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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Nov 13, 2012
DEAR AMY: I am working 60 hours a week, and my wife is taking care of our 3- and 5-year-old boys (and the house). We have a house that needs work, ranging from hanging pictures to a kitchen renovation. I feel like nothing gets done at home during the week.

On the weekends, we always seem to have plans that interfere with stuff getting done around the house when I can be home. Today I insisted on doing work around the house, and I got accused of not spending time with our boys.

Living in clutter, losing bills, never having socks and always feeling there is stuff to do really stresses me out. I feel I ignore it all week and then get irritated about it Saturday morning when we should be enjoying our time together.

I handle all bills, help with laundry, vacuum, load/unload dishwashers, and when I'm home I usually cook dinner, so it's not as if I expect her to be waiting by the door with a Manhattan and my smoking jacket (though it would be nice).

What can I do?-- Frustrated

DEAR FRUSTRATED: I agree that some intensive home time is necessary -- and most of us feel better if we start the week with our lives in some sort of order.

If possible, you might do best hiring someone to do some of the light household maintenance and/or cleaning. Having someone come in on a schedule helps the family get it together on a schedule.

In my household, Sunday afternoons are when I get some alone time to catch up on chores and start my workweek. You and your wife might trade off two-hour blocks when you each get a break from the kids to do whatever you need to do -- in or out of the home. Your children can help. Toy sorting and sock-matching would be good jobs for these little guys.

I admire the work of de-cluttering guru Peter Walsh. Read his book, "It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff" (2007, Free Press).

DEAR AMY: I just moved across the country for my fiance. I left my job for him. I am only getting unemployment insurance now but contribute as much as I can. My guy continues to remind me that we are living on "his" money.

We will be married in less than a year, but he can't seem to think that we are a "we." I have supported us in the past, but he can't seem to remember this. Even when I was working he wouldn't make dinner for us because he claimed my job wasn't hard because I was sitting at a desk all day.

I love him, but this is a constant trigger for arguments. How can I get him to understand how I'm feeling?-- Sad Fiancee

DEAR SAD: You should not get married until you work this out. Your fiance's attitude reveals something very important about him. You should assume that even if he achieves perfect insight into your feelings, this won't matter because of the way he feels. And -- even if you feel he's wrong -- are you able to see things from his perspective?

This tension will intensify if you have children. Seek premarital counseling with a professional. Do not gloss over this to leap into marriage.

DEAR AMY: You are enabling a bully with your response to "Sober," who is worried about hosting her negative mother-in-law for Thanksgiving.

I was in a similar situation. After 25 years, my mother-in-law almost gave me a nervous breakdown. My husband also avoided mom as a way to cope, dumping the responsibility on me. My advice to Sober: Take care of yourself, for no one else will. Let someone else host Thanksgiving this year. Sober should make other plans with her immediate family.

After three years of separation, the first holiday mom was again allowed to attend, she behaved perfectly! Bullies need consequences and boundaries. My life is heaven now.-- Peace in Connecticut

DEAR PEACE: Sober wanted to include her mother-in-law in her Thanksgiving dinner, but I agree with you that her sobriety must come first.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#2 Nov 13, 2012
L1: Amy missed it. This guy figures he works long hours AND does a fair amount at home, and still the house is a mess and disorganized, and the least his SAHW can do is stay caught up. Frankly, I agree with him. My mom stayed home with two young kids and the house was immaculate. However, that's how my mom is. This guy's wife obviously isn't -- she's more okay with messes and disorganization. Unless he can get her on board with some sort of plan and some household procedures, nothing will change. He has to decide whether or not he can accept that and just get on with life.

L2: Why do you love a selfish glassbowl? Do you think you don't deserve better than him?

L3: "After 25 years, my mother-in-law almost gave me a nervous breakdown." How on earth do you cope with life if one person who doesn't even live with you has so much of an effect on you?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#3 Nov 13, 2012
1 Dont hire anyone! Your wife needs to pick up the slack. I think she is depressed and feels overwhelmed. Therapy and beer.

2 If you want to be his "wife" you better start acting like it. If you have a problem with his views of what a women's place is maybe you need therapy.

3 Gave up the beer and MIL, but kept the therapy, wonderful.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Nov 13, 2012
LW1: Let me get this right. He works 12 hour days, handles the bills, helps with laundry, vacuums, does the dishes, and cooks dinner? And she's home all day and the house is still a big mess? WTF is she doing? And don't tell me she has no time to clean cause she has the boys home with her. Bullshit. Your wife is a lazy bitch who does not care about the filth you live in.

And what kind of bullshit advice is this Amby? Hire someone do do the shit wife should be doing? I'm guessing he's working as much as he does because he needs that money to support a family of 4 on 1 income. He probably can't afford to waste money like that.

LW2: Damn. Your fiance sounds like he was the male counterpart to LW1's wife when he was unemployed. His excuse for not cooking dinner was pathetic. So because you had an easy job he could not cook dinner? Lazy a-hole. Don't make the same mistake as LW1. Don't tie the knot.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#5 Nov 13, 2012
RACE wrote:
I think she is depressed and feels overwhelmed.
You gho with the medical diagnoses.

I go with the character flaw.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#6 Nov 13, 2012
1 Your wife is lazy. 3 and 5 year olds take naps! 1 hour a day of picking up and doing bills etc, will keep you out of this messy situation she has put you and your kids in.

She also doesn't cook? What does she do all day? I'll bet it involves a lot of time in front of the tv or laptop.

2 Run the other direction as fast as you can.

3 Drama mamas unite!

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#7 Nov 13, 2012
1- Tell Suzie Homemaker to get off her lazy @zz and do something.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 Nov 13, 2012
Saluki Rod wrote:
1 Your wife is lazy.
I agree
Saluki Rod wrote:
3 and 5 year olds take naps!
Mine don't. My 3 year old won't take a nap unless mom is napping too, and even then, its rare that he will nap along with her. They both stopped napping a while ago.

But even with no nap, a 3 and 5 year old can be put in front of the tv to watch a movie, put at a table to color and draw, put in a bedroom with toys to play with, while mom gets some stuff done. Hell, I sat in my kid's room on sunday going through a bunch of paperwork that needed organizing while I instructed them(3 & 6) to clean the room and put the toys away.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#9 Nov 13, 2012
L1: Is your wife on Topix? Reddit? Facebook for sure...

L2: Dummmmp hiiiimmm...

L3: Found out yesterday we're hosting Thanksgiving on Saturday for SIL, her boyfriend, and my MIL (who is sick, shocker). Yaaaay. At least I get to be with my family on Thanksgiving, then.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#10 Nov 13, 2012
LW1: Yup, she's sounding really lazy. And your organizational efforts will not help unless she keeps up with the cleaning. And it's time to get the kids involved too; never to young to start them with good habits since it seems you'll be fighting mom's bad ones.

Damn, I wish I could be home all day and putz around the house. It would look awesome!

LW2: Don't marry this guy.

LW3: I need a drink.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#11 Nov 13, 2012
L1: Five year olds rarely take naps and getting a 3 year old down when there's an older sibling is near impossible. Sit down and talk with your wife. Maybe she'd rather do the dishes while you give the kids a bath and spend time with them. Paying bills takes all of 10 minutes these days with online stuff. It does sound, though, like he's doing more than his fair share.

L2: Move out. Now.

L3: So now we'll probably have months of MIL stories.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#12 Nov 13, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text> I agree
<quoted text>Mine don't. My 3 year old won't take a nap unless mom is napping too, and even then, its rare that he will nap along with her. They both stopped napping a while ago.
I think most kids stop napping between ages 3-4. My son's preschool still had a "rest" period, but admitted that 50% of the 3 year old and 90% of the 4 year old class didn't nap during that time (they were required to lay down on cots but could quietly get books to bring back to their cots after 15 minutes of rest). Kindergarten didn't get a rest period.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#13 Nov 13, 2012
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
I think most kids stop napping between ages 3-4. My son's preschool still had a "rest" period, but admitted that 50% of the 3 year old and 90% of the 4 year old class didn't nap during that time (they were required to lay down on cots but could quietly get books to bring back to their cots after 15 minutes of rest). Kindergarten didn't get a rest period.
Not to turn ths ito a nap forum, but we had a hard and fast rle until our kids hit kindegarten that they lay down for an hour every afternoon. They never staed awake..

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#14 Nov 13, 2012
...and I got accused of not spending time with our boys.

I took that to mean she feels like the only one involved with the kids upbringing.
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>You gho with the medical diagnoses.
I go with the character flaw.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#15 Nov 13, 2012
LW1: Hire someone to help clean and organize one time, working alongside your wife. Your house will look great and you and your wife will feel less overwhelmed and more inclined to keep it looking good. Right now, you are both feeling as though there's too much to do in the few spare hours that you have. If the one-time deal doesn't work, do what a friend of mine used to do, hire someone to spring clean twice per year.

LW: Jumping on the bandwagon: Don't marry this guy, nothing that you do will ever please him. Find someone considerate and kind.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#16 Nov 13, 2012
RACE wrote:
...and I got accused of not spending time with our boys.
I took that to mean she feels like the only one involved with the kids upbringing.
<quoted text>
I took that to mean that if she got off her lazy ass and did some of the crap he had to do after he got home from a 12 hour worrk day, he would have more time to spend with them every day. There is no reason that he should have to cook, clean dishes, have to do laundry when she's home all day.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#17 Nov 13, 2012
Kuuipo wrote:
If the one-time deal doesn't work, do what a friend of mine used to do, hire someone to spring clean twice per year.
And the place would be a mess within a week if she's not doing anything to keep it clean. That would drive me nuts and cause fights and resentment.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#18 Nov 13, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>And the place would be a mess within a week if she's not doing anything to keep it clean. That would drive me nuts and cause fights and resentment.
True. The assumption that I am making is that the wife feels overwhelmed by the clutter and disorganization and that if she had help to clean and organize the house once, that maintaining it would feel more do-able. LW is already resentful, so he needs to try something.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#19 Nov 13, 2012
I was thinking that it could be that she let some aspects of housekeeping go when the kids were younger and really needed more time and attention, and now that they're older and able to play on their own for periods of time, she's still stuck in that old way.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#20 Nov 13, 2012
Kuuipo wrote:
<quoted text>
True. The assumption that I am making is that the wife feels overwhelmed by the clutter and disorganization and that if she had help to clean and organize the house once, that maintaining it would feel more do-able. LW is already resentful, so he needs to try something.
Well, the way you phrased it, you suggested the one time major clean up, and then if that did not work, do a twice a year spring cleaning maid routine.

To me, that would be worse. Its bad enough that she is unable to clean up the current mess, but if they hired someone to to a major spring cleaning and she was unable to maintain the newfound cleanliness moving forward and let it fell back to shit requiring a maid to come in and clean every few months, I would be extremely pissed. I am very unsymathetic to a stay at home spouse who can't be bothered with routine cleaning and cooking.

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