My house has kind of gone down the tubes lately. I’ve been working more, traveling for work, and with the kids home all day for summer break, we’ve reached a level of grody that the house hasn’t seen in many a month. It kind of got me thinking about the work that women do, especially mothers. 70% of mothers are in the labor force*, which, if you’re too exhausted to do the math, is a majority of mothers.
Turns out I’m not alone: 68% of women “very feel guilty” that their houses aren’t clean enough.** I could give a college course lecture on women’s work, paid and unpaid labor, socio-economic levels, immigrant labor, domestic racial breakdowns, and What It All Means, but I’m not going to. Instead I’m going to remind you of something.
Do you remember Alice? The Brady’s housekeeper Alice? Where’s my Alice?
Maybe it’s only in the weeks right before my mom comes to visit, or during times when I’m stretched so thin I could burst, but the idea of having some help around the house is both so impossible-sounding and yet totally an indulgent fantasy. Imagine coming home to a house that is spic-and-span? Where the doorways and baseboards are clean! A world where no one is afraid at what’s hiding in or under the fridge! A weekend spent having…fun is it called?..with my kids instead of scrubbing and laundry.
I’ve been known to save my pennies for the occasional deep clean from a housekeeper, usually right before my mother-in-law comes to stay (because I turn into an angry person trying to scrub everything in the house from top to bottom and not sleeping.) Her last visit was three years ago. Last year, when I had a baby, a friend sent me a two-visit gift of a maid (best.present.ever.) I literally dream of being able to afford a housekeeper, don’t you?
When it comes to getting help around the house, couldn’t you use an Alice? What would you have Alice do? Would she clean, do laundry, or cook? Talk to me…about your imaginary (OR REAL) housekeeper.
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