your reprimanded without being given the correct training

I think you are, given that it sounds like you haven’t let them get it wrong, in order to get it right. You need to let then do it, and you need to let them do it wrong. Correct them, gently. If there’s dishes, tell them to clean it. If they get it wrong, help then correct it. Dont just do it for them because that’s what they’re used to, so if you want to change the dynamics you have to help them with that transition. Dont get mad, dont yell, just guide them gently to help them do it right and over time you’ll see improvement.


You have every right to be burnt out. Either a chore chart or they have apps now. You are going to have to lay down the law. And hubby needs to back you up. My stepdad made me do my chore or whatever it was until it was done right finally I did it right the 1st time so I would be done. My 10 year has chores some daily some weekly and then of course sometimes mom needs something extra done then I also give her a small weekly allowance so when we are out and she wants everything I can say how much you have saved and she can decide.

You need to know your way is not the only way. Let it go. It doesn’t matter if it’s not done like you do it. As long as they try, leave it alone. Perfection will destroy them.

1 Like

Girl, I have adult children living at home that don’t do squat until I ask them to. But, I do ask, because I’m not cleaning g up after everyone. I like things done a specific way too, but you have to pick and choose your battles for your own sanity. I get where you’re coming from, but you’ve mentioned you’re burnt out. So… make a list for EVERYONE hubby included to get things done on a Saturday or Sunday, and get out of the house alone for some self care. You need to take care of YOU, especially since you have an autistic child. I have one too, he’s 21 and lives in a group home now since he’s an adult. You, you need to focus on you, in order to wear all of your hats. Chore chart for the 2 kids, a detailed one, with a reward system. Good luck momma, and do something nice for yourself.

I am going to probably sound awful, but YES, you are absolutely expecting too much. That expectation is adding additional stress into your already very stressful situation. As difficult as it may be sometimes it is just easier to do it ourselves than to ask or expect others to do it for us or do it the way we want it done to begin with. Rather than getting frustrated and making ourselves overwhelmed, either just take the reigns and do it the way you want it done, or accept that if you want them to do it that it will not be done the way you want it and that is okay.

  1. Family Meeting
  2. Chore Chart
  3. Training Boot Camp
  4. Date Night
  5. Family Fun Night
  6. Spa Day for yourself
    You are head of the game your kids sound like great kids your husband has your back I think you need to tie some loose ends and get everyone on the same page
    You got this hang in there :kissing_heart::pray:t3:

With my 13 year old she is not allowed any electronics (including tv) until her chores are done right and her homework is completed. Maybe something like this would help, if the 14 year old isnt allowed to be on their phone until all trash is out, etc.

1 Like

Dirty dishes…a full trash can…dirty laundry…etc.etc… Is OK!!! It all does not have to be perfect… Ease up a little… Try to stop worrying over the small things… Chore chart with reward system like others suggest is a great idea… Can you get a sitter for a couple hours once a week… Go out to dinner… A movie… Whatever… Just try to take a night or afternoon for You. ( if you want the hubby along ok…if not…it is OK)

1 Like

Oh hell no. I would stop saying and doing hopefully they wont want to live in filth

Time to start taking electronics off their person and not giving it back until you feel like it. Change passwords on the wifi… make it difficult for them. And yeah, just quit doing it all. My kid knows if his laundry isn’t in the hall on laundry day his clothes aren’t getting washed and… he will either wear dirty cloths until next week, or he will do it himself ( he is 16) he also knows that If his chores aren’t done, and I have to ask more than once… he isn’t getting money or driving. Stop doing it all. And let them do it… when it’s not done right, you make them come back and do it again… and again… until it’s right. You will have to show them and remind them more than once.

1 Like

Do they have a chart or something that tells them what they need to do that day.

I remember clearly as a child I wouldn’t remember to do anything unless I was told or there was a list put in front of me.

Parents with ADHD,ADD, OCD and anxiety tend to drone on kids. Kids with ADHD,ADD,Anxiety, Autism and Aspergers tend to not do what they are told. Valid list of reasons why. Droning is a type of hovering. It’s not good. More youth do it the more they will not listen or do.

Make a daily list of chores, when they need to get done and who is to do them. Remind them once. If they don’t do it; start handing out consequences and stay consistent. You could see improvement within 90 days or longer; depends on how long droning has gone on. You will not be there when they leave the house. Some parents still drone on their kids in college and it has bad outcomes for both. Once they are 18 they will not listen. Earlier you correct the better for you all.

At this age they should be able to do it the way you show them. Checking behind is just part of being a parent but I’d make them redo it if not done correctly. A good schedule might help but I’m also a horrible schedule keeper :grimacing:

1 Like

STOOOOP, take two or three days and watch how they do things THEN as they finish remind them to clean up and make it look like before. The 14 year can start helping with the others clothing- like a new chore. The ten year old takes the trash out. The 12 year old gathers all the clothes, and they ALL take turns doing the dishes. Itll leave you to vacuum and the laundry. My aunt took two weeks tops going behind us. NOT cleaning but MAKING US clean until it is cleaned properly. She just stood back and watched and if we missed something she simply state what it was and asked us not to mess up next time but over all she was proud of us.
Positive reinforcement
“oh my god thank you for doing the dishes- theyre so clean and you make life easier, thank you”
My aunt was like this and it helped us become more independent. Cooking is a different story. The 14 should start to help you cook as the 12 starts to learn here for there. Yes this means a bit more work for two weeks BUT it wont be physical! Its more verbal. Stand back and tell them what they need to do😊 itll click mama

1 Like