The way we run our homes differs from person to person. If we are lucky enough to have parents who teach us how to do the housework, we usually learn from them how a house is run at the same time. Most parents don’t involve their kids in the financial side of the house, but sometimes that’s necessary. I never learned how to pay bills or do the weekly shopping on a budget, I just remember having to carry those heavy bags home because we couldn’t afford taxis.
I never really learned how to run a house, keep all the areas clean, how many times a day I should hoover, or wash up. I just do it when it needs to be done. Sometimes it sits there for a day. My house is not spotless. My husband calls it ‘lived in.’ We have children and I am not the type of parent who goes around with a broom cleaning up after every single thing they do. I have started teaching them to clean up their own mess. If they spill a drink they wipe it up.
I know people who have perfect condition show homes, no mess anywhere, kick boards and cupboards in perfectly clean show-home condition through out. I wonder if they have time to go to the toilet, or sit down with a book if they have a home that is so perfectly clean. How do they have time to do anything but housework everyday? I imagine them waking up at 6am and showering, dressing, eating and then donning the rubber gloves and scrubbing, hoovering, sweeping, mopping, trimming, wiping, washing and weeding non stop until lunch, where they give themselves half hour (or maybe they eat while they work?) and then carrying on with cleaning until dinner. I don’t see those types of people sitting down unless they go to the toilet or eat. I imagine them saying things like ”I’m very sorry Susan I can’t come to lunch with you today, the pipes behind my toilet are a shocking mess and I need to spend an hour cleaning them.”
My kick-boards are grubby, the inside of my cupboards haven’t been wiped over in months let alone scrubbed and my garden is in desperate need of some TLC. But I’m having to much fun playing with my kids, going out for the day, playing games and watching films with my family to worry about weather I dusted the windowsill at the top of the stairs, or if the laundry is folded and put away the instant it’s dry. My house has dusty toilet pipes, and water marks on the windowsills. Its garden is a bit overgrown simply because it’s been far to hot to be outside weeding. I’m not going to make myself sick for the sake of gardening.
I go to these peoples houses and I’m afraid to touch anything or do anything in them. I spilled my drink on the carpet, panic! Normally I’d grab a tea-towel and scrub it up, but in somebody else spotless home what do I do? Get out the hoover and the stain remover and spend an hour on my knees scrubbing and washing the stain out? Is there a special way I am not in the knowledge of because of the way I do it at home?
I’m going to stay at my mothers in a few weeks, with my son. We wear shoes in the house, we don’t always make sure the rubbish is in the bin, when we aim and throw it (but it is put in the bin.) We can’t do that in my mothers home, and my son is going to struggle with that concept.
Maybe we should have been better house keepers, taught our kids how to run a house to a higher standard. But honestly, this is our house. It’s how we live. It’s not a hoarders paradise, it’s not covered in dirty plates, old food and rubbish covered floors. The door frames might have small grubby hand marks on them almost all of the time, but the floors are cleaned daily, the washing up is done once a day, and the laundry, that’s washed and dried, but not necessarily put away on the same day. The rest of it, well, it can wait.