Moms vs. Dads on Housekeeping: Why It Takes Moms Longer

Christie Haskell

Every mom I know wants to beat their husband's head in with their freshly washed frying pan if he dare utter the words, "What did you do all day?"

When you've got babies, especially mobile ones, chores take on all new challenges. I know I didn't fully appreciate the sleepy, predictable, totally simple newborn stage the first time around, but after getting a taste of what was to come with my first child, I valued every minute of the newborn sleepiness since any time a baby was not in my arms was invaluable cleaning time -- even if I was cleaning myself after an embarrassingly long period of time without having showered.

Now that she's much bigger though, and after having gone through toddlerhood already with my son, I'm reminded of why my chores -- which I despise in the first place -- take on a whole level of skill.

Not to mention why I want to smother my husband with a pillow when he says, "I don't know why you couldn't do it; it only took me about an hour."

Yes, an hour ALONE. By yourself. With no "help." Help of the baby-kind is ... special. Let's take a look at the way Mom and Dad do laundry:

Laundry Dad's Way:

  • Wait until wife has all the children at the store with her
  • Gather clothes from hampers into arms
  • Carry to washer
  • Put into washer
  • Put soap into washer
  • Turn washer on
  • Put in proper soaps
  • Go watch TV for an hour
  • Come back and move things to dryer

Laundry Mom's Way:

  • Carry baby with you to gather dirty clothes
  • Make six trips to the washer because one arm is full
  • Make a seventh to pick up the things baby pulled out of your arms and dropped
  • Drop seventh armful and almost drop baby when you step on a toy in the hall
  • Put clothes in washer
  • Take everything out to figure out what baby just dropped in that made a "clink" sound
  • Put clothes back in washer
  • Try to measure detergent, have baby grab your arm and make you spill way more than you wanted
  • Stare at overflow of detergent on clothes, debating whether or not that's enough soap to cause some epic overflow of suds
  • Decide you're too tired to care and turn on the water
  • Go change a dirty diaper
  • Nurse the baby
  • Play with puppets that your baby rips off your hands, then insists you put back on 20 times
  • Go to start dishes and remember that you can't run hot water in the dishwasher while the washing machine is going
  • Take baby for a nap and fall asleep yourself
  • Go to move things from the washer to dryer
  • Remove baby from dryer
  • Pick up wet clothes off the floor that baby pulled out of the dryer
  • Throw in a dryer sheet
  • Take dryer sheet away from baby
  • Close the lid and pick up crying baby
  • Realize the next morning when you wake up that you forgot to run the dryer and now the clothes smell stinky, so you have to wash them all over again

So please, ask me again why it took me so much longer. I dare you.


Image via chiclet731/Cafemom

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