Recently, I have re-committed to cleaning house. I have discovered that despite the patriarchy extracting labour for free, our family does benefit from the occasional freebie.
Last weekend, I woke up to stacks of dirty dishes, discarded snacks and wobbling piles of clothes and library books all over every surface. I rolled up my sleeves, turned on the radio and worked steadily revealing surfaces again for the next few hours.
It wasn't spotless but there was room to breathe again, and as it turns out, play.
The next day it rained. The kids started filling up every surface again with games and puzzles and books. We ate again and then another time.
Sunday night I glanced around and sighed and thought briefly, what was the point of all that effort yesterday? Just 36 hours later, and I was back to square 1. But you know, cleaning is another word for creating space. Clearing surfaces so the surfaces are useful again, however briefly. We managed to keep busy and not fighting all weekend. Having an empty table renewed our excitement about puzzles, and not electronics, for a brief window of time. So yes patriarchy and the capitalist economy be damned, but that cleaning time was definitely priceless.