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Do you have any household chores that you refuse to do for other people?

Posted by on Sep. 24, 2013 at 8:47 AM
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1 mom liked this
The One Household Task I Stubbornly Refuse to Do

by Linda Sharps

Every now and then I have to address it: the elephant in the room. I don't mean the metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that's being ignored or going unaddressed, I mean the thing in our bedroom that practically IS the size of an elephant. It lurks enormously on the top of our chest of drawers and in the last day or two its height has sent it sagging against the wall. Underwear on top, jeans on the bottom, everything washed and dried and folded, my husband's stack of clean laundry seems to be on a mission to reach the ceiling. The cat sniffs it, then backs away nervously as the pile trembles like a precarious Jenga tower.

"Could you maybe deal with the … you know, clothes situation tonight?" I say. He grunts reluctantly: he SO does not want to deal with the clothes situation. He'd be much happier if I would take that one teeny tiny little extra step and put the clothes away for him.

I won't, though. Because everyone has their limits, and this is mine.

Refusing to put away my husband's laundry may seem like an arbitrary boundary, given the fact that I'm generally the person responsible for cleaning the house, washing the dishes, buying the groceries, preparing the meals, managing the daytime kid-wrangling, and other assorted housewifely duties. What's the point of balking over one specific chore, particularly considering it's not nearly as maddening as, say, picking up grimy socks all day long?

It's not because I want to be a dick about things or draw some completely random line in the sand for the sake of having exactly one tiny WAHM rebellion. It's just … I don't know, really. Maybe it's that I really dislike putting away clothes and I already have to do this chore for two humans other than myself. Maybe it's that I'm a little curious to see just how tall he'll let that stack get before he hangs up his shirts. Maybe it's that I feel overwhelmed with cyclical to-do items and by the time I've finished folding the clean laundry I mostly feel like this:

It sounds petty, I know. I am the one who's home during the day, after all. It certainly wouldn't be the world's most difficult job for me to simply hang my husband's clothes up for him so he doesn't have to do it when he comes home from a long day at work.

When I really think about it, I guess refusing to put away clothes is the one task that I can simply opt out of without causing negative consequences for myself. I could stop vacuuming, but eventually I'd be wading through a waist-high biohazard zone that my husband and kids wouldn't even notice. I could stop putting the dishes in the dishwasher, but they'd pile up in the sink and attract a massive swarm of fruitflies. I could stop picking up socks, but they would slowly cover every single surface of the house until A&E sent out a camera crew to film Hoarders: Buried Alive in Hanes Footwear.

It's my way of saying that I work long days too and I need to feel like people are helping out even a little with the Sisyphean amounts of housework or I will lose my ever-loving mind. It's a small act that briefly unburdens me from the smothering sensation of Being In Charge of All the Boring Crap: Here, I've taken care of 90% of the work, but you're responsible for the rest.

Or maybe it's a ridiculous passive-aggressive behavior that contributes nothing to our family dynamic except annoyance. You could probably convince me either way.

Do you have any household chores that you refuse to do for other people?

by on Sep. 24, 2013 at 8:47 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Mrs. Tennant on Sep. 24, 2013 at 8:51 AM
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 I never take the trash out or mow. DH always handles that. I can't think of anything else, lol

by Anonymous 1 on Sep. 24, 2013 at 8:55 AM

No, things need to be done regardless.

But it's just me and my son so it's different for us I guess. He's only 4, when he gets older maybe I'll feel different. I'm sure I'll put him in charge of certain things and not do them for him like putting away his clothes, etc.

by Silver Member on Sep. 24, 2013 at 8:56 AM

I do pretty much everything at home. I dont expect much out of my husband mostly because he works 6 days a week 10-12 hour days. AND outside in the snow and heat. If he had an office job it might be different. But he doesnt so this is how it is.

THe only thing I refuse to do it pick up his pile of dishes/trash that he leaves on the side table next to his chair in the living room. There is no reason why he can not dump it all in the kitchen on his way to the room or anywhere else. Its not like its out of his way.

by Silver Member on Sep. 24, 2013 at 8:59 AM

I refuse to clean off my DH's dresser. It's not clothes like the OP but all his other junk he tosses there. I used to clean it off for him but 2 days later it would be back to the same. I figure that is his space and he can have it messy if he wants.

by Rachel on Sep. 24, 2013 at 9:02 AM
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I've noticed that I'm not too willing to do any household chores for my son ever since he's been old enough to do his own. The only thing I do is that I wash all the laundry and then everyone folds their own. Other than that, you want it bad enough, well go do it for yourself.

by on Sep. 24, 2013 at 9:02 AM

I won't clean out dh's truck. It's disgusting. I give him credit for not smoking in it, which is something I was very adamant about, but damn it gets bad in there. I have to keep my car spotless, because I can't put the top back if there's stuff in there (drivers around me wouldn't appreciate it flying out at them) so I go from my flowery smelling, clean car to his rolling trash makes me want to nut punch him and tell him how gross it is. I don't, though....that's his space.

by Anonymous 2 on Sep. 24, 2013 at 9:06 AM
I take care of everything in the house. DH does outside work and also some things in the house like fixing the sink, installing new dishwasher etc.
by Anonymous 3 on Sep. 24, 2013 at 9:09 AM
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Everyone is responsible for their own things and rooms, and we share the common room chores equally. I dont have to do anything for anyone, unless I choose to help them out.

by on Sep. 24, 2013 at 9:10 AM

I won't clean up after anyone. everyone in my house is old enough to pick up their dirty laundry, put their clean laundry away, and pick up any messes they make. I refuse.

dh does trash and yard. I have never, not one time taken out the trash or mowed the yard in 13 years.

by Gold Member on Sep. 24, 2013 at 9:12 AM
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I don't deal with other people's socks. I will wash and dry them , but I will not pair them up and fold them .
I just take them out of the dryer and throw them on the floor in the closet lol. They can take it from there.

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