Feeling Resentment When Your family Doesn’t Help With Chores.
It is real easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed out and even angry when you feel like you are the only one in your family that consistently does the household chores and your family doesn’t help out.
Feeling like your family doesn’t help with chores while you are cleaning and tidying up every single day can wear you down to the point that you start to feel resentment toward them. A feeling that you feel ashamed for having, but a feeling, nonetheless.
When you put in more effort than they do
Typically, in every household, there is someone that will generally put in the most effort where housework is concerned. In my family, that person is me.
Usually, anytime the house needs tidying up, it’s me that will take the initiative to start the process. I am the one to remind Ember that she needs to pick up her room. I am the one that makes sure we all have clean laundry and that we have clean dishes.
When I ask Leslie for help cleaning, she will help me, don’t get me wrong. She just doesn’t have the need for the house to be in perfectly clean condition at all times, like I do.
So this leaves me as the one that cleans every single day.. I clean up everything and after everyone.
Friends, as you probably know, this gets old very fast.
Being the one that always has to take the initiative to start cleaning and picking up to keep the house in decent and livable condition is exhausting and, honestly, infuriating at times.
For me, when I get overwhelmed and start feeling like my family doesn’t help or doesn’t put in the same effort that I do, I start to feel resentful.
It isn’t Fair
I often find myself thinking “It isn’t fair”. Why is it that I have to spend so much of my free time cleaning up the house while they get to take naps, watch tv, or do things that bring them joy? Meanwhile, I am having to pick up the messes that they are leaving behind.
I shouldn’t have to constantly pick up after them. I pick up after myself. I make sure that that my things are in order- it isn’t fair to me that I have to do it behind them as well.
I want time to just sit down and watch TV or play my computer games. Yet, I rarely get to do that because I am always cleaning something up.
Resentment when your family doesn’t help
As I said earlier, after doing the same routine over and over again, you start to feel angry. The thoughts of, “why don’t they pick up their things” turn into “why don’t they help ME?”
Why don’t they appreciate the things I do around the house? Why do they disrespect me so much that they can’t just pick up behind themselves? Why can’t they simply throw their trash in the trash can instead of leaving it on the counter? Don’t they realize I just spent three hours cleaning the kitchen?
Their actions quickly turn into personal attacks. Or at least they feel that way. Every single time they just throw their bowl into the sink with food still in it instead of rinsing the bowl clean and putting into the dishwasher feels like another stab in your back. Especially when you had just walked away from the sink after washing dishes for an hour.
It hurts. It’s as simple as that. That hurt turns into anger. That anger turns into resentment.
Understanding Why Your Family Doesn’t Help
I lived with that anger and resentment for a long time. The same resentment that I felt growing up in my parent’s home. The same resentment I felt in my early adult years living with other adults.
When that anger and resentment toward my family started up this last time, I realized the common denominator here. It wasn’t that I was constantly surrounding myself with lazy and filthy people.. We just have different priorities.
I’m going to be totally honest here. I’ve been told by my Psychiatrist that I am Obsessive Compulsive and I tend to use cleaning and organizing as a way to block out the anxiety I feel day to day. By hyper focusing on something, I am able to keep myself from thinking about the constant stress and anxiety I feel over every little thing.
That something happens to be keeping things clean.
But that doesn’t mean my house doesn’t need cleaning at all freaking times. We have three humans, four dogs, three cats and two house chickens. It gets messy, ya’ll.
Regardless, my need to have things tidy at all times is just that- my need.
Everyone has different priorities
You and I? We are probably very much alike. I can bet that you take pride in a clean and tidy home. That is why you are here. When my house is clean I feel like I can breathe easier. Seeing mess around the house takes over my mind completely and I can’t relax until it’s taken care of.
But Leslie? While she craves a clean and tidy home, too, she doesn’t have that constant urge to look around the house for things that need to be cleaned. When she has free time, she spends it doing things that she enjoys doing. A clean home is what brings me joy, but it’s different for her.
So while I see every speck of dust that lands on the book shelf, she doesn’t. She can sit in the living room and watch tv when there is dirt on the floor or the dog has knocked all the throw pillows down, again, without constantly looking at it and repeating over and over that those things need to be taken care of. I can’t do that. My mind cannot focus on the tv if something else in the living room is out of place.
This was something that was hard for me to accept.
In my head, everyone should want their home to be neat and clean at all times. But everyone has a different standard at which they consider their house “clean”. My standard is significantly different from hers.
We clean differently
To me, dishes in the sink make the house dirty. But the dishes may not bother Leslie like they bother me. She feels that they will still be there tomorrow morning and she can do them then. I see the dishes and think about how they will double tomorrow and now I have to do those dishes on top of having to do everything else. Seeing the dishes in the sink triggers anxiety and the only way for me to relieve the anxiety is to get the dishes done.
When I am getting ready for work in the morning, I don’t mind taking the extra second to open a cabinet and pull my things out to use them. But Leslie likes to be able to grab her things immediately and put them right back, leaving her deodorant, face lotions, mouth wash, everything, out on the counter.
For me, I see clutter and that means mess. I feel the need to clean it up. She doesn’t see it that way.
She believes that is where these things belong. So when I am cleaning the counters off every single day after accusing her of not appreciating the work I do to clean up behind her, she is not seeing it that way. Her brain isn’t telling her to pick these things up where I have deemed appropriate. She is just leaving them where her brain tells her they go.
These are things that we have to realize and understand about our family members.
While it may seem like our family doesn’t help us clean to what we have deemed the standard, we have to accept that maybe our standard of clean is too high for them.
Want a Freebie? Use my free morning and evening cleaning routine printable as a guide to get you started on your journey to a more peaceful home.
Want one you can fill in yourself? Here you go.
We clean different. We organize different.
I’ve touched on the different organizing styles before. That concept works here, too. We all have different ways to do things. There is no one way to clean. We all value clean at a different level.
The best we can do is to work with the way our family does clean. We can implement systems that work for everyone. Being organized makes a huge difference in the ability for one to keep an area clean and tidy.
What works for me doesn’t work for my partner and what works for my partner doesn’t work for my daughter. The same will go for your family. Find the systems that will work for you and your family and start there.
Regardless of how we clean or how we organize, there is a threshold at which we can no longer maintain our space. That threshold is different for everyone. It is important to sit back and analyze what your threshold is. Tidying up a space shouldn’t take you long if everything has a place to go and your organizing system is functioning properly for you and your family.
Clean for yourself because it makes you happy
In the end, regardless of what organizing systems you have set up and how well you implement them, you will still run into the same problem you have of your family just not putting in the effort that you do.
What I want you to realize and remind yourself is that a clean and tidy home brings you joy. It makes you happy. I want you to change your mindset. Instead of thinking about how your family doesn’t help you, I want you to figure out ways to help yourself.
Create cleaning routines that make housework easier and faster for you.
Stop focusing on what your family isn’t doing and start focusing on making it easier on yourself.
Don’t clean because you feel like you have to keep things in a certain order. Clean because a clean home makes you happy. Clean because a clean home puts you at ease. Remember that what puts you at ease and calms you isn’t necessarily the same things that ease and calm your family members.
Don’t do these things for them. Do it for you. Once you let go of the fact that your family doesn’t help you and the feelings of betrayal and disrespect and shift your mindset to doing these things for yourself, you’ll realize the resentment you feel toward your family is minimal and in a lot of cases, gone.
Stop thinking about housework as a chore and start thinking of it as gifting yourself a clean home.