To feel like a slave and not know how to change things(17 Posts)
I completely know it's my own fault and I've allowed it to happen but my family treat me like their own personal slave.
I have a dh, 2 teenage children and a younger child. I'm a stay at home parent and gladly do cooking, cleaning (ie hoovering, laundry, cooking) as part of my stay at home parent role.
BUT........the children and dh literally do nothing for themselves. I make their beds, tidy up plates, food wrappers etc behind them and even clean the toilet after they've left skidd/poo crumbs!
I should leave it but it genuinely wouldn't get done if I did and we would live in absolute squalor.
I feel upset that they obviously have no respect for me and feel these jobs are beneath them but OK for me to do for them.
How do I even change things? I've tried talking to them but any changes only last for a couple of days.
Go for assertiveness training classes and CBT. It takes time for you to change yourself first.
Do the teenagers get an allowance? I've imposed the rule that the allowance is contingent on them not being slobs, and happily alter the direct debit/handout when they've taken the piss. It works - they don't really take the piss anymore. But before you start that, write down your expectations - room is cleared properly once a week, loo is left clean or they come back and clean it or you deduct money, dishes are moved to the dishwasher/sink within half a day (or whatever timescale) of eating or you deduct money, and so on. It won't make you popular but you will gain respect pretty damn quickly. And you're doing them a favour long-term - they'll really struggle with adult life if they have no experience of normal domestic tasks.
With your DH it's harder but hopefully when the new Tough Love approach kicks in for the kids he'll get the message that this is seriously upsetting you. If he doesn't get the message, stop doing his laundry.
Excellent post by Hassled - agree with the approach outlined 100%.
There has to be a consequence- a financial consequence will be dire to teens.
You must first get your Husband on board as well tho so he doesn't just sub them and undermine you. You also need to let him know how his actions make you feel and let him know that the consequences to him will be that you stop engaging in your previous "duties" for him (no laundry, no dinners cooked)
They won't see it.
And whilst you continue to pick it up they never will.
Toilets were cleaned daily in my house growing up. One day each week day and big bathroom clean at weekends.
It annoyed my partner for 5 years that I left skid marks to be cleaned daily. I did the bathroom cleaning but just wouldn't clean after use. He didn't say anything until a fight in year 5 of living together that this annoyed him. I had genuinely never even considered it. I mean I was the one doing the cleaning but he was also doing a scrub and getting annoyed that clearly my time was worth less than his. It wasn't. I just never knew he was even doing this stuff.
Start small and build up
Sorry what's CBT?
I don't think money will give them much of an incentive. The oldest has a part time job so could manage without the small allowance she gets (although to be honest she does usually clean up after herself) it's dh and the 13 year old who really take advantage.
No WiFi would probably get the 13 year olds attention so maybe I should try that.
I do have major self esteem issues and don't feel like I can assert myself. Because I don't bring a wage into the house I should do all the household stuff (I know that's not true but it's how I feel about myself if that makes sense. And dh has never said this, I just think he doesn't think!). I also grew up as the only girl with 5 brothers and I had to do lots around the house but they never had to do anything 'because they're boys' so I just do everything for everyone without thinking about it then get resentful and hurt that they don't respect me enough to do it themselves
A rota. I instigated one when I felt similar and it works well. It's only really for clearing up after meals, but it's better than nothing. I've gone back to work now so it's even more important I don't do everything. You're actually doing your kids a disservice as they won't be 'housetrained' when they leave home and then treat their housemates/spouses similarly. Teens are more than capable of house work.
With regards the wifi, change the wifi password daily and the kids have to earn the next days wifi privileges then. That could be your incentive to them.
CBT- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Mypurple are you saying you would leave poo skidders in the toilet and that was ok as you were going to clean the toilet later that day?
If so I can understand where your OH was coming from, it's not even about the cleaning of them, I'd be grossed out to go into a bathroom to be confronted by someone else's poo skids!
However I see you've resolved this as a partnership already which is good!
The best thing I did was change the pass code on the wireless untill jobs where done then they got the codes. Caused hell at first but then jobs were quickly done.
You do have to get a bit tough op.
Regarding your Dh have you spooked to him about it? My Dh is s nightmare with his evening pots
Your primary job as SAHM is to teach your children to be responsible, independent human beings. That means teaching them to look after themselves and their own stuff, and to be respectful and considerate of other peoples needs and property. Sounds like all three of the kids you have at home need that lesson taught to them.
If all your family wanted was a cleaner and cook then you can go back to work and pay someone to do all that stuff for you.
It's fine doing things for your family if they show you some respect and help too. Only you can change this by telling them you would appreciate their help occasionally or to the teenagers just tell them you are finding it difficult.
Open communication before massive resentment builds up.
I know if I mention I'm struggling or fed up then my kids do rally round. My older boys do jobs without being asked out of respect for me now-every day when I get home my 14 year old has ironed or neatly folded the days washing
And I echo that they won't see it. So just tell them and explain clearly what you expect!
Get a piece of paper and write down the tasks that need doing.
Tick off the ones they can't do and then get your teenage DCS to pick from the remaining tasks what they will be doing.
Be it weekly or on a daily.
Things like cleaning up after themselves should be standard.
I got very ticked off with the laziness in my house (and I work full time) and made it clear I would not be cooking if they couldn't even wash the dishes. They could take bread or whatever, but I wasn't going to be cooking or doing the laundry if bringing their dirty clothes downstairs was too much trouble.
Then I usually end with "I'm not going to an early grave because nobody else pulls their weight around here."
Then I leave the house ... go and vent at Dsis's house ....and the jobs are done by the time I get home.
Every member of the house needs to contribute to it's upkeep.
A dynamic is set by two people and you are really self aware to understand that your family are not bad people but they've become dependent on you in an unhealthy way.
Ignore all the advice that doesn't start with talking. Soon the LTB (leave the bastard) people will arrive and encourage that you act passive aggressive and tell you to leave your marriage. Your DH is abusive and evil etc etc. it's not true and it's not helpful.
Speak to DH first. Be honest about how you feel. Then I would be honest with your kids in a family meeting. Be open with them and vulnerable. Tell them you find it difficult to be assertive and explain how it's not their fault but you want everyone to work together to maintain the house. Don't be afraid to get upset and show them how frustrating it really is. Agree the sanctions and the division of labor TOGETHER.
The time for yelling and sanctions is when (not if, when!) they are broken. Don't just start by turning off the wifi and quitting stuff. People on mumsnet often can't tell the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness and swing from passivity to crazy anger. The goal is to be assertive, not a loon or a doormat.
Buy a sling and say you have hurt your arm and you will have to hand the reins of running the house over to them.
44pumplane yup literally that. I know, rank, right?
My point is that I am not a horrible person. I was just trained badly. I was literally not trained to clean up after myself. Now I don't do it. But for 5 years it was irritating dh and I did not know. I just did not see it. If he hadn't said anything I'd probably still be doing it.
In my defence I lived with its of people as housemates over 7 years of uni and early work. It really isn't that uncommon. And I was in the habit of daily loo cleans then too.
Talk to dh first!
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