Why shouldn’t working women prioritise life over housework?

7 Feb

With a meeting to prepare for, emails to respond to, urgent stuff to find and pack into a child’s school bag, and a shirt that really does need an iron before leaving the house, it’s no wonder that something needs to give in a working woman’s life.

Put down the rubber gloves and get on with living your life. (pic credit: istockphoto.com/TatianaTolstykh)

Which is why I’ve been curious to read the debates in US media about high-flying career women going public about their messy houses. The argument is that you can’t be brilliant in the boardroom, give quality time to the kids and husband AND pass a ‘dust test’ on your skirting boards!

An article in The Atlantic, Women are often remarkably reluctant to ask for help around the house, says that working women are lowering their standards of cleanliness in the home rather than buy in outside help.

I don’t think they’re talking life-threatening germs here, but maybe some dust and clutter and general life stuff that lies around until it’s time to tuck it away when visitors are coming.

While some women would be horrified at the thought of letting any specks of dust settle on their perfect upholstery, I’ve always believed that there are higher and more joyful priorities in life than seeing my reflection in a spotless surface.

Here’s a poem I found on Netmums that sums up my views on this subject:

I hope my child looks back on today
And sees a mother who had time to play.
There will be years for cleaning and cooking,
But children grow up when you’re not looking.
Tomorrow I’ll do all the chores you can mention
But today, my baby needs time and attention.
So settle down cobwebs; dust go to sleep,
I’m cuddling my baby, and babies don’t keep.


One Response to “Why shouldn’t working women prioritise life over housework?”

  1. Karen Ramirez 07/02/2013 at 2:22 pm #

    Couldn’t agree more! And given the choice between paying a cleaner every week and using the money to do something with my kids at the weekend when I work full time (and some!), I know which way I’m heading!

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