Wednesday, February 6, 2008

training your men

yesterday the conversation came up about men and housework. it's an age-old dilemma.

before i start this post i have to admit that compared to other men, the hubs is perfect (and i'm not just saying that cos he took over the finances this year). he dusts, he cooks, he does all dog-related stuff, he vacuums. i'm sure there's other stuff but basically i just wanted to make it clear that he pulls his weight. was not always so and for years, years i tell you, this was a huge source of contention.

i did not understand why he could be sitting in the same living room i was and he wouldn't see the shoes all over the place (his) or socks (also his) or that it needed vacuumed. why didn't he see the dirty dishes in the sink (before we had a dishwasher)? was it really that hard to put the dirty clothes in the clothes basket instead of beside it? and the list could go on.

our standard argument was me whining because he didn't do anything. if i asked him to do it he would but i didn't understand why i had to ask. i'm not his mother. he's an adult. he has eyes. anyway, we spent years fussing and fighting over it. i nagged. he'd get better. then it would start all over again. i honestly don't know when the pivotal moment happened and he started helping out.

and saying helping out is condescending. he's not helping me out, it's not like it's all my shit and he's helping me with it. it's our shit (well, mostly it's the kids shit). we are partners in the house stuff. yes, sometimes i may still feel like i'm doing more or he may feel like he's doing more, but it all comes out in the wash (which has always been my job, as is the kitty litter).

one point he made in defense of men is that when we (women) are ready to clean we want things done on our time table. i may come home and think, ok, i'm going to do this this and this tonight and jump in and do it and get frustrated because he doesn't jump up and help. but his thoughts might be i'm going to kick back and relax for a little while and then jump on this this and this.

so, no, i do not have the omnipotent answer for how to get your men to do their share, but, as with anything involving relationships, it's about communication. lots and lots of communication. the hubs also suggested that getting rewarded for things is good too ; ) and i'm sure you know what he means. yes, i know, he's a pig sometimes but he's mine ; )

ps--is spellcheck working for anyone else? mine isn't.


Anonymous said...

I would like to pose a cleaning-related question: Do you find it easier to jump in and help a friend/family member clean (if they're sick or moving or really need it) than you do to clean your own house? I do. Not sure why, but I do.

Sweet T

Creative Kerfuffle said...

yes i do (unless it's my parents). maybe it's because you can be more objective about it? i don't know.

Trish said...

I agree Swwet T!
I grew up in a household with an OCD father and brother (father currently telling the housekeeping staff in heaven how it ought to be done)so it is outside my realm of thinking that a man wouldn't clean up around the house.