All right, let's face it. Nobody likes housework. We've seen it all on popular TV before. You know, waiting for the weekly visit from your army of housekeepers which includes your nanny, clothes folding guy, ironing lady, washing lady, butler and what the heck, let's throw in the maid.

sharing household responsibilities

Doing the housework together

All right, let’s face it. Nobody likes housework. We’ve seen it all on popular TV before. You know, waiting for the weekly visit from your army of housekeepers which includes your nanny, clothes folding guy, ironing lady, washing lady, butler and what the heck, let’s throw in the maid.

Oh snap out of it, you’re not living in a 5 million dollars penthouse in Manhattan. This is a $400,000 four bedroom apartment you’re spending the rest of your boring married lives paying off, so you might as well be realistic. And that means a taboo subject among a section of Singaporeans who swear by this: no maids at home.

That’s right, save that money, deal with it, and watch as you work up a sweat. Stay fit, buy something nice with the extra money you’ve put aside and perhaps, just perhaps, tell yourself those morons in Manhattan don’t know what they’re doing.

Sharing household responsibilities

I’ll be first to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of housework. Seriously, after busting my ass off for the entire week, subjecting my sanity to the boss’s whim and fancy and coming home to a tired wife who ate the last piece of chicken drumstick, there are better things to do in your weekends.

If I could have it my way, I’d change the sheets only twice a year and floor mopping would be an annual event. I love cooking, doing the dishes and the laundry, but when the ironing signal goes bright red I suffer a sudden case of rigor mortis. And just recently neighbours spied me being dragged kicking and screaming to dust and wipe windows. It wasn’t the most comfortable exchange of words when we ran into each other in the local park several days later.

Men are catching on to it

However, not all is doom and gloom. A recent study conducted by the University of Queensland found that men are slowly improving and the evidence is in the hours devoted to housework. While men were kicking it back and taking it easy in 1986, spending just 12 hours a week doing housework, men in 2005 were spending up to 16 hours helping the missus.

Plenty of fathers out there do a great job and love to do nothing but cook and clean. It’s strange to think that there aren’t more men out there who don’t have an ingrained hatred for domestic chore.

Sex life improves

But wait, there’s more! If men are still struggling with the concept of picking up the vacuum cleaner and following it up with a wet mop, here’s a kicker – doing dull chores improves your sex life!

Believe it or not, when men do more of the housework, women’s perceptions of fairness and marital satisfaction rise and the couple experience less marital conflict. For the thick ones out there, this effectively means the more chores men perform at home, the happier the women are.

Many women report greater feelings of sexual interest and affection for husbands who participate in housework, which correlates with how both parties feel when they make a successful effort to divide the chores evenly. Inequalities in housework and childcare have profound consequences for the marital satisfaction of women, which in turn affects the quality of the marriage for the man as well.

Health benefits

A study published recently in British Journal of Sports Medicine suggested as little as 20 minutes of physical activity a week improves mental and physical health, although the greater the activity, the more benefit.

Physical activity and exercise isn’t always the same thing, the study’s authors said. Physical activity includes cleaning, housework and walking up the stairs.

If putting on excess weight over this festive period continues to haunt you till Christmas 2009, you know you’re better off being more active. Well instead of strapping on your runners and having delusions of grandeur of running the four minute mile, why don’t you hook up your vacuum cleaner and go nuts with the floor?! An hour’s worth of vacuuming consumes 150 calories; now that’s as much as performing a slow jog for 20 minutes. I vouch for this myself, as I run 3km a day, four times a week and vacuum once a week. It’s nice to know I’m able to burn over 800 calories a week. Which means I can afford to pig out on that extra bag of potato crisps.

If you’re still not convinced, then I suggest you keep at what you’re doing while I admire my beautiful physique and sex life, marvelling at what I’ve accomplished with what little effort I’ve put in.

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Sinulat ni

John Ng

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