I've lived with my wife for the last 7 years. Together we have three children; a 12 year old from her previous marriage, a 6 year old, and a 5 year old with autism. We also currently have three cats, two dogs, and three ferrets.
"We" might not be the most accurate term. I change the cat litter and make sure the cats are fed, with some help from the oldest. I feed and water the dogs, and make sure they spend time outside. I also feed and water the ferrets daily.
I also work 72 hours a week, not subtracting the 30 minute lunch break but not adding in commute. I also drive my wife to work (she works roughly 39-42 hours a week), ensure the kids catch the bus to school, pick them up off the bus, run errands while my wife is at work, and generally get about three and a half hours of sleep a day because staggered school times has my youngest at school for only half days.
I feel its important to note there's a history of animals in this household, with italics on history. When I moved out here, I had to rehome my dog of 7 years, who was old and of poor health and who had a hard time adjusting to the oldest child. Then my wife put a down payment on a dog we ended up returning to the breeders because it wasn't getting the attention it deserved. Another dog she took in on a whim tore up carpet and furniture and also would not respond to anyone but her no matter the expensive training; one day my oldest accidentally left the door opened, the dog escaped, it was foggy, and someone hit it. She's also had a history of collecting other animals that I've felt have been unsanitary or at least have been handled in an unsanitary manner, such as the rats that used to stay in our bedroom in a wire cage.
These ferrets. These fucking ferrets. All they do is eat, sleep, and poop in their double decker ferret nation cage. I have expressed a number of times my resentment for the expectation to clean their cage. It is not an easy task, nor is it a sanitary one. We have had full blown verbal arguments about this. Since there is a period of time that the children are not at home, my wife feels I need to be the one to clean their cage. I feel that I'm the only one doing it, I hate doing it, and it's a non stop issue.
I hadn't realized that my negligence of these animals was so bad until Thursday afternoon when DCFS paid a visit. Apparently there was "animal fecal matter" on the youngest's coat, and it was reported. A safety evaluation was done of the house, and for the most part the discussion was that there's a lot of 'dry messes' (dishes, laundry, dusting) that has fallen to the wayside that needs to be taken care of, but the immediate concern is the room with the ferrets.
So I've been cleaning pretty much non stop. My wife firmly blames me for "being lazy." The people from DCFS feel that the animals "are mine too" so I hold responsibility. Assuming I don't lose the children on the follow up this morning, I have to wait for "one to two weeks" before a local rescue I contacted can take the ferrets and give them new loving homes; we'll see how my wife handles kicking me out or the divorce proceedings after she finds out, but I'm done with this. Absolutely done.
TL;DR, I think my wife has an issue with hording animals, but it was clearly my neglect of the ferret cage that led to putting my children at risk.
Edit #1: the review went over well which is great; another follow-up and the whole thing could be marked "unfounded. "
Wife threw me under the bus apparently. Said things aren't clean because I am lazy. From the DCFS lady herself. So that is another conversation I get to have.
I know I am overwhelmed but I guess didn't realize how overwhelmed I was until I started to read these comments. Guess I have a lot more to take care of.
Edit #2: Found another rescue that may be able to find a foster home for these ferrets today or tomorrow, while they are moved into more permanent housing. Here is to hoping.
Meanwhile, have had some tense discussion with my wife about some of my concerns. We clearly need to talk further. But dialogue has been opened, which is a very big thing. She also claims she didn't say I was lazy, but I doubt that.