The Housework Lament

18. Cleaning: Hey, even writers and creative artists have to do housework sometimes. Write about doing laundry, dishes, and other cleaning activities.

Even writers and creative artists have to do housework sometimes? Oh, please. Give me a break. I spend so much of my time doing housework that I’d really rather not spend the time I have to write even thinking about it.

Damn it, I’ve spent so much of today on housework that I’d nearly forgotten to do today’s writing challenge. I was sitting, folding laundry when I realized I hadn’t written today!

I’ll tell you about housework.

The worst part about housework, is that whether I am actually executing the work or not, I am responsible for it. What is so exhausting is not how much of it I actually do (a lot) but how much I have to think about it.

With some exceptions, if I do not ask someone to do a piece of housework, it will not get done.

I could elaborate. In fact, I had written nearly a page griping on about it.

But I’m tired. Any homemaker knows what I mean. The person who carries the family’s entire schedule and inventory of home supplies in their head is going to be exhausted.

A Vicious Cycle

The conversation that my husband and I have over and over again is how hard it is, what a weight it is, to be the one harping on everyone to do their chores.

But perhaps it’s a vicious cycle. Perhaps because I remind everyone of their chores, they figure they don’t have to remember because I will tell them. And I know that if I don’t tell them, the chores won’t get done.

How do I break the cycle? Can anyone tell me?


The Brain In Jane works mainly in the rain. It's always raining somewhere. Find me on Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

2 thoughts to “The Housework Lament”

  1. Maybe it’s not a cycle that can be “broken” but is one that your boys have to be trained to grow up out of? Maybe the hope isn’t a solution as much as time??? Which is part of the mental load at this stage of life, not just reminding them to do the task but also taking the time to teach them how.
    For us a minor lift of the load came in the form of just assigning dishes to my husband. I let them sit. He does a great job of cleaning, when he gets to them and I have to let that part go.

    1. Thanks, Bahar! I think you’re right that it’s a combination of actively teaching and of patience. I remember my mom saying she had to let the dishes be done poorly, or expect some broken crockery when we kids first started doing dishes. She said it was part of the learning process, and it took time. As the boys get older we’ll figure out more and more age-appropriate chores for them to participate in.

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