During the years that John traveled and I was a SAHM, I did 'purt near all the cleaning. It just didn't seem fair to stick him with maintenance stuff when he was home so infrequently, so not only did I clean by myself, I moved pianos and mowed the lawn. I even spread barkdust!
But a lot of that changed after I was diagnosed with MS. The first to go was piano moving, followed by lawn mowing and bark moving. At some point we moved to our home in Tigard, where nary a blade of grass graced our yard - it was all garden, evergreens and decks. Once the heavy work of landscaping was done, I could manage most of the maintenance myself.
I also went back to work around that time. John's sense of fair play kicked in, and realizing that it also wasn't fair that I had to work full-time, do the mommy thing and be a solo parent when he traveled, he started cleaning a bit. I was awed and amazed at how well men clean!
John had been an enlisted man in the Navy before he was a commissioned officer (it's called being a "mustang"). Starting at the very bottom of the flag pole, he learned how to clean as only a naval swabbie could clean. I started to notice how our toilets sparkled and how clean the shower got when he was on bathroom duty. After 15 years of marriage, it was fun to learn of these hidden gifts.
We turned Saturday mornings into "field day" chez Brunke. The boys would clean their bedrooms and bathrooms (meaning they'd stuff their laundry under their beds) and John and I would tackle the living areas and the other baths. We got to be so organized that we could clean our house in three hours. We didn't polish silver, mind you, but we mopped, dusted, vacuumed, put stuff away; the basics of cleaning. With the four of us, things got done!
Now it's just the two of us. We are in a smaller home, but still, it requires a lot of work. So every so often I have a hissy fit and demand that we clean up. John is usually a good sport and just cleans his heart out. But yesterday was different.
It was more.
John has power tools, air tools, you name it. Our upstairs has some lovely vaulted ceilings, but with wall hangings, light fixtures, shelves and the lot, cleaning gets dicey for me. So yesterday, John brought his power tools upstairs and cleaned away.
He has some kind of air hose gadget that blasts dusts off high areas. He has a power steamer that he cleans door and window jams with, he has power tools that will blow your mind away, and watching him yesterday apply all these tools was thrilling. Nothing cleans like a guy with tools!
I wasn't idle, either. I dusted, cleaned bathrooms, cleaned the kitchen, washed windows and polished furniture. The upstairs is now kinda sparkly.
This leaves the basement. I'll clean the two bedrooms and bath, while John cleans his shop (more on that in another entry) and his den. And yep, I can see power tools playing a major role.
Marriages evolve. What used to be 'women's" work is now shared equally. But it's easier to achieve equality with air tools!