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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure where to post this. I refuse to clean up the dinner table after dh and ds. I consider the kitchen counter fair play for anyone to clean, but it is mostly me. All they have to do is bring the plates to the counter, ideally into the dishwasher, but I don't expect miracles. I wouldn't mind cleaning up after ds, he is 4, but I don't want him to end up being like dh when he is older, in terms of cleaning. So basically we eat on a dirty table every night, and they don't care. Anyway, am I a bad wife / mom? Should I just suck it up and clean?
 

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Have you asked your DH to help, or are you just silently expecting him to do it?<br><br>
DS is 6 and we still have to remind him almost nightly to clear his plate from the table.
 

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That's a good question. Also, what is your arrangement with DH? When it was decided that you would stay home and he would work, did you spell out the expectations around housework and money roles?
 

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How have you approached the situation before you just stopped doing it? How are the chores divided between you and your dh?<br><br>
Ds has been in charge of clearing the table since he was about 2 or so. He helps bring the dirty dishes, salt, pepper, condiments to the kitchen while I wash them up or pack up leftovers. Even dd who is 20 months puts her own fork and spoon in the dishwasher. There is no reason a 4 year old can't help clear the table and pick up the kitchen.<br><br>
My philosophy is that everyone has a part in keeping our home clean. Right down to the smallest member. It is not MY home, it is OUR home. I am not the housekeeper, I am the mom. I do 75% of the home care, with dh and the kids helping with the rest. I will not do it all, nor will I be the only one doing it all. My kids have been putting their laundry in the hamper, tossing dirty diapers in the bin, "helping" with laundry since they could walk.<br><br>
As for the grown man, I have no help there. I wouldn't put up with it, though I have no idea how to fix that issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmmm ... we never had a formal arrangement, but I guess the implied one is I take care of myself and the kids, and I expect him to take care of his messes (his laundry [I wouldn't mind doing it, but he leaves stuff everywhere, and I'm not going to pick it up] and his dishes) I just want him to leave things the way he found them, if the kitchen was clean when you came in, leave it clean, etc. When I remind DS to clear, he does after breakfast and lunch ... but dinner is more hectic because I don't get to eat at the same time usually (we have 3 month old baby).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>JoAnnaL1209</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7993975"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">would you ask DH every single day if he never did it on his own?</div>
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Yes I would. But my dh says I'm a pain in the butt like that<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I hear you!! I have a husband who was terrible at minding a kitchen/dining room. He's getting better, but he's still got big blind spots.<br><br>
One thing that helped was for me to make a joke about how the dish teleporter was malfunctioning again, as his dishes failed to be magically teleported into the dishwasher. It's still something we laugh about, and then, when I forget, he can use the same zinger on me.<br><br>
While you're working on behavior modification, I would shoot for something more equitable than just letting him get by with the bare minimum of looking after himself, while you manage everything else. You cook, he cleans. The WHOLE kitchen, not just his own dishes. (This works for DH and me, anyway, while we're both SAH parents.)<br><br>
I totally agree with you that the division of labor between you and your husband is being imprinted on your son now. That's why I think it's important you aim for something better than the bare minimum alluded to in your first post.
 

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Honestly, since I am the clean freak in my house, I would just do it. I usually do the cooking and cleaning up, because I like it done right away. I couldn't eat on a dirty table, but that's just me.
 

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4 is plenty old enough to help clear off the table when you are done eating.<br><br>
I suppose your dh also might be old enough to help. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
You can make them both charts and give them stars when they remember. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Though your dh might not find it funny. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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My two year old can at least get her plate in the sink but still has issues wiping up. Now the husband.... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> yeah... it's a nagging issue. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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You're not a bad mom or wife! Sometimes you just gotta tell DH exactly what it is that you need him to do. Sometimes people just don't get it, no matter how much you bang the dishes in the kitchen and stomp your feet. I've learned to tell DP exactly what I need him to do in order to not get pissed off at him <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamalisa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7993995"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yes I would. But my dh says I'm a pain in the butt like that<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:
 

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My mom bought us these cheap plastic place mats with red chili peppers on them and at first I was not to thrilled <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> but then I realized that the kids would pick them up with their plates and my white tablecloths look pretty clean compared to before. It works for us. Yeah they are "Tacky" but so is the rooster napkin holder and salt n pepper shakers, and the french country tableware she bought to match with our rooster kitchen clock.
 

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4 year olds need help building habits. So I'd suggest specifically asking your ds to pick up various items and take them to the kitchen. As far as your dh, ask him if he needs help figuring out what to take first and ask him to set an example for ds.
 

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I find if I don't specifically tell DH that I want/need him to do something it will never get done. Heck, even when I'm out and out specific, it's hit and miss.
 

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I have found that "implied arrangements" generally cause a lot of tension for all sides. Better to speak your mind (nicely) so everybody is clear on what is expected.<br><br>
4 yo is certainly old enough to help clear the table and wipe it, but at that age rather than an unspoken rule, your ds might need a gentle reminder each time "You can clear your dishes now!" and your assistance getting a rag and finding all the messy spots on the table.
 
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