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How to have a tidy home without nagging or giving up work?!

(31 Posts)
Gottobesome Thu 13-Feb-20 21:00:32

I'm utterly fed up today.
I cook most evenings and so DH sometimes tidies up afterwards, but he never empties the sodding bin, always leaves scum in the sink, never wipes down the cooker top.
He leaves the kids dirty clothes on the bathroom floor during bath time (they are very young), wet bath towels in the floor to the point that the area he dumps them in smells damp.
Then this morning, I heard him muttering under his breath about shoes being all over the hallway as the DCs had been playing walking around in our shoes. The shoes were mainly mine and rather than pick them up, I watched him kick them out of his path and then continue through the door to work.
I've been ill the last 2 days and so there is a build up of shit to tidy up. I already have a cleaner (thank goodness) but I spend around 90 minutes tidying before she arrives each week.
The children are quite good overall at tidying their toys away, but forget if not reminded and I've not been around to remind them so their toys are now sitting on top of books in the book shelf instead of being in their baskets.
I actually cried this morning when I saw it all before going back to bed.
I have spoken to DH about it this evening, only to walk downstairs to see that he hasn't bothered emptying the kitchen bin which is full of tonights leftover curry and stinking the kitchen out.
I decided to stop nagging a long time ago as it just made me feel miserable. And instead I realised that I needed to work less so that I could keep a nice home. I now work very part-time.
DH and I howeve recently discussed our money situation and we have agreed that I should pick up more hours.
I feel torn as I know the house will be a mess. I don't think I have high standards at all, I just don't want to be battling through mess all over the floors every day.
I honestly feel like I can't go to work because I'm too busy keeping the home, the children, our meals and general life ticking over whilst DH just goes to work, sleeps and makes a mess.

DICarter1 Thu 13-Feb-20 21:21:53

No advice but I’m in the same boat. I’ve just gone back to work PT (we have three kids but we have two children with complex special needs and this is the only job that works around them). My husband does very little. The odd bedtime, taking to and from football (but he wants to do that), he takes the bins out but that’s about all. It’s causing huge resentment especially as he works 8.30-5.30 and only works 10 minutes from home. But we’ve had similar conversations for years and nothing ever really changes. And like you I don’t have majorly high standards.

pemberleypearl Thu 13-Feb-20 23:13:01

Tell him straight to pick up his slack. Don't put up with it.

Gottobesome Fri 14-Feb-20 06:50:47

Told him straight countless times and nothing, absolutely nothing changes. Nothing I say changes his behaviours. He functions on one frequency and is oblivious to anything outside of his normal routine no matter how many times it is pointed out. I've made myself very distressed in the past trying to change his behaviour.
He argues sometimes that the kitchen bin shouldn't be emptied unless "completely full" which I think is ridiculous when it's over halfway full with smelly food leftovers which stink out the kitchen. I've worked in kitchens in the past and we would always empty the bins before leaving and put empty bin bags in them ready for the following day.
Does this seem a reasonable expectation at home too?

user1494050295 Fri 14-Feb-20 06:54:02

Get a cleaner. And encourage the children like you are doing to help out their dad is not a good role model for this

Emelene Fri 14-Feb-20 06:56:31

The organised mum method?

DonPablo Fri 14-Feb-20 06:57:06

That's really shit. He's not pulling his weight. Simple.

What about a system, like OHIO, only handle it once. So if there are clothes they go straight in the basket, or get put where they belong. Same with toys and shoes. I quite like it because you don't need to go into detail. Say, we need to change the way we live and I don't want to nag you, so let's try this system. You don't need to ask him to do each task (which is bloody ridiculous) but take a new mindset. Don't sump stuff on the stairs, OHIO it.

BuddhaAtSea Fri 14-Feb-20 06:58:13

@Gottobesome men are hard work. It’s only after they’re gone you realise just how light the mental and chores load becomes.
Up to him, and you.

AnyCreamWillDo Fri 14-Feb-20 07:09:12

The only thing I can suggest is getting a bit creative with things you stop doing that make his life harder but not yours. Not washing or ironing his clothes? Not cooking his meals? Dumping all the crap he leaves around onto his side of the bed so he has to deal with it before he can go to sleep (I read about someone's mum who did this to her much older children and thought it was a very good idea!)? Have a good think about anything else you do for him that he would suffer for not having done - paperwork, household chores or otherwise.

When the inevitable cry goes up, very calmly state that he has refused to take simple actions that make your life easier or more pleasant and so you will be taking the same approach from now on unless he would like to discuss a different division of labour. If you're feeling generous you could alert him to this new regime before it begins, but I wouldn't feel obliged!

Refuse to get upset or drawn into an argument. He will be angry that his life is not being facilitated anymore. When he's got over the initial shock tell him that once he's experienced life without help for a few days or weeks you'd be happy to sit down and calmly discuss new house rules.

Thewheelsarefallingoff Fri 14-Feb-20 07:17:21

Work more, do not reduce your hours and pension contributions to pick up his slack. Buy a smaller kitchen bin for a start. I don't really know the answer further than that. I have to pick up towels, I'm the only person that can wipe a hob and worktops a lot of the time too. Care a lot less what he thinks. Work more and get a cleaner in twice a week.

NineSwans Fri 14-Feb-20 07:48:57

Are you actually saying you originally went PT at work to ‘keep a nice home’?

Hercwasonaroll Fri 14-Feb-20 07:52:57

Do you not have a food waste bin separate to your kitchen bin?

If it gets smelly before it's full, buy a smaller bin.

You sound like the combination of your high standards and his lack of tidying is incompatible. Sit down with him and have a serious chat.

EvaHarknessRose Fri 14-Feb-20 08:02:59

You are not alone. It's such a trap. And entrenches women into a disadvantaged position. You should be a team, with the proviso that his standards don't need to be the same as yours.

With the kids, every time you notice they've left stuff, politely call them back to do it even if it's an inconvenient time for them, it helps them form a good habit. Introduce them to a ten minute tidy time as well where they help you tidy the main living areas against a stopwatch. Think carefully about what you do for him. Does he do equivalent for you.

Gottobesome Fri 14-Feb-20 10:57:12

I like the idea of dumping all the stuff he hasn't done on his side of the bedroom. Obviously that won't help with bin and shoes situations. What really helped is having a "clock off" time in the evening so once the children are in bed we do 30 minutes of tidying between us. He has become wise to this though and has begun showering straight after they've gone to bed and then sitting on the toilet with the lid down for 20 minutes "drying off." 🙄

blushinmum Fri 14-Feb-20 13:50:26

Oh yes my DP showers just as the bedtime routine starts. It's really helpful when I have a newborn that wants holding / feeding at the same time as I am wrestling a toddler into Pyjamas. Feel. Your. Pain.

I just think they don't see it, my DP certainly doesn't get stressed out thinking about the dust in the lounge. I don't think he'd notice even if got to one foot high. So different priorities and selfishness. Oh well.

We have very organised toy boxes, because of little space, but really does it matter a bit of mess? I'm coming round to the idea that as long as it's clean, messy toys doesn't matter.

AnyCreamWillDo Sat 15-Feb-20 19:58:43

If he gets in a shower for 20 minutes after the children are in need, you also take that time to relax and the 30mins starts once he's out of the shower, surely? Annoying for you for a while perhaps but he sounds like a child who needs to learn that stalling doesn't mean he gets out of it!

Gottobesome Sat 15-Feb-20 20:38:38

Yes he does need to learn that stalling doesn't mean he gets out of it. He's a nuisance. Contantly having to second guess him, making new routines that he can't avoid etc.

He won't be coerced into doing anything that:
1) he doesn't want to do
2) isn't his idea

I am sure I will leave him in the future if he doesn't start tidying up at some point.

HidingUnderMyDuvet Sun 16-Feb-20 06:36:37

This sounds very frustrating and unfair. My DH is getting a bit better at doing stuff, but then only way I've found that really works is give him very specific jobs that are only his to do. For example I got annoyed with constantly doing the kitchen bin and recycling. So how, my job is the kitchen bin, I no longer expect him to do that. His job is the recycling bin and I point blank refuse to do it. If it gets full I pile stuff on top and next to.

HidingUnderMyDuvet Sun 16-Feb-20 06:37:02

*so now

Bluewavescrashing Sun 16-Feb-20 06:48:11

has begun showering straight after they've gone to bed and then sitting on the toilet with the lid down for 20 minutes "drying off." 🙄

Who does that?!

Do you have a good relationship? Would your life be easier if you split up and shared custody?

backinaminute Sun 16-Feb-20 07:01:24

Definitely work more. It will absolutely justify him picking up more of the crappy jobs.

I agree with a smaller bin too. Also agree with the 30 mins starting when he gets out the shower.

Can you sit him down and ask what he suggests should change to make things easier?

To be honest things only got better in my house after huge decluttering. I make sure everything has a place to go. If toys start to build up so they don't fit in drawers/cupboard/toy boxes they are culled for the charity shop.

Same with clothes and kitchen items. I'm really strict about what comes in the house and really think about where it will be put before I buy new things. It just means it's really easy and quick to tidy away rather than building up because you need to 'find a place' and that requires more mental effort.

Gottobesome Sun 16-Feb-20 09:36:38

Good thinking @backinaminute. I recently culled quite a lot of stuff, but still need to rehome some other things.
Spoke to DH about 30 minutes in the evenings and he was mortified.
"Who are you to tell ME how to spend my evenings."
Wow. Ok.
He's right though, who am I to tell him?
I'd probably just do better to find a man who wants to work with me as a team.

Whatsnewpussyhat Sun 16-Feb-20 09:50:32

Who the fuck is he to think 'wife' means skivvy who must do all the shit jobs because he is an overgrown, entitled man child.

Up your hours and LTB. It will be one less to clean up after and a few days a week of child free clean house.

MadamShazam Mon 17-Feb-20 10:35:41

"Who are you to tell ME how to spend my evenings?"
Wow indeed. Selfish prick. YOU are his wife, who is juggling work, children and the mental load of family life. HE is a lazy selfish bastard who clearly thinks its your job to do all of these things,alone, and he can do what he wants. To be honest, if my OH had this attitude, I would be questioning why we were together. You are meant to be a team , your DH is not a team player. Why are there so many men like this? Wtf is there problem??

MadamShazam Mon 17-Feb-20 10:36:31

their 🙈

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