mothers housework household responsibilities twenty first century

Mama Sanity: Accepting I’ll Never Completely Catch Up

Posted on Posted in Blog, Parenting's Not Easy

Mama Sanity: Accepting I'll Never Completely Catch Up

How well are you able to keep up with your housework? Me? I am a work in progress.  Saturday afternoon starts the cleaning of all the dirt, dust and shelving of dirty clothes accumulated during the week.  Come Saturday evening when I am still cleaning I begin to think...I have got to be doing something wrong. There once was a time when I could keep up.  
Now, it is possible that I put too much to be accomplished in one Saturday on my housework to-do list.  And perhaps I do have a slight case of OCD.  But mostly I think it’s my own fault for letting my family believe in the cleanup fairy.   By cleaning up after them over the years I’ve allowed them to think there is a fairy that graciously picks up the coats and crumbs they’ve left on the floor when they’ve walked away.  
In 2014 the American Time Use Survey reported that on an average day:
  •  83% of women and 65% of men spent some time doing household activities such as housework, cooking and lawn care.
  • 19% of men did housework--such as cleaning or doing laundry--compared with 49% of women.
  • 42% of men did food preparation or cleanup, compared with 68 % of women.
I am not trying to lobby for an equal share of housework in the home. I’ll leave that battle up to my daughters and my future daughter in law.  Sure we may be in the 21st century, but the man I married (and the men of friends I know that are married) doesn’t do housework.  He’ll cut the grass or fix anything that’s broken.  But housework?  His hands cramp up and his face frowns as if he’s smelled something foul at having to fold clothes.  I tried once to boycott. I didn’t clean the bathroom for a few days, nor did I fold any clothes. And that’s when I realized that the hubby has the amazing ability to completely block out of his full and peripheral vision any dirt.   I could fuss and cuss about it. But, at this point in my life I have bigger fish to fry – like making sure people know how to read and there’s dinner every night. 
My challenge now is to not beat myself up about not getting all my housework done in the time that I envisioned.  Try as I may to make to-do lists, to write everything on the calendar, keep alerts on my phone there’s just too much to do. Between working during the week, kid’s activities during the weekend and fixing breakfast, lunch and dinner in between it’s inevitable that I will run out of time and energy before I run out of work to do. Now I try to spread out a little cleaning here and there during the week. ‘Cause for me it’s becoming more about keeping on and less about keeping up.


How do you share housework in your home?




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