Saturday 3 February 2024

What do you do all day?

 

What do you do all day?

All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


A version of this story was sent to me a long time ago. It amused me, though I don't agree with the stereotyping.

One day a man arrived home from work to find his home in chaos. His three children, still in their nightclothes, were playing outside in the mud and there were food wrappers and empty cartons all over the garden. The front door to the house was wide open and when he hurried indoors, he found an incredible mess.


 A table lamp lay on its side, the television was blaring and there were clothes and toys strewn across the floor. In the kitchen, the sink was full of dirty dishes, the table was covered in spilt cornflakes, toast crusts and blobs of sticky marmalade. Under the table a broken glass lay next to a dish of dog food and by the back door there was a pile of sand. A heap of dirty laundry was piled up next to the open door of the washing machine.


                            From the Ladies' Home Journal, 1948

By now, the man was seriously worried. His wife was nowhere to be seen downstairs. Heart pounding, he dashed upstairs, almost tripping over toys and more discarded clothing, fearing that she might be injured or ill. He found her in their bedroom, sitting up in bed, in her nightdress, reading a magazine. She smiled at him and asked, as she always did, ‘How was your day?’

He looked bewildered and said, ‘Whatever has been going on? Are you all right?’

She smiled at him again and said, ‘You know how you always ask me what on earth I do all day?’

He nodded.

‘Well, today I didn’t do it,’ she answered.



28 comments:

  1. Unless a person has a particular passion for sewing or gardening, staying at home all day is a bit mind numbing. Washing dishes, doing the laundry and vacuuming are endless and boring. TV and reading can be liberating, but human company is much better.

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    1. When I was a stay-at-home-mum before the youngest started school, I loved all the housework and cooking etc, I had plenty of free time to read as much as I liked, or go shopping or do a bit of gardening. All that vanished when I went back to work and everything had to be crammed into the weekend.

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    2. Finding the balance is important - I'm not very good at that.

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  2. I'm sure you loving husband would never ask you a question like that.

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  3. πŸ‘Haven’t we all been so tempted.

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    1. I don't think if would make much impact, honestly . . .

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  4. I've read this before in several places over the years and still find it funny. It originated way back in the days when the men worked outside and the women stayed home caring for house and children.

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    1. It still works that way for some, though I think most households have both partners working these days - if they can find work.

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  5. When I was a young mum I never seem to stop doing house hold jobs, these days I can't get round to starting!

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  6. I worked full time from the age of 17 until retirement so never became a stay at home wife. My weekends were usually the time for housework. My goodness how I am enjoying my retirement now doing exactly as I please.

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  7. Do you still have that Friday feeling of being thankful for the weekend?

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  8. A little behind to~day....Must be these tight pants/trousers..!
    HeHe! :0).

    The question does'nt really arise now~a~days...As both
    partners/husbands/wives are both at work...One will say
    to the other..."How was work to~day" ? As very few wives
    remain at home these days, even toddlers are at play school,
    or the Grandparents look after then, both hubby and wife
    'need' to work, to maintain a standard of living, which is
    hard enough as it is...! :(
    So to use the expression ' Being a housewife' does'nt
    really count any more, and besides...Husbands and
    wives are now equal in many respects...both have to
    work very hard, and together, hopefully live and raise
    a family, for the good of society...
    HeHe! So..I've been there..done that..! On my own to..!
    πŸ’›πŸŒ±πŸŒΈπŸŒ±πŸ’œπŸ’›πŸŒ±πŸŒΈπŸŒ±πŸ’œπŸ’›πŸŒ±πŸŒΈπŸŒ±πŸ’œπŸ’›πŸŒ±

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    1. You'd be surprised how many 'traditional' families there still are with the husband expecting 'tea on the table' when he gets home! It's a shrinking number but still around.

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  9. I still suffer from guilty feelings if I don't carry out some routine tasks before midday - a neighbour of mine , years ago cautioned me - Alison, the housework will still be there when we are not.........she was absolutely right of course πŸ˜€
    Alison in Wales x

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    1. Of course, guilt is inbuilt and the dust -and everything else, returns for the next day. One friend of mine used to say that a lady's housework should be finished by 10.00 am, but I think she must have meant a lady with a large retinue of servants! x x x

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  10. I was born in '52 but the '48 photo actually looks like my mother and me in the kitchen. I'm still in the kitchen and some days I am sick of making menus, cooking, grocery shopping. Then there's the rest of the house! A woman's work is never done, and a man's is never begun, lol.

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  11. I think men are getting better but they don't see things the same way. Vacuuming is done but the vacuum left out, likewise the duster, scouring cream and so on.

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  12. I've read that story before, and the stereotyping has had me fuming, but I guess things were like that back then. I do remember my Mum telling me that when she and my Dad were first married - late 1950s - and they were both working full-time, my Mum had asked him to at least peel the potatoes when he was home first. The lady who lived downstairs took pity on him, though, and peeled them for him. She must have thought my Mum a bad wife ... xxx

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    1. I love that story about the potatoes - how funny. x x x

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  13. Thank goodness things have changed, though some remain stuck in the same old rut.,

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  14. Ha ha. I worked part time when my children were little and full time later, but I always went back to visit Mum in the summer - a lot of times by myself - and husband had to look after the children and the house. It made him appreciate me more!

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  15. My husband is very capable but has a different method of doing things, often better!

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