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Putting a Positive Spin on Housework


Even when I was home full-time with my sons, I was never the best housekeeper. And now that I’m working full-time outside of the home, well, let’s just say very politely that my housekeeping skills and enthusiasm, er, haven’t increased. Fortunately for me, my husband is a neat freak, and he’s actually inclined to grab the vacuum and chase after some dust bunnies when he notices them—which is way before I would. But, he works full-time as well, and in the interest of fairness and marital harmony, I want to carry my fair share of the load. And while we have a longstanding arrangement that I handle the laundry and he does the dishes, there are plenty of other tasks that need doing—which is why I was curious to see a positive spin on housework over at The Juggle.

Plus: Speed Through Cleaning

In “Turning Housework Into Me Time,” Michelle Gerdes writes that in a discussion with a colleague about housework (the usual, about how it’s near-impossible for a stay-at-home parent to get much cleaning done during the day while the kids are around and how both parents are exhausted once the kids are in bed), her co-worker suggested turning housework into “me time.”

Plus: Why Are Moms Ashamed of Getting Help with Childcare or Cleaning?

Now, in my case, “me time” is generally that lone hour once a month where I run out of the house for a pedicure, blissfully alone—although recently my 4-year-old has been tagging along to help choose colors (hence my recent blue-toed streak). And I’m sure that no one is about to give me a pedicure while I scrub the shower or dust the bookshelves, but I’m contemplating some of Gerdes’ suggestions—like simply listening to an audio book or music while straightening up after the kids go to bed. Other suggestions, like putting rollerblades on to sweep the floors or filling the tub with bath salts and warm water while I scrub the walls didn’t quite do it for me. I do try to catch up with friends on the phone while folding the laundry to lessen the boredom, but I wonder if there are other ways of making housework more fun—or if it’s simply boring because it’s “work”…

Plus: 22 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Clutter

Do you think it’s possible to turn housework into “me time”—and if so, what’s your secret?