71 answers

What Does Your Husband Do to Help Around the House?

My question is this? What does your husband do to help you around the house? Does he help with the laundry, dishes, the kids?

I work full time and so does my husband, but I still have to do all of the cooking, cleaning, paying of bills, taking care of our children 24/7 and running his business!!!!! The least I think he should do is empty the trash without being asked!!! My goodness, is this all men, or just mine????

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi. I don't have a "husband", but I have been living with my bf for 3 years. IT MUST BE ALL MEN!!! I have no bio children, but am raising his 2 kids. I work full time & am a full time step parent. To his credit, he also works full time & is a full time student. But, come on..how hard is it to help out! We have a big house & there is A LOT to do here! If I ask him to take the trash, he says.."I'll take it in the morning before work.." Guess what..? He ALWAYS "forgets". UGH.. And his jackets & school books, etc.. get left ALL OVER THE HOUSE!! WHEREEVER HE SETS them down! When I'm running late, or tell him to feed the kids....forget it..it's take-out! I have better luck with the kids helping me out, then their dad! Good luck.

Hi I have a great husband who will pitch in and help with anything and everything. He loves to cook, he's a great cleaner, and does a good job with the laundry. He enjoys going to the store. I thank his parents who raised him to take part in everything. It makes for a great friendship and domestic harmony. We decided a long time ago that was the best way to keep a successful marraige. Marital happiness comes from both peole taking responsibility and willingly backing up the other person at all times, that is adulthood, anything less is unacceptable. Married 35 years, 2 kids , 3 grandkids, two careers. (: J.

This is an issue for a marriage guidance counselor, not a mother's group. My last one did nothing, and refused to help in any way, and I am now happily remarried

More Answers

It looks like you have received quite a bit of advice, but maybe some more from a male perspective might help. I work full-time and I go to graduate school full-time and my wife is a SAHM. I change diapers in the evening, do some evening feedings, iron my own clothes, & I take out the trash. My wife does everything else, but I try to help when I can. I don't know what other reponsibilites your husband has if any. I helped much more than I do now, before school started.

Do you ask your husband to help? Asking always helps me, but it is always dependent upon how my wife asks and when. Do not bombard your husband the minute he walks in the door. Not only does he work all day, but dealing with rush hour traffic can be a bear and put anyone in a sour mood. Also ask nicely and make sure you present it as a request and not a demand. It's important not to get upset if he says no (assuming he doesn't say no everytime). If you get upset when he says no, then it might as well be a demand.

Remember, men who go to work everyday generally have a supervisor telling them what to do all day and they rarely want to go home to a supervisor (it doesn't sound like the case with your husband though if he has his own business). I tend to help much more when not asked and I undertake the task on my own initiative. I hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful


My husband cooks and cleans and helps with the kids. I won't claim he does it every day but he does it frequently. I insist. LOL If I want something done, I ask. I don't expect him to be a mind reader. If I want him to take out the trash, I ask him to do it. My husband is absolutely great about "helping" but he still sees it as "helping" and he doesn't actually take responsibility for making sure anything gets done. But at least he helps. I remind him frequently that 1. if I wanted to be a single parent and do everything myself, I'd be a single parent and do everything myself and 2. if he wants to get what he needs and wants (alone time with me) he's more likely to get that if I get waht I need and want (help around the house and help with the kids). Don't get me wrong, my husband hasn't always been a lot of help (and he still isn't always) but I've always insisted/expected him to participate, I don't criticize what he does (if the diaper is on the baby backward, no one is going to die from it), and I never redo anything he's done, no matter how half-assed (it didn't take him long to figure out that doing stuff poorly wasn't going to get him out of doing anything), and I praise him to high heaven for anything he does. I like to say (not to him) that the only difference between what he does around the house and what I do around the house is that I don't require a standing ovations. But, hey, whatever it takes to keep him coming back. LOL


1 mom found this helpful

Hi Janelle,

I previously worked full time before my daughter was born and household chores were more divided among my husband and I. However, now that I work part time and am home more, I started taking on all the household chores/child care tasks. Noticing this change, I started asking my husband for help. I feel lucky that if I ask, he is more than willing to help. I found if I phrase helping as a choice - do you want to do the dishes or give Anya a bath? - he responds well and I feel it shows that we are both helping out. It would be great if he would see things that need to get done and do them - but, I'll take what I can get. If you have not done so already, talk to your husband. You do not want resentment to build up. Whenever, I start comparing what I do to what my husband does in terms of the house, I intentionally stop. It will never be completely fair and I am okay with that. But, you'll feel better if your husband starts doing little things - like take out the trash. Good Luck!


1 mom found this helpful

Hi Janelle,
I think you have to remember men do not think like us. When they come home they don't see the trashcan overflowing or the kids covered in ketchup, all they see is that they are home and can spend time with their family.
You will have to ask your husband for help for the rest of your lives. That's just the way it is. Have you tried designating certain chores? That way your husband knows it is always his job to take out the trash, everyday no matter what.
As for my husband, I do not ask much of him because I stay home and he works incredibly hard.(he is gone 2-3 weeks out of the month)If there is something I need him to do I write it down for him, and yes it still takes 2 days and a hundred reminders!
I just bask in the fact that I will always be better at something than he is!!!
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Heidi is the SAHM and I am one of the Service Mgrs at Don Chalmers Ford. I work about 55 hours a week, maintain the 3 cars and the motorcycles, pick up dog mess in yard, cook about 1/3 the meals, do dishes, do the floors, trash, handle bath and bed time with the 3 year old -- then take over the baby so Heidi can do email or shower or whatever. We also run a Quixtar powered business and I run Vonconcepts Publishing. If your man doesn't help out --- start by throwing away the TV :)

Being a part of the family has been very rewarding.


1 mom found this helpful

I have been married for a long time and my dear husband does help me.
My expectations were a "trap" for him in the early years of our marriage. I "expected" him to be a mind reader. Then I started greeting him at the door with a smile and hug, and focused on him for a few minutes. After my kindness to him (after a hard day at work) he was able to help me with "chores." I did ask him, sweetly, if he would help with specific tasks. After time, I learned not to criticize his execution of the job. He will not do it your way. So many of my friends constantly criticize their husbands, then wonder why they will not help.

Consider asking him what he would be willing to do. My husband willingly does the dishwasher, and vacuums for me. Why do they always have to take out the trash? Think of the implication.

You are very busy with all you have to do. Take some time for yourself, so you will feel better. May I suggest: www.flylady.com for a new perspective? You can do anything for 15 minutes at a time. It is our perfectionism that keeps us from doing what we would like to.

Enjoy your wonderful husband and children. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Janelle,

I think you've just highlighted one of the many reasons that we are called SUPER MOMS!!! Moms almost always take on more then the dads, it's just natural. However, I will say that you have to sit him down and talk to him about it! I talked with my husband about it and now he makes more of an effort to help with the dishes, trash, cleaning etc, when he is home. It worked, you should try it!

Although, I work at home full time and have two daughters (3 1/2 and 4 months) and 1 stepson that we see every other weekend so I feel like I can never get a break either!!

My suggestion is just to talk to him and point out all that you do and be VERY specific about what you need him to do (they don't do good with generalizations). Good luck!!

we decided to treat household work (housework AND yardwork AND car self-maintenance) kind of like another job. We assigned monitary value to each chore: whoever does a chore gets the money. In our home, we split the chores fairly evenly (my husband does the most of the outdoor work: yardwork and car maintenance, I do much of the indoor work: dishes & laundry; but that's just our system) If someone isn't doing their chores, the other person can do them and make the money. Both housework and yardwork ARE work--some people make their living doing one or the other--so why not pay whoever in your home is doing the work?
One extra note: we decided not to include things like taking care of our children or our pets--so bathing & feeding the kids/pets--that wasn't on the list. We felt it would be wrong to treat being a parent as a chore and could lead to negative feeling toward our child; again, that's just our perspective.
Finally, I would recommend deciding what you want most--what is it that is most bothering you and you need to be specific. Is it that you feel like a servant? Is that you feel overwhelmed? Is that you resent your husband relaxing afterwork when you don't get to? Is it that you want some free time to yourself? Figure out what it is that is most bothering you--as specifically as possible and tell your husband (nicely) and ask for his help in fixing the situation.
If you just give him a list of everything you do and how he doesn't help, he will feel defensive and probably respond with everything he does and how overwhelmed he is etc.
If you present him with a specific solvable problem he'll be more recpetive (guys love to fix problems). For example:
"I spend all day with kids and I love them, but it's driving me nuts--I need some time to myself everyday"
or "I'm having trouble keeping up on all the housework--the kids keep me pretty busy during the day and they really wear me out, too--is there anyway you could take over chores x & y?" (make sure you are okay with him doing x & y without your interference or supervising.)

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