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CQ househusband: ‘It’s not fair to leave it to the ladies’

CLEANING UP: Since retiring, Malcolm Wells has taken over the domestic duties at home as his wife continues to work.
CLEANING UP: Since retiring, Malcolm Wells has taken over the domestic duties at home as his wife continues to work. Chris Ison Rokchome

ARMED with a feather duster and a keen eye for creases, Yeppoon's Malcolm Wells is taking on the nation's outdated gender roles.

The retiree has been a self-professed "house husband" for the past three years, and said he had been busier than ever since taking charge over the domestic domain.

With his wife working full-time at CQUniversity, Malcolm said he just didn't see the sense in her having to do it all while also working until 7pm.

"I do all the housework, shopping and cooking because she works full-time and she is very busy," he said.

"A lot of women tell me 'good on you', but not too many blokes have put their hands up.

"I think I am a traitor to the cause for some of them."

But that doesn't bother Malcolm, who said the move suited their lives, and wasn't all that different to how their marriage was before his retirement.

"We have divided the labour in a way that suits our lives. The fact is, even when I was working full-time, I always did my share of household chores," he said.

"Why should housework be designated as 'woman's work'? We all live in the house, we all enjoy the amenities, why not share the workload?"

The so-called "role reversal" is indicative of a cultural shift in Australia, with figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealing that the number of Australian stay-at-home dads has almost doubled over the past decade from 57,900 to 106,000.

While Malcolm is an empty nester, he does hope an even division of labour in the household is something that continues to become the norm.

Household help

Top tidying tips:

Start at the top of the room

Remember the furniture

Dust your bulbs

Open the windows

Topics:  cleaning housework retiree


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