Can You Divorce A Man For Slovenly Laundry Habits?
Life is complicated. Thank goodness there are experts to help us untangle some of the vexing issues that, well, vex us on a daily basis. The Mouthy Housewives are here on BlogHerMOMS to help, three times a week. Email your pressing issues and questions to stacy.morrison at blogher.com to be answered in exclusive posts on Fridays. Today, we share one of the Greatest Hits from the Mouthy Files.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
How do I get my husband to put his dirty clothes INTO the hamper? I have tried mentioning that tripping over them when I go to take a shower makes me grumpy.
I have tried just silently picking them up myself every single day. I have tried more passive-aggressive techniques like loudly teaching my children the lesson that “we don’t leave our clothes on the floor; we put them in the hamper” at bedtime. Last night, my daughter said to me, “I didn’t leave them there. Daddy did.” Which I know is true, since she’s only three and can’t actually get her t-shirt off without a little help.
I will completely lose my mind if my children grow up to leave a trail of jackets, shoes, work shirts, sweaters, belts, and other clothing throughout the house as he does. I am tempted to put a sign above the hamper that says “Feed Me.” Is that too mean?
Please tell me you have a magic bullet for this one.
I’m counting on you,
Drowning in Dirty Laundry
Forgive me for leaping, through the laundry, to the assumption that what bothers you about this most is that your children will follow their father’s laundry dropping footsteps. If so, let me reassure you that this will be their future spouse’s problem, and The Mouthy Housewives v.2.0 will walk the poor souls through it in due time.
But if your husband’s unwillingness to befriend Mr. Hamper is maddening, fake a back injury which will prevent you from bending down to pick up whatever is on the floor. He may also have to help you shave your legs and file your toenails for a couple of weeks, but you can’t be expected to do that yourself while you’re fake-healing.
Or you could try a reward system. We know from rearing children that negative attention is still attention, so we will not scold, berate or mock if he drops his laundry. (Or we will do it behind his back, like normal people.)
But every time he puts laundry in the hamper, we will rejoice. We will pour lavish praise, we will lead the children to the hamper to show them what daddy can do. We will smile and let him know how much we appreciate his contributing to our smooth running household. As we’ve learned from Real Housewives of New Jersey, “Happy wife, Happy life.”
Pretty soon he will be putting laundry away as though it were his life’s calling.