Do you want me to do it ? (no)

A message to guys : taking your part of the mental load is not asking what you can do to “help”, but it is not finish our current task once we are embarked in it either !

It is knowing BY YOURSELF what must be done. Just take 10 seconds so scan the room around you 🙃

A good resolution for 2019 isn’t it? 😁



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36 thoughts on “Do you want me to do it ? (no)

    1. Hi thought a bit harsh. We (as an illness) always fall back on “you dont understand” and then something like (not wishing on own enemies) wah wah
      Its true though its so embarressing to be in such a pitiful state…………hang on i better read illustrations be sen…..d…i..n..g✊


    1. I feel like you and I have the same brain and the same husband and it freaks me out but I really love feeling like someone else feels this way and I’m not crazy. Thank you for all of these working-mom-life comics, you are an incredible woman.


    2. How about you just talk, every team has a leader call out the plays, you want to simplify things for the caveman male, just speak your thoughts. Next week the topic will be lack of communication but you can’t ask your spouse to take out the garbage while you do the dishes? Wow


      1. Gerry, I see your point but I disagree with it in part…

        I have been married to my lovely husband for over a decade. There are certain things that come up, that we still have to communicate on, but not everything should be this way.

        For example, my husband takes out the trash. That’s his number one job in our house. I do everything else. Trash day in our house has ALWAYS been Tuesday. Up until the last three years or so, I would have to remind him every single Monday night to take the rubbish out, and to include the trash from the bathroom, or he would forget. That’s about seven years of weekly reminders. At that point, it’s not about communication- it’s about him not caring enough to remember by himself, and treating me like a mother instead of a wife. A wife shouldn’t have to remind her husband of chores that are completed daily or weekly. It’s different if it’s something out of the norm- either person is liable to forget. But if it’s a routine thing (I.e. the trash goes out Monday night, Thursday is recycling, you see a sock on the middle of the floor, or see that your magazines are taking up the table, General, everyday clean up) then it is a person’s own responsibility to notice and remember, or come up with a way of remembering, unless that person is younger than 16 years old.


      2. Gerry, you’ve missed the entire point. The entire point is that you shouldn’t HAVE to ask, because if you HAVE to ask, it means you have taken on 100% of the mental load – and instead of doing their share, the other person is blissfully ignoring every single job, problem, schedule, etc etc on the basis of “if they need help, they’ll ask”. And a married couple is not a sports team, though even on a sports team the captain doesn’t have to hold the hand of every teammate and give them step by step instructions at every single point!

        If you say “Nah, one person will be the leader in this couple, and if they need help, they’ll ask” – you’re saying you AREN’T a partnership, but rather treating your partner like they’re your supervisor and you’re their employee. And not a very good one at that.

        It is your house too, your jobs too, your chores too. You should CARE, and you should care enough to actually THINK about what’s needed and taking the initiative to go do it. Otherwise you end up with a partner who knows you don’t see yourselves as equals, who resents you because you’ve shown you don’t actually give a damn about your shared life together, and can’t even go away for the weekend without stress because they know you are so uninvolved in the day to day running of the house that you can’t be trusted to look after yourself and get everything done, let alone look after kids or pets properly.


      3. @Janet and @Lauren. What would happen if you just *don’t* remind them? And skip doing their chores for them, especially if said chores aren’t imminently necessary (as in threatening a child’s health or future)? In other words just go on strike. Or at least designate a part of the chores as yours and deliberately ignore the rest until he doesn’t.


      1. Oh and then we are known to be pushy and nudge-y. I don’t want to be seen as that person but it’s the men that put us in that situation on purpose. Not cool.


    1. Men are capable of taking responsibility. They don’t need women to direct them in every single moment of their lives. This man is asking for specific direction so he doesn’t have to do the simple mental work of LOOKING AROUND for himself. It’s infuriating, lazy, and making excuses for it enables this behavior.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Thats the whole point – you shouldnt have to ask!!!! Why cant he just look for himself and see what needs doing without constantly needing to be prompted? That’s whats not rocket science, him behaving like a mature, responsible adult and not having to be constantly directed and pointed in the right direction like a child. Strange how organised and motivated men are when its something for them or something they are interested in……………………..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, you should, for the very same reason you say in the last line. If we’re not interested in something, then we won’t do it. You don’t want to ask your man to do something not because of a “mental load”, you don’t want to ask because you want men not only to do those things, you want him to WANT to do those things. And that’s never gonna happen.


      2. Jose A. Zapata,

        To that logic women can also stop doing things we don’t want to do without being prompted by an outside source. I like it.

        You’re wrong about one major point though. Women don’t want men to WANT to do the mental load, the mental load is annoying and endless. We know, we’re the ones doing it. We’re saying that WE, as in women, don’t WANT to be doing it either. What we want is for men to SHARE in the RESPONSIBILITY of the mental load. Precisely because it’s no fun. But when men refuse to take it on because they don’t WANT to do chores, they don’t LIKE to do chores, they can’t get themselves to do it because it’s *no fun*, well that makes those men hypocrites because we don’t like or want to do them either. It also makes them, by will, mentally dependent on their women in the same way that children are. And whiners. Not in the sexy Jamaican way, in the annoying kid on an airplane way. It also means that men hold women at a higher standard than they hold themselves at. Yet again. No surprise that women are pushing back.

        A lot of men now have a partner/teammate in earning an income outside of the home. For example: when I married I had a business that I owned and ran for 13 years and had started from nothing, I owned a house that I bought for myself 7 years prior, a car less than 5 years old, furnishings for that 4-bedroom house, investments, and a small savings – and that’s just what I had accumulated for myself since moving out at 19 with not a penny to my name (I’ve had as many as 5 jobs at once to get ahead). So my husband is relieved of having a wife who depends on him for financial stability, in fact he has a wife who adds financial security on a regular basis. Not because she was told to, not because she WANTED to or it was FUN, but because she acted on it with her own drive and self-discipline and reaped the rewards (rewards that he now enjoys as well). What’s more, he has a wife that has done it all, played every role in upholding a household, and found that the stuff that men usually get tasked with fall under the easy parts of home ownership and management, and yes that includes both going to work and home & lawn maintenance.

        He could have been a house-husband, a stay-at-home dad if he chose. I would have gladly taken on the breadwinner role. But he didn’t want it. I understand because I don’t want it either.

        Because women are now savvy to what it takes to earn a living and run a household, we are asking to have a partner/teammate inside the home in return for being a partner/teammate outside of the home. That means that men will now have to hold themselves responsible in the same way that women do in the home, for the benefit of the team. It’s not about WANT it’s about RESPONSIBILITY. That means having a WILLINGNESS and REGULARITY in the way that you help. That means KNOWING HOW TO HELP or KNOWING WHAT IS NEEDED without having to ASK or BE TOLD. That means finding a way to make yourself useful instead of needing her to do that for you. This isn’t a sport, you don’t get to choose to not have a home that needs tending to, you don’t get to choose your level of commitment to the team or say, “I don’t like this game, I don’t want to play anymore.” You want to drop out of the local soccer team, fine, but if you choose to play you better bring your a-game and not have to be told what to do all the time. You don’t get to drop out of shared responsibilities unless you also choose to not participate at all. Want to not share chores with someone? Then you should be single, find a woman who wants the role that you want her to have, or be prepared to pay a cleaning service.

        I literally had to tell my husband that I won’t be accountable for counting his clean underwear to determine when he needs them washed. I told him this after he berated me for his lack of clean underwear and socks. Why am I responsible for taking stock of his clean underwear? How is it my fault that this grown man is out of clean socks? He has a powerful brain, eyes, hands, and mouth. I don’t wear whites so they aren’t on my radar. Women aren’t psychic [either]. Nor do we have a burning desire to have to constantly clean up after another adult. Or do chores. Or perform roles that were forced on us through childhood play and societal training. Most women don’t WANT to do chores any more than men do. Yet my wonderful husband felt perfectly comfortable expecting his laundry to just magically be done for him. Comfortable enough that when his whites ran out he took it out on me. Why?

        He now helps with the laundry and all is well. We usually do it together, or will decide together when it needs to be done and how it will be implemented. He saw how ridiculous he was being once I explained to him that: not only could I never expect these things from him in reverse, but society has tried to brainwash me into believing that I am not to expect these things at all, from any man. And also that society has made it abundantly clear that men are allowed to feel that they have a pass for life so long as they have a woman in their home. And that’s why change is slow. Because men think it’s “no fun” they refuse to see their own privilege and be of help. I still don’t keep stock of his dirty socks and underwear. Why should I?

        After that he got on me about the bed not being made when he comes home. I’m often the last one up, he said, so I am the one left to make the bed. One week I got up early every day, was up and dressed before him. That week the bed didn’t get made. When he complained I told him that it was his responsibility, as he had gotten out of bed last. And also to stop holding me to higher standards than he holds himself to.

        Since then we make the bed together with some exceptions. And we both make the bed when we are last out of it and home alone. It’s a more fair system that we both had to compromise for in order to both benefit from it. His receptiveness and willingness to try it a new way are part of the many things I love about him. That and I can call him out on society’s shit brainwashing of him and he’s like, “oh, I didn’t even think of that because I’ve never had to.”

        I remember watching a friend cry because her husband didn’t know the name of the school their then 5-year-old was attending (he was left to wait for the bus with his son that morning and called to ask). This same friend is in a traditional marriage and begrudges all of the added work load that she faces every day while her husband remains blissfully uninvolved. You don’t want to make your wife cry because you just don’t care, do you? Because her tasks are “no fun” so you don’t want to even consider how to be of help without first being pressured.

        I sat out the kitchen chores a lot as a child at Thanksgiving gatherings, hoping no one would give me work to do while I was so full and relaxed, but truthfully telling myself there were already plenty of people helping and that I wasn’t needed if I wasn’t called upon. But I’m not a child anymore. Sometimes you do things because it’s wrong to not do them. You help because you know help is needed. This applies to work, to community, to family, and especially to spouse and home. You help because it’s the right thing to do.

        So the real truth of women’s frustrations come from men using excuses of all types to get out of lending a hand enough to have a grasp on the whole picture. We’re frustrated with men refusing to give “women’s work” enough of a try to have an educated opinion on the matter, with men who conveniently forget that being a wife is based on a system of slavery between the sexes. I mean, why is a woman’s work “beneath” a man after all? And why does he get to put his nose up to it but not her? How is it that he doesn’t even have the skill-set in the first place, let alone the refusal to learn it?

        It’s about tasks, but it’s also about accountability.

        Want more examples?

        My husband volunteered to be responsible for taking out the trash. One week he asked me 3 days in a row if I would put a new bag in the bin on his way outside with the trash, to which I agreed because I was next to the bin and had free hands. For some reason, he stopped replacing the trash bag with a clean one after that and I would come to the trash with something gross and drippy to find there was no trash bag in the bin. This was incredibly frustrating, do I need to explain why? Imagine needing to put something messy in the bin and time is of the essence, and you are stopped in your tracks because there isn’t a bag. Why did he stop doing the complete chore? Why, after lending him a hand 3 times, did he assume that he had successfully unloaded that half of the task onto me? Don’t take out the trash without replacing the bag. I couldn’t believe I had to actually address this with him. I was dumbfounded, embarrassed for him that I even had to say something, and angry that it was so easy for him to not even consider that he was adding stress to my day over something so easy to do.

        I could go on and on, but I won’t. My point is that men get to slack off, then get to get angry at us if they perceive that we’re slacking off. I see it at home and in professional environments. Women are rarely the slackers in my world, but I can’t say the same for the men. So now I’m starting to get angry at men for finding excuses to slack off while also accusing us of slacking off. Are women also often guilty of slacking off? Maybe, but I don’t know them, they aren’t friends or family of mine.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. If you have to be told every single time though, you’re basically admitting you don’t care enough to become actively involved or make yourself aware of what needs to be done. And that you’re happy to turn your partnership into a manager/employee dynamic, blissfully leaving everything to the “higher up” until they delegate a task to you. Do you know how insulting that is?


  1. Funny, my wife does this exact thing. “I didn’t know you wanted that cleaned up too… It’s been there for days/weeks since I left it there…”

    It goes both ways. And no, I’m not perfect.


      1. She is expecting him to direct her. All he is saying is that the reverse of what is happening in the comic is also possible.


    1. Anecdotal evidence of one situation in which the reverse is true doesn’t mean that this comic isn’t overwhelmingly accurate for most women. If you have that situation than you know how exhausting it can be and should be able to relate rather than telling us we’re all wrong because your individual experience is different.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I shared this content with my husband at 11pm. not good timing. He was enraged, insulted, hurt and basically furious. Stopped out of the house. Came back (whew). I told him I wasn’t trying to start a fight or hurt him. I was trying to share a great articulation of how I feel, what it is like to be me, why I hate working outside the home, in addition to working inside the home. I told him this is why I am edgy, snappy, bitchy, stressed, covertly exasperated. I just trust our love and that he would CARE how it is for me (and many women). Let me say this: It has taken our marriage and home life to a new and wonderful place. He looks around to help, asks me if I am OK and what is on my mind, what could I delegate that he might not be aware of (signing kids up for camps etc)…I feel 10 years younger. So much relief. It is really really a mental load. And when it is shared in conversation as much as actual effort, the EXHALE is the force of a tsunami. Thank you for sharing all of this. And thanks to my husband who de-escalated enough to really hear me. I couldn’t take it any more. It was just too much. And I don’t want my daughter to be raised to believe she has to carry the load, someday. I was modeling that….so, no more. Our family is a “WE” and our home is “ours” and the mental load is shared as are the chores.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Hi Emma,

    I am a man (somehow that feels relevant to say). Your comics have had a real impact on the way I perceived the mental load and responsibility of running a household. I think your explanations and examples are easily recognizable for most hetero couples and that is kindoff heartbreaking to me. Ever since I read your comic about mental lead (title: you should’ve asked) I am really trying to unload my partner, but it has been a struggle and we are desperately trying to figure out why.

    This comic in particular is comically and tragically insightfull. There’s a guy with clear intentions to help out and to do his part, but wholefully ignorant on how to accomplish that. I feel like he thinks this task (doing the dishes) is most relevant and important to his partner at the moment, while he doesn’t recognize the cornucopia of other tasks. It is bittersweet that he tries and failes, and I get the frustration of the partner who doesn’t want to explain that there are many ways he could help at the moment.

    Nevertheless, behavior change is hard (I know, I studied for it). And you can learn to nourish and harvest the good intentions of our wellmeaning, but very ignorant men. Solid communication is key (it is incredibily challenging to have good communication. not just to say and listen to the words, but to hear the things your partner is trying to say with his/her words and actions.). Patience is key. Forgiveness is key. And you have to learn to laugh about eachothers faillures and give and take feedback with a light touch.

    All of this is effortfull, but energizing in the long run. I recognize that this puts even more mental strain on the ludicrous mental burden allready on most women. This should definitely be a shared responsibility. I can imagine many people will not be able or not willing to go through these lengths to create a true equal partnership. But I am willing, and trying. And that is thanks to you Emma.

    So thanks! A lot! (also from my girlfriend!)

    Kind regards,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If being a life partner/married spouse were a job, most men would be fired in the first few weeks. Lost thier jobs. FIRED. Love doesnt get the jobs done! And love becomes resentment and bitterness if you are the only one doing them.

    I will never marry again for this reason. They can live alone and do all these chores for themselves or delegate and PAY for them to be done, like cleaning and cooking and yardwork. But once you step in and take over they are little boys again and off the hook because mommy is in charge and getting it done.

    My litany is if you could do it for yourself before, you can do it now, as I am not your chauffer, your maid, your cook, your laundress, your psycotherapist, your nanny, your mistress, your savings bank, your dog walker/pet sitting service, your mother, your father, or your whipping post. I am your partner, your bestie, your confidant, your reality anchor, your dreamcatcher, your lover, your friend.

    I am a widow and my husband owned his house when we met and he continued to pay to get chores done after the marriage. I was never, ever berated or held to some servile standard in the household, and he even helped me learn about finances and pay off my own school debts and start my own LLC. I helped him reconcile with his family and take back his professional career just by believing in him when he no longer did.

    I have never met anyone else who could or would be that enlightened creature that he was, so I stopped looking.

    I still own the house and had a child (very young widow) after his passing. I would encourage all you ladies not to settle for the mommy role in your partnerships. It is a losing proposition for you everytime and a winning one for them. Full Stop.


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