Babe, could you help me with this thing here please? Could you help me put the laundry away? Could you please help me with dinner?
Some houses get that. True to our form, for us it’s more of a passive-aggressive note of “so, guess we’re not hoovering this week either”, or “should I go buy paper plates so we’ll have something to eat out of?” But I very rarely ask my husband to help, purely and simply because I don’t want him to help.
Before you go on a tirade though, let’s make it known that I’m all up in that feminist agenda. You see, too often, the female in the relationship ends up in a situation where getting other people to do the household chores become a question of asking for help. And there are men out there who perpetuate the myth. Case in point. It’s an archaic model of a house and home where the female would stay in the house all day, taking care of the children and ensuring the household was taken care of. The male would go out for the bacon and come home at sundown, to be pampered by his beloved.
But this is the 21st century. Us ladyfolk can now go out and do things like vote, wear trousers and get jobs. The home, our kids and our husbands are no longer the be-all and end-all of our existence, but we *gasp* have lives outside of the bricks and mortar that used to enslave us. We work as hard (if not harder. Because, you know, 80p to the £1.) as the men do, and we are afforded the luxury of quasi-equality.
So I’m just going to say this once. No, there is nothing you can do to help. Because it’s not about helping. You live here too. Keeping the house clean and food on the table isn’t MY job, it’s not up to me to make sure the household is running smoothly. I work the same amount of hours as you do and spend as much time in the house as you do. There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do everything. So, why would it be up to me to clean your shit up?
You are an adult, a fully grown human being. It is your responsibility that you live like one. You have the ability to cook, and you have two functional hands than can lift things up off the floor. So use them. We will divide the tasks almost equally so you have your tasks (the ones I don’t like. Like washing the dishes, hoovering and general spider-catching.) and I have mine, and I will
nag at gently remind you about getting things done if you forget. But in my marriage vows I did not promise to forever treat you like a child, your mother didn’t pass me the golden diaper of your childhood to uphold, and I sure as heck didn’t sign up to be your keeper.
Every time I see a male partner being praised for being a “good husband” and a “great partner” for doing work around the house, I cringe a little. A father is commended when he changes a dirty diaper and adored if he holds a bottle for a feed. Yet when a woman gets up a 4 am for the 5th feed of the night, she gets but a shrug of the shoulders. She grew that thing, shouldn’t she get a break? Isn’t it the man’s job to do some work now? SHE GREW A HUMAN BEING! What did you do? We’ve moved so far from when women were considered the property of the men in their lives, so why are we still so hung up on men “helping” around the house, men “helping” with the children? Surely as equal partners, it is a shared duty to ensure everything runs smoothly?
*disclaimer: my husband was brought up surrounded by three strong women and then further educated in a boarding school, learning independence from an early age. He might be forgetful and absolutely atrocious at dusting, but he knows it’s all about that 50/50 life. This isn’t about him, it’s a compilation of writings I have seen around. Out of the two of us, he’s the feminist.