If there is one thing lockdown made obvious, it’s the gap between who does what at home.
A survey undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier this year found that 62 percent of women spent five or more hours a week on unpaid indoor housework compared with 35 per cent of men.
ABS Head of Household Surveys, David Zago explained, “Women also took on more caring responsibilities than men, spending five or more hours in the last week on unpaid caring or supervision of children (38 percent of women compared with 28 percent of men), care of adults (16 percent compared with 7 percent) and cooking and baking (64 per cent compared with 37 percent).
And while Aussie men do more housework than almost any other men in the world, it’s still lagging behind Aussie women.
Now, we don’t want to shame anyone, so we’re going to go ahead and do what our experts recommend parents do all the time: offer some positive re-enforcement. Below, Lana Hallowes tells her partner how much she loves it when he helps out at home.
As you run the vacuum cleaner over the floor, picking up Duplo and toy cars as you go, I confess I’m a little turned on. Sure, the elastic in your boxers is stretched under your little dad gut, but right now I’m looking at you with the same love heart eyes I did back when we were dating. You. Are. Hot.
These days I don’t need you to wine and dine me (we are too tired for that!) Nope. The thing that makes me crush on you big time is seeing you get stuck into domestic chores.
And you know what’s really, really sexy? When I don’t have to ask you to do so!
Now, I don’t mean this to sound sleazy. I’m not saying you’ll be “rewarded” in exchange for doing your fair share around the house. But this sort of ooh-la-la does make me more fond of you and that, in turn, makes me more open to a bit of sexy time.
I feel more on top of stuff
When you unstack the dishwasher on a Sunday morning while our boys squabble over who gets to open the new box of Kids Weet-Bix (stickers!), I start my day on an up note. I have hope that today we may divide and conquer some stuff.
You see, the housework overwhelms me and gets me down. I know it doesn’t worry you so much, but I feel like I’m drowning in it some days. While we may not get much of it done, because it’s a weekend and chores bore me too, just ticking off a few makes me feel I’ll cope with the week ahead better.
You are not helping me, you are just doing what needs to be done. And I love that. #Hawt
I love the example you’re setting
I don’t want to raise slobs who don’t know how to put a load of washing on, or can’t “see” the mess. I also want our sons’ future partners to thank us, rather than resent us for not instilling a sense of domestic responsibility in them.
Seeing their dad roll up his sleeves is showing them how to be one of the good guys. They also learn through doing and this is why I try not to lose it when they ‘clean’ the floors and more water is spilled than is mopped up.
I love you more for it
When I see you doing what needs to be done, I give myself a secret high five for choosing you as my life partner, but also as the father of my children.
“I chose well,” I think to myself, as I see you sweep the leaves on the back deck, the boys following you around with their little toy brooms.
I hate the nagging version of me
I know I nag a lot, but believe me I don’t enjoy it. I don’t like it when I have my cranky wife or cranky mum pants on. I even hate it when I have to calmly point out that the lawn needs mowing. You are a big boy. You have eyes. I don’t want to have to do that.
I like the happy, chilled version of me, too. Which is why when you take it upon yourself to clean up without me asking, well, it makes me feel like you see me. You know that I need you to care about this stuff, even if you don’t, and that makes me feel loved and understood.
And all of this? Well, all of this make me love you that little bit more, too. And when I feel lovey towards you, I feel attracted to you.
So now you know; cleaning up the kitchen is actually foreplay. Well, for some of us. Now we just need to claim our bed back from the kids!
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