I have been getting the serious housework blues of late. There are weeks where I feel I work, I hang out with my kids, I clean, I clean, I clean... and that is the substance of my life.
My partner 'helps out' and feels I don't recognise all he does. Perhaps that's true. But maybe that's because no matter what he does, I seem to do so much more!
He will certainly do the jobs that I ask him to do, but once that's finished, he goes back to what he'd prefer to be doing, while I seem to just find more and more chores to deal with until I basically drop from exhaustion--emotional exhaustion, largely, as I find myself in a state of constant suppressed rage.
As a friend of mine said to me the other day, if she has a spare 10 minutes she will use it to clean, while her partner will pick up his guitar.
It feels like a trap: to be forced into becoming the kind of nag no-one chooses to be, and then punished for it by the very person we feel has pushed us into this role.
I put off raising the issue for as long as I can stand, because I can hardly bear finding myself back in that all-too-familiar, intractable and horribly mundane debate that never seems to go anywhere.
Why can't men see that the fact this issue is so common might mean it's not just his partner's particular uptight neuroses he's dealing with?
It's a terrible thought, because I love my partner so much, but sometimes I even think it would be easier to be a single mother, because then at least there would be no-one else to blame or resent, and life would have a clearer order. But I know that's just bullshit, too.
Sadly I feel like I've been facing the choice of maintaining the house, or maintaining a writing life. Again and again, I seem to be coming up against this struggle to give myself permission to write; to just drop the other responsibilities and make writing a priority. I am sucked back into this working mother/housewife vortex that seems to have a stronger and more forceful pull than the delicate thread of creativity which, for me, is so easily broken.
Is there a solution to this problem? Have any of you found some harmony in your households when it comes to this matter? I would love to hear about it...