The Mars and Venus of housekeeping

13 Sep

As I was slaving away over what was a seemingly endless list of housework yesterday while The Boy enjoyed his Sunday, reclining on the sofa, watching football, I tried not to get myself worked up about the fact that should I indeed be pregnant, happen to give birth to a healthy child and then suddenly die, my child would be raised in squalor.

Because The Boy simply does not know how to clean. Nor does he really realise that things need cleaning, until they start smelling so bad he, feigning ignorance, has to ask what he can possibly do about it. After he’s done this he can, of course, ignore it, satisfied that he’s let me know he’s noticed that I should have done something about it by now.

To be fair he is on nights right now, which means he is usually so tired he can do little else but eat, sleep and make these grunting noises that I understand as meaning ‘I love you’. And in truth, my imaginary child probably wouldn’t grow up in squalor because The Boy would do what he’s always done – get his mother to clean up for him. (If it’s one thing my mother in law didn’t do – and trust me, The Boy is an excellent human, he’s compassionate, communicative, generous, loving and intelligent it was to teach him how to clean.)

Anyway, as I huffed around with the mop I got to wondering about just how many men there were out there who didn’t have the vaguest notion of how to clean a house. I’m sure the majority suck at it and I’m sure that those with wives are mercilessly whipped into shape.

Unfortunately, I’m not the nagging type.

I, in fact, am the stupid type that has let my man get away with barely lifting a finger for three years.  Now he feels quite comfortable to watch me as I run around the house picking up after him. Until I make some snide remark, like I did yesterday, about whether he will in fact be able to pick up his game when we have kids and I’m too fat/tired to argue with him about it.

If I’m to believe John Gray – author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – I’m actually benefitting from all this housework. It’s a boost to my hormones. According to Gray, women can’t relax because their hormones won’t let them – they need to be running around and cleaning up after a man all the time. Apparently this is when us women folk are at our happiest.

I feel I’m qualified to counter this assertion with the suggestion that if there was not always a looming list of household chores on my to do list, I’d be quite happy to sit down on the sofa, relaxing with my alpha male. Sure, I probably enjoy housework more than The Boy, because when I’m done it feels good. Because it’s done. NOT because I had a blast cleaning a weeks worth of urine stains off the toilet bowl.

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