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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?

OP posts:
QuackQuackSqueak · 02/06/2011 10:40

Save up all their dirty plates etc and put them in their beds (including DHs) and then go away for a few days.

Would be good if you also didn't do any washing or cleaning in the 2 weeks running up to this (except for yourself obviously).

Haven't read all the replies so sorry but has your DH always treated you as a slave? The children will/are copying him. This is what they are going to learn is a womans role in life. Lovely.

purpleknittingmum · 02/06/2011 10:40

The number of times I have heard people talking about their older kids and saying they now realise they have spoilt them by doing everything for them. It makes me realise my kind of tough mum approach is better, yet I am often made to feel such a bad mum for doing/not doing things. I think how I do it is often where I go wrong.

A colleage told me recently her 16 year old brother couldn't even make himself a sandwich!

swallowedAfly · 02/06/2011 10:43

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fedupofnamechanging · 02/06/2011 10:44

Have done the bin bag trick too. Haven't actually binned their stuff (seeing as I bought it, binning it would make me cry) but have put it away until they started to clear it up.

swallowedAfly · 02/06/2011 10:44

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Justdontno · 02/06/2011 10:48

YANBU there is no way I would put up with that.

My kids are all young but they already help me with housework...the older two (4 and 6) tidy their own room, hoover the stairs for me with a handheld hoover and do things like wipe down the couches with baby wipes or clean the lower kitchen cupboard doors. They also put their own dishes in the sink, own shoes/jacket away. My DS3 he is 2 and half and he helps put toys away in the lounge. Start as you mean to go on! Not only does it help me, but is hopefully teaching them good habits for later life.

I am shocked at your husband and his reaction to you. I thought the suggestion to hire an expensive cleaner with his hard earned wages was a good one. With your sons, I think you need to tell them honestly how you are feeling and struggling and give them clear directions of what you want them to do. Good luck!

greencolorpack · 02/06/2011 10:48

I would make a cleaning rota and get them to stick to it. They need to learn before they're out in the world.

Have meals on a rota too, one day it's your turn to cook, next day it's teenage son, then the next, then the next. Maybe even dh, too. Teach them the first time how to cook a meal and then let them do it on their own. I'm so pleased my Mum got tough with us when I was 13, I'm so glad I could cook family meals from a young age, it's a great skill.

Laquitar · 02/06/2011 11:03

You know, this might sound over the top but i call this neglect.

It is the parents's duty to teach their children practical skills and independence. I've said here once that i don't read bedstories every single night and everybody was Shock. But all my dcs sort out their laudry, operate the w/m, clear the table, pack their own suitcase for holidays and much more. Your dh not only screwed your life but he is damaging the dcs big time. They will struggle to even keep a flatmate and a teanancy in houseshare. And they will probably get divorced a year after they marry.

Tbh i agree with the poster who said that if you left it so long it will be difficult to sort it now. I don't know what to suggest about your h because i'm not optimist that he will change. He sounds discusting tbh.

Regarding your dcs, i don't usually like camps, army etc but i'm wondering if there are any schemes, any suitable camps that you could send them over the summer to learn responsibility?

cricketballs · 02/06/2011 11:05

Ihatemarlo - your situation is exactly why I have ensured that my 16 year old DS knows how to hoover, wash dishes, cook, polish etc. My dh didn't even know what a hoover looked like when I first met him! His mother did everything for him and when we moved in together, I did go on strike myself after trying to train him. As I said previously; he has never tried it on again since!

JBellingham · 02/06/2011 11:08

OP I do not think you have time to be wasting it on mumsnet when there is cleaning and tidying to be done. You were even on the computer when your husband walked in!

Make him a sandwich while you get the hoover out.

PacificDogwood · 02/06/2011 11:10

My goodness, your sons are virtually adults, well not the 12 year old, but they are all old enough to be sentinent beings. If they don't learn to do their share v v soon, imagine how they will treat future partners.

I am wondering from your posts, OP, what your relationship with your husband is like on other issues? He strikes me as unreasonable, rude, uncommunicative and controlling.

I'd vote for strike action on your part in line with what lots of the other posters have said.

Pandemoniaa · 02/06/2011 11:15

I don't want to make you feel worse, Ticked but you simply cannot unleash lazy, demanding young men onto an an adult world. No woman was created in order to be the house-slave of a man who is perfectly capable of looking after himself but has been encouraged to assume differently. I feel very sorry for you having to cope with a sulky, childish husband but it is not too late to call a halt to the Life of Riley that your sons are currently enjoying. I hate lists and rotas too but actually, now is the time to draw one up.

I also think that you are mistaken in assuming your husband sees himself as part of any team so you will have to take the lead in changing the way that things are done in your home. If he doesn't like it then, with respect, he'll have to lump it.

ScrotalPantomime · 02/06/2011 11:28

Will read whole thread later but from the op he sounds like a dick :(

expatinscotland · 02/06/2011 12:24

'And they will probably get divorced a year after they marry.'

They won't get that far because I can't think of a Britsh girl that age now who will skivvy for a man or put up with a man with the attitude that skivvying is a woman's lot.

My 35-year-old BIL can't make himself a sandwich either and he's never had a girlfriend in his whole life. Honestly, unless you're mega rich, not many women are willing to maid for a man these days.

CognitiveDissident · 02/06/2011 13:45

My teenage DD (19) and DS (16) were expected to do their laundry, keep their bedrooms tidy, clean the bathroom, wash up after the evening meal and make their own breakfast and lunch from the age of 11. Chores not done meant no pocket money; and any mess in the bedroom was put into a black bag and left out for the binmen.

I was the world's most horrible mother, apparently Grin

Even DD2 (1) and DS2(4) help with tidying toys and sorting recyclables.

Your biggest problem is your DH and his ridiculous sense of entitlement. Your sons need to be house-trained urgently; before they turn out the same way.

Gingefringe · 02/06/2011 14:02

I am assuming that if you run a business from home together then you and your husband contribute the same to the business? If he expects you to do all the housework then tell him you are withdrawing from the business.

My DH and DC's (14,12) also have tendencies to be lazy fuckers unhelpful - I just have a complete tantrum every now and then and they do reluctantly help for a while until my next tantrum.

I can sympathise with you

fgaaagh · 02/06/2011 14:13

You cannot really blame your DCs as much as your DH. Children (not that yours are young!) learn mostly from their parents.

Neither you or your DH have provided a good role model when it comes to showing them how a family functions in terms of household chores (and the level of duty distributed varies from family to family, as ability/work schedules/fussiness levels allow - the important thing is that each of the adults is happy with their particular family's balance).

It sounds like your DH is just another child, from the things you've wrote. No respect for you or your contribution at all.

Unfortunately, such men rarely change. I can't recall one like this that has. And I've known a few in the family.

I think it's a real shame your DCs will go into the world having had this relationship dynamic (and respect dynamic) rubbing off on them.

And I am concerned that it will have a long term negative impact on their ability to function as an adult. Grim flatshares might be alright for a year or two whilst they're students or setting up their first home, but there's not many people (girlfriends / flatmates) that will put up with this for a length of time.

fgaaagh · 02/06/2011 14:17

Sorry I've just realised how unhelpful my post above was. But I do get an overwhelming sense of despair when I read posts like the OP's.

This is the reason why many of today's "career women" simply never found the right man to settle down with. Between finding one that has been raised to treat female partners as equals and pull a fair share vs. opting for one who treats her like an unpaid skivvy, I think it's a real fucking shame that this OP's children are being raised where the DH's attitude is accepted as normal.

Start with your DH, OP. He is the key. Without his support, you're going to get nowhere. You won't be able to establish respect and help from your DCs if your supposed life partner is showing that treating you like shite is acceptable.

fgaaagh · 02/06/2011 14:18

"It is the parents's duty to teach their children practical skills and independence."

p.s. I agree with this entirely. OP's lazy arsehold of a DH is doing his sons a massive disservice here. Not just his own wife.

glassofwhiteanybody · 02/06/2011 14:24

I don't think that you should be planning a rota and telling everyone else what to do. I'd be annoyed if my DH dictated to me what jobs he wanted me to do. This should be a joint decision between the adults in the household.

Shared division of tasks is good. If emptying the kitchen bin is not your job you don't do it. If it is your job you do it. A rota could just mean that they leave the bathroom uncleaned because they see from the rota that you'll be doing it next week anyway

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that they are helping you - you mentioned this word in your first 2 posts. Maintaining the house is a joint responsibility for all of you. It's not your job. You shouldn't be feeling grateful if they deign to lift a finger to help you

We prepared a list of all the jobs and agreed who would do what. I don't mind cleaning the bathroom and we both know that I would do it to a higher standard, so that is one of my jobs.

It's better if you start as you mean to go on. I have never ever picked up dirty clothes from the floor so my family know that if they want their clothes washed they have to put them in the laundry bin. I can see it's harder to introduce a new system at this stage and there will be huge resistance. Let's face it, most of us are lazy if we can get away with it.

Personally I wouldn't go for the "go on strike and do nothing" approach. I would be more inclined to withdraw my services slowly and gradually. eg if you see that you are running out of milk, don't make a big song and dance of it, just say "you're right, we have run out. No I didn't have time to get milk today".

In your original post you said "He said if I didnt want to do it I just mustnt and the house can just turn into a tip" - sounds like he was calling your bluff as he knew that you would crack and end up tidying up yourself. I'd be tempted to play double bluff and just let things deteriorate a bit.

ManicMother7777 · 02/06/2011 14:50

Try this: clear up after them but put all their c**p in their beds, plates, cups, glasses, wrappers, dirty clothes etc, they'll soon get annoyed with firstly being unable to get into bed, and secondly with a bed full of stinking socks and crumbs and damp with coke and beer drips.

Laquitar · 02/06/2011 15:23

Expat i hope you are right and that next generation girls wont go into a marriage with this type of man.

Where is OP?

BooyHoo · 02/06/2011 15:28

only read the OP and teh ages of teh dcs.

in yoru shoes OP i would move out. Im being serious. i would rent myself a room somewhere and let them get on with it.

selfish disprespectful people dont deserve to have dishes washed, uniformms ironed or beds made. let them fester in their own filth. i am being serious.

expatinscotland · 02/06/2011 15:33

Mine, too, Cognitive. And it took one time of my walking the walk - the toys went to Oxfam - for them to shape up.

No arguing, no shouting. The chart's on the wall. Don't do it, no star, no money, tough shit.

I completely agree with Laquitar, it is my job to teach them to be responsible adults who do their faire share in life. You reap what you sow, you sow a lazy fucker who treats women like shite, good luck having grandchildren in this day and age, because my daughters already kick any such excuse for a man to the kerb. DD1 is only 7 and has a 'boyfriend' and once their finished playing, before it's time for him to go him, she tells him it's time for them to tidy up together or he won't be playing there anymore.

'This should be a joint decision between the adults in the household.'

It can't be because the husband and adult children don't give a shit.

I wouldn't go on strike, either. I'd find somewhere else to live, take the 12-year-old and leave 'em to their tip.

BIL's mate is already talking about how the ILs are getting old and once they go we 'need' to help BIL.

I'm not doing FA for him. Ever. I wouldn't if he were my own brother. Because he's a lazy, shiftless, ungrateful loser who expects people to dance round him.

Fuck that for a game of soldiers.

When the council comes to that house because rats and vermin are starting to invade the neighbouring house, it's none of my lookout.

He hates coming over here because DH doesn't let him sit on his backside and be brought cups of tea and snacks.

Good riddance.

PacificDogwood · 02/06/2011 15:48

Oh, I so agree this is not about them "helping" you, it's about them recognising their responsiblity in contributing to family life.
I hate this use of the word 'help' - it's on a par with a DH/DP 'babysitting' when he is looking after his own children...

Ticked, I really hope you are still around and that some of this is helpful and not just making you feel worse.

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