Another Fight Over Another Empty Toilet Paper Roll

By Kim Strobel

March 6, 2019

Why Women Should Ask for Help—And EXPECT to Get It

My husband Scott is a dynamic man in many ways. He’s a terrific father to our children—he constantly lets them know they are loved in myriad ways. He works hard to help support our family—and he’s such a talented graphic design artist.

He’s really darn good to me, too. He’s a perfect complement to my high-strung personality, and he absolutely accepts me for who I am. He even helps clean up around the house (although I do have to ask for that help).

But … I feel the need to shoot it straight and share some uncomfortable truths that I’m sure a lot of women and their significant others can relate to.

The Invisible Work of Being a Woman

See, in a lot of today’s households (and just like in mine), there are two parents both working full-time jobs. And yet there’s a second full-time job happening that tends to fall mostly (sometimes only) on the woman in this partnership. I’m talking about the “household responsibilities”—cooking, cleaning, tending to the kids’ needs.

No wonder women are so damn stressed out and exhausted!

There’s a whole host of “invisible jobs” that women and mothers are responsible for. These are super-important tasks that are necessary for a household and family to operate successfully, and yet they often go unnoticed—and even more often unappreciated!

I feel like I have an endless list of these small tasks. Do these sound familiar?

  • Keeping a mental inventory of every item in the cupboards
  • Cleaning out the fridge every couple of weeks
  • Purging the closets every season
  • Coordinating play dates, doctor appointments, haircuts

Oh, lawd … I could go on and on and on!

These are jobs that I stress about—and yet, I know my husband, like many others, probably doesn’t even realize these jobs need to be done!

The Empty Toilet Paper Roll (And Why I’m Slowly Losing My Mind)

My husband’s blindspot when it comes to household tasks recently prompted a good ol’ “Come to Jesus” meeting in the Strobel home.

For … oh, let’s say, the MILLIONTH time … I walked into our shared bathroom to discover an empty toilet paper roll on the dispenser. And a brand new roll of toilet paper on the counter mere inches away from the dispenser. 

Really, Scott? Again?!?

Listen up … here’s the deal. I know this is happening in houses across the country probably as you’re reading this. I’d wager 99 out of 100 times, the responsibility for replacing that empty toilet paper roll falls on the woman’s watch. (I can only assume that rare one time out of 100 happens because some man has been threatened with bodily harm if he doesn’t just change the damn roll!)

Now I know what some of you might be thinking. This is such a minor issue, and it takes literally seconds for me to just change the roll myself. You’re probably thinking this doesn’t seem worth the fight.

But it is. And that’s why I will continue to call Scott out every. Single. Time.

Because that empty toilet paper roll is a symbol. It’s telling me my time (even if it’s just seconds) isn’t as valuable as someone else’s. It’s telling me that even though I work full-time, I’m also expected to carry additional weight around the house.

Quite frankly, this is BS, ladies! So that means it’s up to us to put on our big girl panties and ask for what we want. To make our voices heard and ask for help. And to EXPECT that the people in our lives will offer that help.

And sometimes it means having yet another family meeting about the damn toilet paper roll!

BONUS REAL TALK: I don’t want to leave you thinking my husband doesn’t pull his weight around the house. He and my son absolutely do their share—laundry, mopping and vacuuming, and other tasks. In fact, I recently recorded a video where I show Scott’s trademark dishwashing duty tip! (I also talk about why it’s important for women to ask for MORE, so be sure to watch the whole thing!)

  • I LOVE this post!! It is SO true that husbands, for the most part, do not have a clue of all of the little “unseen” things we do! Thank you for the pep talk and the advice on asking for what we want.

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