30 answers

Lazy Husband

Good morning Moms...I'm sure you have heard this a million times, but I need some advice. My husband and I used to work as a pretty good team. We have a six year old and a newborn. My husband got laid off in September, at first he was a "stay at home dad" he would take care of our son, clean, cook, etc. He has recently went back to work (Thank God), however I am back to work as well. He has been horrible with doing things around the house or caring for our children. I have tried the typical talks and getting mad, but it hasn't worked yet. I am a neat freak so there is no way I would let the things go so he'll realize...I tried it once and the bathroom didn't get cleaned in over two weeks!!!! I realize that he is tired, but I am exhausted, I am gone about 12 hours a day (he's usually gone about 9), when I get home I have to make dinner, get both kids ready for bed, get them to sleep, and then do whatever I need to do around the house. I feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown. Our 17 week old is still not sleeping through the night and he never "hears" her. Even when I wake him up cause I'm tired, he usually gives me attitude and tells me something like "I work hard all day, you just sit in an office"...I don't know what else to do. I've talked to his mom thinking she might know something and the only advice she gave me was to not yell back at him when he yells, and to kick him out...two things which are not going to happen. Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hi ladies...thanks again for all the advice. I started using the chore chart from Cindy H!!!! It has worked really good so far. My husband has been in a better mood but it hasn't been great. We still have a lot to go. Sunday was a rough day for us, I think we both hit rock bottom, I asked him for a separation, I think that was what made him realize I had had enough. Like I said we have been trying to get things worked out and things are going better now, we'll see if it continues. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Featured Answers

Hire a cleaning lady, he'll either be happy because you are, or decide to help because he doesn't want to spend the money. In my case, my husband was happy and I were both happy with a cleaning lady. Gave both of us more time with the kids and he helps with cooking which he truly enjoys. It ended up being a win win for both of us. Good luck!

More Answers

N.,

I can tell you what works best with my husband. We have two sons (4 and almost 2) and before I share, I want to say that Rich (DH) is very helpful and supportive. So, I don't want to come off the wrong way. That being said, he slips sometimes. There are a couple of things that I've found that work for me.

1) If I don't feel he's pulling his weight, I stop doing the household things for him. For example, I still do laundry (I do a load every day), but his laundry doesn't get thrown in. I still make dinner, but I stop making his favorites. I go to the grocery store, but I don't get some of the things I know he likes. Eventually, he'll say something and then it opens the door to some conversation. Of course, this is after I've hinted, asked, even gotten angry. It usually gets the point across.

2) When I need something done, I'll approach him and say, "Hon, we need the laundry folded from the dryer and the boys sheets changed - which one do you want to do?" I let him pick. I don't care because if I didn't ask - I'd be doing both. I do the same thing with the boys. "Rich, can you get Jacob in the bath and I'll get Ryan's diaper changed?" This way, it's not me barking orders at him, but just working together to get the things done that need to get done.

3) When if comes to the baby getting up, we established turns. It sounds so silly, I know, but we traded every other night. When it's his night, wake him up. Tell him he has to get the baby. This was hard for me, because it was instinct to just get up when they would cry. And then even when Rich would go in for them, I'd be wide awake listening to them crying and would feel the urge to just go in and take care of it. It's a Mom-thing, maybe a control thing...who knows? What I had to do was go and sleep in the basement on my nights "off". Lol. That was still hard as I would STILL wake up, but it was easier and I'd put a pillow on my head.

And, the last thing...the whole "you sit behind a desk all day" comment. That's disrespectful and wrong. I have a couple of responses to that, but I'm finding it hard to word them without coming off like a b*tch. Maybe the next time he says that you can wait a bit for the air to clear and say something like, "You mentioned that my job is so much easier since I 'just sit' all day. I was thinking. If you really feel that way, maybe we can try to work it out so that I stay home with the kids and you can get a second job to make up my income? That way, I'll take on all of the things that it seems you don't want to do anymore (list them) and then you can work." Not sure.

Good luck to you.

T.

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How frustrating! I hear ya! He's probably just adjusting.

I go through this periodically with my husband and two things usually work.............
1) Being direct (like a seargent). Give a command,"The kids need a bath now. I will help you after I do the dishes............" and walk away or turn away and start them. My husband has a hard time saying no when I phrase it like I mean business. If he hedges I usually say "OK, then do you want to start the dishes while I start their baths?" Giving a choice, especially one he doesn't like helps.

2) Playing the hero. If I acknowleged the tough day he had and let him know how much he can help me by doing this and then compliment him, he usually does it.

Watch how men talk to each other. I think men put their 'man ears' on and think women are just requesting help, and they think they have a choice to say no. Men delegate jobs to each other.
I hope things change soon for you!
Oh, you know what else? I tell my hubby that maybe we should get a cleaning lady..............mine will jump through hoops to stop money going out the door! Especially if I pair it with what we will have to sacrifice (out to eat, movies, etc). We couldn't afford to get one, but if he thinks I will be bugging him about it...........lesser of two evils again.

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Dear N.,

I've read through the other responses. Let me ask you a question: if your husband barked commands at you and complained about the house or whatever to you constantly, would you really respond favorably to that and would that really bring you more close together as a family? Just something to think about...

That said, my advice is that you'll never change a man. If he's not going to help out, then insist on hiring someone to help you. You can't do it all by yourself, especially with a newborn in the house and your long hours at work.

Try to focus on the things that he does help to provide for your family and remind him that you appreciate him! That goes a long way. Also, with a newborn and other child, you might actually have to let a few things slide in the house for a while! I know you said you're a neat freak. I understand... My husband is actually a neat freak... he's totally crazy... but if you talk to any mother with a baby in the house, especially one who works full time, you'll realize that the only way your house is going to be perfect is if you hire help. Otherwise you need to focus on enjoying the new baby, giving attention to your other child and your husband, and get a few things done each night.

At our house (also two small children ages 1 and 4) while I put the kids to bed, my husband takes out the trash, sweeps the dining room and kitchen floors and changes the cat's litter box. After the kids are in bed, I finish up dinner dishes, do laundry and pick up toys in the living room. The big jobs get put off until the weekend because we both work full time...

As for your husband... sounds like he's trying to adjust to all the changes in your house, too... new baby, new job... and a 6 year old who probably wants tons of attention too. I would ease up a bit. You'll catch more flies with honey. Go on a date with your husband and reconnect! I think that approach will serve your family much better than focusing on household chores and getting angry all the time. What are your priorities? I'm sure your family's happiness is higher on the list than chores...

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N., I've had two sons, a husband, a couple of dogs, cats, guinea pigs and I raised them all in a house that fell below standards because I decided that being a neat freak isn't that important. Our health is and unless you want to develop some severe health issues, let it go. Get a crockpot and toss some meat into it on low for the day (and don't worry about your house issues) or prepare meals on the weekends. Use paper plates. And forgive yourselves for being exhausted. This too shall pass. But do urge hubby to go to the doctor or start sneaking vitamins into his food. I also became very exhausted and tired and discovered I was anemic. It was very difficult.
Then I was given iron pills and I'm much better.
N., the time flies. My son is in the service and I don't know where he is and if he is safe. I would gladly have a messy house just to spend it with him in it. My older son is out and about. The house is clean but there aren't people in it. My husband and I miss that stuff. It is not worth it to freak out about your house. You enjoy your husband and family. When you are alone someday you can clean, clean all you want. Now is the time to love them. If you are too exhausted and can't care for baby in the middle of the night get the baby and hand her over to hubby once in awhile.Violate all those rules and snuggle her into the night. None of this is worth your health. Good luck. You will do fine.

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It's times like this that I hate men... lol. Well we (I) hired Molly Maid to come in a few times and once he saw what that was costing us, hubby was like "how about you just pay me and I'll do it." I told him why would I do that when I could pay someone else who would do it when I asked without complaint. Then I pointed out that it would be cheaper (because it took less time for the cleaning people) if some basic stuff was done, like dishes and tidying up. I told him they charge by the hour so if they have to clean a sink full of dishes and put away all of the toys before vacuuming, it's going to cost us an extra hour's worth of work. He started doing pretty well about cleaning up after himself, and even made the comment that 'it's easier to clean up if we don't let it get messy to begin with...' like it had been me all along. Absolutely assinine. Actually, I may suggest hiring someone again because it's been about 6 months and things are getting bad again... And some battles I just don't think I can win. Like the fact that he leaves his dirty clothes on the floor, next to a pile of clean clothes. I stuck him on the side of the bed furthest from the bedroom door and kick all of his clothes next to the bed so nobody that walks by can see them, including me. I hate clutter. I stopped cooking dinner too for a while, since he wasn't helping with the dishes (or anything else for that matter). I fed my son healthy snack-like food (fruit, cheese and crackers, yogurt, etc.) and had a lean cuisine and let my husband fend for himself.

Good luck! I agree that we have to pick our battles, but you also don't have to settle into a lifestyle that makes you crazy. Your best bet may just be to hire a cleaning service to help out.

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Wow, I've been there and done that!

Letting things go never works. It just doesn't get done forever. Nagging and conversations...never helped me either. I had to use ACTION.

Here's what worked for me:

I'm a FlyBaby (www.flylady.net) so the first thing I have to say is to let go of your perfectionism. Your husband may not do things because he's afraid of not doing it up to your satisfaction. Also, with your hectic schedules, your house may not look so perfect. That being said, I'm sure at this point you just want a clean bathroom!

What has helped me with my hectic schedule and my housekeeping is to first get the house in shape so it can be maintained with minimal effort. I've noticed that an area that is clean tends to stay clean and others do their part to keep it clean. An area that is messy tends to stay messy and others don't care about cleaning it up. So by first getting your house decluttered and everything organized in an easy-to-see system will invite your hubby to help.

I do the swish-and-swipe method from flylady.net so we never have a messy bathroom. Our bathroom is always company-ready and my hubby has started keeping it very clean himself without me asking!

I just organized our kitchen so everything has a place. It stays cleaner now too. Again, clean areas tend to stay clean. I had to declutter my counters in the kitchen and I can't believe how that helped! Having less on the counter made it look cleaner, so if there were a few things on it, it wasn't so bad.

I also agree with giving your husband orders in a loving way. He may not know what to do, or think you have it all planned. That's usually the case with my hubby when he doesn't help. He doesn't know what needs to be done and figures I have it all under control. I know you want to yell "DUH, clean SOMETHING! LOOK AROUND!" but realize he's a MAN and doesn't think like we do. Every house needs a leader, and I usually give my hubby directions. In a nice way of course.

One last thing, I always catch my hubby BEFORE he settles down for the night in the TV chair. It seems as soon as he sits to relax, it's all over and he's done for the night and I need a crowbar to get him up! Once you're moving you'll keep moving, so catch him before he turns off his brain! I let mine change his clothes, then I give him one suggestion at a time. Like one person said, I'll say "can you get her in the bath while I make dinner?" and then "will you do the dishes while I do such and such?" He'll see you working and now he knows what to do to pitch in.

JUST DON'T LET HIM SIT DOWN OR YOU'LL LOSE HIM! LOL!

Good luck!

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Maybe you've already tried this, so I'm sorry if this is redundant. What about sitting down and listing all the chores and splitting them up? Maybe he hates doing dishes, but is ok with the bathroom, etc.

As far as getting up at night, we had our nights. So if the baby woke up on Monday and it was my night, I got up. That way at least one person can get a good night's sleep (of course all bets are off if you are nursing).

I also second the mom who told you to use flylady. 10 minutes of picking up an area is pretty painless and is actually a pretty long time. You'll be surprised at what you can get done!

Another thing is to try to simplify. I got 2 colors of clothes baskets so I knew that one color was clean clothes that I hadn't folded and the other color was dirty. That way even if you don't have time to fold, you know where to grab. Also go through the mail right away and sort it into piles - bills, forms to fill out, junk, etc. Get the junk mail out of the house in recycling asap so you don't have to deal with it.

Something else. You need to let go. You are not going to have a spotless house. You have 2 kids and 2 working parents. It is not going to look like a magazine unless you stay up all night cleaning. Figure out what is good enough and go from there.

I'm sorry I don't have any magic remedy. Your problem is exactly why I don't want to go back to work. I do everything (except yardwork) around here and if I go back to work, hubby is going to have to pitch in and I see it as a very painful experience.

Good luck!

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I think Elaine is spot on. It is best to be direct with him, just tell him-if I cook dinner I am not cleaning up so you'll need to do it. But have a serious talk with him and if he is indifferent ask for counseling, a maid, or explain that you can't take care of your work requirements, the needs of the kids, the house and him, something has to give if you can't get some help.

If he is really unwilling and talking doesn't work get sick. Make him do everything for one evening while you sleep off your stomach ache =). Don't get me wrong I am not advocating being deviant or dishonest, but I know that sometimes guys just don't "get it" until they are there.

If that doesn't work stop doing things for him-make dinner for you and the kids, separate yours and the kids clothing, separate some dishes for you and the kids and take care of only them, NOT to be cruel or disrespectful, but simply to make a point. But these suggestions may do more damage unless your husband has a good sense of humor.

OR write out your daily schedule/responsibility show him what you do

OR divide up the daily chores and ask him what he is willing to pick up or hire out

Best of all is the approach of I have a problem that I just can't figure out and show him your daily responsibilities and ask him how to fix it, allow him to try to fix it for you so he becomes the one who makes it all better-but be aware it might take a little while before he figures out you don't want him to work out time conflicts, you want him to take ownership of some chores.

Good Luck

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N. split chores up, plain and simple you work too! My husband and I take turns. So one night I do bath time and bottles and bed and midnight feedings or interruptions the other night he does. The person that's not dealing with the kids does dishes and other chores. My husband didn't "hear" my son a few times either and I just nudged him and since it was his night there was no argument.

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When my hubby is playing his computer games and there is lots to be done, I ask him which task he would like to do (give him a choice of the 2 or 3 most important/pressing things that need to be done). Usually its "do you want to get the kids to bed or clean up the kitchen while I do it?". It reminds him that I am not goofing off and there are pressing needs that one parent cannot handle all in a timely manner. I also don't have the cleanest or most organized house. If you are a neat freak and your hubby isn't--may need to relax your ways a bit.

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N.,

Oh my you have alot of responses but couldn't help put my 2 cents in. My DH has been laid off & from 3/08 to 4/09 he worked a whole 19 weeks (and those were not even full weeks I might add)and from 4/09 to currently has worked about 4 weeks, so I really understand how you feel. He is also recently back to work and of course he also "WORKS HARDER" than me because I also as you work in an office. I just said to him Tuesday that just because you are back to work doesn't mean that is your only responsiblity which was not met with a loving response of of course you are right my dear, I'm sure you can imagine. I take care of just about everything in the house and even pitch in cutting the grass once in awhile (just for exercise really)but it backfires by him now suggesting that I do it because he gets home later than I do.
I to used to be a clean freak but have learned to let it go just for my sanity, not that it doesn't bother me at all but I refuse to be cleaning while he lays in bed watching tv. I also in the past hired a cleaning lady and it made a world of difference but after he has been laid off & we are surving on unemployment & my check it is not realistic, although maybe your situation is different & you can afford one if so by all means do it.
Even with a cleaning person you might find things that they don't do up to your par but with the major things done it is not so much to fix what you want to fix.
I know that I have in the past talked (yelled, threatened) to him till I was blue in the face & it didn't make much of a difference so like others have suggested you could try a counselor but again that costs money.
I wish I had more to offer you but at least you know that you are not the only one feeling this way and I am available to just lend an ear to vent if you should need one. Just remember having such a young one at home is truly a contributing factor and soon (not soon enough) the baby will sleep longer and give you a chance to get rest.
All the gals have offered oodles of good advice and hopefully something will work for you & if it does please pass it on to me.

Best of luck
K.

I'm so sorry you are having such a hard time, and I'm sure it is especially difficult for both of you since you just had another baby (2 is twice as hard as 1 kid in my experience). I have had similar complaints with my husband, and talking about it with him didn't help one bit for me either. However, I found a book that I started reading recently that really helped me a lot. It is called "How one of you can bring the two of you together" by Susan Page. Unlike other self-help books I read this book has suggestions that you can do without the participation of your partner. I know you don't have a lot of time to read, but it is a pretty easy read and you can read 1 chapter at a time whenever you have half an hour free or so (which is probably never, right? But it would be worth it if you can try to make the time). I know this may not sound fair, but it actually works because if you change one person in a relationship, you change the entire dynamic of the relationship so both people change. Also, it may help to realize things are probably harder for both of you now with having a new baby because of all of the stress and lack of sleep, which is probably making the situation worse. I"m not saying you shoudl wait for it to get better, just realize the affect the stress may be having on both of you. Good luck!

First I would ask him how sitting at a desk when you are tired is easier than working pysically and staying awake???

Then I would ask how it's fair that you now have to work and then spend the rest of the evening taking care 100% of the household/family responsibilities?

Honestly, if his job is so hard that he can't help at home then I would sit down and make a list of things that can be cut from your budget (like maybe the sports channel, beer, chips, pretzels, chips...golf expenses, game tickets...you get the picture) Also make a list of household things you can cut on and then tell him that you can't work all day and then come home and work all night...to drop into bed and passout and then have to get up in the night so you don't even get a good nights rest....tell him you are quitting your job to take care of the home because it's a full time job for one person.

If someone comes up with a way to get your husband to take on more responsibility around the house I would love to know what it is since I've been trying for 17 years. At one point my husband was laid off and I was very, very pregnant working all day. I still had to come home, cook, clean and take care of the house. I love my husband but he's very lazy and self-centered when it comes to that subject.

Like one of the previous posters here said, I'm married for the second time, and I had the same issues with both the first and the second husband. Drives me crazy !!! I'm also a neat freak and cannot let things go, if I do, they just never get done and I just get more mad and have more work at the end...

It seems that I do everything around the house, which I actually kind of accepted and since I stay home and I like things done my way... so I'm ok with that, but it drives me crazy when I organize a closet or garage and then he can't even fold his clothes when done with them and put them away where they belong. He just leaves them on the floor in the closet, saying that he's going to wear them tomorrow anyway, so why put them away..... or I organize the garage, he does some work there and it's a mess all over again. Another thing that drives me crazy is when he takes stuff out of the closet, or garage, he doesn't put it back, he just leaves it laying there - needs a screwdriver, takes it out, then just leaves it somewhere without putting it back in the tool box - it makes me want to scream - PUT THE STUFF BACK WHERE YOU FOUND IT....!!!!!.... my fist husband was even worst, he would leave his clothes laying right there whereever he would take them off, on the couch, in the bathroom, on the floor in the middle of the living room - at least, now they are in the closet.. ha ha

After reading all these responses here, I'm starting to believe that it's just man in general. They just don't see things the way we do, things that bother us, don't bother them and they don't understand why we get so mad at the things that we get mad at.

I have to say that my husband is a really good guy and he does help when I ask him, but it's like with a 5 year old, if you don't say it and don't give proper instructions, it won't get done. He's thinks it's important to read to the kids, so he's really good at reading to the kids every single night before bed time, so at least that's one thing that's done every night without a problem.

I think man that actually are helpfull and do things like they should are exceptions, and I trying to raise my son so he knows that he needs to help out. With my husband, I know I can't change him, I still get mad sometimes, but at least I get mad less, I know that I just have to simply tell him what needs to be done and when, not just to expect him to do it on his own.
Just lower your expectations, so you won't be dissapointed as much... lol

I just had my 3rd baby, so now I will need little more help, and so far my husband has been pretty helpfull (when asked and instructed what to do...), but he's going back to work next week, so we'll see what happens..

Sorry I can't really give you any good advice, but hopefully it will make you feel a little better knowing that you're not alone..... it helped me a little to write this and to vent out a little.....

Have a great day and good luck,
Y.

I agree with Barb A. Do your thing, take care of your kids, and if he refuses to be a part of the family (which means chores, errands, etc), then exclude him. I think he'll get the point.

I had a very lazy first husband. It drove us apart afer he became "disabled." Long story, but I'll never do that again. My kids have a scewed view of work ethic. Now, I found the polar opposite. He's always busy, helps with anything I ask, helps get the kids ready for school, remembers all the important dates for the kids, and even my schedule better than I do! We are more of an integrated family team working together. Feels good...the other way drained me heart, mind, body and soul. It was tiring, stressful, angering, aggrivating and hurt my feelings that this man who vowed to love me could watch me work so exhaustively and not pitch in. It really broke me, but I've learned that men don't change. You either make it work with what you have or you don't. When we first lived together I figured he'd get better about being messy....ahhhh...no! GOT WORSE! HORRIBLE!

Okay...done venting and good luck!

N. - I may be presenting a different view point, but my husband and I are opposite you and your husband. He's the neat freak that works all day and then comes home and makes dinner and cleans. Where I work minimal hours but can't keep up with him. We have seeked counseling on how to balance. I've learned through working with him (rather than against him) that I don't like to be TOLD what to do and when. So each day I ask him if there is anything I can do and during the day I try to get that task done. It may be something simple like "laundry." But once the laundry is done I find myself cleaning more, just by getting started.

Also when I did work full time, my metabolism and energy was not geared towards house cleaning when I got home. I'd rather spend 4 hours on a Saturday cleaning house than 20 mins each night. Unlike my husband I don't feel like I NEED a perfectly clean house. So it doesn't bother me as much. I'd rather walk the dogs, go work out together, go for a walk or run errands together.

So, I guess what I'm suggesting is at the beginning of the week make a list of the items that need to get done that week. Ask for his opinoin - make the list together. Then throughout the week tackle the list, on Saturday morning regroup and see what is left. Sometimes seeing it down on paper will motivate him to help more during the week - a chore list works great in our house. This list also gives him the opportunity to do nothing one day (and not feel guilty) but then to knock a few things out in one day./evening.

One more word of advise. If you are the clean freak, he may feel that his "housework" doesn't stand up to par with how you would do it. So when he does do something be careful not to critcize or redo it. We found that when my husband cleans he surface cleans but when I clean I deep clean so the level of work involved in "cleaning the bathroom" was quite different. and a deep clean didn't need to happen as often as surface cleaning. But finding a balance did need to happen.

Somewhere through it all you will find a middle ground but he may be like me to where his priority to keep the house clean is a lot lower than yours. Find a balance. G'luck.

Every household is different, so I can only hope that my advice will be relevant... You said you have had talks. Were they mostly filled with complaints or a plan for compromise? I've learned that weather a man works all day or sits around the house, COMPLAINING usually has the opposite effect of what you desire. I suggest that you lay out a plan before you approach your husband. What chores need to be done; who will do them on what day. Make a schedule too. What time each of you get up, leave the house, pick up the kids, return home, eat dinner, etc. I am almost certain that when you approach your husband, he will have objections. So, ask him for his suggestions. Listen to them and consider them, even if they seem absurd. Search yourself as well. Are you being fair? DOES HE work harder than you? Is it possible that he could be more exhausted even though you are away from the home for a longer period of time? Is there a chance that he deals with more stress at work than you do? (Not saying that makes him exempt. Just consider these things before you go to your husband to talk, again).

At any rate, the same situation happened in my house a little over a year ago. My husband and I agreed that he would either cook dinner or have all the necessary cooking utensils (pots, pans, serving utensils, plates, forks, etc.) cleaned and ready to go so that it would take me very little time to prepare dinner. We also have the system that whoever cooks dinner is exempt from washing dishes for the night. My husband didn't like it at first, but a few nights of eating before I arrived home, and then cooking "kiddie food" for our children changed his attitude. At first my husband was angry, but I reminded him that we could compromise.

But keep in mind who you are and who your husband is. Will what worked in my home work for you? Only you know. I would be careful about being vendictive, especially if your husband has issues with anger management.

First off you have 2 kids and one is about ready to enter the world of helping out so have him help. Let the perfect house idea go, you have kids, a job and a husband. Use paperplates and if you want to drive a point home simply take care of you and your kids stuff and let him fend for himself. If he can't do that then he really has a problem. If you happen to be making a crockpot meal then he can eat off of it, but if you fly in the door and put together something just fix it for you and kids(kids are easy to feed and don't require anything at all complicated to accomplish nourishment). Wash your clothes and the kids clothes, make your side of the bed. If he has his stuff in the way, shove it out of the way. Make the point. If he still is unwilling to care for himself, he may be depressed and need to go see a doctor. Sometimes the suggestion to a man that since he is unable to care for the house he must need to see a doctor for medication will send him into either caring for things again or to get the help he needs.

Hi N.,

First, regarding the cleaning, my husband did not help with the cleaning so, I threatened to pay someone to clean our house every other week. We ended up getting someone and I love it! You may want to consider this if you and your husband are both working. It is actually not too expensive. My 3 year old still gets up during the night however, we are bad and let her in our bed.....we definitely need to correct this. I would talk to your husband about taking turns during the night and if he can not hear, I would put a monitor next to the bed. Good Luck! And let me know if you need a cleaner recommendation.

Have a great day!
A.

This is a tough one that I have struggled with in two different marriages. My first husband refused to do anything period and was brought up in a culture where women did all the housework/childcare even while holding down a fulltime job. We fought about it until in the end we were divorced. Then I was a single parent and I had to do it all anyway! My current husband is quite a bit better though I still do the lion's share of the work at home, but my child has been thoroughly trained to help. I have to resist doing everything, and wanting it all done my way. When he does clean it is not nearly as thorough but I let it go now. I try to compromise and he is better about helping. A frank but calm series of discussions is probably in order and know that you can't force it, it won't work. Try to work out a time and tasks that he is willing to do and settle for that. The end of the day-forget it. Men feel entitled to lay around then. Go figure. And good luck.

Hey N.,
Hang in there and know that it does get better. Try split up the work that needs to be done on designated days. Really sit down and talk with him about how you are both making a contribution to the household, and you basically need to do the same with the kids and upkeep. It's hard at first, but it does get better. For your little one you should try J&J lavender/chamomille soap, sprinkle a little cereal in milk,and classical music or favorite show or bed time story. I hope it works!

All the Best

It sounds like he has some underlying belief that his job is more tiresome than yours. You probably need to find some counseling so that you guys can really work on this as a family. Perhaps he is depressed or employed but not really enjoying his job. It is hard to discuss these things without going down the road to a fight. One of my friends fought a lot with her husband regarding household items and they eventually devised a list with the chores on it and each put their initials and date when they did an item. when it became apparent that the initials were all hers, he knew it was time for him to do some chores. Perhaps setting up a schedule where you do dinners on 3 days and he does them on 3 days and the other is a all do dinner together sort of day might work. Do try to keep any adjectives that describe him out of the conversation as it doesn't ever help. However, saying how you feel - exhausted etc is good. good luck

Well. It's actually pretty simple if his laziness is your only problem. You aren't alone. But, it's just that he is a man. Men are unable to multi-task in the way we do. I understand that you're not asking him to feed the baby while he vacuums and looks over the 6 year olds coloring. You are asking for a simple task or 2 to be completed on a regular schedule. Not a lot to you but way too much for his plate. Don't argue w/him since it just creates more negative energy than both of you need right now. I'm not sure how you manage your home but perhaps try getting everyone (except the new baby) involved in the day to day. Most people do not like to clean. It's just a necessary task & more like a chore for most of us.

First try using a schedule that you keep visible in the families common space (i.e. kitchen). You can buy or make what ever type you want. Here's a suggestion for a schedule wheel. You can divide the cleaning task into categories on a pie on one sheet of paper. On the second sheet create a slightly smaller pie (about 1" smaller) that's divided by your names/roles (i.e. Husband, Wife, 6 Year Old). Punch a whole in the center of both wheels & secure them so that the smaller will spin on the larger. Pick a time in the day to "spin" the wheel and the task that a persons name lands on is their responsibility for that day. Or week or however you choose. I say spin daily to keep the task division diverse.

Another option if you can afford it is to get a maid. You can hire someone to come in as little as once a month to do the cleaning detail.

Realize that you two lived your lives in two separate & different households. Maybe your parents were adamant about your participation in keeping the home neat & his weren't. It's no easy task to change a fixed mindset.

Women are excellent communicators. The best approach is to figure out how you can "sell" your husband on helping you more around the house. By sell I mean encourage & positively influence vs. argue (or as some men see it "nag") or mother him. You already have 2 kids. I'm sure you don't want another one (i.e. him). It's all in the presentation.

Oh, N., I feel your pain.
Rather than nag him, I think you have to sit him down and say, "I need help." If he's not willing to do more, then tell him he'll have to free up some money for a house cleaning service, babysitters and restaurant meals. It is NOT up to you to do everything!! And it's not POSSIBLE for you to do everything!
Try to delegate any work at all you can, either to family, friends or companies. If you're like me, that's hard. I prefer to do everything myself. But in tough times, I've asked for help and I was glad I did!
The fact that you have a newborn, and are exhausted, makes the situation worse. When your baby gets a little bigger, it'll be a LITTLE easier. I know with my sister's husband, he hated seeing money spent on cleaning, restaurants etc. so he started helping out. Good luck!!

Let's get something straight :) Stop being a neat freak!!! There is no incentive for your hubby to help you when things already get done....I call it the Mother's Martyr syndrome-having to do it all...you don't because bottom line, no one is going to take care of you but you!!! Until your husband realizes that you won't do it all he won't help. His attitude clearly shows that he doesn't appreciate your contributions or value you as a person if he minimizes you working fulltime etc...This sounds like you need a long conversation without distractions to work things out..If you can't work it out on your own with him, I suggest a mediator, counselor or someone you both trust. If you don't the resentment and anger will continue to build and you will eventually be miserable in a nightmare marriage or divorced. Good luck

Sit him down and say this is what I need from you, make him a list of what he needs to do daily or weekly. Make him understand that a marriage is a partnership, and he needs to help out no matter how much either of you works. I stay at home and I still get my husband to help with the cleaning,kid duties too. I told him these are your children too, and raising them is your responsibility as much as mine. Keeping them fed, changed, clean, happy is part of raising the kids to be done by both parents. Oh and by the way, my oldest is 7 and my youngest is 18 months and my husband never hears them get up in the night and I put the monitor next to his side of the bed!! It's a guy thing. Don't let up on the helping out, if he won't help I would suggest some counseling so he can hear from someone else, why you need help at home. Best of luck.

I feel your pain.

I can honestly say our house hasn't been truly cleaned since Christmas. I do most of the housework, but it got overwhelming and still is overwelming for the most part. But, we've agreed, on the days I cook, he cleans up afterwards, if he cooks (which he rarely does), I'll clean up the kitchen. A tip I've picked up on is that he's rather go grocery shopping than to stay home with the kids. I used to take both kids and do the shopping myself, but then figured, why can't he. So, I gave him a choice to either stay home with the kids while I shop or he does the shopping (and yes, I make a very detailed list on an envelop and add any coupons into the envelop). 100% of the time, he shops.

I've also given him the responsibility to give the kids a bath. Now, I don't know if a 6 year old bathes on his own or not, but he can without a doubt take kcare of the 15 week old. MOst moms I've spoken to leave the baths to the dads. So, I didn't feel bad.

You can also switch on putting the kids down. If it takes 20 minutes to put each kid down, let him read to your 6 year old while you put your daughter down. The next day, swap.

I've since created a spreadsheet (IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE A COPY, PLEAE feel free to send me a private email with your e-mail address and I can send you a copy via e-mail). All you have to do is tweak it as needed.

Within this spreadsheet, it states everything from sweeping the floor, to cleaning the toilets. My thought is that if break down and have us do a couple chores a week, the house wouldn't be so bad.

Another thought would be to hire a cleaning service to come out once a month. Yeah, it costs money, but you will be able to find quailty time with your kids (which you can never get back). One friend told me not to worry so much about the house and what ever you do, don't clean up on the weekends. She suggested I try to clean the house on Thursdays that way we can spend the weekend without having to waste it doing house cleaning. Also, your six year old is old enough to help pitch in for sure.

Hi N. -
My husband and I both work. He works close to 10 hrs a day and I work nights and weekends (on my feet in retail). We've got 3 kids and lets just say we both do what we can. There are Sunday eves I come home to a sink full of dirty congealed (yuck) dishes and I get overwhelmed too. I've just learned to relax my standards a little. I can't stand dishes in the sink or a dirty bathroom either. Just worry about the clutter when people are coming. Every once in a while do really good cleaning and try not to be so hard on you or him. Its hard to get back into a routine with both of you working but eventually you'll get there. Focus on the light at the end of the tunnel (the newborn will turn into a cell phone dumping/ipod breaking 2yr old some day!) but after a while they'll go to school and you can enlist their help in cleaning up. Take care and good luck!

Hire a cleaning lady, he'll either be happy because you are, or decide to help because he doesn't want to spend the money. In my case, my husband was happy and I were both happy with a cleaning lady. Gave both of us more time with the kids and he helps with cooking which he truly enjoys. It ended up being a win win for both of us. Good luck!

not sure that I have much advice for you because I live this life as well and I am miserable. The one thing that aggrivates me after reading the responses you have received so far is that basically men are dumb (I agree) or that everyone has an excuse for their irresponsible behavior. One of my gripes in my own situation is that when we come home from somewhere, he helps to bring the kids in from the car and then places his rear on the couch and puts the news on! Well, I would love to do this too! However we have an almost 6 year old and a 5 month old to get to bed. I have had the serious talks and what not and played the "man" games and none of it works. I think what may be best for us is just a separation. Again, I don't have much advice because I have done all this before with him. I guess I am just offering to that you are in my thoughts and you are NOT alone.

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