My husband will happily do almost anything around the house. Sounds pretty good, huh? Yeah … except it’s kind of not.
If I want him to empty the trash, I have to tell him. On some days, I have to remind him twice (or even three times) before it finally freaking gets done. And, if for some reason, I don’t remember to tell him, the trash won’t get emptied. It just won’t.
Same goes for almost everything else around here. He doesn’t “see” what needs to get done. It just isn’t on his radar. It’s not knocking around in his mind and causing him stress like it is for me. And the problem is that having to remind him is a chore itself — one that often doesn’t even seem worth it.
I know I am not alone in this predicament — far from it. Almost every woman I know deals with this kind of frustration (and ensuing resentment) on some level.
Well, Australian blogger and mom of four, Constance Hall, is here to put our collective exasperation about it all into words. As usual, Hall doesn’t hold back, spilling out the full-on rage that many of us experience on a daily basis having to deal with the emotional and mental labor of running a household.
In a now-viral post, the mom shares a piece of advice that she recently received. Upon hearing Hall’s frustration about dealing with a husband who doesn’t do enough around the house, someone recommended to Hall that she start writing lists for her husband so that he’d know what chores he was expected to do.
“Recently while b*tching about the fact that I do absolutely everything around my house with a bunch of friends all singing ‘preach Queen,’ someone said to me ‘if you want help you need to be specific… ask for it. People need lists, they aren’t mind readers,’” writes Hall.
Hall says she took the advice, and that it worked. Well, sort of.
The trash was emptied, meals were served, and the laundry got done. But it was absolutely exhausting to have to remind her husband every time to do each thing.
“[S]he was right… sh*t got done,” says Hall, “But I was exhausted, just keeping the balls in the air… remembering what needs to be asked to be done, constant nagging.”
So she stopped with all the lists — and all the nagging. And I bet you know what happened next. You guessed it: NOTHING GOT DONE. Of course.
And that’s where Hall’s epic rant begins — one that will have just about every woman (and maybe even some men) pumping their fists and shouting “YES!” and “halle-freaking-lujah!”
“I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not your job to ask for help, it’s not my job to write f*cking lists,” Hall writes. “We have enough g**damn jobs and teaching someone how to consider me and my ridiculous work load is not one of them.”
Preach it, sister. Ain’t no one got time for endless lists and reminders. That basically just defeats the purpose of helping, when you think about it.
So what’s her advice to all of our partners out there who can’t seem to accomplish a lick of housework without being reminded 50 million times per day?
“Just do it,” says Hall. “Just think about each other, what it takes to run the g**damn house. Is one of you working while the other puts up their feet? Is one of you hanging out with mates while the other peels the thirtieth piece of fruit for the day? Is one of you carrying the weight?”
Of course, we can’t say our partners don’t mean well. Usually, they wish they could bear more of the mental load of the house, but they simply don’t know how. It’s not an instinct or a talent of theirs — and in many cases, they never had a role model for it.
But Hall’s point is that we are all tired of having to fix that. Our partners just need to figure it out themselves, and step the heck up. As she points out, when this doesn’t happen, it can lead to all kind of problems like “silent resentment” (we all know what that’s like!), and relationships that feel like they are falling apart at the seams.
“It’s not up to anyone else to teach you consideration,” Hall writes, as she wraps up her post. “That’s your job. Just do the f*cking dishes without being asked once in a while mother f*ckers.”
Can I get that last line framed and hung over my sink?
In all seriousness, though, it’s definitely something everyone in the relationship needs to be conscious of, and I don’t think anyone is saying that the more responsible partner can’t help at all. But the bottom line is that it isn’t our job to have to remind our partners to do every. single. flipping. chore around the house. It just isn’t.
We need ya’ll to step up. Now. Or yesterday, for that matter. Just do it.