There are certain things that, as a man, I feel required to do or be responsible for around the house. When the toilet gets clogged up, I get the call. When the yard has branches or fencing problems, it is mine. Most of the things my wife or kids could do, but they are left to me because they are outside. All that is fine because I like my time in the yard and I like accomplishing things then sitting back and looking at the results -- many times with a cigar in hand.
My wife has certain things she does that are hers. There are things that she does not want me to touch, and, honestly, I don’t want to touch them. She likes to clean the house. She likes dusting and spraying cleaners and organizing. She will tell you it is therapeutic with a smile on her face.
Before we got married I kept an impeccable house. I was ultra organized, had the laundry done nightly, cooked and cleaned with gusto. It seems not long after we were married those skill sets began to wane then continued a downward spiral to almost nothing. I never intentionally meant to turn over the cleaning and laundry to my wife, it just happened. Don’t misunderstand, I still get asked to help and those times I get asked, I better perform.
There was a period in my life when I spent a lot of time listening to motivational speakers. I had a handful whom I really enjoyed and got me fired up. Motivational speakers can be very positive influences in your life, and if you were to pick up on any one lesson chances are you would grow personally or in business. The two I really enjoyed the most were Brian Tracy and Zig Ziglar.
Brian Tracy really taught me some skills when it comes to selling and professional relationships. I must have worn out two cassette tape series listening to them over and over in my truck. He also taught me how to be organized and efficient with your time -- that I am still working on 15 years later.
Zig Ziglar is my favorite because he uses wonderful personal stories and visual aids to get his point across. For years he carried around a big chrome hand water pump that he would get to cranking up and down to demonstrate a point that I can’t remember.
I do remember one thing in particular that Zig did say that in the last few months, 15 years later, I have begun to implement with conviction. It is not a sales tool or a marketing angle, not really. Zig said he never lets his wife wash the big pots and pans. If she used a big frying pan, stew pot or anything big like that, he hand washed it, dried it and put it away. He was adamant about this.
I started to do this at our house. It can really be a drag on some days. Recently when my wife very lovingly put something in the oven to warm up for dinner, she forgot there was a plastic tray under the foil. The house filled with smoke and the plastic dripped and covered all the racks and bottom of the oven. I rushed in as she worried about the fire and mess. I immediately began the clean-up process that took several hours but resulted in a sparkling clean oven. I guess the oven is a giant pot of sorts anyway.
I know I can always do a little more to help around the inside of the house. This one little gesture, cleaning the pots, has been unspoken to date but then I am not doing it for a pat on the back or a thank you. I need, I want, to be a good husband and the knight in shining armor for my biggest cheerleader. We have a joke around our house that the sock fairy always delivers clean socks right before our drawers are empty. Now I am not one who believes in fairy tales and the likes, but that one is one I am going to believe in as long as I can. If it takes getting to that mystical land of clean and wonderful smelling laundry by including a few inside chores to my side of the list, I’m in.