The Secret To a Clean Bathroom–And a Happy Wife. Er. Life.

I don't know if you're like me, but there are certain household jobs that I pretty much think were invented by Satan. Cleaning bathrooms is one of them. I mean, ew. You've got your mold raising a ruckus around your faucet if you're not vigilant. Then there's everything that happens in, on, or around (especially if you have boys) a toilet. And finally there's the shower. The Holy Grail of Icky. Especially of you've got tile. Which, incidentally, I am quite certain was the brainchild the Marquis de Sade. Grout. What are people thinking with grout? Like I want to spend my Saturdays toothbrushing tiny tracks of mildewed rubber-cement around the 9,000 shower-tiles my scrubbing bubbles aren't speaking to? The inventor of bathroom tile should be sentenced to Life cleaning the rainforest that is growing in my grout.

Recently, however, I discovered a solution. And being the selfless bloggette that I am, I would like to share it with you.

My husband grew up on a farm. (Stick with me here. It will come together.) Dude has been tossing potatoes and thinning beets since he graduated from the hoppity-horse. He knows how to work. It's like nothing I've ever seen. He can blow through a field of hay-bales, moving them from the upper field to the lower in the same time it takes me to retrieve a pop-tart from the toaster while watching Frasier re-runs during lunch. Once we got married–and did not move onto a farm–he transferred this skill to the things he got done in our home. It was awe-inspiring.

After a number of years I noticed something. There were times I'd come home from an errand and my house would be sparkling. Or the yard would be mowed and weeded. On other occasions, bigger odd jobs–like organizing the storage room–had transpired whilst I had taken the kids to soccer. Once, I emerged from the shower and I swear he'd re-shingled the roof.

Now, I don't think this is normal. Guys–no offense–just don't revel in household jobs. I mean, you have your smart dudes who figure out that helping around the house is the way to a woman's heart. But this was getting ridiculous. And a bit scary. I mean, was my boy dying from some terminal illness and trying to get in all the good deeds he could before his tragic demise?

Nope. I finally figured it out.

By asking.

Huz told me the following, in these more or less exact words: "I learned, growing up on the farm, that work is a great way to get rid of frustrations. Especially frustrations with people."




By "people" did he mean . . . me?

Uh huh.

I spent some time miffed. Hurt. Mortified. My husbandero was acting all Mr. Clean because he was mad at me. Mmmyeah. As I looked at it the pattern was definitely there. A little wifely nagging, and wuhBAM. My kitchen was mopped and my garage swept. A few vagrant hormones, and shuhWOOSH, dinner was fixed and the the sidewalk-weeds murdered.

Well. I didn't know how I felt about that. Maybe I didn't need his help. If he was only doing it because he was irritated, well. I certainly could live without Sir Wet-Wipes' white-tornado-ness. Psh. Clean my shutters because he thinks I'm a nag, does he? Vacuum behind the fridge and the washer/dryer when I'm feeling strained, will he? Huh! I certainly . . .

Hey. Wait.


You know? My shower is looking a bit peaky lately. Wonder if the Boy Wonder needs any pointers on his driving? 

About Janiel 433 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


  1. This is a classic! Brilliantly written and hilarious. I read this aloud to my husband in bed on vacation this morning and laughed so loud the kids woke up. Engaging post title too! Loved it! Bravo, Janiel!

    • Melanee! Thanks for taking the time out of your vacation to read this. And for your kind words. I’ve been enjoying your blog too. Good stuff there. 🙂 Sorry to wake your kids. But hopefully, you know, you’ll have more opportunities to wake your kids in the future.
      May your marriage be happy and your bathrooms clean.

  2. That sooooo does not work here. We’ve got an entirely different psychology at our house. It will always be my job to clean the house. I delegate well and the girls are good house cleaners.

    I fart in the general direction of mothers who raise their children to think that there are girl jobs and boy jobs. That said, there are loads of tough boy jobs on our place and I happily clean the bathroom while major garden building and tree felling is going on. It all works out.

    p.s. Grout. Erg.

    • Yep. I agree with the general job dispersal on your property. With all those trees and water features and garden patches, I’d totally take the bathrooms too.

      And while I refrain from farting, I will roll my eyes and make little French-person-noises in the general direction of those who create segregated job lists for their kids. I want my boys and my girls to be willing to do whatever needs to be done. What. Ev. Er.

      And hey. If my hub-inator wants to do more than his fair share, I am perfectly happy to nag him.

  3. man, I would totally milk that situation…lucky!! You are so funny and what a wonderful, jealousy-invoking trait for destressing Bruce has!

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