How can I GENTLY ask my SAHM wife to do more work around the house?

Belabw8koz - posted on 02/14/2018 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Hi all,

I could really use some advice.

We have two small kids, one is 3 and one is 7 months.

I know being a sahm is tough. the kids are hard to deal with sometimes, but that's not the issue. My wife has family in town: her parents, two sisters and two brothers. Every single day she goes over to one of their houses mid morning and hangs out there until I get out at 5.

I work two jobs. One part time at home and one retail job. Total weekly hours are around 60. I usually work 5-5 or 6-5 and needless to say, I'm tired when I get home. And I know with kids at young ages, the house will never be immaculate and I don't need it to be. But when there are toast crusts sitting on the counter for 3 days, I get a little irked. Or when there's no laundry done and I have to do it, I get irked. Its not that I don't want to help around the house. I do dishes and change diapers daily, among other things, but I feel like its her job to do that stuff while I'm at work and instead of doing it, she's off having fun with her brothers and sisters. I'm glad she's having fun and enjoying life, but I'm busting my ass everyday to provide for our family and I'd appreciate it if she chipped in a little more. I cook dinner nearly every night.

She's very sensitive. If I try to offer constructive criticism, she takes it in the worst way and feels like I'm knocking her. I just want to gently and tactfully ask her to do more around the house. She's been a sahm mom for 3 years now and we've always kinda had this routine. Just the past year I picked up the second job because we couldn't make our bills. So it's partly my fault for letting us get into this routine.

I know she needs social interaction, but there's gotta be a way to balance it all.

Can anyone offer some advice? How can I tactfully ask her to stay at home more and do work around the house instead of going out and having fun at her sibling's houses? Please keep on mind she's very sensitive.

I'm starting to get resentful of her. She's off having fun and goofing around with her siblings while I'm busting my ass for 12 hour days to keep the bills paid.

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Ashley - posted on 02/20/2018

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so i can TOTALLY relate to this.

my husband has been so patient with me as well.
you don't even wanna know how bad i have let the house get sometimes. so all i can really do is tell you me and maybe it will help.

before i had my son i was super ambitious and worked super hard and loved it, working outside the home, then we got a home and i turned out home into a home daycare and i got pregnant with our first child. I GOT SOO LONELY! just being at home all day, with kids, and ya i was working but i had no coworkers or boss to say hey good job or work on this or whatever, to recognize my efforts, bottom line was our bedroom was a HUGE dumping ground for a LONG time cuz i was just depressed i guess and felt like whats the point?
the i quit the daycare cuz i didnt understand that feeling, my son was like 16-18 months, i was gonna be a SAHM and I did NOTHING pretty much. maybe like the first few days? but then i think some part of me thought, whats the point? nobody notices, so laundry wouldn't be don't for weeks or more, and if i did do it it was clean and on the floor in our room and wed have to dig through a pile to find clothes, dishes was the same, i felt like i do them EVERY day, whats the point? i do then today, then theres another dish in two seconds and nobody notices my efforts. so yea my house could be borderline Hoarders house looking. If i had family members that weren't working i would definitely be at their house ignoring the house because it was a point of STRESS for me so id run from it
on my husbands days off i wanted to be anywhere but home cuz the mess stressed me out.
some things that have helped is actually NOT talking to my family. i got into an argument with my mom and she's all i have here in the state so its easier for me but it helped be focus on whats right in front of me. I'm not in the argument anymore but i have to create boundaries or i can QUICKLY become the girl that like reverts to childlike state and wants to hang with mommy and complain about my problemsand ignore my life and struggles?
another thing that has helped is some youtube videos.
one is like "how to tidy whole house" by EHOW and its this lady that says how to tidy the house in like 2 hours. i do that and my stress is GONE no matter how bad your house is that video will fix it.
and this other one or series really about the flylady system for keeping a tidy house. its a system for like 15 mins a day for a clean house this lady kat does videos EVERYDAY for support for people like me who get overwhelmed with mess and life. her youtube is "a better life with flylady kat"

i always thought my husband was nagging too. i ask my husband even now to take out the kitchen trash every day and bathrooms every week and take care of EVERYTHING outside of the house so taking trash to the street or yard work or mail, those are him. i try to do the inside, bill paying, house cleaning, kids,meals, errands.
id suggest just to be ON HER SIDE. no matter whats she is feeling. don't try to pull her one way or another. sit and watch a cleaning video with her. people LOVE them idk about her but they are like youtube #1
good luck let us know how it goes!

Michelle - posted on 02/15/2018

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Maybe suggest that she gets a job so you don't have to work 2 jobs. You could both then do the housework together.

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Christin - posted on 02/20/2018

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I think you are great for understanding her sensitivity to the matter. I would suggest that you pick one chore that is something you can do consistently and start by telling her you want to do this "chore" to help her out. Then maybe ask her for a few things that would help you out given that you are work during the day and are unable.

If that subtle approach doesn't work then maybe just have a nice dinner and explain how you feel and let her know you are worried about feeling resentful of her and why.

Good Luck!

Yuen - posted on 02/19/2018

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I can understand why you are frustrated and applaud that even in this situation, you are still sensitive to your wife’s feelings. I would communicate your frustrations to her but in a way where you are asking for her help. For example, “Can you get the laundry done today? I’m running out of clean clothes and I won’t have time to get to it tonight when I get home from work. It would be a big help!” You could also divvy up the household chores so she knows what she is responsible for and therefore (hopefully), get them completed. Finally, I would find out why she is spending so much time at her siblings’ houses. Is she helping them out with something? Is she providing a time for the all the family’s kids to play together? Is she feeling lonely? As with any successful marriage, communication is key. Talk with her, not as a husband lording over his wife, but as man needing his partner’s help. Good luck with it all! Thanks for sharing!

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