YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE: Forget the chocs and flowers, what mum really wants is a week off cooking or cleaning.
YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE: Forget the chocs and flowers, what mum really wants is a week off cooking or cleaning. Mladen Zivkovic

Token day a farce on domestic front

DESPITE some minor advances here in Australia when it comes to gender equality in the workplace, on the home-front things don't seem to be moving in the same direction.

So with Mother's Day this weekend, there no better time to expose the domestic crime going on in this country.

Traditionally, male contributions to the household are much lauded and on public display. Like the mowing of the lawn, the taking out of the garbage, the washing of the car, the walking of the dog. Otherwise you can find them on the couch or in their special sheds.

An extreme example of the old school of thought perhaps, but it's not a foreign concept to many women around these parts.

So in exchange for these manly duties carried out and gratefully received by wider society, she gets to do everything else.

Quietly, methodically, away from the public glare or any real kind of gratitude except what she might get once a year on the second Sunday of May.

Give her the day off cooking and load her up with presents and she'll forget what goes on the other 364 days a year.

Yeah okay, you do other stuff but what kind of stuff? Here's some gift suggestions that are far more comforting than a pair of animal slippers she'll barely have time to wear.

How about you clean the family bathroom including the toilet for an entire year? That's the gift that will keep on giving to any woman who can't afford another woman to do this task for her.

Or plan the family's meals for an entire week (yep, just a week because even that will be a stretch for some). This includes writing the shopping list, shopping, unpacking, working out the recipes that won't result in an echo of complaints, cooking, serving, cleaning up afterwards.

And then, to really complete this task in the spirit of its intention, forgo any expectation of thanks. Bingo. You nailed it.

Don't get too far ahead of yourself though, it's only one of the 52 meal plans required to get through a standard year.

What about a gift voucher for laundry services by you. That would literally be a load off. Considering you will be also washing your own clothes and your own children's that's no biggie, right?

But some prerequisite training might be in order because if you're a klutz, you could end up destroying hundreds of dollars worth of clothing and then use that as an excuse to get out of doing it at all.

What about raising the kids for a bit without assistance? For say a full weekend. Babysitting the kids, you might call it, but mum needs to leave the house and switch off her mobile phone the whole time. Otherwise it doesn't count.

Or a sleep voucher. Undisturbed, uninterrupted slumber for as long as she wants in a 24-hour period.

Then there is the general cleaning. Ah yes, that old chestnut. Forget the chocs and flowers. One month's worth of household vacuuming is the kind of sucking up mum would love to see.

Or if not that chore, there are plenty more to choose from.

Demonstrate how niched your domestic awareness can be. A linen closet or pantry overhaul, wiping window sills and skirting board special, or a hospital-grade cleaning of the fridge, inside and out.

As part of this service you're not allowed to bother her with stupid questions while you do it, otherwise it defeats the purpose of a gift.

If something has mould on it or the product quotes a date from 2017, it isn't a trap for weary players. Just throw it out.

Kids can get into the act with a book of 'pick up your s---' vouchers, the bearer of which, namely mum, can just hand them out and expect the immediate honouring of these legally binding documents without having to utter a word. Any time, any day of the week.

These are also transferable to anyone else who leaves their s--- lying around.

There are also the trickier to navigate, but equally appreciated, mental load vouchers. Some family member may not even know what this means, so there's no time like Mother's Day to find out.

They may include the very popular 'find your own stuff' and 'sort out your own stuff' vouchers.

You can also sign a statutory declaration that you will be responsible for buying all the birthday and Christmas presents for the family for an entire year.

'Find your own way there' vouchers also free mum up from performing daily taxi duties.

So this Sunday, by all means give her slippers and flowers but tuck one of those vouchers inside so she can really put up her well-dressed feet and stop and smell the roses.



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