Shit your husband will never have to think about

Today I had the JOY of doing life maintenance stuff. You know, the annoying stuff that takes you into a gazillion different shops, chasing your tail, spending money on shit you wish you weren’t and generally getting annoyed because IS THIS THE SHIT I SIGNED UP FOR?

Let me run through it with you.

I had to drop off an Etag to the RMS (since when wasn’t it called the RTA anymore?) This was on the back of calling them last week to cancel the account only to be told that I had to write a letter, go in person to said RMS and then return the shitty tag that’s now probably 15 years old and doesn’t work.

I had to buy some ingredients for slime making for Daisy, on the back of doing the same thing yesterday except when we made it, IT DIDN’T WORK and I could have bought 56 tubs for the price of all the bits needed and she left me a note saying how appreciative she was and I knew she was disappointed so wanted to try again for her. This entire slime process has taken me into 7 different shops over 2 days. SEVEN.

I had to grab birthday presents for some kid’s friends (which I do not have a problem with buying because I adore them but still: it involved Big W). Enough said.

I had to grab Maggie a toy I promised her in a complex system of bribes for me getting my work done and her being patient with me.

This was on top of cancelling a podiatrist appointment and making a new appointment, calling Ticketek about a question I had on tickets I had bought, fighting with a 3 year old and getting the house sorted, dinner done, washing away.

By the end of the day, when Maggie was FINALLY asleep and I had to get my laptop out to do some more work I was like this:

DO YOU FEEL ME?

I got my rant on Insta stories (as I so often seem to be doing at the moment) and I got so many messages from so many people about this. I was saying that ALL of this stuff was things that can be filed under: SHIT MEN DON’T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT.

I’ve written about it before (the mental load etc etc) but I’d love to open the floor up to you with a list of things you are currently dealing with that you know your husband, wife (or partner) won’t have to deal with. Here, let me start:

  1. Birthday presents for nieces, nephews, Grandparents, friends, kids of friends…basically ALL OF THE PEOPLE
  2. School notes
  3. Appointments for dentists, podiatrists, scheduling and managing
  4. Whether or not we need more garbage bags
  5. The levels of vegemite/paper towel/peppercorns in the house
  6. The cost of Christmas and the inevitable woozy feeling that starts to kick in about now of how we are going to make it work
  7. The cost of school uniforms and management of
  8. How to make slime and which is the right glue to use

As a start.

But I will hand it over to you guys now because it can feel GOOD just to have a good old vent. So friends, I give you the stage. Tell me something that your husband doesn’t have to give one shit about. I know this list will be long and comprehensive.

GO.

That wonderful painting above is from artist Kelly Reemtsen. Isn’t it the BEST?

Comments

  1. My husband works from home. I don’t. When I leave for work and he’s still in bed. When I get home from work (to immediately start making dinner), the bed is UNMADE. Enough said. Thanks for letting me vent.

  2. OMG this could have been written by me this week…except my title would be shit your husband will never have to deal with but should?!

    – Ringing every direct debit/pay because our bank changed their BSB…….536 phone calls later
    – pest control for the house
    -soccer fee payment
    -car recall paperwork
    – aircon tradie for quotes
    -builder to fix front rotting rail
    – skin checks
    – tax that just needs to be printed out (cause I submitted it months ago to accountant) I ended up buying a printer to do so
    – the dogs annual checkup
    -new tyres for the cars and services

    Seriously the list goes on and on and on.

    Men huh can’t live with them can’t live without.

    Love that you normalise this Beth. X

  3. Child no.1 becomes learner driver, husband told we need to share lessons as I can’t do entire 120 hours myself, first six months shared, last six months ALL ME!

    • Oh yes! This!

      My husband was strong-armed (by me, I might add) to take our son out for a lesson one day. Deadset, they were home within 20 mins FFS! I think Mr Learner was behind the wheel for maybe 5 mins? Dad drove to an area, switched with him, didn’t cope or some such bullshit so switched again and drove him home. So that means I did 119.9 hours on my own.

      Learner #2 is due end of next month, and now hub works away from home and is only home weekends…. guess that’s ANOTHER 120 hours of my butt in the passenger seat.

      The kicker is I LOOOOOVE my car and love to drive, so giving over the keys sux.

  4. Ringing to arrange new direct debits as someone committed fraud on MasterCard so needed a new card. Chase up return of money that was defrauded some bloody Telstra pre paid cards. Get list of shopping on fridge that always includes toilet paper. Sent tax forms to accountant. Liaise with bookkeeper about our BAS. Forms for Year 6 camp. Buy second pair of runners from Kmart for camp.

  5. RTA became RMS, Roads and Maritime Services some years ago when someone got off a traffic offence charge. Offence was in harbour tunnel. RTA had no jurisdiction over tunnel which was under the harbour. So now, don’t speed in the tunnel as charge will stick.

    • This makes me so happy … someone had the time and energy to bother hahaha … I dream of such time. I once paid a parking fine for our cleaner because I didn’t have the time or energy to fight with them over whether I needed to provide them a carapace to clean our house / check they hadn’t parked illegally.

  6. I am in exactly the same headspace, here we go:
    – enrolling for primary school and application for private high which he said he’d taken care of 4yeats ago but never did
    – new tyre to replace flat one
    – dentist appointment x 2
    – finding a preschool for second child ASAP
    – start a budget for Christmas
    – complain to Optus that I have no Réception ever anywhere
    – book the swimming lessons
    – WTF to cook for next 5 dinners
    – find a babysitter for job interview in 48hrs
    – return 8 kids library books befor we are permanently banned
    I could go on and on and on….

  7. I am in exactly the same headspace, here we go:
    – enrolling for primary school and application for private high which he said he’d taken care of 4yeats ago but never did
    – new tyre to replace flat one
    – dentist appointment x 2
    – finding a preschool for second child ASAP
    – start a budget for Christmas
    – complain to Optus that I have no Réception ever anywhere
    – book the swimming lessons
    – WTF to cook for next 5 dinners
    – find a babysitter for job interview in 48hrs
    – return 8 kids library books befor we are permanently banned
    – find out why we haven’t got an electri ty bill for last 8months???
    I could go on and on and on….

  8. Oh where do I start..
    I’ve just deleted my massive list because I couldn’t stop, basically everything except providing financially for us, for which I am truly grateful. But geez there is so much more to being in a partnership.
    Thanks for keeping it real Beth.
    Cheers Kate

  9. Where do I start? I’ll start and end with my fav.

    After three kids and 13 years of parenting he has NEVER had to go through their clothes and figure out what needs to be donated/handed down chucked or kept for the younger sibling. And the. Work out what they need so they have something half decent to wear on the weekends/after school. Add to that sorting out the 127 boxes of clothes handed down to us and work out what to keep/chuck/donate.

    Sigh.

  10. Cleaning the fucking toilet. There are 3 males in this house and do you think when they lift the seat EVER they might go “I’ll just give that a wipe over”. NO. They won’t.

    They do put the seat down again. I suppose that’s a small win. But it’s not enough Beth, not enough.

  11. Ladies we all need to delegate more!
    I’ve taken this on board in the last 12 months & it makes such a difference!
    For example – notice kid needs a haircut, tell husband to get it sorted. Ditto new school shoes & presents for birthday parties.
    Sure, I could do a better job of it 😉 (only half joking) but sharing the ‘life tasks’ Has been a revelation!
    Fingers crossed that eventually I won’t even have to point things out & he’ll just take care of stuff!

    • Great point Sue, I do so much more than I should because i don’t feel I should have to ask (perhaps my rationale being by rights why should i have to do it all?).

      Occasionally I have the revelation of writing him a short list (can’t be too long or there is no chance of it being completed) discussing it with him and sticking it on the kitchen cupboard.

      Short written, husband only lists can work (probably more so than verbal delegation)

  12. Michelle Porter says:

    Ummmmm pretty much everything falls on me when it comes to the kids, organising them, anything to do with school, shopping, washing OMG the washing is out of control right now and yes I am at home (I should be more organised with 4 children) BUT what really grinds me is….He can shower and shit by himself in peace. Not fair mate!!!!!
    Love your work Beth xx

    • Yes! The washing for 4 kids is hard. If washing was not a thing I think I could just about keep on top of everything else. I just never ends and no one else gives it a 2nd thought.

  13. Oh good Lord, where do I start?!
    We’re in Victoria … school holidays have begun …..
    and I’m with Gillian ^ I too have 2 teenage and 1 adult males in the house 😫
    But, I am blessed with sleep ins teenage boys sleep for a long time = peaceful mornings 🙌🏼

  14. Book the swimming lessons
    Brush the dogs teeth. And pick up the dogs poo.
    Start on invitations, guest list, food supplies for our childrens birthday partys, a first birthday and then a 5th birthday
    Start on Christmas shopping because, well budget and see above birthdays.
    Sew the nieces their requested cat shaped handbags for their birthdays
    Change the sheets on childrens beds
    Organise someone to spray for prickles BEFORE summer
    That’s what I’m doing this week!

  15. Sigh. There’s a famous essay on this from 1970. Yes, 48 years ago. Depresso. I Want A Wife: http://www.columbia.edu/~sss31/rainbow/wife.html

  16. Single mum here, on Saturday I spend $400+ on new clothes, pjs, socks and undies for my girls aged 6 & 7, (they both still need at least 2 pairs of shoes for this summer too)
    They go to their dad’s house on Sunday arvo….dressed to impress, wanting to wear a new outfit…..to be brought home after dinner & bath (in pj’s I’d sent) and he’d ‘forgotten’ to send Home the BRAND SPANKING NEW (but unwashed- of course) clothes I’d sent them in 🤯🤯🤯

  17. Timetable of 50 bazillion sport training, music lessons, chess club, swim squad.
    The dog needing to be wormed
    The kids needing to be wormed
    Play-effing-dates

  18. Another Just Beth says:

    Sort through 3 kids bedrooms worth of toys/clothes and shoes they have outgrown constantly as they are teenagers
    Pay the bills/balance the budget/sort the best deals we can get for health insurance/ home loans/electricity
    Sort everything that is school, homework, grades, friendships
    Appointments / haircuts/ dentists – does this ever stop?
    Get the carpets cleaned every century and do the windows when I can’t see through them at the end of winter
    Nurse all the patients in the family through their minor illnesses and pretend to care about his old man footy knee
    Clean the toilets, vacuum the house, Keep the shower civilised , de testosterone the boys bedrooms (is this even possible ?)
    Fill the rinse aid in the dishwasher (doesn’t this do itself as well as empty itself?)
    Car servicing
    2 gorgeous but very hairy labradors are mine to feed, vet, and clean up after
    He works hard and I wouldn’t swap him but would love a day off every now and then!!

  19. the wonderful Annabel Crabb has written a book “The Wife Drought” that talks about a lot of these things (and more!).. worth doing the google thing and see if it piques your interest. I just nabbed a copy from my library . Speaking of which… that is also something that only I seem to do – library seems to not be on on the ‘dad’ list in our house 😉
    https://www.penguin.com.au/books/the-wife-drought-9780857984289

  20. A better list would be “Things My Husband Does Without Being Asked”

    1. Anything that directly benefits him (does not include food or home maintenance).
    2. Anything that involves his hobby (shopping for, tinkering with, heading off to do).

    It’s a short fucking list!

  21. WHY IS IT the dog will only poop for me when taken out? And when husband takes him out, he didn’t have to go?

    WHY IS IT I’m the only one who can move items in order to find the (fill in the blank) food item in the refrigerator that “It’s not in here.”?

    • It’s called “refrigerator blindness” an affliction only men have.

    • I just say “oh well we must have run out”. Like with a child – if you always help them they will never do it themselves. It’s amazing how often then missing item turns up about 10 seconds later

  22. Beth, I am in tears. Started laughing at how dead on it all was, then tears of damn straight and woe is me. You hit my main points in your post. The buying of all the presents and yes, I start thinking of christmas this early because of all the stress it causes – mainly me – in our house. Its the worst happiest time of the year. Love you to the ends!

  23. Thank you Beth as I lie here in bed thinking about my shit husband who’s away for work. Kids school concert today and tonight, having to get up and do the normal school morning rush as well as doing special hair and makeup before getting myself to work.

  24. Ha ha Beth, just reading the replies you’ve clearly hit a nerve! So many similarities to the lists above. Luckily we only have 1 car so hubs does deal with everything to do with that but yes the buying of all the presents, the sorting of birthday parties, swimming lessons & basically everything to do with school (I’m a teacher & work at my daughters’ school so that’s his reason for not reading any of the notices) oh and having a full inventory of the cupboards at all times!

  25. Holy hell this has struck a chord with me today of all days. My husband has TWO dates to remember. Two. My birthday and our wedding anniversary. Today is our 20th wedding anniversary. He effing forgot. I’m not sure whether to cry or stab him with a fork.

    • Oh Kelly. I’m sorry. That’s reallybthoughtless of him. My husband forgot our (second!) wedding anniversary last month AND my birthday the week after. I lost.my.shit. And am reaaaaaallllly having to put my big girl pants on to try and move past it. But twenty years is a very big deal and something that deserves celebrating. Congratulations, and I hope he bloody makes a big fuss of you xxx

  26. I’ll start by saying, I love my husband, he’s great, does his bit around the house & works very hard for our family BUT this is what he needs to worry about on a daily basis-
    1. Going to work
    THAT. IS. IT.
    Sure, he might think of things, like the car needs a services or when is our eldest going to get his life in order but he doesn’t have to actually DO anything about it besides talk to me about it because he knows I’m
    ther one in the relationship to get shit done.
    These are the things I have to worry about.
    1. Work.
    2. Tafe
    3. EVERY OTHER FUCKING THING THAT INVOLVES OUR FAMILY OF 6!
    I’m not sure at what point in our 22 year relationship these roles evolved but they are probably here to stay. Do I get the shits about it? Yes, quite often. Do I see things changing? Probably not. My husband just isn’t wired to manage the minutiae of life, he’s just lucky he’s married to someone who is!!!!

  27. Yes! We do all the little things for our families because that is what we do … like to do. I’m a non driver so he had to do all the driving for sporting events….etc.
    My girls are both in their 20s now and im lucky to say that my fiancé …. can forget to do a few of the little things but we work so damn well together!!
    V x

  28. I don’t know you guys. Why not just ask them to do some stuff on the list?!

    I’m a stay at home parent so I’m ok with the “life maintenance” tasks because while I’m not working at a job, that IS my job. But if you’re both working, why not just ask him/her to make that call, book that appointment etc? I KNOW they should just instinctively know all the things too, but since not everyone can be across every little thing, why not just ask? Instead of stewing and resenting and getting stressed out which helps no one.

    No offence to anyone. Please don’t attack me

    • Julie Harris says:

      Not attacking you Prue but this is why I don’t ask him to do stuff unless I physically can’t do it myself. My husband used to call out whenever I was taking the inside garbage bag out to the bin and say, “I was going to do that, just ask me”. But I never did and here is why! No. 1 He must have seen that it was getting full and hadn’t attempted to empty it. No 2. He would say things like “these bin liners don’t hold much do they. Maybe we should get a new bin”, “how much are these bin liners, they look exe”, “I will do it , just leave it there and I will do it later”. “Our son is big enough now, he should be doing it”. The list goes on. I sound like a martyr but honestly It’s just easier to do it all myself.

    • You are totally right, why don’t we ask them?! If you’ve got a partner that works long hours (like mine) he actually doesn’t have the time to do the life maintance stuff but I think we also get in the mindset that we HAVE to do it all. And I think it’s more the fact that most of the husbands mentioned here don’t think of these things & that’s the annoying part. Most of these things just don’t come on to their radar but our radars are FULL of these tasks. I also think we naturally fall into these rolls & for the most part we just accept it. Until we crack the shits & get fed up 🤪

  29. I AM WOOZY.

  30. I asked my husband to take the cat to the vet for worming (he is feral and we can’t get tablets down him. He’s skinny as and eating three fancy feasts a day. Definitely worms!) because every time I take him I end up crying because the cat scratches the vet and then they are rough with him and he gets so scared and it is just HORRIBLE. I am flat out at work at a job that pays equal to his and has the same hours expectation. And now he is acting like he is doing me this HUGE favour by putting himself out to do the vet run! Which he still hasn’t done because I think he is waiting for me to call and make the appointment. Because, you know, it’s my job…..

  31. Spend all day sorting out his ongoing battle with the Tax people and maintenance for children to be told the bag of rubbish on the floor will never do. It’s YOUR tax return and it’s YOUR ex wife, one small bag awaiting depositing the bin not 2 steps from where you are lamenting is such a Herculean task? He hasn’t got a bloody real job anyway .. bet I could be doctor, slay the tax people and get the rubbish in the bin all on the same day

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