It has taken a good couple years to build a close-knit group of mum friends, but I finally found my circle. It consists of a group of women who are able to connect and share our daily struggles when it comes to parenting, career goals, and marriage. We talk about it all; no subject is off limits. I'm an open book, except for this one thing. You see, my husband and I share a dirty secret . . . he loves to clean.
My husband isn't a stay-at-home dad. He works in a very high-pressure job and often puts in 12-hour days. He leaves the house before 5:00 a.m. most mornings. And yet, the kitchen is always spotless when I wake up. The dishwasher has been run and is often empty. The counters are wiped down. He typically does a load of laundry, folds it, and puts it away the night before. Our floors are always vacuumed and the rubbish has been taken out.
Housework in our home is a shared endeavour, though it's not something we ever discussed. He has always done his share of tidying up, and it's a game changer. As a stay-at-home mum, I may technically have more time than my husband to throw in a load of laundry or run the vacuum, but having his help frees up some of the burden. It keeps things manageable and it shows me that my husband respects my time as well. After all, I'm raising our two children and working part-time from home — I'm not exactly sitting on the couch watching television all day.
My hope is that my daughter and son watch the way their parents share the responsibilities of the day-to-day that go into having a functioning household. I want to teach them the importance of caring for their things. When they're old enough, they will pitch in and do their part, because we're all part of this family and it takes all of us to make this house a home.
When chatting with my mum friends and the topic of household chores comes up, as it almost always does, I shy away from adding to the conversation. It seems to be a major struggle for a lot of couples, and I don't want to come off as if I'm bragging about how sexy my husband looks washing the dishes.
While my friends' gripe and moan about their ongoing arguments around this topic, I stay silent. Sure, my husband and I have our issues in our marriage. Who doesn't? But cleaning is not one of them. For now, his love for tidying up will remain our little secret.