Kids, chores, weekends, and Daddy
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The Family & Parenting Forums Family dynamics can be exactly that - dynamic! Post here about family related issues such as parenting, blended families, step-families, new relationships with children involved, family of origin issues, in-laws or sibling issues.

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Old 09-26-2011, 12:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Kids, chores, weekends, and Daddy

My husband sees no reason to make the kids do their chores on the weekend. If I try to make them, he puts cartoons on and asks if it's really that important. So I've given up.
Today he's mad at me because I can't make breakfast because every single dish/pot/utensil we own is dirty. (3 meals a day times six people times two days.) This, of course, is somehow my fault. He asked me why I'm punishing the kids by not feeding them? I'm not choosing not to feed them, there's just no way to--natural consequences! We don't have money for junk food like granola bars, etc, so I need a clean pot to cook cereal in, plus enough bowls and spoons to serve it, or a pan to scramble eggs in, and enough plates and forks to serve it, or, well, you get the idea.
The nine year old is supposed to wash the dishes and wipe the dining room table after every meal. The nine year old also wasted half the box of dishwasher detergent and there isn't any budget for more for another couple of weeks--so he has to do dishes by hand. Naturally he's delaying, but every time I said to him over the weekend "Son, you need to wash the dishes" my husband had an excuse for him to get out of it. (The child who sweeps and takes out recycling didn't do that either, the child who's responsible for the compost didn't do that, and you can't see the floor of their room for the dirty clothes they haven't brought down, but those don't interfere with me making breakfast.) Baby is due in six days, even if I wanted to do the kids' chores, I couldn't. I can barely keep on top of the laundry and the food.
Well, the kid's almost done with enough dishes to make breakfast, but how do I get husband to see that chores really do have to be done on the weekends? We're talking at most a couple hours (not including procrastination) out of two full days of cartoon viewing: it's not going to do the kids any harm at all. At this point, the only weekends I look forward to are those he works overtime on, and there really aren't nearly enough of them. My husband did cook dinner this weekend, I do appreciate that and told him how good it was, etc, but he really doesn't help with housework, and as for the list of stuff I need him to do that he asked me to put on the fridge--well, it's been two months and nothing's been done (out of five things, total, which are either two person jobs, things that require his strength, or I that can't do because of pregnancy).
Note, the kids don't get to watch tv during the week/on weekends when Daddy's not home because a) I am mean or b) I think they see more than enough with him, I don't watch tv myself and have no idea what is appropriate and what is not, and their behavior gets really nasty when they watch tv, take your pick.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kids, chores, weekends, and Daddy

If you are having another baby and you can't even buy dishwasher detergent, dirty dishes are the least of your problems.

If your husband doesn't help with housework now, adding another baby into the mix will just worsen the situation.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kids, chores, weekends, and Daddy

I agree with firstyeardown.

You HAVE to talk with your hubby and let him know you guys need to do this as a team. I understand he wants to have fun with the kids of the weekend... BUT... the house still needs to be taken care of, as do you need help with things. It's about teaching your kids respinsibility... they need to see their home working this way in order to understand and pass this along. What are you teaching your children if they see on weekends they can do whatever?
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Old 10-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kids, chores, weekends, and Daddy

Well, Baby is here now and husband really stepped up with everything around the birth.
FirstYear, our finances are really, really tight. If something's not budgeted for, it's not going to happen unless something that was budgeted for is eliminated instead. So it's not so much a matter of not being able to buy dishwasher detergent--it's in the regular budget--it's the waste of it that caused the problem. Detergent or apples? We have more detergent now. Anything that gets wasted causes a problem, though, and will unless and until our finances improve. He's looking for a better job.
I asked husband about the list on the fridge, got an "Oh, yeah, I should look at that." I think this is learned behavior from his dad, my fil, who in some ways is an awesome guy and in some ways is not, but who never did a lick of housework in his life--of course, my mil would never let him, or anyone else in her vicinity--she makes a pretty nice house guest since I realize that her inability to stop cleaning and cooking isn't a judgement on me. Husband is also trying to give our kids all the things he didn't get. There are a lot of those, given his background--he immigrated to the US as an adult from the third world--and that my father-in-law never saw someone in need he didn't give to (or someone pretending to be in need), often at the expense of his own kids.
I think husband's starting to realize that something needs to change with the kids: the seven year old started bawling about not getting two slices of pumpkin bread for breakfast this morning (he got one as a side to a bowl of cereal and banana) and husband said "I never thought my kids would be this spoiled." I let that go--he was on his way out the door to work--but I think he maybe is seeing that we have a problem developing here.
It's hard to have a good sit-down chat with him right now, he's working fifty-plus hours a week, I'm all stressed from the kids, so we're both pretty tightly wound.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Kids, chores, weekends, and Daddy

Hi congrats on the baby......I always marvel at families who budget and manage big family. Its good to know that your husband is seeing what's happening. Well, its important for kids have chores but its also important for them to be kids and have fun. Try making a chores chart for everyone at home and you and husband be a role model. Reward them with TV or other playtime. My kids are coming to 5 and I do have chores for them but very simple age appropriate chores and they get rewarded for that.
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