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Your Lazy Spouse and Children - Tips on Getting them to Help at Home

Many mothers are not only working in or outside of the home, but they are also maintaining the upkeep of the family home and possibly caring for elderly relatives, pets, and assisting others.  Meanwhile husbands sit in front of television screens and children play video games often.  It isn't any wonder that many mothers burn-out and eventually divorce husbands and leave children.  When is enough, enough?

You can't keep playing Super Mom forever, so before you meet with an attorney one Monday morning, you might want to do some things differently in your household.

1.  Stop picking up your children's toys, older sons', daughters' and husband's personal belongings.  Be sure there is a designated place for everyone's things and remind all to put their items there.  If they forget or refuse to, one day put them all out of sight.  You can even put them in a bag and label them "Donation."  This way they will have to ask you what is going on with their stuff and then you can tell them what the consequences are.  As for the spouse, some are too stubborn to do much of anything so in this case, you can always move the items wherever you want.  Of course, this will irritate him, but a gentle reminder like, "Well, I would much appreciate it if you could put XYZ on the shelf, rather than in the middle of the floor."

2.  Avoid cooking when no one wants to wash or put the dishes away.  There are plenty of box items and other things that can go right in the microwave.  Teach your children.  As the dishes pile up, warn everyone that you will not be cooking or cleaning the kitchen.  Resist the urge to do so.  You also will want to take the children's video games or cell phones away during this time; otherwise, you will not get the results you seek.  Once the kitchen is clean, then they can get their gaming and other devices back.  Teaching small children to help out is quite simple, put a small vacuum or dust pan/brush in their little hands and let them go to work.  Give them cleaning rags they can use to wipe walls and cabinets and praise them for helping.

3.  No more treating the family to eating out, celebrating holidays, shopping sprees, and contributing to vacation accounts.  Make your announcement and list why you will no longer be participating in these things. Consider how much money you are saving when you do this too!  Post chores on the refrigerator and tell those who want those things to perform the tasks.  For every one that is done, you will give each individual credit for his or her assistance.  You can define the cost or the reward. 

4.  Stop volunteering to help family members and friends.  From homework to yard work, why are you taking on burdens when no one is assisting you? Stop worrying about what might happen with a child's grades or how your spouse might react to change.  Enlist the help of professional groups and others to help with sickly loved ones.  Consider this, how would your family members react if you were lying on your back in a hospital with tubes up your nose due to family stress?

5.  Put a cap on all the extracurricular activities.  Although they have their pros, there are also many cons with them as well when families are either too busy or too lazy to do anything else that is more important like clean your home, eat healthy, and sleep well.  There are other less stressful ways to keep children active like jogging or walking after dinner.  You can also take them to events based on your schedule not someone else's.  Also, consider the money and time you are investing in these additional activities as well, are they really worth it?  Chances of a scholarship?  As children grow older, they begin to lose interest in what they do anyway and in time, they won't be playing most sports due to responsibilities like: getting a job, maintaining a roof over their heads, and doing other things that you are doing now for them.  So think about cutting back.  Ask yourself, "Am I pushing them because of my own personal dreams rather than letting them decide what they really want?"

6.  Lastly, stop making excuses for why your vehicle and home looks the way it does.  Make the time to get these tasks done, and as mentioned earlier, delegate responsibilities.  Talk with family members on days and times they can assist.  Those that drag their feet on helping, don't get benefits.  Partners who insist on having their way and refuse to assist will realize the consequences sooner or later.  You can't force a husband to do anything, but what you can do is control what you do and don't do for the household.  Remember that.

After meeting with family and posting your task list, observe your family for at least 30 days to see if what you are saying or doing is making a difference.  If not, back to the drawing board, being more firm this time, going over task list and reminding them of the consequences i.e.) No dishes, no dinner.  No cleaning room, no extracurricular activities.  No picking up things, no being able to find them.  No helping me, no asking me for service, etc. 

There will be those relatives who will object, criticize, and act as if the sky is falling, but stand your ground anyway!  And most of all, stop caring so much how they view you and what they might be feeling, you know these people are lazy or you wouldn't have read this post.  God bless!

Nicholl McGuire


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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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