A healthy relationship is built upon giving and taking, and, while balance is always the goal, working moms often do more giving than taking when compared to their spouses. But one mom’s relationship is so out of whack—her husband’s cleaning requests so egregious—that even her fellow working moms warned her to reconsider her relationship.
In a post on Mumsnet, a UK-based online forum for moms, a mom confessed that her husband leaves her a multi-page cleaning checklist every time he leaves town. She shared a screenshot of the list…and it’s a lot. Apparently, he expected the tasks to be done by the time he returned home from his weeks-long business trip. He had been making the same requests for three years, she said. The checklist included different sections, like “Kitchen,” “Utility,” and “Upstairs landing,” which all had a handful of bulletpoints, like “Sink,” “Floor,” “TV,” etc.
“He basically wants the house to look like a show house,” the mom, User 40465, wrote in the post, titled “To be annoyed at my husband regarding cleaning”.
“I work and have two children under 5 so [I] think it’s a bit unfair for him to expect it when he could help me when he comes home?” she wrote.
The mom works outside the home and wanted to know: Was she being unreasonable in thinking his demands were unfair?
First of all, no. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting a clean house, domestic work is no longer solely a woman’s job—hello, it’s the 21st century.
Second, the fact that he felt she couldn’t do an accurate job without his checklist illuminates how he views his wife. The mom clarified that she generally keeps a clean house without being prompted, but not as “squeaky clean” as he tends to like it.
Even if she was “bad” at cleaning, his arbitrary deadline is clearly a red flag. She’s not a house cleaner, she’s a working mom.
The corresponding Mumsnet poll confirmed to the mama that she was in no way being unreasonable, with a resounding 98 percent of votes in her favor. The thread proved his requests were ridiculous and she deserved better.
“That’s ridiculous. I’d be telling him he needs to pay for a cleaner,” user Beagled wrote.
“Send him a list of all you want [him] doing when he gets back. Detailed list…” user Winterdaysarehere replied.
“He is either a massive control freak or he has serious germ issues,” user Hugsgalore wrote. “If it’s the latter, he needs help, and if it’s the former, then get the fuck out of there.”
“Does he work in a job where he barks orders at people and then checks they have been satisfactorily done? If so he needs reminding that at home you are PARTNERS—he is not the boss,” DeathStare wrote.
“Send him a tick list back of recognizing controlling characteristics, how to live equally with your partner and ask him to ensure he’s fulfilled all the criteria of being a pleasant human being before he returns home,” Frenchw1fe replied.
Whether she stands up for herself and gets the treatment she deserves from her husband she or just up and leaves—we stand with this mama. She’s been through enough.