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Dear Husband, Please Stop Doing Things for Me

Neil holding Felix and giving him a kiss on the nose

When you’re on maternity leave, you grow accustomed to doing pretty much everything around the house, after all, it’s only fair that when your partner is working full time and you’re at home with the baby, that the lion share of the housework falls to you.

But something is really starting to wind me up, and surely, I cannot be the only one – my husband keeps doing things for me.

Now, I must admit, I do have my own way of cleaning and cooking and I do get slightly irritated when others try to ‘help‘, especially my toddler who seems to create more mess whenever he is insisting on assisting me with whatever chore I’m doing; but that’s not what this post is about. This is about when my husband lets me know he did a certain house job or task for me.

Not for Felix or for Dexter. Not for the family or for himself. But for me.

Since when was cleaning bottles a benefit for me? Surely we clean bottles for Felix?

I cooked for you,” he told me the other night.

He hadn’t. He’d cooked for the boys, not me.

“I washed up for you,” he proudly announced last week. It wasn’t for me though was it, although it was one less chore on the endless to do list of cleaning and tidying that my life has become.

I can’t complain too much as my husband is an incredible dad. He helps loads with changing nappies, feeding bottles and playing with both of the boys while I’m cracking on with some cleaning and cooking. But this phrase of ‘for you‘ is really starting to grate on me; especially when I can’t see how I benefit at all from the job that’s been completed.

Nicola babywearing Felix and Dexter sat on a bench in Mere Sands Woods

Perhaps each time I change the bedsheets I should let him know, “I have put on clean bedding for you

Or, next time I scrub and polish the skirting boards, furniture and TV I should proclaim, “Look at what I did for you.

Or, maybe next time I plan our family holiday, organise the flights, book the accommodation, pack the suitcases, arrange the car hire and sort out the airport parking I should announce, ‘Look at everything I did for you.” But I won’t.

After all, everything I do is for this family. It’s for us, for the boys, for everyone here. Nothing I do deserves praise or reward, just as I wouldn’t expect to dish out praise to my husband for completing simple tasks.

And, as for having to be the one to remember everything, including where the wet wipes are kept, despite constant reminders, is another blog post entirely. The mental and physical load at times can be all consuming. But we carry on don’t we? After all, how lucky are we to get to be off work with our babies, watching them grow and develop…in between cooking and cleaning of course.

It will be interesting to see how things develop when I’m back in work in January. Will the lions share of the housework still fall to me? Or will we see a more equal share? All I know is, if I get told one more time that a household task has been completed ‘for me‘, I’ll be ready to change the locks!


  1. 4th September 2019 / 11:34 am

    I did chuckle slightly when I read this post, it reminds me of my other half. I would have a list as long as my road if I stated all the things I did for him. He doesn’t lift a finger, the only job he has to do is take the bloody bin out and half the time I do it.

  2. 5th September 2019 / 10:13 am

    I might just leave this floating around the house for Dave to find. It’s always things ‘for me’ – I even once bought a plastic medal from Tesco to give him for doing it, since we always say ‘what do you want, a medal?!’

  3. 15th September 2019 / 9:02 am

    I think you will find you still do the lions share…but at least he’s doing some. #KCACOLS

  4. 15th September 2019 / 12:25 pm

    Having been a single parent for a long time, this isn’t something I have to worry about but it did make me laugh! I can see how annoying it would be though #kcacols

  5. 15th September 2019 / 4:37 pm

    Its ok to share and sork together. Ialways feel guilty but the shouldn’t because ny husbanx does it better and we work with what we are good at X #kcacols

  6. 15th September 2019 / 9:12 pm

    I really see where you are coming from, but it’s still lovely that he helps – I think! Might be worth just having a non confrontational talk about the for you bit, without upsetting him, as he is clearly trying to please not piss you off #KCACOLS.

  7. 16th September 2019 / 6:32 am

    The hubs is now retired and I am still doing the lion’s share!


  8. 16th September 2019 / 9:57 am

    I’m sorry, I probably shouldn’t have laughed, but I did. Like Tracey, I’m a single mum, so I don’t have to worry about this either. That said, when my fiance visits, he does help with cooking and things, but he was brought up in an army family, so it’s just how he is, everyone shares the load. Now my eldest teen, is more like your hubby x


  9. 17th September 2019 / 9:48 am

    AS a husband, I did laugh, but I do think you should find a way to address this, as little acorns can grow big. #KCACOLS

  10. Anonymous
    19th September 2019 / 9:03 am

    Hahahaha!!! I love this post!! We have had exactly the same problem in this house. My husband soon learnt not to say it!!! ?? #KCACOLS

  11. 19th September 2019 / 7:44 pm

    This did make me chuckle, as I also complain of this all the time. It is amazing how differently men see chores to women #KCACOLS

  12. 20th September 2019 / 7:01 pm

    Oh this sounds all too familiar! My husband and I have talked a fair bit over the last few years about things like the mental load that us mums tend to carry, and it has helped him to understand where I’m coming from. I do still get comments like ‘I ran the dishwasher for you’ now and then though! x #KCACOLS

  13. 25th September 2019 / 4:28 pm

    I have had many conversations like this with my husband over time and it was good because what I feel I achieved was making him see that everything that goes on in our house – parenting, housework etc. is both of our responsibility. Ok because I am at home I do the majority of the work here but I have made sure to let him know that I am not a houseslave or a skivvy. Now he helps out whenever he can, especially at the weekends and I really appreciate it. It becomes very easy to fall into these roles of husband and wife and the attributed jobs that apparently go with them whereas what we really need to do is share as much of these responsibilites as possible. It will be interesting to see how things work out for you when you return to work! #KCACOLS

  14. 25th September 2019 / 8:22 pm

    I love this and couldn’t agree more. It drives me nuts when my husband does this, I know he doesn’t even mean it that way but it is important we point it out because it sends all the wrong outdated messages to our kids. I have to admit my head almost exploded this weekend when my husband asked me to say thank you because he had our kids all day!

  15. 25th September 2019 / 9:07 pm

    It’s lovely that he helps, but the ‘for you’ would wind me up too. I spend a lot of time trying to get my husband to understand the mental load too, but I don’t get very far! I’m lucky enough to be a SAHM though so as you say, I get the benefit of seeing our children grow and develop and I don’t mind putting up with carrying the mental load for that. (Most of the time anyway!) #kcacols

  16. 26th September 2019 / 7:46 pm

    Oh yes, my husband is always saying things like this to me! It not for me, its for us! I wonder how things will pan out once you’re back to work, personally I think you will be a super team #kcacols

  17. 28th September 2019 / 9:53 am

    My blood is boiling for you! In our house I say we all live here, so we’re all responsible for running & maintaining it – simple! #KCACOLS

  18. 28th September 2019 / 11:18 am

    Definitely annoying. I tend not to even mention that I’ve done it. I just do it. #kcacols

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