Are you (or do you know) a lazy husband? Is he really lazy or maybe just a good business person? Here’s the situation. Tim, a blogging buddy of mine is getting grief at home because he rarely helps out with the household duties. Take out the trash? Do the dishes? Nah… I asked him why he doesn’t chip in.
He explained that he’s got a full-time job working as a technical engineer, plus he’s trying to grow his blog into a serious enterprise and discover how to make money on the side.
When he gets home from his day job, he works on his blog. Of course, before diving in he plays with the kids. But as soon as they head off to bed, he heads off to blog.
30 minutes of chores means 30 minutes of reduced production. In his opinion, it’s a better business move for him to stay focused on work. He feels that he can simply add more value for the family by writing than by rinsing.
The weekends are a bit different. He makes a conscious effort to spend as much time as possible together with the family. But whenever the kids are occupied with other activities, he’s back at the grindstone churning out more posts.
My buddy’s wife also works. Janice puts in her 40 hours a week as a dental assistant. Then she spends the remainder of her waking moments taking care of the family.
Janice understands that Tim is trying to build the blog into something that will help them stop borrowing money all the time. But she can’t understand why he can’t take 30 minutes a day and help out.
Tim understands his wife’s frustration but feels he has to put everything he has into the blog if it’s going to amount to anything.
Is Tim taking advantage of Janice? I don’t think it would be right to call him lazy – he’s working 90 hours a week.
But is he off base? Should Janice support Tim by doing all the chores? How would you handle this?
If you have a side job, do you get a hall pass from chores?
Darwin's Finance says
I’ve been there. I worked nights, weekends and the same 90 hours he does now. I always at least pitched in and made sure my wife didn’t resent me.
Ask your buddy if he’ll have enough with all his blogging income to pay for his divorce and child support.
If he’s this obsessed with it now, it’s probably detracting from the time with his kids as well. He’s gotta check his priorities.
I do a bit here and there when the kids are around or the wife’s doing something in the house, but for the most part, it’s 10P-11:30 or so for me. Kids to bed 830. Time w wife/help in house til 10. then work.
I just sacrifice sleep to keep up with my demands.
Your friend is a pig. And not just because he’s messy.
Neal@Wealth Pilgrim says
Oh Sam….you don’t want me to do that….
Financial Samurai says
What’s your buddies website btw?
Let’s check it out!
Financial Samurai says
Neal, your buddy is a lazy bum! lol. He should work on his blog AFTER his wife and kids have received their full attention.
11pm-2am is good blog time. Now tell him to help out with the house or face permanent resentment from a wife who works full time!
Neal@Wealth Pilgrim says
Great thoughts. Looks like everyone is of agreement….Tim has to get his act together…pronto!
Your framing this as a business decision is really good stuff.
Tim might want to look at things from the cost of separation/divorce angle (note this is US-centric) to get a better idea of just what he’s risking:
* Therapy/counseling fees leading up to the divorce
* 50% of everything Tim has now
* 50% of everything Tim will have for the next 5+ years
* Child support payments until the kids are somewhere around age 18
* Losing the house/apartment
* Finding a new place to live
* Lawyer fees in the thousands
* Court fees in the thousands
* Loss of work time and income due to all of the above
* Decreased work efficiency for years while he gets his own life back together
* Increased medical bills from stress
* Still have to clean up his own mess
* 30 minutes a day cleaning up his own mess, plus some of the family’s mess.
The right thing to do seems pretty straight-forward to me, financially. And personally. And ethically. Really, is his side-business going to be so wildly profitable that it will pay for all of the above, and extra besides?
Tim might also want to consider picking one day out of the week where his wife gets a break from the household chores – and Tim does them instead. Driven, as I’m sure he is, to make all his jobs a success, I’m sure he could use a physical and mental break from the constant work-work-work.
There are very few people who can put in 90 hours a week on the same job(s) for months on end without a break (raising kids and keeping house is WORK). The chances that two of them married each other are, well, remote.
Good luck to Tim and Janice. I hope they work this out.
Why don’t we ever hear men complaining about how lazy their wife is?
I can tell you this- after working my own FT +1/2 PT job, coming home to cook, clean and take care of my son….if I’m doing it alone while hubby is off “doing his own thing”, he’ll be sleeping alone too!
I really think your first commenter said it best, 30 Mins is not a lot of time – it just isn’t.
That being said, I hardly help out around the house…just because I am lazy. I get called out on it all the time by The Wife, but I don’t blame it on time!
Sandy L – I love that quote.
Susan…you are right….this is really a pattern. I’m not ready to tell Janice to call the divorce attorney but Tim really has to look at this pattern of behavior.
Susan D. says
It sounds like he gets to work his dream(hobby) of being a famous blogger and his wife gets crapped on. I’ll bet this is not the first “get rich” scheme he’s tried. His wife should dump him now because he has no respect for her and her menial tasks that are beneath him wasting his valuable time.
Sandy L says
A friend who has been married for 40+ years and still holds hands with his wife gave me this marriage advice and I’ve tried to follow it:
“Marriage is not about splitting things 50:50. If you go in with that expectation, you’ll be disappointed. BOTH people have to be prepared to give 80%, because there will be times when your spouse can only give 20% and you have to be okay with that.”
I wonder what would happen if Tim’s wife was only able to contribute 20%. Would he step up?
Is this chore thing temporary or permanent? Curious to know.
If he can keep family peace by contributing only 30 minutes a day to household chores, I think he’s being kind of knuckleheaded to not do it.
If it is an activity he does alone, he can THINK about his writing. If it is an activity he can do with his wife, he can enjoy their time together. Either way, here is no loss in helping….
This is familiar….of course I have now been separated for 2 years, and the children notice that Dad seems ‘so lonely’.
I still do all the chores, but not while someone else pursues their personal interests at the expense of my opportunity to have any.
Sad for the kids, but alot less arguing!
I get, I click, I read, I love, I never comment.
Sorry, but unless she’s a control-freak who needs to have everything done her own way, your buddy’s being a real jerk. Clear the dishes – 10 minutes, rinse – 4 minutes, and load up the dishwasher (including soap) – 5 minutes.
And I can’t believe his wife puts up with it. Maybe I run a tighter ship around here or maybe I just married a smarter guy, but we are a partnership.
She needs to grow up and have a “come to Jesus” talk with him. Or, stop complaining and let him continue on.
~ getting off soapbox……now ~
I think the division of household labor and the household finances are both things that spouses have to agree on, otherwise the building resentment is going to be very damaging in the long run. Coming home from work and playing with the kids for a little while before doing more work isn’t parenting — not when you leave it to someone else to feed them, put them to bed, wash their cleans, clean their rooms, etc.
It doesn’t matter how much money you have, you can’t buy back the damage you do to your spouse and kids.
You are so right. Peace of mind, health, love. Why do we forget so easily?
Honestly he needs to help out more.
The household tasks should be equal in am arriage. He could do his blogging but take some time to help clean. It will not only make his marriage stronger but keep on focused on what’s mroe important. Money doesn’t buy happiness. And in the end that’s all you have.
You are so right. We teach our children more by what we do than what we say. Is he teaching them that work and money are more important than being a good partner?
I think you phrase it really well. Is he a partner or not? If so, let’s just “get ‘er done” whatever it is…
Shaun…I’d have to agree w/you. Do you think he’s just a self- centered person looking for excuses?
Jack Foley says
What is Tim’s priority? What does he want fifty years from now?
Do the chores represent something more than chores? My wife’s love language is acts of service. Doing chores for my wife is as good as a love note, flowers or a warm hug. She sees my holding out on chores as an equivalent as withholding love from her. Is this rational? No, but does it have to be?
Would doing the chores improve your relationship with your wife? Maybe having that component of life more resolved will help you be more efficient in your work.
I’m a mostly retired CPA who worked an obscene number of hours during tax season. I learned keeping up with these “menial” tasks helped keep my relationship with my wife healthy. That allowed me to be freer in my work. I think I got more done even spending the time on chores than I would have gotten done in an unresolved state.
What’s more important? Building the blog faster so you can pay off the debts a little bit faster? Or the long term relationship with your wife?
Listen to her. Value her. She knows you’re trying to improve your family’s life. I’m sure you guys can find a good balance for this season.
Grace & Peace
I recently took a cut in hours at work (about 85% of fulltime) so that I could have more time at home to do housework, etc. It has greatly reduced my stress level, and made my husband happy because he doesn’t have to help clean house! However, I don’t enjoy the time at home as much as I thought I would. Chores that help the family function are boring, mundane, tedious, and never-ending. As soon as the laundry is done, another dirty pile awaits. I have thought of returning to full-time hours, and using the salary increase to pay a housekeeper and send more laundry to the cleaners. I suspect that your buddy’s wife would trade places with him in a minute.
I wonder what is more important to him – getting out of debt as soon as possible or contributing to harmony in the home? If the kids are old enough, they could schedule time for the whole family to clean house on the weekend.
Pam McCormick says
At our house we divide and conquer…We call it TEAM McCormick seriously! right now I am best compensated monetarily so guess who works a 40 hr job then 20 hrs at a 2nd job yup ME but who gets stuck doing dishes,making lunches,taking out the trash plus his 40 hr job- my hubby.Whatever is best for the family we do.
Does it matter? If it’s causing problems, then he has to stop. He seems too focused on one project and that’s getting in the way of the rest of his life. Man up and do the dishes. If all you want is to be a successful blogger and make money, then by all means, keep doing what you’re doing.
he’s way off base. i agree with the first commenter that he is not working very efficiently if he can’t afford 30 minutes a day to do household chores. but, perhaps more importantly, he’s sending the wrong message to his kids. i thought we got over this mentality at least 40 years ago?? and i didn’t think that there are still women out there, especially younger ones, who would buy into that. everybody in the household, including the kids, should be doing chores. it’s fair; and it teaches kids responsibility, independence, and gender equality.
Maybe the question is wrong. Not if he is a slob or shrewd businessman but, what kind of marriage partner he is. Personally, I would not be happy if I got no help with the household chores. He needs to allow time each day to pitch in and do what needs to be done. Whether it is a consistent 15 minutes or 20 a day isn’t the issue. Do something!
If 30 minutes a day is an issue for someone, they aren’t good at being productive or efficient. This is speaking from a full-time blogger’s perspective.