What do you do when you are the only person in your house who gives a monkeys about keeping it clean and tidy?(40 Posts)
I am at my wits end.
No amount of begging, pleading, asking, demanding, calmly talking, ultimatums, going on strike etc will teach my DH and DCs otherwise. He and the DCs leave mess everywhere. They also make everything very mucky, so that the house needs cleaning from top to bottom every single day otherwise it looks as though it's not been cleaned in months. And of course before cleaning I have to tidy up, which I'd say takes me between 1 and 2 hours per day depending upon how mess they've all been during the previous evening and that morning.
DH has says he won't do any housework as he works. I work too, although I work part time rather than full time. I don't mind doing the housework as such, but I do resent having to pick up everyone's dirty socks, wet towels, wrappers, shoes, when they're left everywhere. If there's anywhere where things can be left, they all take advantage of it. For example about 6 months ago I totally cleared out our understairs cupboard, and sorted it out, and put a cupboard in there for shoe storage. These days you can barely get the door open as they all (although mainly DH) have thrown things in; shoes, bags, coats, random things that they cannot be bothered to put away, bit of paper, wrappers, everything. DH will occasionally empty the dishwasher but literally puts things into the nearest cupboard, all just thrown in one cupboard.
I really don't know what to do. We can't really afford a cleaner, and in any case I'd still need to tidy. I like a clean tidy house but am not obsessive about it, a general sense of cleanliness and tidiness would do.
i feel for you.
Depending on age the DC's should be well able to do a few bits, and at the very least pick up after themselves. set out clearly what you expect them to do and discipline them if they don't.
I find the attitude of your DP quite horrid really. Try having a sit down conversation and talk to him about how his attitude makes you feel. sometimes men seem insensitive but they don't realise the extent of their behaviour. they also have a blind spot when it comes to mess and housework.
I hope things work out for you.
I delegate. The DC have a list of chores (age dependent) and I hand DH a duster/the hoover/the mop as and when. Rebellion from the DC means no pocket money. DH has never rebelled, what with being an adult and it being his home too. Perhaps try that with your DH? Do you have a mortgage? Try the 'maintaining our investment' line. I don't work, however, and DH works full time so I do the majority of the house work during the day. Then we can both fall asleep in front of the telly come the evening. But when he's at home, he's able to load a dishwasher, run the hoover around etc. Thing is, not picking up after yourself is fuck all to do with 'doing housework'. It's just being a lazy fucker and expecting a servant.
I think at your DH's age being now an adult with established habits, it will be very very difficult for him to change, so I would just leave it to avoid having an awful atmosphere at home.
But.... you can work on your children, give them tasks and chores and hope that they will grow to be more tidy and clean. My mother never asked me or my siblings to move a finger and as an adult it became really difficult for me to get into a routine.
I get the DC to pick up after themselves. At first I had to tell them every time but now they does it out of hand. When I remember, I get them vacuuming and dusting - they seem to like helping - but have to be watched like hawks and reminded to do everywhere. It quicker to do it myself but I'm in it for the long haul, when they are teenagers I'm hoping they will do stuff themselves. The DH gets pointed at some jobs but it's hit and miss. Kitchen stuff and vacuuming seem okay, he'll never see dust though
I would be very cross. What if your DH was single? How would his house get clean and tidy then?
Lots of good tips on the run your household thread, but the fundamental problem is dh's attitude (and what this is teaching your children about housework).
I can't believe you haven't murdered all of them!
First of all, get the kids helping - believe me you really can get them to do this.
Remove all shit from the hallway & find an appropriate place for it. Get your storage sorted out, so that there are proper places for things to go. Make sure there are enough coatpegs, spaces in wardrobes/ cupboards etc.
Then tell the children and your DH, that you are utterly fed up of being the domestic slave and there is going to be a new system in place. Tell them what is expected & tell them that you won't be nagging anymore, but you refuse to live in a pit too. Tell them that all items you find lying on the floor or left in the wrong place from this day forward will be put in the garden shed/garage/under the hedge etc and then FOLLOW THROUGH.
I don't think you can win this one in all honesty.
I have a similar ish situation, whereby my DP is messy, but he will help and do stuff when asked - I also work PT and he works FT, but if he refused to do any house work at all I honestly think I would ask for us to live seperately.
You can train your kids more though - and have ultimatums that you stand by. I got fed up with picking laundry off the floor, so installed a laundry bin/bag in the older kids rooms and said any clothes not put in there would not be washed. I wash their clothes but do not iron them. They don't have to keep their rooms tidy all the time, but every now and again they will be asked - and will do it without complaint - to give it a good clean and tidy.
Frankly I have had to lower my standards and expectations or live in a constant state of being pissed off.
That's none too helpful is it?
How old are the DC? Mine have done their own laundry since they were about 11. It took some time, but I found just not doing it was quite effective. I started by just washing their school uniforms as I wasn't prepared to send them in dirty clothes, but everything else gets left in their laundry baskets. When they've used all their clean clothes, and only have school uniform left to wear, they soon get the hang of the washing machine. They now do it all including school stuff. I do tend to have to do their sheets and towels though.
If I were you I'd not do your DH's laundry as a start, and just let it pile up until he does it, which will be one less task. If I'm clearing up I put all their stuff on their bed, wet or not, which of course would be put straight on the floor - but at least the door can be shut on their rooms.
You have to start somewhere, make a stand on something that will impact them more than you..
I remove priveleges until I get compliance. I will not serve a meal until toys, bags, shoes, coats etc have been picked up and put away. I dock ten minutes or computer time for every item I find in the living room that should be in the bin. I AM NOT A FECKING SLAVE.
Thanks everyone. Very quick reply as off on school run, but just wanted to add that my DH moans at me if he gets home and the house is in a mess. I feel like I really can't win with him.
Watching this with interest - similar situation here although dh hasn't said he wont clean/tidy, he just doesn't seem to see mess
I must be missing something here. I can't comment on DH's as mine is long gone & he was a clean freak anyway but with DCs, surely they need you more than you need them.
If my DCs don't help around the house, I don't help them.
Given that they need me as giant purse, driver, chef & homework assistant - this works well for me. I just don't "play nicely" if mine don't put their laundry in the laundry basket, hang up their coats, hang their towel up after their bath/shower, if they don't put their dishes in the dishwasher or help me hang out the laundry. Everything has to be put away before bedtime too.
If I don't have an immediate bargaining tool from the giant purse, driver chef or homework assistant arsenal, then I do the same as colditz and will withold privileges.
To be honest, it my H was being such an unhelpful arse & I was spending 2 hours a day cleaning up after him, I'd be inclined to withold privileges there too on the basis that I wouldn't feel turned on by someone so unhelpful!
Am flabbergasted your DH has the cheek to do no housework at all and moan if the house is untidy.
Totally unreasonable. Mine would be told in no uncertain terms this was a dealbreaker!!
If you don't want to actually leave him, my tactic would be to outline what you are prepared to do and anything he wants beyond that he can do himself or it will not get done. I think it's fair enough that the partner who works part time (as I do) spends a bit more of their non work time doing chores, but not all of them.
Hhhmmm. My DH really struggles with cleaning. I think because he comes from a very traditional roles
backward family. But he didn't marry that kind of woman so we had a serious talk about roles and responsibilities. We've come to a compromise.
Even though he is highly educated there are certain things he 'can't do'. Dusting and polishing fall into that category. But he is capable of hoovering. He can't cook but he will do the washing up. He does the bins and the gardens. He will strip beds but can't use the washing machine.
I'm not stupid of course he can dust and polish and use the washing machine, he's just whinging. But we've allocated jobs based in those he wants
can do. It means I always clean the bloody toilets, but he always does the bins (and I really, really hate doing the bins).
Incidentally DH does need constant telling. He doesn't see dust or that the floor needs hoovering. Or he simply doesn't care. So I do have to tell him.
"I'm bathing DS can you run the Hoover around downstairs"... That kind I thing.
I may reply late, but a friend recommended reading this. It is fun how an eye implant can turn a man into a cleaner? I still can't believe that. What do you think? It seems too good to be true.
I've found that picking things up that have been abandoned in the wrong place, and shoving them in a big box of doom that is inknown to other members of the family really concentrates their untidy minds.
If I keep finding the same thing abandoned I throw it out. After several warnings. I find paranoia a helpful means to tidyness.
Shout and have a meltdown. Get a cleaner and leave the
Your DH sounds like a lazy, selfish slob with no respect for you and now you're in the process of creating a new generation of lazy, selfish slobs just as his mother and father did before you.
How about you get a plastic dustbin for each of them and keep it in the yard. Make sure every item they own has its place. Each day, pick up anything they've not put back in its correct place - wet towels, coats, wrappers, iopds, wallets etc and put it in their bin. Your house will get tidier by the day. They'll start missing stuff. If they want anything they have to rake through the bin. Tell them that at the end of each month you will put the bins out for the bin men to take. Do it.
Love bubblemoons idea. <goes out to buy bins> Agree totally about your DH and raising the next generation to be the same.
My DH is untidy, so am I. However he does do bit and pieces at the weekend and loads with the DCs. He gets roasted if he doesn't put his stuff in the wash bin and at least put his plate in the kitchen prefrabl;y DW. I am NOT the maid. My older DDs, 8 and 11, clean and tidy their rooms and older DD cleans her en-suite too once a week at least. DD1 also has GP which she
mostly cleans up after with loads of nagging. They also do little jobs including the 3 year old and put their own clothes away. keep repeating I am not the maid and I am doing a service to them by making sure them have some clue about running a home.
Loving Bubblemoons idea
It's even more evil than mine!
I've had success with the Flylady approach with DH - discuss one thing which he can do to help keep the house ticking over more happily and he agrees I can remind him about that, but not nag him about other stuff. It's slow, but more successful than trying to make big changes at once.
My DS is only a toddler but I find a checklist of things really helps. I get him to look at it and see that he needs to hang up his towel after his bath, then put his clothes away. It definitely reduces the nagging.
If he were older, I'd use a list like that and remove privileges for things left undone.
I also try to get him thinking for himself. We have tidy-up time before bed, and I go with him into the room where he's made a mess and ask if he can see anything on the floor which doesn't belong there. Then for each thing he identifies I ask him where he thinks it ought to go. I tell him to put it away if he hasn't already got the hint. It works much better than just telling him to tidy up, and he's gradually learning to notice and put away mess.
If your dh didn't see the house being messy I could understand his unwillingness to do the tidying, but for him to make a mess then demand you tidy it up is appalling!
If you can face a bit of sulking from him the I think a huge down tools is called for.
I agree about the picking up.
I don't think cleaning does have to take a long time, but if you have to spend 3 hours tidying before you can clean, it does.
Don't have any ideas to actually get your DH to change his ways, but:
1)Even if he worked 24 hours a day, meals would still have to be cooked, clothes washed, bills paid, lawns mowed, gutters cleaned etc. etc. It's not an either/or thing (as any woman will tell you).
2)Even if he never plugs in a hoover, he can make the house run more efficiently and reduce the time that needs to be spent cleaning by picking up after himself and doing jobs like cleaning the bath out after use.
3) There is no cleaning fairy.
Do the bin thing.
Your lazy entitled fucking 1950s throwback DH as well.
I can't believe he does nothing then moans about it! You are not a fucking slave
Ooh, I feel your pain OP!
My DH is 57 but behaves like a 14 year old when it comes to keeping things clean and tidy. He's simply incapable of keeping things nice. Drops things everywhere, leaves dirty plates on the living room floor, opens cupboards but never shuts them, leaves lights on and forgets to flush the loo! He just seems to blunder through life not noticing the things that other people notice. Your DH sounds similar. You have my deepest sympathy, as I know only too well how demoralising it can be to live with someone with that type of behaviour.
I don't know, I'll ask my DH.
Well, your DH sounds like a rude selfish shit frankly. The children are copying him.
Don't accept it, it's just not on for them to treat you that way.
Your DH may not think it fair for him to do housework but he seems to not even tidy up after himself! Id make a stand - clear away after yourself and the kids (id tackle dhs behaviour first then move onto the dcs) and purposefully leave evrrything he leaves lying around. Clean around it. Let hom get arsey when he gets in and complains about his own mess.
Or, present him with an invoice for a part time cleaner.
What colditz said. I sometimes threaten to play "The bin bag game" and that usually gets things moving.
When I was a child, we did all do housework together on a rota etc, but occasionally the house still did get in a terrible state. My mum, quite calmly, laid out four bin bags in the sitting room. and said that in half an hour, anything not in our rooms would go in the bin. And she did it.
I do not think your husband is very kind to you. I'm sorry. That must be very difficult. I would not like to be treated like that.
How about announcing that you're going to be doing 15 minutes cleaning everyday, and that everyone has to join in?
You can get a lot done in 15 minutes, it's not a scary amount of time, and you can assign each individual to a specific room or task before you set the kitchen timer.
If you do this everyday you'd be amazed the difference it makes.
Do a massive declutter, get the children involved if they want to 'save' their stuff! Way less stuff automatically means way less mess.
There was an article in the Telegraph this week about a Canadian mother who went on strike and blogged the results - on phone so can't link.
What Bubblemoon said. And a bin bag for your selfish, lazy arsewipe of a husband, too.
I used to put everyone's stuff in a bin bag on their pillow. If it hasn't been emptied and put away by the morning it goes in the bin. Didn't take long before they started tidying up after themselves. Very occasionally if one of them has a lapse, they'll get home to find a bin bag on their pillow again, but there won't be much in it and they empty it very quickly
I also agree that Flylady helps. It helps me to keep on top of things and clutter does attract clutter, so if surfaces already have a pile of stuff on them it's more likely to be added to than if the surfaces are all clear (I also work only part-time and therefore, do see most of the housework as my job, but don['t consider putting everyone else's things away as part of that)
personally i would either
a) stop doing anything for anyone else and i would have no guilt about it (unless the dcs are very small of course, then i would do their washing/meals etc) and i would declare that no friends or visitors would be allowed over to the house as a result of the mess. things like treats would all be cancelled as you would be forking out for them unless they wanted to earn the money for it by contributing to the running of the house.
b) or i would employ a cleaner to come in for an hour a day or two hours every other day or something and pay for it out of the joint account
and i would stop being teh person responsible for knowing where everything is. if teh dcs dump their shoes in a heap then cant find them i would let them suffer the embarrassment of going to school in crocs or whatever. stop organising cupboards so tehy are tidy. look after your own stuff and tehy can learn the hard way to look after theirs.
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