Pieces of Me

Should Men Iron Their Own Shirts?

I have a love hate relationship with housework, especially the ironing. There was once a time when I actually outsourced the ironing. Living the glamour of being heavily pregnant and barely able to stand on my own two feet to take a shower, let alone iron shirts. We outsourced my husbands never ending pile of business shirts to the drycleaner. The newborn juggling act and another whale of a pregnancy meant that the drycleaner scenario worked well for a few years. Until a scary word crept into our lives – budget. And I have once again taken up the reigns of the iron.

Should Men Iron Their Own Shirts?

My hubby is a suit and tie man so the pile of business shirts in our house is never ending. But lately I find myself ironing cute little boy clothes as well as boring business shirts, which makes the ironing a little less tiresome. As I iron the little plaid shirts, bright red skinny jeans and soft sweaters that belong to my boys I think these little clothes are oh-so-cute, but I also wonder, how long will this go on for? More so, while I stood there, tweeting and ironing one Sunday morning, I began to wonder, is it my job to teach my boys to iron their own shirts?

The pendulum in my mind swings. My hubby doesn’t need to iron his own shirts. If I were to completely throw in the towel one day, his mother still offers to iron them for him. Can I really call myself a good mother if I don’t equip my boys with the skills they need in life – including housework? I have high hopes for them to have a great education, go to university, travel the world, follow their dreams and aspirations, and find love, should I also aspire that they be domestic Gods as well?

The truth is I should. I think the stereotype of men sitting on the couch while women slave over the housework is something akin to my kids asking me what life was like before the internet. As they get a little older, they need to know how to run a house, including ironing their own shirts. I would be failing them if I didn’t teach them. Teaching them these skills is not about equality or balance. It is about having the best go at life as you can. It is learning that being self sufficient and independent is empowering, not demoralising. It is about changing a mind set.

Should Men Iron Their Own Shirts

I come from a long line of women before me who have always ironed the shirts of their men. So while under this roof, shirts will probably always be my business. But here lies the lynch pin. It is my business because I chose for it to be. What I don’t want is for my boys to grow up expecting someone else to do these things for them – simply because they can’t. Instead, I want them to grow up not just with the life skills they need to be successful in their career, but at home as well. Perhaps I want to groom them to be the perfect catch? Either way, be prepared boys, mummy is writing up the housework lesson plans from now.

Who does the ironing in your house?


Disclosure: Philips PerfectCare Aqua is a great iron to get you through endless hours of ironing. Light, easy to control and strong, pressurised steam means that I am in love with this iron. Philips kindly gifted me one to try and I am so glad they did. My weary arms and sore back are very grateful. If you are in the market for a new iron, I highly recommend giving the Philips PerfectCare Aqua a go. You can read about all its fancy features here

  • We really never iron! My husband does his own shirt, which he wears for massage work. I used to get paid to iron. I actually love it. But with kids around, it’s too dangerous and awkward. I just buy clothes that don’t need ironing. x

  • My husband irons all his shirts – work uniforms and going out shirts. Nick often wants to “help”. He knows how to use the iron. I iron my shirts. Occasionally if one of us is ironing, we will do the other’s if we are feeling generous 😛 ha ha. My hubby does a LOT – cooks, laundry, irons…cleaning not so much, but if I were to go away for a few days, he wouldn’t need someone to come and help him. I think it’s definitely our responsibility to make sure our sons see both parents helping around the house, and learn to do it all themselves, too. our future DIL’s will love us for it 😉 x Aroha

  • Julie

    That does look like a good-looking iron! I don’t do any ironing myself, but I do have the business shirt dilemma too. Really not looking forward to having to iron school shirts too. I iron for my husband, only because I want him to be able to spend his time at home with us/ the kids, and not ironing. Having said that, he does know how to iron (not well!), and I will definitely be teaching my son to iron too.

  • Alli @ ducks on the dam

    As my husband is the only one in the house who wears something that needs ironing – he does it.

  • LydiaCLee

    The question is not should men iron their shirts, but should shirts be ironed? We outsource it until such time that the world sees fit for us all to be crinkled. I’m a happy washer but I hate ironing…

  • Emma Fahy Davis

    When we first met, hubby used to iron everything, even his undies. I don’t iron, period. If it needs ironing, I don’t buy it. The girls’ school uniforms get a spin in the dryer to press them and hubby is in charge of ironing Miss 10s taekwondo uniform.

  • I do the ironing. It’s actually my least loathed of all household chores. And, funnily enough, I blogged about ironing today too! Kinda sorta.

  • No one does the ironing… I have never owned one. If Justin wants something ironed, well he can go and buy one and iron it himself

  • Sophie Allen

    I really really loathe to iron. Rarely did I do it even when hubby needed his shirts done. I am a terrible wife and used the dryer and hoped for the best. Luckily it’s usually cold in Tassie so he’d wear a jacket. Now he works from home, so I have no lack of ironing guilt! #teamIBOT

  • Reneee at Mummy, Wife, Me

    Great post! I do the ironing in our house, apart from last week when I did a trade off with hubby 🙂 I think it is so important to equip your sons with the skills they need to run a house. When I was growing up, my sister and I were given chores such as dusting etc to do on a Saturday morning, while my brother wasn’t given any chores at all. When we moved to the UK together, his first time out of home, he would go to work in un-ironed clothes, at which point I stepped in. Anyway, yes, I do think we need to change the mindset.

  • I do it all, but my older girls are learning now how to do a bit of it.
    I guess my view has always been that Boatman is the primary breadwinner and spends six days out of the house earning money for our family, so I do the mahority of the housework. That’s what being part of a team means

  • My Hubby does the ironing in this house. I have no idea how to iron. I buy clothes that don’t need ironing! hahaha.

  • Alicia-OneMotherHen

    I don’t iron anything! But now your bring it up, it may be something I need to teach my daughters how to do. The last time hubby needed something ironed, despite the hinting form him, I made him do it himself 🙂

  • Lara at This Charming Mum

    When I was first dating my husband, a hundred years ago, he told me he was very fussy about how his work shirts were ironed and pointed out that I hadn’t quite met his high standards. We joke about it now, but I have never ironed a shirt since! Admittedly, he’s much better at ironing anyway.

  • TeganMC

    My dad was the youngest boy of a family of ten and so he is the ‘baby’. When he met my mum he couldn’t do anything for himself, and I absolutely don’t want that for my son. The world is a different place and we need to teach them to be contributing members of society.

  • I actually don’t mind ironing! When I was a teenager, I did all the ironing in our house. I just tune out and daydream, it’s actually quite peaceful. Now, with a baby underfoot, my husband sends his shirts to the drycleaner but I was telling him just this morning, that I’m happy to iron them myself 😉

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    I hate ironing but I am the lucky bunny who usually gets to do it in my family – only when it can be avoided no longer!

  • bodyandfeetretreat

    Nobody !!! If something needs to be ironed, I don’t buy it !!!! Having said that, back in the day ……., I would iron if I absolutely had to but, the bottom line is, A was in the navy and can actually iron better than I can so if he really wanted something ironed, he would do it himself. Thankfully his work clothes don’t have to be ironed as he is a techie and nobody gives a rats about whether his clothes are ironed or not !!!
    Have the best day !

  • Joanne Isbister-Smith

    Oh, can I admit it here…? We dont iron. But there is a very lovely lady down the road who will iron a shirt for $2. This is bad, right? I shouldnt be saying this out loud, eep. It does look like a pretty iron, none the less.

  • Yellow_Dandy

    I’ve never ironed my husbands shirts, he has always done it himself! But then his parents raised him to be very able around the house. Did I mention he also gets up early with the toddler and puts dinner in the slow-cooker. It makes my life a lot easier!!! x Karen

  • I want to teach my boys to iron, cook, clean because it will make them more rounded people! Thankfully no ironing around here except for during hatches, matches and dispatches!! xx

  • I hate ironing and do it as little as possible. It’s times like these that I am glad my hubby is a tradie. High vis wash and wear shirts. Heaven! As for teaching our kids, I think everyone, male or female, should learn how to do things for themselves. Whether it is washing, ironing, stacking the dishwasher, making beds from scratch, cooking. All are life skills. After that, it is a choice and up to each family who does what.

  • John

    As of now we have an appointed person to do the ironing (I do some of the laundry and dishes) but there are times when I’m travelling and I do need to iron my clothes (honestly I don’t mind the laundry and the drying of the clothes, it’s the ironing that just kills me!)

    You’re right, men, women or kids, we all need to learn basic household stuff.

  • Rita

    I hate ironing. The only way I get to do it is by putting my favorite program on. I iron the business shirt of my husband too. But, when I can’t do it (for example when i was in Canada) he would do it himself.

  • Emily Morgan

    i think you’re making a good decision there. Helplessness – in boys and girls – is a too-often-used excuse for not pulling your weight. Think gardening tasks for girls (guilty!) and ironing for boys, as you’ve seen!

  • I’m very late to this conversation, but wanted to add that I think I own an iron but my husband took it to his office years ago and I haven’t seen it since. I assume he uses it occasionally there. (He wears t-shirt and jeans most of the time but keeps a couple of suits at work for important meetings, which come up a couple of times a week.) I have no interest in ironing or in buying clothes that require it. Life’s too short!

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