Here’s an interesting word, “housework.” Wouldn’t it be nice if it was the house that did the work? Instead of you doing the work of the house. So this was a funny article—apparently husbands create lots more work as soon as you acquire them*, and the Babylon Bee concurs (hashtag self-care).
I carefully skimmed the article and then, of course, examined my own life to see if it was true. And the answer I came to is…well, keeping house is work, and if you’re single and you’re not spending time keeping house, it’s because you’re doing something else, like your job. Whereas when you add people to the household, those people are your work, to some degree. And if you go out to work, you, being a woman, are still going to see them as your work, so you’re going to keep up with the house. That’s just the way it is. You can be bitter if you want, or you can do what I did—teach them all how to clean dammit. So here is my practical guide to getting men to clean (this includes sons because that’s actually more important in a cosmic sense than husbands, since maybe, although who knows, they will become husbands, God help you, and then some other woman will be mad at you…probably).
Anne’s Practical Guide For Getting A Man to Clean
Keep a perfect house for a year and then have a baby and then cry without stopping for weeks about how wrecked the house is. The man will keep asking you why you’re crying and you will keep saying, “because the house is wrecked,” and after the 150th time of you saying it, he will hear you and figure out how to turn on the vacuum.
Tell him he is brilliant and he will discover a love of polishing the furniture.
Move to a place where there are no good restaurants so that he gets fed up and learns how to cook.
Lower your standards. That’s right. All the way down, and then a little bit more. Ok, that’s probably fine. If you don’t want to clean the kitchen don’t get mad when other people do it for you. Incidentally, if you think I actually follow this, you don’t know me at all. Criticizing how my children, especially, clean the kitchen is my spiritual gift.
Have a lot of company over all the time and bemoan your constant devastating feelings of humiliation.
Try bribing your sons to clean their room. Try asking them why they can’t be more like their sisters. Try teaching them to do laundry. Try cleaning their room for them so that they can see what it feels like to have a clean room. Try begging. Try threatening. Try complaining to their father about how vile it all is. Try praying.
Wake up one day and make peace with the fact that you are better at cleaning than everyone in the whole world and just decide you’ll be cleaning the house from now on.
Well there you are. Have fun cleaning your house!
*The study deliberately excluded the traditional household work of the man, like lawn care, so I really don’t think, as a study, it is probably that useful, because if you think I’m going to mow the lawn you’ve got another thing coming.