Clint Edwards, owner of No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog, told an eye-opening story in a Facebook post. He was chatting on the phone with his mom while doing the dishes, when she asked him a simple question: "Doesn't it bother you that Mel won't keep a cleaner house?"
Stunned by her question, Edwards didn't quite know how to respond at first. He knew his mom had good intentions and was genuinely curious about whether a messy house bothered him, but he was confused about why that would matter compared to everything else in their marriage.
As he struggled for words, he recalled the words his father said to him at a young age. Edwards said, "I didn't know my father all that well, but I do remember him giving me this advice about picking a wife: 'Stop by her house unexpected. See how it looks in there. You can tell a lot about a woman by how she keeps her house.'"
This might sound bizarre to young parents now, but it used to be the standard. Wives were expected to keep a clean house, while husbands were expected to work and provide for the family.
Edwards then reflected on why he married his wife. He said, "Unlike my father, I didn't really think about a clean house when I married my wife. I thought about how I liked what she had to say. I thought about how she made me feel. I thought about how she smiled a lot. I liked that. I thought about how she was sweet and thoughtful, and how she seemed like the kind of mother I'd want for my children."
He didn't care whether his house was always company-ready, or if there was "kid clutter, dishes in the sink and half-finished art projects on the counter." He said in his post, "It isn't as clean as my mother's home, but that doesn't bother me. In fact, I don't really think about that at all."
Edwards doesn't blame his parents for thinking this way. He completely understands that his mother was part of the baby boomer generation, and that's how things were for them. But, Edwards sees his marriage as a partnership and said, "Cleaning is as much my responsibility as it is [my wife's]."
After taking a few moments to collect his thoughts after his mother asked the seemingly innocent question, Edwards came up with the perfect response. He said, "I didn't get into this marriage for a clean house. I got into it because she seemed like someone I could spend my life with."
After a moment of silence, his mom responded, "Well … that probably is more important than a clean house."