Monday, November 15, 2010

Housework random thoughts

Here's a couple of things I actually HAVE learnt along the way about housework.

- You do get more efficient the longer you do it - and more strategic. 'What do I need to do to make it feel OKish?'

- There is hope for those at home with toddlers.  It gets easier to keep the house clean as they get older, simply because my kids aren't actually in the house during the day when they are at school.  I do find that the house gets pretty messy on the weekends/school holidays, but we usually do a big clean-up on Sunday afternoon - they get allocated a 'space' each - watching a favourite TV show is usually the incentive.

- The kid's bedrooms are the worst mess now.  It's where they keep all their 'precious' things (aka bits of junk, bits of craft, bits of whatever), the girls get changed multiple times a day and I'm reluctant to go through their stuff without them being around.  I feel like it's the only space they have any control over so I'm reconciling myself to living with bedrooms that are less than my ideal.

- The kids actually are able to do more to help - so if we need to do a desperate clean up we can do it pretty quickly.  I just find all the complaining about doing it, tiring (which makes me a poor mother, I know, I know - they should just be obedient etc. etc)

- And here's last thing I've thought about.  You could spend hours having an immaculate house but be a miserable mum because you don't want the kids to mess it up (which I have done when we're having people over for a meal - I become the crazy 'touch anything kids and you'll die' Mum).  Or you can try and reconcile yourself thinking, 'well, this is life with kids, they won't be here forever and I don't want to be cranky with them all the time because I'm worried about keeping the house tidy'.

Of course, I do have friends who, amazingly, manage a lovely tidy house and remain a lovely, kind mother. Wish I was them but hey ...  I'm not quite there yet!

7 comments:

Motherhugger said...

My mother had seven kids and she would regularly tell us to pick up ten bits of fluff/leaf/dirt off the carpet which we would present to her before being given our dinner. Our house was neater because we just didn't have heaps of stuff.

I've looked at housework every which way. Keeping records and making a plan like running a business. Playing music and making it fun. Sending everyone out while I clean up in an angry frenzy. Doing it as a blessing for the family or giving it up in honour of the women who have done domestic work before me. All just tricks. Nothing can make me like doing housework.

Maybe we could have housework swaps, because I'm sure I'd much rather clean someone else's house than my own.

The best way to do it with other people. Having someone to talk to and work with. Or knowing that everyone does their share. Doing housework is just part of life and everyone has to do it, no matter where they are or who they live with and you just do it. Together.

Motherhugger said...

And, (I told you I've thought a lot about this) the part I particularly hate is the decision making. What to keep and what to throw, and where to throw it. If I keep, where to keep it. That's a problem. Trying to keep things out of landfill makes housework harder. Reduce, reuse, recycle - I need to simply reduce, and don't let anything else into the house. All those piles of clutter are decisions deferred, because I don't want to contribute to landfill. But we can't keep everything , and don't have the time to refashion everything we could still use, and don't want to live in a dump.

I've been looking for inspiration here

http://zerowastehome.blogspot.com/

Jenny said...

I agree - the less stuff we have the less there is to pick up/put away/find a place for. My pet hate: white elephant stalls when the kids come back with all their 'bargains'!

Catherine said...

I feel that way about toys. I DREAD all the rubbish we will get at Christmas - as if there isn't already enough.

I find the reconciling myself to the mess the hardest. I try to remind myself that, for little ones at least, their play is their work, and it's just as important as my work. Just glad to hear that they get better at cleaning up as they get older (though I SO HEAR you about the constant whining being exahausting).

Motherhugger said...

I'm so glad we're over the toy stage. Kids are getting books, cds and experiences for Christmas.

Sandra said...

It's interesting you find it easier to keep the house clean now the kids are older - I'm finding it harder, probably because I'm working more and they're doing more things. I found it all much more contained when they were little - the only mess was their toys - now it is books, bits of school work, the endless bits of paper the school sends home (why on earth don't they use email like the rest of the world) and random bits of sporting equipment.

Karen H. said...

"Or you can try and reconcile yourself thinking, 'well, this is life with kids, they won't be here forever and I don't want to be cranky with them all the time because I'm worried about keeping the house tidy'".
Hey Jenny, this is how my dr is challenging me to think! Well done on already being 'there'. Pray for me as I try to change and be more flexible and less rigid. ie fight the fights with the kids that really matter and let the rest go! It's not worth it... And afterall what does it matter?