Here lately I am feeling very overwhelmed. Both my husband and I work full-time jobs – him from a home office- yet I feel that all the household and kid duties are solely my responsibility. My husband will say this is not true, but his actions show otherwise, and when we do talk about it, he makes changes to help for about a day. Then it all goes back to the way it was before the talk. We have had the talk so many times that I cannot stomach it anymore. How can I get him and the children to help me out?
First…STOP STOP STOP asking them to “help you out.”
Do they think taking care of the family’s needs is your responsibility, alone? Do they believe you are asking them to do something for you, rather than for the family/household? Stop assuming full responsibility!
GO ON STRIKE AT HOME!
Right now, with no warning, just stop doing the chores. Your husband and kids will be fine, I promise. They may get confused or concerned, but it will open their eyes to how much you really do on a daily basis.
This means for at least two weeks you will NOT: pay a bill, go to the grocery store, clean the house, do the laundry or even make dinner. Let it all go.
If they are hungry, they can find something to eat. If they need clean underwear, point to the washer. Don’t go buy a gift for that kid’s party Saturday. Don’t take your kid to the party, dad can drive, I’m sure. If you get a notice about a late bill, put it on your husband’s desk.
Completely and utterly relinquish all household responsibilities to them and do nothing but work and basic life needs…just like “they” always do!
It will be hard, but when open/honest communication fails you time and time again, make your words noticeable with direct action. Show them that you mean business and don’t give in. Don’t give up! Push through! When the allotted time that you have chosen – at least 2 weeks- is up, then have a talk that includes a follow through plan with the entire family.
If you are not ready or just cannot muster the courage to go on a complete strike, start by giving your husband/kids one important/constant/daily chore. A chore that is pretty much all yours. Such as grocery shop, cook meals, and/or doing the laundry. These areas can really be a quick eye opener for anyone not familiar with how much work all that really is.
I know this is hard. It will take time to get some of these things off your plate, but it is better than feeling a deep resentment down the road. The home is the family’s home. It is the family’s responsibility to do their part at home, regardless of any extra activities like work, school, or sports. It’s also good that the kids see how a family works together to build a home they are all proud of. The kids should learn that it takes effort to have and keep nice things.
Good luck and please update me. I’d love to hear what you try and how it works!