The poll for BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour suggests that women spend an average of 11-and-a-half hours doing housework by their own estimation, while men complete just six...
Reminds of something I've meant to post for ages. My wife had to go abroad for a week a couple of years ago, so I had to take over all the housework.
After dropping her off at the airport, the kids and I did the big weekly shop, and for the next week I got up a bit earlier and sorted out breakfast, made sure they'd packed the correct stuff for school and took them to school. After I came home from work, I bunged in some laundry, made sure they did their homework while I cooked, we sat down for dinner together, then I folded the previous day's laundry and hung up the wet stuff, did the washing up. At the weekend I even whizzed round with the vacuum cleaner and gave the kitchen and bathrooms floors a bit of a wipe.
I suppose I was lucky, my boss was happy for me to clock off a bit earlier on the days when I hadn't arranged that some other parents pick them up from school and nothing went disatrously wrong like a Tube strike or one of them being taken ill etc.
And at nine in the evening was proper clocking off time. Kids cleaned their teeth and went to bed with a book, good night kiss, job done and I could sit back and relax for a couple of hours. Despite I had never done this before, I didn't find it particularly difficult. In a way it's less stressful and more rewarding than paid employment because you are in charge and you get a sense of achievement and a nice warm glow at the end of the day (not just an alcohol induced one).
So after a lifetime of sort of respecting women for doing most of the housework (in exchange for working shorter hours in paid employment, natch), it struck me that perhaps they do protest too much, there's less to it than you think.
Here's the punchline: I was picking up the little lass from school and got chatting to one of her friend's Dads and he said that his Mrs was also away for a few days and that he'd had to step into the breach for the first time. And he was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it all went as well.
Monday, 6 October 2014
My latest blogpost: "Women Still Do A Lot More Housework Than Men, Study Finds"Tweet this! Posted by Mark Wadsworth at 13:29