I decided to take a break from feverishly writing the final 10,000 words of my parenting book, due on September 1st. So I told my son, “I’m not working today. I’m just going to go fold laundry.” He replied, “That’s work, too.”
And there it was—years and years of propaganda paying off. I refuse to raise sons who take housework for granted, the kind who sit on the couch, watch football, and eat chips while someone else vacuums under their feet.
So, I’ve been sure to (repeatedly) explain to them why it is indeed work—and not just women’s work—to put away the dishes, sweep the kitchen floor, cook dinner, dust, take out the garbage, and fold laundry, among other household chores. Rather than take care of the house while they’re in school, I wait until they’re home, so they can see what it takes to get things done around here. Also, so I can put them to work.
So, when I shut off my computer and headed upstairs to catch up on several days of laundry, I told my son, “You’re right. It is work.” And then I made him put his clothes in the drawer and clean up his floor. I’ll bet that he, too, would rather be writing 10,000 words. It might not be easier, but it’s a lot more fun. I’ll teach him that, too.