There’s a deep resentment simmering away in suburban homes.
You can’t miss it amid Facebook mums’ groups. When someone posts about their husband dropping dirty clothes on the floor, or spending the evening sitting on the couch, there’s an immediate chorus of, “Yep, mine does that too,” swamping the occasional chirpy, “Mine doesn’t!” The bitterness almost seeps from the screen.
A recent post about Kasey Edwards’ parody book OMG! That’s Not My Husband…, with lines like, “That’s not my husband. He’s sterilising bottles,” and “That’s not my husband. He’s doing the laundry,” was shared thousands of times. Women found it funny because, to them, it rang true.
Of course, there are couples where the chores are shared equally, or where the male partner does more. But across the nation, a lot of fathers are getting away with doing a lot less work than mothers.
Statistics back this up. The average woman with a full-time job spends 25 hours a week on housework. The average man with a full-time job spends 3.6 extra hours in the workplace, but only spends 15 hours a week on housework. That adds up to women working for nearly an hour a day more than men. No wonder we’re so tired.
It might seem mean-spirited to complain when men, generally, are helping out with the housework more than they did in previous generations. But that’s part of the problem. If men are only “helping out” with the housework, that’s not equal. That’s not fair.
If you feel like you're doing more housework than your partner, you're not alone. Photo via iStock.
Mum-of-two Bethany Liston expressed it perfectly in a blog post titled: Why I'm done asking my husband to help me out. She talks about the time she asked her husband to help her out by putting their son's jacket and shoes away, then realised she'd said the wrong words.
"He’s not helping me out. He’s being an adult, my partner. I said it, right then, out loud: 'Actually, can you just do it? It’s not helping me out. It’s just putting your kid’s shit away.'"
Her post has been shared more than 200,000 times.
If you have a partner who is willing to "help out", you know that you should feel lucky. But it means you still have to be across everything. You have to know exactly what needs doing and when it needs to be done. You have to ask, explain, oversee and be grateful afterwards. Sometimes it's quicker and simpler to do things yourself. You still, probably, end up doing more housework than your partner, despite his willingness to lend a hand.