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Mom Claps Back After Work-From-Home Husband Expects Stepdaughter To Clean Up After Him

Woman unhappily cleaning kitchen counter
LaylaBird/Getting Images

Working from home has shifted dynamics in nearly every household.

For one particular family, a change in chore expectations caused one mom to seek out subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

Original Poster (OP) Educational_Bonus838 learned that her husband was asking her daughter (his step daughter) to clean up after him while she was home studying for college exams.

This led her to inquire:

“AITA for telling my husband my daughter doesn’t have to accommodate his needs?”

The OP clarified the situation.

“My daughter is a second year in college and although she lives at the dorms, during finals she comes home to learn quietly.”

“My husband (not her bio dad) has changed jobs and works full time from home now. I go to work from the office everyday so they’re in the house by themselves.”

“They’ve always gotten along fairly good. There’s respect, understanding and trust from each other’s part.”

“I don’t know if there’s love, but I can’t push it. Husband met daughter too late to represent a father figure for her and she never [sought] him like that, so he didn’t push it.”

“Lately, my daughter complained that husband would put her to work, in disregard of the fact that she’s learning.”

“She would stay in her room to study and at some point husband would knock saying ‘Hey, I just had lunch, could you please clean up the table? I’m starting a meeting.’”

Or ’I spilled some water, mind wiping it, I gotta focus on work!’”

“She told me she feels like he doesn’t care about her learning time and he doesn’t acknowledge she is also working.”

“She told me she wouldn’t have minded if it was a one-time occurrence, but it has became a habit of his.”

The OP decided to take things into her own hands.

“To make sure of it, I asked daughter to not clean up next time he asks. I caught him red handed this time.”

“When I came home to the dirty table, I asked husband about it and he said Well [Daughter] should’ve cleaned it up!’”

“Daughter said she didn’t even [have] lunch today (they don’t always eat together, sometimes one is hungry and one is not) and she didn’t have time to clean up the table.”

“I jumped at my husband, telling him daughter has exams and came here to learn, not to clean up after him.”

“He tried to defend himself saying he had an urgent meeting.”

“I told him he could’ve came to clean up afterwards and mentioned I know it’s not the first time it’s happening.”

“My husband sighed and said he thought it’s not a big deal for my daughter to spare a couple minutes to quickly put the dishes in the dishwasher or something like that.”

“Daughter said that if he thinks it could be done so quickly, why didn’t he do it?”

“I had to break the argument and determine that everyone cleans up after themselves.”

“Later, my husband told me in private that he felt like I humiliated him in front of my daughter.”

“I told him to grow up and stop acting like daughter will pick up after his mess. He got upset.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided she was NOT the A**hole.

“Wow, NTA your husband is being very sexist and entitled. Why should your daughter clean up HIS mess? That’s crazy!!” – FauveSxMcW

“It starts with a S and ends in exism. OP’s husband is misogynistic. He needs to clean up his own mess.”

“NTA, but you need to have a serious talk with your husband about his blatant sexism. I would be beyond pissed if this happened to my daughter.” – TimeBomb666

“Probably misogynistic entitlement… could be a generational entitlement.”

“Most likely both.”

“NTA.” – TogarSucks

“This is a power play. He is offended that some interloper is allowed in his territory.”

“This is him trying to get her to submit to him. OP, address this. It sounds like you are the top dog, and he is looking for someone to be below him.”

“Maybe he feels like he is somehow less than you. NTA” – mrstwhh

Yep. This is a cute misogyny story.”

“When my husband started WFH [work from home], we had the same issue with him assuming I was his assistant.”

“I literally had to yell out, I AM NOT YOUR PERSONAL ASSISTANT one day when he’d interrupted me multiple times.”

“Of course, we should be able to communicate with and help each other out when we’re in the house, but that dynamic can get skewed super fast, especially when men are coming back into a house after being in an office setting with traditionally female assistants.”

“NTA” – NotRedCici

“NTA. He is treating her like a servant. He’s an AH.”

“And his justification makes him a double AH.” – EnFiPs

“NTA – your husband is an adult and can do these things himself. I assume your daughter does them for herself?”

“When your daughter isn’t home, what does he do? Bet he cleans up after himself then, right?”

“My read on this is a combination of “she’s younger than me and she’s female, so she has to do these things because I asked” – though I could be wrong on that.” – ellbeecee


“That’s exactly what I read too.”

“That he couldn’t be bothered to do those things since there is a woman in lower social standing present (in his mind) that can be put to work and ordered to clean up after him – like a servant.”

“And that her studying is unimportant compared to his precious work.”

“Especially that bid about her cleaning up his spilled water (water!) sounds like some weird move to establish dominance over her or something.”

“There needs to be some serious talk about how he views women and that the only person that humiliated him is himself for acting like an entitled toddler.”

“He is a huge AH. About time for him to learn to manage his time, so his lunchtime includes 5-10 minutes for cleaning his own mess and not bothering the women in the house with his messy self.” – Panzermensch911

“NTA. Don’t even think of the ‘interrupting her while she studies’.”

“Just the audacity of your husband making a mess when HE has lunch or anything, then he can’t be bothered to clean it up and demands she does it.”

“What does he do when she’s not there? Absolutely NTA.” – Dangerous-Emu-7924

Op, you need to have a chat with your husband and ask him what he would have done if daughter wasn’t there, if he had dirtied some dishes or spilled water on the counter.”

“Would he have waited for you to come home, or would he have done the responsible thing and did the job?”

“She is not a maid or a housekeeper. He’s a grown a** man that can clean up after himself.”

“NTA.” – SkeetzSkeetz

“NTA. You are what I call a good parent.”

“He is fully capable of cleaning up his own messes. If he doesn’t want to, then he can just not make messes.”

“Your daughter isn’t his personal maid. She has responsibilities of her own and shouldn’t have to set her study time aside to clean up after the poor helpless man.” – Ok_Lie5469

Simple question to resolve: ‘What do you do about spills and dirty dishes when your daughter is at her dorm? Oh, you do it yourself? Then STFU.’”

“NTA. Your husband is absolutely showing his misogyny, laziness, and entitlement.”

“’There’s a woman in the house. She should clean. My job is more important than her studying’.”

“He definitely made an a** out of himself without any help.” – BrownSugarBare

“NTA he was pulling a power play, and he says you embarrassed him? No, he embarrassed himself.”

“Watch out for subtle microaggressions from him to your daughter. He’s not happy she comes to your home.” – KJoD83


“His behavior is gross and misogynistic and he needs to get his head right because its a weird, domineering, controlling flex to dictate that she stop what she is doing to clean up after him, a grown, able-bodied adult because he deems his time and priorities more important?”

“Don’t let this slide. He should be humiliated that he did such a weird, unnecessary thing.” – wildferalfun


“Husband probably isn’t too far off from pushing daughter into just not coming home anymore. Why would she if she’s just going to be expected to turn into Cinderella every time?” – notlucyintheskye

“So NTA. Thank you for standing up for your daughter.”

“He’s a grown man, and I question your statement that there’s respect there.”

“He obviously doesn’t respect her or her priorities. He’s trying to take advantage of free labor.” – Sugarnova69

Little did the OP’s husband know that his spilled water would never be enough to put out the AITA fire he started.

We wish the family well as they navigate this situation.

And best of luck to OP’s daughter on her upcoming examinations.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)