As a small bit of background, I have lived with my boyfriend for about three years now. A year ago, my younger brother (20 at the time, 21 now) moved in with us after hitting a rough patch on his own. This was agreed to by the boyfriend, so that hasn't been much of a problem, aside from having two 20 something men in the house "competing" for the "alpha" spot. The only real issue was space, as the apartment was very small.
So, in May, I bought my first house and we all three moved into it. A couple weeks later, we took in a second cat that a friend needed to find a home for. A week after the second cat, my brother and I adopted a brother and sister set of puppies.
Fast forward to today. I (25, only female in the house) work an 8-5, Monday-Friday job a 30 minute drive from the house. My boyfriend (22) works 4pm-12am on normal weekdays for a large company, but it's their busy season so he's generally working a lot of overtime. His job is also 30 minutes from the house. At the same time, he is enrolled in an online college to get a different degree. My brother is about to return from a class to start his new job as a semi driver, meaning he will be home only a few days every two or three weeks.
While we have had money and bills sorted out since moving to the house, chores have fallen by the wayside. Thankfully, we have at least kept up with house training messes with the puppies, and we are keeping food cleaned up. But this still leaves a lot of clutter and is making this very nice house look like crap.
The problem comes in three facts:
My boyfriend sleeps a ton, especially during this busy part of the year. When he wakes up, he has enough time to take care of the dogs, make sure the cats are fed and their boxes are clean, eat something, and do homework. After that, he has to get cleaned up and head to work.
Before he went for his intro class, my brother worked overnights at a gas station down the street. On top of this, he didn't eat well. This, at least in my (uneducated) opinion led to him sleeping a lot and generally not wanting to do anything but go to work. He didn't even want to help with the dogs, though the girl is his and they absolutely adore each other. (It's been very, very heartbreaking to watch her look for him the couple of weeks he's been gone.)
I have medical issues I am working through that I believe have led to my incredible lack of energy when I get home. Despite this lack of energy, I have tried my darnedest to make sure the puppies are going outside as regularly as they should be, make sure they have water and their last meal of the day, and work on training them.
You may be able to see how we've not gotten much done in the way of chores.
I want to work to correct this, and my brother and I have even discussed a few points with this, mainly with yard work. I want to have a conversation with both men to work out a plan and how we can hold ourselves to it.
What I want to do is basically create a chore list and hold us all to it. However, there are some chores some of us can't do, and there are chores that suck (ever smelled a cat box that needs changed?) and the same person shouldn't always get stuck with them.
The problem with the chore list is that it's never worked. The boys never do their part, and I never do mine. We need to work out how to get this under control, and soon, so that the mess doesn't begin to affect our health, the health of our beloved animals (I would pretty well die if I caused something bad to happen to any of them.), and visits from my mother, who has threatened to stop visiting if the house looks the same on her next visit.
How can I convince the boys of how important this is and get them to work with me to both make this list as fairly as possible and actually hold each other to it without letting the chores go undone? (My boyfriend and I have tried a "If you don't do your chore on your day, you have to do it the next day!" and it backfired miserably... For what I'm sure are obvious reasons...)