Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Why Do People Hate Housework?

I tried to explain this one day to a male friend who was complaining that his STAH wife with two small children, hated housework and complained constantly about having to do the same things all the time..

 Don't get me wrong. I don't HATE doing housework. Things like dishes, laundry, vacuuming, dusting, cooking, cleaning the toilets, washing windows, gardening, mowing, raking leaves and so on.  It has to be done, or you end up living in filth and become an episode of the The Hoarders.

There are some aspects of the tasks that I cooking. However, then that task is linked to a not so fun one like dishes and scrubbing pots. 

The reality is that someone has to do it. It isn't just women who do housework.  This isn't a feminist rant by any means.  Men often bear the burden as well.

The ideal situation is that the tasks get divided up into "who likes to do this?" or " who is best suited for this physcially" and especially, "who has the time for this shit?". Being retired, not having a 9-5 job outside of the home and DP has to work long and hard outside of the home....those tasks almost all fall to me. So. I do it.....mostly....sorta (I didn't call myself Dust Bunny Queen for no reason) We could hire a housekeeper, but I am too thrifty for that and who wants someone pawing around your house. We do hire a yard worker, sometimes, for the heavy lifting.

Now....onto my explanation of why his wife was complaining (whining about the housework) from MY personal perspective.

1. There actually is a level of satisfaction in a job well done. A sparkling clean bathroom. A tidy, neat, well arranged, clutter free, dust free living space. Clean kitchen. Fresh laundry folded put away and an organized closet.

2. While there is pride in a job well done, often people (read husband and kids) take it for granted. As if a magical Geni came in and did it.

3. Where is the positive feed back. Speaking to my friend: "Do you admire your wife's work? Express your gratification at her accomplishments" even something as mundane as cleaning the toilet? Yeah. Doing the dishes isn't any big skillful accomplishment, but everyone likes some appreciation. I don't mean groveling to her. Just. Wow the house looks nice

 4. THIS IS THE BIGGIE: You do your job. You are proud and happy with your clean house and THEN...BAM! you have to do it all over again.

Every Groundhog Day.  

Think of it this way, I said, to my construction working friend. How would you feel if you built a staircase or framed in a house and you did a great job. THEN the next day you return and everything has been disassembled. You have to build it again. All your progress from yesterday is gone!

Next day... and the next....and the next....with no end in sight. Every day the SAME 2x4 studs. The SAME stair treads. The same the same the same......wouldn't you be a bit frustrated?.


ricpic said...

You can't win the war with dust. Well, I can't.

I wouldn't say that laundry is enjoyable, but finally figuring out which exact settings on the washer (plus not too much not too little detergent) and dryer work every time and therefore NOT screwing that job up is...satisfying.

Kindergarten stuff but NOT TO ME!

windbag said...

One day my wife was out mowing the yard and one of her friends called. When I told her what my wife was doing and that I'd give her a message, she snorted, "That's sort of backwards, isn't it?" Bitch. My wife likes to do yard work.

4. THIS IS THE BIGGIE: You do your job. You are proud and happy with your clean house and THEN...BAM! you have to do it all over again.

Spot on. Much of life is mundane repetition. My wife programs income tax software. It's never right. If it is right, the gubmint changes the rules so that it isn't right anymore. Endlessly frustrating. At my restaurant, we have the same conversation 1,000 times. Training (and retraining) people is endlessly frustrating. Same with dealing with the customers. Regardless of the level of sophistication of the job, there's that monster called "Monotony" staring you in the face, and when it's standing next to the troll called "Ingratitude" it can overwhelm.

AllenS said...

I clean my house once a year whether it needs it or not.

edutcher said...

Maybe I should stop calling you oopsy and change it to Sisyphus.

And Windbag's right. It's the drudgery of it people hate. And, as it's almost always done alone, there's no one to lighten the load, share the burden.

Of course, Allen has the right idea.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Windbag. Yeah. I really like yard work too. Not the extremely heavy digging and lifting, which I can't do myself, but am GREAT at directing other to do. Mowing the lawn, weeding, planting and just being outside in the sun.

@ edetcher. Doing housework alone is actually more fun for me, because I can then put on some hard core rock and roll or honky tonk REALLY LOUD Rock out, and dance while dusting, vacuuming etc.

Two top housecleaning/dancing songs Addicted to Love Comeon....who couldn't dust and wax to that.

Hubby came home and caught me doing some honky tonky/burlesque type dancing with a kitchen mop and Delbert McClinton... and he laughed his ass off. When She Wants Good Lovin' bump da bump da bump! How embarrasing LOL. Kitchen floor was clean though.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Actually, pretty much anything Robert Palmer works for house cleaning. If you have to do it, at least make it fun!

windbag said...

@ DBQ, my annual contribution to the garden was till the ground, remove the rocks, run the hose down the hill, and make sure the fence was in good shape. After that, I would help snap beans and assist in the canning process come harvest time.

I can do endless sinks full of dishes as long as I have my music blasting in the background. I don't dance, though. After hearing shouts of "Dance, white boy, dance" you tend to lose interest.

Amartel said...

I love housework, all kinds. It's my property, that I worked very hard for, and I'm preserving it/making it look great. Cooking, though, not so much. Hmmm.

Sixty Grit said...

I was about to sweep up my shop then I grew fatigued, so I figured I would take a break and make a comment.

Many valid points here - dust always wins. It falleth from the heavens in its own cosmic way and doth accumulate mightily in my house. I dust, then cough up dust for a day. Oh well.

I don't mind cleaning, and the reality of living in a house with 4 animals means that it will always have to be redone. I do miss my old Panasonic vacuum cleaner, however, it worked like a champ and had a built-in headlight. The new one lacks that, and I miss it.

The vinyl flooring in my house is another issue. Some of it was damaged by glue - it's a long story, but that, combined with dogs tracking in mud means that even if I scrub it, it never looks clean. In the bathroom the vinyl flooring curled up on the edges. That irritates me, because even if it is clean it looks like hell. Short of replacing it there is nothing that will improve how it looks.

The good news is I rarely get company so I can go a long time between serious house cleaning. Maybe not as long as AllenS, but I get where he is coming from.

Oh yeah - the '70s era carpet over the oak flooring will remain in place until either there are no more pets living here or I am gone. For now it is protecting the hardwood. Works for me, and I am thankful I am colorblind, just sayin'.

Also, I prepare all my own meals so cooking is no big deal for me. I do the dishes and clean the food prep areas and stove top as soon as the food is on-board. A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen. But anything that touches the floor is garbage - the zero second rule is in effect here.

Trooper York said...

My wife and I have a deal since we first started dating. I do all the cooking and she does the cleaning. After the first meal she prepared I told her she doesn't ever have to cook again.

The problem is I cook like a chef. I used to do the taxes for a lot of restaurants and I seemed to have picked up their bad habits. You see I use a lot of kitchen utensils and pots and stuff. So there is a lot of dirty stuff. My wife always says "You ain't fuckin' Bobby Flay you don't have a bunch of Mexicans to clean up[after you."

So I what I do is clean up after myself. Sorta. You see I can never clean good enough for the wife. Periodically she jumps in and gives the kitchen a deep clean.

She has made every maid we have quit. You see she doesn't just let these filthy foreigners give a lick and a promise. She makes them move the furniture to clean. Vacuum the couches and the furniture. Takes the pillows off and vacuum the couch. They can't handle it. So they quit and we have to do it. I had three Mexicans, a Peruvian, two Guatemalans and a Russian quit.

The big arguments we have is over the mess I make cleaning. She says 'I just cleaned the stove yesterday." So I reply "I just chopped the vegetables and filleted the steaks yesterday. Oh no I have to do it again. You mean preparing a meal once means I have to do it again? It doesn't last for a month? Who knew?"

I do love cooking so I don't mind doing it every day and doing it right.

Sixty Grit said...

Wait, are you saying that one can move furniture to vacuum under it? That sounds horrible!

Just checked - I think I found your Peruvian under my La-Z-Boy.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I love a clean and sort of uncluttered house, but I am not anal about it.

I once had an Aunt my Uncle married when he was stationed in Germany directly after WWII. MY GOD this woman was anal about her house. It was absolutely spotless. The dust was afraid to land on anything. We were afraid to touch or move anything. Our mere presence was enough to mess up the house. Uncomfortable.

We LIVE in this place and there WILL be evidence of that. Shoes kicked off by the door. So what. Sweater draped on the hall bench. We are going to put them on again when we go out. If we don't do the dishes right after dinner and decide, to hell with it we'd rather watch a movie on Netflix, they can wait in the dishwasher or even the sink until isn't a big deal. How two people can generate so many dirty dishes in a day is a mystery :-) It is like "WHAT...there they are again!"

Fortunately DP and I are basically on the same page about the scale of what is clean to OMG this place is a mess. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being my anal Aunt's Germanic house and 10 being Hoarders, send in the Hazmat team, we are about a 3.

We divy up the chores pretty well too. I do most of the cooking because I like it. DP is the BBQ pro and Mr.Fixit in the house and around the property cuz he likes that. The rest of the stuff, we do it because somebody has to.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Sixty.

Pet hair! We had two cats, who recently had to be sent to the big litter box in sky. Illness and advanced age. I'm STILL vacuuming up cat hair. I don't think it ever ends!

edutcher said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Actually, pretty much anything Robert Palmer works for house cleaning. If you have to do it, at least make it fun!

One of the great secrets of life.

Sixty Grit said...

Ten years ago I lost a great dog. She weighed 65 pounds and boy could she shed. Seven years ago I moved, and while rehabbing the old house I found her fur everywhere. It was impressive. I almost hated to lose that last trace of her, but I did have to sell the house, so there you go. New floors throughout, new trim molding, new doors, new paint and next thing you know the place sold. And there was not a pet hair to be found, spotless, I tell ya!

Which reminds me -- yet another reason I don't slave over this place is because I am still worn out from redoing the old place. I am sure that if I got serious I could find pet hair from a cat I lost a year and a half ago - that stuff is impressive in its ubiquity.

ndspinelli said...

WTF?? Cleaning sucks! I do my share[bathrooms and vaccum, but I hate every fucking minute of it. When we both worked full time we had a maid. I would still like to have one but my German wife can't abide hiring someone to clean when we have the time. I like to contribute to the underground economy..seems like a nice fuck you to the IRS and good for the cleaning woman win/win.

ndspinelli said...

But, to each their own. Some folks like bondage and whips.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...


windbag - Much of life is mundane repetition.
Yes. I'd like a year without housework and holidays.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

When the mood strikes, I like to clean windows. Speaking of repetitive, I feel like I've said this before.
Bucket of warm soapy water (dawn diminishing liquid) and some soft fiber rags. Swirl the rag all over the window, dry rag to buff dry - presto - clean winders.

I clean the gutters. Tho I do recommend DON"T kick-over the ladder and trap yourself up there. Don't do that. I use a leaf blower and a million miles of extension cord. I have no fear of heights and that will probably kill me. I feel really good about myself with clean gutters and them winders are sparkly.

Vacuuming - I used to like to vacuum but I'm sick of it. Dusting - is there anything more boring? no.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

My dream home: A giant plastic igloo with a beautiful oculus at the top of the dome. The floor is sloped concrete with a drain in the middle, under the oculus. There are hose-bibs all around. When it's time to clean, you get the hose out.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Vacuuming - I used to like to vacuum but I'm sick of it. Dusting - is there anything more boring? no.

Doing housework, with a couple of exceptions IS really not fun, but as noted....SOMEBODY has to do it or just live in squalor.

Vacuuming was one of those things that were boring. Until my Hoover Windtunnel died and we ended up getting a Shark Rotator. One of those bag-less types. The first time I used it I was..."OMG!!!! LOOK at all that crud coming off of the carpet." You couldn't see it in the old vac with those paper bags.

I had been vacuuming every week and often twice a week because cat hair. The carpet had been professionally cleaned about a year before. Thought I was doing a good job but, I guess not. This Shark was sucking up so much that I was astounded.

It has leveled off now but STILL. I am still amazed everytime a vacuum. Where the HELL is all this dust coming from?

It is time to dust when you can write your name on the television and the side tables.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Because cat hair. If only there were money to be made in cat hair commodities.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yah. The first time I used the Shark, I commented to DP that I think I have enough cat hair to assemble another cat.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

LOL. When you build the cat, make sure he/she doesn't shed.

rcommal said...

Well. More practically speaking, I used to think, decades ago, who hates it less?--and that should be the person who ought to do it.

As with so many things, that notion is upended.

rcommal said...

@DBQ: I'm glad to see that you're well and safe. (All that weird weather, including fires etc. etc., stuff, out in Cali: While I assume you were OK, the truth is that I have precisely -0- clue about where you and yours live, and nor do I need to know that on account of it being none of my business.) Still, DBQ, I did indeed think of you, and I am so, so glad that you and yours are OK.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ rcommal

Thank you very much :-) I appreciate the kind thoughts. We are doing well. Most of the natural disasters are in other areas of the State. Although last year we had mucho flooding in some areas locally.

No reason people shouldn't know the general area where I am. Location is sometimes pertinent to my postings. FAR North Eastern California.

rcommal said...

As to the theme of your post, DBQ, with regard to [my characterizations, not yours] thankless on account of never-ending & also unappreciated tasks/work:

I get it; full stop.

rcommal said...

Not to mention what homeschooling required over more than a decade ...

+ etc.

rcommal said...

Also, my kid achieved something in a related service/military "thang" that only something like 3% achieved in the last, oh, something like 70 years. [And he managed to achieve that in something akin to well under two years.}

rcommal said...

Also, my husband's and son's cyber-patriot competition team (affiliated with a branch of the military and also supported by both my in-laws' business and my husband's and my business--both incorporated way back decades ago as official endeavors decades ago) are kicking ass.

That said, it's just a starter.

rcommal said...

Regarding something above, here's a link: