Housecleaning and Other Details


I read an article the other day about women who are angry with their spouse for, among other things, not doing diddly around the house/family/life/etc. or, often more importantly, being expected to assign chores to their spouses and praise them extravagantly for completing them. A lot like kids.

I can relate. Kind of.

My husband does quite a bit around the house, plus he works very hard at his job, a LOT of hours each week. He also compliments the things I do, and always says that I work as hard as he. I happen to disagree, but that’s okay.

In fact, once I made a lengthy list of all the things I do in a week’s time, and pointed out that “all” he had to do was go to work. One thing. I was being facetious, sort of, because of course he does much more than “one thing” when he’s at the store. My point was that his “one thing” is indeed his major focus, and he can concentrate on that alone when he’s there. And sometimes when he’s not.

This actually came up in conversation once with my in-laws. And my father-in-law agreed with me. Teehee.

My typical week goes something like this:

Let the dogs out, let them it. Check email, read papers, take child to school; try to get older kid out of bed and moving in some semblance of non-zombielike state. Let the dogs out, let them in. Answer questions from older kid, try to keep track of where he’s going and with whom. Do the dishes. Let dogs out, and in. Pick up the junk everyone has left all over the place. Make bed, do assorted chores: laundry, cleaning, deed of the day, whatever. Dogs. Throw handy objects at cat, who by this time has decided it’s lunch time; even though it’s 10:00 a.m.

Do some editing. Do some volunteer work. Make doctor appointments, or dental, or something, for aforementioned kids. Ditto for husband. Answer phone, telemarketer, hang up. Dogs. Dogs. Do some writing. Do some networking. Play on Facebook. Oops, not really. Just kidding. Maybe.

Answer frantic call from daughter. Listen to daughter vent. Drop call. Dogs. Write. Write some more. Networking. Dogs. Answer email, read afternoon papers. Dogs. Feed cats, one of whom has been banished to the garage and forgotten, due to excessive meowing and other annoying behaviors. Dogs. Write. Figure out dinner. Do more dishes and pick up after anyone who has been in the house since morning. Answer more questions from kids, husband, lawyer, whoever. Write. Do research.

The fam wants to know why I’m still not done after dinner, why I keep working. Um, gee, Idk guys!

See, my husband may do many things at work: inventory, ordering, keeping “his kids”, aka employees in line, unloading trucks, rearranging, etc. but as far as we know, he leaves, he comes home. I, on the other hand, don’t get to leave, much. Just for kids and errands and so forth.

Did I have a point? I think I must have gotten off-track….

Oh, yeah! I remember! Normally I’m pretty good at this multitasking thing, but I do get aggravated (see ARTICLE at top of post!) when I can merely glance around a room and see what needs to be done, and three guys, ages 12, 17, and I-better-not-say have to be given a detailed to-do list. I really do try NOT to tell them how things should be done, and just be grateful that they ARE being done.

But it’s hard. Like when I can’t find a dish or utensil because they can’t seem to realize that serving bowls are in ONE cabinet…and have been there for almost three years. Or when I trip over the same pair of shoes for a week, or no one but me notices the cat poop sitting OUTside the litter box.

I would say that I get “angry”, exactly, more like annoyed. However, when there are enough annoyances, I do tend to blow. And it ain’t pretty. I mean, seriously dudes, we all live here, why am I the designated picker-upper, appointment-maker, and dog letter-in-outer?

What’s that you say? Speak up? Sure, that could work if they could hear…or remember. It’s not that I want control, it’s that it was thrust upon me. Men. Seriously. Sheesh.

So before I end this missive, let me add that my husband is THE BEST. He goes above and beyond, tries to spare me the really icky, gross, heavy-lifting kinds of things. If I’m tired or hurting, he’ll take over in a New York minute. If I ask. Or mention it. Or point it out to him.

Gotta run, time for the dogs to go out-in-out-in-outinoutinoutin. Again.

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