As much as I would like to, I will never be a domestic goddess. Believe me, I have tried many times and failed just as often. I find housekeeping to be meaningless and with children it is even more so. You spend hours tidying and cleaning up, only to turn around and see that a toddler found it funny to empty that toy-box again and his chocolate biscuit seems to have ended up everywhere but his tummy. I am glad that we have a cleaner who comes in one day a week to clean the entire house from top to bottom.
I blame my parents and my upbringing for it. When I was younger my mother would always tidy my room. For her it was easier to tidy my room herself than to make me tidy it up. My laundry was picked up from wherever I threw it unto the floor. I would find it later washed, dried and folded in my wardrobe. When I was nine I went to boarding school and my room would be cleaned and tidied a few times a week by housekeeping. Every Thursday my dirty laundry was picked up and returned on Monday. Not only was it washed and folded neatly, it was ironed too. All I had to do was it inside my wardrobe. It was like living in a hotel – an absolute dream.
When I was young I thought my mother was a bit silly for tidying up my room instead of making me do it. My friends would be jealous of me, because their mother would not tidy their room. While I know today that my mother did the wrong thing I understand her and I am actually doing the same. I should encourage George to help me tidy up, after all he is already three but for me it is just easier to do it myself.
The only place that was always neat and tidy, was my locker at the horse stable. I took great care of my belongings, starting from the horse bandages and saddle pads to my saddles and bridles. I would spend my entire Friday night cleaning and treating the leather. My mother had to buy a second washing machine, so that I could wash my riding equipment in the old washing machine and she wouldn’t have horse hair all over the other laundry.
Today me entire days seems to be based around cleaning up after two little ones, washing laundry, hanging it up because we don’t have a tumble dryer, folding it and putting away in the right places. Luckily I don’t bother ironing 99% of it. Only shirts and blouses will be ironed and everything else that will be worn on a special occasion. However when do I ever attend fancy events? I am bad at housekeeping but I am really good at procrastinating. I sometimes put on a load of laundry just to discover two days later that it’s still inside the washing machine. Well, I say discover: I was aware of it the entire time. Of course by that time it smells terrible and I have to wash it again. Luckily that happens very rarely. Sometimes I try to ignore the bit of porridge that fell on the floor and how surprised I am when it’s still there a few hours later.
Being a domestic goddess is a full-time job. I think working women will never be able to be one. They should spend their free time with reading books, drinking wine and socialising with their friends and family or whatever else they like to do. At the weekends I am relaxing and not doing anything more than what needs to be done. You will probably find me with a cup of tea and ice cream* in my bed, catching up with my favourite movies and programs and relaxing. Don’t blame me, I more than certainly had an exhausting week.
I almost certainly will never be a domestic goddess but I am trying to focus on the things that I am good at. My ironing is good and it calms me down, I don’t mind it too much. I still try to make the house look presentable in the evenings. Tidy away all the toys, arrange the cushions on the sofa nicely, hoover away any biscuit crumbs from the carpets and remove all raisins from the sofa crevices. It actually looks good. I don’t have much time for cooking but when I have some time I am trying to cook and people actually like my food. I also enjoy baking and since George discovered his love for baking too, instead of just eating cakes and muffins, I always have an excuse to turn the kitchen into a huge flour mess. Isn’t that what baking with children is all about? After all, a smile on a children’s face is worth more than a clean kitchen. Right? Who cares that everything is covered in dough (including you), flour and the sugar is spilled on the floor? Who cares about non-ironed clothes when you had a fantastic day with the children and your friends? I asked myself once if I will regret one day my dislike for domestic chores. I then asked myself what I would regret more: Not having cleaned, tidied and dusted as much as others or not having spent enough time with my loved ones? I know the answer. Do you?
*Just kidding, I don’t eat ice-cream.
noun: domestic goddess; plural noun: domestic goddesses
- a woman with exceptional domestic skills, especially one who excels at cookery and preparing meals.