« Dude, I really don't think it helped your case... | Truce! And a cake! And a parade! »

Grace Under Pressure (The Housework's Lament)

May 30, 2006 | Category: In My Life

It's hard to know what I feel comfortable writing about.

I don't want to alienate my husband.

On the other hand... last week CD complained about the amount of housework I've been doing since I stopped working.

I was stunned.

Because he was, like, serious.

I'm going through a life crisis, redefining my understanding of my world, and you're complaining about the laundry?!

First of all, both of us lean more towards Oscar than Felix. And I have always done more housework than CD. Always, even when he was a stay-at-home dad (which I used to complain bitterly about and then I just hired someone to help.)

I was clear when I told him of my plans to stop workig for a while that I wouldn't not be playing Suzy Homemaker. I told him so right infront of a therapist. And he nodded like he understand and respected my need for some time to repair and take care of me.

Clearly, though, the monster that is his expectations would not be denied.

He brings up "those 5 hours a day when you're doing nothing".

Because, you know, these hours between dropping Bear off at school and picking him up - when not frittered away with errands, dishes, part-time work - should be spent ... vacuuming??

And hey, I have been doing more. Organizing long neglected cabinets and drawers. Decorating. Scrubbing. Just not enough by his scorekeeping.

I want to take him by the shoulders and shout into his brain. That we just started working as a team again.

But I am a grown-up. (Sometimes.)

So I breathe deep and point at the Hoover. Honey, if the rug ain't clean enough for you - then you have all the power in the world to change it.

But no....

Instead, I feel myself being inelegantly shoved in the direction of what he expects of a housewife.

And I thought I only had my own neurosis to untangle.

Share: Delicious Delicious! | Stumble It! | Slashdot  Slashdot It!
Tagged: Corporate, Mommy, Life


Ditto everything Margi said. xx

Posted by: Flika on June 1, 2006 06:16 PM

Why don't you two sit down and state your expectations, write down what you want from each other and what you, yourselves want to do -- and then negotiate until everything is accounted for?

Posted by: Eyes on June 1, 2006 05:56 PM

Ah. . . the beauty of living out our little imprinted scripts of what "should" be. ;)

Our household has devised a method of brainstorming all the things that need to be done (and their frequency), and each person picks a number things at each level (daily/weekly/monthly) that are important enough to them to do themselves. Everything else. . . sort of falls by the wayside until it reaches a level where it moves up on someone's priority list.

As a result, we have clean laundry and food every week, a cleared-off kitchen table. . . filthy mirrors and an appalling level of dustiness, but hardly any "chore" arguments. :)

Posted by: Veeg on June 1, 2006 08:45 AM

ugh, dear husbands will make us all insane. Best to just stay the course of simple living with a dirty house and laughter all around!

Posted by: christina on May 31, 2006 08:50 PM

Ah, the bone of contention so many sahMOMs(not maids) face. Luckily, my husband is pretty decent about pitching in and accepting that housework is not my top priority. We have clean laundry, a full refridgerator, paid bills, and a clean enough kitchen/floor that we aren't attracting small rodents. But mostly, we have three living, fed and healthy children at the end of the day. ;)

Posted by: A.K. on May 31, 2006 06:13 PM

My husband is worse. With 2 tanning salons plus his bookkeeping, I am expected to make sure all housework, dishes, cooking, laundry and outdoor maintenance is done. He has been bitchy for 6 years and hasn't figured out yet that it is impossible.

Posted by: Jeannie on May 31, 2006 10:50 AM

I am fortunate in that my mother in law raised good husbands...the kind that don't complain, they just pitch in and do it.

Plus, my husband understands that cleaning the kitchen is foreplay, in my book.

Posted by: paige on May 30, 2006 06:50 PM

Grrr. That's the quickest way to piss me right off. In fact, it was a soft spot with me and the boys' dad -- up until the day I divorced him.

And I had been working outside the home for 10 years at that point.

I'm not the housekeeper. It's M for Margi. Not Martyr. And if you want the fucking dishes done, then do them.

No woman EVER shot a man while he was doing the dishes.

(Obviously, I still have some buried resentment when it comes to this issue.)


Posted by: Margi on May 30, 2006 03:34 PM

Well, speaking for the guys here, if you decide to put on the French maid outfit, we all want to see some pictures, E! :)

Posted by: RP on May 30, 2006 02:55 PM

He's a big boy. He knows how to use the vacuum. I could see him bitching if you were sitting in bed all day staring at the walls, but clearly you're not.

Just because you're at home all day doesn't mean his turn to pitch in never comes!

And who cares if the house is messy? Honestly, you DO live there :)

Posted by: caltechgirl on May 30, 2006 01:33 PM