Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On Cleaning House

We try to give our house a thorough top to bottom cleaning at least once a month.

On a good month there is spot/maintenance cleaning work done throughout the rest of the month.

On a bad month....

I have never kept track but if I had to guess there are probably more bad cleaning months than there are good ones.

We do pretty well keeping the house straightened up, because clutter stresses me out.

Because of our good straightening up habits, I would guess that the average visitor would say I keep a really clean house.

I however would say the person making such a statement is a big ol' liar liar with flaming pants on fire. Or perhaps I would accuse them of being delusional depending on the day and my maturity level at the time.

I really dislike cleaning house as I would guess most people do.

We have a two story house that is over 100 years old. There is a finished attic, and a shit ton of woodwork. It is beautiful woodwork. Big trim, built in bookcases and china cabinet. Beamed ceiling in the dining room.

So cleaning the house even with two adults, one teenager, and one 10 year old takes us pretty much a full day to complete if we are doing things right.

That is a day I am pretty much guaranteed to be grouchy.

I have some very negative associations with house cleaning.

When I was growing up it was always a HUGE source of contention among family members. My mother was/is very particular about cleaning. She was not always very nice about sharing her opinions on the work we did, and the rest of the family was not always nice back. There was almost always arguments, resistance, and hurt feelings. As a coping mechanism I eventually learned to just power through and get the shit done so I could leave and not have to deal with everyone's dysfunction.

My children as children are wont to do, complain mightily about having to clean. Particularly #2. Man she hates to clean. I would guess that she hates it more than I do. Clean and orderly just are NOT on her priority list.

My husband patient saint that he is, has worked to do things to make cleaning fun and bearable for the children. This involves things like making a game out of it, lots of breaks, etc.

I am in full awe of his ability to do what I just described above. Because I. Can't. Do. That.

In fact it makes me crazy. I know that what he is doing is right. I know that it is better for the kids. No matter how I try, I just can't bring myself to join in on the fun. It makes me sad. However, I have learned that trying to do it their way just makes me want to tear my hair out one strand at a time.

So I deal with my sadness, do my power through, and let him deal with the kids on cleaning tasks.

It ain't one of my prouder mother moments, but it works, and in the end the house is clean, and I haven't yelled or hurt any feelings.

So all in all... win. I guess.

But if I had my druthers....

We would hire cleaning fairies to do the work and go see a movie instead.

I am almost NEVER grumpy at the movies.

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