In this counseling answer:
• Speak up about how you feel.
• Speak first with your brother about your feelings and explore options on how to decrease that amount of stress and work you have to do. Come up with a solution with your brother that the both of you see fit.
• Please, do not feel like you are being mean or uncaring if you ask your family members for help!
Salamu ‘Alaikum Sister,
Thank you for sending us your question. It seems you are very exhausted from taking care of a complete household all by yourself! I ask Allah (swt) to help you, give you strength, and give you the courage to communicate your feelings and needs effectively.
Sister, you should not feel that you have to do all the work on your own! Certainly, you need to let your family members know that you are tired and feel overburdened from such a big responsibility of keeping the household intact. I understand that you do not want to disturb the peace in your household, but at the same time you cannot go on like this with very limited help.
What needs to be done is to speak up about how you feel. I am in no way saying that you should come across as mean or insensitive. What I mean is that you must be assertive in the way you communicate. Being assertive means that you communicate your feelings clearly and respectfully while seeking a win-win situation in the conversation. A “win-win” situation is when both people feel like their needs were addressed respectfully and a compromise was put into place.
In your situation, I would advise you to speak first with your brother about your feelings and explore options on how to decrease that amount of stress and work you have to do. Come up with a solution with your brother that the both of you see fit. It could be anything, examples may include: bringing a part-time maid, assigning fixed chores for each member of the family, bringing food from an outside source, etc.
I also understand that you expect your sister-in-law to help you with the chores which are certainly not unreasonable since she lives in the household, and all members of the family should take part in the chores. However, it seems like you do not fully know the extent of how much your sister-in-law can safely take part in physical chores since she is pregnant.
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There are some women who have high-risk pregnancies and are required to do the as limited amount of physical activity as possible. If your sister-in-law is one of those women, then certainly no one should expect her to put herself and her unborn baby at risk. But in order for you to know the status of her health, you must speak up respectfully and talk to your brother about your concerns. He, in return, would let his wife know about the household responsibilities and have a conversation with her about how much she can do.
Again, please do not feel like you are being mean or uncaring if you ask your family members for help! You are an important part of the family and all members of the family must work together to support one another. I ask Allah (swt) to help you to overcome the anxieties in your heart and to gain the courage to be an effective communicator.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.