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Well, my Dh just left for work in a huff, and I really need some advice. In general we have a great marriage but this is becoming a huge problem.

First, I will readily admit I am not the best housekeeper in the world. I used to be - but then I had kids. When it was just DS, DH and me, no one was ever home -DS was in school, DH and I both worked. We had a housekeeper who came weekly and did all the cleaning, and I was able to keep it picked up in between.

Then we had 2 more kids in 1.5 years, and we began homeschooling. And suddenly there were 4 people home all day -doing school projects all over the house. And we had to get rid of the housekeeper when I quit working. It has been impossible ever since to keep up. I do the best I can, and the place is basically clean, and presentable - I have about an hour every day that I put aside for picking up/cleaning the house (I use Motivated Moms). I have never been overly embarassed to have someone just "drop in" or anything. But it is my DH's biggest complaint - and I hear about it almost daily. BUT, he does NOTHING to help, and actually contributes to the mess himself. So he is just one more person that I am picking up after.

Let's also figure in that I work from home about 20 hours a week, I am also working on my doctorate, I am homeschooling the kids and taking care of their activities, and I also have civic commitments in the community/synagogue (for example I put out the weekly synagogue newsletter). Oh - and I am also pregnant!

Anyway on Tuesday we had a mild spat about how if he at least picked up after himself, there would be that much less for me to have to do. He called me "delusional" and said HE was neat and clean and I was only imagining that he didn't help.

So last night I made dinner - ready a few minutes after he got home. Spaghetti and meatballs, salad and garlic bread. I tell him that dinner is ready and he tells me that he will be up in a little bit, he wanted to go check his e-mail first. So, I serve the girls and me and we eat. I put away our dishes and leave the food out for him, since he hasn't joined us yet. It is about 7PM.

So, I go down and tell him that I have been up working since 5AM and am working at 5AM the next morning as well (today) - did a field trip with a girls that day and that I am really bushed and was going to bed. But that dinner was out whenever he was ready - and would probably need to be reheated in the microwave. He says fine, I go upstairs, study for a while and then go to sleep. I think I was out by 8:00 last night I was so tired.

This morning I am up at 4:30 come down stairs and ALL of the food is still out in the kitchen. A big pot of hard spaghetti and brown salad etc.. His dishes are still on the table (so obviously he did eat). There were also dishes for the girls as well, so obviously he gave them a snack. There is also a half gallon of soy milk sitting on the table - mostly full - which of course is now spoiled.

I started to clean it up, and then decided that I was going to leave it out as an educational opportunity. So, I work from 5-7AM - which BTW is when he gets up. I let him shower and get dressed have pleasant conversation. Didn't attack him first thing this morning. And then when he goes downstairs I follow him and say "I don't mean this as a criticism, complaint or anything but if you look around you will see that there is a rather large mess, and a lot of spoiled food that you left last night. I will clean it up, but I want you to realize that you are part of the problem around here. And that while I most certainly am not perfect, neither are you. And I would really appreciate it if you are not going to help, that you stop complaining about the job that I do."

He looked around saw the mess, then looked at me and said "This is not what I meant!" and then stormed out of the house without another word.

HUH????? Anyone want to tell me what the heck that is supposed to mean??? I did clean the mess up - fuming the whole time. And honestly, I wasn't even mad before he got up - I truly just wanted him to realize that 5 people live here and I am not a full time housekeeper! If he doesn't want to help more, that's fine, but maybe he could just lower his expectations a bit!

I know my DH, he is going to come home from work and pretend that this morning never happened. And within a few days he will be complaining about the house again...

Any advice would definitely be welcome.

Yonit
 

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i just wanted to applaud you on that!!! He is in a huff because you showed him a perfect example of his mess,
stop cleaning up all the stuff he leaves out. Don't clean it for a week than he will know he is part of the problem.

good luck!
 

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I think it was perfectly acceptable for you to point out that because HE didn't put away all that food that

1. there is a huge mess to be cleaned up in addition to everything else.
2. a lot of food was spoiled. that would not go over well in our very tightly budgeted home.

Give him time to calm down, and when the mess is cleaned up, discuss it with him again. If he gets all huffy, tell him "When your ready to discuss it with out getting upset, you know where to find me"
 
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