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Household tasks and spouses 50-50 or something else?

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Old 11-09-2010, 09:30 AM   #1
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Default Household tasks and spouses 50-50 or something else?

Long story short, my husband hurt my feelings. For the past few weeks he's been making comments about how all the housework, most of the kid-work, laundry etc... is *my* job. He's been commenting because I've been asking for help with all of it. I'm overwhelmed. Neither kid will clean up after themselves without a huge battle. While I kind of expect this from my 2 year old, my 5 year old, not so much... My husband barely takes out his own dishes, and has a "nest" beside his chair. His only duties include:
  • working 5 days a week. He is doing planning and desk work at his job. He can come home any time he wants, and does so several times a day some days because we live literally 5 minutes away.
  • Taking out the garbage, although he usually leaves some cans full, and doesn't put bags back into the can, so I take garbage out and stuff too most weeks.
  • Getting the kids dried off after baths. I take my bath as soon as their water drains, and that's "me" time. 90% of the time, if I haven't handed him their pjs before their bath, I will get finished with mine and the kids are still awake and naked, running around while he watches TV.
  • Cooking dinner sometimes, though he cleans NOTHING up, not even meat wrappers and veggie scraps, they're all left in the sink or on the counters.
I have to ask him for help with anything else. ANYTHING else. Can you put one of the kids down while I work with the other? Can you help me fold laundry? (answer to that is generally no) Can you pick your clothes up from the hallway? Can you clean up the stuff you just spilled? The list goes on and on and 9 times out of 10 he won't be "able" to help me. Earlier this week he said a mango had rolled behind the microwave and was bad. I said ew! and went about my day. 2 days later, I started seeing fruit flies and lo and behold... that damn mango was still back there. He pointed it out, but left it for me to clean up.

My house is always a wreck because I'm the only person living here who cleans up.

He says I have no right to complain because cooking, cleaning, taking care of kids etc is my job as a wife and mother. He actually told me that I must not want to be a mother because I'm getting pissed about all the work I'm doing.

And I know it's easy to say "OMG! What a jerk!" but in his head this alllllllll makes sense. How do you other mothers/fathers/husbands/wives dole out housework?
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:40 AM   #2
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Hey Pint!

Honestly, my husband does pretty much ZERO household tasks. EVERY once and a while he might load the dishwasher or throw some clothes in the washer. I would say I do about 98% of the housework. Granted, I don't have children, so I'm just cleaning up after us two (and the dog). But weekly I sweep, mop, vacuum, dust, clean the bathroom. Of course I cook pretty much daily, maybe a couple times per day (breakfast, dinner), take out the trash, do laundry, dishes, etc. And he goes to work 5 times per week from 8-5.

It sucks your hubby is not willing to help out!!! If I asked my husband he'd surely step in but I've kind of spoiled him in the sense that I do everything around the house and I might even get him a glass of water or bowl of popcorn if he asked. I would just tell him that you're taking care of two children and a home, that's MORE than a full-time job and he needs to do a couple more things to contribute. Maybe a couple things you don't like to do.. Just tell him, you're responsible for X and Y from now on.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:41 AM   #3
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I would dole them out with a firm, direct, verbal kick in the a**!!! (I'm still single at 39, so I don't have any advice, but I had to put in my 2 cents.)
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:06 AM   #4
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I have no problems with getting him something if he asks, like a glass of water. Here's what really started it this morning:

I was up late last night making sure his flight suits were clean because he wasn't feeling well last night, and got some blankets and fell asleep in his recliner watching TV. I didn't feel well this morning and asked if he could get breakfast started for me, he didn't even move, just said, "No I don't have time." So I got moving, made breakfast, got the kids up and moving, packed lunch... at this point he got out of "bed" and got into the bathtub as I struggled getting the kids to finish eating while finishing lunches. I cleaned up breakfast, re-dressed my 2 year old after she decided to take all her clothes off and put them in the dog water... I threw on a pair of jeans and brushed my hair as hubby gets out of the tub after 20 minutes of soaking. He asks where his flight suits are. I tell him and begin the search for my son's shoes, some of which do NOT have dog poop on them. Hubby said he was going to clean them yesterday but didn't. When hubby says I lost one of his patches off his uniform, and asks me to find it I got frustrated. I told him I didn't know where the heck it was and told him it was pretty shady for him to "not have time" to do anything but sleep in and soak in the tub all morning when I asked him for help.

And that's when he broke out the "Well this is your job" comment.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:14 AM   #5
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I think maid service can be the key to a happy marriage. Can you have someone come in every 2 weeks to do the big stuff - vacuuming, dusting, floor scrubbing, bathrooms?

If you have sons, raise them RIGHT so their wives won't have this many issues!
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:31 AM   #6
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HAHA. Sorry know that this is not a laughing matter, but I could swear that you were talking about my house!

I just had this conversation this morning with my hubs to be! My kids are 20,19,16,12. The 20 and 19 year olds pretty much keep to themselves (the 20 year old is actually the 19 year olds fiancee who lives with us) They pick up and they are more than helpful with the "younger" two. The younger two however. OMG that is all I can say. Seriously, I have gone on strike and not done anything and they are totally ok with it. Hubs to be, heh he is a bit better. 50% of the time if I ask him to do something, he will. Except of course put away laundry. Which I wash, fold etc. If I am busy working around the house, he will ALWAYS get up and do it, left on his own however..not so much.

I think that this is a constant struggle between hubbys and wives. And for sure with teaching the kids how to do stuff. I do not know how to tell you to deal with it with the kids so young, I never had that issue with my ex-husband. I did daycare and was a stay at home mom, if exhubs had something to say about the house, I just told him if he did not like it, to do it himself.

I have however been known to kind of "pop" off when the kids and hubs get out of line. If any of them said anything about it being "my" job, then they would find out exactly what "my job" entails. And I can guarantee it would NOT be dinner or laundry or anything that night. Sometimes, I think that they need a kick in the butt and a VERY firm reminder of everything that we do.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:35 AM   #7
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Wow. You are so much nicer than I am. I don't think my husband would even say those things to me, in fear of his life, LOL.

I don't have kids yet, and this is in part due to I won't get prego until hubby helps out more. I'm not his slave, or his mom. I do not do his laundry, I do not pick up after him. If he leaves a glass on the table, I'll mention it to him the next day when he gets home. That's not my job, if I have to pick up after myself, he does too. He's an adult. He takes out the trash, and its required to unload the dishwasher. If it takes him so long to unload it, and I run out of forks or whatever, I'll be damned, but I will NOT make dinner. Too bad, so sad. This might seem harsh, but we work the same hours, both at fairly similar stressful jobs. I come home and make dinner every night, save Friday and Saturaday. I do all the meal planning, all the shopping trips to the grocery store. I would say I already do 85% of the housework, and it will only get worse when we have kids/adopt, so he needs to get in the habit now of helping out. I can't tell you the last time he dusted, swept, mopped or anything like that. He doesnt even "winterize" the house.. I've been covering windows with plastic for days now!

It might be that my mother was gravely ill most of my life, but I've been running the house since I was 7/8. My dad worked and she was sick, and I was an only child. If I didn't do laundry, and she was too sick, my dad (bless his heart) who was working 70+ hours a week to support us and our non-insured selves, he wouldnt have work clothes! I had to do everything. Make dinner, laundry, pay bills... whatever. He helped out, even if he got home at 10pm, he would still help me. And I don't care, but my husband can help out too, since he works 40 hours.

I am mean, lol.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:02 AM   #8
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This is the problem: he thinks he goes to work from 8-5, and after that he is "off work", which means he is entitled to do nothing. He doesn't really believe you are doing things while he is at work because he doesn't see you do them--and you don't really think he works at work, because it doesn't seem real to you (he just sits around).

So when he comes home from work, he thinks his day is done and yours is just starting, but you think your day has been going on for hours and that his should be just starting.

You both need to acknowledge that the other person works all day. Maybe you could both keep a list of all the things you do in a day between 8-5 so that you could both value each others work. This can't be about "gotcha", showing him that you work harder--because I promise, sitting at a desk can also be hard work--but an honest attempt to value each other more.

You might also make a deal with him--that you will work your butt off every day between 8-5--no goofing off, no reading the internet except on scheduled breaks (after all, he has lunch and coffee breaks, too)--but that anything you can't get done in your 40 hour work week has to be split between the two of you.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:54 PM   #9
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Considering he can take 2+ hours for lunch, and there's a keg in the squadron along with TVs and computers (and they definitely facebook and youtube while there) I'm not buying this "working hard til 5 every day." He told me he hates work because there's nothing to do except sit and surf the internet. He's usually a flyer, but due to medical problems, is desk bound with barely anything to do. The next 4 days he actually has a job to do there, so it'll be different, but for the past few months it's been sleep in, soak, go to work, do face time for the boss, get on facebook, laugh at youtube (he texts me and tells me to go look at this video or that...), go outside and have a smoke for 20 min or so, more internet, come home for lunch and TV, another cigarette, more internet, some face time thrown in, come home. I kid. you. not. That's what he told me his days are like. And another issue is he thinks I nap all day because he came home for lunch, and twice in a week, I was laying own with our daughter and didn't get up to converse with him. Pardon me, Mr. Hubby, I had sinus trouble, LOL.
Usually when I'm online I'm having a meal. I input everything to fitday, check in here, glance over facebook and get back to my day when I'm finished. There are times I leave the internet running and hubby sees my online status on facebook and assumes I'm not only sitting there, but avoiding him because I don't answer his IMs. ROTFL
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:59 PM   #10
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Ok, my take, which may not be the popular view: My hubby goes out everyday to job that he may not necessarily like, so that our family has a home and food.
My job is to take care of the household duties and the kids. I know you're frustrated cause I've been there, done that. But, I see the house/kid stuff as my job.
Now the yard work--that's all his. I refuse to even learn how to use the mower, weedeater, blower, etc.

Good luck
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:09 PM   #11
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If you really feel like he sits around at work all day every day like a lazy bum and then comes home and watches you work while he sits around like a lazy bum, then I'd divorce him, because any person that could do that is just a jerk.

But I suspect the reality is more complicated than that, because it usually is. Remember that he thinks you spend all day on Facebook and taking naps. You may be as wrong as he is. I think the two of you really need to talk more and learn to appreciate each other--don't just compete for the "Crappiest Life" award.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:21 PM   #12
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Are you a stay-at-home mom? It's hard when you are because people don't understand what you do all day. Plus you have the fact that you aren't making any money and it seems your hubby could feel like he's done his part by bringning home the paycheck. It's a very old fashioned way of thinking. My dad was like that with my mom. He made the money and Mom took care of the house and kids and spent the money. Dad never did anything around the house.

No matter what happens the 50/50 doesn't work. I had a very good friend once tell me that it should be 100% from both. I don't have kids but I do have a non-assisting hubby. Most of the time he's great, he will help occasionally but it's hit or miss. But sometimes he does have the "your the woman, you clean the house" mentality. It's annoying and I'm not willing to put forth the effort to change him. We both work full time.

He'll clean up after himself pretty much and I've just gotten to the point where I clean up after myself, keep the public areas respectable and let him be. It's not worth the arguements and hurt feelings if I try to change him. But that's just me and how I decided to handle it.

But it's time to train the little ones. Make it a game. Sing the clean up song with them http://www.supersimplesongs.com/cd1-7.html
(then again, I don't have any kids so what do I know?)

Good luck if you go a different route.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:22 PM   #13
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That wouldn't fly in my house, at all. Back when I was a grad student and interning, DH helped out tons, almost 50/50. Now that I'm a stay at home mom again, he still puts away the laundry, does the dishes and takes out the trash regularly, but not daily. He doesn't do anything like vacuum, mop, or clean the bathrooms etc, but he would if I asked. I just always have it done before he gets a chance. He cooks 50/50. If I cook, he cleans and vice versa....well usually, but he's not perfect on that lol! He always is hands on with the kids and is always involved....

There is no way in **** I'd pick up his crap off of the hallways or put up with the disrespect your dh seems to have shown you. I mean even if my DH and I negotiated that we wanted me to do 100% of the housework, he is still an ADULT, he still the grown man who has children with you and they're just as much of his responsibility as they are yours. I will be honest, if my DH were like that, it would be a deal breaker. I know I would not feel valued, loved and appreciated and would not want to give my life to someone like that. Yes, I feel very passionately about this!!
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:38 PM   #14
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Uh, yeah, that's my life...and I work full time. My husband "works full time" too. He does get the kids off to school, I'll give him that. But I wake them up, I medicate them, I greet them in bed with deodorant. If I don't, it doesn't get done. I make sure the backpacks are loaded. I pack their lunches. He feeds them and shoots them out the door. After that, he goes back to bed and sleeps until 11:00. Then he works. Then he takes another nap. Then, when I get home and the children get home he goes out to work. It ticks me off. He does NOT have a second shift job. He SHOULD be working while we're at school, but he chooses to work when I get home instead.

He has no household tasks I don't have to special request. I have to ask for everything!! He knows I'm frustrated, but he has depression. That's what I'm stuck with.

I turn to Flylady.net. I just started up the system again yesterday, actually. It keeps me sane when I actually follow her advice. My life works best when I shut up and do it myself. And yes, I'm FULL of resentment. I am filled up to the brim with resentment.

Oh, and right now, due to the depression, he's actually off work. So he's literally lounging around the house all.day.long. And does he do anything? Anything?

Put it this way...I'm not a good advocate for marriage right now.
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:26 PM   #15
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Are you a military wife? You mentioned flight suits & patches..so I'm just assuming, lol!! My hubs is in the Navy, and works really hard every day. I've been battling major depression for 4 years..and it's hard for me to find the energy to do housework. I try do little things, like pick up trash, vacuum, & make dinner. Everything else always seems like a much bigger task. All I ask for my hubs is to help out. Take out the garbage, clean the dishes (we usually take turns), clean the litter box, help out with dinner, & clean up after himself. But somehow..pretty much everything, except help with dinner, always leads to huge fights. He lets the garbage pile up, the litter box bag stays full (we have a self cleaner..he just has to change out the bag), the dishes don't get washed when it's his turn, he also has a pile of crap next to his side of the couch. I try my best to keep up with everything...but when he just zones out on video games and doesn't lift a finger, I just get angry and want to cry. I've actually gone as far as hiding every single controller to all 3 game systems, JUST so he'd help me!!

But you know..sometimes I just feel terrible for doing that. He is stressed out all the time..the command here sucks..being on the east coast sucks, we're both unhappy here. We both agree that shore duty here stinks. We both wish he was still on the ship. Things were actually better when he was on the ship. He wasn't as stressed out. He was A LOT more helpful too!! In WA, he helped me clean the moment I asked him. Half the time, he'd even do it before I asked him. We worked together..and I miss that.

When he has no energy, and I have no energy, nothing gets done. Everything piles up, making us feel worse. I've been seriously considering getting a housekeeper to come in once in awhile.
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