To feel like a skivvy?(51 Posts)
I'm a SAHM, and accept that the lions share of the housework should fall to me. This is less of a DH complaints by the way, and more of a DC one.
Every single day I do the same routine, after DC are at school. Make beds, sort clothes, clear down bed side tables, pick up and hoover bedroom floor. Same in the living room. Clean the bathroom, start the first wash load, then tackle dishes and the counter tops, floors.
Thing is it takes so long. Toys and books are left across the floor. Bedroom surfaces are piled with items they couldn't be bothered to put away. Clean washing that I'd previously folded and put at the end of the boys beds (I hang dd's for her), are messed up where they just slept with them there. Glasses and cups left where ever.
In the living room, toys are left in piles from that morning. On the table, their breakfast stuff. Once I get into the kitchen, sides left messy, rubbish on the floor etc. Empty packets in the fridge.
I clean this all, just recently I find myself fed up.
My youngest has just started school, and I can't ever get the projects I want to, ie retouching paint, putting nice pictures up, organising etc as by the time I've done all that, I'm sick of anything house related.
Today, Ive just lazed and binge watched, as I can't stand it any longer. Of course, I've now got it all to do anyway, now that I've done the school run. AIBU to make them do it, as a SAHM? Is this usual?
As it's relevant, DC are aged 15yrs, 8yrs and 4yrs.
I had a major strop last week after I spent 6 hours cleaning the house and about 4 of those hours were spent putting things away/back where they should be/in the bin or laundry basket.
I’m a SAHM as well and I don’t mind the lions share of the housework being mine, but I DO mind picking stuff up that’s been left lying around with the “Mum will sort it” attitude. So that’s what I told them!
Of course you can't get stuff done! I'd implement the bin bag clean up routine. I help the kids tidy & sort there stuff so it's manageable. From that point any stuff that is left lying about is shoved in a bin bag & binned. Do your elder kids have chores? Fill & empty the dishwasher, tidy bathroom stuff away.... you're working as if you're one person when you need to be a team.
YANBU, I'm a SAHM and my 7yo tidied his room, puts away his clean laundry and takes his plate/cutlery/cup to the kitchen after meals. He sometimes helps with dusting too and is learning to cook basic things. I think it's important for kids to learn what goes into running a house and to be responsible for their own mess.
If you can bear it, don't do it for a week and then call a house meeting to discuss with before and after pictures. The 15 year old and 8 year old are old enough to keep their rooms reasonable.
I also follow through with dumping the stuff but unbeknownst to them I sort it & give it to charity. Hopefully the new owners were more appreciative but I only have to mention that they need to work on not leaving their stuff around & it's tidied up. It is not easy to change the habits a family gets into but I was so sad & frustrated I had to do something.
A whole week? Not sure I could manage that. Although think of all the series I could catch up on / shopping I could do...
I'm please to know I'm not alone, though I just don't know what to do to change it. I was meant to be showing the eldest a simple recipe tonight, and leave him to cook it.
He said he would go the shop to pick the sausages up, and never did. So now I also have to find a last minute meal. I thought it would help, if he chipped in and cooked once a week, except it failed on the off.
Your children should be doing much more. Change the rules
1. When they finish breakfast, they put the stuff in the sink or dishwasher and clean down the table.
2. They dress their beds as soon as they get out of them
3. Once you put the clothes on their beds, they put them away before they go to bed.
4. When they come downstairs in the morning or after brushing their teeth they must have put all laundry in the basket and brought down any cups/rubbish etc.
Even your 4 year old could do some of this. It will require you to remind/nag them for a few weeks but it will be worth it. I still shout out in the morning "put your laundry in the basket/bring down the trash"etc. and mine are older - but they do it.
I wouldn't let anyone just leave dishes etc on the table to be cleared off by someone else unless there was a genuine emergency (forgotten homework/exam maybe)- that is very entitled behaviour.
oh and get a big laundry basket and throw any stuff left around into it. Every day - clothes/toys/books/everything. Tell them it is a lost and found just like school and anything in it will be donated at the end of the month.
Look, it's hard to do. But don't act like a skivvy and you won't be treated like one. My children and DH take advantage when I let them and don't put the effort into teaching them to do shit themselves. My DH needs to be told. And my children need to be taught. Put effort into making them and you will have an easier life after. I'm always amazed at how much my 2, 3 and 4 yr old can do and spend every day kicking myself for picking up the shit they drop on the floor carelessly. It does take effort but I will not still be running around after them in 10 yrs like this. I have to stop myself picking it up and call the offending child back to put it in the bin/sink/toy box. When they complain I say fine, but I'm too tired/couldn't be bothered to get your snack. And inevitably they do it. Some jobs are definitely mine but it's also my job to delegate and teach them to treat me and our home with respect.
I like the laundry basket idea. It may work. They used to do the things, and gradually stopped as they got older.
Where does the line stop, between my role as a SAHM, and theirs on taking responsibility?
They only stopped because you did it for them.
Yes - agree with others. Ask them to do things like clear plates. put stuff away. The older two are definitely old enough to take responsibility for chores. And if they don't do what they're asked - take away something they want (screen time probably)!! And ask your OH to support you so that it's not just you asking them to do things.
That's true. So if they leave their breakfast items out, do I clear it, or wait until they return from school?
Anything they can physically and mentally do, they do. You supervise important things like teeth and pouring milk when they are little but you don't do it. You buy the milk and get it from the high shelf but they pour it and wipe up the spillage. You make sure there's wipes or kitchen roll there but you don't wipe it. You make their meals as it needs prepping and organising while they're in school but they can set table, dish it out fairly and help clear. If you aren't sitting on your butt, they aren't.
Now to implement that in my house.
You are not doing your children any favours by teaching them it's ok to be a lazy arse, a woman will pick up after you.
It didn't fail in the off with the eldest. What happened was that he demonstrated a total disregard for you, he broke a promise and failed to learn to cook last night.
You have to take a harder line. They will all hate doing more to pick up after themselves. There won't be magic words to make them happily do more grunt work with a skip and jump without reminders. It is just one of those things where you have to a hard-line mean mummy.
What if they were refusing to do homework or go to bed? Would you just shrug your shoulders and say oh well failed at the first hurdle and let them never do homework again? Of course not. Treat it like that.
Southern, I'd clear the breakfast stuff as it would be in my way but would take their take their phones for them doing that time. Harsh but proactive rather than letting them make you miserable all day looking at the dishes.
Maybe you should get a job OP? I don't mean that in a judgey way, but more as a solution to get you out of the house, give you a new outlet and also a good reason to re-organise responsibilities?
They should literally be doing everything except mopping/hoovering and laundry.
As kids we had rotas for housework which included dusting.
My mum made us tidy our rooms at the weekend and everything that was on the floor or bed she would bin.
When they come home from school they go straight to put their laundry away and anything downstairs that has been out you put in a bin bag at the bottom of the stairs for them to sort leaving you free to simply hoover and clean without tidying.
Sometimes my mum would go as far as to put rubbish we had left out in with our personal items in "our" bin bag. So for example id come home and find an empty juice packet in with the cardigan I'd left downstairs. Bit draconian but i think (she worked) she just couldnt be fucked running around sorting out shit like that.
Its bad they dont wipe up their spills. Thats a really basic reflex they should have.
You're training them up to become future DPs of long suffering women (or men).
15yo ought to be doing a lot more - I have teenagers and they know that they need to put clothes away and keep rooms tidy. I have a black bin bag policy (worked a treat after DD1 lost her Benefit eye-shadow palette to the dustbin) and often issue them with a one hour warning at the weekend so that their rooms have to be really tidy at that point so it makes it easier for them to keep on top of them in the week. If they don't clear up after themselves at breakfast time then they don't get any wifi time in the evening (other than for homework). In the evenings they have to clear up after their meal (wipe table and put dishes in sink). If we have a family meal they have to clear the table for everyone.
Cutlery/crockery/food does not go to bedrooms - other than a water bottle. If I find some up there I don't buy crisps/biscuits the following week.
When they were younger toys left all over the floor were put away in the attic for a week/2 weeks/month depending on how fed up I was.
I don't make mine do chores around the house as they have a ton of homework and music practice but they have at least learnt to respect the living environment for everyone.
Yes, your children should be clearing up their own mess, sahp or not. Non negotiable in my house since they were physically and mentally able.
OK, thanks for all the replies. I see I need to get a plan into action, and see it through.
In regards to other stuff, how does that work? Like cooking a meal once a week etc?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.