Housework help

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2003
Housework help
13
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 1:37pm

I know this issue is covered somewhere here, but I couldn’t find anything so here goes.

I’ve been married 22 years, and we have two kids ages 15 and 21. I work full time (and attend college in the evening three nights a week). My husband used to work full time, but now basically works part time (seasonal). I have always done ALL the housework (he does occasional pick up), and we share the cooking. I also do all the other “family business” type stuff, kid taxi, school issues, pets to vet/grooming, etc. The kids don’t do a whole lot as far as housework other than dinner clean up, cleaning their rooms, occasional vacumming, pet clean up, etc. Our oldest is 21 and works part to full time, and does not attend school, if that means anything.

My husband knows that I like to do laundry, so I’ve never asked anyone to do it, although our 15 yr old daughter occasionally does her own. My husband made a comment the other day (after I had made a comment about how we (key word "we") have let the yard “go”, weeds, etc.), he said that “well quite frequently I don’t have clean laundry.” (saying it with a “tone”, attitude, you know). I was completely taken aback and insulted. I do laundry at least three to four times a week, and he “frequently” doesn’t have clean clothes? Seriously? UUUgggg, I told him, maybe it’s because he only owns three pair of underwear.

So, I told him, that “from now on I’m only doing my own laundry. I’ve been doing everyone’s laundry for 25 years, and I think now it’s time everyone does their own.” Of course, he gets very mad, yelling, and tells me that he’s done cooking dinner, and everyone has to cook their own dinner. He’s very hard to have a argument with, because he just gets mad and yells. Help....

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2003
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 2:29pm

Did I mention that I also do all the grocery and non-food shopping? Sure, he knows that the women in the family like to make that Target run, and he typically is the one to pick up the nightly dinner items. But when it comes to main “grocery” shopping, that’s me. Also includes changing the sheets on the beds, since men rarely think about that ether, nor do they notice how dirty the shower is, or the scum in the bathroom sink, the hallway air filter.

Also, when I do the laundry, and on occasion when the basket of clean clothes is on the bed, and he’s going to bed, do you think he might fold that laundry? Nope. He’ll just put the basket on the floor. If I have folded the laundry and it’s still in neat piles on the bed, do you think he would take each pile to their respective rooms? Nope, he just slides the clean stuff over to my side of the bed.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 3:24pm
Why not write all the chores that need to be done. For bigger chores, break it into smaller chunks, like doing towels and linens, bleachables, darks, etc... or in the yard, mow the back lawn, the front lawn, weed the front beds, the veggie bed, etc... Have everyone pick what they are going to do, until they are all gone. Of course, since you already do most things, they are not going to like it. Those with more time at home, will get some extra things. It works for us.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 4:25pm

I was going to suggest something similar, or make a chart w/ what each person (or just H& W) does--on his side could be cooking and grocery shopping and on her side could be the 50 other things she does--maybe when he actually SEES the inequality, one could hope that he would be so embarrased that he'd be more willing to pitch in. Of course the big problem is the idea that from the beginning of the marriage, the OP did all the housework--I wouldn't have put up w/ that from day one because I always worked full time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 6:24pm

I really feel for you... btdt.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 8:17pm

As someone else mentioned, this situation didn't start yesterday.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 8:38pm
Hugs, we are going through this right now at home. DH has a time consuming job, but the hours vary widely. The 16 year old keeps the main bathroom clean, her bedroom clean, and does most of the putting away of dishes, and about 1/2 of her laundry. She works part time and does both h/s and competitive cheerleading. I do everything else, with the exception of once or twice a month pizza that DH makes, and the loading the dishwasher which he does. He will do a load of his laundry once in a great while. I work full time and with 2 other kids under 5, get very overwhelmed often. His solution always is to tell the 16 year old that she needs to do more. The other day I specifically told him I needed some more help with things (which I say often and he ignores), he made the comment that the dishes were always taken vp are of, and he could do his laundry also, what else exactly did I need help with, he didn't understand... Sigh, funny, the he's never touch the vacuum since we've been married, cleaned our master bath once or twice and I'm not sure he knows what a dish rag is. It's all very frustrating, and I definitely understand how you feel. I really don't think most men truly realize how much housework there really is! I like the suggestion of writing things all out, maybe in categories of daily, weekly, monthly, etc. I think the kids are p,entry old enough to be pitching in to help out. I do have the little girls help empty the dishwasher, like putting the silverware in the drawers, setting the table, and they know how to clear their own plates. Every little thing helps when you come home from a long day at work.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 9:06pm

I think men conveniently put on an act that they have no idea what needs to be done around the house--serously, are they idiots?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 9:20pm

Okay, this is an ingrained pattern with your family, and those are hard, but not impossible, to change. In a way, you've been part of the problem by doing all this stuff all these years. This isn't to slam you, but people only change when their situation is untenable, and right now, they've got clean laundry, fresh meals, and an organized house. Why would they want to do chores when they get this stuff anyway?

So I'd just call a family meeting and announce that you have resigned as the doer of everything. List the chores and tell them they, not you, need to come up with a schedule for doing them. Then don't do them. This will be very hard for you, and I can promise you that your household will be a chaotic wreck for weeks, maybe months, but if you want this to change, you must stand your ground.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 10:15pm

Well, I think I would start by going to the local Wal-mart and buying him extra underwear.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 11:04pm

Since both you and your dh work, I think the best thing is to get a cleaning lady.

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