A Clean House is a Sign of a Wasted Life?
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|Tue, 01-07-2014 - 9:35am|
From Time.com, the author takes a look at her life and whether if you put too much time into domestic chores it takes away from your career:
In the early morning stillness, before the house was teeming with other people who needed things from me, I found myself engrossed in an opinion piece by Stephen Marche, “The Case for Filth.” His essay sprang off a study showing that young men today are not doing any more housework than their fathers did 30 years ago.
In the days immediately following its publication, Marche’s essay was hammered. “If there is a God, this guy will spend the afterlife scrubbing toilets and vacuuming,” tweeted feminist author Jessica Valenti, joining a chorus of critics. And she was right. Marche makes a pseudo-intellectual argument for why men don’t do their share of the chores (“Even the most basic housework proves ethereal on inspection”) while demeaning women in the process (“Millions of young women are deeply attracted to the gloomy vice of domestic labor”).
Still, I must confess: When I came to Marche’s penultimate sentence—“A clean house is the sign of a wasted life, truly”—my day was suddenly shot. I found myself sitting there at the kitchen island, rattled, wondering if I was, in fact, truly wasting my life. “Let them eat crust” echoed in my mind.
In this sense, a “clean house” isn’t merely about picking up dirty socks or putting away the dishes. It is about taking on a kind of hidden housework: making a home that is warm and inviting, comfortable and comforting; creating a space where my children’s friends like to hang out and we as a family feel ensconced; and knowing, as Marche himself puts it, “who likes what on their sandwiches.”
But doing all of this takes time, lots of time. And, though my husband does his share, often there aren’t enough hours in the day to manage my home and family as well as I’d like and to be a writer, too.
The only way I survived when I was working full time after my twins were born was that I was able to keep using the woman who would come clean my house every week while I was on bedrest. It's very hard to do it all, and something will suffer at some point, whether it being your own sanity or time with your family.
What do you think? Do you have a messy or a clean house?