Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday: Housework Schmousework

Working Mom WednesdayI remember when I was a kid, my mom (who only worked one day a week) would say in amazement about her full-time working friends, "I don't know how they get anything done!" She would quickly answer herself that they just have to do it all on Saturdays, and say a little prayer of thanks that she didn't have to face such crowds on Wednesday mornings. Now, I've never been a good enough housekeeper for my mom, but she cuts me some slack because I work full time. Still, she wishes I would spend some of my Saturday cleaning the house.

Sorry, Mom. It's just not that important to me. I only clean the bathrooms when there is visible schmutz or I have guests coming over. (If you are someone who sometimes visits my home, I don't know if that makes you feel better or worse.) I vacuum more or less whenever it needs it (that is one chore I've never really minded) but dusting, mopping, ironing, and the rest are fairly rare occurances.

Despite all that, I still love "playing house" on Saturdays. Grocery shopping is one of my favorite weekend activities, because I take Kate with me and we have fun planning meals and chatting about the different things we see in the grocery store. This past Saturday, Matt was at a conference all day, so I got to play Suzy Homemaker all day! I took Kate to the polling place to do my early voting, and then we went to the grocery. She rode in one of the little cars on the front of the cart again, and tried to steal about fifteen bottles of Five Hour Energy in the checkout lane. (So THAT explains how she stays so active all the time!!) When we got home, I put a pot roast in the crock pot, and actually did some ironing! The ironing board is in Kate's room (since we don't have a laundry room, just the garage, and the over-the-door ironing board works best on Kate's closet door) and she sat there reading books to herself and playing with an old toy that I had already stashed away in the garage, so it was brand new and interesting to her! I got a kick out of all this houseworkiness because it is such a rare occurance, so different from my day-to-day life.

I tried hiring a cleaning lady after my maternity leave ended, but we've been through two now that were simply too unreliable--one in terms of just showing up when she said (she would arrive on random days when Matt was just getting out of the shower) and the other in terms of the quality of her work (if I wanted the floor to remain dirty behind the toilet, I would do it myself!) So, I've abandoned thoughts of having someone else make my home immaculate and just deal with things as they are. Neatness matters more to me than cleanliness anyway! Oh, I know there are other options--mopping the floor after bedtime, or tag-teaming with the hubby, but I choose "good enough" in terms of housework so that I can do other things (some that I have to do, some that I want to do), relax, and reconnect with my spouse and daughter. That is more important to me than shiny floors and a dust-free mantle.

How do you handle housework when you are working all day outside the home?

[The Working Mom Wednesday button is live in the sidebar, with code below it if you want to grab it. If you do a WMW post, please share the link in the comments. No need to be about the same topic as here--anything about working motherhood will be valuable to other working mom readers.]


Amy said...

We are practically twins. Except I hate to vacuum.

I will not spend my time outside work scrubbing floors and dusting. Good enough, or what my mom would call "a lick and a promise" are just fine for me. (My mom was a full time stay at home mom and even her idea of "a lick and a promise" is really different from mine!)

When I was a full time stay-home mom, I didn't mind it at all and I felt like I could and should stay on top of it. Now there is not enough time or energy to go around.

I do cook all the time, and so my kitchen gets the most attention.

Katie Bug said...

I have no idea how I am going to handle housework. Pretty sure our home will just be a mess most of the time!

Kristen said...

I think I kind of touched on this in my response to last weeks WMW post: We kinda just don't do it. Sure, it makes for running around like crazy if we're having company (and also, sadly, leads to us not having company as often as I'd really like), but when all is said and done, I HATE TO CLEAN and loooove to play and/or veg with my kids & hubby :)

p.s. One of these days I will get around to posting on my blog again and linking this fabulous series of posts! Love this!


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