My parents came over yesterday afternoon. Dad helped the hubs out on the deck and Mum was dragged all over the house to play a variety of boy games which she has had absolutely no experience of having only had two daughters. I spent the entire morning cleaning the heck out of the house.
I love my mum. I do, I really do. But in the years since I’ve moved out of home, I have gradually come to understand just how anal she is. And I mean that in the most loving of ways.
I never noticed, as a kid, just how tidy and clear of clutter our house was. I didn’t notice the lack of fingerprints on the oven or the lack of baked-on crusties inside it. I remember housework days, but I swear they were only once a week. Our house was just always, miraculously, clean and tidy.
I obviously did not inherit this gene. The clean and tidy gene that makes one want to maintain a spotless house. I love it when my house is shiny and sparkly. It really does make me feel happy. But the lengths I have to go to to achieve that shininess and sparkliness are just not worth it most of the time.
Perhaps two girls are a lot tidier than three boys. I know I can clean the house, turn my back, and the whole lot has magically reversed itself to a state of disgracefulness again. Maybe we didn’t have as many toys, overflowing out of cupboards and spilling out into every single living space in the house.
Maybe the fact that our house is smaller than the one I grew up doesn’t mean there is less to clean, it means that the mess is in your face, all the time.
Maybe (and by maybe I mean probably) the lack of the internet and social media meant that there was a lot more time in the day for cleaning.
Or maybe these days we feel it isn’t enough to ‘just’ be a mum who cooks and cleans and takes care of our family and the home. We also have to be on committees and helping at school and volunteering and starting small businesses.
I know I have a constant internal dialogue with myself about how much time and energy to put into cleaning the house. And an intermittent external dialogue with my mum about it when she visits. I’m yet to find the balance. I am trying though. Kinda.
Are you a housework diva or are there more important things to do?