Mom Has Gone on Strike!!!

Updated on March 17, 2008
L.M. asks from Converse, TX
36 answers

Hello everyone,

I have a question about whether or not I am doing the right thing. I have 3 kids. 17yo,14yo,and 10yo and a husband who works full time. I guess that since I am a stay at home mom to everyone else that means that I have nothing better to do except to cater to their every whim and want. I guess they feel that I have alot of time on my hands. Now I should also say that I am disabled. In the last 8 years I have survived cervical cancer not once, not twice, but three times. I have also had 2 brain surgeries, and about 3 other surgeries for other health problems. And a year ago this last July I survived a head on collision with another car and was told I should have been dead. Due to the injuries from that car accident I can no longer stand on my feet for long periods of time, because my leaves give out and send me crashing to the floor. And to top it off I have early vascular disease. To see me on the streets you would never be able to tell.

Now, my kids and husband are pretty spoiled. I have breakfast on the table during the school week for my kids before I go wake them up. I drive them to and from school because the bus won't pick them up due to them not going to the school they are zoned for. I cook, clean, do the laundry, so on and so forth. Just as I am sure that every mother does. But I finally drew the line today. I went on strike. I told my family until they could appreciate me, respect me, help me, and not take advantage of me I would not be lifting a finger in the house any longer. I would make sure that they got to and from school and that was it. I said that there is laundry in the washer and dryer and more that needed to done as well as prepare dinner for everyone by 5. My husband goes to work, comes home takes a 2 hour nap, gets up eats dinner and goes and plays on his computer and video games until he decides to go to bed. My kids pretty much do the same. Was I wrong to do this? Thanks in advance.

L.

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So What Happened?

Wow, here I thought maybe I was doing the wrong thing. You guys are so awesome and so supportive. I want to thank EVERY ONE of you for the advice and the encouragement. Well, Day 1 was hard at first. My family did the laundry (begrudginly of course). And my 17yo said he would cook dinner and my 14yo volunteered to help him with it (if I get any help she is usually the one to give it). However when they asked where the taco seasoning was I replied "I'm on strike". If looks could've killed. Then my 10you got mad because I told him that since the other 2 cooked he would do the dishes. I told them OH Well Deal with it. That's what I have to do. After dinner though I sat down and talked to the kids and I made sure to tell them how good dinner was and how much I appreciated it. I also asked them how it felt to cook dinner and no one complain about how it tasted, whether they liked it or not, and that everyone at it all. They both said it felt good. My husband helped the kids with the laundry as well. He later confessed that it was about time and he apologized and said he would help out more.

Now the hard part. The kids getting up to an alarm clock. My daughter (the 14yo)did it without any problems. My 17yo however I had to go get him up. He takes a medication at night to help him with his health problems that he has and it kind of knocks him on his but. I have been working on the chore charts, spinners, and some other suggestions. So I will give this about a week and update again. Once again Thank you to everyone. You don't realize how much you have helped me.

L.

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V.B.

answers from Alexandria on

L., I don't blame you for striking. I also think it is a good idea to draw up a plan on a poster for everyone to have chores and if they don't cooperate and do their chores to help you since you are disabled then they don't get to do the little things that they like to do most.....they get to sit in their rooms and do nothing No t.v., no computer, no games, no munching until they decide to do their part to help you. You are definitely being used...big time!

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T.T.

answers from Baton Rouge on

You go girl! Let the food run out in the pantry and have the hubby HAVE to head to the local Wally World for groceries and he'll get a WHOLE new respect for you. Just having the kids fix their own lunch should do the trick on them. Or have them have to wear the same shirt to school twice because they didnt' help with the laundry and soon you will be the QUEEN that you really are. Hugs to you.

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S.T.

answers from Houston on

I dont blame you for going on strike. I feel like doing it myself some times. I am SAHM to 4 kids, ages 13, 11, 4, & 3. I do all the work inside the home (laundry, cooking, etc) plus all the work outside in the yard (mowing 1 1/2 acres, weed eating, edging, taking out trash etc) It gets very OLD!!

I once went on a 7 day cruise with my parents and left my hubby with the kids. The kids said the house was a disaster. They all appreciated me when I got back....but it wasnt long till they had forgotten everything. Let me know how the strike goes for you. I have tried it myself before....but they can out last me. Email me direct if you want. [email protected]____.com (S. from Huffman)

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M.T.

answers from Lubbock on

You absolutey did the right thing, expecially considering all you've been through. When I was growing up I always had chores that I was responsible for (and I'm only 25, it's not like it's been a long time since I was at home). I had to do dishes and fold clothes from the time I was 6 or 7 and I was responsible for my own laundry from the time I was 12. Your kids are well beyond old enough to do things around the house. Other wise they will move out and not know how to do anything for themselves.

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C.A.

answers from Houston on

What took you so long !!!!!!! My son is 9 and does his own laundry. Mind you I had to give up control of doing it my way and he washes everything together but hey, I don't have to do it. I know he can go off to college in a few years and not be wearing pink underwear. Make sure you teach them how to load the washer properly because it is expensive to mess up and no one like off center loads. Your 17 year old is old enough to do the shopping, the younger two can help. Prepare a weeks menu, create a shopping list, the two young ones can scour coupon bins, give them a limited debit card and help them unload when they get home. During the day, you can do the prep work like chopping, thawing and the hubby can cook with direction from you in a barstool sipping wine if needed. The kids do the dishes, maybe one each night or two together on a schedule. Here, my son doesn't eat breakfast if the cat isn't fed. Why should the kids eat if the pets haven't (don't know if you have any or not). You can make casseroles for breakfast. Great recipes on diningdiva.com can be made ahead at night(perhaps by the child that doesn't have dish duty) and thrown in the oven while everyone dresses the next morning. My son loves to do that. I keep bulk sausage (like Jimmy Dean or Owens) sausage sauteed with onions in the freezer for quick prep time. I usually cook 2-3 lbs at a time and freeze it in portions that fit my casserole dishes. If you work this right, you may never cook a full meal again. We also have a game spinner and once a week you can do what I do. Monthly the choices change but each number on the spinner is a different dinner treat. Usually every other Friday night we spin to see what treat we will have that night. If your family is like mine we all like different things but if it is your turn you can do one of two things: 1. choose your favorite or 2. spin to see where everyone will go. In fact, the game spinner is good for many things. You can number the chores and everyone spin for the month or week. You can choose report card rewards and for every A they can get a spin to win a treat. This way you are not the only one making suggestions. Don't get too elaborate or expensive cause then it takes away from the simplicity of it. My daughter's favorite reward was always a walk in the rain. If it wasn't raining then I would give her a coupon to redeem when it did and the two of us would take off (as long as there was not lightning). Another choice can be a cup of joe at Starbucks with mom and/or dad. Another one can be a chore free day. Get creative and get your kids involved you will be suprised what they can come up with. Don't forget to put a cost cap on report card rewards.....maybe a total of 20 or so otherwise they will knock you over at report card time....

Enjoy your strike, read a book, do some sewing go for a walk in the rain the next shower we have...it is refreshing.
C.

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S.

answers from Houston on

Lilian, I tried to strike thing and succeeded!!! I highly recommend it! When they see that

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T.S.

answers from Jonesboro on

Hooray for you! Your family should be ashamed of themselves. After everything you have been through. They should be bending over backwards to help you and be thanking God that you are still with them. God put you on earth to be a servant of His not your family's servant. It is wonderful that you have been able to spoil your family some. But they are not helpless. To know the things that you just said you have gone through makes me feel ashamed. I had a small breakdown after my father passed away. I was only 34 at the time. He was 56. I wasn't prepared for his death at all. Did not handle it well. I went off the deep end. Financially, mentally & physically I was completly stressed. I did the same thing. I informed them all that I was not supermom. And that I wasn't the strongest one in the family. I needed some help. Or they would be losing me. I made a list of things I needed help with. Then, they got to choose from the list the things they wanted to help with. My kids are 17yrs & 11 yrs. My husband(41) was included in on this choosing as well. Each person had to choose at least 3 things. That was 8 years ago. And they are all still doing what they chose. We are all happier, because we all do our part. Oh, by the way I am a stay at home mom now that has also just started my own business. I am a Mary Kay Future Independent Sales Director. So my hat is off to you. Good luck sticking to your guns. And may God bless you in your business venture. Because it will also bless your family. They just don't know it yet. I would love to hear how things are working for you. You can e-mail me at [email protected]____.com if you would like.

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B.A.

answers from Houston on

Hi L.....wow...what a load! You have gotten some really good advice and tips. (some I'm going to steal to use myself!) My only comment would be to remember that your husband is your partner and his MAIN "chore" is to work outside the home to "bring home the bacon". I agree that he shouldn't be wasting away his evenings while you work around the house but remember that his duties are work and yours are home. He should have different guidelines than the kids and NEVER any "consequences"...that's just unfair, he's an adult not a child (though he may act like one at times! :). Treat him with the respect he deserves as the bread winner and encourage him to be a good example for the kids. It doesn't always work but it has much better results for you...trust me! :)Good luck...I hope things continue to work out well for you and your family!

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L.M.

answers from San Antonio on

I don't think that you are wrong in the least bit to go on strike! Good Luck with it! I hope they cave soon!

as in the words of the great Dr. Phil, "you teach others how to treat you."
spoiling gets no one anything. espically your children.

I would think that after all the surgeries and such you have had to go through your husband would be more attentive and helpful. but i too know how dense they can be.

I would get the kids to take care of their own stuff. they are fully capable of using the washer and dryer, making their own breakfast.

Good luck with your strike! I'm rooting for you!

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T.M.

answers from San Antonio on

You ROCK! I would do the same thing. If they don't appreciate you, you have to show them what life will be like without you. Your husband should start the trend. Your kids will follow his lead. Talk to him and let him know how you feel. Maybe it will help.

I have an 11 yr & 7 yr old daughters. My husband also works long hours. (longer than I would like). I clean, cook (some), do the laundry and the yard work. I also have two dogs (one new puppy that I am the sole trainer of), a cat and two mice to look after and clean up after. I said I was done with doing everything. The girls have choirs that have to be done daily or no allowance is paid (even if they missed one day. I only pay if each days choirs are done). If I don't feel like cooking (happens often) then I'll let my husband know he needs to cook or take us out to dinner.

It is working so far. My girls like that extra $5.00 a week and I like the extra help.

Don't give in...you are doing the right thing!
T.

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C.W.

answers from Denver on

While you're on strike you might want to think about what you would like from your family. I think you need to learn to assign chores, explain to your family how you feel and so forth. Going on strike definatly says something but it will be for nothing if you don't have a plan to fall back on.

Blessings, C.

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M.H.

answers from Houston on

Woe, well I would do the same thing. Goodness I cant beleive that they are being like that. Thats horrible. I have to think about this for a while. But have you talked to your hubby bout this before?

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A.D.

answers from Houston on

Good for you!! Sounds like you have been through quite enough and your husband and children more than old enough to help you out. You are not wrong to have done this. Your family is wrong to have put you in this position. Please update us on how this worked for you.

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C.S.

answers from Sherman on

I admit I was quite spoiled when I was growing up but I did do laundry, dishes and when my dad was here I helped him cook. After he was gone, there was a long time that I cooked for my mom and we both did the dishes. I have gotten quite lazy over the years because now I hate to cook but I want to teach my daughter to do these things so I am making myself. She already puts her clothes in her hamper, throws her trash away, sometimes she will pick up her toys and put them away. All in all, for a 2 year old, I think she does a wonderful job and will only mature with age. Sounds to me like your kids have watched too much Cosby where Theo constantly brought home his laundry after college and came back alot for supper. What are your kids gonna do when they go off to college? Moms usuallly aren't allowed. I left my ex, my daughter's "father" because he thought I should be able to work a full time job, take total care of the new baby, cook for him, clean up after him and be perky and ready for more! He was ridiculously spoiled by his mom though and still is. You would not believe some of the stuff she did for him when he was supposed to be in high school, but dropped out. Anyhoo, he is a product of what happens when you baby kids and don't teach them to care for themselves. There was no changing him. Just lay some ground rules. Your kids my retaliate but when they get older they will appreciate you more.

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L.D.

answers from New Orleans on

I think that is a great idea. I will definitely keep that in mind for future use in my house. My boys are still young but can see them expecting me to do everything. Love the idea stick with it. I hope everything goes well.

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G.

answers from Baton Rouge on

You go mom! I think a wake-up call is exactly what they need! "Stick to your guns" though. It will probably get worse right before it gets better!

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L.

answers from Houston on

You are a survivor! Congratulations on beating the odds...over and over again!
Now, about going on strike.... I don't necessarily think it's the cure all solution, but it will make an impression on your family. There is no reason why your kids and husband can't help around the house. You're not raising kids, you're raising adults and they need to prepare for the real world. Do any of them know how to cook, clean or do laundry? Who cuts the grass? Takes out the trash? I think you have a lot of good ideas to read through. I don't know if teenagers should be paid for doing chores. It should be something required of them to live in and sustain a household they are a part of. Now, extra things like washing your car or cleaning YOUR bathroom or making YOUR bed might be something to pay out. Your kids are used to you doing everything, so I don't know that they will react favorably and pitch in when you go on strike. They may raise the price of poker and have a sit in of their own. I hope it doesn't become a battle of the wills, but it might. Then it's time to negotiate. Take into consideration a chore chart or some of the other suggestions. I think you can definitely make this work if everyone pitches in.

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S.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

L.,

God has certainly preserved your life for a purpose, but it is not to do everything for your children that they should be doing for themselves. Good for you for going on strike. Don't cave in!

Before getting married I had a total of 31 different roommates. I saw a lot of girls leave their homes for the first time not knowing how to do anything for themselves. Their moms thought that they were doing the loving thing by doing everything for their child until they left home. I am sure that their intent was good, but the result was disasterous. I vowed that when I had children, I would teach them to take care of themselves. I would not have children who left home and suffered.

I have a 5, 3 and 1 year old now. They help with dishes, laundry, vacuuming, cleaning, table setting, etc. (Yes, the 1 year old knows how to put away dirty clothes and diapers.) I am consistenly told how confident people think my children are. It is not too late for your children. It will be harder to train them because they are older, but not impossible. There will be a lot of tantrums at your house for a while, but hold strong. Husbands can be trained too. I have been happily married for 7 years and my husband needed lots of training because his mom did everything for him.

Our society has shifted into thinking that it is a loving mom who enables and spoils and that teenagers are incapable of adult responsibilities. There are countless journal records from 200 years ago of pioneers who had 12 year old sons and daughters doing everything that their parents did - all that work and responsibility. Now we have a generation of "boomerang" children. They leave home to find out that adulthood is difficult and they are not prepared, so they go home to be children again. You are a wonderful mother for going on strike and not letting your children be among this group. Again, you did the right thing. You are not only blessing and lengthening your own life, you are improving the quality of life for your children and their future spouses and children.

Best of luck,
S.

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S.L.

answers from Lake Charles on

L.,
I don't think you are wrong but I do think that there is a more constructive way to get there attention. The reason I say this is I was once there as well. Went on strike and really expected them to get what I was saying. THEY DIDN'T! So I had to get past my anger and hurt feelings. Along with this advise I will tell you that making a chor list that includes your husband and having consequinces for each person that does not pick up the load that they are assigned will work wonders. EVEN FOR YOUR HUSBAND!:)
These consequencies for the kids can and should be the taking away of what they are doing when they could be helping, making them wear dirty clothes to school (Espesially the 17 and 14 yr. olds. My 9 yr. old irons her school clothes! So your 10 year old can at least do that!), if making their bed is on the list and they don't do it take the sheets and covers away and do not give them back until they start helping with other chorse to earn them back. The most inportant thing is not to let them see you get mad. Do let them see that you are not going to back down. DO NOT GIVE IN!!! CONSISTANCY IS THE KEY!!! If cleaning the dishes is on the list and they do not do them then put a paper towel down slap the chicken, mac and cheese, and green beans or their grits and eggs on it and tell them when they start doing the dishes they can start using the dishes. If they need something to drink tell them to drink water out of the faucet using their hands.(you don't want to go to paper plates and plastic cups because this is allowing them to and aidding them in not doing the dishes plus the paper towel sticks to the food and they have to pickit off while they are eatting. It will be funny at first but they will get tired of it and come around by the end of the week.

My 12 year old daughter constantly complained about not having clothes to wear and every Sun. morning we ended up fighting about getting ready on time to leave for church so the following Mon. when she went to school I packed up all her clothes except one thing of every item that she would need while she was washing waht she wore to school that day. example: she was wearing a full uniform with one pair of panties,a bra, pair of socks and her shoes. So I packed everything except 1 pair of panties, 1 bra, one pair of pajamas, and one church outfit for the following Sunday service. All week long she had to wear the pajamas while SHE washed her clothes for the next day of school. If she didn't wash them I made it clear that she would wear them dirty. After Wed. night when she had to wear her uniform to church then come home and wash them she got the message. As she started doing her chores she earnd back one piece of clothing. This helped her disission making improve as well. At one point during the month she had to go get some blood work done, and she is terrified of needles, so I made a deal with her that if all she did was cry w/o the screaming and having to hold her down then she could earn back 3 full outfits. She conquered and succeeded. We had fun picking out her outfits and she even thanked me for making that deal with her. That was a year in a half ago and all I have to do is make the comment that i need to go get some boxes.

As far as your husband goes....I packed up the xbox and his dinner was served on a plate after the kids were in bed and it was in the frige for a while. If he wanted it hot he had to heat it up himself and he had to start washing his own clothes as well. It's never a good idea to let them see that you have to treat their dad like this. It's better if they only see him step up to the plate to help out. They don't need to know why he is. Just seeing him do it will send the message to them that you are right and everyone needs to pitch in. This way you are not belittling him infront of the kids and he should respect your efforts in that. If he don't you may need to take a bigger measure of constructive disapline. You could always go on strike against him. don't fix his plate at all, sell the xbox, don'wash or iron his clothes, and no matter how much you want to have %&# DON'T. Sleep on the couch or something. But don't let the kids see you doing these things. That alone will bring everything to a screeching halt because "even dad isn't doing it".

Hope this helps. just use your imagination.

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T.P.

answers from Little Rock on

Hey Lilian!

You go honey!!! I'm like alot the others that have answered you, I cant believe you have waited this long!! I cant say much b/c i still cater to my husband WAY to much and our son is only a year old. But he (my husband) knows when i get fed up and he needs to start helping!! He usually comes home and either gets on the computer or goes to sleep. We both work full time though. Its good to hear i'm not the only one with a husband like that!! ha ha! Good luck with the strike let us know how it goes i might be considering it real soon myself!!
By the way, Congrats on surviving all of that!! The Lord has sure been with you!! Take care and may God keep blessing you!!
:)

T.

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A.C.

answers from Jonesboro on

Congrats for putting your foot down!!! Now, keep it there!!! Your husband is your partner, not your oldest child, and though, yes, he does make all the money, he would be having to make all the money and do all the housework/cooking/etc. if something had happened to you, especially with all that you've been through. I can't believe your family sees you as a robot and doesn't understnd that you need help just as much as anybody. Contrary to what life has proven ,you are not invincible, and they should be glad you are still around. Keep your foot just where it is......

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M.

answers from Houston on

I think your strike is long over due, and not because of your physical conditions. At some point we all need to learn how to do for ourselves and believe that we can. I felt bad for the college kids I was around who had their mother picking up their laundry, cleaning their dorm rooms and etc. Even worse I feel bad for the poor men and women who will end up marrying them. I think we all know that "momma's boy". You're doing the right thing for everyone. Good luck.

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E.J.

answers from San Antonio on

UMMM, Yeah you did the right thing! With all you have been through-alone, there should a lot more consideration coming your way from your family. They totally take advantage! Whether you have time on your hands or not, should not matter, because clearly so do they! Keep it up! Let me know how it works out for you!

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T.

answers from Baton Rouge on

L.,

You should stick to it, even after your done striking. I also have cancer and other medical issues, but I can honestly say my family has helped me with everything. You are their Mother and Wife, but that does not make you their maid. Also, they need to know how to do things for themselves, so when they are on their own. Also, your husband should remember he married you because he loved you, Not because you were good at being his personal maid. God Bless you and Best wishes with your new business. T.

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E.

answers from Houston on

L.,
You are a very strong woman to have gone through all that you've gone through and still be going on with what needs to be done...NO...I don't feel like you're doing anything wrong. Your family should be more helpful to you considering all that you've suffered...stand your ground and stay strong. I will pray for you.

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C.S.

answers from Baton Rouge on

No you are not wrong to do what you did. If you would like a suggestion, I would say that you need to have a family meeting. Children need to have chores. It helps teach them responsibility and teaches them that they have to contribute something to the family. They should each be assisgned something to do and you should not lift a finger to help. They are all old enough to learn and complete a chore with minimul instruction. I think that it is wonderful that you are able to be there for them, but don't feel like you have to do everything because you are a stay at home mom. Give them the little things like breakfast in the morning but make them work for their family. You may also want to encourage your husband to have a little sit down time with you when he gets home from work. An hour with you, no kids, and them maybe an hour nap. Good luck.

P.S. My son now 18 was doing laudry at 9. He mowed grass cleaned his bathroom, vacumed the upstairs, was the official dishwasher unloader and was my prep cook. My daughter, 4 helps me cook (prep cook), puts her laudry away, and I am currently teaching her how to load the dishwasher.

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H.

answers from New Orleans on

I think that your strike is long over due!!!! Dont feel guilty at all for the way you feel. I was a stay at home mom and I totally understand what you feel and I didn't have the hurdles you've had to jump! They need to learn how to take care of themselves too! Only after thaty realize just what it takes for you to do those things for them will they truely appreciate you.

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J.N.

answers from Corpus Christi on

GOOD FOR YOU!!!!! They should be making you breakfast, taking you out places, etc.... I am sure they will learn how to care for themselves quickly... Take Care!!!

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C.B.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi L.,

All I can say is, "Good for you!". I hope this is a wake-up call for your husband. I see no reason why he can't help you. I've been married for 7 years now, and my husband has always washed his own clothes, he also gets our 4 year old ready in the morning, gives him breakfast and takes him to school too. Your kids can help by keeping their rooms clean and with chores, but I think your husband can do alot more to help you out with the boys. You've been taking care of not 3, but 4 boys!

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T.F.

answers from Houston on

You go GIRL!!! You did the right thing. These kids are almost grown. They should be helping with your business and around the house. Ask your husband what's more important, playing the games or helping your sick wife, he needs to support you. Your work and then come home to do more chores and so can he. YOU GO GIRL!!

T.

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V.W.

answers from Tyler on

Considering your health problems and sequence of unfortunate events, I'm surprised you held out this long! I totally agree with everything you did, and the most important thing was the positive reinforcement at the end of the day.

Growing up, my mom was similar to you. She had our breakfast ready and our clothes ironed every morning for school. However, we walked to school or rode the bus by choice, unless it was cold then we didn't have a choice!

She was different from you because anyone that COUld...DID!!! We took turns washing dishes, sweeping and vaccuming the floors, etc. I choose to wash my clothes once I hit puberty b/c I needed my own privacy and independence. PLUS, my mom is known as the "bleach queen"...if you get my point!

Having to take part in keeping up the house and helping my single mother sucked sometimes but I don't regret a thing about it!

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P.M.

answers from San Antonio on

You are a mom, not a machine! Remember that and your kids are not in diapers, they are young adults and if they want to be treated as such then they need to learn the rules of reality. Mom is not going to be there forever and chores are in order. My children are still young, though I do make my 7 year old clean her own room now, and my 6 year old picks up the table after we eat..which is hard for him because he is ADHD. My grandmother took care of me while my mom worked three jobs. My grandmother took care of me, my cousin, my granddad, and her thrity something year old son (who is fine just lazy). One day, when I just turned 17, she snapped and threw the dishes in the sink and said, NO MORE! I never noticed how much work my grandma did, until that day. She cleaned, cooked, washed, and babysat my uncle pretty much. And that was that, we had to do it on our own. I didn't know how to wash my clothes and she told me...not showed me, she didn't want to lift a finger, she told me how to do it and use my best judgment. I didn't know how to clean my room and she said if I wanted my friends to see the mess that was fine. My granddad didn't know what to do about eating, that she showed him how to make a sandwich. About two weeks of this was all we needed. My cousin and I learned how to cook and I learned how to clean. Now I am a mom of three and I still thank my grandma for that day, because I really didn't know what life was like without her. She is still here, helping me with my kids once in awhile...but only when I need a break. Weekends are their for fun, but life doesn't stop for a video game. Good Luck. And hold your ground, they are not babies anymore!

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A.L.

answers from Houston on

Are you seriously questioning whether or not you did the right thing??? Your kids (especially your 17 year old) will be moving out on their own soon and they need to understand what that takes. Dinner won't be on the table for them every night, their clothes won't magically appear clean and folded in their closets, etc. So whether you teach them that now (and how to deal with that reality) or they find out in the very near future when they move out, it's a lesson that will certainly be learned. I think you just have to believe that you deserve at least respect if not appreciation. The fact that you're even questioning your right to "go on strike" makes me think that you're not convinced you indeed deserve that respect.

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J.G.

answers from College Station on

I think you have every right to feel the way that you do and to do what you did. I think that unless you lay down some type of laws they will just continue to take advantage of all the wonderful things you do for them. It's not bad that you do these things (I do them for my family too), but the problem is that they don't show enough appreciation for it. I have heard of mothers doing this strike type thing before... there's even an email joke about it I read once, but the only thing about it that may not work, depends on how neat your husband and kids are. They may just not care if you don't lift a finger, if the house gets messy, etc., and if that's the case you would really just be hurting yourself. I haven't been able to figure out how to get my own husband to help out more either. Some days I just accept that he'll never change, and other days, when I am feeling overwhelmed, I get so mad at him!! I wish I had more advice, unfortunately I mostly have empathy. =) Here is a link to an article that was featured on the Today show about how to get your kids to help with the chores. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6470356/

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M.B.

answers from Corpus Christi on

L.,
I consider going on strike just about every day in my house. I also cater to my husband and children. Sometimes it seems they have zero respect for me. I think it's an excellent idea to set specific limits of what you can and will do. I desperately want to be supermom but I've had to accept the fact that I'm human. Go figure!!

I say good for you. I hope you are never taken for granted again. Blessings and best of luck.

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K.T.

answers from Baton Rouge on

well i say good for you ....sometimes you have to take a stand for yourself....i have 3 children very close to the ages of yours and i know exactly how you feel ...my husband does the same thing as far as the nap after work ...i know he's exhausted after working in this heat all day ...but i hate that the only time we get together is on sunday and he sleeps till 11-12 ....i would call a family meeting ...even if you don't normally have them i'd start ..the kids are old enough to make light snacks for themselves ...they can even wash their own clothes ...you may have to help the 10 yr old but hey this is a great time to teach him/her ....tell them exactly how you feel and what you expect of them ...they need to learn to pick up after themselves ...afterall when they leave the nest you wont be there to do it for them ..this will allow you some time for yourself ....once we become mothers it seems as though we lose our idenity ....our name is gone and we're only known as the cook ,chauffer,maid, nurse and so forth ..we're expected to know everything and do everything ...meanwhile you get so wrapped up into everyone that you forget about you ....everyones needs come before yours ...and though you are feeling unappreciated they really don't know unless you tell them ...so sit them down and tell them how you feel .....try to get to the point and don't let it be too drawn out as the teenagers will be sighing and rolling their eyes as they have more important issues (according to them) they'll just think it's too much drama ....haaaaa
as for your husband ... the time he's on the computer is time that he could be spending with you ...try to plan something for after dinner ....rent a movie for the two of you ....sit outside and have a drink (it doesn't have to alcohol)do something different ....revamp your style ...it will be fun ...put a little note in his lunch box or shirt pocket that you'll know he'll find ...write something that you want to do after dinner ...use your imagination ...he'll have the whole day to think about it ....
have fun with this ...
what i did with my kids to encourage them to start picking up and being more responsible is cut a 5 dollar bill in half ...put it in their top drawer (half) with a note saying keep up the good work and you'll find the rest ....it's worth it ...15 bucks a week to have my house in order and some time for myself .....i would have given alot more ....
good luck to you

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