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.
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.
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