My father, when he wants something done around the house, has no hesitation in telling me about it. I appreciate his direct approach. I just wish he'd direct his requests at someone other than me once in a while. Seriously, it's like I'm the only one he can ask to take out the garbage. I know he doesn't want to be the only one doing it, and I want to do my part, too. But there are days when I don't even see daylight because the girls are keeping me so busy inside. There are two other grown men in the house besides him. He can't say "Son, please empty the garbage before you leave," or "Hey, son-in-law, can you take the trash out to the curb before you leave for work in the morning?" No, it's "Sleepless Mama, why am I the only one who takes out the trash? Why doesn't your brother ever do it? He sees it's full. Why doesn't he just do it? Why am I the only one to do it?" He sounds like a woman. He sounds like me, when I used to complain to my best friend about how Bizarro Dad never did any chores without being asked first.
When my father gets like this, my response is usually something like, "I'm sorry, Dad. I should have emptied it last night. I'll take care of it."
Sometimes he says, "Your brother was just in the kitchen five minutes ago. He could have taken it out, too." Then he fumes about how my brother never helps around the house.
Well hell, Dad, why not just ask him to take it out? It's not like he's ever had a wife to nag him about that kind of thing. Neither you nor Mom ever taught him, "When you see the trash is full, empty it," when we were growing up. He's simply not one to think of these things. But no, you don't tell him to help around the house, or even ask him to do a single thing. You just mitch and boan about how he never does anything.
In fact, my brother took it out just the other day when I said, "Please, do me a favor and take the trash out before you leave this morning." That's all I had to say! I asked, he did it, I thanked him, end of story! Stop making a federal case out of it, Dad! Stop nagging me about what my brother doesn't do!
And while your at it, Dad, if you want my husband to do something, you need to ask him yourself, or write him a note, or at least tell me, "Sleepless Mama, please ask Bizarro Dad to do such and such." Don't just tell me "See that this gets done" with the assumption that I know to relay the message to my husband. Usually I feel like you're just putting it on me. I have enough to do, thank you. And if my husband is sitting right there, just look him in the eye and ask him yourself. I'm not your message board!