Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, there's always so much cleaning to be done!

Image found {here}

Shane and I have quite traditional roles around the house. I clean the toilet, he chops firewood. He mows the lawn, I do the folding. It's never even really been discussed, it's just the way we operate. Occasionally we help each other out with the jobs. For instance, on bad days he often cooks dinner, and I like to help him out mowing the lawn when I get the chance... but most of the time, a lot of the indoor cleaning tasks fall to me, and his work is either outside of the house, or at his paid job. I don't always love it (folding clothes is often the bane of my existence!) but most of the time it works for us.

The concept of 'clean' is so relative. When I worked at my job, I would often let the housework slide during the week, and then just get in and clean up on the weekends. Now, I can't go to bed if the dishes aren't done, and my life often feels like it revolves around household tasks. Washing, dishes, bed-making, sweeping, folding, cooking.... and before you know it a whole day is gone!

I'd hate for my kids to remember their Mother as a cleaning Nazi who never had any fun. I don't want to reach the end of my days, and have it said about me that I didn't travel, didn't dream or take risks... but boy my house was nice! What an empty achievement.

But at the same time, I like having a clean house. It's nice. It's part of the way I show the people around me that I love them. It also keeps me sane. I like living in a nice, well-ordered environment. I want to have a nice clean home that can make people feel welcome. My house certainly isn't the cleanest house in the world, but as a general rule, it's nice and tidy. However I don't want that to be all I do.

Most of the time, I try not to let cleaning take over everyday. I have a couple of days that I designate specifically for household chores, but most days I do the basics and then try to go live life.  I tend to leave the house alone a bit during the day, and do some of the chores while he kids nap, but then at night once everyone is asleep I do my big tidy up, that takes me about 45 minutes. That's when I do the dishes, tidy the kitchen and the lounge room, sweep the floor, straighten the bathroom, take out the rubbish, and do anything else that needs doing. It's nice to wake up to a nice house in the morning.

That might sounds like a lot to some people, and yet sound like nothing to others. There are so many times when I feel like my house isn't clean enough... but the thing about cleaning is that the more you do, the more you see there is to do!

I can see how easy it would be for a stay at home Mum to develop a hugely unhealthy attitude to cleaning, so I work hard on keeping my inner desperate housewife in check! Because honestly, there really is so much more to life than a clean house! What's your attitude like when it comes to cleaning, and what is your cleaning routine like?


  1. I fluctuate. Some days I don't care. Other days I notice every little speck and spot! Our house is not amazingly clean, but like you, it is always neat. My other friends with 2+ kids think I must clean all day. But, I really don't! Our kids and I always pack up in one room/ area before moving to the next one (this usually involves some help from me), so things never get too chaotic. I have a system for washing (one load a day, goes on at night, hung first thing in the morning, and folded/ put away with my helpers before afternoon tea), and the dishwasher, and the kitchen... and I can do that with my eyes closed.

    I NEVER clean while the kids have afternoon rest time (apart from a quick pack up of the lunch stuff), and I only clean for about 20 minutes after they are in bed for the night. Things that make life easier... having a small house(!), cleaning as we go (as I mentioned) and not being too much of a perfectionist.

  2. My measuring stick is "Would I be embarrassed if I had a visitor right now?". If the answer is "Yes!", then I tidy up or clean what needs to be done. Mondays are my 'cleaning days' which mainly means that I spend the day tidying in and then try and clean as I go the rest of the week. I struggle with my perfectionist streak and frustration that I can't just get in and clean it all up like I used to! With this baby, I might even get a cleaner. Will have to see how the budget goes! :)

  3. I've let so much slide over time. I have a much lower threshold than hubby but then kids came along and I had to start letting some of it go due to tiredness, especially after returning to work. My night owls meant most daily cleaning can't start till 9.30-10pm and I'm exhausted. For my peace of mind, I must say, I'm more about the order or tidiness than cleanliness. Clutter does my head in but I'm now well-trained to ignore it for longer. What else can I do with two little ones and a tiny apartment?!


Thanks for stopping by, I would so love to hear your thoughts!

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