Ask Amanda: My Roommates Don’t Help with Chores
posted on January 27, 2017 | by Amanda Holstein
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,
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!
Photography by Andrea Posadas
(that’s her in the photo!)
Ugh I feel this post on a spiritual level. I lived with a bunch of girls my senior year of college and I was definitely pulling all the weight with chores. Apparently “being a clean person” did not extend any further than their own rooms. By the end I hated going into the kitchen because I was the only one who cleaned the floor or the nasty stove! Talking to them was only ever met with weak, “Oh I’ll try harder” *eye roll*
But that’s life with roommates, I guess!
Ashley | Sunday Brunch
Perhaps challenging them to consider their behaviour without outright saying anything would get results such as you stopping cleaning or suggesting you all split the cost of a cleaner.
Jessica Heller Says
This is my exact living situation right now, except replace college with late-20-something-living-in-San-Francisco. I’ve been the only girl in a house with four boys (one of which is my boyfriend) for going on three years. The flat is definitely my boyfriend and my home, and the boys just live there. Luckily this means that they also rarely use the kitchen, put anything in the fridge, or make general messes, but does leave my boyfriend and I with all the cleaning responsibilities.
Honestly though I don’t mind it. I know that my level of clean is above average (I’ve probably lived with 20+ roommates over the years) and I’d rather take 45 minutes out of my week to make sure the house is clean than argue about it.
I’d get a quote from a couple of local house cleaners for just the common areas and present this to the boys. If you divide the cost by five, it should be super reasonable. Good luck!
We’re actually in the process of replacing two of the roommates, and already have a girl lined up! I’m super excited for the switch! Fingers crossed it goes smoothly!