Help! I don't want to have to do a full spring clean every single day!

(59 Posts)
Snootymum Fri 22-Feb-13 12:18:19

My house gets in such a state every day as I am the only person that does any cleaning or tidying. It seems to get not just messy by absolutely filthy, and it's getting so that every day I have to give it a spring clean, it's disgusting.

For starters DH and our 3 DCs are very, very messy. Not just a bit untidy, but things like leaving taps on, and taking shoes off in the front doorway and leaving them there so that the front door cannot be shut until someone (ie Me) moves them. They leave stuff anywhere and everywhere. The 3 year old trashes his room probably 3 times a day, and whilst I'm tidying that he goes and trashes another room. DH dumps stuff wherever he is when he's finished with it; on the stairs, bathroom floor, kitchen floor, wherever. I'd say each day before I can do any cleaning it takes me between 2 and 3 hours to clean up the mess generated the previous day. To cap it all off, DH decided a while ago to get a dog, which mainly lives in a run outside but is allowed in the house in the evenings, and it's a dog that moults a lot and there is dog hair everywhere so I have to hoover/sweep/mop through the entire house every single day.

Everything just gets so dirty, as no one seems to have any pride in living in a nice place. The sink in the bathroom is usually infested with toothpaste so I have to clean it every day. The toilets get in a filthy state. The lounge gets so dusty on a daily basis it looks every morning like it's not been dusted literally in months. The windows and walls get filthy as the kids touch them all the time and I end up cleaning all the windows, every single day. I get jealous of people that say they do housework 'twice a week', as I wish I could just do a job then know it's done and won't need doing for a few days. It is absolutely soul destroying having to clean every day like I do, and I have no life! Yesterday I cleared the kitchen table of everyone's crap, wiped it down, polished it and it looked great. This morning it is encrusted with food, with so much crap on it you can barely see the table. DH even went up the shop last night to get a few bits, got home and dumped them all on the table.

DH has made it clear to me that he will not do any housework. He'll maybe unload the dishwasher once a month, and cook a meal once a month (and then use every pan and utensil we have and leave it all for me to clear up). The DCs just make mess constantly, and won't clean up at all. It's just making me so depressed every morning coming downstairs to DH's plate from the night before left unscraped on the work top, and cups, glasses and wrappers everywhere. This morning the bin, which I disinfected and cleaned throughly on Sunday, is encrusted with food, all down the side of the bin and all up the wall behind it! Laundry piles up and no one will even put a pair of their socks in their own drawer. DH will go through the tumble drier looking for something of his, then get the whole lot of washing out and leave it all on the kitchen floor.

It is all sapping the soul out of me. I just want to go out all the time, but then of course I get home to the same mess. I have tried striking, talking to DH, reasoning with him, explaining why he needs to pitch in etc but it's no good. I don't necessarily expect everyone to do housework but I wish they'd all respect the housework that I do and play their part in keeping the house as clean and tidy as possible between cleaning sessions.

LeftMeInSuspenders Fri 22-Feb-13 12:26:56

I sympathise as I have a very messy DH and 3 DC too!
So I shall be watching with interest at replies.

I will say though, I've managed to get my very messy DC into a routine when they come home from school of emptying lunch boxes, shoes off and put in the shoe storage, coats hung up, school letters given to me.

How I've achieved that?
By standing over them while they do it, every single day! They seem to remember anything unless I'm like Sergeant Major!

LeftMeInSuspenders Fri 22-Feb-13 12:27:42

*DON'T seem to remember...

Snootymum Fri 22-Feb-13 13:23:54

I'm glad it isn't just me LeftMe

I've tried the routine thing with my kids but they just kick off and refuse to do it. It ends up with all three of them having screaming tantrums and crying. sad

CelticPromise Fri 22-Feb-13 13:30:21

Oh my goodness. I'm not surprised your children won't help, they are getting a terrible example from their father! He sounds like an arse. I wouldn't be cleaning up after him. Does he havea reason for refusing to help and showing no respect for what you do?

Snootymum Fri 22-Feb-13 13:30:52

I get so annoyed with DH when I see that in other houses the man and the woman are both striving to achieve the same thing, ie a basic standard of cleanliness and tidiness. If I don't do things they don't get done. I had a couple of days in bed ill fairly recently and it took me about 5 days to catch up with everything once I was half-well again as the house was such a tip. No washing was done, we needed food shopping and DH wouldn't do it, he just got takeaways and ready meals for him and the kids for 2 days, the floors were filthy, there was stuff everywhere and the kids even smelt as he didn't bath them or change their nightwear.

Snootymum Fri 22-Feb-13 13:32:09

Celtic, he just says that he isn't prepared to do housework. I guess he sees it as my job, as he works full time and I work part time. I keep explaining to him that it's not a problem doing housework but it's making me more and more resentful having to tidy everyone's mess, even as much as emptying everyone's bathwater and picking their shoes up so I can shut the front door.

Snootymum Fri 22-Feb-13 13:33:09

Then he moans at me when the house is messy when he gets in from work. I'd like to be able to have a couple of days a week where I just do the very basics and no housework as such. I just don't understand where all the actual dirt comes from. I did the whole house yesterday with the feather duster and there are cobwebs everywhere again today.

MajaBiene Fri 22-Feb-13 13:35:07

I think I'd move out to be honest.

Your DH is treating you appallingly, without any respect or even affection by the sound of it. And your children are picking up his example and consider you a housekeeper.

aftereight Fri 22-Feb-13 13:36:30

Why does your DH 'refuse' to do any housework?
I'd say you need to start by addressing that problem. Does he realise that turning taps off, not throwing his clothes on the floor etc are just basic grown up things to do? He is not only refusing to do any housework, but also creating unnecessary work (for you). If my DH outright refused to lift a finger round the house it would be ultimatum time. He's setting a terrible example to your DCs.

With regards to the children, could you implement the following rules?
No food outside of kitchen
No toys outside of bedroom/playroom
Stairgate on e.g. kitchen to contain dog to one room
How old are your children? Give them specific responsibilities (shoes neatly for a week = small treat in friday)

CelticPromise Fri 22-Feb-13 13:36:41

Good grief. Can he not see the example he is setting? Sounds like you didn't have a say with the dog- does he do any dog related cleaning? What are his reasons for not even cleaning up after himself??

ariane5 Fri 22-Feb-13 13:36:49

I feel your pain, it sounds like you are describing my house (except for the dog bit).

Today I am trying once again to get my stinking house tidy, this is what I will be doing this aft:

Deep cleaning bathroom/toilet and throwing away all 50 million empty shampoo/shower gel etc bottles.

Putting lots of washing on as have washing mountain in my house.

Taking 5 bin bags of stuff to charity shop

Tidying ds1 room and de cluttering as he has so many toys and its a total tip with 2 thirds of room buried under rubbish and toys.

It is such a nightmare I hope you manage to get things sorted out.

CelticPromise Fri 22-Feb-13 13:37:55

I'd be throwing him out, and setting rules for the DC. You'll be much happier, in a much cleaner house.

specialsubject Fri 22-Feb-13 13:38:38

LTB. And shoot the dog on your way out.

Snootymum Fri 22-Feb-13 13:40:56

He says he thinks the division of labour is fair, and that it's not fair that he would have to come home from work and start doing housework. I keep trying to re-iterate to him that I don't want him to do housework as such, but I think it would be fair if he would grab his clean clothes off the washing pile and shove them in his drawers, or if he could pop his glass in the dishwasher and put the dishwasher on from time to time. He honestly thinks he is right and I am wrong

thixotropic Fri 22-Feb-13 13:44:26

I think you should repost this in relationships.

Your problem is not with the housework. It is far deeper and more worrying.

Good luck.

issimma Fri 22-Feb-13 13:48:42

as a short-term fix, give him and the kids options 'are you going to put a wash on or empty the dishwasher?'
longer term? he sounds like an arse.

notso Fri 22-Feb-13 13:49:29

I think your DH needs to live by himself for a while and learn how to be an adult.

Don't shoot the dog! shock

But, yeah, kick the 'D'H up the arse and consider hoovering him out the door. I bet your house would become magically cleaner.

MinnesotaNice Fri 22-Feb-13 13:51:46

My mom used to have a system that worked pretty well, put it away or it gets tossed. Either in the trash or in a bag and we couldn't have it back for several day. I remember once or twice looking for homework that I had left laying about only to realize it had been tossed. Pretty sure I was able to salvage it out of the trash, but the scare was enough to fix that habit. Anything of value that couldn't be trashed, was confiscated. No amount of pleading would change her mind. TBH, at the time, I thought my mom was a hard-hearted bitch. Looking back, I realize that it taught us consequences and got us pickup after ourselves pronto! The house was relatively clean and I have turned into my mother started using similar methods on my own DSs! grin They picked up on the rules pretty quick and their toys generally stay in the playroom since they know any stragglers I find get bagged. I also don't allow them to do any TV or playing when we get home until coats are hung on the hooks, shoes are off (still working on getting them put on shelf), and lunch box is on the kitchen counter.
As for all the dog hair, I would recommend getting what we in the US call a stick vacuum (not sure if it would be called that in the UK since you all say Hoover instead of vacuum?) I had a dog that shed like it was his job and it was wonderful to be able to do a quick sweep without having to get out the big
vacuum. I have the Hoover Linx and it is fantastic. No cord and super light.
HTH!

thixotropic Fri 22-Feb-13 13:59:10

As for division of labour, I'll give you my own example. I am the breadwinner, I work ft, work plus commute means I am out of the house 7 - 7.
Dh is sahd 2 days, he has a pt job / studies when dd is at nursery.

He is the laundry fairy, does all washing and general tidying. All washing up, childcare and night walking. Most snacks, breakfasts and light meals. All shopping plus sorting energy suppliers and insurances.

I do any additional tidying, hovering and cleaning, and I cook 75% of the main meals. I do the banking.

We all put things away, tidy up our own mess, and he rightly bollocks me if I leave cups laying around (bad habit) he also did all looking after the livestock / pets when we had them.

So I think your dh is talking shite when he says he shouldn't be doing any housework.

You can have my first ever ltb.

I agree this isn't a housework problem, it's an arse of a husband problem.

Your kids are never going to treat you and the house with respect when their dad doesn't. angry Yu can try and work on the kids but doubt it will work when their dad doesn't bother. He's also shown them a huge lack of disrespect when you were ill by not feeding them properly or bathing them! This thread should be in relationships really.

I have to ask though - do you honestly need to wash your windows that often?? Cant remember the last time I did mine! (slattern). Is it sticky fingers on them??

I agree with maybe some rules with where food can go, limiting where dog can be, etc but I reiterate it's your husband that's the issue.

The state of your house is the least of your worries, sorry OP. Your husband sounds like he has a fundamental lack of respect for you and your contribution to the household. He's setting your DCs a crap example of male and female roles as well, and unless you want them to be recreating this scenario in their own households in 20 years' time then something's got to change.

For starters, as you had no input into the decision to get a dog, and your DH isn't cleaning up after it, I would be telling him that unless he takes responsibility for it then it will be rehomed whilst he's at work. Living in a run doesn't sound much for for it in any event. Ultimately I don't think I could live like you do though, and I would be speaking to a solicitor about your rights in the event of a divorce. If you don't want to do this, perhaps your DH would consider Relate? If he won't, then that would speak for itself, I think.

You will find great advice from some wise people on the relationships board. Good luck.

thixotropic Fri 22-Feb-13 14:03:09

Oh yes Minnesota, my mum binned stuff if we left it out.
Shoes left in doorway went in the bin. The reaction of my mate when she saw me rooting in the bin for my school shoes was a shock, I thought everyone's mum did this!

As a short term solution I'd hire a cleaner.

But I agree with a PP that your problem is not actually the housework, your problem is that you are married to a selfish arsehole who is setting a shocking example to your children, who are clearly following in his footsteps.

Unless you want to spend the rest of your life being treated like an unpaid skivvy, repost in the 'relationships' section and for god's sake, take the advice that people there give you.

ohforfoxsake Fri 22-Feb-13 14:21:28

Pretty much agree with what every else has said - your DP is a disrespectful arse. That's one issue, and a bigger one than the housekeeping problem.

You are the one to get your DCs in line, as he won't. He needs to buck his ideas up and stop the appalling example, but until this happens (around the same time as Hell will freeze over by the sounds of it) you need to take control. Decide what needs doing and organise your systems - be it a shoe rack, named pegs, separate laundry baskets - whatever - and reward accordingly. Yes it's a faff but it's teaching them how to take care of their stuff, their environment and respect what you do for them. You can make them change their ways at least. You don't say how old they are, but reward charts, pocket money etc can all come into use. Children often respond well to responsibility and you could allocate jobs.

The dog doesn't need the run of the house, he can stay in one or two rooms and not on the furniture.

You don't have to sweep cobwebs everyday. I wonder if you are very high standards? If you can lower yours, have lower expectations of the children, then maybe it would be a little easier on you?

My DP does very little, but I don't work. I spend a lot of time tidying, organising, doing all the household stuff, finances, laundry, cooking, DIY, cars etc etc. an I don't mind doing it, but I do object to doing it ALL, feeling like the paid help and stressing over the mess because I've 'just cleaned that'. So he pays for a cleaner an I see this as him doing his 'bit'. I'm over the drudgery of it all.

pyjamalover Fri 22-Feb-13 14:24:31

I never post on threads like this but the whole situation makes me genuinely angry on your behalf.

Your husband is being an arse. Housework is one thing, leaving your crap around for someone to pick up is selfish beyond belief, i doubt people with bloody live in housekeepers would behave that way, he should be ashamed of himself. He is also setting a terrible example for his children as well as treating you like a slave.

Your kids are growing up thinking it's ok to do what they're doing. How are they going to turn into adults who can look after themselves? So they scream/tantrum if they don't get their way, so what, tough! Doubt that will last more than a few days. They can have chores(tidy up toys, put shoes etc where they should be, laundry in basket) and if they don't do them all no tv/football/whatever it is they like.

Your husband you can't really discipline like that but you can give an ultimatum, stop doing his laundry and/or making his meals, maybe put the stuff he leaves for you to pick up in his study/wardrobe/car/other space that is his own rather than shared.

I really hope you manage to change things, you do NOT deserve to be treated like this.

ComradeJing Fri 22-Feb-13 18:17:21

Jesus he sounds an absolute delight. shock

He is showing you exactly what he think of you by the way: That you're worth LESS than him. He's too important to do such mundane jobs obviously.

My dh works long hours and I'm a sahm. I do everything inside the home but dh doesn't create work for me because he's not a cunt I'm not his maid to pick up and carry for him.

Repost in relationships.
And then LTB
I'm sure you'll magically feel much better.

Pendipidy Fri 22-Feb-13 18:35:52

Go on strike. That's what i would do. Don't tell them , just do it. And when they can't find their stuff or clean clothes tell them you are just doing what they do-nothing!

SlatternismyMiddlename Fri 22-Feb-13 19:22:02

Wow, it's one thing to not help but quite another to actively cause more mess in the first place.

My DH works full time and I work part time but there is absolutely no way in this lifetime he would ever treat me like that. If he did, we wouldn't have lasted.

Please, please do not allow this to continue.

nevermindthecrocodiles Fri 22-Feb-13 19:41:50

With the kids I look after, I've implemented the "tidy or trash" regime. So if you don't tidy away your clothes/toys/books, they get black bin bagged. School uniform too. (I should point out - everything I do is at the suggestion or approval of their parents!) When they go into school not dressed properly, I go with them (which really embarrasses them) and explain why they're not properly dressed, which they'll then be punished for - I.e lines/missing playtime. It sounds harsh but I've found it has effectively made for a cleanish and tidy house within a week grin Obviously I don't actually chuck anything - I wash and iron uniform while they're at school & hide it so I can use it as a 'reward'! Likewise with toys/books etc - bagged, labelled and put in loft or garage until they are behaving acceptably.

Oh and when they started making a mess with food/ not putting stuff in the dishwasher, I stopped cooking and buying food until they stopped. Funnily enough that particular lesson took only two days. grin

What a bunch of lazy shites people (apart from maybe the three year old). Leaving taps on, shoes in the doorway, stuff on the stair, food on the wall and clothes on the kitchen floor? Are they all morons?

Out of interest, how's your sex life OP? Cause I wouldn't go near a man that thought he was too good to pull the plug out of his bath and that I should do it for him.

GobblersKnob Fri 22-Feb-13 20:53:34

I am with the lowering of standards as prescribed to me by my councellor.

Does your house need to be that clean? I just stopped, yeah the house is messy, though it is clean, iyswim, and now we don't argue about it anymore, life's too short.

Tbf your other half does sound like a bit of a cock though.

duracellbatterybunny Sat 23-Feb-13 14:57:17

I really agree with previous messages this is a relationship problem. Don't let him treat you with such disrespect. If the children don't get message that they need to tidy up after themselves at an early age, do you really expect them to respect you when they are teenagers? Stand your ground, don't burn out cleaning, demand more!!

onthelastlegtohome Sat 23-Feb-13 15:13:49

Try www.flylady.net/ she has some really good ideas on clearing clutter, cleaning, organising the family

expatinscotland Sat 23-Feb-13 15:25:25

I would chuck this bastard and his dog out.

And those kids would learn really fast that I'm not a skivvy.

magimedi Sat 23-Feb-13 16:12:36

Your OH is a selfish pig. And you are going to have 3 DCs who will become the same unless you both set them a better example.

Locketjuice Sat 23-Feb-13 16:53:16

For one I would be on the kids backs non stop teaching them that's not the way to behave, reward charts etc for them and if they won't do as you tell them eg pick the shoes up I would take there favourite things away until they realise.
As for your husband.. Surely you knew when you married him what a lazy arse he was.... Tell him straight shape up or ship out!

1996timeforchange Sat 23-Feb-13 18:25:37

I'm sure you don't really need people slating your Hubby, that's your prerogative, as his wife and no-one else's, i also empathize as a wife of a man that's not over clever with the hoover (and when he does he misses goes around thing's!!) Take one step at a time, follow the children and say it you want to play you must put it away , yes at 1st it will be time consuming but they will soon get the idea, We used to have a very long haired large dog, and the mess the generate is staggering, Dirty wall, door's and hair everywhere, could you not just contain it to one room in the evenings?? (why on earth did he get the dog?? then a man's mind is a complete mystery!!) I do wish you luck, cause i have my day's of feeling the way you do, I don't over worry about the windows much, these day's they won't always be dirty, in 20 year's time you'll be able to see out of them i'm sure wink

expatinscotland Sat 23-Feb-13 18:29:14

'I'm sure you don't really need people slating your Hubby, that's your prerogative, as his wife and no-one else's, i also empathize as a wife of a man that's not over clever with the hoover (and when he does he misses goes around thing's!!)'

Why not? Maybe she needs to see what a lazy, disrespectful bastard he is.

tazmo Sat 23-Feb-13 18:30:02

I hear you - luckily dh helps a lot but we are all as messy as each other and it gets messy as soon as its tidy! Kids don't help (I have 3 kids too!) and 2 dogs which makes all VVVVVVV dusty. Maybe I'll move out to,the kitchen shed!

Spero Sat 23-Feb-13 18:35:18

I agree with everyone who says the problem is the husband. He doesn't respect you, so why should the children?

If he won't do anything, he needs to pay for a cleaner. you are not a skivvy, you are his wife. You both live in the home, you both need to participate.

If my daughter leaves her shoes lying around, she picks them up or she doesn't do anything else. I have threatened to bin stuff but never had to do it as the threat is usually sufficient. But I totally would throw stuff out. I am not here to run around picking up all her mess.

Sorry, it sounds like a shit situation.

clam Sat 23-Feb-13 18:38:09

How old are your children? I'd start with them - they're going to be easier to train than your arse of a dh. Stand by the bathroom door when they're finishing their bath and insist (pleasantly) that they take out the plug, hang up their towels and put their dirty clothes in the basket. Leave a cloth by the basin and show them how to wipe it down after cleaning their teeth. You may have to start up some kind of sticker/reward chart, which personally I always found a right faff, but urgent measures are required here.
As for your dh! That's a whole different issue - mainly about respect, or lack of it, rather than housework per se. There's a big difference between who cleans the bathrooms/washes the kitchen floor and expecting another human being to be your personal valet and pick up your dirty tissues as you drop them behind you as you go.

I generally tidy our house but if dp ever complains he gets told to 'do it your fucking self then'. he very rarely does though. Im not an angry person but when we first got together he'd leave wet towels on the bed and a trail of destruction behind him. I slowly trained him with them very words.

SlatternismyMiddlename Sat 23-Feb-13 19:10:16

Cherrycheesecake, you reminded me of something I used to say early on in my relationship. If DH mentioned something wasn't done i would say -'what the hell do you want me to do about it' - a bit extreme I admit, but the point I was making is that we are all members of this household therefore we all have a responsibility to it.

I do on occasion pick up after DH, but I do so safe in the knowledge that he does the same for me. We are a team, the team that runs this house. No one persons needs are above the others.

BigPigLittlePig Sun 24-Feb-13 15:22:10

They all need to learn consequences - as long as you continue to pick up after them all, what incentive do they have to change? Leave the bath water in - next time one of them wants a bath they'll learn it's gross to empty someone elses cold, dirty water. Leave their dirty clothes on the floor, and when they ask where their clean work shirt/fave top etc are, point to the dirty piles on the floor. Leave the dishes - no clean cup for a drink? Well they should learn to wash.

Once they've got the hint (should happen fairly quickly from personal experience), they need to be told in no uncertain terms that there are house rules - you tidy your own mess, you put your own laundry in the laundry basket, you put your dirty dishes by the sink, if you drop food you pick it up. The kids should be bribeable (sp?) - pocket money/reward charts for doing their jobs.

Good luck thanks

DCIlouisemonroe Sun 24-Feb-13 17:11:15

It's all about division of labour.
We both work F/T
I do cleaning hoovering and ironing
DH does shopping cooking and cleaning of bathrooms.
I hoover all bedrooms everyday and make beds.Usually in am as supervising DS showering getting ready for school etc
Empty washing basket load washer.
Wipe down kitchen surfaces before leaving for work.
Mop floor and feed cat.
DH is home before me so he cooks tea and cleans bathrooms when he gets in.
DH will clean up after tea and mop kitchen floor.
I iron whilst watching news.
Then tidy lounge ... hoover empty bins etc.
House looks ok most of the week.
I do a big clean at weekends DH looks after cars and garden.
Used to have cleaner but to be honest would rather spend the cash on other things.
Teamwork is the answer.

e1y1 Sun 24-Feb-13 21:24:06

shock

Out of politeness, I won't say what your DH sounds like.

But one thing I could guarantee is, that he would be shown the door.

Me and partner both work F/T and we split the housework as equal as can be, there are some jobs partner can't do all that well due to permanent bad back from car accident.

I don't get this because you work P/T you have to do ALL housework?

You all live there, so should all have a little part in keeping house. if you're having to clean windows, bathrooms etc then DH and children who are old enough could do light jobs like dishwasher, unloading washer and dryer.

Everyone is right about DH though, leaving CLEAN clothes on floor, not scraping his plate and not binning wrappers is downright childish, I take it he doesnt behave like this with his employer, around his mates or parents.

Out of interest? Was he raised this way? If possible have you had a word with his Mum/Dad what would they say about it???

cjel Sun 24-Feb-13 21:56:37

I've never said this before but I can remember the utter weariness and despair of not being listened to. I would say now that he and his dog should be asked/told to leave and that would give you a chance to sort out how you want your house to run. I can't see any other way that you will not literally wear yourself out and what for?

expatinscotland Mon 25-Feb-13 01:33:04

He's not 'prepared' to even pick up a wrapper off the floor, but has the audacity to moan at you when you don't? He moans the place isn't tidy enough. He empties the dryer onto the floor and leaves it there.

If you were working for this person, as a paid employee, you'd think he was a fuckwit and leave.

He treats you as someone who should pick up his shit off the floor.

That's not even housework.

He has zero respect for you.

Show him and his hairy dog out.

AdoraBell Mon 25-Feb-13 03:14:21

I had this for a while, although not as bad as you seem to be putting up with. I stopped doing housework, and when they noticed and commented I told them, all together, that I am not willing to clean up after them and that's why no washing, tidying or cleaning had been done.

Now I only wash clothes which are in a linen basket, if they run out of clothes it's not my problem. OH sorts and puts away his own clothes and DDs either put away their clothes or dump them upstairs, if they dump clean ironed clothes they wear crumpled clothes - not my problem. If their bedroom floors are covered in toys I don't vacuum, or I pile everything on the bed to vacuum.

They earn pocket money by doing light chores and keeping their rooms tidy. Other tactics that friends use include everything not put away goes in a black sack, ( I'm willing to put in the bin) someone asks where's X?, "look in that bag". They can't find something? Not your problem. I would change to Paper plates and disposable cutlery.

We eat together so that DDs are reminded to take their plates out and scrape them into the bin (I am willing to remove the bin and allow rubbish to pile up on the floor, and they know this). DDs, aged 11 yrs, set the table and do drinks. We also have dogs, my OH has had to accept that if he wants the dogs inside he has clean up after them.

Windows get done once a month here, OH does them. If DCs put sticky fingers on the windows give them a cloth and make them wipe it.

My OH has tried to be arrogant and played the "I go out to work" card. My answer was that I facilitate him earning what he does and having the lifestyle he does by looking after the DCs, if he had to collect them from school and get their dinner ready five days a week he'd have to go part time.

My DDs help with the dogs, feed them when I'm busy, brush them - outside.

So, if you can't get your H to change then kick him to the curb, if you don't want to keep the dog send it with him.

With DCs, the youngest one needs to be with you when you do his room. He passes you that toy and you show him where he should put it. As much as it's hard make it fun for him to stop him baling on you. Funny faces/voices etc. Same with his clothes. Older ones need to put their plates in the dishwasher if you have one, or clear them off and rinse them before putting in the sink/bowl. Stand over them to make sure bits of food go into the bin, if they miss they pick it up and then wipe bin-floor wether they want to or not. Ignore the lip they'll give you and stick to your guns. They need to put their clothes away, or wear screwed up clothes. If they leave the bathroom dirty they clean it. It really shouldn't need deep cleaning on a daily basis. It's going to take time to get the DCs on track, but you need to persevere unless you want to be their skivvy and their future wives to be skivvies too.

You really need to stand up for yourself and give yourself the respect you deserve. DCs will respond to that once they see you mean it, and if H can't show you the same level of respect then he doesn't deserve to share your life.

When the DCs do what you tell them to give them lots of praise - hugs and well done, good work, thank you etc.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 25-Feb-13 03:23:17

I'll say what I always say, because apparently it just keeps needing to be said.

The only fair way to split work - paid work, housework, child care - fairly is to ensure that everyone has the same amount of free time. If you work longer hours, he uses the extra time to do the housework, and any housework left over is shared.

Housework comes after paid work but before leisure time, including hobbies. Fair enough, some hobbies can only be done at set times, so obviously sometimes you'll have to leave the house when it's not sparkling, but then you make up the work when you get home/the next day.

If one partner is at home with children, you proceed on the basis that everyone is acting in good faith; if that partner says that the children were hard that day and thus the housework isn't finished by the time the working partner gets home, then the remainder is split evenly. If the children are easy, the partner at home is able to do more and everyone gets an evening off.

'Personal care' work, such as making another person's lunch or ironing their clothes, comes after all work that benefits the household as a whole, and should only be done on a quid pro quo basis.

Everyone knows what the basic expectations of housework are, whether or not they choose to live up to them. Someone who 'doesn't care' about housework is probably lying and would care if it wasn't done (by someone else). BUT EVEN IF THEY DON'T CARE, they should do their share, because they care about you and part of caring about a person is putting in some effort to ensure that the environment you both live in, eat in, sleep in and love each other in is a pleasant one. If your partner is telling you that a) your leisure time and/or b) your ability to enjoy where you live are less important than his, then he's telling you something very important about how he sees you and your needs vs his own.

desertgirl Mon 25-Feb-13 06:34:18

Well, I have a full time live in housekeeper (I know, I'm lucky - single mum, full time job, living abroad) and I wouldn't dream of treating her the way your DH apparently treats you. I know it's easy to say - but I wouldn't tolerate that.

flubba Mon 25-Feb-13 06:49:52

A good tip I have for toys/kids' crap (I can't even begin to help you with your 'D'H) is to sweep it all into the middle of the room. Give them 10 mins to save and tidy away anything from the pile. Anything left in the pile at the end gets binned. It works a treat!

Iggly Mon 25-Feb-13 06:57:51

Your DH is being lazy as are your children (except the 3 year old - mine is a trasher!). It's not housework to clean up after yourself! It's basic manners and hygiene.

When people clean their teeth, watch over them and show them how to rinse the sink.

Show them how to scrap plates clean, put them in the sink etc.

Get everyone into a mini routine - so after tea, one kid wipes the table and another clears the plates. Just little tasks. Maybe Introduce rewards.

As for your DH - words fail me quite frankly.

Iggly Mon 25-Feb-13 07:09:19

And the "I work full time vs part time" is bullshit too. I work part time and DH full time. I earn more than DH does full time but we still share housework.

upinthehills Mon 25-Feb-13 07:18:51

You are being treated like a slave by your family and they are showing you no respect, but you know this already.

You need a plan to make things better - write it down.

First off, and I don't mean to be harsh, but I do think you need to slightly lower your standards. Cleaning the windows every day should not be necessary - a few hand prints are acceptable!

Again, harsh, but if it were me I would look into rehoming the dog. Find out your options and then deliver an ultimatum to him regarding cleaning up after it - hoovering, cleaning the floor etc. If he doesn't happen - rehome the dog. I am assuming that you didn't want it and it is you that has to take if for walks. Sounds like your DH need a massive reality wake up call.

As for the kids, I think the black bin bags and binning things sounds like a great idea - you could do a sweep, with advance warning at a certain time each day, say just before dinner, so they know it is coming and have time to prepare for it if they want - they can't say they didn't know it was happening. At that time just scoop everything up and put it in the bin bag. Probably would actually bin it, but put it in the garage or something. I am sure a few days of this would make them think about things more.

Good luck!

Rolf Mon 25-Feb-13 11:27:50

Something that's helped with my children: as we're approaching the house, say "right, when we've put away our shoes and coats, and washed our hands, we'll sit down and have a snack". They know they won't get the snack until they've put away their stuff and washed their hands, but it's framed in a positive way. If they don't do it, I say "what's the rule about our shoes and coats?". They either trot out the rule or I do, in a neutral way. It was advice from a child psych - I've found it really helpful. If you can get the children on board with putting their shoes away and washing their hands the dirt/stickiness problem might get a bit better, so maybe focus on that to start off with.

LadyMetroland Mon 25-Feb-13 13:21:16

Print off this thread and show it to him.

May help him begin to understand that other people, not just you, view his behaviour as unreasonable.

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