A Lesson for Men

Is there anything more demoralising than the question, from husband to wife:

“So, what did you do all day?”

It’s a slap in the face for a stay at home Mum.
Yes, it actually stings.

Last night I was sitting on the couch with my husband, him watching TV, me tap tap tapping on my laptop. It’s what we do at the end of the day. He heads off to bed about 10:30 and I say ‘I’ll be there in a minute.” Before I know it, it’s 1am and I know that I’ll regret this in the morning. Let’s not forget that I am a morning monster.

I wake up this morning to my lovely husband holding my dressing gown, helping me out of bed having already made my coffee. How sweet.
I tell him I’m tired. It’s a given in this house, I’m always tired in the morning but still, I need to say it.
His response

“I’m going to break that laptop”

And just when I thinking that it’s because he wants me to spend more time with him snuggling on the couch, or perhaps to get more sleep, he says

“because of the pile of washing in the loungeroom”

My brain does not compute. How is the washing in the loungeroom responsible for my tiredness and how is the breaking of the laptop helpful?

“because you probably play on the damn laptop all day instead of folding the washing”

Oh. I see.

Cue, Rachaels’ stinging cheek.

No husband, it is because of me that there is a pile of clean washing to fold.
I am the fairy who picks the dirty socks up off the floor when they don’t make it to the laundry basket. It is I who picks up the wet towels, and dirty jocks, and discarded shirts.
I sort it, and wash it and hang it out. Then I bring it in and add it to The Pile.
Rinse and repeat 3-4 times a day.

I am also the fairy who scrubs the toilet bowl and cleans up the puddles of wee on the floor. I replace the toilet roll AND remove the old one. For some inexplicable reason no-one else in the house knows how to do this.
 I am also the fairy that wipes toothpaste out of the sink and cleans the splatters off the bathroom mirror every.single.morning.
I am the fairy that cleans the kitchen after the kids have created their daily disaster zone.
I put away the straz, and wipe crumbs and tomato sauce off the bench. I pack the dishwasher with the breakfast dishes, mop up spilled milk and wipe something sticky off the wall.
I put the Corn Flakes away to find an explosion of Rice Bubbles in the pantry. I am the fairy who sweeps those damn Rice Bubbles.
I pick up discarded toys and shoes and tiny little Lego men so that they don’t get sucked up the vacuum and lost forever.
I am the fairy who buys the groceries, plans the meals and cooks the food. I also clean the oven and scrape grilled cheese off the grill because someone doesn’t know how to use foil.
I am the fairy that removes whatever that green fury thing is that is growing in the fridge and then wipes the whole thing with vanilla to make it smell yummy.
Not to mention the cheauffering of the children from home to school, from school to tennis or acting or ballet, and then home again.
I also have a ‘real’ job and community commitments to attend to.

I am the reason we eat, have clean clothes, and a reasonably tidy house to live in. The Pile exists because I was NOT on my laptop all day. It exists because I worked to put it there.
It Is infuriating that I spend all day doing things that are ultimately invisible.

A lesson for men:


If you are wearing dirty clothes, come home to feral children, a house that resembles a tip and get to cook your own 2 minute noodles for dinner, your comments might be justified.  Otherwise, questioning what your wife does all day, or implying that she is a Facebook troll, is not in any way constructive.
It is the equivalent of telling her that her contribution is meaningless.
Also, you might want to reconsider making your wife feel insignificant, it is not exactly condusive to marital bliss.

Seriously. If you ever want to have sex again, just keep your trap shut.


PS. I am well aware of the irony of writing this post on my laptop in the middle of the day. Thankyou.


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6 Responses to A Lesson for Men

  1. Peter Stam says:

    Hi Rach. I can understand your frustration and you are not alone in feeling like this. Men are programmed differently to women in a lot of ways. I have said before, I can look at this place and think how clean it is, but Margaret will say ” I need to spring clean the house is filthy”!! When we are expecting visitors she will spend half a day cleaning and putting away, yet I dont see what has to be done. I tell Margaret to tell me what she needs done and Ill do it. Its not that I am blin d or I dont care, I do but I dont see the dust or “mess”. I would doubt Owen is being disparaging about your day, he just does not see what you have worked your arse off doing!!

  2. Pat says:

    I hear you Rach. I believe that a big part of the problem is that housework is not what we want to be doing no matter how much we love hubby or kids or how house proud we may be.
    For 5 years I worked for a NFP as a volunteer, when people found out that I was not paid they would move on to the next person. I was offered a paid position by the Govt and all of a sudden I was worth talking to. Weird but true.

    • That is strange Pat. I guess the assumption is that if you dont get paid to do something it’s because you are no good at it. Weird how being paid automatically makes you valuable.

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