Can You Be a Feminist and a Housekeeper?

Ooh that title will get some faces, won’t it?

First of all, when I say housekeeper I’m referring to a woman in a family who does the cleaning and cooking and whatever else was traditionally considered a woman’s work circa 1950.

Or perhaps still now if you are particularly backwards.

Here’s what I have to say on this topic.

Housekeeping is a woman’s work. (gasp!)

And there’s nothing non-feminist about getting Housework done.

There was a time when I might have thought “Whoa, how far we have not come” when I was scrubbing the kitchen floor on my knees while the rest of the people in the house were doing whatever on earth they wanted to.

It contributed to my hatred of housework. I would hate the endless of cycle of cleaning, cooking and laundering, but I also hated that it all fell to me.

Why isn’t my husband pitching in?

I would finish cleaning and instead of feeling happy with my accomplishment, I would feel annoyed that it all fell to me. And that tomorrow I would be stuck cleaning up ALL OVER AGAIN.

The problem is this. No one else in the house cares if the house is clean or looks beautiful except me.

My husband still says to me when I am cleaning, “No one is coming over. Why don’t you just leave it?”

And of course my answer is always, I LIVE HERE. It is important TO ME.

In the early days of our marriage, I would spend Saturdays cleaning.

Like. ALL.DAY.

I don’t think I have to paint a picture of what that is like. I clean. He doesn’t help and by the end of the day I am ready to wring his neck.

Here’s the secret, however. The problem isn’t that he didn’t help clean. The problem is that it was important to me that the house was clean and because it is important to me, it ought to be important to him.

But that’s a story for another day.

What I want to talk about today is the fact that a clean house is important to me and therefore I’m doing a disservice to no one but myself if I don’t make sure it’s clean.

Notice that I am carefully trying to not say “that I can clean it”. Because I do believe that you should absolutely ask for help and have specific items designated to other people in your home based on their ability to complete those items.

Then there’s an expectation set and less neck wringing.

Beyond that. If clean is important to you, stop complaining about it and get it done.

Don’t dwell on who isn’t doing what or the fact that you will have to do it all again tomorrow.

Consider Future You (have you read about her yet?) and think in the mindset of “A beautiful home is a clean home” and see if you don’t start to feel a little better about getting your home clean.

Oh, and, PS, the reason this little soapbox speech came to mind is because I was reading this post on Housekeeping Tips.