TOPIC: My spouse expected me to do the house tidying when I was out of a job and at home (always bugs me when she is the one who trashes the house and expects me to clean her mess up).
She Said: Nitebyrd
This statement brings a plethora of questions to mind regarding the definition of “trashing the house.” Unless the employed spouse has a hobby of doing chainsaw sculptures in the living room, allows their pet goats free rein in the house or entertains rock bands for tequila tastings in the evening, then “trashing” begs further description.
I’m going to assume that the employed spouse does none of the aforementioned things and that “trashing” consists of more minor transgressions such as, leaving dishes in the sink, the morning paper spread out over the table, uncapped toothpaste tubes and overflowing garbage cans. Should the employed person expect clean up of these types of things? Well, YES! Yes, they should.
Let’s face if folks, no matter how hard we try, household and child care chores are not now nor will they ever be a 50-50 deal for most people. One person always gets more of the burden. Usually, this is the woman in a regular hetero relationship. If the woman is employed and the male is not, then expecting him to maintain regular household chores whilst still looking for suitable employment is not asking too much. Most days, you are not spending eight to 1- hours job hunting. Having the house stand up to “white-glove inspection” or having gourmet meals prepared each evening isn’t what I’m saying. But expecting to come home to a tidy/clean house, laundry done, kids not filthy, homework started or done and dinner ready, seems reasonable to me. After all, stay-at-home parents and/or spouses are expected to get all that done and more.
The stress of losing a necessary income and bearing the weight of the family’s financial welfare is difficult, to say the least. Add on coming home to a messy house, children that are dirty and hungry, laundry piling up, dogs needing to be walked and a spouse who’s first question, after a day at home is, “What’s for dinner?” and you are looking a potentially homicidal situation. So, would hanging up the wet towels, wiping toothpaste off the counter, washing dishes, dusting, vacuuming and learning how to work that machine that cleans the clothes be too much to ask for making home life less volatile?
I think not.
He Said: DCHY
As most of you know, I am a SAHP. I used to work for a living. The terms, while I was gainfully employed, was different. What I meant by "terms" was who did what with the housework.
My wife and I shared equally at the time. Sometimes, she would complain that I wasn't doing my part. The truth was she contributed more to the mess than I did and she thought I wasn't doing my part.
We had our discussions (yes, plural) about that and I coined the term/phrase for what she did - "I'll do it later" and she realized that she was looking at so many of her "I'll do it later" piles. Then, I didn't have a job anymore...
I have a slight touch of OCD and seeing the mess everywhere drives me NUTS. She even created catch-all drawers (there are 6 now) to deal with them later. I tried my best to avoid all the "I'll do it later" piles and just clean the rest up.
I'm telling you...the piles breed faster than the rabbits! As I sit typing this, there's a collective mess of my girls' toys and whatnots all over the living room to my left...and a bit more of the same in the TV room to my right...and toys strewn all over the dining room behind me.
There's clothes all over the couch in the TV room and in the hampers, all for my wife and my girls. My youngest is only 3 years old and cannot possibly put her clothes away. I would do it, but her closet is stuffed full of "I'll do it later". Argh.
Tell me this - should I still clean up all the "I'll do it later" mess or accept my thankless role of being a SAHP and clean?
Okay everyone! What do you have to say?