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Question
Posted by: Homey | 2018/07/03

Bill husband for household duties etc...

Hi Cybershrink I was retrenched, became a stay at home person/mom at age 49. I used to be a high earner down to zip as I couldn't find a job. Fast forward 18 months. During my search for jobs I applied for a job on behalf of my hubby with his CV - he was facing retrenchment. He was offered the job after an interview and so far he loves it, high stress, good pay and he is coping well, they're impressed with him. I started doing his marketing calls for him as I felt bad/idle (wrongly so in my opinion when I look back). He now relies on me to do those calls and I am good at it. We agreed to a 10% comm when a client does order. He's very untidy in the house, so is his son (my beloved 12 year old stepson - this is what triggered the below scenario). Each day he comes home to a clean house, clean laundry in his cupboard, pets all fed etc, garden tended to, mending tended to, cooked dinner, attractive looking wife, nice music playing, a beer chilling and I even (yep) run him a bubble bath after a bad day... I keep up to speed on current events and I also know his biz. I then supervise kid's homework. One day he said "what is it you do all day" with a smile. Hurt and furious, so, with a smile I invoiced him for the duties above nogal with a discount. He says it is cute! However this month he hasn't asked me how I will pay for my share of the monthly expenses etc as my "fee" is more than 50% of all household expenses. He said he feels a stay at home person should just do the chores. I said well if you employ people to stay at home and just do it (cleaner, cook, laundry service, homework tutor, seamstress, pet minder) etc it would be triple that. So there it is. We are much happier and I feel a lot better. Ironically, I have been offered a telesales job from home so I said I would do both aka my chores and the job but still bill him for the duties so it offsets against my share of expenses. I feel it is fair since I don't see why wives should be unpaid maids in the name of love or whatever? He does zip-he takes out the bin once a week and that is it! But he works hard at his job which is 8-5. I support him fully in his job and sort home to make sure he does well at work. Am I wrong to bill him for household duties etc? I said to him that he must respect what I do aka my "craft" and I his. We haven't argued at all, I notice he's making an effort to be tidy (as his my stepson). He's also home by 530pm and on weekends so he seems happy.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2018/07/04

Hello Homey,
It's probably just as well you didn't mention how much you are charging for the irresistible range of services you provide ; I suspect many readers, men and women, would be tempted to hire you, if they could.  And surely your husband was joking, really clumsily, when he asked what you do all day : if he genuinely hadn't found that wholly obvious, he couldn't have enough common sense to hold down his current or previous job.
Maybe he's really tone-deaf on such issues : finding any of your actions "cute" is as patronizing as patting you on the head like a dog. Of course wives shouldn't be expected to be unpaid multi-tasking staff.
Costing your contributions properly would be a complex task. If you could get your old job back, would he be happy to give up his current work, and stay at home and do everything you currently do ?  Hardly likely.
The question isn't is it WRONG of you to bill him for all your household labours, but rather : is it useful ? Maybe the gesture dramatized and illustrated your point, but is the issue really about exchanging bills and arguing about a pay rise, maybe going on strike ?  Isn't it likely that the best resolution of all the issues raised here, will still need to be from calm, frank, sincere discussion between you ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Tegan | 2018/07/09

"I feel it is fair since I don't see why wives should be unpaid maids in the name of love or whatever?" a bit hypocritical, considering that you were unable to find work for 18 months during which time your husband had no choice but to take care of you financially - and he did.. out of love, you think? You do realize that? Also think it's extremely arrogant that you expect someone else to pay YOU to clean YOUR own home, especially considering that YOU, not your husband, spends the most time there and thus YOU benefit most from having it tidy... Won't even go into the childcare, shouldn't be necessary for someone else to tell you why it's messed up that you expect to be payed to help your own child with their schoolwork... If it's a matter of him being you stepson instead of your own natural born child, please get a divorce. Child would be better off.

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