Readers- Here’s the email that prompted my earlier post about defining what it means to “pitch in”. Clearly, someone in this Host Family has a different interpretation of what that means.
I need your help in forming an opinion for my self regarding dishwashing.
I am working with a family of 2 parents, 2 grandparents and 2 host kids.
I came in February and within a week time I picked up some family chores. I helped my hostmom cleaning up the dinner table and whiping clean the counters, box up leftovers and sweep the floor. Second week, I started to help cleaning the dishes by hand for breakfast and lunch.
I am working for an Asian-American family and they cook their noodles and rice every meal a day so pots and pans are used for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Their dishwasher never worked since I am working for this family and they only use it to stock up their chopsticks and china.
Soon enough my hostdad stopped cleaning the morning and afternoon dishwashing altogether and left it for me to clean by hand. My hostdad works from home and usually takes a nap while I clean the dishes.
Then in my 4th week my hostmom asked me if I could take over the dinner dishwashing so she could have time to play with her girls in the evening. I told her we could see if that would work out. I didn’t say yes since I was not happy by the thought that now cleaning the dishwashing was made my full responsibility. So, over the day I spend about
45 minutes or more to clean up their dishes.
Let me be clear by saying I am not afraid to participate in this family, since I see them as my family. But I work 9-10 hours a day with a 4 year old and 1,5 year old. I notice I work more then 45 hours each week since my hostparents are really busy.
I never made a big deal out of this above. But now it is summertime, the grand parents are over which means more dishwashing to clean and a 4 year old to watch constantly the whole day. This week I went with the 4 year old a day out. I had late lunch and by dinner time I had made my 10 hours. I sat with the family for dinner, while not eating with them. And before dinner could been cleaned from the table, I walked up to my room completely exhausted. Half an hour later my hostmom came knocking on the door. She told me to go upstairs and clean up the table and dishes.
I was surprised and told her I already made my 10 hours. Then she said that doing the dishwashing is a family related duty and she never saw that as working hours.
She saw me being upset about it and she asked me if I would like to talk with her about it. I said another day. Now we scheduled a conversation together to sort it out.
But am I right to refuse doing the dishwashing of 6 people for a meal which didn’t include me? Especially while I work my 10 hours a day and even sometimes work up to 50 hours a week without any compromise?