One mom on Reddit gave her family an ultimatum: Step up to help with keeping the house clean or live in what you've created. It didn't go over well.

By Melissa Mills
January 15, 2021
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As if parenting during the pandemic wasn't hard enough, one stay-at-home mom recently took to Reddit's "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subreddit to reflect on her current situation.

"AITA for letting my kids live in 'filth'?" u/Good_Ad6014 wondered. "I am currently a stay at home mom to 4 kids. A 10, 8, 2 and 1 year old. As you can imagine, the house gets messy if I don't keep on it constantly." During the pandemic, she explained, everyone was always home. With a husband working from home, two older kids doing distance learning, and the babies being babies, keeping the house in order was becoming unmanageable—especially because Mom was responsible for, well, everything.

"This normally isn't a problem for me, I have to clean a bit more and help my older ones with school but all in all, not too much has changed for myself," she continued. "My family on the other hand, seem to think being home all day every day is grounds to be lazy 24/7. I do not put up with this but somehow, my floor is a catch all. When I talk to everyone, or discuss chore charts, everyone agrees with me, then goes right back to normal. The older kids have completely lost their allowance due to this."

A woman filling a dishwasher after a party
Credit: Getty Images

As a parent, it's not hard to relate—and, unfortunately, this scenario is all too common: The mental load of managing child care, work, and household chores often falls on Mom. This time, though, Mom decided to put her foot down.

"A little under a week ago, I told everyone it's their responsibility to clean," the original poster explained. "I would still wipe down stuff, wash the dishes, do laundry and mop/vacuum, but it was up to everyone else to put dishes in the sink, clothes in the hamper, and make sure surfaces/floor are picked up enough for me to do my part." Sounds simple enough, but the family—yes, including Dad—did none of what they were asked.

Even with an uncooperative family, this mom stood her ground. "My family is slowly getting the hint and are coming up with a plan to tackle the mess," she said, especially when they began tripping over things on the floor and looking for clean plates to eat off of—but not before her mother-in-law had the chance to stop over.

"My MIL thought it was a good idea to make a surprise visit and saw the state of my house," she wrote. "She was disgusted and proceeded to b*tch me out for not doing my job. I told her I'm doing my job plus HERS by teaching my husband/her son and my kids how to pick up after themselves. She threw a fit and threatened to call CPS for letting my family live in filth. I told her to get out of my house. My husband has apologized but I'm starting to feel bad. AITA?"

Whoa, that escalated quickly. Redditors quickly jumped to the mom's defense, confirming the obvious: She's a stay-at-home mom, "not a slave." Her husband and older kids, at the very least, should pitch in to keep the home that they all live in tidy.

"ZERO responsibility assigned to the other adult in the house," one user commented. "Guessing MIL has a few gender biases bouncing around in her head." And it's true—why should absolutely everything fall on Mom's shoulders? Sure, this family might split child care responsibilities since the mom stays home, but when they actually ignore her pleas for help to do the bare minimum and make her job a little simpler? Unacceptable.