But I’m Not a Housewife!

Domestic Bliss, Eventually

Archive for How to Avoid Doing Housework

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Wow! I blink my eyes and weeks have passed since I last posted. It’s been so long that I’ve begun to develop anxiety about posting again. It all started when I worked some extra hours at work. Then we acquired ants in the kitchen and I was battling them for days! Then the weather was bad here in Denver, a snow storm that cut out our Internet for a couple of days. Then, I started to develop carpal tunnel like pain in my arm and gave up knitting and typing for a while. Then there was the funk I was in. I get those from time to time. Finally, my husband bought me a terrific book (which I’ll post about soon) which inspired me to go to the library and bring home a giant stack of books to read…instead of writing myself.

Well, I think those are all the reasons for my absence. Since I’ve been gone, we’ve been doing some exciting things, though.We are still trying new grains and new greens in the kitchen. I wish I could say that my house was getting cleaned and organized during this time, but it’s been two steps forward, one step back with that area of my life. We invited friends over to grill with us and I cleaned voraciously. I managed to get through a very, very large pile of mail that has plagued our dining room, organized and stack them neatly in a box that could be hidden away when company comes, but when I lifted the box a day later, the bottom fell out and the mail is now in a nasty heap on the floor of the sun room. But, I’m making an effort, and that’s all I can do really. Move forward one step at a time. 

There is another excitement in my house these days. We are growing heirloom vegetables from seed and our seedlings are sprouting and growing strong! My husband and I literally sit and stare at them, maybe not for hours, but for a surprisingly long time! 

So, there you have it. I’m sorry I’ve been gone for so long. I’ll try to catch up. Pictures of things we’ve cooked, the book Tim bought me, and the seedling we are growing are forthcoming.

I Feel So Lazy Today

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This picture is an illustration of the kind of week it has been. Tim is post-call today and is napping; Casey is always napping; I’m trying to get something productive done today, but can’t seem to get out of my pajamas. 

Today is the kind of day where you feel dirty even though you’ve actually managed to shower. Actually, it’s been a real effort to shower lately. While usually, I crawl out of my skin if I don’t manage to shower by 10 AM, lately, I’ve been disinterested in the whole process. But, I did manage to shower today, and I still feel gross! My hair feels limp and yucky. I’m too fat for all of my clothes and can’t stand wearing the one pair of jeans which actually fit me because they need to be washed. I feel frumpy and dumpy – I guess this is a call to start integrating exercise and healthy eating into my life. 

As for integrating productivity into the rest of today, I’ll spend it making plans for the rest of my week – see, I have the luxury of a spring break since I’m a teacher, but somehow it’s Tuesday already, and I’ve done almost nothing I’d hoped to do. I’d like to blame it on the weather and the flat tire I got last week, but I’m sure it’s really just laziness. (I haven’t even managed to post the recipe for the beet salad I wrote about last week, and all I really need to do is post a link to the New York Times page which it’s on.)

At the moment, I’m taking a break from washing dishes (while those in the tiny dish drainer are drying), watching Disney’s The Rescuers, and trying to interest myself in making lists. I’ve never been a good list-maker – just like I’ve never been a good diary-writer – but I think the reason I never get anything done is because I do nothing for a long time (days, weeks), and then want to do everything I’m not doing all at once. Like now: I simultaneously want to learn to cook, clean my house, finish my lesson plans early, exercise, eat more healthfully, and lose weight. Plus, my husband and I want to start a container garden this year. So, what I end up doing is picking up fifty books from the library on all of these subjects and then perusing them until I’ve lost all motivation to do any of these things (since you may not believe me about the quantity of books, I’ll try to post an actual picture of all the books I have out from the library tomorrow – if I can get off my butt). 

Alrighty then! I shall spend the rest of the evening making lists and dividing goals into doable steps. We’ll see how it goes!

sleepers

(P.S. My husband is not very happy that I posted these pics. But my snoozing lads are soooo cute!)


Another Reason to Avoid Doing Housework

Yikes! I’m sure you’re all familiar with the studies which show that women are still earning less than men, or the studies which demonstrate the supposed monetary value of a housewife, but a Vanderbilt professor of law and economics, Joni Hersch, has found that housework decreases the earnings of both men and women. That is, the more hours a woman spends on housework, the lower her hourly wage will be, regardless of her profession outside the home.

You can read the story here:

Women’s and Men’s Earnings Hurt by Housework

I suppose that’s why such successful career-holding mothers as Caitlin Flanagan, and Penelope Trunk have – or have had – nannies, cleaning services, and “House Managers.” (And by the way, when Penelope Trunk announced that she hired a House Manager, her reader response was off the charts. People do NOT like a working mom who can afford such luxuries. Surprisingly, of her 175 commentors, it was the men and fathers who were most supportive of her decision.)

I think the moral of the story is that you cannot have it all – there will always be a trade-off.

Let’s Take a Personal Day

I’ve been bad again, not blogging the way I thought I would when I started this adventure. And the day is so incredibly sunny, so unbelievable, that part of me wanted to feel upset about the state of my house. This should be a day where I open up every window and let the air flow through my sparkling domain. But it ain’t gonna happen today, and I’m not going to allow myself to get upset about it. Yes, that part keeps tugging at me: that part of me that is embarrassed and feels guilty about the pile of dishes, the insane pile of mail, the shoes that are overtaking every inch of the downstairs, the crumby, spilled-upon countertops, the fact that I’ve not mopped my kitchen floor once since we’ve moved in. Not once! (We’ll talk more about that in another post.)

I’m not going to bother being upset by the way air flowing through the house might just be spreading the dust and filth around. Anyway, it’s bad. The house is bad. I couldn’t possibly entertain a guest that might stop by – I’d have to grab my purse and recommend that we go down the street for coffee. And what if my landlord stops by to pick up her mail??? (The pieces of her mail that I have been collecting since Christmas! and that I can’t find because they’re spread out in numerous piles throughout the downstairs.) 

But I’m choosing to ignore all that, because I want to relax outside in this healing sunshine for awhile, and then I’ve got a ton of school work to do, so I’m not going to waste my day trying to  clean the awful, awful house. I’m hoping that after taking care of myself so beautifully and getting some schoolwork done, I’ll be able to pour a glass of wine this evening, turn up the music and tackle the house once more. 

And here is the reason why that just might work: This is the first day my husband has been on call for a couple of months, meaning he’s not coming home tonight, meaning, I can have an unconventional, answer-to-nobody-but-myself day today. I can eat cottage cheese and fruit for dinner and then tackle the dish pile, instead of making more dishes by cooking. So, I choose to have hope today – that I will get to the bottom of it all eventually – just not right at this moment – when the breezy  air is tinkling in my neighbors wooden wind chimes and  it feels like a day to be spent poolside – at the beginning of March!

So What If It’s Sexist! Aiko Wants to Do My Housework!

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Image of Le Tran with his Android via Feministing.com

Robots who do housework and respond to sexism in the workplace! As long as they don’t replace us wives and women, I say bring it on! Let them do my housework! 

Carly Hart says it best at Associatedcontent.com:

Where’s mine? Women can use a male robot like Aiko.

A woman around the house doing mundane chores is nothing new. Women would much rather prefer a male robot who’ll do the dishes without rolling their eyes or the laundry without much fuss. A male robot such as Aiko could be well received among the single women demographic if he could do basic plumbing, was handy with a hammer and nails and could change the oil in their car. 

Thanks, Carly, for giving the subject a much needed female spin!

But seriously, I discovered Aiko on feministing.com: Fem-Bots, the Perfect Woman? And a for more incendiary article via the same website: Female robot is the perfect companion, receptionist, sexual assault victim

I agree with many of the commenters to the feministing.com articles, as well as the authors, toomey, and Vanessa Valenti, that yes, this is pretty creepy! But not much surprises me these days and I often find myself looking, or trying to look, at various sides before getting in myself all in a huff (unless the offending item is the incessant commercials for Girls Gone Wild, in which case I have been unable to contain many fits of rage).

  • One of the commenters, Bunny,  notes that the original intent of creating this android was as a care-giver for the elderly; thus, it is a noble endeavor gone awry. 
  • Another source mentions that Trung invented Aiko after having a heart attack and though that someday he will need 24 hours assistance. 

After giving some thought to the matter, I’ve concluded that it’s not really the quirky fetishes or sexist views of one dirty old man or socially awkward inventor  that bothers me, it is the supposed views of men en masse as in the orgiginal article from the Sun which I find offensive. I suppose the Sun article reads like Maxim or any other men’s interest magazine, (and to be honest, I dislike reading overly feminist diatribes just as much as these lowbrow men’s magazines), but come on!

SHE is the perfect wife, with the body of a Page 3 pin-up and housekeeping skills that put TV’s Kim and Aggie to shame.

Her name is Aiko, she can even read a map, and will never, ever, nag.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t she fellas? And she is.

Aiko is actually a robot, a fantasy brought to life by inventor Le Trung.

And in Trung’s own words: 

“Aiko doesn’t need holidays, food or rest, and will work almost 24 hours a day. She is the perfect woman.”

In the end I find it sad that she is not touted as a tireless aid to the perpetually overworked housewife and working women of the world, but as “the perfect woman.” Maybe it’s not really Le Trans fault, but the slant of the author, Caroline Iggulden (a woman!) who must cater to The Sun’s readership via an expected “humorous tone.” 

Still, must it always be about and for the men of the world?