Sunday, July 11, 2010

Princess Diaries

Because I am a contender for the "Worst Housewife in the history of Houses and Wives" award, Dave and I decided that a cleaning lady was probably a good idea.  There a few things in my world that I sit with and ponder on a daily basis (no doubt things that I should probably be doing something about rather than pondering).  One of the issues that resurfaces daily without fail is what I feel is my handicap for cleaning.  I feel very much stuck about it because frankly I'm tired of how much psychological stress it causes me.  For me, it's really boiled down to quite a simple question: would I like to admit that I suck at keeping a clean house and hire someone to help me, or should I just continue to torture myself with berating self-talk about my slothfulness in the hopes that it will eventually motivate me to change?

I was recently over at a friend's (spotless) house and she casually explained that since giving birth to her daughter, she has become anal when it comes to the cleanliness of her floors.  It was the kind of comment that wasn't really the point of whatever she was saying, but I couldn't get past it.  I asked her how I could get anal too.  Make me anal!! I want  clean floors without paying someone else to do it too! More importantly, I want to WANT to make my floors clean! Then my mind decided that I must obviously be a terrible mother for not caring what kind of floor my son crawls on all day.  I mean, I do dustbust the floor everyday to get rid of edible (and more importantly, I guess, inedible) little dangers, but wet-cleaning it? Daily? It's not in me! What would my grandmother say? When my grandmother invites us over, she always makes sure to mention that she cleaned her floor today just for us.  I don't have the heart to tell her that it's ok - she doesn't have to worry about it if it's just for us.  Then I'm racked with double-shame: first for the fact that my 89-year old grandmother washes her own floors more often that I do, and second, for not explaining to her that she can rest up today; no washing is necessary for these visitors.

So, seriously.  Am I a bad person for being bad at cleaning? I never had to do "chores" while growing up - my family had a cleaning lady that took care of all that for us.  Is this where my handicap came from, or was I born without the clean gene? I do like things to be tidy, but I don't seem to notice the progression from clean to dirty until it's too late and the project is an overwhelming mess.  Why can't I be one of those people that gets joy out of tidying up a room and moving on to the next? Better yet, why can't I be one of those people that gets joy out of keeping everything neat and tidy so that the overwhelming mess never happens in the first place? 


Pinkmin said...

I did have "chores" to do while growing up, and yet ... I found myself in the exact same mess (literally) as you! After many, many months of trying to clean up after ourselves and not make a mess in the first place we have also just admitted defeat and hired a cleaning lady.

Don't feel bad, I'm sure that you'd rather spend the free time that you have with your son ... just like I'd rather spend mine with my daughter. In my opinion, that makes you a far better mother than the mere feat of keeping the floors clean all on your own.

bathory said...

Roomba. The robot that vacuums on a regular schedule and will set you free! (but we also have a cleaning lady for everything else ;)