Thursday, 14 June 2007

Back on the chain gang

I want to write about something near and dear to my heart: housework or actually my hatred of housework. Boring subject, I know. Like talking about brushing your teeth or changing your sheets.

The reason I'm writing about this is because when I turned the key yesterday and walked into my house, the first thing I saw was filth. The same filth I'd left, only more of it. My husband would argue that at least it was tidy. Not much. So today I've spent a bit of time defilthing my bathroom and the kitchen floor. So much more needs to be done, but here I sit writing this. That's because I consider housework to be something to do in between everything else I do.

How can you do that? I hear people say. Aren't you a housewife? Yes, and a very bad one. I'm a better mother, cook, and gardener. I used to have cleaners when the house was up for sale, two women who came once a week and started at the top of house and swished and wiped their way down for 2 hours and £30. When we took the house off the market, I decided to get rid of the cleaners because I realised I was cleaning the house for the cleaners. Now I hardly clean at all, but I'm £30 better off.

Part of the problem is that I live in a largish house. I just look at all that needs doing and go and hide. And the irony is that I was a better cleaner when I worked because it was a pleasant diversion from my job. No hassles and you could always see the fruit of your labours. Then I got married, stopped working, and had children. And pets. Children and pets are a bad combination. What one brings through the front door, the other brings in through the back. I have a cat who brings in half the garden on her tail, then flicks it all over the kitchen. I have a son who believes in wearing the same clothes all week long (boy time, he tells me, is different from girl time -- he's wise beyond his years). I have a daughter who clogs up her bathroom sink with hair -- lots of long, yucky hair. My husband can't get blamed much because he's hardly here. However, he has a study that I don't even go into because I can't open the door for all his junk.

I guess if I didn't care about having a clean house, it wouldn't bother me. But I do care actually. I watch that How Clean Is Your House? program, and get up and clean a bathroom afterwards.

And now that's what I have to do -- go clean a bathroom! Someone has to do it, I suppose.


debio said...

My husband washed up a few dishes this lunchtime - willingly, in good humour, and well.

I said 'thank you for doing the dishes'.

What? How stupid am I? Is doing the dishes my job? Is it something he did for ME?

It's not as if we don't have a maid; I shall train her to say thank you to him, I think.....

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

My husband always does the dishes, I have to admit, if he's home. And I'm training my son to do them too. It's just the other stuff.

lady macleod said...

No no no! Don't ever let the cleaning people go. My theory on this is that I employ a housekeeper as part of the world movement toward capitalism and democracy (or a benevolent monarchy, as I rather like having a Queen). I have someone do my laundry in that same generous vein of thought. See I'm just too bloody good to be true aren't I? A regular Mother Teresa, but with better skin. and taller, and better clothes..but you get the idea.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

But I felt guilty going out to the gym while they cleaned my house. So now I go out to the gym and no one cleans my house.

Anonymous said...

hello im bit sad i love cleaning any sort i am not keen on doing the dishes but any think else love , do you want a hand jep

The Queen said...

Could we be married to the same man? Mine seems to share the same indifference to cleaning as yours does.

His office? I used to tidy it up, but it's got an automatic decleaner, so I stopped bothering.

When he does manage to voluntary "lend a hand" (usually following a good tongue-lashing), it's barely noticeable. I'm often forced to re-clean.

As for doing the dishes -- he loads the dishwasher every blue moon (usually following a good tongue-lashing).

Stay at home dad said...

I do the childcare (with help of nursery), dishwashing (with help of dishwasher), cooking (part-cooked packets figure largely) and pay the cleaner out of my part-time work pittance. Nothing is clearly defined any more it seems to me.

DJ Kirkby said...

We both work full time and clean part time, seems to work well for us! Good sex, wine and blogging (not all at the same time I hasten to add) is much more fun than an imacculately clean house, plus there is a lot of truth in what you said about children and cats!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Julie: Welcome. Do you live in the Northwest? Maybe you could come over and help me clean.

The Queen: My husband does do the dishes, but he never has cleaned a toilet once in the time I've known him.

SAHD: How come you pay for the cleaner? Sounds unfair to me.

DJ: You're right. An immaculately clean house isn't fun.

Pixie said...

After the first two year the dust doesn't get any worse. And the secret is if you move anything put it back exactly where it was so no-one will notice the dust build up around it.

No one knows what a housework slut i am. I'm with dj in what is more fun to do.