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Let's look at the saying "A woman’s work is never done." If by "woman" they mean “mother” and if by “mother” they mean, well, "servant", then, no it isn't ever, ever done. If by "woman", they mean “corporate executive” or “free-spirited artist” then I suppose her work still is ever incomplete as there are books to balance and campaigns to run, canvasses to cover and symphonies to orchestrate.
But what about that most mundane of work which historically fell into the quaint category of “women’s work?” What about housecleaning?
In a recent sociological study (my own) I found that many, many two person or less households employ people on a regular basis to clean their homes. By two people or less I mean perhaps it is a couple or even a single person.
Many families with loads of boisterous children also employ cleaning people and that seems to make sense; in fact, it all makes sense if you think about it. Who wants to scrub a toilet?
But here’s a little insight, perhaps to be scoffed at or deemed extremely silly, and therefore just a little humming thought for my own head. Nevertheless, it is my personal experience that cleaning with others can be a bonding experience that not only gets the job done, but can reaffirm your aspirations as home or apartment renters or owners, lovers, roommates or family members, community members living in the same little microcosm of a world, sharing a dream together.
Many hands make light work is another old expression and this one goes without explanation; the more of you there are the faster and lighter the workload.
But there’s another element to this lightness. It means that you’re sharing a common goal together. If you clean your home with the people you live with, you can have incredible epiphanies, such as “Gosh, where has this Elton John CD been for five years?” or “The more I think about it, I really can’t stand this shade of puce for the sofa…” and so forth.
At times there are even more dramatic awakenings such as: “I actually have a dream of blowing out this wall and turning this whole bathroom into a shower…” or “Did you know this house makes me think about moving to Buenos Aires someday?”