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QUESTION: How Can I Make My Husband Understand That I Cannot Work Full-Time and Also Take Care of Our House By Myself?
“Just curious how other mamas handle the household ‘chores.’ Do you hand out daily chores? Do you have designated jobs that you and other family members do to help keep up on everything?
We are a family of 5. Our kids are 13, 9, and 5. We both work full time and are married. I run a licensed home daycare 50 hours a week. I am literally over cleaning 24/7. If I am not working, I am either cleaning, cooking, or parenting. I have no downtime because I do it all.
My husband mows and most of the time takes our trash to the curb for pick up, but other than the occasional sweeping or washing a few dishes, he doesn’t help at all. No matter how much I stress to him about it, he doesn’t think the kids nor himself should have to do anything. He acts like he is gonna make sure the kids’ rooms are cleaned every night but never does.
He plays it off as they are ‘just kids’ He grew up in a home where momma didn’t work much at all, so she did everything. Her four children didn’t have to lift a finger. I have tried to explain to him I can’t literally do it all, and In the evening after dinner, as we are all home that we should clean as a team for a solid hour. He thinks I am ridiculous and acts like I am the only one who has an idea like this.
We camp on the weekends locally, and I am coming home on Saturdays just to play catch up while he is sitting at the campground relaxing in a chair. Our house isn’t a huge mess as I keep it tidy, but with five people it’s hard to keep it that away.
I am just tired of cleaning my life away! Ps: I can’t go on strike as I run a daycare and have others in my home daily. I know some may suggest that, but unfortunately, I can’t do that, or I would.”
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“I’m a SAHM of 9… all 9 have chores to do every day. My fiancé helps on his day shift weeks and weekends. Its a team effort. Your kids are beyond old enough to do something. My youngest are 2 and 3 and they pick up their own toys, put their dirty laundry in the basket, etc.”
“Why can’t your kids do chores? It’s our responsibility as Mothers to teach our children how to take care of themselves and their homes before sending them out on their own. To me your doing your children and injustice by not making them do dishes clean their bathroom, do their own laundry, cook. Just my opinion!”
“You should hire a very attractive male maid to help around the house.”
“Girl, if you ever figure out how to make the partner who works outside the home, understand exactly how stressful the work inside the home is, you’ll be a very wealthy woman. That’s the whole reason I’m divorced. I told him, ‘If I’m doing it BY myself, I’m only doing it FOR myself, from now on.'”
“I have a list of things that need done daily. I pin it to the fridge. The kids have to put their phone up for dinner and after dinner, I start the list. It’s their choice if they help or not BUT they do not get their phones back until everything on the list is completed. If I do it myself, I WILL go as slow as I feel… (They have to turn their phones in at 8 pm on weekdays and 10 pm on weekends) this would cut into their phone time…
… Since I started this EVERYONE helps!!! I mean everything gets done and to my liking within 20 minutes!! We are a family of 9 (6 kids- 16, 10, 5, 4, 16mos and 3mos plus 3 adults myself, husband and disabled mom). I was like you, killing myself with around-the-clock cleaning!! Life is so much more enjoyable now! Good luck!”
“At 13 & 9 those kids need assigned chores. The 5 year old is old enough to do some chores. I was a single mom of 2 and they each had to keep their rooms clean. They sorted their laundry for me to do on laundry day. My daughter did the dishes and my son did the trash. We all did the living room. They both knew how to use a broom, mop, vacuum, washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc. We cooked dinner together each night. By the time they graduated high school they were self-sufficient. We also all did the yard work together.”
“The kids can definitely help out. And if he wants you to do it all tell him to get a second job so you don’t have to do yours anymore. If that doesn’t work i would take all his laundry, his dirty dishes, everything he needs to clean and just start sticking it inside his vehicle with a note saying you left this behind.”
“Girl, there is no way that you should be doing that all on your own. You husband’s way of thinking is old school…that was when the husband worked and the wife stayed home and did all of the rest. If you are working a full time job, then y’all should be seen as equals. It’s going to be very difficult for him to see that things are unbalanced and that he should be doing more, but change is possible. Maybe counseling would help him to see that. If I were you then I would be sitting right there in that chair beside him at the campground. You are going to run yourself into the ground if something doesn’t change.”
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