Housework + Husband = Headache?

By Cheryl Gochnauer

“I’m a stay-at-home mom who feels like a full-time maid,” sighs Ann-Marie, a Homebodies reader. “It’s not that I don’t like being a homemaker; I’m so glad I’m here to make a difference in the lives of our children. But I need some help!

“I know my husband works hard all day outside the home, but I don’t think he fully realizes how hard it is to work inside the home. Sometimes I truly feel that my family thinks they live at the Holiday Inn! Is providing financially for our family enough to ask of my husband?”

If you’re experiencing a similar type of how-do-we-balance-the-housework frustration, it’s time to get back to basics with your spouse.

Tell me again why I quit my job. Was it to do your laundry?

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll be happy to clean your clothes, and do my best in tackling the daily household duties. But if I’m not mistaken, the primary reason I’m spending more time on the homefront is to nurture our kids with the special hands-on training only a parent can provide.

That means my focus will be on character first, Clorox second.

The at-home parent will naturally have more opportunities to perform chores than the spouse who’s working outside the home. But that doesn’t mean that your husband never has to pick up a dishcloth again. And one way to build character in a child is to make him responsible for age-appropriate household tasks.

If you feel yourself morphing into, as Ann-Marie puts it, “a stereotypical shrew of a wife, yelling ‘No one around here appreciates me!’,” it’s time to call a family meeting. Ask for help. Together, redefine expectations and redistribute the workload.

After all, you’re a stay-at-home mom, not a stay-at-home maid.

Comments? E-mail Cheryl at [email protected], or write her at PO Box 6883, Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-6883. Visit her website at


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