How can i ask my husband to help with house work?

Sarah - posted on 08/18/2009 ( 27 moms have responded )

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we have been married for 2 years and 3 months, we have a 10 months old baby boy. I do all house cleaning, take care of the baby, grocery shopping, online school..... He dosent like to do anything at home. he works a full time job and comes home at 4: 30..... what can i do so he can help me at least with some house work?

Thank you

Sarah

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Sherri - posted on 08/18/2009

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This may not work for everyone, but I just sat my husband down and gave him a nice long list of things that I do (including cleaning, cooking, ironing, laundry, work 45 hours a week etc.) and told him that if he wanted a nanny for his son (my step-son) and a cleaning lady, he married the wrong woman. I told him that there's my job, his job and then there's "our job"-which is the household duties. I told him that I work and commute just as much (if not more) than he does and then asked him if/why he feels that his job ends when he gets home and mine doesn't. That seemed to do it. He felt REALLY bad. When that faded about 2 or 3 weeks later, I gave it ALL to him (I got this from the movie Failure to Launch):



For 3 or 4 days, I went to my mom and dads after work and told him and my step son that they were on their own for dinner. I reminded them to do the dishes when they were done. Then I told my husband that the living room needed to be cleaned and laundry switched over. The next day, I gave them different chores. At the end of it all, I sat him down and explained that it was an excercise so that he could walk a mile in my shoes.... that worked. He now cleans the bathroom and kitchen every Saturday, my step-son cleans the living room and that leaves me with a lot to do, but those 3 rooms make a big difference.



Hope it works for you.

Heather - posted on 08/18/2009

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Be honest with him and let him know that you are a bit overwhelmed. He is your partner, not another child. He married his partner, not his Mother. Remind him that a marriage has to not be 50 - 50, but 100 -100. Both of you have to always give your family, home, and each other 100% of you. If not, it won't work. I have been married to a wonderful man for 19 years and, after working 10 - 12 hour a day, he has no problem throwing in a load of laundry, fixing supper, etc. Just be sure to appreciate what he does do and not critisize him for not "doing it right". He will definately have his own way of doing things and that is OK.

Hope this helps.

Anita - posted on 08/19/2009

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Hi Sarah...

As far as im concerned a house work is for all to pitch in and do...just becos he works full time and your a stay at home mum doesnt mean he doesnt have to lift a finger!...

This is what you should do..the first day ask if he cna help out and do the dishes whilst you get bubs ready for bed etc...the nxt mayeb take the trash out or put some washing on...(just ask him to do ONE thing each day and see what he does and say)...

If he starts going on about how he works full time and is tired then the following week you dont do any cleaning or washing up other than for your baby...no meals for him other than for your baby...and see what he does and says...

JUST LOOK AFTER UR BUB NEEDS and I guarentee that he will appreciate you more and wouldnt complain about the only one that works fulltime...Dont forget being a mother of a 10mth old your workign 24/7 teh least he could do is help out a lil even if its just on his days off...

good luck..

Jana - posted on 08/18/2009

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I have a dry erase board on my fridge that has my "to-do" list on in. I put a line through what I have done (so my husband can also see what I have done) Most of the time, he will do something without being asked just because he can see it was on my list to be done. But I also know that when he gets home, he needs a break and wants to read the paper. So it's not worth getting upset at him, because he wants a break. (yes I want a break from being a SAHM, but he always gives me one, once he has had his time to clear his head) Once he is done with the paper, he comes to help me. So for me, figuring out his routine, and leaving a visable to-do list worked for me. Hope you find something that will work for your family.

[deleted account]

You should read the book "Babyproofing Your Marriage." It's got a lot of funny and true stories about how life changes for men and women after a baby comes along and some excellent advice on how to keep a marriage strong through the tough times. One of the major things that I took from the book is to remember to say a specific thank you for all of things that your partner does for the family (including going to work). Just by saying thank you it reminds me that he is doing something helpful to us.

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Gerri - posted on 09/03/2012

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I had the same troubles but I used to come at him in full anger. I learned over time to compliment him sweetly," I don't know how you do it..." "Can you show me how you get the floor soooo clean when you mop it" and such like that. You kind of have to play stupid like men usually do. Then they want to take over and do it for you.

BethAnn - posted on 08/31/2009

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Well mu hubby seems to refuse to comply with "baby will you please do...." whatever house works is requested. So i asked him if he objected to doing some house work> "no" he says, he just "gets tired of taking orders all day" (he is in the military) so as I know I dont order him to do a single thing, I always ask him nicley... I wrote down all household chores on small slips of paper and we both draw one at a time till the bowl is empty and for the month,thoses chores are what we are responsible for. This way he picks his own work and no one is "ordering him about" every month we redraw so there are no gender biased chores........Turns out, my hubby didnt know how to do a lot of household duties such as laundry, dusting,bathroom cleaning, or basic pest control. :) he didnt want to be taught how by his wife...lol he called his dad

Shari - posted on 08/30/2009

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Without a word quit doing his laundry. Then when he comes to you because he has no clean underwear simply explain (without laughing of course) that if he helped out more, you would have time to do a grown mans laundry so he can either help you or start washing his own clothes. This method of "do your own ******* laundry" is very effective in my house. When my husband starts to run out of clean socks and underwear - he knows he’s been slacking and automatically starts to help out. At which time I start to slowly wash some of his things. Be warned though - this training exercise takes persistence; you have to get used to his clothes piling up. Do not for any reason give in to temptation and wash a single sock until he grasps the fact that he has to give you a hand with the house work.

Juliet - posted on 08/29/2009

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when there are multiple things that have to get done around the same time (usually between after dinner and bedtime), i just started just asking, "hon, would you like to give (our son) a bath or do the dishes? i don't care -- you pick." then after that i'd say, "hon, the laundry needs to come up and get folded. do you want to do that or get (our son) to bed?" etc. etc.... this way after dinner we were both "working" and hopefully able to go to bed together instead of me heading up hours after him, which was usually the case.

[deleted account]

Maybe stop doing it so much and he'll realize that you do alot more than what he thinks. Plus, he'll get tired of living in filth! LOL
But another thing is to make a chore chart... don't make it about him though, make it about everyone. A chore for each person that way it's not directed toward him specifically.

Michelle - posted on 08/28/2009

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Quoting Cynthia:

Maybe you can try leaving a note of things that he can help you with. Start small. Have you asked him to help before?
I have learned that the "man brain" is not wired to notice the same things that ours do. They don't see dirty or that something needs to be done. Sometimes they just need it pointed out........



So true! I am still learning that my husband (of 2 years) doesn't see what I see, but he will do tasks if I ask him outright (I just need to realize that it may not be immediately done, but will be done the same day asked if I can wait a bit). Being straightforward and letting your partner know that sometimes things are overwhelming is the best approach. Whenever I reach that point, my husband is looking for me to tell him what he can do to alleviate my stress. Best of luck!

Michelle - posted on 08/27/2009

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if communicating isn't helping
Go on strike
Dont do anything for him I mean absolutely nothing!
NO LAUNDRY
Make food for you & id
don't pic up after him
as or remind him of anything.
At one point I went on a cleaning strike and boy my husband started helping out not as much as I'd like but at least he is helping out he tries now
if he used a glass or something I left it where he did.
if he didn't have want he wanted to eat or dirnk in the house oh well I purposely didn't buy it not my problem
Once my husband caught on and asked
we talked about and very simple
want my mommy go back home to yours I'm a wife
partner?? and do more work then an 8 hr day job outside the home.
can we share common household things
worked for me
be a little creative but in a nice way

Charity - posted on 08/26/2009

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The previous suggestion about needing professional help is a good one...tell him it can come out of his "play" money as your household budget is strapped...



What works for my husband and me is a chore chart...we list out the week's items on a dry erase board & whoever does the item gets to erase it from the board. If there is a list, he'll use it, but during weeks when I don't do the board with him, he doesn't see it...so don't fill it out & post it - talk about what needs to be accomplished during the week & write it down together.

Sherry - posted on 08/26/2009

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a man...help? Sorry Sarah, you must be joking. Suggest that you need someone to clean the house 2x/month. He'll either chip in or pay for the help you need. Either way, you win

[deleted account]

well, you can alwas ask him to help you... and you can always hope he'll hear what you're asking, but I think in that moments they all have a hearing problem, so... don't give up...

otherwise you can try a few times forgeting to cook lunch when he comes home, or leave your house in total chaos, or to buy groceries... maybe (just maybe), he'll notice how life would be if you wouldn't do the things he expects you to... and than explain, that all of these things take time, and you were just too busy watching tv, to manage everything... but make sure he gets the point... your point, not his... and the point is... you need time for yourself, and you'll make it... if not otherwise, you'll have a manicure while you should be cooking and cleaning...

Michelle - posted on 08/22/2009

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it takes time i've been married for 10 years my husband has learned (by being told over and over) how sexy it is when he helps me, it relieves some of the pressure of what must be done, and i have more energy at the end of the nite for more intamate time with him. it works!!! filrt with him when he helps you, make it fun for both of you, he'll learn reall quick that housework is a more effective forplay than a nudge in the back in the middle of the nite,hahahaha! hope this helps.

Leanne - posted on 08/21/2009

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Wow I am not alone!! Actually my husband and I went to marriage counseling because I couldn't keep the house clean! I guess it was a good thing because I found out that both of us have inattentive ADD. If anything since I have been on medicine for my ADD I have been able to focus on one room, and actually keep it clean!! We have been more tolerant of each others lack of cleaning, but we both know we have a long way to go . I remember when we had our son, and how difficult it was to stay consistent on anything. My husband was great when it came to the baby, but he expected me to do all the laundry, cook, and grocery shopping (ugh), and also work a 40 hour job! Sometimes I still get irritated with him, but I just tell him that I know he took care of himself before we got married, and I have not done his laundry for the last six years of our marriage. I got tired of being taken for granted!! I let him know that he did NOT marry his mother, and that I will never be like his mother! We will have our 7th anniversary in October! The poor guy can't cook that much, and to be honest I am not sure he really wants to learn because he knows I will ask him to make dinner. He will make dinner at least one night a week, but I have to give him some notice. I am impressed by all that you do and school! I am not worthy!!! Life is too short, but you both live there, and he did help making the baby, so he should be helping now with the baby!! I would write him a letter, and let him know how you are feeling. I love how men think that if you stay home that you do nothing!!! Are you kidding me!!!??? You are lucky if you get 5 minutes of down time! Remember rest when the baby rests if you can because most likely you are the one getting up in the middle of the night! Sleep is sooooooooo important! I would also praise him for all he does, and tell him how much you appreciate him, but you need some help, and babies do change a marriage. I don't care what anyone says. Babies are wonderful, but they take a lot of attention away from your big baby(LOL), and it can be hard to remember that you were a couple before you had a child. It is so important to remember that your husband came before the baby, and he will be there after the kids have left the building! :) Well good luck!

Karen - posted on 08/21/2009

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ask him do do something little and then if he doesnt ,,,,,there is always the sex ban ,,,,this usually helps in my house xxx

Dora - posted on 08/19/2009

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Yeah, I say just be honest and make games for each other to do together. I'm a single mom and my kids HAVE to help out more than most children do (because I make them). I try and make the experience as painless as I can because I know I hate it just as much as they do. We blast music and dance while doing dishes, time ourselves on how much faster we can get a chore done from the last time we did it, do one chore all as a family and do it extremely awesome, there's many ways to do a chore to add some fun in it. Be creative and keep communication positive and honest, light and warm. You love one another and you have a family to raise as a team. Let your time be spent happy, even if the cleaning part isn't fun.

Harriet - posted on 08/19/2009

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TRY THE REWARD SYSTEM......GUILT FREE TIME OUT WITH THE BOYS, TIME WITH YOU(NO KIDS) A LIL SOMETHING SOMTHING....YOU KNOW!

Rowena - posted on 08/19/2009

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I have been in a relationship for 12 years, and have found that you can't change anyone, but what you can do is COMMUNICATE! It is so very important to share your troubles with your partner. Do it in a way that is not nagging. Explain to your spouse that you understand how tired he is from work, but that you feel overwhelmed and could use a little help. When you cook, ask him to come in a help you chop things or stir the food, and while you are in the kitchen together, talk about his day at work, give him a kiss or two, maybe even poor a glass of wine, and ENJOY the time together, while he is helping you out! Maybe you can set aside one day a week where you both deep clean....tell him if he does a good job, you will reward him later (wink)....that way during the week, you only have to do light cleaning. Another thing, involve him....ask him to help, and remember closed mouths don't get fed, so you have to ASK!! With my spouse and I, we have one day a week, where we split the house up....ex: I do the dishes if he will dust, or I do the bathroom if he will clean the shower. He can't really cook, but he comes in and helps me as much as he can, and when I do laundry, he carries the basket of clothes for me. In order to maintain a home and show your children a partnership, both have to share in the duties. Good luck!!

Becca - posted on 08/19/2009

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I've been married 9yrs and still haven't come up with a way that works to get my hubby to help. I talk to him about it, and used many different approaches, but it only helps for a little while. But honestly just talking to him and list what all you do and how he can help might work for you. Good luck!

Leigh - posted on 08/18/2009

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Well Sarah, to tell you the honest truth, this seems to be a universal problem, & yes I do see it as a problem because who in this big wide world set out an unspoken law that the man will get to do as little as possible, whilst the women do everything for the family & them? I am in a complete different situation. For now I'm a SAHM/WFHM, but my husband who works a 12 hour shift sometimes 6 days a week, does the majority of the housework. He's always been the one in our relationship to do the 'majority' of the house work. I hate it, I just do as little as possible (I have a thing about the kitchen, toilet & bathroom being clean), but the rest I just wear the same blinkers, but I have lived with heaps of boys/men, & the biggest thing is training them, so that they know what's expected. Yes some wear those convienent blinkers that don't let them see what's going on around them, but really what man can't look after his own environment to make sure it's clean/tidy? My husband tells me the reason men do this (no housework) is because they get away with it, that the women end up giving in & find it easier to do themselves. Do a roster, put a few things on there that you would need to see done.Write down everything you do & everything he does so that he has a black & white comparison. Let him know that you're serious & this needs attention. Make sure it's constructive, when I speak to my husband I always follow the 3's path, I tell him what I like that he does, what I need him to change, & always finish on what he does that he's great at & that I appreciate (I used to write this down at first, but now after 20 years it comes easy) Or don't do his stuff ie washing etc, just leave it on his side of the bed, he'll run out of clothes eventually. I have 3 teenage boys, all know how to cook & clean for themselves, & soon they will be going out making their own lives, & one thing I don't want them to expect is for a girl to 'clean up' after them. Women are natural nurturers. When we first met a guy, we end up cooking & doing his washing etc, & very rarely does that get reciprocated, & then as time goes on it's just expected of us. I always make a comment to a man that knows how to cook & clean that there's nothing sexier than a man with a vacume cleaner, that knows how to use it lol. Small steps & good communication are key. Good luck!!

Lisa - posted on 08/18/2009

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Just sit him down and tell him you are feeling overwhelmed and ask if he could help you with some things. just be straight-forward. if he loves you, he will try to understand...

Cynthia - posted on 08/18/2009

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Maybe you can try leaving a note of things that he can help you with. Start small. Have you asked him to help before?
I have learned that the "man brain" is not wired to notice the same things that ours do. They don't see dirty or that something needs to be done. Sometimes they just need it pointed out........

Topaz - posted on 08/18/2009

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hahaha!!!! sounds like you and me are in the same boat here!!! I cant help much either... We usually get into fights about it and thats when he will give in and say "sorry i do need t help out more" and he will help for about a week then its back to square 1.. let me know if anyone give you better advice! I'd like to try it too!

Heather - posted on 08/18/2009

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Girl...I have the same problem...sorry I can't be much help but if you find something that works...let me know huh?

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