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DH attitude to working as a team

132 replies

Ticked · 02/06/2011 08:40

The title doesnt really explain the situation to well. We are 5 people, dh, 3 ds and me. All 4 boys have stopped helping around the house completely (ds 1 will do something if told). I mean not even taking their mug or plate through or picking up a piece of paper thrown down, never mind making beds and things. I have hinted to dh that we need to have a chat as a family and remind everyone to do their bit. He took off at me and told me Im being unreasonable and nobody wants to clean all the time. I tried explaining that I dont expect anyone to clean all the time or even do washing, dishes, dusting, hoovering and things. I just expect them to do their own stuff a bit at least. He said if I didnt want to do it I just mustnt and the house can just turn into a tip. I am beside myself as we dont have much but, dont want it to be disgusting. Untidy is fine but not dirty :(

I just want him to be a team with me and we sit down and explain about pride, keeping it reasonable, working together, to the kids. He has now not spoken to me for 2 days and there seems to be no resolution other than keep quite and run after them all on my own. Please tell me if I am BU and if not - suggestions as to what to do?

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Ticked · 02/06/2011 09:12

I would love to get to that point Chandon but at the moment, a baby step would feel like I scaled a mountain.

Its so crazy but I feel like bursting into tears! It feels like it is becoming more about dh and his lack of teamwork, respect, how he is making me feel, etc more than about the cleaning iyswim. Im not a crying type of woman and yet I feel close to tears about it all! I feel (nobody has said) that I am not worthy as I have an issue with their behaviour and cant just cope on my own. How insane is that! When he blew up at me, I was gobsmacked that he didnt agree with me immediately and see it from my point of view.

I need a plan of action and needed to see if I was BU or not. Thank you so much for your replies so far.

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DamselInDisarray · 02/06/2011 09:12

Definitely do not wash the school uniforms today. And don't make lunches or dinner for them (make them for yourself).

It's time to go on strike. They obviously don't care about leaving mess around, but they will care when the consequences of it are no clean clothes, no clean dishes and no food prepared for them.

I honestly don't know why you feel you can't ask a 16 year old and a 19 year old to take on full shares of the household tasks. You would if they were female, I bet. Even your 12 year old should have his own rota of chores so as to contribute to the family.

SarahBumBarer · 02/06/2011 09:13

I think you really need to grit your teeth and do as your husband says for a while - ie leave them to it.

It's incredibly hard to do - I have tried and given in before in but I can make a stand on one particular issue so for example for a while I stopped doing laundry of anything that was not placed in the basket. I believe DH only had to wear used underwear once and now he is much better (still not perfect) at putting dirty laundry in the basket (although there are occassionalrelapses) and having a new DS he is genuinely keen that his bad habits not be passed on to DS and attitude counts for a lot.

I would also be cooking dinner 3 times a week max - your DH can do his share and your elder DS's could take on the responsibility at least once a week too.

Do you work outside of the home?

rainbowinthesky · 02/06/2011 09:14

As much as I detest lists for adults and certainly 19 and 16 year olds, I think a rota needs to be drawn up of who will do what. Equally shared. And you do your equal share and that's it.

Ticked · 02/06/2011 09:15

I do do washing and ironing for everyone and always have done :( I thought everyone did Shock OMW, I hope that I can sort this out and its not to late already.

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DamselInDisarray · 02/06/2011 09:15

Tickled: the thing is, there are no baby steps here. You need to withdraw all labour from them and force them to contribute. They are not babies and they do not need you to wash their clothes for them, or cook them food (except maybe the 12 year old, I'd probably feed him - but make him deal with the dishes). Yes, they should have clean clothes, but you need to make them appreciate the labour that goes into that. It's their problem if they have to go to school in dirty clothes, not yours. It'll cause them considerable social embarrassment and they'll want to avoid that.

rainbowinthesky · 02/06/2011 09:17

I do do washing and ironing for everyone and always have done I thought everyone did OMW, I hope that I can sort this out and its not to late already.

you have in effect made yoursefl their slave. No wonder they are objecting after nearly 20 years. I would stop now.

Katisha · 02/06/2011 09:17

No Ticked not everyone does.
My DH does all the washing in this house.
And frankly neither of us iron much, but if we do, we do our own.
He also does the lions share of the cooking.

rainbowinthesky · 02/06/2011 09:19

Dh does hte cooking,gardening, vacuuming and washing up. I do the laundry. We all iron our own stuff bar dd who is 7. DS (15) cooks, washes up, laundry, has kept his own room tidy for many years now, and vacuums.

Everything else is just done by whoever.

All evens up in teh end.

DamselInDisarray · 02/06/2011 09:23

DH does most of the laundry in this house too. I'm the only one who ever irons anything though, and that is a very rare occasion. DS1 has to put his own clothes away. DH doesn't wash anything that's not in the basket.

I do all the cooking (because DH is a dismal cook), but DH washes up. DS1 sets and clears the table. DS1 does sometimes help with cooking, increasingly so. DS2 likes to sit on the worktop and 'help' (which means scavange bits and eat them).

Cleaning is something we all chip into. DH does the hoovering. I mop the floors. DH often does the kitchen. I usually do the bathroom. DS1 (11) cleans his own room. DS2 tidies up his toys (with help, he's a toddler).

Normal families function by helping each other out. You should not be a skivvy.

Honestly, your 19 year old will be moving out soon. I pity his flatmates.

Ticked · 02/06/2011 09:25

I can tell you that none of the kids have cooked a meal other than two minute noodles and toast. They would have no clue at all but, since I am not cleaning at the moment, I am right now drawing up a cooking schedule. They are in for a shocker. I do suspect DH is going to ignore me for a few more days after this!

My Dh has never cleaned a bathroom or hoovered or washed floors but he used to pack dishwasher and make bed and tidy up after himself at least.

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rainbowinthesky · 02/06/2011 09:26

It might well be too late for the 19 and 16 year old but I would do by utmost to impress upon your 12 year old that housework is not womens work and that he sees an equal relationship between you and your dh as the norm.

rainbowinthesky · 02/06/2011 09:27

You say at least as if it's something good he did. Really, it's crap. I am amazed you have put up with it for this long.

DamselInDisarray · 02/06/2011 09:29

Good on you.

A cooking schedule is a goo idea, although if they've never cooked, it might be good to issue them with simple recipe cards so that you get something edible. Even the 12 year old can cook dinner for you.

Withdraw all laundry services, immediately. They can ask you how to use the washing machine and do it themselves. Or, put up a sign next to it, with 'Instructions for use' on it.

Choose a small corner of the house to call your own, clean and tidy it, and then sit there and relax while you leave them to their squalor.

montmartre · 02/06/2011 09:29

Oh dear- I thought you were going to say 7, 5, and 3!
Two teens and a proto-teenager are more than old enough to wash, clean, cook, shop etc. No excuses, especially for the eldest- I had left home by 19 and did everything.

You need to all sit down together and you need to lay it on the line- everyone does a fair share, and complete strike until they do, husband included.

I'm so sorry for you, as it must make you feel so undervalued. I hope you can change the situation soon.

Ticked · 02/06/2011 09:30

I cannot thank you all enough, honestly. Reading back I have really done them all (and myself) a diservice and now I know I am right (always a good place to start :o )

I do know that this is going to cause problems between dh and I but if he pushes it, I will just exclude him as part of the family team.

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SparkyDuchess · 02/06/2011 09:31

You are so not being unreasonable!

I have just one DS and a DH, neither of whom is interested in cleaning, but they BOTH see that it shouldn't be my job either.

I think the rota is a good idea, but prepare yourself for drama when you present it.

I also like the idea of creating a clean space for yourself - can you do that? I have a room all of my own which they're not allowed in. There is no footy clutter, crisp packets, general male crap in here and it keeps me sane.

rainbowinthesky · 02/06/2011 09:31

On the other side of it, it's not just your dh who has a skewed idea of teamwork. You've not acted as part of a team for nearly 20 years either. Not excusing them at all but sounds like you've enabled it to happen and they've taken full advantage. Stick to your guns.

stayathomegardener · 02/06/2011 09:34

Good god I thought your DS's would be under 10.You are defiantly not being unreasonable.For example-

DD 12 has to collect all her dirty washing together at a time to suit me-the washing fairy.Any left/hidden in her bedroom she has to then hand wash whilst machine going round.I dry and iron and she puts hers away or forfeits her pocket money.

Any school uniform that could be re worn that she leaves scrumpled then she irons it and pays for her blazer to be dry cleaned-£7 that only happened once!

Any things she is asked to pick up that remain I tidy but then use my discretion to throw away what I feel is rubbish.

I have cleaners once a fortnight for an hour [£22]and the cry 'the cleaners are coming' motivates everyone-It would drive me mad to pay cleaners if they can't clean for clutter.

It is certainly not easy and to be fair I am the messiest person in the house but DD is aware of her responsibilities.

If your sons do not co-operate I would curtail there spending money to pay a cleaner

Ticked · 02/06/2011 09:36

If dh refuses to hear me (which he has been doing, he wont even engage me about anything because of it), do I just get on with it with the kids anyway so long?

I really started thinking I may have been wrong to even expect anyone to do anything the way he was carrying on.

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rainbowinthesky · 02/06/2011 09:37

It sounds like there are deeper issues here with your marriage. It doesnt sound like he has respect for you. Sad.

shirleyshortcut · 02/06/2011 09:39

all of you smugly saying "My DH does all the washing in this house" - isnt that just the same as OP but roles reversed?

Ticked · 02/06/2011 09:40

He likes things his way rainbow and is childlike when that doesnt happen. There have been many issues around that, yes. I normally tell him where to get off but sometimes (like this one), I wonder if Im seeing it clearly and do wonder if I am only seeing it from my pov.

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BsshBossh · 02/06/2011 09:40

YANBU. Your DH is an appalling role model for his sons. The things you've listed are the very least your DSs (and DH) should do. Perhaps you need to call the family meeting yourself but be very clear on what you expect of them and consequences if they do not do anything (eg you'll take away the games consoles etc).

rainbowinthesky · 02/06/2011 09:42

shirley - I must have missed those posts where the roles are reversed. The only ones I see are people explaining how the team works in their house.

OP, I do feel for you but not sure what to suggest except a rota. I am sure you will get some fab advice though. Smile.

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