MY husband swept the room with a glance and that was his contribution to the housework!
For his own good he should get down with the dusting and handy with the Hoover, because according to a new study, men who do their fair share of the housework benefit from better health.
Research by a Swedish University uncovered that men who don’t split the housework down the middle with their partners, were prone to anxiety, heart palpitations and poor concentration, compared to those who helped around the home. Also, women who have to put up with lazy partners are not only susceptible to being more tired because of doing all the work; they face increased health problems too. The research also uncovered that men who shirked housework suffered higher levels of psychological stress. Now I don’t see my husband suffering any kind of psychological trauma (apart from the time he lost the TV remote!), he seems very chilled to me in his non-housework role. Housework shirking actually seems to agree with him, but then there’s always the exception to the rule.
Personally I hate housework. It’s the most mundane activity ever invented, and the horrible thing about it is, no-one notices when you do it and everyone notices if you don’t. My pet peeve is ironing, then hoovering, not forgetting dusting, window cleaning is a real pain, and as for scouring the bathroom, well that’s just a form of torture, especially if you have lots of mirrors and a six-year-old who likes drawing on them when they are condensed with steam, the list goes on!
Women have to fit all of these chores into their routine along with looking after the kids, ferrying children around, cooking and working. Some women may have a partner who does their fair share of the chores but analysis by the Institute for Public Policy Research shows that eight out of 10 married women do more household chores, while just one in 10 married men do an equal amount of cleaning and washing as their wives.
Patterns of housework regarding the difference of the sexes have changed very slightly over the years. Women still shoulder the overwhelming burden of household tasks. And little do men know that when they get down and dirty with the chores their women find them even more attractive. Helping with the housework increases a man’s chances of a saucy little romantic liaison. I think we all know what I’m saying here ladies, yes I’m talking choreplay! Seeing our men get handy with the duster can be enough to send us wild with passion (and shock!). If only they knew the effect they had when they vacuum the living room floor! Forget Fifty Shades of Grey, I am writing a novel which is sure to be a blockbuster. It’s called Fifty Shades of Graft and is about a housewife who lavishes gifts of rubber gloves, dusters, scrubbing brushes and bleach on her husband, letting him know that choreplay is the name of the game. This motivates him to become a domestic god. After she watches him transform their house into a veritable show home whilst also looking after the children, she gets ready to show her appreciation. As she takes him in her arms he utters: ‘You must be joking; I’m exhausted, I’ve been cleaning and looking after the kids all day!’
Admittedly my plot needs a little work!
My attitude to housework has begun to change as I’ve gotten older. I watched my mother in a constant whirl of housecleaning all of my life. She also had a Mrs Mop lady who helped out, but Mum would even tidy before the woman arrived. This obsession with cleanliness was passed on to me which I’m happy to report I’m now in full recovery from. I spent so many years repeating the same chores over and over that frankly, I am thoroughly sick of this domestic bliss malarkey the fairytales sold to us children of the 1970s. If the prince can go off on sporting commitments each Saturday then the princess can happily sit amongst the dust bunnies, looking after the children whilst reading fab books, watching movies and pampering herself instead of trying to be a domestic goddess. As author Shirley Conran said: “Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom!”
There’s an old saying: ‘Only dull women have immaculate houses’, and fortunately I have recently discovered just how fascinating I really am!
Its doubtful many men will go rushing for the dusters at the breaking news that housework is good for them.
Happily, my husband and I have finally found a system regarding housework that works for both of us - neither of us do it! I just keep a few get well cards handy to hastily put up if we get unexpected visitors, that way they think I’ve been too ill to clean!