5 Ways to Get Lazy Dads to Help More!

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It's no mystery why men aren't usually very enthusiastic about household work. Despite decades of feminist progress, women are still expected to be the household cooks, cleaners, and babysitters. When was the last time you saw an advertisement for a cleaning solution or a mop that showed a man using the product? Of course, not all families fit the stereotype. If you're a woman whose husband happily bathes the baby, does the dishes, and dusts the figurines above the fireplace, awesome! There have always been men who are glad to help around the house, and there always will be. Hopefully as tasks become less associated with gender, couples will share more of the household work, and encounter less strife. Until then, what's a mom to do?

The Direct Approach. Sometimes, a woman may hope, pray and hint that her husband would help around the house, but won't just go ahead and ask. You might feel that if he wanted to help, he would have done so already, but that's not necessarily the case. Maybe he grew up in a family where the chores were divided in a traditional gender-based way and just assumes that housework and child-minding are your thing. Possibly, he doesn't want to intrude on what he sees as your space or do something wrong. Perhaps he's just being a bit lazy and trying to stay below the radar. You'll never know until you ask.

Bargain/Barter. You shouldn't have to bargain with your spouse to get a helping hand around the house, but sometimes that's what you need to do to get the situation to go your way. When you're having the conversation about chores, offer him something he likes in return for his help. Does he want to watch the game in peace on Sunday afternoon? Offer to get the kids out of his hair during that time so that he can relax. In exchange, he cleans up after dinner a few nights that week while you relax. Whatever you offer, make sure it's realistic and that it won't cause you more stress and inconvenience than doing all the housework yourself would have.