Down & Out In A London Kitchen

Esther Walker started a food blog called Recipe Rifle in 2009 when desperate and unemployed. In 2010 she married restaurant critic Giles Coren and far, far too quickly had a baby daughter, called Kitty.

How I surrendered to housework

Posted by Esther Walker
Esther Walker
Esther Walker has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 28 February 2012

I thought I was going into this baby thing with my eyes pretty open. I was eight years old when my little sister was born, so I was under no illusions about babies and toddlers being delightful Boden-clad little munchkins. I knew that they wailed and puked and screamed and wriggled and didn’t do anything even remotely interesting, like sitting up, for aaaaages.

So I knew all that. But what I failed to realise is quite what a drastic increase in housework a baby means. I don’t know why, but one extra person living in our house seems to have tripled the housework, rather than just increasing it by 50%. And girls of my generation simply haven’t been brought up to know how to keep a house tidy; we were supposed to run the country.

I am lucky: my husband, although he doesn’t actually snap on the Marigolds, isn’t actively untidy. I know women whose husbands leave a trail of dirty pants and socks around the house for them to pick up and pretend that they don’t understand how to switch the dishwasher on. My husband has his chores, (all bins and recycling, all shopping and cooking on the weekend), and he sticks to them faithfully. Once in a while I will even find him cross-legged in front of the open fridge, giving it a clean.

Even then, the amount there is to do, just to keep the house looking okay and everyone in clean clothes, is simply staggering. Up until now I have being trying to deny the obvious – that it’s my job – just doing little bits here and there, all the while filled with resentment. But in the last few weeks something has changed and I find myself surrendering to domestic work.

So when I’m not cleaning the kitchen, I’m tidying the living room, or making the bed or folding laundry. Now that I’ve stopped fighting it, I am surprised to find that I feel better. How long I can keep it up is another question.

0 votes
  • Print

Recent posts

Blow the detox

Why does everyone go on about how much they hate January? I love January. It's my favourite month. There are so few expectations of joy and happiness ...

Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition

Boarders Dormitory Master-Mistress
We are looking to appoint a Dormitory Mistress/Master for 5 nights per week, weekday evenings and nights only, term time. (35 weeks). [...]


Housekeeper to Headmaster
We have an opportunity for an experienced live-out housekeeper. You will provide a cleaning and hospitality service for the Headmaster and his guests and help to ensure the household runs efficiently. [...]


Full Time Housekeeper, Nanny
We are looking for a full time, live-out housekeeper/nanny. We are a relaxed young couple living in a large country house, and will have one newborn baby. [...]


Experienced Carer, Companion, Housekeeper needed
Our elderly mother needs a live in carer/companion on a part time basis. Must be warm hearted, calm & compassionate, with a good sense of humour. [...]


Live-in Housekeeper
Our client is looking for a very capable, experienced individual to become the new housekeeper at their 6 bedroom, rural home. [...]




What the stars have in store for you this week.2017

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter