When my mother died 4 years ago initially I was helping my father around the house with cleaning , ironing etc . He literally has never touched an iron in his life , he's in his 70s, fairly fit and active and can care for himself pretty well . You see my mother did absolutely everything for him. Now that she's gone I'm getting the impression that he is seeing me as some sort of replacement for all the chores that she used to do for him. I didn't mind at first as I was working only part time but now I'm in full time work I'm so exhausted, and the two days I do have off I'm having to catch up with all my own chores etc . Is it my responsibility to be doing all his chores? I have older brothers who I've discussed this with many times but they just seem to think it's funny. It's really starting to get me down as honestly I work so hard all week and now have this burden over me. I'm actually avoiding him pretty much now.

Find Care & Housing
Your father is not looking after his own needs, even though he could if he wanted to. Your brothers sound as though they were brought up the same way - what do your SILs say? If he can't or won't look after himself, he needs to go into AL so that someone else can do them for him, or hire a cleaner/housekeeper to do his share of the jobs. You are not a servant, certainly not a slave - like you, slaves don't get paid. You need to stand up for yourself and be a good daughter, not an unpaid servant. Give him the option - do your fair share here, or pay someone else to do it, either here or somewhere else.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

My DH will be 72 in Jan. He can vacuum, wash, make a sandwich, and is not a slob. He can do dishes. Your Dad needs to do these things for himself. Tell him now you work f/t you just don't have time anymore. W

Women do their husbands no favor waiting hand and foot on them. Or, raising their sons this way either. My Mom did the same thing. I didn't.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to JoAnn29

No it is not your responsibility. If he can do them he needs to. If he can't he needs to hire help or look at an assistant living situation where he gets taken care off.

People are funny animals, they will let you work yourself to death if you want to. It is up to you to tell him that you were willing while he was grieving and needed time to adjust, now it's just taking advantage and you can't continue, he, for his own wellbeing, needs to step up and start taking care of his life again.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

What would he say if you told him that he needs to make you his sole heir if he expects you to be the only child who does his chores?
Also his DPOA?
And while you are at it, he also needs to put your name on his bank accounts and will you his home.
That should open the door for more conversation and less laughter from the brothers.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to 97yroldmom

Your brothers think it’s funny because it is... so u think the brothers think it’s their obligation? Nooooo.... and it’s neither yours.... immediately stop and leave him to his own devices if he is physically and mentally capable of taking care of himself or he can hire a maid.. u r not his wife replacement....
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Sherry1886

No, it is not your responsibility. When my 92 year old dad's wife died 3 years ago, I never once lifted a finger for him as far as housekeeping. I knew better. Do a job once and it's yours. I helped him with all of his financial stuff instead. It was not until we got care in for him that they began doing light housekeeping. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. It's ok to say 'no'.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Babs75

Do *you* think it is your responsibility to be doing your father's household chores?

What troubles me more than anything else is that your answer to that question seems to include some scintilla of yes.

What your mother chose to do was her business. I have met many a person who would much rather nobody else interfered in household routines because they get in the way, break stuff and don't do things properly. I myself once heard the words "who's been doing unauthorised laundry???" come out of my own mouth when my daughters were back from college and my then partner was staying with me.

But you are not your mother, you are not your father's housekeeper, and you are not a maid of all work.

So if you *still* have some little inner voice telling you that poppa needs his shirts ironed... sigh. Tell it to shut up. And then call round a few agencies to get him domestic help, for which HE pays and not you.

Although if he won't pay, you can tell your brothers it's their turn. See if they're still laughing then.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Countrymouse
paulfoel123 Dec 14, 2018
CM you're a star..... :-)

I understand OP might think it is her responsibility BUT like my Dad there are people out there who think that SOMEONE needs to do x,y, and z and look after them.
Rosses003: "If you ask me, the solution is very easy, hire help that comes at least once a week, I don’t know in your area but in mine it can cost around $100 per day. It will be money very well invested! Maybe the person can cook for your dad and leave food made for the week (it is actually very simple and practical)."

Great idea, but have dad do the hiring or the Laughing Brothers. KCALMAR33 has already done her fair share.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to CTTN55

Just because someone (who is not your minor child) thinks that you should look after them does NOT mean that you must do their bidding.

I've always believed that one of the hallmarks of being an adult is that you know how to and have at least once said to your parent "no, I can't possibly do that".

I guess it helps if you've seen your parent say that to THEIR parent.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Has he actually told you he expects you to do things or do you just do them because you see they need to be done? Just stop. It really is as easy as that.

My my aunt once gave my father’s apt a good cleaning. I was fuming as I knew he would expect ‘ someone ‘ to continue doing that in the future. My aunt is old school. Never had to work outside the home to support herself. She would tell me my father’s apt needed cleaning. I would ask why she is telling me and not him. It never occurred to her that he should clean his own place. I guess that is what daughters are for.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to lkdrymom

See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter