Posted by: rocketbride | August 14, 2012

july doesn’t feel so good

I have a very fraught relationship with housework. On one hand, I grew up during the years when white middle class women taught their daughters to be equal to men, and therefore to share housework. A lot of second wave feminism seemed to hate the very idea of housework, and I certainly grew up to hate how it took me away from fun things. As an adult, I’m in the bad habit of taking too much responsibility for the house, which is something of a hold-over from the days after the Boy left, when I was totally responsible for the house and kid, and the kid wasn’t big enough to help out. Also, I frequently wish I were more like my grandmother, who was unfailingly energetic and kept a house as neat as a pin, which she freshened with new paint and wallpaper periodically.

I’d like to say that I have an evolved perspective on housework, or that three kids make it impossible, but the truth is that I’m just not very good at keeping everything clean. I get distracted, I get lazy, I spend days doing errands or gallivanting around Toronto. Sometimes Maggie takes up my whole day, despite being the best baby in the world. This morning my living room looked like July threw up in it. There was a pile of dirty camp laundry; an open, half-unpacked suitcase; a huge camera bag; a backpack full of Blake’s dirty clothes; books in piles; and shoes and toys liberally strewn throughout. Mason tends to use one of the bookshelves as a bureau, emptying his pockets as soon as he walks through the door and filling the space in front of the books with change and balled up receipts. I like to collect medicine receipts, banking contracts, and Blake’s educational history in a loose wad on another bookshelf. There’s a storage box half-filled with stuff from the shelf that used to be in the kitchen, and now lives in the dining room. Mail gets everywhere. There are little bits of yarn under everything. And five days of drizzle put me in a sleepy mood.

I worked really hard today, and I got a lot done. It’s nowhere close to being clean, but tomorrow morning when my parents’ cleaning lady comes over, I should be able to let her in a few rooms without shame.

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