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Visit the dentist or scrub the sink?


I vote sink. While few of us are probably fond of dusting, vacuuming or cleaning up the kitchen crud, I infinitely prefer working around the house to taking a trip to the dentist. But, apparently, not everyone agrees. A new poll from iVillage’s <a href=”http://www.momtourage.com” target=”_blank”>Momtourage</a> site found that more than one in four people (27 percent!) would rather have a tooth drilled than clean their homes. Another 13 percent would rather get in trouble with their boss than tackle the home chores!

This wasn’t just an unscientific Internet poll, either. The results were based on telephone interviews of about 1,000 people and had a margin of error of just 3 percent.

So, what about you: How much do you hate or love cleaning in relation to other chores?

I figure with cleaning, at least you get a big reward at the end: A tidy home that everyone can enjoy. Though we’ve become a bit lax on the tidy front since becoming parents — our living room is Pumpkin’s playroom, after all — we have tried not to compromise on the clean front. Keeping a clean home was a value instilled in me by my mother and grandmother. I learned to dust and vacuum as early as junior high age, when I was assigned those duties as chores. By high school, I was often cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, too. I am fortunate, I know, because my husband does a big share of the household chores. We divide tasks not by gender, but by ability (for instance, I have allergies and he takes on the vacuuming).

The thing that’s unfortunate about polls like the one from iVillage is that they perpetuate the idea that a clean house is something that can happen only with odious labor. We’ve gone in a generation from being ashamed of having a dirty house to having to make apologetic sounds about having a clean one. Whenever someone comments on my house being clean, I feel like I have to say, “Oh, I have alleriges. We HAVE to keep it this way.” Keeping a clean house is definitely a value I hope Pumpkin will inherit. And I must make a note to myself: Stop grumbling about cleaning or else she will end up thinking I’d rather be doing anything else — even having my tooth drilled!

This entry was posted on Monday, July 28th, 2008 at 12:00 pm by Julie Moran Alterio. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Activities, Family, Health & safety, Parenting, Statistics, Values, Working parents




About this blog
Parents’ Place is a hangout for openly discussing the A’s to Z’s of raising a child in the Lower Hudson Valley. From deciding when to stop using a binky to when to let your teenager take driving lessons, Parents’ Place is here to let us all vent, share, and most of all, learn from each other.
Leading the conversation are Julie Moran Alterio, a business reporter and mom of a toddler, Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, a reporter and single father with joint custody of a 9-year-old son, and Len Maniace, a reporter and father of two sons.


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About the authors
Julie Moran AlterioJulie Moran AlterioJulie Moran Alterio, her husband and baby girl — “Pumpkin” — share their Northern Westchester home with three iPods and more colorful plastic toys than seems necessary to entertain one tiny human. READ MORE
Jorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-Gibbon has been a journalist for more than 20 years and a father for nine. READ MORE
Jane LernerJane LernerJane Lerner covers health and hospitals for The Journal News in Rockland, where she lives with her husband and two children. READ MORE
Len Maniace.jpgLen ManiaceLen Maniace is a reporter and father of two sons. READ MORE