Mom Goes on 'Strike' After Her Family Left the House a Total Disaster and Reddit Applauds
Fed up with having to do all the housework for her three kids and husband, a mom shared how she refused to do chores until they pitched in.
Moms everywhere are finding it impossible to stay silent about the never-ending work, both visible and invisible, that they carry every day. According to Gallup research from March, most women say they are still primarily doing most of the household chores that were considered "women's work" back when mothers didn't work outside the home. One woman, writing in the Am I the Ass**** subreddit, recently decided to not stay silent about this issue and explained how to went on strike until her family pitched in.
Writing under the handle Geethanks81, the original poster (OP) shared that she and her husband have been together for 14 years and have a 15-year-old son, 14-year-old daughter, and 11-year-old son. "Up until about two years ago, my kids all had chores that they did daily but of course with them getting older, it became more of a chore for myself when trying to get them to do anything to help me out so I stopped asking," shared the OP. "So, that's what makes me an ass****, I think."
She went on to explain that her husband "hardly ever lifts a finger when it comes to housework." "He doesn't cook, clean or even take the trash out anymore," she shared. "He used to all the time."
The OP noted that she "hit a breaking point one day" recently after coming home from a weekend business trip and finding her house "in shambles." "There were dirty dishes scattered and placed in various corners of my home, trash wasn't taken out, laundry was spewing over the top of our hamper, toothpaste lining the sink, etc.," she wrote. "You get the point. I grabbed myself a nice tall glass of Crown Royal and went to my backyard, where I proceeded to sit and do nothing."
A few hours later, her husband and kids came home. "I chuckled to myself as they stop dead in the doorway, look at the mess and then back at me," wrote the OP. "My husband says 'Hunny, I have my boss coming for dinner tonight. Did you forget?' So I said, 'Nope, what are you making for dinner?' He just sort of looked at me, but I think he realized what was going on and went in to start cooking dinner."
Meanwhile, the OP's daughter "lost it." "She's like, 'How am I supposed to have my boyfriend come over to a house looking like this?' So I said, 'Hmm, good question. Maybe you should cancel,'" shared geethanks81. "My oldest son (bless his heart) said, 'Melanie, we can easily clean the house. It's obvious that mum needs a break.'"
Her eldest the proceeded to clean the entire house, but the OP's husband's boss got there before the massive undertaking has been completed. "My daughter's boyfriend also saw the house in shambles and looked disgusted," noted the OP. "My daughter started crying and saying I embarrassed her and she will never forgive me." She then asked her fellow Redditors if she was wrong to take a stand. "I think maybe, because it was petty and bad timing, but I was tired of not being helped," she wrote.
The majority of commenters applauded the OP and assured her that she did nothing wrong. AQualityKoalaTeacher wrote, "If they have to take responsibility for their mess, they'll make less mess. There's no reason for that much mess to happen in two days, other than intentional negligence. Good for OP taking them to task for being so inconsiderate."
SimonSpooner noted, "It still baffles me how some women put up with double shifts (full day working and then taking on all the chores when getting home), and no one bats an eye about it. Everyone who lives in a house is responsible for it, and you deserve to stand up for yourself and stop exhausting yourself doing all the chores. It's not a woman's or a mom's role to be the goddamn housekeeper on top of everything else."
One Redditor called _Taeddie, whose mom went on a similar strike, commended the OP but advised that she be more direct with her family. "My mom decided not to lift a finger," they wrote. "She told us specifically that she would not cook if we didn't clean the kitchen (we are a bunch of siblings). She would remove our privilege of internet access and TV until we clean our room and help out with chores. She was clear. She told us exactly what she expected from us. She, then, proceeded on not doing anything until we behaved, obeyed, and did our chores. .... All this to say, you can go on a strike, but do not be passive-aggressive about it. Lay down the law, and let them know how it is going to be moving forward."
Other commenters questioned certain details—like the husband's boss coming over for dinner, a la a 1950s sitcom, during a pandemic—and thought the post might have been "laughably fake." Still, its basis is far from it. The OP's experience is one shared by far too many moms every day. Here's hoping this Reddit post inspires them to take a stand.