‘My children won’t do any housework – I refuse to do their laundry anymore’

The mum wasn’t happy with her children and the way they expected her to do everything round the house – she said she would stop doing their laundry as a protest

frustrated mum
The mum was sick of her children not pulling their weight and being sly about laundry (Stock Image)

When your children reach a certain age, you probably expect them to start pulling their weight a little when it comes to household chores. Whether they start putting their laundry away, help you to hoover the living room occasionally, or even help to cook or clean up after dinner, you wouldn’t expect them to do everything – just a little bit to ensure they’re aware of responsibilities for when they’re older.

One mum took to Mumsnet to express her frustration that her 10-year-old and 13-year-old children wouldn’t help her with the chores around the house. As a result of their new-found independence thanks to their age, she said she wouldn’t be doing their laundry anymore because they were not showing her the respect she deserved.

The mum was sick of being left to do everything herself (Stock Image)


Getty Images)

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She wrote: “I’m a stay-at-home mum to two children (10 and 13). A couple of years ago I happily did all the housework, cleaning, shopping, cooking, laundry, etc as my children were little and my husband worked long hours out of the house.

“However, since Covid my husband is now working from home most days and the children are older and more independent (meaning I’m no longer the only one capable of loading/unloading the dishwasher for example.)

“But I’m finding that I’m getting more and more annoyed at no one helping and I’m starting to really resent no one else pitching in, even when I ask.

“And yes, I have tried to talk to them about this. Things improve for two or three days, then slip back into old habits.

“It’s lots of little things, but it’s all built up and I’m ready to explode. I don’t want to constantly ‘nag’. I ask, I ask, I ask and nothing changes.

“To give an example – I put my son’s clean laundry in his bedroom, all he has to do is put it away in his wardrobe (a five minute job). Instead that pile of clean laundry gets thrown on the floor, then buried in dirty laundry, left to fester until I either loose my s*** or he sneaks it back into the laundry basket for the whole cycle to continue again.

“I have spent a week asking him to put it away, and it hasn’t been done. So as of yesterday I am no longer doing any of his laundry. I refuse.

“Does anyone have any tips/coping strategies/advice? Because it’s all really getting me down.”

The mum said her kids slip back into old habits once she’s told them what to do (Stock Image)


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

People sympathised with the mother, agreeing that other people in the household should be chipping in as well.

One wrote: “Just stop doing it for them. Do your own laundry. If you see they have put unworn clothes in for washing, give them back.

“If they won’t help wash the plates they’ve used, serve them food on the dirty plates. They’ll soon learn. Words are cheap, as you have found out. The behaviour works for them, why would they change?”

Someone suggested the kids should have allocated chores to keep them busy. They commented: “The kids need to start doing chores. No screens/consoles/football until their allocated chores for the day are done”

Another had no sympathy, saying this is what she had chosen for herself. The Mumsnetter wrote: “In honesty, if you’re a stay-at-home mum, a lot of this is what you’ve signed up for.

“That said, I do see the issue with ‘lazy’ children and I agree that you need to do something about that, and putting clean laundry in his bedroom for him to put away seems reasonable.”

One Mumsnetter said that a chores list on the fridge works wonders for her, commenting: “My kids have a chore list on the fridge each day, until they’ve done those chores they’re not allowed on the computers. The chores will change daily according to what I need to do. They can be things like putting out the recycling cleaning their desks, putting the laundry away, usually two or three chores a day.

“Works a treat, if anyone is found on the computer without having done their chores then their computer is switched off immediately. I’ve only had to do that once, my children are 12 and 13.”

How do you make your children do chores? Let us know in the comments.

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