The household chore I fight for - Chris Hemsworth agrees!
Updated: Oct 14
Gardening… not my forte. Keeping plants alive is a struggle for me. As a kid I had a couple of cacti in little pots. I over watered them. My husband gave me an orchid plant (our wedding flower) as an anniversary gift. I over watered that too. Other plants I’ve been gifted haven’t received enough water and subsequently shrivelled up and died. A plant in my care may as well have a terminal disease.
I grew up viewing the yard as a play space but as for the care of it, that was dad’s job, therefore a man’s job. I had nothing to do with it. Nor did I care too. It didn’t look fun. But then, what chore is?
When I moved out of home, I just accepted that chores were now my responsibility. I moved into my husband’s home and while we never set rules or discussed specifics, I took on all the inside jobs, and left the outdoor stuff to him.
Jump forward a few years, and hubby and I are house hunting, with a toddler in tow and a baby on the way. We find a place that ticks all the boxes, sitting on an acre of nothing. A total blank canvas as far as the yard is concerned. As we negotiate to buy, hubby tells me that if we commit to this, I’m going to have to help out in the yard. With nothing but the house in my sights, I nodded in agreement; because to me, helping in the yard meant contacting the right people to come over and do the work.
Not what hubby meant.
We bought the place and in the first couple of years I was able to get away with excuses such as “the baby needs me”. But babies grow up. Not only that, my two boys were now out in the yard working too. I was out of excuses.
Now this isn’t a story about how I finally tried gardening and suddenly realised what I’d been missing. No, I did the yard work with about as much enthusiasm as all my other household chores - do it because it has to be done. And as the yard slowly began to take shape and look halfway decent, I did start to take pride in it but then, I take pride in a clean house; doesn’t mean I like vacuuming.
So, what is this mysterious chore I actually do like?
Hubby comes home one afternoon with a brand new lawn mower. I immediately think, “he’s bought himself a new toy”. I do the wife thing and go out to inspect the new toy, give it the appropriate amount of praise and attention, and hubby asks me to see if I can get it started. I assumed this was just a game to test my strength. When I get it started (yay for my muscles) hubby says to me, “Great. This is for you.”
My face went blank. Seriously? You bought me a lawn mower? Women don’t mow! I don’t mow!!
But as it turns out, I do mow. Not only that… I LOVE it. It has become therapeutic. The hum of the mower doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I find it has a soothing, white noise effect. Mowing gets me outdoors and provides light exercise. Most importantly, it gives me 40 minutes of head space to think uninterrupted. I can idly walk back and forth while planning, wondering and contemplating just about anything. And since the mower is too noisy to talk over the top of, no one even attempts to talk to me while I’m out there.
I’m not alone in my new found therapy. Chris Hemsworth admitted in a recent interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he too escapes to the lawnmower for some time out. Mind you he has a ride-on mower and his lawn is set against the back drop on Byron Bay. Who wouldn’t find that therapeutic?