Stay-at-Home-Dad Thinks His Wife’s Cleaning Demands Are Excessive. She Thinks Her Husband is a Slob. Who is Right?

The Backstory

The original poster (OP) and his wife have been married for three years and have been together for six years. They didn’t live together before they were married. OP left work after their youngest was born and is a stay-at-home dad. They have a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old together. 

OP claims that his wife is extremely clean, and he didn’t realize how much until they lived together. Some examples of her cleanliness that he complains about are she hates when there are dishes in the sink, she spends her days off scrubbing bathrooms which she cleans weekly, she doesn’t allow shoes inside the house, and she insists he showers before coming to bed. OP believes this is unreasonable and is the type of person who is fine with leaving dishes in the sink for a couple of days. 

When the Conflict Began

OP says cleaning wasn’t an issue until they had children. OP’s wife works 40 to 80 hours a week while OP is at home with the kids. His wife expects him to do most of the chores now that he’s home. Her demands include: 

  • give the children a bath every day 
  •  put away all their toys by the end of the day 
  • dishes are done daily 
  • all house bedding is washed weekly
  • vacuum weekly
  • mop every 3-4 days since the kids spend a lot of time playing on the floor

OP thinks giving the kids a bath every one to three days is fine, and every day is unnecessary. He also doesn’t see the point of picking up toys when they will be all over the place again the next day. Instead of mopping every three or four days, OP thinks that once every two weeks is good enough. OP says since he doesn’t complete the chores she asks him to do, she does them herself on her rare days off. 

Her Final Straw

One day OP’s wife came home to find dirty dishes in the sink with grease and food on some pans and the countertops. He also had yet to bring the trash cans in from the previous two days when they were emptied. His wife got angry and called him ‘lazy’ and a ‘slob.’ She told OP to return to work so they could use the money to hire a weekly housekeeper and a nanny who “wouldn’t leave the kids in pjs all day.” 

OP told his wife she was crazy and gets worked up over small things. He also refuses to leave his kids with strangers. OP’s wife packed a bag for herself and the children and went to her mom’s house. 

Reader Comments

“You’re a stay-at-home father all of the stuff you listed that she wants is normal things an adult does. Your standards are too low.” 

“Out of all the things listed, bathing the kids made me recoil. I am not the tidiest of persons. All the others I can give a sort of leeway. To certain degree. But not bathing the children??? That would be my priority.”

“True, but this guy doesn’t do his dishes and thinks leaving his bins on the street two days after garbage day is reasonable. I’d be shocked if his kids are reasonably clean.I wouldn’t be surprised if his wife is telling him every day and hoping he actually does it every other day.”

“I came into this thread fully expecting some microscope wielding out of control Marie Kondo on cocaine archetype screeching about fingerprints on the glass door. Instead I find an absolute slob upset that the bare minimum cleaning humans do is a high bar.”

“His poor wife has to come home from a long day at work and immediately has to start doing very simple cleaning tasks that should be done during the day. His kids are 2 and 1 those are messy ages if you let the mess grow you’re gonna have sick and dirty kids.”

Some readers defended OP, saying that her standards of cleanliness are too high. Several readers argued that even the American Pediatric Association doesn’t believe kids should be bathed everyday because it can cause the skin to dry. However, the caveat is that their bottoms should be thoroughly cleaned during diaper changes. 

Yes! Daily bathing is excessive unless the kids are playing in the mud everyday or something.”

“I don’t do my dishes everyday. I don’t have a dishwasher. I’ll do them every other day-ish. It takes about them same amount of time, even though there are more, and I’m not leaving anything smelly or foul in the sink. I don’t get what’s so bad about leaving a few dishes in the sink.”

“If this were reversed and OP were a woman people would be suggesting hiring help, recognizing that 2 under 2 is hard, etc etc. Caring for a 2 year old and a 1 year old is exhausting! I love, love, love a model clean home, but with multiple kids and one being extra clingy it’s impossible to get the chores done to model level every day. We don’t know how his kids behave during the day or how active he is with them, so why call him a slob because they don’t agree on the level of cleanliness? Look on any new or sahm (stay-at-home-mom) mom group- dishes aren’t always done daily, laundry gets done when it can, not everyone bathes their kids every single day (I’m sure I could pull more from frequent discussions).”

Was OP wrong to not keep up with his wife’s cleaning standards? Is he just being a lazy slob or is she too demanding?

This article was produced by This Mom is On Fire.

These comments were curated from the following Reddit.

Feature Image credit: © Kaspars Grinvalds via Canva.