Sunday, April 7, 2013

International No Housework Day

April 7 is International No Housework Day

No Housework Day 
By Robin Steinweg 

I used to be queen of procrastination. I abdicated that throne.

Now you can call me Sisyphus.

That’s right—the mythological Greek who was forced to roll a boulder uphill all day, then watch it plunge back down at night—only to start again the next morning. And the next, and the next.

Anyone whose responsibilities include the daily round of family meals, dishes, laundry or floor-care could relate to Sisyphus. A recurring nightmare might go like this: a mountainous meatball lumbers down the stairs toward my kitchen, spraying a trail of spaghetti sauce, grated Parmesan and a few unruly noodles. It gains momentum. It lurches straight toward my freshly shined sink.


The meatball takes a deliberate turn. I hear its sneering tone as it threatens me, “I’ll roll over you. You’ll be flat as a sheet.” The meatball leans over me menacingly, looking strangely like my husband—

“Roll over, Honey. You’re dreaming. And you’ve got the flat sheet all to yourself.”

The average American woman scrubs her house for at least seventeen hours a week*. That means if she lives to be eighty years old, she’ll have spent over eight years of her life cleaning house!

I’d like to slice a sliver out of that perennial pie. April 7 is International No Housework Day.

Put down your mop 
Hang the broom 
Watch dust bunnies gather in every room 
Don’t let your youth just fade away 
Take time to celebrate  No Housework Day 

Put off till later what needs to be done 
Cooking and housework aren’t much fun 
Take the day off. Augment your sorrow— 
Every mess, every job will be there tomorrow 

Dishes will litter each horizontal space 
Oatmeal will harden at an alarming pace 
Slog through the clutter? You’ll be confounded 
As tasks pile up with interest compounded 

Hm. That didn’t go quite like I thought it would.

It could be that the statistics of the average woman’s housecleaning would change in the wrong direction. I’ve heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If I take a day off, how many extra hours—days—months—will it take me to catch up?

Maybe I’ll be queen of procrastination one more time—

 —and put off celebrating No Housework Day!

*According to a 2008 study by the University of Michigan.

Robin Steinweg finds life sweet in the middle of writing, teaching music students, caring for aging parents, adjusting to having adult children, and nudging life and home to a state of order. She, her husband and sons live near Madison, Wisconsin.

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through Kathy Carlton Willis Communications.

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