Saturday, May 22, 2010

Thoughts From a Disenchanted Homemaker

Oh man, I am so tired. Exhausted. I haven't been online very much lately, I've just been busy trying to get things done around the house. And trying to get things done is really frustrating. Everything always takes a million years longer than I think it will. Then when I do finally get something done, it's undone almost immediately. This is why I find it futile to actually try most of the time. Whenever I am at the computer I always have that annoying nagging voice in my head telling me that everything would be better and I'd get so much more done if I wasn't on the computer, but that is a big fat lie. Remember the time I went 46 days without the internet? Yeah, still couldn't keep up with everything. And I tried so hard! The house was never perfect. The dishes went undone. I didn't spend as much time with the kids as I'd hoped. I was busy on my feet from the moment I got up until I passed out exhausted at the end of the day. And to top it off I felt lonely and disconnected. At least now when that nagging voice starts on me, I have evidence to say HA! YOU'RE WRONG.

Obviously it would be a problem if all I did all day was sit at the computer, but that's impossible. I do obviously have responsibilities that I have to maintain, and I do. Sometimes I just do the bare minimum, because I know no one cares, and honestly neither do I. Maybe that makes me a bad mom/wife. Really, I'm just a bad housekeeper, I always have been, and for now I'm ok with that. In the end this doesn't matter. My relationships do. Obviously I will do what I need to do at home to get by, like make meals, do my weekly clean, keep up with laundry and the dishwasher (those things right there are a full-time job!). I do need to get a handle on the clutter, and could be a little more motivated to tidy up, but it's not urgent.

To be perfectly honest, I have no desire for a perfectly clean house. I feel uncomfortable in houses where everything is in order, especially when kids live there. I know for some women that's just their thing, and it comes naturally to them (P.S. I hate you, haha), and they care a lot about it and get a lot of satisfaction out of having a nice house. Good for them, seriously. Sometimes I wish I had a better heart to serve my family that way. Like, it's not like I don't serve my family, I DO hold everything together here, and it IS a lot of work. And I like to think that I'm a great cook, and I spoil my family with good food. But for some reason, I like things to get really dirty before I clean them. I guess I just like watching the transformation. I like taking something that is nasty and making it clean. I don't like maintenance cleaning, where is the fun in that? And I hate picking up after other people all the time. So for the most part I just don't.

What I am most guilty of, though, is letting the pots and pans pile up (thank God for my dishwasher who does the rest!). It's not uncommon for me to not do the dishes for a week or more at a time. It's not even that I don't want to, because honestly I HATE that my counters are covered in dirty dishes. But it's my least favourite thing to do. Really, I usually spend at least an hour making supper, do I really want to just turn around and wash all of those dishes? No. I want to sit and eat and then relax for an hour before taking on the impossible task which is bedtime. Then, once that's done, I'm kind of tired from the day, and would rather hang out with Dave and watch Start Trek or a movie, or go online, or fold laundry, or go to bed. I can't seem to figure out a good time of day to do dishes. I guess there's never a good time. It's my least favourite thing to do, so it always gets pushed to the bottom of my list, and of course I never get time to actually finish my to do lists.

Often I end up just washing the dishes as I need them. I do always rinse out my pots & pans before leaving them on the counter, so they're not gross or growing things, but they still look awful, taking up all of my precious counter space. I really want to start making bread, but I haven't because I never have the space. Then when I do take an afternoon and do up the dishes, by the time I'm done, there's no time for making bread or anything. And by the time I do have time, the kitchen is a mess again... In our old place the kitchen wasn't big enough for 2 people, so Dave never had to help (and it's not like he would do the dishes himself!). But now it's plenty big. Even if he could dry them for me, it would be a huge help! It's so annoying having to wash a sink full, then dry it and put it away so I can wash more. Plus I tend to get distracted by other urgencies, so then later when I finally get back to it, the water is cold and yucky. It would be great if we could get into a routine where we just did them together every night or something. We could have some "couple" time at the same time. I think it's a great idea! Hopefully Dave will agree. I know it will be hard when he goes back to work and is tired, but hey, I'm always tired, I just don't have a choice!

So, all that just to say I've been really busy lately working hard on house stuff, and it seems really futile. I think for some women, homemaking is just their thing, and they can rock it, and that's awesome. I really respect that and look up to them. But I don't think that is really what I was meant to do. I do think I was meant to be a mother, and taking care of the house is just a necessary evil that goes with it. Only when I resist this evil, it doesn't flee. Maybe some day I will get the hang of it. Probably just in time for us to take off to another country again, or maybe we will be able to buy a bus and live in it and travel North America. That would be awesome! Or move to a country where most of the living is done outside.

Lately I've been getting so tired of our culture. As a mom I feel like I'm expected to strive for the American dream. Like if I have any other ideas, it's negligent towards my children. But since when do cars and big (clean) houses and toys mean anything? It's easy to get caught up in the superficial things. I honestly hate it all. Maybe that's part of my problem with cleaning, I hate this culture so I am rebelling against it in my own way.

I find I honestly identify better with poor people (probably because I am kind of poor too, although I never "feel" poor because I know in reality I am very rich compared to the rest of the world, and I never take that for granted). I feel much more comfortable in a redneck's house than in the suburbs. I'd rather live around dead animals and junk than a clean house and a fake smile. I think I just like messy people (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritally, etc). And I honestly am one, myself. If I walk into someone's house and it's a mess, I actually feel really comfortable, and like I can trust them. Like they might be able to understand and accept me. Creative people tend to be messy. I like messy.

So, there is my deep, philisophical thought for the day. And my excuse du jour for being a lousy housekeeper (although lately I have honestly been trying to not allow myself any excuses!). I know a lot of you hear me on this, so I want you to know that you're not alone. And that it's ok that you're on facebook right now instead of washing the dishes, ha!


Grace@ MammaInTheScene said...

here! here! I am so not a fan of housekeeping. and you'd think I'd be better at it in my tiny home, where I don't have to even do the dishes all the time.
--you would think...

the Martin family said...

I loved, loved, LOVED this post - every single word. I adore your honestly. I have felt the exact same way for the last oh, five years or so. Off & on. I would love to be one of those awesome housekeepers but I really just don't think its in me. I just don't care enough, and since nobody around here seems to notice or appreciate anything I do, then what's the point? It would be different if people acted appreciative, but nobody does, so why bother? Haha. Anyway, I just love you. I would LOVE to come sit on your couch and be messy with you. :)