On happiness, women and cleaning

I’m reading an eye-opening article. I’ve always wondered how it’s possible for my husband to “relax” in the middle of a filthy, cluttered room when there’s pets to feed, rooms to clean, stuff to tidy, weeds to pull, errands to run and a house to maintain.

While he ‘relaxes’ in front of his computer or the TV, I rush about trying my best to finish everything so I can ‘find time’ to relax with him.

Women have long been oppressed by the deep-seated cultural expectation that our leisure can only begin once our domestic obligations have been met.

Have I succeeded in escaping the consumer and corporate rat race only to fall into a Konmari trap?


There was a severe weather warning yesterday. The day was dark, cold, wet and rainy. I woke several times this morning only to fall back asleep because it was too cold to get out from under the doona.

When I eventually emerged at 11am, still exhausted from the last few days of rushing through work and chores, I found the sun had come out and was drying the garden and warming my  dog’s fur. Today’s a lovely day.

I could spend my Sunday relaxing with my Sophie dog, taking her for a long, leisurely stroll and hanging out with her in the garden. Or I could feel guilty for sleeping in, turn on the laptop to get some work done while I have coffee, hoping the coffee will give me just enough energy to fill the wall unit back up after I’d moved it and decluttered it a bit.

Guess which option I naturally fell into?

Ruth Whippman, the article’s author, clearly shares this domestic guilt. Is this an internal struggle all women have? Can you relate?

I harbour a constant fantasy that one day I will have a perfectly clean home. I feel guilty sitting down when there is wiping to be done and I am constantly telling my kids to “wait a second” while I just pick up or dispose of or fold One More Thing.  After buying Kondo’s book, I squandered entire minutes of my one and only life staring at a bottle of dishwasher liquid pondering whether or not it “sparked joy”.

Clean Tidy house home happiness domestic cleaning organised
The thing is, cleaning never ends