32 answers

Lazy Husband Driving Me Crazy

My lazy husband is going to drive me crazy. He works early morning hours normally going to work at 3am but be is done by 11 at the latest. For example yesterday he was home at 9am. then he took a nap until noon(which is fine with me, he didn't go to bed until 10;30 the night before).But he never actually did anything around the house. The only helpful thing he did was help our oldest with his homework (20 mins).
I do inhome daycare so i had 8 kids ages 11 months to 4 years(2 are ours) running around the house, I managed to keep the house somewhat clean, do two loads of laundry, two loads of dishes and detail the kitchen. But it just drives me nuts because our house isn't clean to my standards, but i can't do any more- on top of working 50 a week i am in college full time.

He is a great dad and loves to play with the kids, but his idea of helping them pick up is to sit and make sure they pick up. He tries to help sometimes by making dinner but that is maybe once a week. My husband works a max of 45 hours a week He did work more before but changed jobs and took a pay cut so he could be around more to help support me since i went back to school in August. I literally live on caffeine.
This lazy behavior as been going on forever but i am fed up with it, i complain and then he helps out more for a week or two then slacks off again. Even when he is helpful it is only doing things that i put on a list or specificly ask him to do. I successed counciling but left it up to him to set it up, which he never did, now we are uninsured for 3 weeks b/c he just changed jobs.
Does anyone have suggestion on how to get more constant help around the house, over all he is a great guy but i am really feeling taken advantage of and it is starting effect our marriage.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Sorry, I find it difficult to call a man who works all week "lazy" simply because he isn't helping with the dishes/laundry/whatever.

You're tired after working all week and feel overwhelmed by the household responsibilities, why do people seem to think it's any different for men?

Maybe it's time to stop worrying about how clean the house is. No one is going to die if it isn't perfect. Or consider hiring a service to come in once/twice a month to help out.

1 mom found this helpful

Well... if he responds to The List, why not continue to provide him with one? Eventually he won't need a daily list anymore because he will know what's needed.

Perhaps you could have a weekly list and a monthly list also.

Just an idea... I know charts work great around my house. :)

More Answers

Daycare is hard and putting school on top of is can be even harder! My husband can be like this. I used to get so angry an blow my top on a regular basis to get some help. In the end it just made us all crazy. My husband really isn't observant. He is clueless about the things that need to get done especially the cleaning. Usually what I do now is to sit down with him and tell him all that needs to get done and then ask what half do you want? For example, at supper usually the dishes need done and one or more of the kids need bathed. I agree to take half and give him first dibs on which half he would like to do. It takes practice and communication. Now my husband has gotten into the routine of taking half and he has learned how to do the jobs so we don't have to work so hard at it. What ever you do be very carful not to criticize the jobs he does do or he will stop all together.

With Child care, I would recommend having the kids do the picking up. Around my house, we don't eat until all the toys are cleaned up. At noon and before snack all the toys are put away. Then as they are eating snack I quick can vacuum the room. If there are to many toys to put away then there are just to many toys. Store or get rid of some or you will go crazy. I also have toy sorted into like toys so that they don't dump the whole toy box to get what they want. This teaches the kids classification as they put things away. I also teach the kids at a very young age to keep all shoes and socks at the door and cups stay at the table. We also do quick tidies before parents come. I make it a game where we fly around like a bumble bee and clean as fast as we can. We call it the flight of the bumble bee. I do this with my husband on a more grown up scale. I set the timer for five minutes and he helps clean for five minutes. It is amazing what we get done in five minutes.

One last thing. I did a lot of praying for my husband. When ever I was the most angry, I would quick say a short prayer for him. I think that helped more than anything. When I was done, I wasn't as angry and I could talk to him without blowing.

1 mom found this helpful

I know the feeling!!!! I had the same problem (must be a guy thing). So we now each have specific duties in the house. I do all the cooking and anything that goes on in the kitchen (dishes, cleaning, etc...) He takes care of all the laundry, he does the finances (so he know what we have for money and doesn't over spend), He is also in charge of getting the kids up and ready in the morning. I get bed time for the kids. We sat down together and pick things we didn't mind doing and then we split the other stuff up evenly. When we did it I asked him to help me pick up every day. He answered in this whiny tone that he hated picking up. And what i enjoy it???? But 5 years later he is much better and we have found that team work makes a big job, not so big anymore! Another tip is when we first got started, he was not doing what we had listed and I did not do his share!! I let it pile up and reminded him of it every day :) He got the point that I was not him mommy and was not going to help him out! They are big boys now no matter how much it hurts! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Sorry, I find it difficult to call a man who works all week "lazy" simply because he isn't helping with the dishes/laundry/whatever.

You're tired after working all week and feel overwhelmed by the household responsibilities, why do people seem to think it's any different for men?

Maybe it's time to stop worrying about how clean the house is. No one is going to die if it isn't perfect. Or consider hiring a service to come in once/twice a month to help out.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.
Wow- It sounds as though you're past angry and frustrated.
Take all of this kindly- from someone who's been in couselling and felt like you.
You can only work on YOU. And maybe your standards for clean are different from your spouse. ASK him if he thinks it's ok. If he does- then either you have to compromise your expectations or give something up to accomodate your own standards.
Could you have more on your plate than you can handle and now you want him to help with that because you bit off more than you can chew? He gave up a job to help- a lot but apparently not enough? Like me, a working mom, home business on the side, 7 yo twins, also marketting for another 3rd company for fun- could I take on any more- and no wonder I felt overwhelmed. Something had to give, or it would be me or my family/marriage- hope that makes sense.
Or- I had to lower my standards for myself and what I can do in only so much time. Because the only one I can change is ME- and if that isn't good enough, than I have to decide if I want to continue or move on because my needs aren't being met by the man I want to spend eternity with and I don't respect the kind of person he is because he is what he is and that's all I can expect. Make sense??
If you want to chat about it more, feel free to write back and hang in there.

B. J
48yo perfusionist, wellness coach and mom to 7 yo twin girls

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,

Every week, I give my husband a list of chores that need to be done, and I indicate if they need to be done on a certain day, or if they just need to be done within a certain timeframe. The list rarely changes, and as women, we think he should just KNOW what to do, but he doesn't. Their minds don't work like ours.

You have to be very specific. Not just merely, "Clean the living room", but rather, "Pick up the toys in the living the room, then vacuum the floor. If you have time, please dust."

It takes me 5 minutes to write the list, there is peace in our home, and I feel like the burden doesn't all fall on my shoulders.

So, my advice to you is to try a chore list. You can do a weekly one, or even a daily one, depending on your needs.

Another trick I use is to have us both do chores at the same time. We call this our "10 minute tidy", where we pick chores and go do them. I'll say, "The trash needs to be taken out, the floor needs mopping, and George [our son] needs a bath. Which would you like to do?".

I really don't give a rip what chores I end up with, so long as I'm getting help. And knowing that everyone is working on chores at the same time makes it easier to do, versus one person working their butt off, and the other plopped in front of the t.v. If you choose to do the "10 minute tidy", you could end with something fun, like dessert or a movie.

1 mom found this helpful

I have been married 11 years. My friend has been married 35 years. It does not end, you just find a way to live with it. My husband will start doing things without being asked (he's in a good streak right now), and then he won't do anything.

Just keep the communication open. Say what you need, and approach it as working together. If he is okay with a honey-do, then do it. Mine hates it, so I don't do it unless I am doing one for myself and he has been in a slump.

Good luck. It will hopefully get better, but I can't promise an end. We didn't marry them to change them, only to find compromise and harmony in our differences.

I don't think your husband is lazy... I do think think your expectations are too high.

Have you ever worked an overnight job before? And a fulltime one at that? Unless you have the metabolism of a bat or some other nocturnal critter, very few people can function well after being up throughout the night. Humans aren't designed to be awake all night only to sleep a few hours during the day. Scientifically speaking, there are tons of studies that show workers who must sleep during daytime hours are more prone to fatal accidents, early death, and endless health issues due to lack of sleep. Studies even show that sunlight streaming through closed blinds can even negatively affect your health if your primary sleep hours are during the day.

I'd guess your husband is just physically exhausted, and probably doing all that he can muster on the wacky schedule he's working. I'm mean think about it, if he were really lazy, would he even take something as undesirable as an overnight job to help support you and your family? I think if he had some choices, he'd probably pick the regular 9-5 during daytime hours, and get some sleep...real sleep in a comfy bed, next to you.

Before you kick your man to the curb, or hurt his feelings unnecessarily, have some compassion on him, and yourself and try to come up with a house cleaning plan that is more simplified and realistic for where you are both at during this time in your lives. Realistically, you're probably never going to acieve the kind of clean house you want, as long as you run a daycare, and your husband works overnights. Accusing him of being lazy is only create tension and anger for both of you, and for no good reason. Save that kind of seething for when you catch the guy cheating on you, or spending all of those hard earned dollars on a nasty habit like gambling or an addiction. Remember, the guy IS supporting you, he DOEs clean and help with the kids...right now. But who knows how long he'll keep it up, if he feels unfairly attacked or unappreciated for what he DOES do to make things work for your family.

Right now, money is tight, and when a couple has to both work to keep things running smoothly, your going to have challenges. ANd when stress kicks in, the first thing people want to do is start to point fingers, feel sorry for themselves, and accuse the other of not pulling their weight to make things work. This is the worst thing we can do to ourselves...and it's dillusional. Remember, this is a team effort, and it will fail if you kick humility out the door.

I know your daycare job is probably taking a toll on you. Kids are no piece of cake. And keeping a house clean with kids hanging around is a challenge in itself. Maybe look into setting up a system that's easy for everyone and maybe lower your expectations a tad bit. Most important, don't mingle business with your personal life. You're asking for trouble. Ask yourself whether the help your looking for is really about keeping the house clean, or getting a sense of control and order because your daycare business is too much. If that's what's really going on here, consider hiring an assistant if the daycare is getting to be too much to handle.
After all, what's more important? A super immaculate, showroom-showcase house, or a happy marriage?

It sounds like you are just spread too thin. What I would suggest, since you said he will do things you write for him on a list, is give him a list of thinks that you want him to do everyday that will make your life easier. I would make it fun, maybe adding your oldest 2 sons to help dad with some of the tasks. Men are like children...they like to have fun while they do things and be rewarded at the end. I would make up a posterboard with a list of chores you need help with everyday (maybe do it while at daycare and have the other kids help). Decorate the posterboard with a theme your husband enjoys, like sports or nascar. Use stickers and lots of bright colors. Make sure you write everyone's name on the posterboard, so he doesn't feel like he is the only one that has chores. Write down all the things that you do also and check them off during the day(maybe use a dry erase board for the list), so he can SEE what you DO everyday, because men do not realize how much work it is to be a full-time mom and you are doing it all (you're supermom)! Your son can help dad vacuum by moving small pieces of furniture, putting the dishes away or helping give the little ones a bath. My almost 2 year old helps me with the vacuuming by picking up his toys and helps me get our little one (10 months) ready for bathtime by gettig her towel ready for me and taking her bottle up to her room for me for bedtime. What I am trying to say is that if he has a list, knows specifically what is expected and sees the kids joining in he might be more willing to stick to it. I think you are amazing that you are doing it all...my husband works full-time, and is taking one college class and is spread too thin and he has me doing it all at home, I can't even imagine what you are going thorugh. It may sound silly at first, but if your husband is willing to help you (which it sounds like he is) this will make it fun for him and the kids. I hope this helps! Please let me know how things go for you and if you need any other suggestions.

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