What’s your least favorite chore?

I hate vacuuming and sweeping.  I would rather clean a toilet.  Of course, putrid smelling things tend to make me vomit (literally).

#2 hates cleaning but likes laundry.  I sort of hate dishes but like when they’re clean.

#1 likes laundry too.  Many happy memories of chatting with her mom while folding it.  Truly a family activity.

I don’t think we have anything more stunning to add to this post.

Yeah yeah, I know this isn’t the drama you were looking for, but there’s PLENTY queued up over the next two weeks.  We just decided to take a happy little breather this week.  Maybe Money Reasons will start reading us again if we stop picking apart his posts (but then *bam!* just when he least expects it we’ll slam him for saying that WOHM are letting someone else “raise” their kids “during their formative years”).

Anyhow, back on topic…

What chores do you hate?  Do you do them anyway?  Do you pay someone in love or in money to do them for you?

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47 Responses to “What’s your least favorite chore?”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    Top of the list is ironing. I hate ironing more than anything. I even go to great lengths to buy clothes that don’t need to be ironed. I have a big pile down my basement just sitting there.

    Second least favorite task is putting away laundry. I like doing it and folding it and even dividing it up into who’s stuff is who, but right now I have a big pile of clean folded laundry that is sitting on my dresser waiting to be put away. There always seems to be at least a pile or two of laundry around my house that hasn’t found it’s way into the dresser or closet yet.

  2. First Gen American Says:

    PS. Stop picking on money reasons. I’m totally okay with someone else taking on SOME of the task of raising my kids during their formative years…especially if that someone is a highly skilled childcare provider with loads more experience than me.

    So I guess even if he said that comment, I didn’t take offense because I’m sure my kids are better off because of the other people and kids in their lives. My older son is really shy and the socialization aspect was so critical to him doing well in school. I remember how I was and it took years before I could make friends and participate in school cuz I was just too socially awkward from being raised by a drunk dad in a bar. Shy + Smoky Bar + Bad Dad = One F-ed up kid. Luckily even with all that craziness I still ended up as a highly functioning member of society so I guess that gives me hope.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’m sure he doesn’t mean any offense, but he keeps saying that either SAHM raise kids or daycare raises kids. Babci raised you. My parents raised me. My DH and I raise our kids. Money reasons needs to be more careful with his words and stop buying into the patriarchy. His intentions may be good, but that doesn’t mean that his words are not dangerous. He is a product of his culture, but that doesn’t mean he should continue spreading a dangerous culture.

      It takes a village to raise any child. Children were not meant to be raised by one adult, and in practice they aren’t. SAHM have villages, so do working parents. The SAHM who go the most crazy are the ones who get no adult interaction and spend 24/7 alone with their kids. (That’s why the recommendation is always to get out and join playgroups.) Time use studies find that working mothers and stay at home mothers spend the same amount of time interacting with their kids and that amount of time hasn’t changed since the 1950s. But, that wasn’t the point we were making. The point we were making is that when you say, “It is ok for either SAHM or daycare to raise your kids,” you are not, in fact, saying that it is ok to be a working parent because it implies you are not actually raising your kids.

      • Everyday Tips Says:

        I was going to keep my mouth shut, but I can’t.

        First Gen, I like your mathematical formula of smoky bar + Bad Dad… That should be in math texts. (Or social science texts).

        Nicole, you are frustrated with the generalizations MR is making but you too are generalizing. I had many years when my kids were young where I was almost exclusively with my kids, and I did not go crazy. I still talked to my husband and chatted with friends, but I was mostly with my children. I enjoyed it. That doesn’t make me boring, it was of life I loved.

        Regarding the study that SAHMs and working moms interact with their kids the same amount of time, I am not sure I buy that. I can’t speak for any other parent than myself, but as a SAHM, my entire day was spent interacting with the kids, and every evening. Countless trips to the zoo, museums, building with model magic, playing games, cooking together, you name it. Yes, I know there are those parents that just plop their kids in front of the tv and live their own lives, but I was not one of them.

        Also, I think if your child is in daycare or a sitter or wherever, they are helping raise your kids. Just like a teacher can be a part of raising your kids. Anyone that spends a substantial part of time with your child is helping ‘raise them’. When I had a nanny, she was helping raise my kids and I take no issue with that. As you said,, it takes a village, and all members of that village are helping to raise the kids. It isn’t an all or nothing situation in my opinion.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I’m frustrated with the language that MR is using. It isn’t SAHM raise your kids or daycare raise your kids. Sure, it can be everybody raising your kids, but when you make a statement that says it’s either SAHM raising kids or daycare raising kids, that’s implicitly saying that people who aren’t SAHM aren’t raising your kids. It is a language issue. If he had said, “it doesn’t matter if you have a SAHM during the day or daycare” etc. that would have been different. But that is not what he said. If he’d said, “it doesn’t matter if it’s grandma who helps raise your kids or daycare,” that would have been fine too. Daycare helps raise kids. Daycare does not raise kids. Parents raise kids.

        Talking with your husband and chatting with friends is what you’re supposed to do and it is healthy. People who don’t chat with friends and whose husbands work long hours are the ones on mommy boards that are going crazy. The advice (from other SAHM) is always to go out and talk to other mothers, friends etc. There are women who don’t and they cry for help on mommy forums. SAHM tell them they’re not supposed to be alone with just their kids all day, and that their husbands are supposed to chip in. (WOHM stay out of those threads, but we still read them.)

        For every you that interacts with kids, there’s another mother who lets them watch tv while she hangs out on mommy forums. There’s variation. But maybe that’s what their kids need; kids are different. On average, WOHM spend more time directly interacting with their kids in the evening than SAHM do. Back in the 1950s, kids spent a lot more time playing outside with other kids and mom spent more time cleaning, cooking, and socializing. Today SAHM still spend more time doing household chores than WOHM do. Dad has picked up more chores, but he’s picked up the kids’ chores– children do fewer chores than they used to. Personally I don’t think constant adult interaction is necessarily healthy, and some alone time is necessary for self-discovery (and reading etc.) and playing with other kids without adults is good socially, but I doubt it actually matters that much. You can look this stuff up, it’s the American Time Use Study: ATUS. There were some earlier studies as well. I saw a paper that merged the earlier ones together to make longitudinal conclusions a few years ago at a conference. It’s all very interesting and makes me think that moms are getting it about right whether they work outside the home or not… there’s some good range of mommy/kid direct interaction and everybody is hitting it.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I also don’t like the way it’s ok to have daycare if the alternative is worse (e.g. dad in a bar). But the alternative would probably not be worse for our kid if ze were home with one of us. We’re both awesome. It would just be different. Not better, not worse. Just different.

      Just using the “kids with bad parents should go to daycare” as the major justification for daycare leads to the implication that either you’re harming your child by not staying home with hir because you would do a better job than daycare (a sin of omission) or you must be a bad parent because you send your kids to daycare. You’re damned either way. A bad parent because you’re not optimizing your kid because you’d have to make a sacrifice or a bad parent because daycare is higher quality than you are. Neither of those are pleasant.

      And that’s not how it works. DC would be fine with us at home, but different. Ze gets different things out of daycare than ze would at home and different things at home than daycare. There is no best. No optimizing a child.

      These are more examples of the patriarchal culture we live in trying to make mothers feel guilty no matter what they do.

      • bogart Says:

        For the record, I too am awesome and my child decidedly would not be better off home with me. The reason is simple: I am an awesome, focused, engaged mom (and sane human being) if and only if I can have several (4 is probably optimal, 2 is tolerable) hours virtually every single day when I am by myself, not working, and not interacting with other human beings (generally speaking, these hours need to be outdoors, in daylight). Getting that is surprisingly difficult (though I muddle along) even with good other-provided childcare and would I think be impossible without it.

        I’m fortunate to have good childcare options and a flexible work situation. Even with that, it’s not perfect — I’d probably rather have 3 or 4 hours of “quality time” with my son (not dealing with getting meals ready, getting us out of the house, etc.) every single day and not only 1-2 such hours on some weekdays and many more on weekends, and once I start to feel burned out it’s hard to continue to be engaged, interested, consistent, etc., though I can usually manage. But. not. if. I. had. to. do. it. every. single. day!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I think I would be a great SAHM. I just wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoy the gestalt of working (the high salary, the removing student math phobia and teaching critical thinking, the important research, the occasional media interview etc.). DH would be an even better SAHD. But he would get depressed. I work for me. For my sake. Because I’m not a martyr and there is nothing wrong with that (not saying that SAHP are martyrs, but I would be if I dropped my job because I felt like I had to stay at home for the sake of the kid). And DC gets a lot of things out of daycare that ze wouldn’t get at home, but ze’d get other things were ze to stay at home. Probably would hit calculus by age 6 and be building working circuits, depending on which one of us were to stay at home. Giving up that possibility seems worth it to me, especially since DH and I were also wunderkinds and kind of have professional things to do now that we’re out of school.

        I don’t think we need to say that the only kids who should be in daycare are the ones whose parent’s can’t take care of them. But if they could take care of them the kids would be better off. That may be true in some cases but it is a false dichotomy.

        I imagine you’d find playgrounds where you could let him run free and you could be by yourself. There are classes to take and so on. I imagine you’d do a fine job if you had to. But be glad you don’t have to unless you want to!

      • bogart Says:

        I think we’re on the same page.

        Still. We have plenty of playgrounds (hmmm … 3 public park, 3 neighborhood, 2 school) we frequent regularly. We have 2 good kid-friendly public libraries, one within walking distance of our home. We belong to a local public pool (indoor) that we use extensively, year-round. Oh, make that 4 public parks, I forgot the one outside the pool. DC loves to ride his bike, but is too little to do so unsupervised; I am compelled either to keep an eye out for cars (on our neighborhood roads) or other humans (I worry for them, not him) on bikeways.

        Now, it goes without saying I’m “doing it wrong” (I’m a mom, after all), but — sure. DC will play by himself for 30 minutes. Indeed, people comment to me on how well he “plays by himself.” And at 4, he’s just now learning to “make friends” and play with other kids at playgrounds (he’s been in daycare since he was 2 months old, it’s not that he lacks exposure to other kids. I may be wrong, but just judging from all the other kids I see, this is reasonably typical — younger than this, they either arrive in extant groups (sibs, etc.) or they play by themselves or with parents. The very successful senior faculty member I worked with for awhile got into writing meta-analyses when her kids were small because — so she told me — they were something she could work on effectively even in the 15-minute increments that were all she had available.).

        We camped for 2 weeks over the holidays. Every single morning he got up at 7 and went, non-stop, until 8 p.m. He never didn’t want to be talking to me; he never didn’t want me to do stuff with him. Sure, he did some things by himself (and/or with my DH), and I fled into the woods now and again. But I think this is just who he is. I also think once I can tell him to, for Pete’s sake, go read a book and leave me alone for 30 minutes, things will be easier. But I can’t, yet (and don’t get me wrong, I know in the blink of an eye I will be grousing that he sleeps ’til noon and won’t talk to me).

        The setup we have is good. And sure, if we didn’t have it, I would find ways to cope. But the idea that I could be a better mom were I a SAHM is preposterous. So is the idea that I’m anything less than a wonderful mom.

        I do know I’m preaching to the choir, though.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Yup, same page.

        Our DC plays well with older kids. Not so well with kids in hir age group. Ze has plenty of friends ze plays with at daycare, but only recently has ze been playing with random kids at parks. However, back when ze was younger, ze would play with a kid at a park after they’d both been at the same park like 4 times in a row and they looked familiar to each other. We really really miss that kid. (His mom graduated and they moved out of state.)

        I seriously doubt you’re doing it wrong.

  3. Jacq Says:

    Least favorite is all of them. But floors are the worst – partly because the dog messes them up a lot in spring. I want one of those mint floor cleaners so bad but can’t find one here. Had a scooba and roomba but both died.
    I made up a nifty little chart for the chores, some the kid does for pay, and some the adult kid (me) does for the pleasure of seeing the whole chart crossed out every week. Pathetic, I know. I have to get my head around getting the house cleaners more often.

  4. Linda Says:

    Top of mind least favorite chore is dusting. Maybe it’s because I had to dust all my grandmother’s knick knacks every week from the time I was a wee one that I learned to hate dusting so much. This may be why I also don’t like to have a lot of knick knacks myself: they just gather dust. I do dust…about once a month…maybe.

    Reading the comments reminds me that I don’t much like to iron, either. I actually never learned how to iron and had to look up how to iron a collared shirt a few years ago when I had need of the knowledge (thank you Internet!). I rarely need to iron, but I do own an iron and an ironing board.

    When it comes to laundry, the only thing I hate to fold is sheets. I know there’s a trick to folding fitted sheets, but I can’t ever seem to do it very well. I’ll also admit that like FGA, I don’t seem to put away clean laundry very promptly. I left a basket full of clean sheets sit in my bedroom for the 12 days I was away on vacation. After I returned, I emptied that basket only to fill it up with clean towels that sat for nearly a week before I folded them and put them away.

    I don’t mind cleaning floors. I have a Miele vacuum that I love so strongly I get excited about using it. And I don’t mind mopping floors…unless people mess them up right away. And my kitchen is usually spotless; I wouldn’t want to poison myself or a loved one due to poor kitchen hygiene.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      There’s a reason we don’t have knick knacks! And not just because they take valuable book space.

      To fold sheets you really need two people. Then it’s much easier and kind of fun. A little laundry dance.

      I do know how to iron! It was my mom’s least favorite chore and my father thought it was “woman’s work”… so I learned at age 7.

    • MutantSupermodel Says:

      I hate fitted sheets too. It’s about practice. Watch this video and do it over and over again until you go, “Ohhhhhhhh! I get it!”

      • Linda Says:

        I’ve never seen that folding method! Ohhhhh!!! I get it!!

        And there’s a related video that comes up showing a Japanese method of folding t-shirts that looks amazingly simple, too!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Awesome video. I’ve never seen that method either. Our folded sheets don’t take up much space, but they’re not that pretty. (And our method takes 2 people.)

        Man, I hope one of the biggest challenges in my life is folding a fitted sheet. Sadly…

  5. MutantSupermodel Says:

    The kitchen. I hate everything about it.

  6. Spanish Prof Says:

    I hate all of them. If I had more money, I would pay for a cleaning lady (one difference I’ve found between my home country and the U.S.A is that here, there seems to be some sort of puritanical mandate against hiring a cleaning lady, even if you pay her excellent wages).

    But since I don’t have money, husband does laundry and cooking, I do vacuuming and the bathroom, and we split the rest.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We keep meaning to hire a cleaning person… we even have recommendations for a cleaning crew… but haven’t gotten around to it. We’re so lazy! Also, the cleaning crew is probably expensive…

    • Dr. O Says:

      As soon as the credit cards are paid down, we’re getting a cleaning lady. The house being dirty stresses me out way too much, and I don’t have time to clean like I used to.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        One nice thing about being brought up in squalor is I have a high tolerance for dirt and clutter! So long as there’s no mold and the kitchen and bathrooms are clean.

    • MutantSupermodel Says:

      That’s the one nice thing about living in South FL. Cleaning ladies are practically a given in middle-class (and higher) homes. I’m sure it’s because of the Hispanic influence. I had one but had to stop after the divorce.

  7. Dr. O Says:

    I used to like chores – all of ‘em. The satisfaction of a clean house and empty laundry basket on Sunday afternoons was wonderful. And I have very high standards for clean – a little bit OCD.

    Now that I don’t have time to maintain those standards, chores feel much more, well, like chores. I want a cleaning lady, and we’re getting one as soon as money loosens up a bit. I can’t imagine how quickly things will get out of control once we’re living in something bigger than our tiny 2-bedroom condo!

  8. Molly On Money Says:

    I hate cleaning toilets. I’d fold laundry and do the dishes all day to avoid that one. Ironically I had to create new efficiencies in the cleaning dept. at a spa I once worked at (I went through several dept. doing this). My unfortunate mode to discover more efficient ways to do tasks was to do the work the way the employees were doing it to get a grasp of what was actually happening (I way over connect to things kinetically). I got to clean toilets for two weeks…lots of them.

  9. bogart Says:

    Will you be horrified if I tell you I mostly just have tremendously low standards? I mean, I kind of (sort of) put stuff away. I basically never vacuum because my DH cares SO MORE MORE than I do that the house get vacuumed, so he does it (ditto mopping). I rarely dust (like, 2x per year?). I don’t wash windows. I don’t iron. I’m fine with doing laundry though sloppy about folding it and putting it away (also, everything goes in the washer together and washed on warm. If it can’t survive that, it’s not meant for me).

    I cook, because I’m cheap and care to eat more whole foods than would be feasible if I didn’t (but I also consider bread/fruit/cheese to be a meal, which works unless my DH is involved). I shop because if I didn’t I wouldn’t have food to cook, but not enthusiastically.

    Virtually any chore I could do, I ask myself, “Would I rather do this, or go for a walk in the woods?” Then I go for a walk in the woods. While I’m out there, the dust bunnies don’t bother me. And once I’m back, they don’t much either, honestly.

    I don’t keep my house nearly neat enough that hiring a cleaning service would be an option, even if I wanted to. Which I don’t.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Are we the same person? We’ve got a post on Tuesday, I think, that touches on this. (I moved all the “stop beating on Working moms” posts back a month so that the brouhaha can boil down and they can be read on their own merits, since they were written before Money Reasons touched a nerve… Tuesday’s posts focuses on guilt and working moms in a different way.)

      Except I really like grocery shopping. That’s like the only difference. The woods near our house is pretty tiny. If we were living in like Marin County, I’d probably rather go walking than grocery shopping too… though I do like farmer’s markets. Same thing with DH and floors. Same things with windows, ironing. I wash everything on cold, not warm. We fold laundry as a family. We do kind of enjoy cooking, especially together, and we often eat bread/crackers/cheese/fruit/carrots as a meal, and DH is totally on board with that. (I miss “Getting back from a TJ’s shopping trip” dinners… those were awesome.) Dust bunnies don’t bother me.

      • bogart Says:

        LOL. We are fortunate to have wonderful woods nearby, though our area (population) is growing, with obvious implications. However, having now lived both in places where people were trying to move to and those where people were trying to get away from, the former is better (the downside notwithstanding).

        The trouble is you can’t find fabulous hiking trails, no people, and good restaurants all in one place. That’s the trouble.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Unless you are super wealthy! You might like Williamstown, MA. Fabulous restaurants, no people, and from what I hear, beautiful hiking.

        My dream location is Mountain View, CA. You have to drive (not far!) to hiking trails, but the restaurants are in easy walking distance, and you never need reservations.

        Just give us 10 million dollars and we’ll move there in May!

    • bogart Says:

      Super wealthy could work!

  10. Sunday Round-Up for March 27th, 2011 | MomVesting Says:

    [...] Grumpy Rumblings of the Untenured “What’s Your Least Favorite Chore” [...]

  11. Meg Says:

    I hate ALL chores. Which is probably why our house is picked up two days a month. Oh well. :-)

  12. bethh Says:

    Least favorite, if I can choose only one, is cleaning the kitchen floor. It gets near-scandalous sometimes; fortunately I live alone and always take my outside shoes off when I come home and am careful when I cook, so the floors don’t get THAT bad… at least that’s what I tell myself.

    Hmm or maybe it’s cleaning the fridge out. Or vacuuming. Or dusting. Also laundry, and doing dishes on a regular basis.

    I think it would be easier to list what I tolerate:
    I don’t mind folding clothes, and I don’t mind doing dishes once I’ve gotten started. Like I said, good thing I live alone!

  13. SS4BC Says:

    Least favorite chores:

    1. Taking out the recycling. I wish my apartment complex did recycling.

    2. Cleaning the litter box. I have no idea why I hate it but I do. I’ve contemplated MANY times hiring someone just to come in 3x a week and clean my litter box for me.

    3. Cleaning the bath tub. Toilet? No problem. Sink and counter? Sure thing. Bath tub? *groan*


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