Friday, 12 April 2013

You know you're a bad housewife when....

You know you're a bad housewife when.........

  • cleaning reveals new dirt.  You know what I mean?  You clean the benchtops of clutter and suddenly it becomes glaringly obvious that the oven door needs a clean.  Or you wash the floor and that causes the architraves to look grubby.

  • you clean the bathroom and the kids walk in and say "WOW!"

  • dirt is invisible!  You don't even know the house is dirty until someone's coming.

  • You have the same jobs on the To Do list day after day after day.

  • when one of those jobs is 'find the dining room table'!

  • when cleaning the shower weekly doesn't seem as important as attending craft weekly (or spinning, gardening club, photography...)

Things have been terrible around here for the whole term.  It began when I was getting the kids organised before the start of school.  I was making pencil cases, lunch bags, snack bags, labelling pencils....  Within a week our dining table was buried.  When the term began I still hadn't finished some new sandwich wraps so I didn't want to pack away the sewing machine.  It was also my first term with all the kids at school and my expectations of the extra time I would have was unrealistic.  Let's face it.  I was already doing heaps when Pumpkin was home!  I took on stuff that took me away from housework.  So now, not only was the table missing but I had no time left to find it.  
The lunch bags I made with frozen inserts to keep food cool
I didn't enjoy managing without the table because I've always placed importance on eating meals together. The evening is a lovely time of day to talk and stay informed on what is happening with each family member. I didn't like going a whole term without sitting at the table together.
However we've have had a lovely time over the school holidays.  We have been at home 80% of the time.  We've enjoyed spending time together, had a couple of nice outings and I've managed to work very hard at getting the house back on track.  I enlisted the children's help and they've been great!  In fact, you can see they feel very good about themselves when they are helping to keep the household functioning.

We've only had a couple of hiccoughs with the helping.  I've already shared one incident and the other taught me to be VERY specific! I had a box of tomatoes in the kitchen.  I'd used them to make sauce and soup etc., but when we were down to the last couple they were over ripe and a bit yukky. I was busy trying to clean the kitchen floor and wanted them out of the kitchen until I had time to put them in the bin.  So I said to Buddy Boy, "Can you put those tomatoes out on the back verandah?"   He DID!!!
 I should have said, "Could you please leave the tomatoes in the box and put them on the back verandah."  Very amusing!

I feel (nearly) organised as we start preparing for another term and it's a good feeling.  Next term I must remember to prioritise homemaking because it really matters to me.  I will never be a clean freak completely organised person however it feels good when the place is clean, the kids are organised and I have some structure to my days.  Running around stresses me whereas creating a cosy and comfortable environment for my family calms me.  I love to cook nice meals and create things for my children (like the pencil cases etc.) and that only happens if I'm home most of the time.  I am in awe of people who seem to manage their homes with ease and I hope this term I will stay at home more, keep on top of things and manage more time doing the things that I see as important.
I would love to hear tips on how you stay sane organised with children in the house.


Lynda D said...

I only have two at home, two Aspie's who do very little housework and so after years of banging my head against a wall (ouch) the only one hurting was me. Now i accept those webs in the corner, the dust on the shelves and yes, the dinner table always covered with something. My bestie is always commenting on this and that and making a point that she is going home to clean, but guess what, her family spends more time (including her) at my house than their own. This is where we eat and play. So im enjoying my mess and thank goodness (only in this regard) that my mother and sisters live interstate.

theroadtoserendipity said...

I think you will find that the majority of those wonderful capable homemakers are A. fibbing and B. don't exist ;). I gave up on perfection when Steve decided that he loved dogs and wanted them to live inside the house with us. One dog sheds and the other one sheds CONSTANTLY and has mad fits of running around where he needs to careen off more "houseproud" for me! I am just happy when I can find some food on my plate that hasn't already developed a nice patina of dog hair ;). Your words are those of the masses and we all just want a comfortable space that we can be happy in, stress free and hopefully nourish our kids, ourselves and our minds. I LOVE your lunch boxes! As someone who doesn't know one end of a sewing machine from another (my early home Ec. teacher will sigh and verify that ;) ) I completely admire people who are adroit with thread. Love this blog :)

veggiegobbler said...

I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes I spend an entire day fixing and cleaning the house only to have everyone come home and mess it up again. But I do find myself very cranky when the house is a mess so I try and do a turbo tidy first thing most mornings. If I don't get round to cleaning the bathroom or whatever it doesn't matter so long as the clutter is gone. Oh and the dining table is my big thing. My monkey man just dumps everything on it and uses it as his desk. Which drives me absolutely nutso.

purplepear said...

It's a long time since I had children in the house and when I did I didnt know the inmportance of living the way we do now, so things seemed easier(not sure that's the right word) but I know that now my house can very easily become like you've described your own, now, without the children. I am always amazed and impressed by families who have chosen this slightly less conventional lifestyle and how well you all managae. Yes I do feel so much better when the house is functioning well but a lot of the time it's not. I also don't notice it so much until visitors are expected. I remeber the story of the frog placed in cold water who doesn't jump out as the water starts to heat up because he just gets used to it until it's too late. I sometimes feel like that frog when it comes to housework. It just creeps up around me until it's too late and it sends me insane!

Ali M said...

I know how you feel. I thought I would have more time to myself when both were at school!! I find that after I clean up half the day is gone! But a friend said to me recently the dust and mess is very patient and is always waiting for me! How comforting to know that its always there for me!!! I pointed to the dust this morning to my husband and he said once you wipe it another lot returns! Never ends...

Tracey said...

Ha! Your house sounds like mine! I try not to stress about it. It gets a really good clean and tidy when I can, and each day I do the essentials and a bit extra. But mostly it is a mess. I'm all for happy kids, taking time out each evening and spending more time doing stuff (gardening, craft, cooking, playing) rather than tidying. I do freak out when I know visitors are coming, but a woman once said to me - you excuse the state of my home and I promise to excuse yours. I often think of that and remember that we all live in our own homes in a state that works for us, and honestly, that's none of anyone else's business!

And I love the very literal putting the tomatoes on the verandah - frustrating I'm sure, but super cute!

Linda said...

Sorry guys! I responded to all your comments individually the other day. For some reason my comment hasn't come up. Thanks for your comments and I'm working on being able to let people see my messes without stressing.

Road to serendipity, I received you comment through my emails but it hasn't come up on my blog. Thank you for your kind words and you've made me feel grateful I don't have dog hair to contend with!