Not to Reinforce Stereotypes, but…

Someone sent me one of those infographic things on Facebook the other day. It The caption read:

‘I think I will go to bed now…’

Underneath it had two columns, one headed, ‘Man’, one headed ‘Woman’.

Under the ‘Man’ column it simply said: ‘Man goes to bed.’

Under the ‘Woman’ column it said: ‘fills dishwasher, feeds cat, makes packed lunches for the morning, puts bins out etc,’ before:

‘Woman goes to bed.’

It made me smile.

As you know, on Friday, Jason and I went to Harrogate for the weekend. My mum and dad came to house/cat/child sit for us.

I never really get too excited about going away until we are actually well into our journey. Partly this is because I have been tripped up by disaster before and prefer not to get too far down the elated/distraught path. Partly it is because I usually have so much to do before we go away there is no time to start festooning the house with bunting.

On a regular day I usually get up at 7.00 and work through my morning chores:

  • Empty dishwasher
  • Set the table
  • sort out and fold dry laundry
  • Hang out wet laundry
  • Refill washing machine
  • Feed the cat
  • Sort out the cat’s litter tray
  • Make packed lunches

Before I sit down with my breakfast.

Sometimes, I also prepare the dinner for the evening if I know we are going to be pushed for time when we get home. On this particular Friday, on top of all the above I had also prepped a chicken tagine which I put into the slow cooker, to make sure that there was a hot meal for everyone that evening.

This list, of course, does not include the inevitable traumas of daily life with three children and a cat: the cat vomit in the middle of the hall just as you are about to leave the house, the incessant loss of shoes/jumper/p.e. kit, the torn coats, muddy footprints, demands for £20 in non-sequential bank notes etc. This stuff just ebbs and flows around the core tasks rather like Canute’s unstoppable tide.

As I was finally breakfasting on Friday morning I was making a list of jobs that needed to be done when I got back from invigilating an exam at lunch time:

  • Strip and remake our bed for the parental units
  • Make sure there are clean towels
  • Take grocery delivery to ensure there is no cannibalism before our return.
  • Leave money for Tallulah’s singing lesson.
  • Make sure Mum knows where the present and card are for Tallulah’s friend’s birthday party on the Saturday.
  • Make sure Dad knows where the party will be held and what time he has to pick up and drop off.
  • Make sure Mum and Dad understand about what homework has to be done and when, and that they keep a beady eye on potential shirkers.
  • Make sure parents know Tilly will be late home because of Yoga class, i.e. leave note to say do not send out police search teams until after half past four.
  • Empty bins/recycling.
  • Make sure everyone has the right house keys.
  • Oh yes. Pack my stuff. Mustn’t forget that.

Jason came downstairs, ready to go to work. He asked me what I was doing.

I explained that I was making a list of jobs that needed doing before we went away.

He looked puzzled.

‘Surely all you need to do is throw some clothes in a bag and then we go on holiday?’

One response to “Not to Reinforce Stereotypes, but…

  1. Oh Yes………how I remember those days and that Man thing……..y’know men tend to be big picture people and women tend to be detail people……and one day when the house is empty and tidy and you can just throw things in a bag you will miss the lovely busy chaos..x

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