Delighted to see that an unexpectant upside to COVID19 is that men are now taking on more of the housework. So, pleased for those women who have always shouldered more of the childcare and household work.
This came out of an American study by Dan Carlson, a sociologist at the University of Utah. Other studies in Canada, Germany, Turkey and the Netherlands found that while women are still the major housekeepers, men are doing more domestic work during the pandemic than they did before it.
“Across the board, whether it’s dishwashing, laundry, childcare, reading to kids, physical care, we’re seeing a universal movement toward more egalitarian sharing,” said Dan Carlson.
Apparently there is an upside to male domesticity as men who help out in the home apparently have more and better sex. Well that makes sense. If you are not exhausted from cleaning and child care then you have more energy and inclination to indulge in other things!!!
So guys you know what you’ve got to do to keep your sex life thriving.
Anyway it got me to thinking as women have historically been the home makers does it come more naturally to some women. And am I not one of these women. Over the past 4 months I have come to realise just how sole destroying housework can be. You finish cleaning one room when another needs attention and another and another and then you have to start all over again. The kitchen alone is a full-time job; breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, because lockdown is so boring one needs to amuse oneself with food. And then there are the animals. I could just spend my day cleaning the kitchen. It is like the weeds which seem to grow several feet after a rainfall – never ending. You might as well let it all get dirty and just clean up once a week. Except of course you have to live with the chaos for 7 days. I fluctuate between obsessing about trying to keep everything clean and tidy to wtf.
So how come some women seem to do this effortlessly and their homes always look spotless? I know they exist because I have been in their homes. I have friends with tidy homes. Clear surfaces, kitchen tables not full of rubble, spotless hobs, floors shining, and no piles of things that don’t seem to belong anywhere. Everywhere I look there is stuff. Just for openers this is my printer in my office. Why is there a tape measure, a 1916 army water bottle and an unopened plastic bag of support stockings that were issued for my late husband who died 2 years ago? They must have homes so why aren’t they neatly tucked away in a sewing box or a box for “what on earth shall I do with this – and why have I got it in the first place.”
See what I mean – is there no hope for me
The corner of our kitchen is full of stuff that is on its way to the basement – it has been on its way to the basement for months! I have this terrific urge to sweep everything into the bin, but I know in a few weeks there will be a “has anybody seen…?” I blame my mother – eat off her floors but the house was complete chaos. She was one of those forever “have you seen” kind of people. Bless her she really tried but like me it was not in her nature. Luckily Dad who we called Hoover Harry was a dab hand with the vacuum – it was the one thing he did with relish. That and mowing the lawn. Must be a 50’s-man thing.
Should I just accept my domestic inadequacies and focus on my other qualities. Except that yesterday I also realised that my brain was not wired for economics. And as I continue to have a surplus of time on my hands I am finding there is a heap of other things that I am not wired for. Bit worrying.
This week I spoke to a friend whose mother had died alone in a care home. She hadn’t seen her since March and felt distraught that she couldn’t even give her mum one last hug. “So much I would have wanted to say,” she said. I also have other friends whose relatives are in Care Homes and they are desperate for some contact. I will refrain from going into a rant of the diabolical treatment of the elderly in this pandemic and how one thinks that just maybe it is a convenient way of population control and the pension deficit. Maybe they can redeems themselves a bit — only a very little bit — and fund the care homes so they can introduce hug tunnels like the one that has been installed at a care home in Brazil. It allows elderly relatives the opportunity to cuddle their loved ones safely. It’s the simple things that can make all the difference.
And talking of the elderly I have finally signed my Will although it hasn’t yet been witnessed. Clearly there is a reluctance here as it has been sitting on my desk for 2 weeks. I suppose it is accepting that I am going to die – at some point. The inevitability of it is daunting. I have also still to sign the Power of Attorney document. Which is even more daunting. Methinks I will put in a codicil saying on no account do I want to go in a home – even one with a hug tunnel – and if my children who will have Power of Attorney put me in one then I am leaving my entire estate to a cat and dogs home.
Let’s be careful out there”