‘Chores I don’t have to do now I’m divorced’
HAVE you ever wondered why polygamy is never one woman with lots of husbands? No, we haven't either. A study has now qualified our inkling that husbands can be hard work.
I also get seven days a week without a husband. And I don't mean to be a narky old man-basher, but fellas, you are HIGH MAINTENANCE.
If you don't believe me consider this: why does the practice of polygamy only ever involve one man with multiple wives?
Why do women not practice polygamy by having lots of husbands?
a) Polygamy is illegal in most countries
But more importantly ...
b) Husbands are hard work.
Imagine having three or four of them?
But if you don't believe my kooky polygamy analogy the research is in.
As reported by Reuters: "A new study from the University of Michigan shows that having a husband creates an extra seven hours of extra housework a week for women. But a wife saves her husband from an hour of chores around the house each week."
No sh**, Sherlock.
When my marriage was breaking down, friends expressed some concern for how I would "manage" being a single parent. I tried to explain, without sounding bitter, that being without a husband would probably reduce my household workload by about 30 per cent.
Here are 10 chores I no longer have to do now that I don't have a husband.
(And yes some of these will probably not relate to your particular husband, in which case I salute him and his ability to work out this domestic equality thing.)
1. Hold two dinner sittings
My kids start gnawing at the furniture by 5.45pm. So dinner has to be on the table by 6pm, I could probably stretch it to 6:30 for a compromise. But my ex routinely got home from work at 7pm or later and would not accept a "yours is in the oven" arrangement. So in order to accommodate him we had to have two dinner sittings: two dinner preps, two clean ups, two EVERYTHING.
Oh and in case you're asking, no he never, ever cooked. EVER.
2. Remove two or more pairs of shoes from under the coffee table every night
According to him, that was his 'shoe cupboard'. I begged to differ. It's a small thing but it's really freed up my end of night "now I'm going to go to bed" flow.
3. Deal with that wine glass ...
You know the one: it appears on the edge of the sink every night, when the kitchen has been cleaned and the dishwasher is already running?
Every night. Every f***ing night. It would appear like magic. Sometimes it was two glasses, because he had a glass of red with dinner and a glass of white before dinner. And nay, he could not rinse and use the same glass.
Either way, he had to put the freakin' things on the sink drainer right at the point when I was thinking "my work here is done, now I can go to bed".
And sure, it just means opening the dishwasher and popping it in, but WHY COULDN'T HE DO THAT?!
4. Completely remake the bed every morning from scratch
This is going to sound weird, but when you sleep alone and you get up in the morning, you kinda have to just pull the bed covers across and the bed is made.
My ex was a messy sleeper: he tossed and turned and reefed the covers from their moorings so that we ended up sleeping under a giant kite-shaped sheet every single night. Every morning, it was like there'd been a terrible struggle (and most of the time it wasn't the fun sexual kind). Making the bed was a complete start-from-scratch affair.
5. Pair up fifty squillion pairs of almost-matching black socks
Oh the black socks. The BLACK SOCKS. The black socks that sort of almost matched but not quite. The sock count has reduced considerably since he's been gone.
6. Take a wodge of shirts to the dry cleaners for washing and ironing and pick them up each week in a timely fashion
It was mainly the picking them up in a timely fashion I could never achieve. Who's got the brain space for someone else's laundered shirts when I was already dropping and picking up kids from school every day and trying to squeeze in some paid work in the hours between nine and three?
It was always a bit beyond me why he couldn't pick them up on his way to or from work.
7. Cook elaborate meals during the week
I'm just going to say it: he was a fussy eater. Things that qualify as 'quick easy dinners' like pasta, stir fries, left overs, toasted sandwiches, he simply did not consider to be an acceptable dinner option. The obligation to provide a gourmet dinner menu when I was married was thoroughly exhausting.
8. Obligation sex to service the grumpy husband
I know this is sometimes necessary, and I'm not saying I don't like sex, I just don't like that "you better root me or I'll keep sulking like a toddler" sex that seems to go on in marriages.
9. Make him a cut lunch
I did this for a while, just to keep the peace. Then just quietly, without saying anything I simply stopped doing it. Seriously, you're a grown man and you can't make yourself a sandwich in the morning?
10. Nurse him through his biannual bouts of man flu
Don't get me wrong, I think it's nice to look after someone when they're sick. It is, after all, one of the best perks of marriage: in sickness and in health and all that.
But if you add a busy household, part time work and the demands of small children, there are certain times in life when the sick adult just needs to go into a room and be sick without expecting elaborate Florence Nightingale-level ministrations.
Long story short: He made himself dispensable
People often ask what went wrong in my marriage. And really if I'm going to be completely honest about it (putting aside the 10 year erosion of love and affection) what happened was this: He offered no help with day to day household chores. No help. In fact, he actively increased my workload just by being there and adding his flotsam to the jetsam.
Over time, as the children got older and more independent, I discovered that I could do what he was doing (pay the mortgage and bills).
Then love and affection began to fray at the edges. I looked around one day and asked myself: what am I getting out of this?
The answer, quite simply was: not much.
Memo to husbands: I know we sound like broken records but household chores are no longer strictly "women's work."
If you live by that mantra, you will look around one day (when the children are grown) and find your domestic slave and cosy life companion has dropped your pile of dirty washing in the hall and skipped happily off into the sunset … without you.
This story appeared on Kidspot and we republished with permission.