I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m not very domestic. I love my house but detest all the mundane things I have to do to keep it running. When I lived at home, my mother never made me do a thing for myself. I would come home to a meal on the table; my clothes washed, ironed and folded, and my room cleaned. On this, when I got married, reality hit like a lightning bolt.
No matter how hard I tried, I could never quite keep up. I couldn't live up to the domestic goddess image that the TV peddled during my formative years. I grew up with shows like ‘Leave it to Beaver’ and ‘Father Knows Best’ that portrayed mothers who never worked outside the home and had plenty of time to clean, bake and spout words of wisdom, all while wearing high heels and pearl necklaces.
I remember my husband lamenting that I didn't cook as well as his mother did, and I cringed with embarrassment when he asked her to teach me. I never did get the hang of it.
I also have many memories of scurrying into hiding whenever the doorbell rang because I was too embarrassed to let visitors see my messy house. I even went through the stage of paying someone else to clean twice a week, though I really couldn't afford it.
But that was then.
Now I don't give a toss. It’s taken me all these years to realise the following truths:
My house was never really that dirty or messy at all. I was trying to live up to an unrealistic image.
My friends and family love and accept me just the way I am, cobwebs and all.
My house is homely, comfortable and welcoming; and visitors always come back again.
I'm not the only one who suffers from this aversion to domestic chores.
It’s easier to openly admit my shortcomings with a smile on my face than to mumble embarrassed apologies.
I'm learning to minimise (and even eliminate) the amount of time I spend on chores (working smarter not harder.)
Housework is the responsibility of everyone who uses the house.
People who judge you by the thickness of the dust layer on your TV are not worth knowing.
I have other skills and talents that I’m proud of, and people will remember me for those and not for my whiter-than-white sheets and sparkling sink.
Here’s a final thought...If you spend only two-hours a day on household chores, five days a week for thirty years, you will have wasted 15,600 hours (that’s 650 days – almost two whole years!)
This article made me laugh, ponder my own attitudes, question my own-self-expectations and feel more comfortable, knowing there are others out there like me! I too, abhor domestic tasks - I think we all do...but am finally learning to live with the comfort of that...people really don't care how messy our place is: the ones who matter, anyway. :)