According to Wikipedia, a househusband is a husband that chooses to stay at home instead of working at a career. The word “househusband” came into use in the 1970s as a joke because many women who worked as homemakers did not want to be called “housewives”.
Apparently this is a joke definition of a “househusband”: “A househusband is usually married to a university graduate wife who has skills that are equal or superior to his. His roles in the 21st century are similar to what women had to endure in the 20th century. By convention, a househusband receives a bi-weekly honorarium from his wife to cover any personal expenses he may incur in his day to day living. He is also encouraged to maintain a well developed physique as to remain incredibly physically attractive to his professional wife. Currently, most democratic countries discourage househusbands and encourage women to be housewives.”
Of course, this is meant to be ironic, which is just as well because the physique is well past it.
Househusbandry is sheer, bloody hard work.
My routine today:
1. Wave goodbye to gorgeous, university educated wife who has skills way above mine.
2. Get kids out of bed….. that takes about three or four goes over the space of about 20 minutes and ends up with threats of taking away prized computer time.
3. Get kids breakfast (clean up after kids breakfast)
4. Get packed lunches and bags for camp. Take to camp.
5. Come back home – empty dishwasher, fill dishwasher with mess from the morning.
6. Put washing in (or out as the case may be) dry (or put away)
7. The bathroom always needs cleaning. It does not matter, it just always seems to have (kids) stuff all over it.
8. Clean and hoover (this is usually twice a week.)
9. Other jobs you’ve been left to do from the night before – this is usually a pretty long list because your other half is convinced you have plenty of time on your hands.
10. Go and get kids from camp.
11. Entertain kids, split kids up from fighting, make more dire threats to kids if they don’t behave, cave in – let them watch TV.
12. Cook kids supper, clean up mess, finish filling the dishwasher. Put dishwasher on.
13. Get kids to clean teeth, shower and get into pajamas (more dire threats, this time possibly involving wringing of necks.
14. Get supper for super busy, skilled-up, university graduate high-flying wife.
15. Get kids to bed and somehow make them read.
16. Serve supper, clean up and curse ‘cos the dishwasher is on (meaning cleaning up mess the next morning – do you see how a cycle is developing here.)
17. Tell wife about the superinteresting day you’ve just had. Listen to hyped-up wife about interesting day at work. 18. Watch TV, sink into a sleep you regret ‘cos you wake up at 3am on the couch.
Well if you have another option, choose it.
Develop a thick skin – whatever you do, it will not be right.
Learn to speak your pet’s language. It’s the only conversation you’ll have for most of the day. (If you haven’t got a pet, get one.)
Don’t use the old excuse of putting some darks (you see, I’m learning the washing machine language) in a white wash to get out of doing it again. It won’t.
Learn to fold.
Learn where everything goes (you’ll find out pretty quickly.)
If you have aversions to baby poo, dog poo or cat poo, or any other poo (or puke) get over them. It has to be done.
Don’t forget to spray clothes with stain remover, saves water and a lot of aggro in the morning when you realize that if you send the kids to school like that, you will never be forgiven (and all the yummy mummies will give you looks of astonishment as if to say ‘how could he….., ‘poor child….’.)
Keep lists. Do NOT forget play dates or school grub days or concerts, or sleepovers. Again, you will NEVER be forgiven.
You get the point? Or do I need to add more?
So what does all this mean?
Have I taken for granted everything that my wife did? Yes.
Do I appreciate the role of housewives better? Yes.
Would I encourage other men to try it? No.
Would I like to swap roles with my wife? As they say, is the Pope Catholic…….