Friday, October 16, 2009

The Mundanity of Domesticity

Or "Vacumning is boring"

There has been an interesting discussion going on over at the Crafty Mamas forum about time management, crafting time versus housework and associated guilt.

I don't like housework. I am lazy by nature and I also hate tedious repetition. I really hate doing something knowing that it just needs to be done again tomorrow...and the next day...and the next. I really dislike emptying the laundry hamper, turning on the washing machine then turning around to literally find the hamper already half full again. I don't get much satisfaction from a shiny clean toilet bowl especially when I know that the 3 willies in the household are lurking nearby- and I have yet to find out what little girls are capable of doing to the bathroom floor once they start toilet training. I don't really bother to make our bed much cos I know it'll be all messed up again at bedtime. So really, what's the point? No one sees our bed anyway.

2 years ago I had 3 children at home, not one had even started school. No kindy or school runs; no uniforms to clean; no lunches to pack; no head lice to check for; no readers or homework; not one after school commitment. Lunch for hubby if he didn't get his own. I was literally a stay at home mum except when I had to leave the house for food and toilet paper and swimming lessons. Oh, and kindergym. I did a bit of ebaying and was thinking about sewing again. Oh, life was a breeze (I just wish someone had told me it was at the time)

Now I have one child at school, one at kindy and one at home who still has a daily sleep to work around. I pack 2 lunches, (I do hubby's as I'm doing my son's anyway) 5 snacks, 1 school bag and 1 kindy bag most days of the week. One child has one after school commitment. I sew as much as possible. I blog as much as possible. I hang out on a forum - yes, as much as possible.

In 5 years? 3 kids in school and 1 working hubby. By my calculations, 20 lunches per week, 40 snacks per week, 3 or more after school commitments to chase kids around for, how many school uniform washes per week and so on. I look forward to those hours from 9 am till 3 pm where God willing I am not needing to work but am children-free. I will be free to do whatever I want; to sew; read; rest; craft; blog; shop; visit; appreciate life...but only after I have washed the clothes, cleaned up the kitchen, grocery shopped, made hair and dental appointments for the family, cleaned the toilets... the mundanity of domesticity.

So, some days I will sew instead of cleaning the toilets or vacumning. I'll make sure that my kids have clean clothes, have good hygeine standards, teeth brushed and bodies washed. I will feed them good food. I will make sure that they live in a house that while, not pristine, is clean. I will also make sure that they learn how to cook, clean and fend for themselves. But I won't lose sleep over the fact that I do not take pride in an immaculate house. I take pride in that dress I crocheted my daughter or that pair of pyjamas that I made my son. It keeps me sane in a way that vacumning wont. So I am selfish and a bit of a housework slob and I can live with that. A magnet on my fridge say "Dull women have immaculate houses". So I might well be a lazy slob but I'm certainly not a dull slob.

Author's note: my husband irons his own clothes. I know that I should not feel any satisfaction in this and that it should be the way of the world but I am quietly delighted that my sons can witness the fact that the male species can open a cupboard, plug in an iron and iron their own clothing, perhaps not as well as women (yes, a blanket generalisation there), but I don't care as long as I'm not having to do it.


Sara said...

I hear ya sister!

Col does his own ironing too. :)

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

My husband irons his own shirts too! I hate to think how many school lunches I have made over the years - sometimes it is better not to know. The only good thing about the kids getting older is that they can help with some of the chores.

Peta said...

Well said Tas! I wish my husband ironed.

Tania said...

Firstly, IRON? What iron? Oh yes, that thing I use for pressing the crafted stuff.

Secondly, I'm a new visitor here, but I can't help but stick my nose in. Some months back, my middle kid declared he hated school because he hated the tidy up. It was like a red rag to a bull. I spontaneously invented (crikey, I'm sure someone else had already) the Ten Minute Tidy. We have not looked back. And although my kids groan when they ask if we are really going to do the TMT every night forever (and I nod with a wicked grin), they get it and they do it and I have a whole lot more, CRAFT TIME UP MY SLEEVE!

I think I'll be quiet now.

clare's craftroom said...

Yay ! I heard this one - "you're never gonna die wishing you'd done more housework !" How true .

Romi Jade said...

Fantastic post! Haha. Well done :)

Snowdrops and Mudpie said...

So well said Tas. My thoughts exactly, only said better than I could say it :)