Domesticus Godus

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On the 6th Day of Christmas my Aussie Dad Bloggers gave to me – “why do men sniff their clothes before putting them on?” I will gladly answer that question for you Sarah MacFarlane, but I won’t stop there I will go onto divulge even more man secrets that make us Misunderstood Domestic Gods, that’s right people – Gods of the domestic variety! There are two sides to the Stay at Home coin, there is the staying at home and being a Dad side, which I’m quite partial to. Then there is the having the home look and feel homely and not like a gruesome crime scene side, this side is a work in progress and we are learning to get along but there will never be any liking happening.

I have always been a reluctant chore doer fitting seamlessly into the category of chore don’t’er. Inside I am still that teenage boy who needed the incentive of pocket money to clean his bedroom, since that’s been removed my enthusiasm has waned. The first time Mrs Under spent a night at my place it wasn’t actually my bedroom she stayed in, it was my cleaner, tidier, more wholesome housemate’s bedroom that happened to be visiting his parents at the time. When Mrs Under discovered she had been misled she was furious………………until I opened the door to my love nest and she was visibly relieved.

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In pursuit of stay at home parenting perfection, or perhaps to avoid being nagged at, I have devised a complex 2 phase system to put the sweet in our home sweet home. I’ve basically taken housework to the next level people; if housework were a computer game I’ve completed it with lives to spare and an all-time high score. Like all good complex 2 phase systems this one has a motto – “Minimum Effort for Maximum Husband Points”. Ironing, cleaning, washing, folding;; I’ve gone through all of them with a fine tooth comb, taking out as much actual man hours and effort as I possibly can and asked myself along the way “what is the lowest possible standard that would be accepted” and the results are quite extraordinary.

Washing – I approach washing like I approach love making, let’s get this over and done with so I can have a nice lie down. There are two phases to the washing process; the first is “The Sniff Test”. From the beginnings of time early man has been sniffing his loin cloth to see if it needs a rinse. Sniff the garment in and around the most potentially fragrant areas, for shirts this means the pits and for pants we’re talking the crutch. All but the stinkiest clothes will pass the Sniff Test, given that some well-placed cologne can cover a multitude of smelly sins. Phase 2 is “The Stain Test”. Check the garment for offending stains; some stains are acceptable, for example if you have some crayon on your t-shirt that suggests you’re Dad of the Year material introducing your child to artistic pursuits (sometimes I even draw the crayon on myself to give that impression). However if the stain is in and around the crotch area wash it otherwise you are risking having your Dad of the Year nomination revoked, permanently. By undertaking these two simple tests you will find you have eliminated over half the washing in the wash basket, saving you crucial man hours and meaning you can enjoy that well-earned lie down. **Don’t worry about separating the colors, if you do happen to accidentally dye something, simply wrap it up and tell your partner you love them dearly and bought them a gift; minimum effort for maximum husband points in full effect!

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Drying – I have the same approach to drying as I do to foreplay, is it really necessary? Both seem quite important to Mrs Under so I begrudgingly do them. Again there are two phases to drying clothes. The first phase is to grab the entire bundle and scatter them across whatever furniture you own that has the biggest surface area, this could be a table, the sofa or if you’re really lucky a pool table. Leave them for a couple of hours to partially dry, this takes about a minute and allows you to put the task off a little longer. Phase 2 requires you to drape the clothing over your garden fence thus removing any need for any pegs and saving you precious time. You will also find that your neighbours are less likely to engage you in meaningless small talk after they’ve been forced to admire your leopard print briefs all afternoon.

Folding –Phase 1 – after shaking off any unwanted possum excrement from the clothes that had been drying on the garden fence, scoop them up into a bundle and simply throw them on the bed. Phase 2 – wait for your partner to come home from work and plead ignorance, “Max! What have I told you about going into mummy and daddy’s wardrobe and pulling out all of the clothes?” They will usually crack and do it themselves and “to their standard”.

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Ironing – Ironing is the most infuriating of all the chores, or at least it used to be before I gave it the Domestic God treatment. I’ve found that if you wear a garment whilst it’s still a little bit wet it actually straightens itself out, therefore not only do you save time from ironing but it also reduces unnecessary drying time. Denim can lead to chafing but is a little irritation really so bad in pursuit of domestic godliness? I think not.

And there you have it ladies, I have taken you from washing to ironing in about 6 minutes, in the early days it might take you a little longer until you perfect it, but hang on in there and one day you too could be a domestic god(dess).
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  • http://www.cupofteaandablog.com Catherine Rodie Blagg

    Proper laugh out loud funny! I am so utterly crap at laundry. The drawback of having a dedicated laundry room is that I can’t see how big the pile is getting until it’s too late and it eats me.

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      We’ll make a domestic goddess out of you yet Catherine. Thanks for popping in.

  • angatmeltingmoments

    Have you been talking to my husband?
    I see your sense on the ‘who needs pegs’ issue. I must admit I often just drape an item over the line without pegs if I deem them unnecessary.
    I don’t mind washing, don’t mind the hanging out part, but the folding is painful! Let’s not even talk about ironing!
    You know if you hang tshirts on coat hangers to dry they usually dry pretty crease free and may not need an iron at all :-) just a tip.

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      What’s a coat hanger?

  • http://melbournedad.blogspot.com.au/ Vic @ The Melbourne Dad

    That is gold! Whilst I am not a stay at home dad, I am the official house cleaner, and that is starting to take up quite a lot of time, thanks to Bub taking a liking to throwing her food on the floor, or across the room. I think I need to invest in a dog to give the floor the Domestic God treatment!

    My tip for avoiding ironing is that if you have creased clothes, bring them into the bathroom, take a nice long hot shower, don’t turn on the fan, the steamier the better. Voila – creases disappear! (saves me a lot of money in hotel expenses). Hey the jeans tip is a good idea… I’ll wear them slightly damp next time, just to avoid ironing!

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      Thanks Vic, I think there’s a domestic god in all of us, we all know a trick or two

  • http://torkona.blogspot.com Tork

    Yeah I run the sniff test due to certain fabrics that hold smells after periods of time. This smell tends to dissipate after another period which can only be found after smelling.

    hence the sniff test. nice.

    onya Matt, keep up the Mr Organised pants-ness!

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      Keep sniffing

  • http://mumabulous.wordpress.com mumabulous

    I should show this post to my husband. He hasn’t done a load of washing since I moved in 7 years ago. I on the other hand could use some tips about mowing the lawn and putting the garbage out.

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      Sounds like a good reciprocal relationship to me ; )

  • Caroline

    My husband for our last 2 washing machines has flatly refused to even look at them for fear he may be asked to use them … if I try and show him how they work he is a like a deer in the headlights … very very frightened … his theory is if he doesn’t know how the machine works then there is no chance I will ask him to use it … as for the iron, I am pretty sure he doesn’t even know where I keep it. Bless him because he was unbelievably domesticated when we first met and then I think I broke him :-)

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      I do that too! I don’t even listen when Mrs Under tries to explain the finer point sof the dish washer, if I don’t hear I can’t do, right?

  • http://www.tacklenappy.com Bucky

    I found that, depending on the design of the T-Shirt, possum excrement can sometimes enhance the garment. You win some and you lose some I guess. I also see a business opportunity here which is to gamify housework for us stay at home dads. If I was to earn points for ironing, I’d be ironing my y fronts to ensure I stay ahead of you in the game of Domestic Godliness.

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      Wouldn’t you lose points for wearing y-fronts though?

  • http://www.kyliepurtell.com Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions

    I don’t buy clothes that need ironing. If I wear it and wash it and then discover it will need ironing, I never wear it again.

    And jeans? They only need washing every few months or so, even with daily wear. It’s a scientific fact. However I don’t think they factored biscuit-covered baby hands in to the experiment so maybe once a month to be on the safe side. Baby wipes can remove a lot of surface dirt but they only do so much.

    My husband has also designated an entire single couch to clean washing and there it stays. Neither of us bother folding and putting away anything now, it just lives on the lounge and we grab what we need when we need it. Unless we have visitors coming, in which case it makes a temporary migration to our bed!

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      You sound like you’ve already reached advanced domestic goddess status Kylez, I will be coming to you for tips

  • http://fortyearoldad.wordpress.com JPBechtold

    I also find that “length of time between wears” can also reduce the amount of washing. For instance, I have a multi-coloured woollen jumper that has NEVER been washed in over 20 years. It’s been worn maybe 5 times. But on average, 4 years between each wear means even the stink has gotten bored and moved on, ready for another wear.
    The 40YrOldDad

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      And after a 20 year cycle its probably back in fashion too, win win

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.adams.148553 Steve Adams

    I approach my domestic chores the same way as repairing a house, plumbing, planting a garden or any other task at hand.

    That is I refuse to waist any more energy than is necessary and ensure it passes inspection first time round. And when I say inspection I’m not referring to my wife I am referring to my self.

    I won’t accept sub-standard work and have, only once, had to tell myself to do it again. Half-arsed chores are anathema to my inspector and as a consequence I do it right the first time round. Otherwise what’s the point!!

    An example of energy saving would be (am I boring you yet?) when I clean the house I start with high areas/surfaces so all spillage ends up on the floor which I do last. When cooking I prep everything first so I can strike while the pan is hot. Once the clothes are washed I hang all large garments near the centre of the hoist and small on the outside to maximize sun and drying time. I alo pair up socks while taking them off the line.- then into the basket (great time saver).

    I know this reply is bereft of humour but I’m serious about this stuff…it takes up so much of my ….cking life!!

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      It’s nice to see a man passionate about his work Steve, keep up the good work!

  • http://www.crashtestmummy.com.au crashtestlaney

    I totally did the hanging on the furniture thing this morning, because after 3 loads, I ran out of pegs. And I still can’t see the floor of my laundry room! Aaargh!

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      Glad you got something from it Laney ; ) have an amazing Christmas and thanks for all your help

  • http://emhawker.blogspot.com Emily

    Wet jeans sound lovely. Great tips! Thanks for the chuckles.

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      Moist jeans would suffice Emily : )

  • http://thebumpiestpath.com hikerjules

    Incredibly funny but you stopped me totally at the ‘sniffing clothes’ I always thought my Hub was ‘weird’ for that! Pheww so he’s just MALE! :-) So glad I landed on your planet, I’m forwarding this to PaBumpy to read. AWESOME.

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      Thanks for stopping by Jules, glad there are other sniffers out there

  • Jayne

    I never iron, fecking hate it with a passion. I fold off the line as I go, and buy strictly wash and wear.

    My hubby never separates the loads to my liking, but I keep my gob shut because really I’m just thankful he does it so I don’t have to.

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      Silence (gob shut) is often the best policy in relationships I find Jayne

  • http://littlebentoblog.com Yvette @ Little Bento Blog

    ahh I needed a good giggle! Yes this is a great post. My husband loves hanging his washing out for all to see.. and why not.. everyone does it!! :)

    #talktousthursday visitor :)

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      as long as there’s no leapard print underear I think its fine too

  • http://gravatar.com/mummyp Aly

    The washing and I are arch enemies. I can conquer Mount Washmore, Mount HangOut and Mount BringIn but Mount FoldMore gets the better of me every time and don’t even get me started on Mount Pile-o-washing to be put away. We’re a two load a day household thanks to the hubsters 2 outfits plus pjs that he wears daily, a toddler (no need for explanation there) and a baby who is learning to eat while simultaneously rubbing food all over her clothes, face and hair (add an extra face washer or two a day to my loads of washing). Next house we live in I want to convert the built in wardrobes to washing basket drawers so all I have to do is remove items from the line and put the basket in the wardrobe – wahla!

  • http://www.twinkleintheeyeblog.com Bree @ Twinkle in the Eye

    I’m speechless! You are all man lol

  • http://dadwithtwokids.wordpress.com younglee1

    Totally to the point sir!
    After what seemed like a very long time, My Mrs n I ‘rekindled’ on New Years day before picking up the kids from their Aunties. We initially felt like awkward teenagers kissing behind the bike sheds. Thank god the ‘embarassment’ didn’t last for long, it was like riding a bike (absolutely no pun intendend!), as in it all comes back to you once you get back on……. oh god that sounds even worst, i’ll get my coat!

    • http://dadwithtwokids.wordpress.com younglee1

      I think my reply has gone to a totally different post……. that wont make any sense at all!

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