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Inequity: Should I still have to do all the SAHM chores on holiday?

Answered 3 months ago

I'm a SAHM and my husband is a good provider who bought us a boat to go away on holidays. As grateful as I am for this luxury, I also feel resentful that I still have to do all the cooking and cleaning while the family enjoys the trip.
My husband is feeling resentful that I'm complaining about the inequities of the arrangement eg; he worked hard to provide the boat, does all the navigating, engineering, maintenance, washing down etc. My take is that in reality his jobs are limited (take much less time) and are fun focussed on his leisure activities (scuba, jet skiing, fishing etc). Whilst the meals 3x a day and snacks 2x a day and all the mundane that goes along with that including 3 cabins and two bathrooms to keep clean etc that keep me "busy" in a not so fun way are virtually non stop. He cleverly calls this "playing to our strengths", I call it depressing.
Yes our kids 14b and 12g do have allocated chores but they're never done well, voluntarily or without badgering from me. Yes this problem stems for me enabling this/ not setting boundaries MUCH sooner. I regret that horse has bolted!
The feeling from my husband is that he thinks that I should be doing more without complaint and am ruining the experience. Maybe I can meal prep before we go so there's less cooking on board, relax my standards etc He has indicated that he's rather not go at all if he has to cook and I've made it clear that being perpetually stuck in the galley is not my idea for a holiday and I've asked that they cook for a change. This was met with "would rather not go at all".
My husband is getting worse with sloppiness eg leaving a mess wherever he goes, this is getting infuriating as the kids, particularly my 14 y/o son are emulating this and giving me attitude when I pull them up in it. I can't stand the disrespect of all of this and am turning into a down trodden mad woman. Really, I've turned in to a miserable nag. Please help?!

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Answers

ANSWER
3 months ago
You are not the only one, this was my life except add on career job. Yes I was a true doormat at work and home. I have since turned that around and left that job and have been promoted three times this gave me confidence to demand a better deal at home and if he tries to weasel out than he’s out. My teens help I have to remind them but I get my husband to do it now. Good luck, be strong.

ANSWER
3 months ago
Tricky reading this. You sound like you know the situation better than anyone and you have to trust your gut. I don't feel it's fair to be called a nag when it's not exactly your idea to be cornered to a domestic help when on holiday. The cycle has merits but it also has to break somewhere got the sake of modelling to your kids. Sadly the saying that the best days of owning a boat is the day you buy and the say you sell probably has its of truth in it. Goodluck

REPLY
3 months ago
Thanks, yes am trying to break the cycle: a culture of home help eg maids. Kids are getting rewarded for doing more and getting ignored otherwise. PS: I’m the one calling myself a nag. Am working on changing that inner dialog too😬

ANSWER
3 months ago
Hire some help, sounds like you have money so it shouldn't be an issue.

REPLY
3 months ago
Yeah nah

ANSWER
3 months ago
Without knowing your relationship and kids, if it were me I’d pack ready made meals where possible, prepped snacks and have a few grazing dinners of cheese, salami, fruit, crackers, etc. get lots of nice fruit and have them help themselves. I wouldn’t be cooking a whole lot - cereal for brekky not cooking and washing up!

REPLY
3 months ago
Thanks for your kind suggestions! We’re out on the boat and this is sort of what I’ve done. I’ve got one friend per kid on board and have arranged for them to each have one night of cooking a meal of their choice. It’s been great, as one kid comes from a family that insists that the cooks also do the dishes/ clean up so we’ve tried that. Worked a treat!
We all do things so differently, it’s cool to explore 😊

ANSWER
3 months ago
If you want equality & respect - do something to get it. No ones going to hand it to you. It won't be easy. They're going to fight you - you're in a place that makes them comfortable & when you try to change they'll try EVERYTHING to shove you back into your box. I guarratee that.

Maybe go back to work. Tell your kids & husband no more! Get your own breakfast/lunch & dinner will be simple, like ham and salad. Complain? They can make it. Make kids clean own room/cabin. No clean clothes/sheets? Tell them to wash them! Don't want to do their part? Well, then you don't want to drive them to their friend's house. You don't have to yell & scream but you do need to be firm. Don't ask your husband about going back to work. Get a job and TELL him. He'll probably say you'll have to do it along with other work but you can say no, I'm making changes & for once everyone can adjust. They are not your bosses.

I'm so pushy because I've a friend in a similar relationship & can't do anything. It's frustrating & I'll get roasted & but I see it as her fault. She lets them do it because she doesn't want to work, fight them, or take control. She's poorly treated, has no power & is miserable, but, hey, has everything she wants. It's not a nice life.

ANSWER
3 months ago
Well.. this probably isn't going to go down well but I'm finding it difficult to feel sorry for you.

Honestly, a SAHM of a 12 and 14 year old? You don't mention your children have any disability or reason that would stop them doing the chores you wish they would do so for this answer I'll safely assume they don't.

Realistically if the cooking is all on you, you should only be cooking dinner - Your family are all past old enough to feed themselves, surely they can make cereal, toast, sandwiches, salads, cut their own fruit. If they can't you need to teach them this!

As for cleaning, no matter where you go or stay in the world you would be required to keep your space clean and tidy, you say you are non stop cleaning but that seems like a gross exaggeration - how is it getting so disgusting that you need to clean ALL day long?

The horse has not bolted on teaching your children to pull their weight, not at all! You must do this and be firm about it now more than ever because it's important for them to grow in to capable adults.

I get it, I have teenagers and toddlers who although do their chores i'm still met with eye rolling, complaining, pretending they've broken a leg to get out of it - dealing with this behaviour and persisting, nagging them to do what they have to do is infuriating and a battle, sometimes it's all out war...
but IT IS YOUR JOB as a parent!

it can feel like only your children are like but that's simply not true, they're all difficult at times but it gets better when you persist, like anything else you teach them.

I think the real problem is not the chores, but the fact you feel sorry for yourself because you never put in the hard yards.

You've been taking the easy way out far too long. Doing everything for everyone to avoid conflict and being a parent has consequence... and, as you're now realising you can't have it both ways.
You either enable them forever and suck it up or parent them properly and toughen up.

REPLY
3 months ago
Oh I appreciate your candour albeit quite confrontational! You have many valid points and damn straight I’m still trying to avoid conflict to keep a happy home. Without knowing my circumstances you’ve made a few assumptions there about how I’m in MY situation. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, I was looking for suggestions on how to improve.
You are right at the core of the issues and whilst I have a couple of bolting colts due to my choices; you’ve helped me realise that it’s unlikely I’ll get my husband to drastically change sometime soon. Yes I can teach the kids with a firmer rein, I haven’t given up there. So thanks!