Is this unreasonable??

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I had surgery Dec 12. husband had to take some time off work or lose the paid time off. He carried over the maximum (over 2 weeks I think) number of days.

    When he was home he did chores, but mostly he acted like it was a vacation and he played video or computer games and listened to the satellite radio headset.

    He thought I was strange for getting upset to come out to a kitchen totally covered with dishes and crud. Or a living room with tags and toys and stuff everywhere.

    I have strict limitations. No cooking, laundry, bending, stooping, reaching my hands over my head, etc... I am also on a LOT of medications.

    I want him to come home and take care of things until thank you goes back to school. I should be released about that time. He is so offended that I even asked, and will act very injured if I insist.

    I cannot take care of the kids right now. Jess is hurting badly, still, and he thinks she should be doing the dishes and everything. He should come home and have dinner and watch TV and play on the computer.

    Am I unreasonable for asking him to take more time off? My parents have done so much, they can't do more, they are overstretched with my bro's kid and mom's school work.

  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I can understand him not being able to take more time off. Your kids are old enough to pretty much amuse themselves around the house even if you are down for the count. However, he should expect to come home and have that second job when he gets home just as if he was a single parent and clean house, cook, take care of the kids, wash other everything!

    Jess may be able to do a few small things if she is feeling up to it and thank you might be able to help do a few chores that are age appropriate but the bulk of the work will fall on him. Make sure he gets some easy to prepare foods in the house so they can make lunches for the three of you. Sandwiches, microwavable soups, finger foods...etc.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I don't know where husband works, but your situation may qualify for FMLA leave for him, and sounds like you could use it.

    And no, if he's able to take off, I don't think its unreasonable to ask him to at all. Afterall, this is the man who, if something were to happen to you, would be expected to step up and manage his family. You're not gone, but you're down, and in my humble opinion, he needs to step up now, too.

    Then again, I'm a little biased because I've been having this discussion weekly with my husband. He's become a bit too "comfortable".
  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am SO spoiled... so I think all men should step up just like we would if the roles were reversed!!!
    If it was us i.e. a woman... sorry to all the men on the board!!! We would most likely go to work and OMG come home make dinner clean up take care of the kids clean up some more etc... all of that fun stuff... before even thinking about ourselves.
    If there were a husband involved, and he were hurt, we would add him in to that equation.

    Granted I try to make life easy on husband when possible, like now with my foot, if we can use paper plates, utensils etc. I even broke down and let him get GAG, fast food... we never eat fast food.

    Sure my floor is filthy, I can't stand it!!! But I ask him to do the dishes... I know I can do SO much more than you though, it is just my foot.

    I do what I can and leave the rest for now!!! I make the girls clean what they can... husband must help this is his home... his family, our stuff, I have slowly drilled it into him that we all need to have pride in our home... who wants to live in a pigstye!

    I know most men don't care... but we have to keep trying!!! husband didn't until he met me, he saw me cry one too many times over it!!!
    He realized it made my anxiety worse, my mania worse... so he helps!!!
    So simple!!!

    I do so hope you start feeling better, I hope your husband realizes it will make HIS life better if you are HAPPIER!!!
    Happy Mom/Wife=Happy Home... So simple...


  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    husband would do the same thing. But, I have no problem looking at him and saying "Honey, I hurt really bad" and draw him in with the sympathy. Then I talk a little about the realistic limitations that I have. This makes him think he needs to help. When he slips back into doing nothing, I say something quite blatant, like "What the heck are you thinking anyway? I (insert your disability here) and you're playing computer games? When did the house ever look like this on a normal day, and who exactly do you think does that every day? I don't do it because it's fun or I like it, I do it because it needs to be done! I can't do it right now, so it's time for you to step up. I'm crippled for crying out loud!"

    It doesn't often have to get that far, but it sure shapes him up when it does... :wink:
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Sorry you're still having to deal with this. Sometimes people can seem so simplistic about their day to day activities it amazes me. My son for example thought his sole purpose in life was:
    Get up (try not to be a crab)
    Get my own cereal (Mom you make the best oatmeal will you?)
    Go to school and get on the bus by 8:00 AM
    Be at school and do "whatever"
    Come home from school and play, play, play until dark
    Then come IN the house and play, play, play
    Play, play, play and finally after 10 requests for lights out and 50 cent to shut up - no more stereo I got some peace somewhere around Midnight - I was working construction and got up at 4:30 AM

    And my Favorite - was to walk in from work at 5:30 PM and see the kitchen a mess, the trash over flowing, the bathroom near unusable I mean OMG blech, the carpets not vacuumed, the rugs in a heap, and then to hear someone say "OH I fed the dogs." I had to wash dishes before I could cook, and I stood in the kitchen one day and just lost it.


    So there I was - DF disabled but not too disabled to pitch in - had gotten 'used' to me doing everything. I cleaned and cooked, and did all the laundry and then everyone would sit around and go "Gosh why are YOU such a crab?" I had one crab comment too many and sat everyone down in our den and had a COME TO JESUS MEETING about what was going to go on since I was pulling nearly 13 hour days.

    I need help - and both men looked at me like "HELP? BUT YOU ARE SUPERWOMAN." and then I said (as if reading their minds) I am not Superwoman. There is no golden lasso or invisible jet in the driveway - I work 13 hours a day, running pipe and operating heavy equipment, I wash my own car, I do everything around here, I even mow the yard and take out the trash. I can't continue doing it alone. Then I said "What can you do to pitch in and help in your own home?" You eat here, you sleep here, you make messes - you need to clean them up. I'm retiring as house maid.

    Amazingly enough I quit cooking. DF stepped up and now even though he can't stand very long - will do some prep work and then cook and times it so I have dinner nearly every night when I come in the house. When difficult child lived here his chores were unload and load the dishwasher (until he consistantly busted stuff to get out of it) so I swapped him for scrubbing the toidy, and bath tub daily. A week of that he wanted to try again with the dishes and trash. Now that he's gone - DF pitches in with laundry, and does his own. I do my own, when difficult child is here - he does his own. I taught him at 9 how to wash his own stuff, dry, fold and iron. I taught him how to cook at 10.

    You can delegate. You NEED to do this. You need to make sure that everyones chores are written down and STOP DOING IT YOURSELF. LET IT GO - LET IT STACK UP TO THE CEILING - but you need to sit in bed - rest, and recoup. If your family can't seem to get this one very simple and small thing through their heads, then you will HAVE TO TALK TO THEM and say "I am NOT doing this because I won't it's because I CAN'T" and then DO NOT DO IT.

    Tags and toys? WHO GOT THE TOYS? IF they are old enough to play with them? They are old enough to pick them up. If not = swear if I were you and had to pick that crud up? I would - I would put it in a trash bag and tie it up and put it in a closet. You really are being too kind. And because you are so are paying for it with your health. Makes NO sense to me.

    DF thinks he works 8-9 hours and that's it? When he signed on as husband I believe there was a sickness and health clause in your vows, and if that means that he's got to work 9 hours and come home, and cook, delegate chores with the kids - and wait on you - then THAT is what he's going to do - if he doesn't know it - tell him. If he still doesn't do it - a gentle reminder will be when he's out of underwear or there are no towels for a shower after work but before video games.

    Your kids need a chore list - So does husband - and I'd do this one last thing - paste in on the wall and go to bed.

    STOP BEING THE MAID - you are the patient - start acting like it.

    Hugs Star
  7. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Susie, I don't think it's unreasonable but that is from a woman's point of view.
    It seems men and women don't think the same. Doesn't mean they can't understand. I do not find it relaxing to have my kitchen a disaster then try to be happy I had dinner made. I appreciate it but I like the whole job done. Same with the boys. Half a job is like not doing it at all. husband is very happy with dinner regardless of the mess the kitchen is in. He doesn't see it or care about it.

    I think men who work outside their homes think of vacation as a reprieve from the daily grind. Rightly so. The idea that a stay home mom would expect a husband to take over stay home mom duties on hisvacation is hard for them to swallow.

    Now I don't agree with it and I think loving mates have to want to see it from a different angle. He has to understand that you are not well and this is one time in his working life that his vacation time has to be used to help his wife.

    I have yet to see home taken care if I am sick. They all make efforts and I have to curtail my criticism but it isn't how I would do it. I have to accept it.

    You are in a situation that is temporary and difficult. He can chose to pay for help or he can help. I just don't see him waiting on you. Call a temp agency. LOL. I know that's expensive but may help for a few days for a few hours could solve the problem. In the meantime do what your doctor told you, delegate specific chores to husband and the children and let it go.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Susie -

    Excuse me for being blunt, but husband will 'act' very injured if you insist. Well, you ARE injured.

    'Nuff said.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You are all right. I have done too much. There will be no mommy doing things.

    husband thought thank you had school so he made sure he and thank you had washed clothes. They are in baskets next to the litter box. The thought of clothes with used kitty litter on them makes me cringe. husband will have this on his list tonight - REWASH CLOTHES, FOLD, AND PUT AWAY. He will also have to wash some of my clothes. His attitude is if he has to do laundry he will only do his, and maybe thank you's. I am out of clean clothes. Literally.

    If need be I will have my mom buy more. And make him pay her back.

    I am just no going in to the kitchen. At ALL.

    I did sit on the floor and put things in a garbage bag. His and thank you's stuff mostly. Lots of gifts left next to their ripped boxes. I asked 3 times. Now I will ask him to move the bag when he gets home.

    I am NOT forcing Jess to do much. Her side is now swollen and the painful area is much bigger. She sees a doctor this afternoon. My mom is taking her, I can't handle the car ride. (When you are well you don't realize how much effort it takes to ride in a car!) The doctor can talk to me on speakerphone or by cell phone, and mom has papers allowing her to consent to medical treatment. (My parents have ALWAYS had this, just in case I couldn't take them to the doctor or if they visited with-o us when we lived in Cincy.)

    I wonder if I can manage to be as demanding as he is when he is ill??? Hmmmm.....

    Thanks all. I was overdoing, and it was not the right thing to do. REgardless of how much husband whined.

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    GOOD NOW STAY IN BED!! :ill:
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I don't know Susie - I've been in this position for a good 7 months now. While husband "pitches" in the job is never completed. And I appreciate any & all help I get.

    kt did her entire laundry yesterday by herself, folded it & put it away (kt style). I'll take it.

    There are days I get discourage because my home doesn't look as I would want it - however I'm seeing more of a family effort than I ever had before this syndrome began. So I take what I can - bite my tongue when frustrated & occasionally yell when things have gotten out of hand.

    by the way, even when I was supposed to be waited on hand & foot - didn't happen. I couldn't bring myself to let it happen unless I was in the hospital & highly medicated.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Here ya go Susie
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Star, that's great!

    I told my husband some time ago that housework is an amazing aphrodisiac and he should try it sometime...
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    First thing you need to do is to lower your standards a bit. It's doubtful husband is going to do the chores up to your level of perfection. This ought to help your stress levels over the issue.

    Second thing you need to do is absolutely nothing. Seriously. Nothing.

    Pick a few chores the kids should be able to manage. Shower them with lavish praise over helping Mom when they do the job right. Guilt the devil out of them if you can't get them to move. You know, just who was the person cleaning up the disgusting messes they made during the last bout with the flu? Guilt can move mountains.

    I have little trouble with getting kids to help out.

    My main problem is with husband, too. I cooked, cleaned, ect with a fractured skull and shattered shoulder because my husband thought his 2 wks off to "take care of me" consisted of computer games and handing me a pain pill every time I asked him to do something. So I sent him back to work.

    Not something I recommend.

    However, now whenever husband is "sick" or "injured" he gets no attention from me whatsoever. Nada. Nothing. When he whines (trust me he plays it to the hilt) I just remind him that whatever he has can't be as bad as cooking, cleaning, ect after being run over by a truck. Shuts him up. :rofl:

    You might try reminding husband that marriage is a Partnership. Didn't work for me, but it might work for you.

  15. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I told my husband some time ago that housework is an amazing aphrodisiac and he should try it sometime... </div></div>

    Shari, you cracked me up. I will try that with husband. I'm sure he will be very motivated. :devil:
  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Goof luck, Fran. Mine wasn't.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Love the "What a Girl Wants"! I don't have to worry about toilet seats. I fell in when pg with difficult child, middle of the night. Yelled and screamed for husband to pull me out, then just yelled and screamed at him!! I guess it took.

    As far as standards, mine are already in the toilet. I mean really really low, not just what many think are "lowering standards".

    It has gone too far down, now I am afraid I will fall if I try to get to the bathroom.

    husband can think he will get sympathy next time he is sick. Or pulls a muscle. HA.

    I learned the last 10 days how much husband was relying on Jessie to do around here. That is what I am angriest about. HE was off work and wanted HER to do the laundry and cook. And other stuff. SHe is and has been in constant pain bad enough she wakes up crying.

    And HE won't wake up when she needs anything in the night. She ends up yelling at him and then I get up because she is my kid.

    We have had a talk. I am in bed and staying here, unless I need food. Even then, if he is home. I have a CELL PHONE!!

    Jess is supposed to have a CT scan of her abdomen. Gyn says something is clearly wrong, she is clearly not making it up. BUT insurance says that the pediatrician has to make the appointment.

    I was GOOD. I let my mom take her to the gyn. And then over to the pediatrician office to make the appointment (they had turned the phones off, but they were there). And my mom will take her to the doctor and tests tomorrow.

    And thank you is with my parents.

    So I promise to stay in BED.

  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Along the lines of cleaning being an aphrodiziac, here's what I told husband.

    "A happy wife is a happy life."
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Witz, that should be tattooed on the foreheads of every man when they marry.

    I'm lucky, I married a man who was already housetrained. But we still need to communicate effectively, to be on the same page.

    Susiestar, I suggest that rather than asking your husband to take more time off work, you focus on asking him to step up to the plate. You are too ill, your daughter is too ill so it's now up to the menfolk to show how easy it all is (after all, I suspect that's what he believes - the housework etc is so easy, a woman can do it after just coming out of surgery). Issue this as a challenge, if you have to - "Darling, show me how easy it is."

    It's also important for sons to be raised with the knowledge of how to fend for themselves domestically. Just last night, I asked BF2 (technically, a lodger) to put on a load of washing. He didn't know how to use the washing machine, so I talked him through it. He was quite willing, he also didn't need to be reminded to hang it up either. He also gets in his own washing.

    When I've been bedridden and had to rely on the kids to step up, I made a point of being available for advice. My bed became my office. I supervised homework, I telephoned therapists and doctors (I even did a lot of this while still in hospital) and from my bed at home, I talked the kids through cooking a complicated curry. They burned the onion/curry powder mix, but it only improved the flavour.

    My bedroom became the throne room, the seat of government. Just because I was stuck in bed flat on my back didn't mean I couldn't still run the house - I just delegated, BIG TIME.

    Lower your standards. If the 'clean' washing has been put next to the litter tray, let them know and suggest the clothes be re-washed, but leave it up to them. If they choose to not re-wash, but instead walk around all day smelling like a cat litter tray and picking bits of vermiculite out of their clothes, then the lesson will be more thoroughly learned.

    You do need some standards though - food must be safe to eat (ie don't leave it out of the fridge to decay) and the path to the bathroom must be safe for you to walk. You need a balanced, healthy diet. So do the kids.

    A man who has not been domesticated needs a list. A small chalkboard is good. A daily routine pinned to the wall is good. We even use timer warnings on the computer calendar.

    If he can do this while not taking time off work, then that is good. While being at work, he will be in "work ethic" mode and it's easier to swing in to evening duties.

    Something I learned, back in the days of being a full-time working mother - as much as I wanted to sit down for a few minutes after I walked in the door, I would get a much better rest if I got the kids' needs met first. because once you sit down and kick off your shoes, it's VERY hard to get out of that chair. I learned to just keep going until the kids were fed, bathed and in bed. I might desperately want a stiff drink after the day I had, but trying to deal with the kids at the same time was NOT a good idea. I needed all my energy and wits to handle them.

    I worked out my own routine. He needs to do so as well - work it out for himself. let him find his own recipes which provide the required nourishment for the required ease of preparation and cost what he is willing to pay.

    And for all of you who have kids wanting to move out of home and chafing at the restrictions you have - give them the same treatment. Hand over household responsibility for a week. Maybe only part of it - all the household food for a week, for example (which includes budgeting and shopping). Or all the laundry. I developed my own methods which means I no longer use an iron. I take a little longer to hang out the washing and to bring it in, but the end result is sorted, folded, tidy washing with a minimum of effort.

    Good luck.