I have a confession to make. I love doing laundry. Probably because I’ve been doing it for a very long time. My Mom re-entered the workforce when I was a freshman in high school, and doing the laundry for our family of five became my part-time after school job. I probably did three loads a day. Today there are only two of us, so the work’s become much easier, especially since I recently purchased a spiffy new washing machine with a control panel that rivals a rocket ship.
But my love of housework ends there. I do not enjoy cleaning the bathroom, dusting, or vacuuming. I often joke that I’m descended from a long line of bad housekeepers. In all fairness to my Grandma, she was a working woman way before it was popular, and at the end of a 60+ hour work week of running her own business, I’m sure that housecleaning was one of the last things on her mind. When I was growing up, we always had a pile of magazines, library books, and mail on the kitchen table that we moved around when it was mealtime. My brothers and I had very messy rooms, which was ok with our Mom as long as we kept the doors closed. Today, while my house wouldn’t qualify to be on “Hoarders” or “Clean House”, I probably wouldn’t receive the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval either. Given the choice of cleaning the bathroom or reading a good book, reading a good book almost always wins.
So the other day when my Mom called me to tell me that she had read a survey in the Palm Beach Post, that claimed that women loved to do housework, I couldn’t stop laughing. My Mom swore that she wasn’t making it up, that the article claimed that the women who were surveyed tended to clean when they were stressed and found they were upset or disconcerted when their home was not properly picked up. I kid you not. Personally, when I’m stressed out I reach for a candy bar, not a mop.
Ironically, both of my brothers went on to marry women who are neat freaks. Maybe our next generation will break the mold.
Is your house neat or messy? Do you think that cleanliness is genetic? Do you have a favorite chore? Do you split the chores 50/50 in your home? Do your children help with the housework?
This blog post was originally published in March 2011.