Mom Says Family Can Live in 'Filth' Until Husband and Kids Pitch in With Household Chores

One mom on Reddit gave her family an ultimatum: Step up and help me keep the house clean or live in the mess you've created. It didn't go over well.

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, everyone was home, she went on. With a husband working remotely, two older kids doing distance learning, and the babies being babies, keeping the house in order had become unmanageable—especially since she 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," the poster 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
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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 one person. This time, though, that person decided to put their foot down.

"A little under a week ago, I told everyone it's their responsibility to clean," the 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, [and] clothes in the hamper, and make sure surfaces/floor are picked up enough for me to do my part." Sounds simple enough, but she couldn't get her family to do it.

Undaunted, the poster stood her ground... and very gradually, it started working. "My family is slowly getting the hint and are coming up with a plan to tackle the mess," she wrote, noting that it happened after they started tripping over things on the floor and searching for clean plates to use. But first, her mother-in-law stopped by.

"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 jumped to the poster'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 they live in tidy.

"ZERO responsibility assigned to the other adult in the house," one user noted. "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.

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