Long before I had children and even before I was married, I said that the only thing domestic about me was that I lived in a house. I hate housework and don’t understand those souls who seem to derive so much pleasure from scrubbing toilets and washing baseboards. So it surprised everyone including me and my husband when I became a stay at home mom. Visions of June Cleaver, Carol Brady and Ma Ingalls filled my head – could I vacuum wearing pearls?
No, I’m closer to Morticia Adams than to any of them. And this realization made me understand that I am seriously uneducated in the methods of home economics.
I’m not saying that I didn’t know how to clean. Everyone can take a rag and a bottle of cleaner and clean like crazy, but I was completely unprepared for the daily routines and just general busy-ness needed to maintain a home.
My mother worked at least part-time for a lot of my childhood so I don’t remember her as housewife. And as I’ve mentioned before, she also hated cleaning and housework with her involved the whole family pitching in to get the house in order before holidays or before company came over. I am a champion of crisis cleaning and can stuff more junk into closets and under beds than you can possibly imagine.
After I married, both John and I worked full time outside the home. We’d tackle the housework in the same way that my mom did: long marathons just before company or when the kitchen was threatened with closure by the local sanitation department. I tell the absolute truth when I admit to drinking milk out of a vase because we didn’t have any clean glasses.
Once I became a full time mommy, I had to learn to do all those things. I’m still learning. My house is mostly clean and on it’s way to being completely decluttered. I have cleaning routines and I rarely crisis clean. I still have a long way to go but feel like it’s not overwhelming.
But for the record, we still call it "excavating" the kitchen.