Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Scrubbing That Grout with a Toothbrush

The most recent figures from the University of Wisconsin’s National Survey of Families and Households show that the average wife does 31 hours of housework a week while the average husband does 14.

Well, well, well.

31 hours a week. That's 4.4 hours a day. And that's with the hubster pitching in his own two hours a day.

I gotta say -- that's a lot of freakin' housework. Six hours of adult elbow grease a day -- what is the average couple doing, picking dirt out of corners with Q-Tips? Where on earth can they find the time? I thought the average American couple was so time-deprived that they lived on frozen Tater Tots and got speeding tickets in the school dropoff lane.

Even when we lived in a house in Michigan B.B. (Before Benny) and I was unemployed for a few months, I didn't clean the house for any 4.4 hours a day. But perhaps that's just a character flaw; I could have six kids, a home knitting business and a petting zoo in the back yard and still wouldn't do four-plus hours of housework a day.

Of course, Ron and I don't live anything like that lifestyle now. We've downsized our lives so drastically in the last year that I still have relatives convinced we sleep on straw mats and eat off a blanket on the floor. At the moment we have a small apartment and that's it. No deck. No car. No playroom. Only two pieces of good furniture (our dining table is a perfect example of the Modern Card Table motif).

So I'd estimate that Ron and I do about an hour a day of housework each. And maybe a total of eight hours over the weekend, if the laundry's really piling up or the cat's shedding again. I'd have to clean from 7-11 each night to fulfill a four-hour daily housework quota and I gotta say, polishing shampoo bottles at 10:40 p.m. doesn't sound all that appealing.

But again, we keep our socks in plastic bins, so we by no means represent the average American middle-class family. So Misguided Readers, (Are you out there? Yooohooo!) share with us how much you clean a week. And keep in mind that the 31-hour number is for women working outside the home. For stay-at-home wives, the weekly quota is 38 hours.

1 comment:

Stars and Snacks said...

What are we counting as housework here? Certainly it can't be just cleaning. Does that include making dinner, or doing the dishes, or grocery shopping? Because if so, that stuff can add up, I guess.
Not including that stuff, I'd be lucky if I put in an hour a week. Including that stuff, maybe you could add another hour a day.
(Cleaning is not our strong point.) I can't imagine, unless you include running household errands, or gardening and home maintenance, how anyone could rack up 20-40 hours a week doing housework.