Ten Lessons for the Spouse of Every SAHM/Housewife

Lately it is more widely acknowledged that being a SAHM/housewife is one of the toughest jobs out there–with the least amount of pay. Even so, I still don’t think the amount of work that a stay-at-home mom such as myself does on a daily basis is truly understood. In the grand scheme of things, our hard work is appreciated, and we are grateful for that. Unfortunately, the small tasks that often go unnoticed consume as much time and energy as the larger chores. While we don’t need to hear “thank you” for every tiny thing we do, these little jobs need to be recognized for one to have a clear picture of just how much work we must do. We could be saved so much time and energy if our husbands, and older children, would learn a few simple lessons.

1. Your trash goes in the trash bin. It does not belong in the sink, on the counter, in the couch cushion, or on the floor next to the wastebasket. If all trash were placed in the proper receptacle, the only trash we would have to throw away would be our own. Then we could take out the trash without having to gather it.

2. Likewise, your clothes go in the hamper. They do not need to be wrapped up in the blankets in the bed, thrown on the bathroom floor, or placed at the bottom of the staircase. If everyone placed their clothes in the proper container, we wouldn’t have to go around gathering dirty clothes before doing the laundry. Your clean clothes, on the contrary, go on hangers in the closet–not in a pile in the corner.

3. While they are making toilet paper rolls much bigger these days, they do not last forever. When there are only a few squares left on the roll, it is time to change it. You men may not need to wipe after every potty break, but we women do. Whatever you used the toilet paper for, if you used the last of it, change it. This way we will not have to spend several minutes a day checking and replacing the rolls throughout the house, nor will we find ourselves on the pot without a wipe. It is a courtesy that would spare us a lot of annoyance.

4. Dishes are easier to clean if they have been rinsed after being used. Dishes that have sat in the sink without being rinsed for hours take quite a bit of time to clean. We spend quite a while picking dried food off of plates when this happens. You could save us a lot of time by rinsing the food off of your dishes when you place them in the sink. We’ll spend less time scraping bowls and more time with the kids–or preparing a wonderful meal!

5. In case you didn’t pick up on it already, dishes go in the sink. They do not go on the end table, under the bed, or in a pile on the counter. An even better place for dishes–after you’ve rinsed them–is in the dish washer. If everyone in the household did this, we women would only have to rinse our own dishes, pop them in the dishwasher, and run it instead of collecting dishes from throughout the house first.

6. Everything has a place. If you put things in their places when you’re done with them, we don’t have to do it. A lot of our day is spent picking things up around the house and putting them where they go, which we must do before we can move on to tasks like vacuuming. When you’re done with something, put it away. If you don’t know where it goes, ask. The milk goes back into the fridge with the cap on when you are done with it, for example. Also, if you knock the knick knacks down, pick them up, and arrange them neatly where they go again.

7. On the upper left side of the toilet, there is a handle. It is usually silver, sometimes white. If you push down on it, the dirty water in the toilet goes away, and clean water fills the bowl. It is hard enough for us to find time to pee without having to wait for yours to go down the drain first.

8. Beneath the faucet in the tub, there is a drain. Sometimes you have to pull a stopper out of it by a chain. You may have to pull up on a round metal piece, then twist. There is a really easy-to-operate drain that simply involves pushing down, so that a round disk flips sideways. This will allow the water to drain from the tub, eliminating tub rings. Finding time to take a bath is even more difficult than finding time to potty. We can get our baths done much faster if we don’t have to wait for your nasty water to drain before we can fill the tub or turn on the shower. That means a sweeter smelling wife for you!

9. Another new invention of which you may not be aware is soap. When you mix it with warm water, then dip a rag into it, you can do amazing things. If you spill something on the couch, floor, or counter, try wiping the area with a warm, soapy rag. I spend at least 15 minutes a day scrubbing yesterday’s stains off of the couch. It would be so nice if I only had to scrub the couch when I spilled something. You’d save me so much time by cleaning your own stains off of the floor, walls, etc. Also, if you give food to the dogs or children, any resulting stains should be your responsibility. This will save me a lot of spot hunting and scrubbing.

10. Finish the job. Turn off the lights when you leave the room–and the TV. Shut the refrigerator door, and close the cabinets before you leave the kitchen. Shut your underwear drawer after you put on your boxers for the day. We shouldn’t have to go around closing things all day.

These are ten little things you can do to save us a lot of time. Whether you realize it or not, gathering clothes and dishes to wash, and putting things back in their places is very time-consuming. Switching out the toilet paper, draining tubs, and flushing toilets don’t take very long, but the minutes add up–and interfere with our ability to potty and bathe. Spot hunting and scrubbing scattered stains around the house takes a lot of time, and it is hard to scrutinize a place while kids are running around or begging for lunch. It is easier to complete a task when everything we need is already in its place. It’s also a lot less time consuming to clean up after ourselves and the kids than if we have to clean up after you as well. Do us these small courtesies, and you will spare us a lot of running around and busy work during the day. I promise: your wife will be grateful!

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