A recent study from the Council of Contemporary Families (CCF), a nonprofit that studies family dynamics, examined a variety of different household tasks, including shopping, laundry, and housecleaning, and found that, for women in heterosexual relationships, one chore caused more stress and conflict in their relationship than any other household task. That task is…
Is this true for your domestic relationships? I’d say for me, personally, it’s meal preparation. And that may partly be because we have a dishwasher, so I don’t find washing dishes to be such a chore. But I do find meal preparation for a family of four, including two young, picky eaters, to be a pain in the ass. If only we didn’t need to eat three meals a day. If only more healthy meals could be made in a matter of minutes. If only my kids didn’t need their own separate meals because they don’t eat more than chicken nuggets, pizza, scrambled eggs, and peanut butter. If only I had a partner who felt more confident and comfortable cooking. I mean, it’s not the end of the world or whatever, but there are definitely a few days every month when I am so totally over preparing meals for my family and wish I had a little more support with that chore.
Dishes, though? Eh, not a big deal.
(Oh, and folding laundry is awful, too, but Drew is great about doing that.)
Kate April 5, 2018, 8:54 am
We don’t have kids, but there’s no conflict in our relationship because of household tasks or chores. He’s doesn’t get why I leave folded paper towels out to use again, and I don’t get why he throws cans in the trash compartment instead of the recycling compartment that’s right behind it in the same sliding thingy. But that’s the extent of it, I think.
Wendy, where do you think the pressure is coming from to prepare complete meals for everyone each night? Do you not feel okay about ordering a pizza sometimes, or doing Hello Fresh (the meals are healthy, appeal to basic tastes, and a lot of them now are 20 mins) if the kids don’t eat it, oh well?
I also think with meal kits, *anyone* can make them. We get 3 meals per week, my husband makes 2 of them usually and I make one. You can totally fuck part of it up and it’s still fine. It also completely eliminates the tasks of recipe searching, shopping listing, pantry inventory, and a lot of the prep. I am confident Drew could cook these meals, and maybe you shift other responsibilities around so that he’s able to do that?
SpaceySteph April 5, 2018, 9:03 am
So growing up my mom always pandered to my brother the picky eater who ate only hotdogs, pizza, and spaghetti (no other pasta shapes) with marinara until he was about 12. My aunt, on the other hand, also had a pick eater youngest child and her rule was “you eat what’s for dinner or you can go get something.” She stocked yogurt, cheese sticks, fruit, etc: healthy-ish snacks that he did eat and that didn’t require prep and if he didn’t want dinner, he could march over to the fridge and get one.
My mom talked a lot of smack about my aunt and how mean that was, but now that I’m grown, work full time, and have a kid, I think that was brilliant.
Kate April 5, 2018, 9:11 am
Yeah, I think that’s great. Growing up, my mom and dad made a lot of basic dinners like casseroles, spaghetti, chili, stir fry, Shake & Bake chicken, etc., and if we didn’t like it, we’d have to eat 3 bites, but then we could just go hungry. Not in a way like, you will go to bed hungry, but like, ok, whatever. We could probably get a sandwich later. No one seemed too bothered.
MaterialsGirl April 5, 2018, 9:13 am
we had similar rules. You had to have a bite even if you hated it (and it was a well known fact that I hated oatmeal and eggs.. although i love them now). If you didn’t like it, you could get cereal or fruit later.
I would say that probably the reason for most of my distaste was the overcooked nature of 80’s and 90’s meats. Pot roast? pass the dijon, please. and expect to chew for a good 10 minutes
SpaceySteph April 5, 2018, 9:22 am
Hah @materialsgirl, yes cooking in the 90s was rather bland. My husband hated most vegetables until adulthood because his mother steamed everything. Once he learned you could saute veggies in olive oil and garlic, or roast them in the oven, he realized he likes a lot more of them.
Dear Wendy April 5, 2018, 9:28 am
Yes, we do that too: the kids are actually really good about trying most everything. but they’ll eat one or two bites and that’s it – then they want something else. Joanie is not at the age where she can just go to the the fridge and help herself to whatever. And jackson literally only eats like five things and he really will go hungry if one of those five things isn’t presented to him. It’s not him just being difficult. This is part of his special needs. He simply has a very restricted diet and we have to heat up some chicken nuggets, a pizza, make a peanut butter sandwich, or scramble some eggs. All easy stuff – but just some extra steps in what is always a busy evening routine.
MaterialsGirl April 5, 2018, 9:34 am
uff, Wendy, that’s tough :-/ Guessing some texture issues too. Does he like to help in the kitchen? I got my start learning to bake chocolate chip cookies, but I’m sure there are some simple things he can master with parental observation?
LisforLeslie April 5, 2018, 11:48 am
My nephew is a super picky eater. My sister tried to engage him in cooking the food but it backfired on her. He loves pizza, made a pizza at home -nope. Applesauce, loves to make it – won’t eat it. They’ve considered hiring a counselor but he’s keeping up with his growth chart and is healthy so far.
Dear Wendy April 5, 2018, 9:19 am
We’re tried three different brands of meal kits and it was not a success. He found them really complicated, it took him like 60-90 minutes to cook recipes that should have taken 20-30, and then there was a huge mess for me to clean up after. really, much more work than if I had just cooked myself.
I’ve tried cooking classes for him too – paid $100 for a course and he never took it.
I’ve taught him several easy recipes and he’ll get the hang of them and cook them a few times and then not cook them for a while and totally forget how/ get out of practice.
He also doesn’t understand that meals take planning – you have to buy the ingredients, defrost the meat, do some prep work early if you’re going to have limited time later. It’ll be 5 pm, the kids are hungry, I’m tired, and drew will offer to cook, but like, what are you going to cook when you don’t have a plan?
He does genuinely want to help out more with cooking, but it just does not come naturally to him and I get frustrated and impatient with how long it takes, the mess that is made (I tend to be a very tidy cook and clean as I go), and how many questions he asks/ the supervision that is needed, if that makes sense. And then he gets upset with me for being a bitch when he’s just trying to help out. It is not a good cycle, and I’ve learned that it’s probably best, at least while he have small kids, if I just take care of the cooking.
SpaceySteph April 5, 2018, 9:30 am
My husband isn’t quite this bad, but it definitely takes him longer in the kitchen than me. Also he always tells me I overcook the pancakes because I’m doing too much other stuff while they cook, but then if he’s making pancakes all he’s doing is making pancakes so the dishwasher doesn’t get emptied and he doesn’t clean as he goes. I’ll take browner pancakes over inefficiency, sorry.
MaterialsGirl April 5, 2018, 9:36 am
omg that would drive me nuts.
Kate April 5, 2018, 9:41 am
That’s pretty bad. I genuinely don’t get it. I guess there are things I totally can’t do but should be able to, like change a tire or sew, so I can sort of understand, but the meal kits are so simple. With pictures!
I like the suggestion of having Jackson start learning basic cooking techniques as a kid. In our 6th grade home-ec they had us making Old El Paso taco kits and simple baked goods.
Cleopatra Jones April 5, 2018, 10:05 am
Can Drew help with the meal planning and grocery shopping? That might go a long way in relieving the burden of dinner for you.
So what we do at my house is:
1) Sit down and plan a menu for the week. The kids are always asked what they want for a meal. If the answer is ‘I don’t care’ then if we choose something that you don’t like, ‘what do you want to eat instead?’. We will get you a frozen pizza or whatever you want from the grocery store.
2) My soon-to-be ex and I do the bulk of grocery shopping on Sunday. If we need to pick up something later in the week, one of us can swing by the store and get it. For instance, if we are having chicken on Thursday, one of goes to the store on Wednesday or Thursday that way, we don’t have to defrost anything.
3) We always cook together. So if I’m cooking then he can wash dishes/load the dishwasher. If he’s cooking, then I can do the same. Or someone does chopping/ingredient prep, or handle side dishes.
3) Once a week, we do ‘Open Mike’ night. It’s where I pull all of the leftovers out of the fridge, and people can pick what they want to eat. If you don’t want leftovers, find something else to eat even if it’s cereal.
4) When I introduce new recipes, I ask the everyone if they want to see this on the menu again. If not, we scrap it. Sometimes, it’s fine but I need to make a few tweaks to the recipe.
5) Does he feel comfortable grilling stuff? You can definitely have a few dinners that involved grilled meats & veggies.
Dear Wendy April 5, 2018, 10:12 am
We haven’t had outdoor space big enough for a grill until now and as soon as it’s warm enough, drew will start grilling and I think that will help balance things A LOT!! I’m really excited about it.
Kate April 5, 2018, 10:15 am
Yeah, he can grill veggies as well as meat. Corn on the cob is great grilled. My husband did a lot of grilling before we got onto meal kits. Even on the electric grill we were allowed to have by fire code, it came out great.
ktfran April 5, 2018, 10:23 am
The grill will help tremendously! We grill just about every kind of vegetable and even potatoes now.
My favorite dinner is steak and grilled romaine.
He grills a streak that we split. He also grills two romaine hearts. After grilled, I chop it up and mix with a simple homemade dressing (two parts evoo to one part red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and a little dollup of either grainy mustard or anchovy paste). And of course, a glass of wine. It’s the best, easiest dinner ever and it feels fancy.
Bubbles April 5, 2018, 10:38 am
Wendy: I couldn’t help but chuckle at your comment about Drew trying to “help” with the cooking and being more trouble for your than it’s worth. I’m in the same place. I came home once to my husband having grilled some (unseasoned) chicken breast and stating he’d made dinner and then left them on the counter. NO. Just no.
P.S. I follow you on IG and I’m enjoying your comments about your mom. Sorry, but as a G-ma, I can totally relate with her way of thinking! Cookies, candies, ice cream? Sure g-babies, anything you want is OK with G-ma! LOL
Lianne April 5, 2018, 11:01 am
Almost exactly this. Before we got together, my husband’s dinners were almost primarily baked or grilled chicken and “salad,” which was really just bagged lettuce with sugar free ranch dressing on it. As a result of his lack of desire for anything more complicated than that and my desire for a delicious variety of yummy food, I became the default meal planner and maker. Mostly it doesn’t bother me, but now that we’ve got a toddler (and soon to be infant), I’d love more help. I’ve tried meal services – like Wendy, the simplest meals for me are still very complicated for him. The kitchen is a disaster (I’d love to know why he needs FIVE prep bowls for a simple meal). And he gets frustrated with himself if he makes a mistake…and to Kate’s point, it doesn’t really fuck anything up! This isn’t baking…
I’ve also tried to have him look up recipes he’d like to make for a night or two while he’s in charge. Zero interest.
It’s fine. He does all of the kitty litter changing and cleaning, trash duties, does almost all of our son’s baths….so I try to see the equity in other areas. Usually I really enjoy cooking anyway.
Dear Wendy April 5, 2018, 12:15 pm
Kate April 5, 2018, 11:14 am
Like last night the HF meal was peppercorn steak. He basically grilled it, using a griddle pan on the gas stovetop. He decided not to use the shallot in the sauce, so he didn’t have to like mince a shallot and have the house smell like onion. I never would have noticed. The side was just cut-up potatoes baked on a cookie sheet. There was some kale with dressing as well. So basic but really tasty.
LisforLeslie April 5, 2018, 11:20 am
Growing up my folks would do the grocery shopping when we were at Hebrew School (aka Heebie Jeebies) and then in the afternoon would cook or prep three meals and we’d have those through the week. My mom also perfected the roast chicken. She could clean & dress a chicken slip some garlic under the skin, rub it with paprika and garlic and put it in the oven within 15 minutes.
I’ll admit that in high school I started to hate roast chicken, but after a little time away from home that issue resolved itself.
Kate April 5, 2018, 11:22 am
In HS my mom started paying me $20 a week to cook dinner. That worked.
Skyblossom April 5, 2018, 9:41 am
The thing I did with my kids was to make sure there was something on the table that they would eat. My daughter was the finicky one but she loves fruit so we have always picked up cut up fruit at the grocery store and it goes on the table. If the only thing she eats is watermelon and cantaloupe I’m okay with that. I never required them to eat anything that they didn’t want to eat. I think that is why my daughter has always been willing to taste new foods because she knows that if she doesn’t like them she isn’t stuck eating them. I’ve never cooked them a separate meal except for when my son was having trouble with food intolerance and there were many things that would make him throw up so I prepared him food that wouldn’t make him sick. I spent a lot of time researching on the internet and finally figure out what to give him so that the food didn’t bother him. He takes l-glutamine every day. It is the amino acid that makes up the lining of the gut and with l-glutamine he can eat anything.
csp April 5, 2018, 10:49 am
Can I just say you can’t “Oh well” young kids. My son is two and i always make sure he tries different food but a child that is hungry is surly, has a hard time sleeping, and overall not a good family dynamic.
You have to teach them what food is safe and good for them. Their natural inclination is to sweet or bland food because the body knows it is safe. To expect a young child to just accept a world you haven’t taught them about yet is unfair to everyone. You are teaching them life long relationships with food and to just starve them until they get on board seems harsh and not healthy.
Kate April 5, 2018, 10:56 am
Eh, I don’t think kids are going to starve. My brother went through a phase when he was really little where all he would eat was dog food off the floor, or Chunky Soup. So my mom gave him Chunky Soup and didn’t *worry* too much about it. If I wasn’t hungry at dinner, she didn’t get too worried about it either, she’d just have me eat a few bites and whatever. If I said i was hungry later, I probably got cereal or a ham sandwich. I also ate tons of junk food as a kid and grew up healthy.
SpaceySteph April 5, 2018, 11:31 am
I, for one, am not talking about starving kids. I’m talking about having food they will eat that doesn’t require parents to make an entire separate meal for them. Because stressed out parents are also not a good family dynamic.
How does feeding a kid chicken nuggets every night help them learn to eat real food any more or less than offering them a bowl of cereal when they don’t want to eat the meatloaf? “Try 2 bites of dinner, and if you don’t like it go grab a yogurt” is not exactly child abuse.
KW April 5, 2018, 8:55 am
You should sign your husband up for cooking classes! Maybe you could even take them together.
For us it’s childcare, especially when the kids are sick or have days off from school.
SpaceySteph April 5, 2018, 8:55 am
I HATE washing dishes and always have. We have a dishwasher, but we don’t put things like pots and pans in there, so there’s still dishes to wash. Pre-kids, my husband and I would cook together and then he’d wash dishes while I packed up the leftovers, fixed lunch, other kitchen tidying up. (He hated packing lunches the most, so it was a good deal for us both) Now we trade off who does kitchen stuff (including the dishes) and who plays with the kiddo in the evenings.
I think the conflict over dishes is more when you get someone who is content to leave the dishes piled up married to someone who really hates dirty dishes. Which I definitely do hate seeing dirty dishes lying around, and I REALLY hate starting to cook a new night’s dinner in a kitchen that is already full of the previous night’s mess (something that came up a lot when we were dating because his roommate was a slob). My husband probably wouldn’t care, but in our house the kitchen gets cleaned after dinner and he does it even if he probably would be fine not doing it.
csp April 5, 2018, 10:51 am
Totally agree with the piled up dishes problem. I also think that people get tired after all the cooking. Like, the kids are getting ready for bed and I am tired and now I have all this cleaning up.
MaterialsGirl April 5, 2018, 9:11 am
I enjoy cleaning bathrooms, which my husband does not, so that works out quite well. He’s big big big on folding laundry right away, where as I will avoid it at all costs. I mean, I’ll do most of it while watching TV or something, but putting it away? ugh. I do enjoy ironing though, and washing windows and other random tasks like that. Washing and taking apart the fridge every quarter.
He has a chore routine every day where he puts away the dishes from the dishwasher when we get home, fills up the humidifiers, waters plants etc. I’m more of the “no one ever thinks to clean that, but I do on a regular basis”. Stuff like washing pillows, comforters, vacuuming, whatever. I like it. He takes the garbage out too.
snoopy April 5, 2018, 10:20 am
I’m with you on this!
Husband does most of the dishes and daily tidying of ‘stuff’; while I do the regular deep cleans that nobody thinks about–>baseboards, windows, keeping the laundry cycle going (I hate folding though), vacuuming, mopping, bathrooms, the fridge, cleaning the kitchen cabinets which always have smudges and dust.
We’ve switched roles a bit this week and he was so proud of himself for wiping the windows and baseboards. He didn’t realize that I do that monthly, while he’s never thought about it during the 3 years we’ve been in our place.
SpaceySteph April 5, 2018, 11:34 am
Baseboards, man. I’m pretty sure the previous owner of my house didn’t know you have to clean baseboards.
MaterialsGirl April 5, 2018, 12:29 pm
clean baseboards are key. and windowsills!
yeah it’s completely under appreciated but I love nothing more than knowing that things are clean and not ‘hiding’ more dirt
Lucidity April 5, 2018, 9:11 am
I’m grateful that household chores are one area where my husband and I have no conflict. We divvied them up evenly in pre-maritial counseling according to who most enjoys (or least despises) a chore, and we revisit our arrangement from time to time to make sure it still works for us both. For example, he was originally supposed to put out the garbage, but I’m home on garbage days, so I’ve taken on that responsibility because it’s more convenient for me to do it.
We have an understanding that if one person can’t complete their chore(s) due to scheduling, the other person takes over. My husband does all the cooking and meal prep, but he works late two nights a week, so I cook and pack luches on those days. Dishes is my job, but some days I work 12 hour shifts and just don’t have the energy for them, so he’ll do a bunch for me.
I find the keys to avoiding conflict with household chore are to pull your weight, express gratitude for what the other person does, pitch in without complaint to help each other out, and avoid keeping score.
Miss MJ April 5, 2018, 9:21 am
We don’t really have too much conflict now since we got a cleaning lady to come every two weeks. But the biggest “in between” issue is vacuuming and mopping. (Our dogs shed a lot, so this has to be done frequently.) I hate, hate, hate it. So, my husband volunteered to do it. He hate, hate, hated it, too. Now, we have a roomba type thing (different brand) that can do both. He’s still in charge of getting it done and cleaning it out, though.
Skyblossom April 5, 2018, 9:33 am
Is it an irobot? We have one of those and I love it. I had it sweep and mop the basement yesterday.
Miss MJ April 5, 2018, 9:52 am
I honestly don’t know what brand it is! But that’s the idea, for sure.
Bittergaymark April 5, 2018, 9:59 am
As a casual, outside observer to heterosexual relationships, I’d have to say… SEX.
Lucidity April 5, 2018, 10:16 am
LOL! I just spat out a little bit of coffee.
As hilarious as this is, I can think of two couple friends of mine for whom this is true… who knows how many more are keeping heir problems to themselves.
JD April 5, 2018, 11:55 am
HA! Although my husband would have sex ten times a day…and trust me I am more than into daily, sometimes numerous times but good grief that man will end up killing me one day with that level of sex drive. Dr. asked us yesterday (as we are trying to get pregnant) if we are really trying all that often, we cracked up.
Bittergaymark April 5, 2018, 12:03 pm
This is more of a POST kids thing… 😉
JD April 5, 2018, 2:40 pm
We have a teenager actually.
ktfran April 5, 2018, 10:08 am
We have not fought over household chores yet. In fact, we argue over who GETS to do the dishes. We’re weird. He ends up doing them most of the time because I do most of the cooking. I’m really good at cleaning as I go though.
For other household chores, we each are ok with different things so we do those things. Like, I dust and clean surfaces. He takes care of toilets. We both take out garbage when needed. He vacuums. We both do laundry.
We’re in a condo so no yard work.
We also have a house cleaner come once a month to handle a good cleaning, like our 10 foot high showers, and since we don’t have kids, we can keep it pretty clean between.
va-in-ny April 5, 2018, 10:46 am
We had a really great routine going for a while. Sure, I’d have to point out some slacking about once per quarter to get things back to 50/50, but we had a fairly good division of labor.
Then, we moved in with his family. Now, it’s like he’s reverted back to “the woman does 100% of the household work” mindset. His mom never worked and always did everything for him. And, since she’s doing most of the stuff, like the cooking and the cleaning (in the main house), it’s almost like he believes that everything else (laundry, cleaning the bedroom and bathroom, taking care of the cat, etc.) should all fall to me. It’s caused many many fights. And, I’m exhausted.
Once we move (hopefully this month!), I’m hoping that we can get back into a working routine like we had back in the apartments we lived in before. I honestly don’t understand how he can think that though we both work full-time jobs, it’s a single person’s responsibility to “manage the household”.
I’m giving it 2 months after moving, and if it hasn’t done a complete 180 change, we’re going back into counseling.
Our premarital counseling was the best thing we ever did…. I think it’s the exact reason why we had a good division of labor and family boundaries before we moved.
Fyodor April 5, 2018, 11:15 am
I do all the dishes, which I don’t mind because it’s just a straightforward linear task. Meal planning and preparation is harder because it requires a lot more forethought and planning and planning for failure.
LisforLeslie April 5, 2018, 11:23 am
I live alone so it’s all on me but I hate vacuuming so much. I’m fine washing dishes – I often volunteer after holiday dinners. I love laundry. Give me a pile of laundry and I will fold the shit out of it. Even fitted sheets!
But vacuuming…. it takes me 10 minutes. But I hate it so much. That and cleaning the tub, which I do begrudgingly but more frequently than I vacuum.
MaterialsGirl April 5, 2018, 12:31 pm
if you fold my laundry, I will clean your tub
keyblade April 5, 2018, 11:48 am
I have a house that is probably too big out in the suburbs. I didn’t mind the extra space when we moved but I feel clutter has a way of filling free space. Both my kids are pack rats and hate letting go of things. So does my husband. I hate constantly picking up. I feel like it ends up using my time, my life. And I don’t want to spend my life maintaining our collective crap. I’m also guilty of starting projects I don’t finish and holding on to things too long.
LisforLeslie April 6, 2018, 6:13 am
Half of my family are purgers (I fall in that side) the other half pack rats. The only tip I have is don’t try to attack everything. Just decide that you’re going to get rid of 5 things that day. Just 5. Five broken toys. One old tee-shirt, 2 lidless tupperware containers, one box of crackers no one likes and a pen that doesn’t work. Do that occasionally. Also – the other is the buy one toss one method. Buy a shirt, put a shirt in the donate bag. But that doesn’t reduce the stuff you already have.
Otherwise, move (super effective purging activity) or disaster. I do not recommend disaster. At all.
keyblade April 6, 2018, 11:47 am
Thank you. I plan to implement this advice.
ktfran April 6, 2018, 12:40 pm
We’re not even pack rats and I want to implement the advice… maybe once a month get rid of 5 things we don’t use or need. I like it!
Kate April 6, 2018, 12:53 pm
I should start doing 5 things daily right now because we’re moving in May. We’re very uncluttered, but there’s still stuff that has to go. And a storage unit to assess, ugh.
ktfran April 6, 2018, 1:04 pm
We both got rid of so much crap when we moved last June. It felt wonderful!
LisforLeslie April 6, 2018, 1:27 pm
When I move I find that I get rid of so much stuff and then I’m left with random stuff half important and half I have no idea why I moved it. Sometimes I think the last box you pack should just be thrown away, but it usually has important stuff like the alarm clock and charging cords along with a roll of paper towels and the box of plastic forks you used because the silverware was already packed.
carolann April 5, 2018, 12:49 pm
I feel so lucky that my husband is such a good cook. (I do not cook at all, I absolutely HATE cooking. I am a pretty good baker though)His Italian Grandmother took care of him while his Mom worked and she started teaching him to cook from a very young age and he loves it. He knows just how to season everything and his sauces are heavenly. He also does most of the shopping since he cooks he likes to pick everything out.
My little one will only eat cereal, turkey bacon and pizza. Luckily she will eat snacks too. Nuts, raisins, etc.
Unfortunately, he just got a new car. (well new to him) It was a fairly rare car and the only one we could find in our price range needed some maintenance. So now every day after work he is at the shop suping-up his car. No more home cooked meals for now. ?
K April 5, 2018, 1:20 pm
This doesn’t cause arguments, but the biggest source of frustration is washing dishes. Neither of us like doing it and it’s frustrating when the dishes pile up and the sink becomes unusable. He works from home so he produces lots of dishes to be washed during the day. I do it more often, but we do take turns doing it.
SpaceySteph April 5, 2018, 2:18 pm
This is kind of a tough one because its not feasible to say all dishes have to be washed right away when used when its the middle of the workday. If he worked outside of the home then he’d just bring his dirty tupperware home in the evening.
Do y’all have a dishwasher? If not, is it something you can invest in to take some of this strain off?
JD April 5, 2018, 2:37 pm
I don’t see why it isn’t realistic for him to wash the dishes after he uses them. I always do, takes a whole couple mins.
SpaceySteph April 5, 2018, 3:12 pm
I feel like stopping mid-work to do the dishes can totally disrupt flow. Also I think that its important to treat working from home as much as possible like a job outside the home, to clearly delineate work time and home time.
For me personally I telework occasionally and even though I’m a total nut about doing dishes right away I don’t do it while I’m working. There’s also some “if you give a mouse a cookie” tendency– I can’t just wash the dish I used. I would have to unload the dish drainer (full of clean, dry dishes so the new one wouldn’t get them all wet again), wash not just my existing dish but also any other dishes I found, then I’d get sidetracked by a dirty dishtowel and put in a load of laundry and then I’d find clothes in the dryer I forgot to put away and before you know it I’m not working I’m doing housework. This is why I rarely work from home.
K April 5, 2018, 2:46 pm
We don’t have one, but we rent and hopefully wherever we move next would have one. Maybe even if he washed *some* of the dishes he uses during the day, it would help. His job is much more stressful and deadline-prone than mine, but at the same time it wouldn’t take long to wash a few dishes.
LisforLeslie April 6, 2018, 2:02 pm
I work from home and I have the same food almost every day. I produce six dishes. 1 small bowl for nuts & other snacks. One coffee cup. One plate for open faced sandwich. One fork. One knife. Maybe one glass if I switch from coffee/tea to ice water. Unless he’s eating a lot of greasy or saucy food – you can use the same damn plate from breakfast to lunch. I have a dishwasher too.
JD April 5, 2018, 2:45 pm
I do almost everything as I am at home since we moved and he is working. I likely would do most anyway, just how I am. I am OCD and like everything clean my way. I am lucky though because my husband will do any and everything around the house with no complaints. He usually will cook a bit on the weekend. He was stationed in Korea for a few years so he makes some great Korean food. I cook for sure on days he works since I have the time to prep and have it ready. Fridays tend to be pizza days so that’s easy. Luckily this is for sure a part of our relationship there is no argument or frustration over. The biggest frustration is getting the 15 year old to clean. I know what he does in that bathroom and I do NOT want to touch it. He does whatever we ask of him but his idea of cleaning is not what I’d call up to par. I usually just give in and go bleach every inch after a few of his attempts. Teenage boys are gross!!
Rangerchic April 5, 2018, 3:04 pm
I’m with DW above about the cooking. My husband doesn’t really care about dinners. He would eat PB&J’s everyday if I didn’t cook. But I get tired of having the same things. Meal prep and grocery shopping are exhausting. It was more fun when my youngest and I would cook/clean/meal prep together. But now she has a job and works 2-4 evenings a week saving for college so it falls on me. I get burned out doing all the thinking it requires to plan/prep/shop for 5-6 days of meals!
The other issue is dishes for us to. If the husband is home early and dishes aren’t done, I get upset! They don’t take long so just take 10 min and clean the kitchen. Most everything else is either evenly split or we just don’t mind doing the stuff.
Cubs2016 April 5, 2018, 7:36 pm
I apologize if this has been said already, or you’ve tried it and it hasn’t worked for your family, but we had three kids in four years, and meal planning and preparation was such a chore for me. So, I began using a crockpot regularly, and on weekends, I would prep a few meals for the week that I would just have to finish by cooking on the day it was being served. Sometimes, I would do “freezer cooking,” in which I’d prep a bunch of the same meal, and freeze all but one meal that I’d be making that week. I’d pull those other meals out of the freezer in later weeks. Also, I’d sometimes make a double batch of a meal so we had leftovers for another night of the week.
Basically, I tried to find ways to not have to start from scratch every single day, especially because of all the time involved with prep, cooking/baking and clean up.
Anonymous April 6, 2018, 8:38 am
My struggle is not having my husband automatically help. The dishwasher needs emptying, taking the trash out, whatever it is, I have to specifically ask and remind him at least once or twice. He doesn’t mind helping but he doesn’t think at all about household chores. Ever. We have a housekeeper come every 2 weeks so that’s a relief but I do the shopping, laundry, and keep the household going with his assistance when it’s requested. Trash was supposed to be his but he remembers about 40% of the time. As this is a common recurrence of bad memory, I have learned to just let it go and send the reminders. I have also just accepted that he doesn’t just automatically do things that need to get done. The only thing I have gotten mad about as of late is if he doesn’t prioritize taking out the dog. She deserves to be prioritized since we don’t have a doggy door. Now that we have established daily requirements for walks, there have been no more issues.
Upwealthy April 7, 2018, 3:38 am
Yes, sometimes it gets really difficult to manage so many things at once. Cooking is one of them. Cooking all the three meals can be stressful, I think workload reduces if one helps, maybe you can ask him to help you in easy cutting and grilling or anything like that. If its getting very stressful order one time meal from outside.