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Ask Amanda: My Roommates Don’t Help with Chores

posted on January 27, 2017 | by Amanda Holstein

Ask Amanda: My Roommates Don’t Help with Chores


Hi Amanda,

I live in a house full of men….or children (depends on how you look at it). I have 4 male roommates, one of which is my boyfriend. While I appreciate the drama-free arrangement, lately I feel like I’ve become the mom/maid of the house because I’m the only girl. I’m constantly cleaning up after them, have voiced my concerns to them and my boyfriend, and I know I’m being ignored by all parties.

At first, it didn’t bother me as much seeing as this is my house and I like my house clean. But just today, I had to study for finals and my boyfriend decided today was a good day to clean. I went along with it and said to everyone, “OK either clean up or get out.”

Everyone. Freaking. Left.

My boyfriend did about two things: moved the trash and started a fire in the fireplace (I hope you’re rolling your eyes as hard as I was at the time). Meanwhile, I cleaned the entire kitchen and living room. It didn’t take long for my other roommates to come back, turn on the football game, and start yelling at the TV while drinking copious amounts of cheap beer—to which my boyfriend joined. I was extremely irritated especially since I had announced that I needed to study and cleaned instead.

It just feels like there’s no respect for me or any consideration towards me when it comes to these matters. I don’t get a ‘thank you’ from anyone, and then when I mention something, my boyfriend gets defensive which leads to a fight. I’m very close to kicking everyone out and getting a couple girl roommates instead, or dogs; I’m so sick of being everyone’s maid!

What do I do?!

The exhausted alpha female of this damn house,


Hi Claire,

I can definitely relate to this situation. I lived in a house with 5 roommates and I took on all the responsibilities. Like you, I never felt like I got the respect I deserved and even when I sat down and spoke with my roommates, it only did so much.

What I now realize is that living with a bunch of roommates is something you only get to experience in your twenties. And the benefits are the fun bonds you create, the parties, not having as many responsibilities, etc. I suggest you try your best to enjoy all of those benefits and realize that this living situation is only temporary. One day you will have the house all to yourself and have it clean the way you like it. And when you do, you may miss the fun you had when you were living with a bunch of guys. So try your best to enjoy the experience now for what it is. I wish I had!

As for your boyfriend, he should respect you no matter what. Even if your roommates won’t listen, your boyfriend certainly should. Try talking to him again and telling him how this makes you feel. Tell him it’s more about you feeling disrespected and less about the actual cleaning. Because he’s your boyfriend, he should definitely take your feelings to heart. To me, that’s a separate issue that you should deal with directly with him.

I hope this helps! Good luck!


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