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Refusing to stick to division of chores

Loki001's picture

So my DH's ex decided that her Christmas break was starting early, without really consulting DH or me, and we've been stuck with a house full of kids since last week Friday. Fortunately I put my foot down and they didn't bring any friends (see my previous blog).

I did, however, insist on a fair division of chores because I'm still working. I drew up an Excel spreadsheet containing a duty roster and stuck it up on the fridge. So SK1 would clean the bathroom one day, SK2 would do dishes, my BS would do the yard, then they'd rotate the next day. My son would be subject to exactly the same chores that the stepkids are subject to. Because I'm still working, I also put cooking dinners on the list. Stepkids are 13 and 16, and my son is 17. I'm down for cooking sometimes, and so is DH.

This worked for exactly one day, with much grumbling from the 2 stepkid brats and after me telling them repeatedly. Sunday, not much happened by way of dishes or cleaning bathrooms, except for my son's doing his part.

I put my name down for cooking Friday, Saturday we went out for dinner, and Sunday it was supposed to be SS's turn to make dinner. Now note: SS16 plans to go and get trained as a chef after graduating from high school, and already has cookery as part of his subjects at school. I also made a point of buying simple ingredients - pasta, hamburgers etc - so that making something would not be too much of a challenge. Imagine my surprise when SS refused to cook yesterday, and that his sister also informed me she won't do so tonight, when it's her turn!

And DH's reaction when I turned to him? "They're too young to cook."

I'm not asking for a gourmet meal, but surely a 16 year old can do pasta? A 13-year-old can make sandwiches or a salad, surely? So tonight, if I don't see any dinner being made, and once again anything simple will do, I am planning to load BS in the car, go out for dinner, and refuse to bring any takeaway food or make anything at home.





futurobrillante99's picture

Lazy fathers. Ugh. I really think that the men being lazy parents (and some women being lazy mothers) is the reason this site exists.

Don't have kids if you're not up to the responsibility.

tog redux's picture

So if the kids won't do their chores, then either DH does them for them, or you offer BS money to do his stepsiblings' chores.

I'd just stop for my own and BS's dinner on the way home from work, and let DH figure out how to feed himself and his offspring.


Frustrated4ever's picture

I got on here today because of the same chore argument and here you are, too. I feel your pain all too well.  Kids at that age are more than capable of cooking a dinner.  Period.  My mother worked when I was younger than your SKs / my SKs are.  I came home from school, called her to check in, and had simple chores (fold laundry, do a load, get chicken casseroles ready and in the oven for dinner when my parents got home, etc.).  Not sure why these snowflakes think they are somehow entitled to not do anything.  The one and only chore my SKs have to do is their laundry.  They have an entire week to do it before they go back to BMs on Monday and has of 9:30 last night, my SD copped an attitude about putting her load of towels into the drier.  We were told "it's not that hard you two.  Maybe if one of you got yourselves off the couch you could actually do it for me."  The smirks, the attitude, the general snotty tone, I am sure you know the rest....Phone got taken away and hidden after physically grabbing it from her.  As a side note, I had prepared an entire dinner and she smirked and said, "Like I am not eating that....I don't like crabcakes (snicker snicker)." Well, guess you are going to bed hungry then because you aren't allowed to eat the chips you grabbed.  It's really hard because I am sure you want family harmony just like I do.  I always grapple with the have my husband do it (which kills me because he works his butt off for all of us) or trying to get this family on track.  I think the entitlement train has already left the station and I am counting down until age 18.

beebeel's picture

I started cooking for our family of 5 at 11 years old as my mom started working several nights a week. These kids are too young to cook?!? Sweet lord what a joke! They will be expected to adult in two or three years, but they won't know how to feed themselves lmao.


Step-girlfriend's picture

Funny, I found a chore chart online the other day and was reading it to my SO and SS12 yesterday. There was a lot of skepticism from them both, but I agree with it. From the time I was 9, I was left home alone a LOT. I made mac and cheese, pizzas, fish sticks, tuna melts...all kinds of stuff. We didn't have a microwave. By the time I was your skids age I could make even more things. This was on the chart I found:

Ages 10-11

Prepare simple meal

Ages 12 and up

Cook complete dinner.

Maybe it doesn't come natural to your skids yet, but that's no excuse not to learn, and it certainly doesn't mean they're "too young to cook". The 16yr old should be out of the house in 2 years, and he won't even be able to cook for himself.

Aniki's picture

Too young to cook. Bahahahahahahahahahahaaaaa!!! What a crock of sh!t. At age 11-12, I could cook a multicourse meal for a family of 10. And I'm not talking about canned soup and grilled cheese. I'm talking about pot roast with all the veggies and homemade biscuits. Quiche with crust made from scratch and salad. Roast chicken, freshly cooked veggies (no canned!), and homemade flatbread. Spaghetti sauce from scratch, fresh veggies, and garlic bread.

When it's the skids' nights to cook, you and your son take turns making something ONLY FOR THE TWO OF YOU. DH and the skids can eat PBJs or DH can bloody well cook. The skids are too old to NOT know their way around the kitchen.

Cover1W's picture

Chore charts never worked in our house either...due to DH thinking they were "too hard!"  So I gave up totally and disengaged from the SDs and cleaning issues.  I taught them ONCE to do something and left it up to DH to take it over from then on.  SD12 picked up and took off learning how on her own, SD14 nope, nada, never will lift a finger to help on her own.  Add to that mix DH who is not very clean himself and I was FURIOUS sometimes when I got home and saw the mess that built up after just one day.

So I started throwing stuff away, giving it to charity, recycling, etc.  And I hired a house-cleaner to come every other month.  She does only the shared living space, kitchen and our master suite.  DH pays half. 

And I also disengaged from cooking too for a long time.  I ate may meals out on my own or just made something quick for the tune of "What's for dinner?" or "You're not making dinner, just eating that?!" or "What is there to make for dinner?"  and DH being irritated.  Welcome to your reality DH! 

It's now improved greatly with SD14 out of the house.  SD12 is clean, helps cook, and I can make sure DH picks up after himself a little easier, and DH also is required to cook at least 2-3 meals per week. 

Harry's picture

He does not have your back.  He is to lazy or bad parenting to make his kids do anything.  Sometimes about disengaging that goes on.  You Disengage,  you don’t cook for SK, or do there wash, take them anyplace ect.