Friday, February 1, 2013

Housework: The Love/Hate relationship


please play this song

By Miriam B. Medina

Some people like housework and some don’t.  Most women today are not turned on by the H word because they find it to be a dull, endless and thankless job, one which requires no serious thought or deliberation.  Their main gripe is that, with so much to do, they never have time for themselves. This is the same for men who have to perform household chores, they're just not accused of complaining as much as women, but we all know that this isn't the case.

Women are stereotyped as chronic complainers, accused of complaining about  almost everything that happens in their life, including doing housework. Frazzled women yell out: “I dislike cooking. I hate vacuuming, I detest sweeping and dusting. I hate doing the laundry. I despise picking up after the kids and putting things away.”


Although new technology and labor saving inventions have greatly facilitated housework, the H word is still accompanied with much dissatisfaction, especially when it comes to the lady of the house. The constant bitching that comes from these women, as men call it, drives most men crazy, especially when their mates criticize everything they do or say. Many men find it difficult to adjust to the desires and moods of women.

Why do women complain so much about their lives? Simply put, because women have more issues than men. They have more reasons to be disgruntled. Even when they are relaxing, the pressures of childcare and housework plague them. It’s the circumstances that lead women to behave the way they do, a way some term “bitchy” for lack of a better word. Women feel they are treated unfairly in the work place, and that they are taken for granted and no consideration is given to them in the home by their mates or by their family. In the home, the woman feels that she is treated like a maid, someone who's sole purpose for existence is to pick up everything off the floor. She is expected to be a Johnny on the spot, an errand girl catering to everyone’s whims and schedules, and God forbid, when she doesn’t feel like it, the never-ending whining begins. Even when she is in her painful menstrual cycle, she is expected to perform her domestic chores.

In the American family, men and women have different opinions with regards to housework. Men, in general,  hate housework and expect the women to do it. Men feel housework is women’s work, and some men don’t want any part of it. Our culture has bred this mentality for years. Think of the perfect homemaker of the 1950s for example. So many men consider it beneath their dignity to do women’s housework; they do not wish to appear wimpy in the eyes of their macho friends. If and when most men do something around the house, like putting dirty dishes from the sink into the dish washer, taking out the garbage, or throwing a pile of dirty clothes in the washing machine, he feels he is doing his partner a big favor.

“Wow! Gee…thanks, Hon”.

Some men always have an excuse for not helping out around the house. “I put in a long day at work, when I come home I am exhausted and stressed out. I really don’t think my wife’s work is as difficult and burdensome as she says. Besides, even if I wanted to help her, she does everything so much better than I can. I can’t compete with her, so why bother trying she’ll just find another reason to criticize what I did.”

In this 21st century, as a result of the economy, sex roles in many American homes have switched. The wife becomes the bread winner while her unemployed husband stays home to keep house. In order to save on babysitting expenses, the unemployed spouse becomes Mr. Mom, the multi-tasker, and his wife gets the high paying job.

Mr. Mom is in his glory, all of the latest modern appliances in his home, within reach of his fingertips, and HOUSEWORK?  Is this what she was always bitching about? It's A piece of cake. Mr. Mom gets it down to a science. He even finds time to watch ESPN while folding the laundry or vacuuming the floors as he wipes runny noses and changes stinky diapers. He can whip up a home cooked meal instead of a microwaved one. So when Mrs. Dad comes home, supper's ready, homework's done, and the kids are all in bed, bathed. She is quite surprised and loves this turn of events.  Men are just as capable  of taking care of their kids, folding the laundry and cleaning the bathrooms. Of course, the more men share in the burden of child care and housework, the more they become stressed out and ticked off.

“Don’t push your luck lady.”

Now that Mrs. Dad has relaxed a bit and is feeling quite refreshed, after a few glasses of wine and the aroma of burning candles, she looks forward to a moment of great passion. What is Mr. Mom's response? "Not today honey, I have a headache. I'm just too tired for sex.” Doesn’t that sound familiar ladies?

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