The housework dilemma

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.

don't turn your back

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?


6 thoughts on “The housework dilemma

  1. House work doesn’t come easy to me either but my husband loves and needs a clean home. I love to have the house all picked up for him for when he arrives home, otherwise I can see the tension in him. Its weird but true, so I always make that effort.

    I always think “wow my mum is so good at cleaning” but then i need to remember she’s had many many years practice on me! Every year i get better and more efficient so I know it will be even easier in a few years.

    Although I don’t have 3 young boys (only a 7mo girl) so I could just be talkin’ out my bum!

    • I am defs more efficient than I was five years ago, but I now have more mess, so it is cancelled out! I think it’s a motivation issue.

      My hubs is the same – he LOVES the house to be clean, but his expectations are a little unrealistic considering the circumstances!

  2. I grew up in a similar household. Two daughters and a mum that was anal about the house being clean. Now my mum gets her cleaning fix whenever she comes over, so much so hubby always asks if my mum came over that day if he comes home to a clean house! Sadly about 80% of the time it’s true!

  3. My mum is shocking ant housework, so I am much cleaner than her, and yet my house is not spotless. Not by a long shot.
    My MIL is incredibly anal but she is also retired and with two people in her five bedroom house, so she has time to clean it.
    I live the house being clean, but I hate that artworks I don’t want anyone to move anything or dirty it up again. Life is meant to be enjoyed.

  4. Oh my goodness! Could have written this post myself. My Mum is the exact same. She only had me and my little brother though (9 years apart), and I have 4 kids within 5 years. Plus she is naturally a clean freak. I wish to be but like you, other things seem more important at the time. Like now, I should be putting the first load of washing on for the day, and instead i am catching up on blogsurfing!

    Oh and I also agree with what Sophie said above, I think I get a little better each year too. Maybe that’s as my kids get older, or maybe I get more efficient, I don’t know but I hope that in 5 more years I am a super housewife!

  5. I have a mother who is anal to the infinity degree with keeping the house spotless. Not one hairpin, speck of dust, or blanket can be put of place. If a blanket lays unfolded on the couch for more than one day, she freaks. She spends 95% of her time at home (after work) picking up anything and everything she sees. She freaks when there is a glass sitting on the counter, even if I have said that I am still using it. It creates unnecessary tension in my relationship with her. She thinks my house is going to be a pigsty. I just don’t want to waste my life worrying about the small things in life. I would rather leave my blanket on the couch and go for a nice walk outside. Help please…. how can we both work together and form a relationship which does not consist of being nagged at 24/7

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