Marriage Advice

I am your Wife not your Maid

It is not hard to imagine life with a maid.

There would always be a fresh and tidy roll of toilet paper hung on the dispenser, a clean dish waiting in the kitchen with food magically appearing on it at the first sign of a growling stomach and clean laundry that smells like sunshine hanging in the closets just waiting to be worn. The sheets would be washed and ironed once a week with perfect creases on the corners that wouldn’t poke your cheek while you slept and no matter where you left your underwear, stinky socks or stained clothes – they would be picked up by someone else wearing rubber gloves to avoid the smell and germs.

Even better, the cookie crumbs and bits of chips left on the floor would be vacuumed daily and there would be no such thing as cobwebs or dust bunnies anywhere in sight. The ceiling fans would sparkle with light instead of filth, the blinds would remain white forever and every few days the whole house would take on the smell of fresh air as the sheers and draperies were washed and rehung wet. No, having a maid is not something hard to imagine, especially for the millions of children and husbands worldwide who live with one’…her name is mom!

No offense to the many men out there who tackle household chores with wild abandon, however, there comes a point in most women’s lives where they stand on the brink of insanity, holding filth from go lucky members of their family who really seem to think that rubbish magically takes care of itself. There she is, hair up in a ponytail wearing dingy sweatpants so the bleach and cleaners wont ruin good clothes, without make-up and preshower- having the entire house cleaned before 10 am, only to realize that no one else seems to notice or care about the hard work she just finished. In fact, they are all lolly-gagging and acting as if they do in fact already have a maid employed and living for the sheer pleasure of picking up after them.

Dad and the kids can hear her coming a mile away as they sit in front of the boob tube eating goodies that she cooked and they know what’s coming. The all familiar speech that includes five little words her very own mother used to say’…’”I am not a maid!’” Moreover, as soon as she says it for the 500th time, she realizes with acute failure that she really is turning into her mother. Then comes tears and stomping, quiet resentment and the agonizing realization that she is on a lonely quest to maintain order among order-less rats.

The thing is, why is no one else seeing it? How can other people in the same home not feel embarrassed by leaving the toilet unflushed (no matter what they did), spittle in the sink, and hairs in the razor? What if the stories are true about leaving your toothbrush on the sink while a toilet is being flushed? How can they not feel shameful for having a room that is growing things, where every square inch of the carpet is covered in junk and where finding any clothes, let alone clean clothes, is impossible. Then they want to bring friends into that mess! Why is it that everyone else can relax after dinner not worried about the dishes in the sink that will make it impossible to fix breakfast the next morning or the fact that the trash truck is coming in the morning and there are still two bags not out at the road yet? Does anyone realize what will happen to those festering trash bags if they have to hang around another week! There might be diapers in there. No, I am not a maid!

Even more startling, how can everyone else just ignore, not see, disregard or shun the millions of little things that need to be done every day in the name of morality and cleanliness. Is no one else worried about germs or the ring around the toilet? Apparently not, because there she is again with a mop, swabbing up the spilled soda pop on the linoleum of life that someone obviously spilled but just didn’t seem to notice (how convenient)! There she is one hour after making the beds, cleaning the windows and blinds because it’s Saturday, forced to steam clean part of the carpet because a careless wonder of a child brought ketchup in the living room and dad blotched it up with a sock rather than actually try to get up the stain. Just imagine where the sock is now! And as much as she would love hardwoods throughout, she realizes with disappointment that they would mean twice as much sweeping and mopping and mopping and sweeping and so on.

Why in the world is there a load of 12 wet towels to do every single day? doesn’t anyone, someone believe in recycling; all that towel did was dry a little clean hair, is it really so bad to use it again rather than wad it up in a ball and throw it in the hamper for it to mold and stench up the other clothes? Are jeans really dirty after wearing them once and how hard is it to actually hang up a shirt that has been ironed rather than throw it in the bottom of the closet. Has anyone stopped to think how much time it takes to match up socks, to clean up the medicine cabinet, to restock the q-tips, shampoo and soap not to mention the food in the cupboard and fridge (which needs to be cleaned by the way)? Is there anyone else in the same house that does as much for so little for so few who don’t appreciate it?

AND NO, It has nothing to be with being Type A or OCD, it has to do with being respectful, considerate and following through on the age-old adage that your mama taught you when you were a kid. Pick up after yourself for God’s sake! Leaving IT there, whatever IT is, just means that you harshly and selfishly assume that someone else is going to do IT for you. Just because she does IT, doesn’t mean she is happy about it!!!!

What about unrolling socks before you put them in the wash? How many people want to stick their hands in other people’s dirty socks or pull dirty underwear out of jeans in the hopes of turning them white again? What about closing doors when you open them, putting lids back on things before sticking them in the fridge, putting clean dishes away rather than just using them right out of the dishwasher and taking off your shoes before you enter a home with dog doo-doo on your feet. Does anyone else notice the scum on the TV screen, the matchbox car wheels rolling around the floor or the gum stuck under the table? Anyone? didn’t think so!

Is making a bed or putting dirty clothes in a hamper really that hard? Is it so difficult to throw things away in the trash rather than stuff them under the couch cushions until the 3rd of each month when the maid will lift each up to see what lies beneath? If you have a tissue in your pocket, full of boogers and slime, does it really have to stay there through the wash cycle? Come on people! Maids aren’t free and the cost of the one in your home right now is her sanity and self-respect! No woman wants to be her mother and no woman wants to be caught holding a toilet plunger or broom, red-faced and angry spouting off the words ‘I am not a maid’” with a sort of frenzied anger that makes others think she is about to lose her mind. How degrading is that? Give her a break, give her a hand, give her a paycheck and by all means do your part!

Life with a maid wouldn’t be hard to imagine’…but even so, I would never leave to a maid what a family leaves to a mom. Even the maid deserves more respect than that!

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