AM doesn't like housework.
I don't really like housework, obviously. That would be stupid. (Except for that slightly satisfying feeling of watching crumbs get sucked up into the nozzle of a hoover, or trimmed beard hairs getting swished down the plughole.) I can think of a 100 things I'd rather do than housework.
I don't want to spend time cleaning wee off the toilet rim (his), or picking out bits of soggy food from the sink so the dishwater can drain away properly. I don't derive pleasure from changing the sheets (duvet cover, you are the bane of my life), emptying poo from the cat litter or scrubbing bowls encrusted with dried-on food. I don't look forward to cleaning dental-floss-directed spit from the bathroom mirror, navigating a busy, chaotic supermarket with a trolley I can never control or hefting the heavy recycling bags (heavy due to frightening amount of empty wine bottles) to the outside bins in the rain.
Before we moved to France I think he may have been under the mistaken impression that some of these were tasks I enjoyed. Thanks to this misguided interpretation of what makes me tick, perhaps he thought he was gifting me a wonderful number of hours spent enjoying the things I loved. When he did achieve anything housework related, it was usually followed, upon completion, by a pointed demonstration to me of what he'd cleaned, then a brief pause while he stood back and waited expectantly to receive his praise and housework medal. Cue raised eyebrow and baffled silence...
When we lived in a campervan life was easy. We had a dustpan and brush, some cleaning wipes and that was that. Now that we live in a space with multiple rooms, things are different.
In these recent times, where notable progress is being made in terms of equality at work and feminism is becoming less of a 'dirty' word (quite why everyone had lost their dictionary skills for so long remains a mystery), why are most* working women still working harder than men in the home?
The Guardian published an article earlier in the year that purported to the future success of your offspring relating directly to the shared amount of chores done around the house. Whilst I haven't looked into the research to see if it's actually valid, it strikes me that something is going awry if the only way to convince men that they need to pull their finger out and help more is to conduct an extensive, scientifically based research project to show them what happens when they DON'T.
It's pretty damn straightforward. We both live in the same house, walk on the same carpet, use the same dishes, toilet, shower and sleep in the same bed. Why shouldn't we put in the same work that goes alongside keeping those things clean?
There may be some truth to the statement that he just doesn't 'see' the dirt the way I do. As an aside this may also provide some clues as to why he can never find anything that he's looking for, despite it often being under his nose and why he chooses to ask me where said item is, BEFORE he actually starts to search for it himself, knowing that I will be able to answer immediately, and without looking. But I digress...
There was a time when I would get internally irate upon coming home to find that obvious (to me) jobs hadn't been accomplished. Irate because I thought he should know to do them without being asked. Irate because I don't want to be seen as a 'nagging woman' (how I hate that term) and irate because exactly WHAT HAD HE BEEN DOING ALL THE LIVELONG DAY?
These days I'm adopting a much more zen-like approach. Outside of London I'm remarkably more calm about everything. If he's asked to do something, he'll do it. A bit of direction is all he needs and if that's all it takes to get the job done then that's no skin off my nose. This morning I wrote a list of 'jobs' that needed doing around the house. By the evening he’d had a busy day and everything had been ticked off. Which meant that I wasn't ticked off, he didn't get a ticking off and harmony reigned in the household.
Perhaps in years to come, I won’t even need to write a list….
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Oh.
*Let's not all get our underpants in a twist now. I'm not saying that all men are rubbish and all women are wonderful or that this is the case with everyone.