One Crazy Lady

WOST ch 8 Housework

Posted on: March 17, 2010

There are times that I do housework and my husband doesn’t. Usually, it’s because I am a control freak. Yesterday, I reorganized the living room – I do this often. It apparently is a sign of discontent, but I like the way it feels to clean everything out and start fresh.
I pull all the furniture to the middle of the room, wash the walls, clean the carpet, take everything down from every shelf, wash the shelves, etc. Really deep cleaning. Then, I gradually put things back in place. Often, the furniture ends up somewhere different than it started. I throw away or donate lots of stuff.
Don knew that I had assignments to work on and so he offered to help me. I said no. I don’t question his ability to do the task, but I like to organize things and I want to know exactly what we have and where it is. I like to know what things get thrown out and which get donated. I want to make every decision. So, in the end, Don drove kids to their various evening activities and left me home with the little ones so I could focus and get the job done. This was a much bigger help than for him to run the vacuum.
We both do housework the same way, only as necessary. Whoever gets sick of the mess first, takes care of it. That may usually be me, but that’s only because I’m the one who is here to notice the mess.

The introduction to the chapter titled “Women’s work inside and outside the home” states that hired cleaners are almost always women. Many reasons are listed for this. But, apparently, I have some prejudices of my own, because as I read all the different ideas about why women are primarily hired to clean residential homes, I realized that if a man was available to hire and if I was looking for someone to clean my house; I would not hire a man. I’m sure that I have some stereotypical ideas, but I just would not feel right inviting a strange man to walk around inside my house, and I certainly wouldn’t want a man other than my husband to go into my bedroom.

Ehrenreich, who in most of her writings comes across as way more privileged and affluent than I ever hope to be, speaks in her article titled “Maid to Order” of a time in the 60’s and 70’s when women were akin to one another simply because they shared the experience of housework. “All women were workers, and the home was their workplace…” this gave them a foundation in common with which to build their friendships upon. Ah, yes, today, I find it ever more difficult to find women with whom I can relate.
She also claims that no one should be asked to scrub a floor on their hands and knees because it is degrading. Well, I ask my daughters to do it about twice a month and I don’t think it’s degrading, I think it’s training. I don’t even own a sponge mop, and I don’t imagine myself ever being in a position to hire out my housekeeping, but if I did and they showed up with a sponge mop that they had already used on someone else’s floor, I’d be disgusted and I wouldn’t let them near my floors with it.
I have babies, clean floors matter – and if you are going to do a job… do it right.

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3 Responses to "WOST ch 8 Housework"

Aww..what a busy woman you are? Good for you because cleaning house it makes you feeling fresh and good and forget about the terrible situation and bad thing.
For me I try to clean my room, but never finish it.

YOu brought up a lot of interesting points…..My wife and my are pretty much the same way but she is one who will use gadgets (Mops, sponges, etc) if she feels it makes the job easier. We will clean on an as needed basis. We each have our pet peaves. Hers is defintely clutter…..I am okay as long as the house is clean..I believe a house can be clean and cluttered. I am disgusted by dirt and just a poor lack of attitude when it comes to picking up after oneself. My pet peaves are dishes in the sink and a dirty toilet….just no need for either. But as I have said earlier it takes the entire family to ensure the house stays in proper order.!

We shouldn’t even talk about clutter… when it comes to leaving things anywhere they land, I’m as guilty as anyone. But, I totally agree that you can live in a clean mess. My walls, floors, corners, kitchen, bathroom, etc are CLEAN (as in not dirty). But, my desks (all three of them) are piled high, and always messy.

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