Bwahahaha....10-min to clean wood floors? Ah, no. You forgot mopping and drying, and the meticulous sweeping prior to get all the dirt up first so it doesn't turn muddy. Wood floors are the bane of my existence. They take FOREVER to properly clean. I have a pretty big house (we have kids) and a dog, and my floors take the bulk of cleaning time. Maybe 2 hours total? But we have cleaners every other week. Pretty much just for the floors, as the other stuff takes far less time and I am fine doing the other stuff myself. But the wood floors? I hate them.
Sorry to hear you have a bad relationship with the wood floors. My allergies thank me daily for them. It is not possible to get carpet truly clean, but wood floors can get much closer.
The house is small – as I already noted the lack of room quantity, there’s also a shortage of square feet. Bathroom and kitchen floors are cheap vinyl, leaving 550 square feet of plank oak. We have both timed the work to “clean” it on a daily basis – it’s just a dust mopping, no more. Ten minutes, every time.
Once a month, I do a wet-clean of the floor with de-ionized water and no other cleaners. This is the potion recommended by the company that manufactured the clear finish on the floor. This is a finished-in-place floor, not parquet or anything like that. For “stubborn soil”, they say it’s OK to occasionally use Naptha or an oil soap. One time, after I did my wet-clean with just water, I went ahead and made a weak solution of oil soap water, and used a white sponge. After cleaning the entire floor, the sponge was barely off-white...so I've found no need to use any sort of cleaner except when I know there's been an event to cause more than normal dirt - such as when we used to host every-fourth-month potlucks. For just the water clean, I'm done in typically 30 minutes.
Maybe twice a year, I “do it all up” and move furniture away from the walls. That comprehensive cleaning takes less than an hour. Twice a year perhaps? Doesn’t sound like a problem to me.
The only wood floor cleaning she does is the dust mopping. She wet-cleans the kitchen floor every few days and says it’s only a few minutes work…you can squat and reach the entire floor from one spot. Mostly she does this because when the dog eats, she first takes the food out of the bowl and dumps it on the floor…so it’s got dog food and dog slobber on it routinely. Those two things plus the constant wiping of the kitchen counter are pretty much all the house cleaning she does – I do the rest. And happily so. Yes, I know, I've not included laundry in this list.
We both attempt to do things to reduce how dirty things get in the first place. There’s a boot tray at each of the two entry doors. We have indoor shoes and outdoor shoes and that helps a lot. The only family member who doesn’t change footwear from inside to outside is the dog. And she’s a southern California girl, so if it’s under 80 outside, she won’t go outside…thankfully, she behaves herself indoors and uses the puppy pad placed for her in her favorite “cage”. Before other pet owners get outraged, this dog LIKES being in cages, and none of the ones we supply have doors.
So, indeed, our wood floors consume far less maintenance than when we had carpet in the previous home.
You forgot folding. Folding takes the most time. In CA, we don't wear as many clothes. In snowy/rainy/cold climates, you have multiple layers. I spend about 30min day on laundry, but again...we have kids and we all exercise daily, so we go through 2 changes each a day (even the kids- they have sports uniforms).
She doesn’t fold anything. Hanging stuff gets put on hangars and back onto the laundry line. Things that go into drawers she dumps onto the bed and I fold it. We haven’t changed what we wear since we left California other than replacing worn-out things and adding some rugged outerwear for dealing with the invasive blackberries. We’re near Portland Oregon, which gets the same annual rainfall as Sonoma County, where we lived. The only added outer wear in winter are winter coats, which are not washable in a machine anyway, so I don’t see any extra burden there. I’m sure that having kids adds a lot…we don’t have kids.
She actually does some surprising things, IMO, that no woman I knew before her did, that probably come across to some people as being not very clean - she owns two bras and wears one for 3-5 days, then it goes into the laundry and she wears the other. A pair of slacks is also a 3-4 day item for her. Shirts get worn once only before washing. Me? I guess since much of what I spend my time doing creates sawdust, or I’m digging in dirt, everything I wear gets worn once only. But it’s not a high quantity…given my propensity to run hot, I don’t wear undershirts until it’s below about 40 degrees outside, so it’s just one shirt. My exercise is running, and that clothing is pretty danged small/light, and hardly noticed in a laundry load. I dump that in the washer, then look for other stuff to define as "dirty" and do a load every day - then she feels the need for two more.
Because I work from home, I’m able to arrange my exercise first thing in the morning – so I don’t have to take a second shower just because I ran.
I spend 30 min- 1 hour on meal prep/cooking. But I cook from scratch.
Yes, we are a fully from-scratch household. But dirt simple. She has many food intolerances, so our cupboards contain no seasonings, no sauces, no salad dressing, etc. A meal is quite literally rice, kale, maybe potatoes, some kind of starchy high-fiber bean (all cooked, usually together in the microwave) and always a chilled simple side salad of romaine and baby carrots. I do steel-cut oats in the morning, but she can’t digest oats, so her breakfast and lunch are the same.
This might be the bigger issue. She's stressed. Bottom line.
Possibly – this is how she chooses to approach life. Anything she takes on seems to create massive stress. She seems to add lots and lots of tasks to work that nobody asked her to do, can’t get it done in 40 hours, puts in free overtime and then says the job stresses her out. A year ago, I worked 55-70 hours/week and she didn’t work for income. She fostered rescue dogs – no more than two at a time, little ones. She called that a “high stress job”, too…and complained that it didn’t’ pay enough (it paid nothing as it was volunteer work). So, it just seems to be her natural way of responding to the world and the responsibilities she voluntarily takes on.
I do not think there is anything wrong with wanting to agree to how your spouse spends their time. In marriage, we should agree to how our spouse spends their time. It sounds to me like you two have a VERY strong marriage and are good at communicating. What does she say when you tell her you think she's too stressed? Can you come from a place of wanting to brainstorm ideas with her? Personally, I think the fact that you want to make her issues your issues too shows a lot of care in the marriage. Good for you.
I wish that were true. Given what appears to be an attempt on her part to spend minimal time with me, there is no opportunity to communicate. Further, when she talks, it’s always in third-person – she’ll tell me a story of someone at work and her relationship with her boyfriend and somehow I’m supposed to gather from this what it is that’s important to her. I have not found a way to ask her what I’m supposed to learn from the story without her replying as if she was an injured kitten. And then any conversation is over, she goes non-responsive, what John Gottman refers to as “Stonewalling”. If I don't ask her anything about these monologues, then it'll come up perhaps six months later "I told you and nothing has changed!" with red face and tears. "Darling, what did you tell me? I seem to have forgotten" and she re-tells the story about the co-worker. And even at this point, if I say "I'm not sure what that story is supposed to tell me, can you explain it", things get worse.
This 6-page listing of what she did in 4 hours is an absolute first in nearly 20 years of marriage. And…given the style in which it is written, and based on past conversations (the last one in which she actually engaged was over 10 years ago), it is probably not open to inspection, or discussion, it is purely a defense…she’ll never say it (I cannot recall the last time she ever expressed a desire for anything from me), as she probably wants the subject to never come up again.
When I have suggested that she consider how to reduce stress, she says “I’m sorry I’m an inadequate human being, maybe I need to leave so you can find someone more suitable.” I have found no way to bring up the topic of her making slight changes in anything without her responding as if I've just told her she's the most worthless human on this planet. I’m actually very good at doing all this quite gently – it was my stock in trade as a group manager at work, and our MC advises me that I seem to be good at it, but is puzzled at what it will take to get the wife to accept inquiries.
Both myself and the MC have noted that in all the conversing my wife does (she gets into talkative modes from time to time, and it’s almost run-on sentences that don’t’ seem to be connected to each other, and always about third parties such as co-workers), neither of us have ever heard her express an emotion. The only time words like “angry” and “pissed” and “sad” and “love” come out of her is when she is assigning those emotions to other people. In particular, any discussion about work contains multiple instances of "everybody's pissed at me". If I ask for help on a project - even one she asked me to do - she'll say things like "I'll probably make you angry, but ok."
So…I dunno. I’m weary, somewhat sad, somewhat disappointed…not angry, I only get angry at myself and it’s always because I made a blunder that I’d made before and knew full well how to avoid. The MC once told me that I’m probably the one who has to make a decision.