December 19 – clean up your act

148/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. What’s the number one thing that people in a marriage fight about? Sure, the stats might reveal it’s money and all things related; however, I would beg to differ. I think it might have something to do with responsibilities and helping around the home. I know that in my relationship, for the longest time, it had to do with cleaning. Growing up in a home where my mother did everything – worked outside the home, then made meals and cleaned on the weekends, I sadly and unconsciously internalized these notions – especially the gender-specific tasks. In my own marriage, I didn’t want to clean bathrooms and vacuum which caused a lot of strife – yes, I reluctantly and begrudgingly did the tasks but don’t label me spoiled. My opposition was related to the fact that I did all the outside tasks – cutting the grass, weeding, planting and any repairs (yes, for the latter I hired people – although handy rhymes with Randy, that’s where all comparisons end). Both my wife and I grew up in homes where it was unheard of for paying anyone to do things like childminding, cleaning, or cooking and simple repairs. This translated into our own “understanding” of being working adults with children – we tried to do it all ourselves which often led to many conversations about what it was to make the family unit work – and the inside tasks definitely required more time and were daily as opposed to the weekly outside tasks. Finally, through a lot of releasing of unwarranted guilt, it was decided that hiring someone to help with the cleaning every two weeks was necessary and it was justified in that we were a two income home and could afford this luxury for ourselves. It was the best decision we had ever made for the family unit. Yes, we have not found a consistent person as through their personal circumstances, they have moved on to other aspects but we have had a person come in and help with the task of cleaning the house regularly over the years. I am very fortunate that we are able to afford this extravagance and that we have had trustworthy, reliable people in our homes helping us with one of the more tedious tasks of maintaining a home. Thank you very much for taking away one of the biggest hurdles in domesticity and allowing some peace into our household. To all the cleaning personnel over the years, I will still put things away in your honour before you get here 🙂