There is a small percentage of parents who enjoy housework.
I am not one of them. Except that is, when I am feeling insecure, vulnerable, anxious, or hormonal, and then I OBSESS and MICROMANAGE housework. Instead of facing whatever is really bothering me I zero in on how WRONG the house is, and its cleanliness. I then proceed to yell at everyone to do MORE cleaning and exclaim, "WHY IS IT SO F-ing DRITY AROUND HERE?"
In light of No Housework Day coming up April 7th here are my favorite reminders about the realities of housework.
1. As long as you are living it will never end. So live and love your lived in home. This can be especially difficult when your spouse takes a week of vacation off of work, and now the dishes, laundry and dirt seem to pile up at triple speed. That is what take out is for. Live a little. Use paper plates that week. If it is your sanity or a bit extra trash, although I am all for the environment I am also for sanity. Pick sanity.
2. Your friend's house was just as messy as yours is, but they cleaned it all 15 minutes before you arrived. We all do this. The countertops are never that uncluttered. All of those papers and odd ball items are shoved somewhere in a box under the bed or a drawer that is about to bust open. The floors are never that shiny they just sprayed and walked around in their socks to buff it up. The bathrooms never smell that nice, recall if you can smell bleach then it touched the surfaces of toilet and sinks less than a few hours ago. Accept it. Move on. Be a good friend and tell your pals, "Please don't clean. Really, it will make me feel like less of a domestic failure if you keep it just the way it is."
3. Want less laundry, wear your clothes more days in a row. We all do the sniff test. You pick up a piece of clothing and smell it before putting it on. To me this is the only qualifier for wearing it. A stain is even excusable, "Oh gosh how embarrassing my kid must have spilled something on me." Seriously as a parent we are past the days of washing our clothes after every use. Plus like washing your hair, I hear that washing your clothes that often can be damaging.
4. Stop keeping shit you aren't using. One of the biggest barriers to me in getting rid of stuff was this idea that "It is wasteful to just throw it out, SOMEONE could use this ancient cutting board because it is still functional". There comes a point you have to choose, clutter or living space. Are you making room for new energy or is your junk bogging you down? Purple heart will let you schedule a pick up online and let us declutter our closets which was wonderful for a busy family. Give yourself a deadline of when things need to be donated/picked up/given away and then trash whatever you have left.
5. ASK FOR HELP! You may be the one in your relationship who always does the housework. It just may be your strength. Or if you are a single parent then you feel you have to be the one to do it because your drooling toddler won't. If housework is the bane of your existence then instead of getting in a bad mood because of its ever daunting task, ask for help. Assert yourself and just ask your spouse, a friend, or hire someone to do something for you.... and be specific. When I ask my husband to do a chore, I have to ask him to do it right then and there, otherwise it won't get done. I might say, "I could use your help, do you have a minute? Can you take out the trash, recycling and refill the dog bowls? Thanks so much that lets me focus on (keeping our children and you alive!) making dinner." Be humble and ask for help. I once succumbed to asking my friend to come clean our bathrooms because we were so deep in the early days of parenthood it was gross. She did and it was the most memorable gesture of anyone's friendship from that time in our lives. Give people the gift of allowing them to help you.