This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
As I have started to mourn my early and mid-20s (I tried to fit into my old club clothes and shoes, it did not go so well) today it made me reminisce when Aaron and I started dating and how household chores and general roles played out in our relationship. It also got me thinking how much he used to do and now that Will has come into our lives how little he does and how much more I do now.
In the beginning, I lived in a one-bedroom loft in Mansfield, MA. It was an old deli storefront turned into an apartment. I loved this place. Wonderful location, great neighbors, and no guys. I moved out of a great house rent free living with my
Dad and brother, which is not a bad deal for a right-out-of-college 20-something woman who was taking on the world. Except, as we all have learned, being married and living with guys is not the cleanest thing in the world. I’m not claiming that you could eat off the floor in my house but I always tried to have my house clean. These included the clean sheets, dishes done, and clean clothes to wear. This quickly changed when Aaron and I started dating.
At first it was all fun and games. That new relationship where you always have your best foot forward and never want to let your guard down. As most of you know it does not take Aaron long to let his guard down. Shortly into our relationship I realized that he has NO clue about running a household. All it took was a trip to his house in Brighton.
Upon entering his house (which was cleaned according to him and his roommates) you are met with the stench of stale beer, dirty socks (underwear), and a faint odor of random girls. As you continued through the house you were met with sticky floors, molding food, and a fridge that had nothing but beer! I should have run but love makes you do things you never would do.
As our relationship grew so did my understanding (lack thereof) of men and their idea of timely cleaning and getting things done. It was not until we bought our house did I understand that Aaron need to be “trained” he has no idea how to do his own laundry, clean a bathroom properly (yes, men there is a way to clean a bathroom), or that things need to be done in a timely manner.
Timely manner is not in Aaron’s vocabulary. His idea of timely is letting the dishes sit in the sink for a week until I do them because our house smells like a dump because of the food left at the bottom of the sink. I can remember one time we had a dinner party and Aaron “did the dishes” but left all the hand washable dishes in the other side of the sink. They sat there being switched from one sink to another for weeks until I did them. Once I did them I place them to the side of the sink to let them dry. Bad idea! Aaron placed them back in the sink to be washed. This went on until I made him wash them himself. He finally got the idea.
As wives we should not have to wait until our husbands feel it is the right time to do their chores. They should do it that day or when we asked. I have been asking Aaron to put in an AC in our wall for over a year. It is still sitting in our hall closet. Granted Aaron is not the handiest person around but all of our friends are and they have offered to help us but he has not done it.
This brings me to our other problem in our house. Our deck. Our deck looks like a dump swap. We have a couch, chairs, bikes, and not one but two grills. I have been asking Aaron to get a truck and move the stuff off the deck since early March it still has not disappeared.
I guess his idea of timely is when I get so mad that I throw the stuff at him. This is a much better method then nagging him until he gets off the couch and does it.
For all the lack of housework Aaron does he makes up with how he takes care of Will. Aaron is a great father! He is the most attentive father I have ever met. For the first two weeks of Will’s life I never touched a diaper or do anything but bond with Will. When Aaron is home I never change a diaper, get Will in his PJs, or put Will to bed. For all of Aaron’s faults I would not change a thing about him!