I broke down and washed my kitchen floor this morning. It ranks up there with all the other thankless household chores I loathe: cleaning bathrooms, and doing laundry. What's the point? It all gets dirty again, usually within minutes of finishing the job.
As I so often do, I let my mind wander away from the task at hand and on to other topics ranging from, "curses on the original owners for choosing SNOW WHITE tile for a kitchen," and "remember when Mom used to scrub floors on their hands and knees? And finally, "why does a clean floor give me such a feeling of accomplishment, however fleeting?"
My propensity for cleaning comes through my bloodlines. Both parents were sticklers for cleanliness. My Dad often had us picking up visible (and not so visible) lint off living room carpet, and taught us how to pull up and tuck in our sheets and blankets; tight enough to pass his inspection.
My mother kept a spotless house which was no small feat considering six children occupied a 1200 square foot home. There was never a ring around the bathtub we all shared, or toothpaste left in the sink. The wooden floors in the bedrooms were polished with a buffing machine and paste wax every two weeks. She scrubbed the cracked and ugly linoleum in our tiny kitchen once a week on her hands and knees followed by a coat of Johnson's floor wax.
While the floor dried my mother was able to sit down and relax for a few minutes. She would watch her "stories," or look at Good Housekeepingg. Sometimes she would lay her head on the sofa pillow and take a short nap.
Women, for generations, were judged for their housekeeping abilities. A clean kitchen floor, dust-free furniture, and sparkling bathrooms meant a woman was a good homemaker, a good wife and a caring mother.
Even though women are now working full time, they are still performing 85% of the household chores,according to Department of Labor 2009 statistics.
Ads for household cleaning and laundry products are typically aimed at women.
Causes Annette Talbert Supports
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, RIF (Reading is Fundamental),
Hands On Foundation, Dignity U Wear, Girls, Inc.