Monday, September 14, 2009

It's been far too long, I know. Between starting a new job (teaching preschoolers) and getting lost in a book series (I read an entire book Saturday and another entire book yesterday - they were the final two in the first part of the series), I have completely neglected the blog. Not very kind, huh? And how in the world will I gain readers if I can't manage to keep up the blog? Yeah.

Thankfully, there has been a lot of cleaning going on in the past two weeks. Here's what I've learned:

Having my husband help when cleaning the whole apartment is required makes the job seem reasonable. So, I do much better when it's not all up to me.

Seriously, the help makes a huge difference. First of all, you don't have to look at the whole mess and think, 'I have to do all of this?!' Instead, you get to divide and conquer. Not ever something you want your children to do to you, but when it comes to tackling cleaning it's a life saver.

The second reason help is so wonderful is harder to describe, so I think it's necessary for me to make it a little personal. As a woman, I like being domestic - but only when I want to be, or choose to be. I do not like feeling like it is my responsibility to clean the house (or cook, or wash dishes, or do laundry, etc) simply because I'm a woman. When I feel as though the cleaning has been left entirely up to me, I tend to react rather irrationally and point out to my husband that it is not just my job to do the cleaning, he can help, too. Of course, this drives him a little nuts because he never intends for me to interpret his comments, statements, or requests that way. :/ Oops! What can I say? It's a particular quirk of mine. Does anyone else ever feel this way?

I think society is at a point where gender roles are mixed up and transitioning from what they have traditionally been. My mother set a very good example at rebelling against doing things simply because you're a woman and that's your job. She may have done most of the cooking, all of the laundry, and stayed home with my sister and I, but she never did those things out of a sense of obligation. She enjoys cooking immensely, so she was happy to have supper ready; she is insanely annal about sorting laundry and never completely trusted the rest of us to do it properly, therefore, she did laundry; and she felt it was important to stay home with my sister and me. I need to figure out how my mom so gracefully continued to do these traditionally female roles, while still so adamantly rejecting the notion she was doing them because she was 'supposed to.' Because I just feel incredibly torn about the whole domesticity thing. While I enjoy cleaning, there are times I don't want to do it because I (unjustifiably) feel it is expected of me because I'm a woman. Cooking is another place where I'm horribly torn. Some days, I really feel the need to 'be a good wife' and have dinner ready for when my husband comes home. Other days, that idea irritates the hell out of me, especially since he enjoys cooking more than I do! Am I alone in my confusion? Does anyone else out there feel this way, too?

That was a lengthy little tangent, huh? I'll probably return to that again at some point since it bugs me fairly regularly, but for now, we'll call it quits.

We've managed to more or less maintain the standard of cleanliness after our big clean two weeks ago. The biggest problem at this point is laundry. In our building, everyone signs up for a time slot (or two) to use the washers and driers. One of our slots is Saturdays. Well, we have been out of town or busy for the past few Saturdays, and our Thursday slot has never worked for us since we're both at work. So, needless to say, laundry - and sorting a minimum of two weeks worth - is an issue. Does anyone have any suggestions? A new time slot opened up that worked better for us, so we do have a new time on Tuesdays that we should actually be able to use! But I'm particularly curious as to how you store your dirty laundry. Do you use baskets? A sorting bag? A mesh bag? A sorting tote? What is your system?

For now, that is all.

~ Ms. S.


  1. Home Goods has really attractive hampers. That has made a HUGE difference for us!


  2. I suspect many, many woman go through this early in married life. "I shouldn't have to do X, Y, Z just because it's traditional 'women's work'!" I know I did. It's that transition from taking care of only one-self to participating in a partnership.

    D rarely cooks dinner or does cleaning (beyond doing his own laundry) unless I ask. And there are days that's a struggle . . . if we have dinner, I'm going to be the one making it. I realized pretty quickly I had to change my perspective on that or I would go absolutely insane with annoyed anger. I try to think of it now as: a) making a contribution to a household and b) NOT a MUST do. If I don't feel like cooking, I say "it's fend for yourself night." And that's what we do. (In fact, we made Sunday night our traditional fend for yourself night. It's great!)

    I think the key is (until children come along - then a few things change by necessity) that you each figure out things that you really like to do and do that (Mr S likes to cook - so, he cooks most of the time. Maybe you could be like your folks: Mr S cooks, you clean up afterward.) Once you've decided what each of you likes you throw everything else into the middle and decide who will do what. And, here's the kicker, it doesn't have to stay that way forever, right? Decide what is really NECESSARY and let the rest go.

    You are NOT a bad person because you don't necessarily have to have everything just so. If Mr. S wants/likes that then let him do it the way he wants it. Nothing says you can't help. But it isn't your job - it's a SHARED responsibility.

    I could go on and on. I guess I'm saying - I feel your pain, sister. You'll work it out, I'm sure. Just keep breathing . . . and reading good books! :)