I thought that I would be cleaner.
I had a dream that I would be the perfect homemaker, and a person who always had it just presented beautifully.
That the toothpaste streaks that mar the bathroom basin would be cleaned straight away.
That marks on the wall would be a thing of the past.
That I would never look at a mysterious sticky spot on the kitchen floor and wonder how it happened, because I would have cleaned it up when it happened.
But I’m not, and the house is not. There is still toothpaste and marks and sticky spots, and if you look under the entertainment unit you will see dust.
I highly recommend NOT looking under the entertainment unit.
I used to be better. Back when there was only one child I cleaned the floor EVERY SINGLE DAY. Now I look back on that and think, ‘really how dirty could it have been?’ but at the time I was motivated by an all-consuming desire that had me believing that if the floor was not swept and mopped every day, I had somehow failed at life.
To be honest, I’m glad I’ve left that part behind.
It would be nice if some of the motivation came back though.
I blamed it on the kids. Or specifically the lack of time that came with adding to my brood. With one, and then two, in a unit the size of a shoe box, it was easy to be on top of the mess. I never struggled with it at all.
Then came number three and a bigger house and it’s been pretty much down hill ever since. (There’s also been the rekindling of a another all consuming desire as well (that of writing/blogging), which may be partly to blame for the marks on the hallway wall, but let’s not be too hasty to blame that shall we?)
So with that in mind (the child blame, not the creative imagination), I was certain that once they were all in school, my house would suddenly transform itself into an oasis of the cleanest variety. I rekindled my hope of perfect floors, and freshly plumped cushions. I allowed myself to dream of a clear kitchen bench and a pie in the oven. And I honestly believed that somehow, by some miracle, I would always be on top of the washing.
What a delusion that was.
It turns out, if anything, I’m less clean now. As I write this I’m cringing about the bathroom bench that is screaming to be wiped out. Screaming because it’s been asking politely for the last two days, and I’ve ignored it, forcing it’s pleas to build into a crescendo of woe and desperation.
Clearly when it comes to the bathroom a cold-hearted task master, because I’m still ignoring it.
The problem is that school days are so short, and kindy is only two and a half days. And whilst I’m glad for that, because I miss my little mate and am not quite ready for her to be in full-time school yet, there’s still not enough time to do all the things I thought I would Kindy days have become study days, and from the moment I get home to the moment I pick them up, I study. I read my readings, and post on the forums and write assignments about seven times each, aiming for some kind of perfection the bathroom basin could only ever dream about.
And I love it.
Oh I love it so much.
I’m a giant nerd at heart, constantly checking for feedback, and wondering how to better myself. Studying for me is like a drug, and the fact that I’m studying writing… well I should probably be in a twelve step program. Except that it’s not bad so that makes no sense at all.
And also I don’t want to.
What that means, is that all those dreams of the perfect home have gone out the window, whilst instead I write about cleanliness. True story. (I just got an A on an essay about how I would rather write than clean. Clearly my lecturer is a kindred spirit.) And whilst a part of me feels guilty for sitting at a computer and relishing everything, I’m learning to ignore it. The house is not a sty; things do get done. I’ve since gotten up and cleaned the bathroom, and I will do it again. The walls get wiped, the dishes are done several times a day, and I can’t abide sticky spots on the floor for very long.
I thought I would be cleaner, and the fact is that I’m not, but in truth does it matter? I’ll never be the next Alice Brady or Martha Stewart, or some equally famous home making type.
But I can love being me. Essentially Jess with the sticky floors, the endless stories and the full heart.
And really, that’s a good thing to be. 🙂