Article: Why Women Are Still Doing More Housework Than Men
I read this article as part of an email list I receive, and I thought it was interesting, but also rather vexing. The bottom line of the article was that women often pair their self-worth with the cleanliness of their homes, and maybe instead of trying to keep up with it, we should outsource it or loosen up and be, what, dirtier?
Please bear with me, here--I'm going to be embarrassingly honest with you and post a picture of my kitchen sink from this week. It's been a rough week for me--I was spending most of my time with my sick daughter, and my husband spent most of his time taking advantage of the fact that I was home so he could work. This is what we ended up with, and frankly, it's gross. Dirty dishes, uneaten cat food, and it just kept piling up. Yuck.
Why are men okay with being gross, and why is that a sign that women are "uptight" and need to "chill out"? Maybe not everyone's house gets like my picture everyday--mine certainly does not--but the fact of the matter is that I was the person who eventually took care of this mess because I was the one who found it unlivable, and maybe I should judge my husband on that!
I can't get all of my thoughts out about this in a single post, so please help me--do you share your chores cleaning your home? Does your husband/partner chip in his share? And re-think that--does he REALLY? And how fair does it feel?
I'm sorry, you got me on my soap box.
With us, I struggle to have this conversation without blaming or trying to quantify exactly how hard each of us are working. Why can't we value the work we are both doing without attacking each other? I acknowledge that my husband is doing a lot. I don't think he acknowledges that I am, or if he does, he thinks that my tasks aren't as hard as his are. And that's when I start to pull out my hair, lol.
I guess I always have that in the back of my mind, that even when I am cleaning, it's never actually "clean enough" for my mom. I have a maid service do a once-over in my home once a month, and when my mom comes to visit, she will still scrub down my bathrooms instead of spending time with my daughter.
I share these anecdotes not to refute the claims of everyone else, but to add to this conversation why the sole cleaning responsibility is so frustrating and scary to me. That that picture is up there of my then-dirty kitchen really freaks me out. I still find myself needing to clarify, time and time again, that that picture was a one-time thing, that it doesn't usually look like that, and that panic, that I want all of you to know that, is the part of this conversation that I want to poke with a stick.
What if my home DID always look like that? Gosh, I get panicky just thinking about it. Something in my head cannot let something like that happen. I don't think my husband feels that sort of urgency, or even understands it, so he criticizes when I am running late because I want to finish the dishes or do that last load of laundry. I'm going nuts falling behind in my chores because we're both working--the easy stuff!--and he won't, let alone can't, begin to understand it.