Many a blog have been written by me about my poor housekeeping skills. My mother continues to nag about it, and has suggested I write about it, yet again, for the past two days. Instead, I’m going to blog about the top five reasons housework doesn’t get done. Because I can, and possibly, to shut her up (and I mean that in the nicest of ways).
1) I fear my lack of physical stamina to complete the task.
As you may or may not know, I’m a big girl. I’m a very big girl that doesn’t exercise, parks as close as possible at the store, avoids stairs like the plague, and in general doesn’t move around much. I also have asthma and smoke (no lecture needed…I know it’s bad), so my lungs are further compromised. I get out of breath while dancing around, getting dressed in the morning. My back tightens into an immovable ball after doing dishes for 30 minutes. My feet ache constantly. And I don’t like to feel this way, and most household tasks leave me feeling this way. Most days, I can power through cleaning the kitchen, picking up odds and ends and putting them away, taking out the trash, changing around the laundry, making my bed, and going to the grocery store. I just talk myself into it, and it’s done, and it doesn’t require so much effort that I am in a lot of pain or severely winded. Pretty much the rest of required household tasks DO leave me in a lot of pain and/or severely winded, so I avoid, avoid, avoid, until it’s an emergency and then I need help.
2) I get distracted easily.
My mom tells a story about my inability to focus on cleaning and picking up my room when I was very small, and how my grandmother would always come over and sit on my bed, and lead me through the cleaning process step by step: “Rose, now come and put away these books. Rose, stop reading and put them on the bookshelf. Rose, stop climbing on the bookshelf and put this stuffed bear away.” You get the idea. I think needing that direction when I was young was ok, but now I almost need it as an adult. I flail around when left to my own devices, but if DSB or my mom is to go through with me and say, “Okay, now clean the kitchen, and when you’re done, sweep the dining room and kitchen floors,” then I can manage better. When I’m faced with a completely dirty and disorganized house, with the ENTIRE house being that way, I get extremely overwhelmed. I really have to break things down into small steps, and it greatly helps when someone checks in on me to keep me on track, as much as I hate to admit it.
3) I have a lot of other interests.
This might sound like it goes under the category of number two, but I feel it is distinctly separate. There are a lot of things I am interested in and that I spend considerable amounts of time doing. The first and foremost reason I put off housework, is to spend time with DSB. If he isn’t outside working, I am with him. Usually this works well, because he is only inside for a couple of hours in the morning and then is outside until 4:00 or 5:00. When that happens, I have most of the day to attend to chores (hypothetically) and other interests I am pursuing. When he is in for the day, pretty much every productive thing I intended to do that day is shot. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but it’s how it is. I also am very into blogging and following (and commenting on) other blogs. I read quite a bit. I like to spend time with my Dad every week, and do something with Mom often. I also have a j-o-b that takes me out for the meat of the day, three days a week. I always have errands to run here and there, and I often am doing some therapy-related thing. These things all take time away from cleaning, because I consider them to be more important. I’m not saying that’s the best mindset to take, but again, it is what it is.
4) Cleaning floors frustrates, irritates, and confuses me.
I have two wonderful dogs, and one of those dogs is a big shedder. I also have a medium sized back yard that, thanks to said dogs, is a mud pit pretty much year round, unless we’re in a drought. If we are in a drought, it is made up of a very fine, powdery, dusty dirt. With two dogs, and all that mud and dust, and dog hair, my floors don’t stay clean long. Maybe 24 hours tops, if I’m lucky. And within a few days and sometimes a few minutes, they are so dirty that they inspire fear in even the most fastidious of cleaners, QoB. She has literally said, and I quote, “If my floors were like this every day, after every time it rained or didn’t rain, I would cry. I would just cry.” She is also amazed at the amount of dog hair that accumulates in even a tiny period of time. As am I. So, when it comes time to clean floors, it’s always a big mess, and you always have to mop twice, if not three times for them to come clean, and then even then sometimes they’re not really clean and you’re just left feeling confused. And it lasts maybe 24 hours, as I said. Who would that not frustrate?
5) DSB does not want QoB to help me unless I’m desperate.
This is perhaps the most vexing of all. My mom knows me. She knows I need a little push, a little foot up the ass. She knows it helps immensely if she comes over and even just directs me and gives suggestions. She knows how I get overwhelmed and, unlike DSB, she is empathetic. DSB thinks I just need to “suck it up and do it.” He doesn’t get it, and he admits that he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand how it is so overwhelming that it paralyzes me. He doesn’t understand why it takes me so long to clean when I do clean. He says he can clean the house from top to bottom in two hours. I know that is not possible, if you’re doing a good job. When Mom does come over and help, whether it’s her actually helping me clean or her just giving me a pep talk, it is unbelievably helpful and there is no way I can repay her in any sense of the word. Things get done when Mom is there. Mom doesn’t want to make DSB mad, so I think a lot of times she doesn’t help when she otherwise would. Recently, she came over and helped me get the house clean, and DSB didn’t even say anything about it. Maybe he is beginning to understand how vital that direction, even that direct assistance is. I’m not sure. All I know is that sometimes, Mom CAN make it all better, and she often does.