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Going on housework strike?

(36 Posts)
thebluehen Sun 09-Nov-14 09:29:33

Anyone done this and seen it through?

I'm feeling fed up of being taken for granted and not having my input acknowledged at best and criticised at worst.

I work full time and although dp does help out, with some things, I just want him and the kids to at least acknowledge what I do. I regularly thank and tell them that I appreciate what they do.

I just want the same sentiment returned. I've asked to have my input acknowledged and explained how I feel. I'm still waiting. I'm starting to think "consequences" are the way forward. Maybe then they'll notice.

sosotiredagain123 Sun 09-Nov-14 09:33:23

I just found place got messier and I got crosser and did it all in the end

NoMarymary Sun 09-Nov-14 09:43:23

Don't bother. They won't notice a messy house. Kids will probably like it more! It will drive you crazy long before anyone even notices let alone does anything and you will end up cleaning a really filthy house. The only advantage is you have a couple of weeks break from the daily grind.

You need to have a family talk and try to get a plan for everyone to do their bit in the home. By the time you have reached the point you have reached it's too late. These things need tackling before you take on a full time job.

I suggest a cleaner and someone to do the ironing which will avoid a lot of nastiness and frustration on your part. Either that or carry on banging your head against a brick wall. Your whole attitude is it's your job so you should thank them for helping you. No! It's the job of everyone who lives in the same house. If they won't agree to pull their weight hit them where it hurts. Pocket money for children and meals cooked/washing done for DH.

thebluehen Sun 09-Nov-14 10:22:35

We actually already have a cleaner and that's part of the problem. They think that because of 2 hrs a week paid cleaner (we live in a large house), they think I'm already being helped. The kids wipe up after dinner and (eventually) put their clothes in the washing bin and about twice a year clean their rooms! They're aged 11 - 18.

It's the washing and the shopping and the cooking that I want to go on strike with. No one acknowledges that they always have clean clothes and that doing all the laundry for 6 people is a lot of washing. No one even says thank you for dinner or thanks me for getting their treats in the shopping, but they do moan if the cupboards are bare and I suspect they'd be cross if their clothes weren't always instantly laundered for them and ready to wear again within 2 days. Maybe, just maybe, they might notice. grin

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 09-Nov-14 10:27:13

If you've been working full-time and taking sole responsibility for all the house-keeping for some time, the current status quo is the new normal and has been for some time.

What you probably need to do is produce a chores-list and have everyone in the household accept responsibility for whatever they are capable of, depending on their ages and what time they have available. If your DP also works full-time then he really should be preparing and cooking half of the meals very week at the very least.

Declare a family conference and state quite firmly that the running of the household will no longer be your sole responsibility and therefore every single person needs to pull their damned weight. My mother did similar when she started working full-time and at 14 I had to tidy the kitchen, get veg prepared for dinner, light the fire in the living-room before everyone else came home and do all my own laundry. Nothing bad happened.

Going on strike could be quite satisfying for about five minutes until the stress of seeing a mess building up will drive you to the brink.

A family with two working partners is a bit like a commune: everyone is responsible for everyone else's well-being. Even a five year old should be able tidy their own toys up and put their dirty laundry where it belongs.

NoMarymary Sun 09-Nov-14 10:34:31

Food and laundry are the easiest things to hit home with when they are withdrawn!

Sit down, have a discussion, work out a rota and if they don't agree then go on strike! A messy house can be lived with an empty stomach and filth underwear can't grin

Fwiw. DH does the ironing, loads the washing machine and tumble dryer, and we cook alternate days.

Cantbelievethisishappening Sun 09-Nov-14 10:42:04

I am currently pondering whether my marriage has a future after an almighty aggression filled blow up about housework.
And all because I was a fed up that 'D'H hadn't at least had a quick tidy around before I came home for an almost 12 hour day. Am sick to back teeth with it all. This has been ongoing for ages. It gives me the rage that if I didn't do anything or asked for help nothing would get done.

WallBox Sun 09-Nov-14 10:44:05

Your attitude needs adjusting for a start.

If you work full time, then that is your job. Any housework belongs to everyone that lives in the house.

If someone makes a meal, they are not helping you, it isn't your job.

If someone gets some shopping, they are not helping you, it isn't your job.

And so on.

By the way appreciation is a cop out, don't settle for that.

Try for a few weeks to just look after yourself. What's the worse that can happen?

Fairenuff Sun 09-Nov-14 10:44:57

You need to work together as a team. Talk to your family and ask how, together, you can make it easier. My children have been working alongside me since they started walking, it should be part of daily life.

We never argue over housework, we all just pitch in and get it done. This frees up time to do more fun things together.

Joysmum Sun 09-Nov-14 10:47:06

Why the hell are you using the terms 'help out' with regards to others input to housework and chores?

Therein lies your problem, it's a collective responsibility so they aren't 'helping out' they are doing what is required. confused

Ijustworemytrenchcoat Sun 09-Nov-14 10:57:28

I did towards the end of my relationship. I just stopped tidying up his mess as well as my own. He would 'help' by getting up with the baby occasionally but left his bottle and breakfast things unwashed, left his night clothes where he took them off, left the house like a tip with toys everywhere. On top of this he would leave his own dishes unwashed, the hob filthy etc. etc.

It led to furious confrontations about stupid little things. He said I was trying to 'mould him in to doing everything'. His mother didn't help, she thought he was a shining star if he washed a cup and absolutely wonderful because he actually took care of his own baby.

thebluehen Sun 09-Nov-14 11:04:04

So to those that share the responsibility of cooking,for example, does your dp actually plan and shop and cook?

If my dp cooks without me, I still do all the shopping and organising and all he has to do is cook it. So I'll meal plan a weeks meals, buy it all and incorporate something really easy for him to cook and get it out of the freezer ready for him on that day etc.

It's the "thinking" that's the bit that annoys me. I'm lying in bed at night thinking what I need to get out of the fridge the next morning etc. And he thinks he's "doing me a favour" by bunging some fish fingers or something on the oven! confused

Fairenuff Sun 09-Nov-14 11:08:35

We keep a lot of basics in the house and have some food that can be cooked from frozen, so if nothing in particular has been planned, whoever cooks can cobble something together.

If it's a planned meal, whoever is going out will pick up what we need. For example, dh and I decided this morning that we will have a roast later and he will cook it. So now, he has taken some stuff to the tip and on his way back will pick up a chicken or something. It's no biggie for either of us.

EarthDays Sun 09-Nov-14 11:09:20

He's a grown man, not a child!! I couldn't be with a man like that, I really couldn't.

My DP, does what needs to be done I don't tell him what to do we work together as we're a team and have a daughter and both work. The house work is not my responsibility it's ours.

NoMarymary Sun 09-Nov-14 11:15:50

DH does about 50% of the shopping even though he often buys total unhealthy crap! We also shop together at a farm shop and stock up on meat. He decides what he wants to cook and enjoys it which I don't usually

He is very energetic though and I'm probably a but too laid back but I have non sleeping children so that's my excuse. I only work part time.

He sorts the laundry but will wash EVERYTHING. A spot of food on the cushion covers is washed not wiped off. Irritates me a bit but I am being very unreasonable I know!

I also niggle about him leaving the toys everywhere when I am working but he does the same to me. Actually we don't niggle at each other but to my mum who just shrugs and ignores the pair of us! It means we rarely say anything to each other negatively but still get it off our chests grin

Cabbagesaregreen Sun 09-Nov-14 11:18:33

Dh and I work full time. Day is 18 so self sufficient and dd is 11 so self sufficient as far as washing herself, her room, breakfast and lunches.
Dh and I have never argued about housework. Neither of us is lazy and we just do between us what needs to be done. We certainly don't have traditional male female roles or jobs. He is perfectly capable of shopping, laundry, cooking etc and would be insulted if I presumed these we're domains only.
I couldn't be married to a child who wasn't able to shop, plan and cook etc. it's not being smug, it's about respect and partnership. Certainly not him helping me.
I hope ds and dd choose their partners carefully.
Not your fault at all. Your dh needs to seriously examine his role in this partnership.

Cabbagesaregreen Sun 09-Nov-14 11:19:14

Ds not day.

EarthDays Sun 09-Nov-14 11:23:17

Cabbagesaregreen- that's exactly it, my DP would be insulted if I insinuated he couldn't look after himself or run a house. We may have slightly different ways of doing certain things but we just get on with it.

wallypops Sun 09-Nov-14 11:24:23

I grew up as part of a big family and regularly cooked for 11 people at lunch from the age of 11. My step mum would leave an A4 list of shit that was to be done. Non-negotiable. And then she would go out and live her life - and if it wasn't done there was trouble. And I thank her for it - from a young age I was 20x more capable than my contemporaries. She never left instructions for how to do it - she just said cook roast the pork and potates and carrots, peas, spinach or whatever. We had cook books and they have the internet. Make sticky chocolate pudding.

Everyone had one day for doing their washing, including their bed sheets. They are all old enough to do their own washing and ironing at 11. A couple of weeks of not having the thing they want when they want it will be a big wake up call.

The 18 year old can pick up the shopping. With a big family there is often odds and sods that need to be got on a dailyish basis.

You need to stop doing stuff and just take on the management role of getting it organised. Everyone can have a night for cooking etc. Don't just stop doing everything, just explain that this is how it is now going to be, non-negotiable for everyone, including your husband.

I have 4 kids (5 - 10) and 2 jobs, and a cleaner for 7 hours a week. My kids sound a lot more competent than yours. They wont thank you for doing everything for them now or later, and nor will their future partners.

Fuckerysmuckeryboilsnspornery Sun 09-Nov-14 11:28:47

I've been on strike for years. They really don't give a shiny shite. if I win the lottery I'm going to have a nice empty flat all to myself and let them fester

BertieBotts Sun 09-Nov-14 11:29:58

I reckon you could do it another way, though. Call a family meeting and outline the new policies.

Laundry, get everyone a laundry basket for their own room and get them to do their own. Not doing anyone's except yours any more. Maybe if you need to wash something but don't have enough stuff to stick in encourage people to do a shout out "Anyone got anything they want washing?" Even an 11 year old can operate a washing machine, although they might need help carrying a full load of wet washing.

For food, assign everyone a night of the week to cook - the 11 year old and anyone less confident at cooking gets help on their night from either you or DH, and the other parent gets the 7th night (or have night 7 as takeaway night/ready meals/leftovers/etc). Get a couple of beginner cookbooks, like Jamie's Ministry of Food, What To Cook And How To Cook It, student cookbooks, etc.

Anyone over 15 has to pick their meal a week in advance (have a deadline and then remind everyone a day or so before if they haven't added their stuff) and write the ingredients on a communal shopping list, or add it to an online order. (Best if you want them to keep to a budget, worse if you want to avoid duplication, though I suppose you could look over and amend it afterwards) Keep some staples in, like pasta, noodles, potatoes, tinned tomatoes, cheese, frozen sausages, chips etc so if they forget to write it down they have something to pick from. Then they have to plan and cook their own meal on their night. Exceptions are illness, school trips and exams. If they want to do something social they must swap their night with another sibling. I'd say at first apply no budget constraint but then rein them in if they're going too fancy. Whoever cooks is responsible for cleaning up too, but only on that night (hopefully this just involves overseeing that the dishwasher is used etc but should discourage use of every pan).

mynameisred Sun 09-Nov-14 11:36:05

I have no advice but thought of this article:
www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/11215506/Men-deliberately-do-housework-badly-to-avoid-doing-it-in-future.html

Vivacia Sun 09-Nov-14 11:56:02

11 to 18? How does it get to this stage?

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 09-Nov-14 14:43:46

It gets to that stage because one person has been appointed as in charge of all the housekeeping, and those who are asked to do one simple task either complain about it, mither until someone else takes up the slack or do it so badly that they're not asked again.

Lazy, inconsiderate people have a million and one ways to avoid doing stuff they don't want to.

In the OP's place, if a family meeting doesn't get any results, I'd consider moving out to a B&B for a week and leave them to it. And I'd make sure the fridge and freezer were completely empty before I made the damned booking.

blackeyedsusie Mon 10-Nov-14 23:13:57

I always worked on the principle that they need to feel the consequences for their own inactions. how that works for you will be individual to your house. laundry and shopping are your obvious examples.

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