To literally cancel Christmas
itsnotterrysitsmine · 21/12/2019 10:27
Fully prepared to be told I am but here goes.
DH & I both work, me full time in a demanding, stressful job, DH part time at weekends long hours & decent money so one of us is always at work & the other has DC's. We've done this for childcare & financial reasons as no support network at all so all down to us 100% of the time (the last time we went out together without a child in tow was when I was pregnant with DC2 7 years ago).
The house is a permanent mess with us living out of washing baskets, I'm constantly chasing my tail with housework & never catch up. 2 oldest DC's (8 & nearly 7) are beyond lazy, leave wrappers lying around that inevitably end up on the floor / under furniture (doesn't matter how much we've nagged, reminded etc keeps happening), chuck dirty washing on the floor, leave scrunched up on the end of a bed / down the side of the bed (despite having a basket in their room), leave plates, cups wherever, get toys out & don't put them away. On top of this DC1 is beyond rude to me & DH, refuses to help (have to seriously loose it & confiscate all electrics to get him to help) & DC2 has always been a massive handful (overly rough in play, extremely stubborn, more you ask him to stop the more he does it / refuses to listen). Throw an active toddler in to the mix and well.... The house feels like a squat.
Things have come to a head this morning where yet again I'm spending my holiday / time off work running around like a twat trying to tidy up etc & get ready for Christmas. We got the tree out 2 weeks ago & the older DC were told we would not get decs out until they'd helped tidy the living room. The tree is still not decorated. This morning has been spent refereeing them, refusing to let DC1 just eat junk food, asking them for help to tidy up so we can enjoy the Christmas break & have some fun together which has ended with the usual refusals to help so I have taken the Xbox & tablets off them & sent them to their room. I've just come upstairs to find them watching TV in my room & when I told them that wasn't the point of them coming upstairs they have just laughed in my face like it's all a big joke. I have lost it with them, told them that they are rude, ungrateful & spoilt & that their behaviour is a disgrace.
I have sat sobbing for the last 20 minutes feeling like an utter failure in every way wondering why I bother when to be honest they really don't deserve anything, then feeling like an utter monster for feeling thinking it.
Am I being unreasonable?AIBU
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JeSuisPrest · 21/12/2019 10:32
The oldest 2 are at school and your DH has the toddler Monday to Friday? Does toddler attend nursery at all? Essentially your DH is the SAHP even though working weekends. Is he pulling his weight during the week regarding housework or are you just trying to catch up at the weekends whilst minding 3 children alone?
user1498854363 · 21/12/2019 10:35
Op, I feel for you. Can you all go out for a walk in the park, some fresh air, time together, help reset things. Then return to do the tree? Remove electronics until behaviours improve. That age there is plenty to do, play with. Have some fun together outside first thou!
I’m off to walk the dog with my 8yo, he moans, but enjoys it!
Yr kids must miss you, it sounds tough not seeing the family much, it is full on but you need their help too. Start the new year with plans! Chores! Pocket money! ..
Enko · 21/12/2019 10:37
It's hard when you feel like you are in a uphill struggle.
Start with assigning them each one half of the lounge then get them to pick up 100 items each (or 50) that need to be tidied away / thrownnout. The "winner" gets a small treat. This way the lounge will get tidied and you wont feel so resentful.
Janus · 21/12/2019 10:41
Is your husband home all week then, just works weekends? If so, (and I think he has a toddler?) he can get most of this done in the week. Put a load of washing on every evening, he sorts it in the morning. Same with dishwasher. Refuse all iPads/xboxes in the morning until bedroom floors are clear of washing etc.
When mine were small I printed out a list of things to do from the minute they got up with a tick box at the end. It was basic like ..
Put any dirty clothes in laundry basket
Put pjs on the radiator for tonight
Come down for breakfast
Put shoes on
Get book bag
Make sure no wrappers are on the floor/down the sofa in the kitchen
When they are little I think they need things spelt out. If they get all of that done by (say) 8am then they can have in iPad until leaving for school at (say) 8.20.
I also have a robot hoover so if everything’s clear on the floor husband can set this to go off while he’s doing the school run.
Afraid it’s about getting super organised, good luck!
missyB1 · 21/12/2019 10:42
The thing is you can blame the kids but you and dh need to ask yourselves why things are like this. Where are the boundaries? Kids tend to only rise to the level of expectation that is put on them.
And if your dh is home all week the house shouldn’t be such a mess. You need a system, and a chart that states what gets done and by whom each day. Link pocket money/ treats / rewards to the kids chores. And consider whether you can afford a cleaner if your dh can’t manage.
nowayhose · 21/12/2019 10:43
What a horrible time you're having :(
I agree with other posters who say your DH probably needs to help more and maybe you'd all be more organised if everyone had a jobs list ?
If your DH and DC do not complete their jobs every day, then absolutely NO screen time or any fun activities that day ?
It sounds quite chaotic and like everyone expects 'someone else' to do housework, washing etc, so some actual direction with WHAT everyone has to do and WHEN they must have it done by to avoid consequences seems reasonable.
I'd actually think about putting the tree away again and telling kids that until they do what they are told then yes, Xmas IS cancelled, and stick to it ! (you can have Xmas in Feb if that's what it takes for them to take you seriously !)
MoonlightBonnet · 21/12/2019 10:44
They sound like normal kids their age and you sound utterly exhausted. Rather than cancelling Christmas I’d be thinking about how you can rearrange your family life in the new year, so that you actually have some time as a family and some time for yourselves.
Jodie77 · 21/12/2019 10:44
I think your DH not pulling his weight is the real problem here. Yes, kids can be a PITA and it sounds like yours are, but it's not their fault that things are generally not working well in your home and lives. Do you have anywhere you could just shove all the junk? Then you could have a quick hoover and get the tree up. I would not cancel Christmas, but I would be making some big changes coming into the new year
MinisterforCheekyFuckery · 21/12/2019 10:44
You have every right to be upset, their behaviour is completely out of line and you must feel so unappreciated despite working so hard for your family
Honestly, I don't think cancelling Christmas is the way to go though. I don't think a big, one-off, grand gesture is going to change things. What's needed here is a complete overhaul of rules, boundaries and responsibilities that is sustainable in the long term. Something extreme like cancelling Christmas might have shock value but it won't lead to sustained change.
When you're feeling calmer you and DH need to sit the kids down and tell them that things need to change. Agree with DH what their jobs will be (tidying bedrooms, loading dishwasher, putting away laundry whatever you think is appropriate given their ages) and what the consequence will be if they're not done. Removal of electronics sounds sensible.
Does your DH help around the house? If not that needs to change too, tell him he either starts pulling his weight or he can fork out for a cleaner/ironing service.
Floooopy · 21/12/2019 10:46
I think you (both of you) seriously need to consider a parenting course. I do not mean that lightly and with no judgment but your children should not be getting away with treating you that way. Unless there are SEN issues then it is just learnt behaviour.
Also, is it really worth you working opposite hours. I can understand it as a short term solution in the early days when you have multiple children in nursery, but I really can't imagine living like that with my husband long term and maintaining any kind of relationship and having no family days together. What's the point? Is there no way of shifting work? You going part time? Yes, I might be talking a drastic change- change of job, downsize house, move to cheaper area - but really your quality of life seems pretty miserable right now.
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