By The Duchess, 22nd July 2016


An Open Letter to an Ungrateful Husband

An Open Letter to an Ungrateful Husband

Dearest Husband,

When I was young I dreamed of being a grown up…

I couldn’t wait to go to work, have a career, do something I really loved and be paid for it. I couldn’t wait to work hard to earn good money and live in a nice house with nice things. I loved buying things for myself and enjoying the fact that I had EARNED what I was buying. Not once, not ever, did I imagine I would end up in a thankless job. I didn’t dream of becoming a cleaner or a cook. I didn’t dream of being taken advantage of, screamed at and told that I was not good enough. I dreamed of being appreciated. Having a boss that every now and again would (metaphorically of course) pat me on the back for a job well done. Don’t get me wrong, I never wanted the strict 9-5 working hours, but I did imagine working in a career where the hours were flexible and my time off was mine to do with what I wanted.

You… you have a job you love. You are paid WELL. You have people to say well done to you, pat you on the back and take you to gourmet lunches. You get to travel the world business class and wine and dine on company credit cards. You get given pay rises and bonuses. You get to start and finish at a time you want. You get to speak to people on a daily basis that understand your job and understand when you are stressed about a project. You get to wear expensive shoes and expensive shirts and suits to work, which may I add are always clean. You get to take a shower on your own every morning and sit having a shit (on your own) while you read the daily newspaper every night. Violence or aggressive behavior is not tolerated in your workplace.

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Markus Spiske :
Markus Spiske :

You, my kind sir, do not appreciate what you have.

I, although I would not change being a mum for the world, get to work in a job where every day I wonder when I will stop being screamed at for doing the best job I can.

I cook. I clean. I wipe up shit and piss. I wash and dry clothes and I wake at all hours of the night to sooth crying children (and even grown adults) when they have bad dreams. Yet I do all this without a simple Thank You, and most of the time without even a slight nod of approval or appreciation.

I do it all because I love my family.

I don’t get to use my own bathroom because my husband can’t aim at anything other than the floor. I take showers holding one child in my arms while the other splashes about at my feet. I often have to wash my hair twice because I forget to rinse out the soap. I don’t have a single week where I sleep through the night. I NEVER get a chance to finish a cup of coffee, let alone a gourmet lunch out with colleagues. I wear whatever I can find that is semi-clean and brush my hair whilst on the toilet because it’s the ONLY time I don’t have a child, toy or dirty plate in my hand, although I am NEVER alone in the toilet. I walk around a house all day long picking up and re-picking up everyone else’s stuff, and my clothes are ALWAYS the last ones washed because I put my husband’s work clothes before my own.

Lennart Tange
Lennart Tange

I entertain two small people with big imaginations and even bigger attitudes. I think up creative things to fill their time during the day. I am a TEACHER, I spend hours each day teaching my children how to walk, talk, sing and clean up after themselves. I am screamed at, hit, bit and punched, and all for doing my job.

At the weekends my job gets harder. I am exhausted and grouchy and yet I pander to a husband who has been working all week.

I STILL don’t finish a coffee. I still cook and clean and wash and dry. I still soothe screaming kids, but this time I also have to put up with a screaming husband. I have to try my best to find five minutes in the two days of a weekend to try and look NICE for my husband, in-between dressing two screaming grouchy kids and looking for stuff that my husband can’t find.

My job is not easy. I DO NOT sit on my arse all day. I DO NOT sleep in until all hours. I am not a yummy mummy because I have no time to be.

Yet – on a morning where my husband is in a bad mood – I get screamed at for being lazy because his socks are wet. Something that is totally out of my control. Never mind that I have to go around your bed and into a disgusting bathroom picking up filthy socks and pants to wash in the first place…. But no. These acts are simply not good enough when you discover your socks are not dry at the exact moment they are required. I will of course, in the future, have a word with MOTHER NATURE to ensure that she abides by my time schedule and I will ensure it is warm enough outside to dry your socks in record time.

During the summer you never noticed how much washing or drying was done, each day you would return to clean clothes in the wardrobe and that was that… the reality is that 3 or 4 loads of washing A DAY would be done. During the winter it is of course MY FAULT for being lazy when it takes 3 days to dry ONE load.

You are PAID to do your job… I gave up my dreams of a career and independence for the one job on the planet that is not only UNPAID but UNREWARDED.

So next time you think about throwing a Diva Strop when your socks are damp… consider how you would feel if the roles were reversed. If you had given up EVERYTHING for the love of your family, and each and every day you were screamed and shouted at for making that exact choice.


I do not regret being a mum or passing over my career for the sake of my children, but I do regret letting my ungrateful ‘boss’ walk all over me as if the day he decided to get me pregnant was the day he hired a slave. Any employee deserves more, and I am damn sure your wife and mother of your children deserves more also.

Yours Sincerely

A Disgruntled ‘Employee’

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