‘Women’s Work’
‘Women’s Work’

CLEAN-FUN: washing up with a smile

This week’s column is dedicated to women… and, totally by coincidence, it’s late.

One week late. I say that because last Friday was International Women’s Day, and most years Itry to focus on the under-appreciated contributions housewives and mothersmake to their families and society.

That doesn’t mean, however, there isn’t going to be anything in here for male readers.As a matter of fact, this year there will probably be more for them than for the ladies.

I’d like to start, though, by asking both sexes to take a good look at the picture at the top of this page.

There are three very interesting things happening there.

First of all, the man of the house is washing the dishes.

Secondly, he is sharing the experience with his daughter.

And thirdly… and I think this is really important,he is smiling.

That probably means he is happy, and I’m guessing the woman of the house is happy as well… assuming she is getting some rest, as opposed to changing the transmission on hubby’s car.

So, my first point is for everyone; house work, like most types of work, is what we make of it.

It can be a series of dreary, mind-numbing chores, or it can be avariety of rewarding experiences.

That may sound a bit rich to some of you… especially house work weary women who may think I’ve never been in charge of cleaning and maintaining a home.

But that’s not true. I’ve got 25-years’ experience and I even ran a guesthouse for seven years when I often cleaned the bathrooms, kitchens and bedroomsby myself.

And believe it or not, I sometimes enjoyed it.

Even the repetitive stuff, which could be a meditation prop if I focused on doing each job as well as I could.

The thing is, I found it difficult to maintain that attitude, so it really helped when I didn’t have to do the rooms every day or when someone else shared the chores with me.

Which means my second point is mainly for the men; a little bit of help around the house can go a long way.

Okay, a lot of help might be better, but things like dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, washing dishes and cleaning work areas can get the person doing them – usually a woman – down, because those jobs do not stay done.

They have to be done over and over again.

It can be thankless work, so I’m suggesting the men out there who don’t already do it, say thank you by helping out.

And I’m also saying doing that doesn’t have to be painful.

It can be meditative, or it can be quality time with your mate or with your children.

Which brings us back to that picture.

Let’s look at the man washing dishes again.

Do any of you feel sorry for him?

He may be doing what’s often called ‘women’s work’, but I certainly don’t.

He’s happy and he seems to have a solid relationship with his daughter.

So maybe by helping out, being involved and trying to make his partner’s life a bit easier, he has made his own life better as well.

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