Hubby had an exciting announcement to make the other day. Brace yourselves, it’s really worth waiting for this one…
‘I don’t like doing ironing during the week,’ he informed me, during a ‘put-upon partner’ lament about his lack of work shirts and why more hadn’t been washed, hung up and basically draped over the ironing board for him in preparation for some steam-filled action in front of Sunday’s ‘must-watch’ football match.
This week it actually featured his own team too which makes a change. Of course they threw away a two goal lead, causing much muttering and gnashing of teeth, but what do you expect if you support West Ham?!
Don’t worry, I of course calmly explained that no one ‘likes’ ironing – even neat freaks such as myself – regardless of what day of the week it is.
The difference is of course that while men expect a gold medal, or at least some sort of badge of honour and a beer, if they help out with humdrum household tasks at weekends (or whenever) we harassed mums expect (and get) nothing in return for juggling a million different menial tasks a day.
It’s just assumed that when something needs rinsing, washing, fetching or filing we’ll do it. Yes that’s right because we’re female.
It’s the unwritten rule of family life that no one ever tells you. Your body has gone to wrack and ruin pushing out a few children, so now you get to celebrate by washing up for the next two decades!
Take this constantly manic freelance journalist and copywriter for example.
While hubby would never need factor sock washing, hoovering or doing the weekly supermarket shop into his working day, I’m just expected to do it. Yes that’s right, because I’m female.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s great at picking the odd thing up on his way home, but when it comes to all those little ‘invisible’ chores that keep family life ticking over, you guessed it it’s down to you. That’s right, because you’re female.
One of my best mum friends summed up the whole sorry scenario very well this week. Apparently her other half is suffering from a serious case of dishwasher-phobia. You’ve probably come across it – the chronic inability to put anything actually inside the machine, just in its vague vicinity.
Hubby does it with his clothes at night. They don’t get hung up, rather slung over the sofa. Clearly they plan to walk back to the wardrobe by themselves.
Now, as I said, I’m pretty lucky that hubby is a fairly ‘new-age man’ – in the sense that he chips in a lot of the time – but I do still wonder what would happen if I went on strike for a few days.
Would he realise that empty loo rolls need to actually be thrown away, and replaced, for example?
The trouble is that my fear of dirt and chaos means I’d crack within hours of course, which is his psychological warfare weapon.
But I’m still not ironing any bloody shirts…