Mom’s Genius Move: Leaving for Dinner Alone to Teach Her Family a Lesson

A Reddit user recently shared a story on the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subreddit, sparking a heated discussion about family responsibilities and the lengths one might go to enforce them. The post, titled “AITA for going out to eat without my husband/kids because they didn’t wash the dishes?” provides a glimpse into the struggles of balancing a demanding career and household duties, especially when those duties are not equally shared.

The Situation

The user, who works in Real Estate, and her husband, who works at a shipyard, both clock in around 50-60 hours a week. They have four children: 13-year-old twins, a 12-year-old, and an 8-month-old baby. Despite their busy schedules, the couple has implemented a chore system to maintain the household. However, this system has recently started to fail.

“Ever since I had the baby and since the kids are older, ALL of them have slacked off tremendously (including husband). I pick our baby up from daycare around 5pm and when I get home, I usually find my husband on the couch on his phone and the kids in their rooms playing video games/watching makeup tutorials.”

The primary issue revolves around the dishes. The user explains that she is exhausted from repeatedly having to wash dishes just to be able to cook. Despite numerous reminders and more severe consequences (such as turning off the internet and canceling family trips), her family’s behavior only temporarily improves before reverting to old habits.

The Breaking Point

The tipping point came when she left for work one weekend, reminding her family to complete their chores by the time she returned. They assured her they would, but when she came back home, the situation was the same, if not worse.

“I text husband around 4:30p asking what they all wanted for dinner because I had to stop off at the grocery store. I pick up what he said they all wanted and walk into my home, to find that not a single dish had been washed and there was at least 10 more dishes in the sink from when I left that morning.”

Frustrated, she decided to take a stand. She put the groceries on the table, packed a bag for the baby, and told her husband she was going to Applebee’s. She left her husband and the older kids to fend for themselves.

“Maybe 20 minutes later he calls and says ‘I washed the dishes, sorry. I was super tired today.’ I told him that’s zero excuse at all. There’s 3 older kids who have chores and he couldn’t even step up and tell his kids to complete anything either. It’s pure laziness at this point.”

Her husband pleaded with her to return, but she refused, choosing instead to enjoy a peaceful meal with her baby at their favorite restaurant. This decision left her husband and children unhappy and they had to make do with grilled cheese and cereal for dinner.

The Aftermath:

Upon returning home, she found that the groceries had been put away, but the tension remained. Her family was upset, but she stood her ground, stating that this would be the consequence every time chores were neglected.

“My husband and kids are still pissed at me. I told them this is how it will be every single time they don’t do chores from now on.”

The post has garnered a wide range of reactions. Some users applauded her for taking a stand and not backing down, while others felt she might have been too harsh. The debate underscores the challenges many families face in distributing household responsibilities fairly and the frustration that can arise when those responsibilities are not met.

Let’s see what readers thought:

VioletBewm writes:

NTA. He’s an adult and the older kids are old enough to make a sandwich. I did the dishes almost every night growing up, it was my contribution to the house. What they all gonna do when they grow up and move out?

Lazer726 writes:

One of my friends allowed some of his buds to move in for dirt cheap rent (and no utilities) in a high cost of living area, and this is basically it. They won’t take out the trash or recycling, they’re loud when he asks them not to be, passive aggressive, don’t like to clean their dishes. I find it hard to believe these people are almost thirty and acting like this. I’ll be honest I wasn’t a great help growing up but damned if I’m going to disrespect my friend’s homes like that.