We don’t give stay-at-home parents enough credit for so much of what they do. If you’ve never done it, raising children and keeping a clean house is a lot more work than you would expect.
Right now, things are even more tricky, as schools have moved to remote learning and more people work from home. Reddit user Good_Ad6012 found out why as she explained the difficulty keeping her house clean with everyone stuck at home.
The original poster (OP) asked the “Am I the A**hole” subReddit if she was wrong for how she taught her family a lesson in cleaning:
AITA for letting my kids live in “filth”
Her story goes:
“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.”
“Throughout this pandemic everyone has been home. Hubby is working from home, my 10 year old and 8 year old are distance learning, and the babies are, well they are babies. They are always home.”
“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.”
“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.”
“On the the incident!! A little under a week ago, I told everyone it’s their responsibility to clean. 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.”
“My family has done none of this and to be honest, I’m probably kind of a dick about it. “Oh, you don’t have anything to eat off of? Guess you should put dishes in the sink”(I do still feed everyone)”
“”Oh you tripped over the crap in the floor? Maybe it would help if you picked it up” My family is slowly getting the hint and are coming up with a plan to tackle the mess.”
“My MIL thought it was a good idea to make a surprise visit and saw the state of my house. She was disgusted and proceeded to b**** 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?”
On the AITA board, people are judged for their actions in one of a few different ways.
Most use the following abbreviations:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody sucks here
It was determined by Reddit that OP was not wrong for her actions.
“NTA. Youre a stay at home mom, not a slave. The children (i am including your husband in that) should do the bare minimum of tidying up after themselves.”
“Your MIL is so unbelievably far out of line threatening to call CPS on you and you had every right to kick out.” – solemayteyushb122
“NTA also I would consider never allowing MIL at your home again if she thinks its truly okay to threaten you with calling CPS. A decent MIL might ask if everything is okay” – mean-thoughts
“NTA- as long as it wasn’t a health hazard (animal feces on the floor, mold covering the bathroom, maggots on the stove, chemicals left in reach of toddlers, etc).”
“Sometimes people have to see a mess to understand the beauty and benefits of cleaning.” – ImOscar-Dot-Com
“NTA- it’s everyone’s responsibility to pitch in around the house. Even littles can be taught how to put clothes in the hamper and dishes in the sink!” –
“NTA. You are indeed doing your job, educating the rest of your household on what it actually means to keep house and what the consequences are of not doing it.”
“Most people prefer hands on learning above theoretical, so more power to you!” – LadyBake82
However, OP’s interaction with her mother-in-law wasn’t the only incident to be concerned about. A lot of users questioned why OP’s husband wasn’t doing more, both to clean and to set a good example for the children.
He’s part of leadership for this family too.
“Calling CPS would be reporting both parents anyway. CPS does not assign chores to one parent or another.”
“Both would be held responsible, and both would be investigated.” – TitaniaT-Rex
“This shows how much MIL sees her son as a little kid who should be babied by his wife. Gross.”
“NTA” – motherofdog2018
“It’s good that your husband apologized and honestly your husband needs to step up because if he doesn’t do his part, the children just learn from him and that it’s OK not respecting moms work and time” – swissy_queen
“NTA. You are asking your husband and older kids to do the bare minimum and put their own dishes and belongings in their proper place.”
“You have two small kids to look after plus cooking and regular household chores. I’m sure your week comprises more hours of work than your husband’s or the older kids’.”
“It should not be your sole responsibility to make sure the house is presentable.” – Biteme75
Keeping the house clean should not solely fall on the role of the mother. Nor should it be only the responsibility of the stay-at-home parent.
If everyone lives in the house, they need to contribute. It’s your responsibility to keep your living space clean.