How can I get my husband to help out around the house more?


#1

Ok. First off, I haven’t actually asked him for help yet.

As it stands right now, his only 3 jobs are to:
empty the dishwasher (2 days after I ask - dishes are piled up)
take out the trash (always overflowing onto the floor and stinking)
clean the litter box (the cat goes outside now because he never does it)

I do everything else and we have a 2 year old and I’m 7 months pregnant. I’m getting TIRED.

I work full time and he’s a farmer so right now, they work about 2 hours a day then he’s home. 2 year old is in daycare all day. When he gets home from work, he parks his butt in his recliner and watches tv ALL day and ALL evening. He rarely plays with DD unless she happens to walk by when there is a commercial on.

Our house is a constant wreck. Its clean but messy. Our DD scatters her toys all over and I can’t hardly bend down to pick them up anymore. I used to pick up her toys every night after I bathed her and put her to bed but now I’m exhausted after working all day and then cooking dinner and doing the bedtime routine with our daughter. So after she goes to bed, I go right to bed too.

I always sort of thought of it as “Oh well, thats his loss. The kids are going to love me more since I spend all the time with them” but now, its really starting to make me mad. I can’t stand the sight of him sitting in his stupid chair watching his stupid tv. He always watches stuff thats way inappropriate for having a kid around (and I tell him as much).

I know I should just ask him nicely to please pick up DD’s toys while I’m giving her a bath or something or please do this or that, but he always acts like its such a big deal and gets half mad. If I blow up at him and say something like “Oh, sorry, I forgot you were busy sitting on your butt and watching tv, I’LL DO IT MYSELF”, then he tells me to calm down and says he was only joking… Yeah right.

I just want him to share the housework without me having to ask him. I hate to nag him and I know that won’t get me anywhere anyway.

So without starting a HUGE fight, how can I get him to help me more. I feel like a slave in my own home. I get tired of telling my DD “Just a minute” because I have to do everything else. :frowning:

Thanks,
redtech


#2

I am so sorry you are having this problem.

I also work full time (do not have any kids) and DH is also a farmer-- dairy farmer, so he is busy all day even though it’s winter.

And, DH does not act like your DH. I asked him, and he is at a loss for what to do, he thinks it is completely disrespectful of you.

My suggestion would be to sit down and make a list of household duties, and a schedule for when they need to be done, and then divide them up. Ask for help, tell your DH that you cannot do it all, especially with your advanced pregnancy. Set the expectations for what will be done before you get home, what you will do together on weekends, etc. Don’t do it when you are pissed off, just schedule a time to sit down and discuss it all.

There is no excuse for his behavior, but men and women often have a very different definition of “clean”… so you do have to be very specific with expectations and timeframes.

At first I thought it was kind of redundant to have to ask for help-- couldn’t he see the house is a mess? But, no, he couldn’t b/c he works with cow poop and greasy tractors all day long, so in comparison… the house is clean!

All I can really recommend is that you sit down and tell him how you feel-- overwhelmed and in need of help. DH may be viewing his down time during winter as his vacation time b/c come planting season he’ll be working his butt off outside. Just a guess.


#3

Thanks 1ke -

I’ve thought about making a schedule and evenly dividing up the chores and I actually tried to do this once but I got the answer “Hey, I WORK during the day!!!” :rolleyes: Excuse me but I work during the day too and actually work more hours most of the year. He got the full brunt of my temper for that comment.

I have thought about it being downtime for him in the winter but seriously, the grain farmer works hard for 3 months. Even when they are plowing and doing fall tillage, he gets home before me.

I thought about not saying anything also because planting season IS coming up and he will be working until sundown on those days. I sort of look forward to it though because when he isn’t home, I don’t have to clean up after him.

I guess I’ll just sit down and talk to him about it. I’ll try to keep my cool but if he starts giving me the whiney treatment, I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it.

:smiley: We really rarely fight… honestly! I’m just starting to get big and tired!


#4

Oh, I also wanted to say that yes his definition of clean is most definitely NOT my definition of clean. However, I’ll sacrafice some quality of cleaning for some quanity.

In the past, he has purposely put the dishes in the wrong place or something just so I’ll not ask him to do it again.

I learned.


#5

He is making excuses, and it’s time he grew up.

DH ran across this today, just after we were discussing your post. Timely!

cbn.com/LivingTheLife/Features/DrLindaHelps/MenHousework.asp

Good luck, I honestly don’t know what to tell you other than sit him down and discuss how overwhelmed you are. You are both working, and that means you both have to contribute to the household upkeep-- or hire a maid. Honestly, having someone come in once a week or every other week makes a HUGE difference-- even if it’s for specific things like bathrooms, towels & sheets & kitchen. I had one when I was single. I haven’t gotten anyone since we’ve been married for several reasons, but I may look soon.


#6

I’d offer him a couple of options. 1. He can help out. You can be charitable and specific about what you’d like done. 2. He can work more hours so you can hire help. You shouldn’t be jeopardizing your health.

Some men really do need everything pointed out to them. They’re not like us. If we see someone struggling w/ packages or needing help, we just instinctively help out. Some men can do that, others really can’t. —KCT (it took years of me asking dh to help carry groceries in from the car before he would do it automatically!)


#7

Positive redirection - A great book is Whale Done

Basically we need to be affirmed, even Whales love affirmation.

Miracles happen when we affirm someone and pay attention when they help out.

If this doesn’t work, check diet are you always feeding him healthy nutritious fresh foods – no sugar it is the industrial waste.

Check if he is sick from farm chemicals?

Once he has five kids and no sugar he will be the perfect husband. Us men take awhile to get the message.

Brother John
[Mod Edit: Deleted Phone Number]


#8

[quote=KCT]I’d offer him a couple of options. 1. He can help out. You can be charitable and specific about what you’d like done. 2. He can work more hours so you can hire help. You shouldn’t be jeopardizing your health.

Some men really do need everything pointed out to them. They’re not like us. If we see someone struggling w/ packages or needing help, we just instinctively help out. Some men can do that, others really can’t. —KCT (it took years of me asking dh to help carry groceries in from the car before he would do it automatically!)
[/quote]

You must not have married a Southern gentleman…just kidding, but most men from the South still treat women with deference.


#9

I am reading this thread and thinking about my DH, he likes things clean and tidy but does nothing to help. I would take him aside and talk about the problems you are having, in a constructive non threatening way. If he gets smart with you (you mentioned he does this in a previous post) I would stop, look him dead in the eyes, and very seriously say 'When you speak to me like that it is condescending and rude. If you would like to be respected by me you need to treat me with respect." And if he ever says something rude to you, turn off the tv and have the same conversation in the other room away from the children. If you take it seriously, maybe he will too.

I would also say things like, “I cleared the table, set it for dinner and served the dinner I made. Its your turn to do the dishes” Then grab the channel changer and change the channel to a decorating show. That should do it.


#10

Tell him you have decided to hire help. Go ahead and do it–charge it if you have to.

Sometimes the only way I can get my handy husband to actually be handy is to write a date on our big calendar. “Call plumber.” When it comes down to paying for it, he will do it. I try not to nag, so this seems reasonable to me. I don’t consider it a manipulation because I give a long long time for him to get to whatever job.

Starting about seven months, I start sweeping toys into a corner and throwing a blanket over it. Then I don’t have to bend over. :thumbsup:

Also, I would consider asking friends for help,. my group of friends are a goofy bunch who for some reason love to clean other peoples’ houses. We don’t like to do our own, though. :stuck_out_tongue:

Once I was so angry with my kids bickering over the television, I cut the cord. My dh fixed it several months later. I don’t know if I’d recommend doing it to a spouse, but sometimes points need to be made in a physical way. :wink:

Good luck. congratulations on the baby. :slight_smile:


#11

[quote=mary bobo]You must not have married a Southern gentleman…just kidding, but most men from the South still treat women with deference.
[/quote]

I have only one experience of a southern gentleman relating to his wife. A presbyterian minister, who sat w/ his feet up on the coffee table watching TV while his wife picked up the house, did the dishes and put the kids to bed. I wasn’t impressed, but I didn’t assume he was the norm, either :wink: —KCT


#12

[quote=redtech]I work full time and he’s a farmer so right now, they work about 2 hours a day then he’s home. 2 year old is in daycare all day. When he gets home from work, he parks his butt in his recliner and watches tv ALL day and ALL evening. He rarely plays with DD unless she happens to walk by when there is a commercial on.

Thanks,
redtech
[/quote]

This whole idea of DD being in daycare all day, while your hubby sits in a chair and watches TV would make me most mad of all. I think this is where you should start. Tell your hubby that you’d like to save some money since you’ll be off work soon, and he’s only working 2 hrs. per day, so he will need to pick DD up after he’s done working. This will accomplish 2 things. He will HAVE to take care of her—even if it’s a crummy job, and you WILL save money that you may need if you need to take extra time with your new baby. When my dh lost his job, we had a 2 y.o. and a 6 month old, I had to go to work pretty full time,but very flexible hours. Still, he needed to care for the kids and keep up the house. The kids were usually still in PJs when I got home, but they had fresh diapers and had been fed. The house was marginally clean,but he had some dinner made. Over the 6 years we had this lifestyle, dh learned very well how to care for kids and house. Your DH needs some practice. Give it to him!!! It will only that much worse when #2 kid comes along.


#13

Printing a list of houshold chores and duties would be a great way to go.

Make it a nice presentation board that specifies the name of the duty.

Break it down to When they need to be done…
Daily, Weekly, Monthly.

Better Yet,
Make a calendar that needs to be checked off.

Post it in a prominate place that your DH can see.

When you have your conversation draw his attention to it. And ask him to help you check off the check list each day.

This way you won’t have to nag him about any particular task…
Just ask him what is left to check off for the day.

Explain to him that sometimes you don’t get the end of the check list each day - but that task still needs to be done by someone in the house. – He’s the only other person capable (until your little ones are old enough to help).

He’ll see it there in black in white.

Generally, Men like Charts, schedules, and checklists.

You will have to ask him to look at the checklist each day. Before he settles in at the Television. Perhaps right after dinner - just as he leaves the table.

He doesn’t see the daily chores. He doesn’t see the mess. It doesn’t occur to him to encroach on your domestic toes.

It’s not nagging - it’s trying to get him to form the habit.
Always use the word please. But, don’t let him get the impression that he is doing you favors.

He is helping you - but they are not favors.

You’ll have to slowly show him that these are “family” chores - not just “wife” chores.

Act as natural as possible as if you completely expect him to play along. “Of course, you will help me pick up the daily slack won’t you, honey ?”

Then mean what you say.

If the checklist is completed for the day - try not to ask him for anything else that night. Once a man turns off his working hat he gets annoyed that he has to put it on again.
{ If you wanted the toys picked up during bathtime - you should have put that on the checklist.:o Put it on the Checklist for tommorrow and every bathtime. }

Good Luck :wink:


#14

#15

Yeah - well I wouldn’t suggest that you tell him “when” to do things.

Just to “check the list”. Perhaps read it out loud to you.

That way he can schedule his own time. Maybe he will still sit down and watch TV. OK - but he still knows that the living room needs vaccuming.

and he will not be surprised later if you ask him to do something.

My idea is the “no surprises” idea. Heck you already have all these chores in your head – he should get a taste of the same idea.

God Bless


#16

My husband does this. I work part/full time, depending on the week AND go to school. DH works full time. He’s a plumber and does a lot of work and says he’s tired when he gets home, but doesn’t realize that with school and a job, I’m tired too and the last thing I want is to come home and clean. But, he’ll park himself at the computer and play his games while I clean.

SO…I let the dishes go as dirty as possible, I mean, not a dish in the house. This may be hard for you to stand but it worked for me. Then, as I was heading out the door, I mentioned to him that I wish the dishes would just do themselves, that I could come home and they would be done. I didn’t ask him to do them, just hinted. When I came home, he was doing the dishes. So, when I caught him doing it, I gave him a big hug, and a shoulder rub, and I made him a good dinner. He said to me later on that night…now I know the key to making you happy…I asked him what that was…he said, “well, if I help around the house, you aren’t so crusty when you come home, that’s the key to a happy marriage”. That was three weeks ago and now he cleans up after himself and OFFERS to do the dishes when I’m busy. The one thing he won’t do though, is laundry…erg. I’m gonna try my hand at that a little later.


#17

Could sending him this link help inspire him?


#18

In my house, we have strict rules about tv and only make the rare exception when we are ill or something. The tv doesn’t come on 4-5:00 while I am making dinner, and then it is only kid -appropriate until they are in bed at 8:00-8:30. This was a rule we laid out from the beginning of child rearing.

I could suggest a few things:

Sit down and figure out first what you want to accomplish in your family:

suggestions: Well mannered, well educated, well loved children who are confident and have plenty of our attention (so that they dont’ seek it elsewhere when they are preteens/teens)

… A happy and clean home where everyone can feel comfortable

List of chores that need to be finished before bed (unless you are sick etc.)

Talk about making good choices that make a happy marriage and family life, by compromising and doing “your part” whether that be sharing child care, housework or a romantic evening.

Talk about what kind of tv programming you want your children to see and how much every day. Make tv rules for everyone to follow.

Make a flexible schedule for our children, include playtime with parents (both indoors and out) and story time (we have story time after lunch before nap and story time before bed.

Talk about your family in terms of a team, in which all members must use their time wisely and contribute the best they have to offer with their gifts and talents. Be patient, your husband’s personality might not be as conducive to this as others.

He might be tryign to “escape stress” with his tv watching. This is very common and he may even be aware of it, so defensive when you bring it up.


#19

you guys all had very good suggestions. Thank you!

I never nag him (or try not to)

I also never tell him WHEN to do something, I just ask that he please do such and such today before DD goes to bed. He tends to do stuff loud and DD is a light sleeper. They rarely do get done the same day I ask though.

Some of your responses made me chuckle. I’d love to just tell him its his turn to do something and take the remote and sit down but the man’s got a death grip on that remote! :smiley: He would honestly wrestle me to the ground to get it back… :rolleyes:

DD being in daycare used to bother me as well but DD loves it there and they will charge us for a whole day even if she’s only there briefly. (nice…)

I will try as many of these suggestions as I can pack in. He will be overwhelmed! My favorite is to sweep the toys in the corner and throw a blanket over it! :smiley:


#20

I’m not a big fan of Desperate Housewives, but there is a funny episode where a wife goes back to work because the husband quits his job and they agree that he will be a stay at home dad. The house is in shambles, and she has to come home late at night to clean it all.

After doing this for a few weeks she finishes dishes one night to crawl into bed, a bed full of baby spit up and he refuses to get out of bed so she can change the sheets.

Next day she goes to the pet store to buy a pet rat and released it in on the dirty kitchen counter on he way out, just before he walks into the room. That night she came home to a perfectly clean kitchen/ house and he was a changed man.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you release rats into your home, but you have to admit it’s a funny thought.


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