Saturday, March 28, 2009
Not So Neetzy's Cleaning Kwerks
Poetikat challenged me to write about my cleaning quirks. Well Kat, the truth is.... I HATE to clean house.
I will explain.
My mother was an absolute, impeccable housekeeper. We had, (no lie) the neatest, cleanest house in the neighborhood. If one of us were to leave our sneakers in the living room, Mom would put them away before we could. (Shazza will attest to this).
I was born with a rebellious nature.
To justify my messy house, I say I am fighting traditional gender stereotypes.
At one point in my life I tried to fit the traditional stay-at-home, perfect housekeeper type. I failed. I really TRIED but I failed. I became exhausted. My mother-in-law and sisters-in-law criticised my housekeeping abilities. They criticised my parenting abilities, they criticized the clothing I chose for my children. They criticized the fact that I bought my kids' clothing and toys from yard sales and consignment shops to save money. When I decided to go back to school to get my teaching degree, they criticized that too. They wouldn't let me play any reindeer games.
That was the one time in my life when I experienced true depression. That was the one time in my life that I was prescribed happy pills.
After I completed my teaching degree I decided that the first thing I would do when I got a full time job was to hire a housekeeper. I did exactly that.
She only comes every other week, but she cleans the things that I hate to clean. I do clean the every day stuff, like dishes and counters and clutter clearing, etc. Jackie does the heavy tub scrubbing, toilet scrubbing, floor washing, dust bunny round-up etc.
Husband does the laundry. He didn't like the way I washed his clothes, so he got the job.
Daughters help with daily cleaning, dishes, clutter cleaning, wiping counters, taking out the trash, etc.
So my house is "lived in". We have two kids, two dogs, one cat and we live in the country. We have lots of mud around the house. We get mud in the house.
We are extremely busy. Husband and I both work full time, we are both taking grad classes, and we both have "businesses" on the side. Our kids are in music lessons, junior symphony, riding lessons, musical practice, etc. Our kitchen island is usually buried under papers at the end of a typical "work week". On the weekends, if I have time off, I do not want to "clean". Besides, after enduring the criticism of my in-laws, I realized that I am not good at cleaning. My mother-in- law used to brag that her mother would make her daughters wash the kitchen floor every morning before school. Why?
I do not want to be remembered for my immaculate housekeeping abilities.
Several years ago, I decided that time was more valuable than money. I also realized that my catty sister-in-laws were not worth worrying about. Besides, Jackie needs the money.
Because I hired Jackie, I can paint when I have a free Saturday.
I do my best cleaning when I'm expecting company. So, if any of you plan to visit, I will clean for you. (If it is not to your standards, I'm sorry. I'm not very good at it).