Sound familiar, ladies? Gentlemen? It’s what husbands say to women who haven’t been at work, when they get home to homework on the dining table, felt tips, Wii controllers and cushions on the lounge floor and a couple of plates in the kitchen that haven’t quite made it to the dishwasher.
If my husband is in a comedy mood, he might add ‘Facebooking? Texting? Reading? Blogging?’ because obviously that’s all I do.
I don’t work two days a week. When my daughter started school I was very excited about these two days of freedom. Of course I would do housework and stuff for the family, but I was going to make sure I saw a friend for half a day and read for half a day every week. I last saw a friend two months ago and I have never managed sustained reading for more than 45 minutes because there is just TOO MUCH TO DO.
I get up at a time beginning with 6 seven days a week. At weekends it might end in a 45, but during the week it’s a lot closer to the 6 than the 7. This morning I got up, as ever, before my husband and kids.
By the time we set off for school I had stripped four beds, hung my first load of washing on the line, got my second load in the machine and a further two loads ready to go, emptied the dishwasher, made four breakfasts and cleared them away – including a pile of spilled Coco Pops and Weetos off the settee – and made two packed lunches.
By the time my husband gets home from work I will have:
* Washed and hung out the remaining three loads of washing
* Put the sheets back on all four beds, including a set of bunk beds and a cabin bed (having done no risk assessment for working at height or in enclosed spaces), moving several hundred teddies to enable me to complete the process
* Been to the doctor’s
* Done shopping, including getting ingredients for my daughter’s cookery at Rainbows and ordering photos the kids need for homework
* Filled in and posted, with SAE, my son’s secondary school application
* Cut the front grass and back grass
* Walked back to the shops to pick up the photos (3/4 of a mile each way)
* Put all of the dry washing away
* Picked the kids up from school
* Taken my daughter to dance lessons
* Emptied out school bags and lunch boxes
* Made and cleared away tea for two boys
* Picked my daughter up from dancing
* Taken my daughter to swimming lessons
* Made my daughter a very late tea.
Then my husband will get home from work to a, no doubt, slightly untidy house and will not notice ANY of this has been done because in most cases he doesn’t even realise it needs doing. Then it will be straight into the bedtime routine.
Tomorrow I will be doing a lot of it all over again, plus hoovering the house, mowing the side grass, which will involve shifting hundreds of wasp-infested rotten apples, and going to a school governors’ meeting.
So men, seriously, just don’t ask – please!