Before getting married, I never imagined I would be buried alive in piles of laundry and perpetually cleaning each and every surface of my house. I never daydreamed about scrubbing toilets or washing windows and yet here I am, a regular Cinderella ( I can hear the little mice singing. Blame it on the fact that I have a 5 year old daughter).
Yet, I also never imagined exactly what kind of balance with my husband there would be in terms of house work, either. All of this lack of daydreaming, is because I never really thought of getting married, so I naturally didn’t consider who would take out the trash and who wouldn’t.
But, as anyone who is married knows, inevitably, these chores or duties get doled out. Suddenly, one task becomes someones job, like it or not. Right? And more than that, isn’t is usually women who take on the majority of the housework?
And I don’t pull the “that isn’t fair” card very often, but allow me to right now. Is it fair for women to do more housework? Or should chores be equally distributed among men?
I can’t speak for everyone, but, here’s how it works in my marriage…
Basically, I have come to consider the house to be my personal domain. Being a stay home mom with all of its glitz and glamour (a.k.a. goo and grime) is also filled with inordinate amounts of housework. Even homes without kids can attests to how much care a home really requires.
But, I think therein lies the difference. I am not so much interested in taking care of a house, as I am in creating and maintaining a home. Sounds like semantics, but it is not. One is concerned with appearance, while the other is concerned with a feeling, a mood, an emotion–the way a home makes you feel, not just the way it looks.
Okay, so back to the point, how is housework distributed in my own casa? Well, again, since I consider the home my domain, as it were, and I am home each day, it goes without saying that I do most of the housework.
But here’s the thing, I consider it my job. In very much the same way that my husband provides for us by going off to his office each day, meeting with clients, creating strategies and solutions, I consider what I do to be just as important.
Now, the world would say otherwise. No one tells women that folding clothes, vacuuming, mopping, making dinner, etc, is worthwhile, important, or even cool. We’re told quite the opposite.
That is, unless you have a husband like mine who thanks me almost daily for every single bit of housework, *ahem* homemaking, I do. It does not go unnoticed by him, and that makes a huge difference.
However, while I take on the majority of housework, my husband is also not the type of guy to come home, plop down on the couch, request a martini, and sit and watch while the little Mrs. runs around like a crazy person on fire. Nooooo…
He helps. A ton. He bathes kids, run errands, dusts, changes diapers, takes out trash, and will happily and joyfully help me with just about anything I ask. He rules and it makes me feel like I have a partner, not just a spectator for a husband.
Sure, some days I wish he would or could just do it all, but I realize too, that I couldn’t go into his office and run things for a day. I wouldn’t know where to start. And I’m okay with that.
Sure, I know to some this will sound archaic or old-fashioned. I prefer the term “retro.” But it works for us. We like our system. We aren’t so rigid or hard that we can’t or don’t adjust as needed too. I think after my 3rd baby was born, my husband picked up takeout for dinner nearly 50 times.
He did so happily, knowing he has a wife who loves to cook, but that she also needed a break. And that’s so much of what marriage is about–tuning into each other’s needs and making necessary changes to bless and serve one another daily.
So how does housework happen in your home? Who does more? Does it matter? And how did you decide?