How I tried to go on strike and failed

During the school year there are three people living in my house because the girls are away at college/university. When the school year ends for them they move back home, and well to be honest, all hell breaks loose because we now have four adults, the teenage boy and two dogs in the house (I blogged about this earlier When the students move back home for the summer).

Our house is more than large enough for everyone, but we still have to learn to live together again and this is proving to be difficult some days. Five people means more dirty dishes, yucky bathrooms, loads of laundry (okay, the girls do their own laundry most days), and just plain dust & dirt. Now I don’t ask for much, most days I will make dinner, some days I need help, other days my husband will cook if I am not well. It is the kids responsibility to wash, and put away dishes after supper and during the day if need be. The teenage boy usually cleans bathrooms and vacuums for me on the weekends while I grocery shop and do laundry (he gets to drive the car without paying for gas). The eldest goes away each weekend, during the week she works 7am to 3pm, and will referee soccer games in the evenings. Thus she doesn’t do dishes most days. Middle child also referee’s soccer most nights, and occasionally works on Saturdays. If she is in a good mood she will help around the house.  My husband works a full-time shift work job and does loads around the house to boot. He picks up doggie poop, sorts garbage and recycling each week, cuts the lawn, cleans the pool, fixes stuff around the house, cooks dinner and washes dishes too much.

Thus yesterday I cracked! There was a pile of dishes on the counter, and not one of my children offered to help me with dinner (it was only chicken burgers, but you still had to cut up onions, cheese, hot peppers, etc.). Thus I decided to go on strike, I would not even arrange the dirty dishes, something my husband does on a regular basis, and boy did they pile up. The teenage boy left right after supper to go to a friend’s house, and the girls well nothing. Hours went by, my husband kept stating that he could handle the mess, he is OCD and a mess in the kitchen is his worst enemy. Me, I could care less, I could hold out for days, we have lots of plates, forks, knives, and I had planned to use them all. Then my husband couldn’t take it any longer, he cracked, he got up and did the dishes, was I mad at him, you betcha. Probably one of the stupidest arguments ever, I was mad because he cleaned, and so mad that I slept on the couch last night. He was stunned. I don’t think the teenage boy was even aware of the argument since he was out all evening, the girls, well they know I am angry, but they said/did nothing.

Later, my husband said I could go on strike but I would have to choose not to protest using dishes, he just couldn’t handle the mess. So I guess I will let the dust pile up (this is my enemy, but I am strong), or I could stop feeding them. Will they care, probably not, they will just make themselves something and leave the mess. Maybe I could put a lock on the fridge?

6 thoughts on “How I tried to go on strike and failed

  1. Mary Champagne (@tweepwife)

    I tried a strike once, but the only one it really bothered was me! I notice that trying to live with my daughter again when she is home for the summer is challenging. I love having her here, but we have both learned how to live daily routines without each other. Challenges of family dynamics!

    Reply
  2. Actually Mummy...

    Gosh I was reading this thinking you had an incredible system until I got to the last paragraph. I think it is always hard until people adjust to the extras in the house. Even coming home from holiday or a business trip my husband returns with habits I don’t like, and struggles with my rules around the house for a few days. In your shoes I’d strike every day and clear off when hubs starts cleaning!

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    1. AlwaysARedhead

      Luckily, after I lost it on everyone, things got back to normal and the kids starting doing their chores without complaint and asking if I needed anything done. What a little explosion from mom will do 🙂

      Reply

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