Ask a House Cleaner, Wife Stopped Cleaning, Savvy Cleaner

My Wife Stopped Cleaning and Cooking

“Wife stopped cleaning and cooking and I’m freaking out.” This common complaint has husbands wondering “How do I help my wife?”

If your wife stopped cleaning that doesn’t mean she is suffering middle age or old age, or depression. Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru says it means her priorities have shifted.

If your house is a mess because your wife stopped cleaning, it may be time to pitch in or help out. Maybe it’s time to hire a house cleaner to cover some of your housework. Or create a system for cleaning and cooking,

Today we Ask a House Cleaner we look at alternative reasons priorities change. And how you can help recreate the balance in your home.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: Wife Stopped Cleaning and Cooking

 Today’s question comes from a man who wants to know. “What does it mean when your wife stops cooking and cleaning?”

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Answer: Wife Stopped Cleaning and Cooking

Wife stopped cleaning and cooking due to aches and painsWell, I don’t think it means you’re dealing with a lazy wife or anything other than the fact that maybe her priorities have shifted.

Let’s not say, “Well it’s old age. Or it’s middle-age. Or it’s depression, or she’s bored or disinterested.”

Instead of giving it a label, let’s just look at the fact that perhaps her priorities have shifted.

There Are Only 24 Hours in a Day

Wife stopped cleaning and cooking to give speechTime is a non-renewable resource. So if we’re spending our time house cleaning there’s something else we don’t get to do.

Maybe her attention has shifted to something else. Maybe it is demanding more time and attention than cleaning and cooking.

Ask Yourself, “What Is Going On?”

Wife stopped cleaning and cooking to attend kids soccer gamesDo you have children that are of a certain age that are in sports? Maybe she’s running them back and forth to sports and she’s gone more hours in the day than she was before.

Is it that she’s a new mom and she has an infant? Because that will take a lot of time and attention that maybe she spent cleaning the house before.

Is it possible that as an older adult, she’s not able to get down on her hands and knees and scrub? Or spend hours in front of the stove cooking, or some of the things that maybe she enjoyed in the past?

There are a variety of things that could be going on.

What We Do Know

Wife stopped cleaning due to new babyBut here’s what we do know for a fact –  the priorities have shifted. We don’t know exactly what it is. Maybe it’s hard to pinpoint but the priorities have shifted.

Now when the priorities shift, the first tendency is to go after the thing that creates the most noise.

So that might be children, sports, or a new job. There’s something that’s demanding her attention. 

What we know for a fact, is the last person that gets attention paid to them is the person that meeting those demands.

Forget About Your House Right Now

Wife stopped cleaning and cooking due to fighting toddlersSome stay-at-home-moms don’t cook or clean. Her priorities have shifted. The person that needs the most attention right now is the most important.

Forget about your house for a second.

This is going to sound counterproductive. Because as a house cleaner I want to promote clean houses.  But if your house doesn’t get cleaned for a month or something it’s not the end of the world.

Pay Attention to What Is Important

Wife stopped cleaning and cooking due to stress, now doing yogaThe most important thing to consider right now is the person that needs attention. This is your wife.

There’s something going on. Priorities have shifted and right now the person we need to focus on is your wife.

Is She Taking Care of Herself?

Wife stopped cleaning and cooking due to elder parentsWhat is going on? Is she taking care of herself first? Because as a mom, as a housewife, it is super easy to take care of everyone else and let your own needs go by the wayside.

As you get older, you’re going to have elder parents that you’re caring for. 

You will have children that grow up that need extra things. They need rides to piano lessons, guitar lessons, sporting events, and school activities.

And the last thing that’s going to be available to your wife is time for herself.

Use This Opportunity to Grow Closer

So for some reason, the cleaning and the cooking are on the back burner. What do you do if your wife won’t cook? This is a great opportunity to get closer to your wife.

Don’t turn away and say “Hey you know what’s going on here?”

Instead of judging or nagging my suggestion to you would be this: Take her for a walk every single night.

Get Her out of Her Element

Wife stopped cleaning and cooking due to stress, now walking with husbandI’m talking about a brisk walk around your neighborhood. No earbuds, just spend the time talking.  

If you are noticing changes, your personal relationship is most likely suffering. 

If you get her away from the element, it’s going to force her to exercise. This will release some endorphins and she will feel better.

It will give you a chance to talk as you walk.  And you can actually communicate and work through some of the things that are going on.

You Might Find Ways to Help

things you need to know about a man cleaning his houseAnd it might be that this is a great time for you to jump in and pitch in and help out a little bit.

I’m not saying that you haven’t in the past. The fact that you’re asking this question suggests that you’re in tune with what is going on. And that you’re aware of the changes that are happening.

So, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to jump in. You could say, “Hey I’ve noticed that the house has not been cleaned in a few weeks. Is there something I could do to help out?”

Ways You Could Help

Maybe it’s that you put on a dusting mitt and you start dusting things.

Maybe it’s that you change your cooking schedule. If your wife stopped cleaning and cooking maybe you could clean or cook one day a week.  This could be instead of expecting her to cook a meal every night. 

Maybe you decide that it’s time to hire a house cleaner. Or someone else to come in and assist with some of those chores, so that your wife can, in fact, take care of herself.

Happy People Spread Happiness to Others

When people are healthy themselves, they have a tendency to spread that to everyone else.

Our desire is to help everyone before we even help ourselves. 

So, if you get out and you take your wife for a walk every day, that helps you and it helps your wife.

It helps your relationship, and it will help you talk through some of the changes in the priorities.

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This Has Worked for Me

I know for a fact as my business has shifted, there are times when things in my personal life took a back burner. I was so swamped and overwhelmed. 

My husband would come in and say we’re going walking in 5 minutes.

And I would say, “I don’t have time. I’m swamped. I don’t have time today.”

And he’d say “Great. We’re going to leave in 5 minutes, go get your shoes on.” He would drag me out like a rag doll to go walking.

And then once I got out, I was able to just get away from everything for a few minutes. I would clear my head, and get some oxygen flowing through my body. It would get my blood flowing again and kick those endorphins in. 

I came back and I was a much happier, much more effective person.

It Is Not the End of the World

Stop, Wife Stop cleaningSo, I wouldn’t focus on the fact that your house is a mess for a month or two. Or that your wife stopped cooking or cleaning.  We just don’t want it to go on for years. Because then it’s going to be difficult if not impossible to try to clear through all the junk. 

If it’s just a month or two…not the end of the world.

But what is important is to get to the root of what is going on. Depression can set in if you don’t take care of yourself. That’s when exhaustion sets in. And then along with that comes broken relationships and sickness and a bunch of other things.

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Good for You! 

I love the fact that you’re paying attention that you’re in tune with what’s going on in your house.

So, what does it mean? It means the priorities have shifted. And this is an awesome time for you to jump in take her for a walk and go find out what’s going on.

Alrighty, so that’s my tip for today. And until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place then when you found it.

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Resources For This Episode

Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual: Trauma-Informed Treatment for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD & Substance Abuse –

Walking on Water When You Feel Like You’re Drowning: Finding Hope in Life’s Darkest Moments –

Surviving Manic Depression: A Manual on Bipolar Disorder for Patients, Families, and Providers –

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