August 29, 2012,
C.A. asks from Port Richey, FL on May 06, 2009
Should Stay at Home Moms Expect Husbands to Help Around the House?
Just wondering if I am the only one that feels as they can't get ahead. I feel like by the time I get the kitchen cleaned from breakfast it is lunch time then time to start dinner then clean up after dinner. I spend most of my day in the kitchen. My son says mommy cleans the kitchen and daddy works. Then I can't get ahead ever with laundry and keeping the house clean. My house is a pretty good size so I do have a maid come once a month which helps a little. My husband is Nooo help. He wears suits to work so I decided when he throws them on the floor they r going to the dry cleaner. Well after having a huge dry clean bill he realized I wasnt haniging it up anymore. He gets upset and says he works all day and the house is my job. I understand that he does work but my job starts when I wake up and doesnt end until 11 at night. I feel like he should help a little. He doesnt even put his clothes in the hamper or shoes in the closet. What should I expect my husband to do? Am i being ridiculous. I am very fortunate and hate to complain when some people don't get to stay home with their kids but on the other hand I think going to work might be easier then i have an argument that I work too. I feel like I am always so busy that I don't spend enough quality time with the kids when we r home. It is not like I try to keep my house spotless I just want it picked up and clean. Before naps and bedtime my kids help pick up toys. I am trying to train them early so I don't have to be busy like this forever. I also feel like I never get time to do what I want to do. My husband offers to take the kids a few hours while I go do something but I end up using that time to get projects done around the house.
J.M. answers from Tampa on May 08, 2009
Yes! I was a SAHM for the last 4 1/2 year. Hubby will vacuum, take out the trash, cut the grass (or I will too for exercise). He helps with the dishwasher, folds clothes, bathes the kids, etc. I used to think he didn't help much but actually he pulled me then I thought LOL. I was baby sitting while I was at home. Now I work part time outside of the house. Plus we have a new dog and hubby has to help or things won't get done.
T.Y. answers from Sarasota on May 07, 2009
Sounds like you have gotten some pretty good advice. I am just writing to tell you that i too have the same problem. He hubby makes a bigger mess then my son, I think and thinks I should be cleaner. I try not to let it bother me anymore and just remember to do what is necessary and don't sweat teh small stuff. Good luck, I am going to take some of the advice you got too!
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S.B. answers from Tampa on May 07, 2009
Yes, he should help. I wish my husband did more than he does... but he does help. He prefers to do outside chores (so I still watch the baby :). I had a maid before he moved in & he said we didn't need it because there are 2 of us. I am a SAHM not maid.
C.W. answers from Los Angeles on August 29, 2012
No you are not ridiculous, I have been married 31 years, ever since 17yrs old, i am not 48, I was the stay at home mom, & am now the stay at home wife, although i am caring for my elderly mom. My 2 sons have grown up now and live on their own, however, my stay at home mom job description was similar to yours, tonight we just had an argument over the fact that "HE works 8 hrs& I don't, why don't I pick up HIS underwear from the floor,"
"Really?!!" where was it written that in my "job discription" after having 1. raised 2 sons & assisting my husband build his VERY PROFESSIONAL career that "my MASTERS career" would simply remain as an underwear picker upper. What, is he incapable to pick up his own underwear when he's changing it? No! Wow!!! My suggestion to you is: No you are not ridiculous, and as long as you request his assistance in a respectful manner BY ALL MEANS have him help you around the house despite the fact that he "works outside the home" it hopefully will prevent what happened in my house this evening, they become accustom to not helping out around the house & even expect you to continue handling most things around the house.
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J.H. answers from Fort Myers on May 07, 2009
First, check out http://flylady. net/ It has been a lifesaver for helping me stay on top of housework. Instead of spending time wandering around the house thinking about how much I have to do I now get it done in 15 minute segments.
My children are 4 and 6.5. They are homeschooled. "homework" as we call it is a major part of their life education skills curriculum. They help with laundry (folding, hanging small items, putting away their clothes and communal things..); putting dishes away, setting and clearing the table, scraping plates; sweeping the porch; some simple vacuuming (like under the table after crumbly snacks or meals); etc. All of these tasks they started as soon as they were able. It has taken years for them to become efficient but it has been well worth the effort I took when they were toddlers and preschoolers teaching them how to fold washclothes, showing them how to scrape a plate, etc. Toddlers are very willing to help and become quite capable quickly if you show them how to do a task.
As for husbands, I think it depends so much on their work schedules. When my husband was working an 8-5 day M-F he helped with cleaning on the weekends or made dinner on Sundays, etc. When he was out of town 5-6 days a week I did practically everything even paying bills, etc. I still do the bulk of that work because since he spends so little time comparatively with his kids I would rather that he take them to the pool or to the park or just hang out and draw with them than spend time doing laundry, etc. However if everyone in a house is responsible for his own clothes getting in the right place or hanging up bath towels or whatever it just makes things go much more smoothly. I am not a hotel maid and I expect that my husband will at least do what I expect of the kids- put his clothes where they belong, take care of his personal belongings, etc.
best wishes. Victoria
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B.A. answers from Tampa on May 06, 2009
You have every right to expect a little help. I also stay home with an 18 month old and a 3 year old and I'm 7 1/2 mos pregnant. I approach housework as I will get done what I have time to get done, and the rest will just have to wait. I quit beating myself up about it. As far as the hubby goes, mine would be living on the front lawn if he behaved that way. I told him the day we got married, I am not your mama and I am not your maid. Do not ever expect that I will walk behind you picking up your messes. As a grown man, he needs to learn where the dirty clothes basket is and how to hang a suit in the closet. It's not that hard. My husband knows I get more done before noon than he will all day at work. And he gets an hour of solitude in the car every morning and every evening. I don't even get to pee alone. There are certain tasks in the house that I refuse to do... mow the lawn, take out the trash, bathe the dog. Aside from that my husband has adopted bathing the kids at night (most nights), doing his and my laundry (I do the kids) and helping to teach the kids to pick up their toys before bed. Right now because I am pregnant I am getting more help than that because I am big and tired and need more help. But what I have listed are the things that he is responsible for regularly. There is no reason your husband can't help out. Bathing the kids and the dog came from necessity because I have a bad back, but my hubby started helping with stuff when I quit doing it. He needed clean underwear and when he whined to me about it, I told him where he could find the washer. He got tired of stepping on toys and hurting his feet so he started teaching the girls to pick up. If something is low on my priority list, but it's something he wants done now... it becomes his job. And if he wants to eat dinner tonight, he certainly won't complain about it or we will be eating hot dogs.... again.
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T.K. answers from Tampa on May 07, 2009
I am thinking you need a little acknowledgement. It seems typical for a lot of husbands to forget to recognize and thank spouses for what they are doing--stay at home or not. It is hard to figure out how to kindly bring this up. I find when we both acknowledge each others roles it makes it easier to start working on a plan to share some responsibilities. Also, I feel less angry and frustrated when my husband acknowledges my hard work. I struggle with similar issues but this is my strategy.
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S.S. answers from Tampa on May 07, 2009
Lots of good advice has been given by other moms,
but I want to toss another thought on the pile too:
Your kids will learn by the example their parents exhibit.
If hubby never helps, kids are likely to think they may not need to do more than work outside the home too (especially your son).
I want my kids to be SELF sufficient, not reliant on a partner's presence. Therefore, it's become important to
make sure my 16 year old son understands how to cook, how to wash his clothes (he started getting that job when he began to complain of my own method) and FINALLY how to get his own self up in the morning. (though his gf calls his cell to assist him with that, it's between them, not me).
He also does his own mending (and offers to do mine too)
and when he wants something ironed, he does that.
My fiance lived without a partner until he was 39. He's USED to doing everything himself. After being a single mom for 18 years, I was READY to let him, so awhile. He still irons his own shirts daily, and randomly washes dishes and cooks dinner. I like the example he sets for my son.
I agree with moms who suggest YOUR priorities shift too.
Time with kids is the most important. The mess will still be there. (and then you'll look fondly on the those toddler sized hand prints on the wall).
When my son's room looked like a tornado hit it,
I shut the door. When his friends came over, and there was no room for them in there, HE felt it was time to do something about it. It works well for us. (again, he's a LOT older than your kids)
When he was little, I worked the same method, but when it got too deep it became, "you clean it, or I will" and I used a trash bag. Once. That never happened again.
Baby steps mama!
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H.H. answers from Tampa on May 08, 2009
My husband cleans the tubs, washes mirrors and cleans the ceiling fans. He also helps to pick up toys from our 2 and 4 year olds and washes dishes when he makes breakfast on Saturdays... We had a long talk and I told him that if he does those few things they'll be no complaints from me unless I really need help with something.
My husband travels a lot and has a home office and I stay at home.
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R.H. answers from Sarasota on May 07, 2009
Wow! I've never been a stay at home mom and am no longer married...but when I was-I worked 60 hours a week and went through the same thing with my hubby. I'd say if the house is "your responsibility", he needs to meet you halfway. I mean, you put in so many hours-with the kids and cleaning/cooking and they're only so many hours in a day..Tell him that he could make it a little more efficient for you by putting things in the proper place too. That way you have some time for yourself-which everyone needs! I hope it helps.
J.C. answers from Fort Myers on May 07, 2009
One mom said kids learn by example and sheis EXACTLY RIGHT! My b/f's dad never did ANYTHING to help his mom and now that attitude has rubbed off on him and he does very little (ok pretty much nothing) Now my situation is a litte different because I work 50 hours a week then come home to clean the house, do laundry, tae out trash,cook and entertain my 20mo old all at the same time. I'vebegged him for help and explained that times have changed buddy and he needs to help before I pass out and die of ehaustion (i work on the beach in the sun all day no less) and so he at least picks up after himself for the most part but everytime I push for more help he jsut says "well I do more than my dad did! What more do you want from me"
To men it seems so simple because they don't do it all day long- and time spent with kids should be fun but it IS work.
What you shoudl do is Print all your responses and let hm read them -let him see how narrow minded he is being by thinking you are his maid and his mother verses his wife and mother to his children.