Struggling w/ household duties...

[deleted account] ( 7 moms have responded )

I'm a SAHM of three (2, 6, 8.) My husband works full time, and by full time I mean he's typically still working when he gets home & on weekends. His job isn't always this busy, but even when it's not I'm the only one taking care of things at home and in our personal lives. On occasion he'll load the dishwasher, but even then I have to reload it because he's forgotten certain things block the soap dispenser. He only washes his clothes, but still leaves crap everywhere. I have to ask him/remind him multiple times about his work calendar to make plans, or remind him constantly to call friends or family back. I love him and am so grateful for him and his job, but I need help. Can I approach it without sounding like a nag? Am I awful for expecting him to help when he's already working so hard? Is there a different approach that could make it easier on myself (other than hiring someone because I can't.)


Nellynunes148 - posted on 07/27/2016




We have 4 children ages 16,14,12 and 10 years old. I have always been a stay at home mom, what I find that has worked for us is that I start "work" when my husband leaves for work and when he gets home I'm done to, that way we have family time. That has worked for us

Janette - posted on 08/17/2016




Sounds very familiar! I struggled with feeling overwhelmed and needing my husband to pitch in and help, to feeling guilty for nagging him about doing more when he worked so much out of the house. I've been a SAHM for over 16 years and I would have to say it was much more difficult when the kids were younger. Since the kids have gotten older they do help more around the house which lightens my load and teaches them some responsibility. And for me, I used to feel everything had to be done by me because I was the only one that could do it right. But I think by doing that my husband knew that even if he did help out I would unintentionally criticize or just redo it. So he didn't help out much. Very important to keep the lines of communication open and not bottle things up. I think if you just talk to him and let him know how you feel it could help things. I know not all men are alike but knowing how my husband is he needed me to tell him when I was becoming overwhelmed. One other thing that helped me greatly was the power of keeping a schedule and being organized.


View replies by

[deleted account]

Thank you Janette! I appreciate your advice so much. I agree keeping the lines of communication open is huge, and I will definitely do that.

Tammy - posted on 08/03/2016




I agree with Nelly. I do my stuff during the day. My husband is a slob. The problem that I have with that is how can I teach our toddlers to pick up after themselves if their Dad doesn't.

I'm a chart person. So I also have a chart that I check off my items when I'm finished. It doesn't seem so overwhelming and if I don't get everything done then I can see what needs to be done right away the next day. It's just figuring out what works for you.

[deleted account]

Thank you. I've been trying to do things after the kids go to bed (when my husband is finishing up work or doing his workout) and that has helped my frustration a lot. I appreciate your advice!

[deleted account]

First and foremost, Thank you so much for this. Second, I was born into a family that almost speaks exclusively in sarcasm so you go girl! Haha.
It's extremely similar in my situation, he's not a slob! There are just certain things that get left where I'm like, "O.k. really?" but don't want to start a fight. And the "just ask me for help" thing is something I've heard many times! I get it. That's how men function but dang! Lol!
I've definitely started doing stuff more at bed time since seeing both posts (only because mornings are GETEVERYONEOUTALIVE lol) and it's definitely helped some of my frustration. It's not even frustration at him, it's frustration at not feeling like I can get it all done. Thankfully too, my oldest two are now at the point where I can assign them simple chores so I'm trying to get in the habit there.

Thank you both, ladies! I just needed advice from someone who wouldn't judge and would get where I'm coming from.

Rachael - posted on 07/28/2016




I commend you. I am a new mother of ONE and I am having the same struggle while working full time. My boyfriend is messy, but not a slob. He just leaves trails of dirty socks, shoes and clothing when he comes home. I cook lunch for him every day to take to work and when I come home at night he expects me to cook for him at 11pm. We have had multiple conversations about the "division of labor" (hahaha) but the response is usually "if you need me to do something just ask". Sigh, when I ask I get attitude or a groan about how he has been at work all day. But, WHY DO I HAVE TO ASK? I had the baby all day and then worked 8 hours. You are a gown man!!! AHHHH! I'm laughing at myself typing this. I sound just like my mother. He really is making an effort. Baby steps.

The last conversation we had I approached like this:

"I want you to know that when I bring up the issue of household duties and responsibilities it's not because I think you are constantly doing things wrong (his argument is that I'm always finding things wrong "what did I do this time?" *eye roll*) It's because I need help because I don't know how to continue to do as much as I'm doing and trying to find ways to lighten my load." It seemed to shift the focus of the conversation and take it away from the nagging scenario you are afraid of.

I've also started a bin that I put his "crap" in that he leaves around the house. And when in the right moment nicely ask him to sort through the things and put away. This method is a bit passive aggressive, but seems to soothe my moments of rage. Please know that I am writing this with a healthy amount of sarcasm. I'm not as angry as I'm coming off but I can completely relate to your frustration.

Because my guy gets very defensive and as all men are extremely sensitive, I find creative ways of forcing him to help. I leave the trash right outside the door. I leave his work clothes by the door and ask him to take when he leaves. I leave a hamper with the clean socks and boxers by the couch and ask him to help me sort and pair them while he's watching tv. I say in a fun way "can you help me do the Russell (sons name) thang" which translates to - I've gotten up 3 times tonight to feed, it's your turn to change a diaper.

I'm on a roll, I apologize :) but I agree with the other commenter. I try to get everything done really early in the morning (before he's left for work so he can watch the baby) and then run all my errands during the day (I work nights) and then when I come home we have family time. I don't know your schedule, but maybe empower him to take a "shift" with the kids so that you can have some personal time or get some needed things done whether it's morning or bedtime. Easier said than done, but just a thought.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms