So, just stopping doing the work is not a viable option, other than I get to live in a constant mess until I choose to do it. I have only five options:
1) ignore the mess, do what I feel like and wear sunglasses inside
2) train the kids
3) do it myself
4) hire help (but there is work trying to manage maid service, too,)
5) ask for Kitsune's condo list and leave it around....
Oh, and I guess the one he asks for 6) ask him to help when I am working on the chores.. which results in his feeling superior if I complain that he does not do much, ("but I was clear that all you need to do is ask")..justified in not doing anything unless I directly request it..... or in his making me feel bad for asking when I do "Can't you see that I am busy doing my hobby today? I only get the weekends and weeknights to work on it...."
And no, even when he agrees to a divided chore list, it lasts for about a day
Ah.. that felt good to whine to an anonymous audience. Crankiness relieved for another week.
Hm...you know, before we had kids, our apartment would get out of control (probably worse than now, with kids). You know, he was in grad school, I worked long hours. We'd cook and not do the dishes (no dishwasher), and go out Friday night, so by Saturday morning we had papers everywhere, 3 days worth of dishes to do, etc.
We set up a regular "cleaning time", 1.5-2 hours, every Saturday morning. We were BOTH doing chores. AND laundry and dishes did not count
. It was great because it was agreed upon time ahead of time. No asking required. No "but I want to work on my hobby..."
Would that work for you? I think the hard part is the kids - we tend to work at different times now, a lot, because one of us is engaged with the kids. However, I follow the blog of a single mom in Canada (Notes from the Frugal Trenches). A recent post of hers pointed out the importance of being organized and clean. What works for her is three non-negotiable 10-minute time slots per day for tidying/ cleaning.
Gosh I remember how we would always ALWAYS leave dishes for the next morning. One day, it occurred to me that it was stupid, because they are harder to clean the next day. SO I got up from dinner, and washed the dishes. My husband said "what are you doing?" I said "well, I think they are easier to clean right away, and it's only 10 minutes". POOF, habit changed.
And on the flip side, he taught me to put my car keys in the same damn place every day.
We've taught the toddler to put his shoes on the shelf and laundry in the basket.
We recently started docking my 10 year old for every clothing item found on the floor. Baby steps!