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I know this has been done to death - BUT!

(170 Posts)
BibiBlocksberg Sat 13-Aug-11 21:15:54

If I read one more thread on housework division where some of the posters smugly explain that they have a list from which their darling DH, DP, DF whatever (usually male) has the wonderful grace to pick the jobs HE is good at and enjoys I'm going to scream very loudly and scare both of my cats to death.

FGS - why on earth should any adult get to 'cherry-pick' the jobs least bothersome to them and leave all the rest to the other adult in the house??

Wish that in my days of running around after some of the various males I lived with someone had given me a list to pick and choose from and then pinned a medal to my chest when I deigned it suitable to actually do one of them.

Actually, no, strike that, if I ever got to a stage where I was so bone idle and entitled I would actually find picking from a list acceptable - shoot me!

Can't say this in the 'mainstream' of MN as I'm too chicken grin

BTW this is coming from a recent convert to feminism - MN taught me all I know! smile

garlicbutter Sat 13-Aug-11 21:19:51

Hello, Bibi smile

I can't engage in this convo as I don't actually do any housework blush But wanted to offer your thread a warm greeting!

(Step over my rubble as you come in.)

organicgardener Sat 13-Aug-11 21:32:39

There's no excuse for a household not to be run on a 50-50 basis depending on whoever works.

If both people work then both people should do what's needed equally.

BibiBlocksberg Sat 13-Aug-11 21:34:26

<stumbles over rubble, rubs shin>

Thank you garlicbutter, nice to see you! I'm very pleased that I feel a bit peeded off with those kinds of posts nowadays because not so long ago it was me who was fretting over how to get 'the man' to pitch in more.

Unfortunately, my almost military style german upbringing only allows me a certain level of mess even as a singleton before I'm forced to clean it up.

Oh well, each to their own smile

<writes herself a list, picks nothing from it, makes another martini instead>

BibiBlocksberg Sat 13-Aug-11 21:37:32

"almost military style german upbringing" - on the cleaning front I mean smile

Anifrangapani Sat 13-Aug-11 21:38:22

It perplexes me too. If a cherry pick list and housework medals made it into our house the common 2 word phrase ending in off would be used.

Portofino Sat 13-Aug-11 21:40:28

I am just about to start reading Wifework for the feminist book club. I have a feeling this might turn into a hot topic in this house grin.

Actually my dh is good. Well relatively speaking. But we both work FT and now have a cleaner. He always loads the dw, hoovers, puts the bins out, mows the lawn. He tidies up a bit every morning before he goes to work (dd and I leave earlier) and sticks a load of washing in. He does his own ironing.

I tend to do the shopping, cook (most of the time), iron dd's clothes. I guess the interesting questions arise where you have a WOHP and a SAHP and how these tasks should be divided in that case.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 13-Aug-11 21:42:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Portofino Sat 13-Aug-11 21:43:55

Now - if I went away for a couple of days (particularly with dd) - he would tidy up and the house would be in a high state of order on my return. When he goes away for a couple of days (frequently with work) I slob out totally blush and then have a frantic clean up in the hours before his return...

BibiBlocksberg Sat 13-Aug-11 21:47:06

Oh, Wifework is a cracker Portofino!

Was v. funny when I had the next door neighbours round a couple of months ago - he picked Wifework up from under my coffee table (glass top so not being rudely nosey or anything)

Anyway, he picks it up, triumphantly shows the picture on the front and title to his GF and says 'see, this is what you should be doing much more of!'

(picture if of fifties style housewife with pinney pushing a hoover around for those who haven't seen the book)

Well, my face was just like this at him shock shock - he followed with a long tirade about how she never does any hoovering (in their tiny one bed house FGS)

Didn't go down too well with me these days, that attitude and he was a bit redfaced when I told him exactly what the book IS about. Namely shitty views and rants such as his!!

Do it yourself then if it bothers you so much!!!

Needless to say, he got the smallest portion of Tiramisu for dessert that night grin

garlicbutter Sat 13-Aug-11 22:32:14


Reminds me of the friend's mum who saw 'Fear Of Flying' on my bookshelf and said "Oh, are you the same as me? I need ten valium and a pint of vodka before I can even look at a plane!" I foolishly tried to explain what it was about ... a very long afternoon, that one.

Wifework is a must-read smile Oh ... and, surely it's not about equal 'hearth & home' work, but equal time off? And the definition of 'work', natch.

How's that bruise on your shin, BB? Vodka?

Portofino Sat 13-Aug-11 22:46:41

I totally agree with the equal time off thing. My dd is older so not so time intensive (what with tv and all blush) But it tends to be if I go anywhere (eg I went to visit aged GPs last weekend) I take her with me. DH had a nice quiet weekend, watching movies and drinking beer. Now he would NEVER do the same thing. I never get a weekend off.

He travels a lot for work, so whilst I am not bogged down with housework, I always have to be there for school pickups, dinner, teeth brushing, bedtime. On the (very odd) occasion that I need to go somewhere directly after work, the pub teambuilding or something, I have to CHECK with him that he can do the thing that I do all the time.

Now dd's school is on my route home from work. Logistically it makes sense that I do it. But still. hmm

BibiBlocksberg Sat 13-Aug-11 23:01:49

<nods> more vodka needed for next Martini, thanks garlic. Curse the Internet, I'd never had one of those and looked up the recipe the other day. V. nice, just wish someone had pointed out to me it's just a couple of slugs of neat cold booze smile


Where was I? Oh yes, I should think it'd be very tricky to keep on having to devide the equal leisure time when there are children in the picture Portofino.

Was just thinking, I'm not angry at the women posting about lists and 'men have to be told what to do' but the conditioning that some of as females have been subjected to to get to that way of thinking.

Remember being absolutely incandescent (the more booze, the bigger the words here, evidently!) with rage when our cleaner and my mother would lecture me on the fact that my room had not been cleaned because I'm female and the 'menz' had to be cleaned up after.

And yet, when I got to adulthood I turned into that which I swore I would never be - namely the one running around and feeling obliged to care for the 'man of the house'


Portofino Sat 13-Aug-11 23:58:09

Now I don't clean up after the man of the house, but yet, I still tell dd to leave daddy alone for minute when he gets home from work. I ask him if he wants a beer. This isn't SO far from that 1950s thing that you refresh your makeup, make sure the children are charming, warm his slippers kind of thing.

I have been at work too. Normally when dh gets home, dd has been fed, dinner is cooking, I have checked homework etc.

BibiBlocksberg Sun 14-Aug-11 00:24:11

<nods hard> - yes Portofino, what you describe are the exact kind of comforts and priviliges that I think are so hard to quantify and can make you (not you personally) sound like a bit of a loon when trying to get the same type of work and forethought from the other partner!

I used to walk around for years seething with resentment at how easy (in comparison) his life was to mine, simply because I wasn't able to quantify and verbalise those comforts!

The luxury of being able to walk in from a day at a (paid for want of a better word) job and finding all calm and happy (especially the children) and just being able to relax knowing all is taken care of is often totally under appreciated.

Unless the same thing happens in reverse of course.

Not helping here am I - just rambling out loud.

garlicbutter Sun 14-Aug-11 00:30:11

Porto, my mental image of you has suddenly gained a gingham apron with a frill round the edge, flour on your hands and that tolerant, crinkly smile exclusive to well-mannered wives & mothers.

My, how you've changed grin

Portofino Sun 14-Aug-11 00:39:25

garlic - I would adjust that view somwhat. I normally look harassed and this very night have been out eating thai food followed by live music with a fellow MNetter. I left DH with a microwave curry.

Now I went to BUY said curry and did leave it with him in the manner that I had done him a huge favour - look DH, I have bought you curry. That will save you searching in the cupboards for sustenance. I am henceforth going out on the piss. (Well actually I was driving so bit of a lie)

But needless to say, DH clears off to Hamburg or Dublin or somewhere, and just ASSUMES that dd and I (and the lodger) have food to eat; I bet he never gives it a thought.

garlicbutter Sun 14-Aug-11 00:56:13

Phew! The original Porto (in my head) looked harassed. It suits you better than the crinkly smile.

One of my current self-improvement projects is Voice Dialogue (it's a Gestalt-like psychology about different facets of the personality.) Anyway, this evening's read included:


There's nothing wrong with them except that if you're in one for a long time you miss out on much more than you gain.

For example, if you're in a relationship and your inner Mother is bonded to your partner's inner Son, and your partner's inner Father is bonded to your inner Daughter, then you would both feel safe and well cared for, as long as you both stayed in the bonding pattern.

... The article goes on to say that negative side-effects of this bonding pattern include a slow build-up of resentment, due to other parts of the personality being suppressed, and an erosion of sexual desire, due to the familial nature of the bond.

It struck me that most of the women to whom the OP refers are bonded in precisely this way. They're assuming the role of mother to their partner.
I think Wifework looks at this, doesn't it?

Maybe women should be encouraging men to discover their home-making, nurturing side. Ime, they enjoy it once they've found it wink

scottishmummy Sun 14-Aug-11 00:59:40

why do women and men perpetrate stereotypical roles
mum=nurturing naturally better with kids.goddess.domestic skivvy
dad= wage earner,demur to wife on childcare,bolshy on everything else

this isnt a men are gits,women are goddesses unfairly put upon
its about what folk do, and settle for

FlamingoBingo Sun 14-Aug-11 01:05:10

DH and I 50:50 but when we went to my parents house before a wedding yesterday, I went off to have my hair done with my mum, and DH was in charge of the children and their clothing. He ironed all our clothes and bathed them all so they'd be ready to get dressed soon after lunch when I'd got back.

My Granny was there. When I returned she was falling over herself to tell me how 'good' DH was, doing all that ironing and looking after the children! hmm I know for certain she wouldn't even have noticed if I'd done it all.

Portofino Sun 14-Aug-11 11:16:12

Flamingo - I know that one. DH and I both have decent jobs. My nan always talks about "how well" DH is doing, and how I must be proud, then goes on to ask how I manage to get my ironing done when I'm out of the house all week. hmm I bet she has NO clue what I do for a living.

I think that, whilst I am certainly no domestic skivvy (mostly outsourced and we share the rest) it is certainly assumed in my house that I am responsible for our child. It is me that organises her activities, checks her home work, makes sure she gets in the shower, buys her clothes, does the school run etc etc. DH will do it, but it is by request. I am the default "carer".

There is an element of logistics in this though. The school is on my way to work for example - whereas dh works 5 mins from our house. When he went for promotion - we did discuss the implications of it ie longer hours, a lot of foreign travel. If I had been unhappy with this, he would not of gone for the job. (Well he said that, anyhow).

I am looking forward very much to reading Wifework. I think I still have a long way to go....

scottishmummy Sun 14-Aug-11 11:22:13

wifework sound like fatalistic tripe.lets face it she'll come to conclusion women are put upon structurally and emotionally.women give ,men get,unequal roles and value placed upon roles

oh and i expect she wants housework to be

you know what sometimes people get what they settle for,i read mn agog sometimes at long narrative descriptions of women doing everything,working and maj of household chores so stop being a martyr dont do it.surely you dont need a book to tell you dont be a mug.

scottishmummy Sun 14-Aug-11 11:26:34

wifework.i expect she wants housework to be paid

BertieBotts Sun 14-Aug-11 11:43:35

We sort of cherry pick tasks in our house. I refuse to do any washing up because I hate it, and in return I do all the laundry, including ironing, but I like doing this. I tend to do the bathroom and other cleaningy-type things, but DP does tidying because I'm one of those people who doesn't notice it. But we haven't been living together very long so we're still working things out. Perhaps I should read wifework before we do grin In general he's quite hands-on with DS even though DS isn't his son.

scottishmummy Sun 14-Aug-11 12:35:43

if a woman finds herself put upon and beholden to someone else,she has to take a good look and think how did i get here

i think
dont give up work
dont be dependent upon someone else wage
and dont blame other people for all your wifely gripes,stop being a martyr.
how did you fall into such a sterotypical role.what about it appealed?

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