How do you split household chores?

Christine - posted on 10/20/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )




My husband and I are having a hard time managing household chores without problems. I'm a stay-at-home mother of our 5 year old son, 12 month old daughter and 8 week old son. Both of the babies are waking up at least once a night and even the 5 year old has been having problems staying asleep, so neither my husband or I are getting great sleep. He works a regular duty day on base and I shuttle the 5 year old to and from pre-K and otherwise care for the three kids during the day.

When it comes to chores we are running into major problems! I do all the cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping. I do more than half of the yard work, including pulling weeds, and taking turns trimming and mowing the lawn. I cook dinners most of the time, meaning he cooks once every week or so. On the weekends he mostly just watches TV and keeps track of the kids while I run around like a pissed off chicken.

I'm used to doing everything on my own while he is deployed but I'm feeling a little bitter about doing it all while he's home.

I could use some help, hints, tips, advice, whatever....


Molly - posted on 11/07/2010




It is very hard to avoid the "pissed off chicken" as you so well put it! I love that description. My husband is USMC infantry and gone A LOT! Even when he isn't deployed or in the field he is working late preparing for it. I have two young daughters, 3 1/2 and 2. My basic philosophy that I try to stick to is that weekend time when he is home is FAMILY time. Of course some chores must be done but I try my best to do as much as possible while he's at work during the week and then when he's on the couch watching tv on Saturday I sit next to him and watch or read. We always do a park trip in the morning as a family etc... BUT you can't do everything, so my advice is pay a youngster in your neighborhood to take care of the yardwork. You can find someone for very cheap to mow every other week or rake etc... You have to cook and do dishes so you can eat and laundry eventually must be done. Everything else can wait! I keep my house clean but when it's a choice between stressing out and having perfect clean floors I do a quick sweep and walk away. You have a newborn, which is the hardest thing ever! And if you are like me you are far from family. I rely heavily on friends in the same boat. We trade off kids so we each have a day to clean or we'll cook extra for dinner and feed each other. When my kids were a few weeks old I clipped coupons and cut back the food budget a bit so I could have a maid come every other week to help out. There are plenty of military wives who clean for a reasonable price to make extra money. The main thing is to let some things go right now until the baby is older and everything is settled. Relax WITH your husband, get help if you need it. If you need something specific from him ask nicely. But also remember that these guys physically kill themselves at work and usually work in stressful jobs. As hard as it is being Mom it is extremely taxing to do their work as well. I try to remember that we are each others' respite. He is likely taking the break he needs and you need the break too. So pile onto the couch woman!


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Shaniqua - posted on 11/07/2010




in that same situation right now an now he wonders y i dont have a sex drive at the end of the day im soooo beat

Tah - posted on 11/02/2010




i don't husband helps alot, thats probably because i work outside the home and i do the inside work as well. It's like pulling double duty, so he will cook, take the kids to karate, clean the entire house, put yellow caution tape around the bedroom door when i am sleeping for work run to the store, do laudry, fold and out it away...This is after he comes home from work, he will also take his weekends and clean and do things as a family. Even when i was a sahm for the 2 minutes before i lost my mind from helped out plenty, but i made sure there wasn't much for him to do because he did work outside the home. So the home, as far as i was concerned was mostly my arena. He helped, but he didn't have to do much...

C. - posted on 11/01/2010




Oooh.. I don't really know what to tell you. My husband is great at helping now, not only with the housework, but our 2 year old as well. For instance.. Saturday I woke up to a sparkling kitchen.. Sunday I woke up to a sparkling living room.. I have been having health issues, too, though, so he tends to help out more.

What I CAN suggest is perhaps talking to your husband. My husband and I did have a problem with this when we were first married. It's almost as if he used to undermine a SAHM's job when she's taking care of a teething infant. BUT, the deployment ('09-'10) really helped my husband wake up and realize just how much I do for our son and the house, and him, too. That's when things took a nice turn.

But we talked while he was deployed about how we would handle certain tasks and who would do what and that really helped when we first came back out here. That's what really seemed to help us, so I really don't have any other advice to offer. But it's a start :) Good luck! I hope he comes around soon, b/c you seem to be taking on much more than your fair share.

Kyrie - posted on 11/01/2010




I dictate to my husband what to do. Splitting the chore list didn't work so now I just do what I can and when he gets home I tell him what needs to be done that I can't do for whatever reason. And since he gets breaks and I don't then I consider that more than fair. Not to mention he loves his job and mine tries to give me a nervous breakdown with the two toddlers. lol

Jacqueline - posted on 10/28/2010




I think a lot of men, including military men, go to work and expect that their work has been done for the day. They have brought home the bacon, and see home time as relaxation time. You may have to just sit down and have a conversation with your husband and ask for help. I am also a stay at home mom, with 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 year olds. It really can be tough to mentally make it through the day. My husband generally makes one meal a day, which is breakfast because he is here at that point of the day. We also equally split laundry and folding, and watching the kids. He helps by taking them off my hands so I can get some time alone periodically to finish up school work, do my chores, or just get out of the house for a little. My husband does realize that while work outside the home might come to an end, work at home never ceases. No matter how much you complete during the day, there is always another chore that could get done. Plus, cleaning is perpetual! It is only clean right after you clean it and it has to be done all over again. My husband and I did go to the family advocacy for marriage counseling, and we came up with solutions for the very types of problems you and your husband seem to be experiencing. Good luck!

Kristen - posted on 10/28/2010




You should be a pissed off chicken (love that!). You are doing more than your fair share. I am a SAHM of 3 and do what I can for chores. My husband does the outside stuff (lawn and washes cars). He also does the floors (mop and vacuum). He will occasionally do laundry (usually when he runs out of shirts or socks:) He will help when I ask, but doesn't usually notice when things need to get done. I honestly think guys are oblivious to things that need to get done. They need reminders:) My husband is deploying in January and the first thing on my list of things to do is get a cleaning lady!!

Tonya - posted on 10/25/2010




I am blessed to have a husband who willingly helps, and often without asking. Sometimes, even to my irritation, no I am not crazy :) I would just say sit down with him and let him know you are feeling like you are doing it all at home. Once when our kids were tiny, I had to be gone for a while, when he came home, he was sooo overwhelmed and wondered how I got done what I did, during the day. You could try that! Make sure you leave him plenty to do.....When I cook, he cleans up the kitchen, when he cooks, I clean. It helps that he has a touch of ADHD I think, he has a REALLY hard time just relaxing at times. Sometimes it makes me feel lazy, that's why I said it irritates me at times when he does some things. My house is clean, don't get me wrong, I get to be a stay at home mom right now and our kids are both teens, there is only so much TV I can watch before I go crazy! Just don't confront him, make sure you let him know you appreciate what he does, how he supports your family and how proud you are of him. But also remind him, that you have a partnership and the household takes more than 8 hours a day to run.

Katie - posted on 10/25/2010




I would ask him for help. But my advice is don't corner him, and don't yell. When I did that with my husband he got upset and a dish ended up getting broken when he accidently dropped it emptying the dishwasher. But just sit down and have a talk with him, write down everything you do and list what you would like help with. Remind him that you are only one person and you need a break as well, esp with three kids! Remember that his job can be stressful as well, but that isn't an excuse for him not to help out. Maybe see if he can take the kids out every now and then while he's off so you can relax at home, or even give you a day off where you can do something nice for yourself. Hope things work out for the best!

Angela - posted on 10/25/2010




I don't split the chores because I tend to have my 12 year old help out a little with those. I am just outspoken if I feel that he's not pulling his weight around the house. There is usually not much for him to do because I try to break down the household stuff throughout the week. I like what Serena said give him the choice A or B

Serena - posted on 10/23/2010




I usually try to give him a choice between a or b like our nighttime routine when he's home is he either bathes the kids or does the kitchen. But I agree as much as we think we are giving very obvious hints that we need or want something, they're clueless :)
Good luck

Jordan - posted on 10/23/2010




I don't know what his job is, but it sounds as if you do everything. He should be helping out more! Just calculate everything you do and ask him if he would rather be paying for a maid, a sitter, a nanny, a cook, and if so tell him to hand you the cash. You shouldn't have to be the father and the mother; ESPECIALLY while he's at home. talk to him. if that doesn't work, hire a housekeeper and let him pay for it. You can only handle so much by yourself.
Good luck.

Cassie - posted on 10/22/2010




I agree with Faith. Ask him for help. In our house I make sure things are pretty picked up and do the laundry but he helps me put it away and he cleans the kitchen after I cook. You could try something like that where your essentially splitting on chore into two parts. Just keep talking to him. Fingers crossed he'll help more.

Faith - posted on 10/21/2010




REMIND him your only human. You might seem like super mommy but you need some help. My husband always tells me to just ask him for help. Most likely yours is just waiting for you to ask for help with a specific thing. Guys usually dont just do without being told or asked. As much as we wish they could read our minds, they dont...unfortunately. Also try making a list of things to do and put a few things down that you would like him to help out with. Guys seem to like to be given direction when it comes to household work. I totally understand and feel for you. :( I still butt heads with my hubby over household chores and raising the kids. All you can do is keep trying. Good luck :)

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