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?

Article: Why Women Are Still Doing More Housework Than Men
01
    05/26/14
    This is something my husband and I fight about quite a bit. I love the man, but he's the laziest person I've ever met. At the moment, I work full time while he goes to school. I pay every bit of our bills, but I'm willing to do that because he is trying to better our lives. The problem comes in when I'm also expected to cook, clean, and take care of our son with very little help from him. He will occasionally change a diaper or put him to bed so I can got bed early, but I get up at night and in the morning, get our son and myself ready, then wake my husband right before I leave. Then I take the baby to daycare, work a full day, pick him up from daycare, come home and cook for everyone, bathe our son and most of the time, put him to bed. Cleaning usually gets left until the weekend when I have more time, but why should it?! Why can't he help with cleaning while I cook and care for our child?
    I'm sorry, you got me on my soap box.
    0
    05/28/14
    I understand your soapbox! It's my gripe too!

    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.
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      05/26/14
      Comment deleted
      05/28/14
      Debi, thanks so much for your comments. Maddie is finally over her illness and feeling much better today. It took more than a week for her to actually return to normal, though!
      1
        05/27/14
        Comment deleted
        05/28/14
        I get that too. While I'm doing the dishes, my husband is blipping around on his phone, and Maddie's crying behind me because she hates when I'm doing things at our kitchen counters. I get that she needs attention, I get that he was the one giving her the attention most of the day, but if responsibilities don't magically shut off for me, why should they for him? Gripe gripe gripe--there's the platform of my soapbox, Amanda!
        1
          05/28/14
          My mom is diagnosed OCD, but she didn't receive this diagnosis or treatment until later in life. I have memories of my mom criticizing the cleanliness of the homes of her friends, or sticking her hands directly into cleanser or water and cleanser mixes, then later complaining that her skin was so dry it hurt to bend her fingers, or using the faucet right after her and feeling the water temperature almost scald my hands.

          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.
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          About Tish
          Born: Homestead, Pennsylvania
          Current: State College, Pennsylvania
          Birth: March 04
          On Moms.com since: Dec 17, 2013
          Working mom of two, happily married, editor/content manager of scientific publications for a scholarly society in Washington DC, attached parent, extended nurser. Parenting and loving the best way I know how!