A life-time supply of housework

9 12 2007

I have been cleaning my house all week and I think I am becoming mental about it.  I just can’t stand to go down there right now and clean the kitchen again and fold another load of laundry.  I know there are women who can do it.  But I can’t.  

It’s the labors of Tantalus.  It’s like spending your life picking up an apple and putting it back on a sloped shelf so it can roll off again.  At least when I write something it stays written.  I put it in my file and maybe I finish it and maybe I don’t.  But it stays there.  It stays put.

Nothing in my life is staying put right now.  I’m just waiting.  I’m waiting for the house to sell.  I’m waiting to move.  The children have no toys, or hardly any at all.  They toys are packed up so we can show the house.  The games are packed up.  All my doll stuff is packed up.  I spend all my days trying to keep the kids from wrecking the house, cleaning the house, serving the house, worshipping the bloody house!!!

 If something doesn’t happen soon I’m going to crack.  Nothing is moving in straight lines.  It’s all going around in circles.  Cook and eat and wash and cook and eat and wash and cook…  Wear and wash and fold and put away and wear….  For five months I’ve cleaned and watched my children grow taller, my plants grow larger, the weather grow cooler, and my husband and I look strained and old and too fat because we both eat when we’re stressed.

Neal, at least, has had the outlet of fixing up the house.  Some of his work has stuck.  Mine has been watching a lot of extra children.  I can’t do any work, because I can’t leave the children.  I can’t paint a picture or write a story or practice a piano piece because I have to sit on the front step and watch the children.  I have to go to the park and watch the children.  I have to get out paints and watch the children paint.  Even now that the extra children have gone home, I still have to watch the children take a bath.  Watch the children eat a peanut butter sandwich.  Watch the children bake cookies.  Watch the children run around in the yard.

As an alternative, I can arrange for a baby sitter and go out.  I can go to AC Moore and wander around.  I can go sit at Starbucks and use part of Pastor Abbye’s gift card.  I can walk around the bookstore.  Maybe I could even buy something.  But that’s all.  I can’t do anything.  I can’t make anything.  I can’t change anything. 

 Sometimes I feel like an alien dropped on earth by accident and expected to cope.  I find myself listening to other people’s conversations and trying to learn how to speak and respond.  I study their reactions and try to copy them.  I am a camoflage human, trying to blend in.  Trying not to make people notice me.  Trying not to stick out, not to let anyone see that I’m alien among them.  And sentenced to a life-time supply of housework. 

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4 responses

9 12 2007
Lisa

You know, I’ll agree, housework can be tiring. I’ve personally been on strike for a few weeks now. The swirl of long hair grew so great on our bathroom floor that Brian finally vacuumed it up today….I just couldn’t get up the motivation.

Gregory often insists to us that he is an alien. We agree with him because as belivers in Jesus and citizens of heaven we are aliens on this earth. But he means it as you do – he doesn’t quite know how he fits. But there are some people that when is with them he does fit because they make room for his gifts and personality. Your family are the chief ones! I hope that you also have some friends that you can be with and you don’t have to choose words too carefully or eat too daintilly or dress to fashionably. I hope that I am one of them. I guess I am an alien mother, after all…

9 12 2007
Lisa

If comments = love, then how am I doing?

11 12 2007
Grandma Wilhite

I know! I’ve been there, though not in the same circumstances. Our moves were always at company expense and we were fortunate to sell our house before we moved! What a great deal that was, even though the buyers wanted us to drop the price after we had agreed on more. No deal!

Housework is my idea of infinity. I haven’t the imagination to think what infinity could be like, because earthly things are solid and sit on something that sits on something else. And there is an end to all sorts of time. Birthdays come, ready or not; even watched pots boil; and Christmas comes. But however many dishes you wash, there’s always another one you didn’t see plus one that someone else is busy dirtying up! Same with clothes!

Children are a mess! They make a mess, and they blow your ears out with their activities — playing or fighting!

I read something in a Parents’ Magazine when my kids were babies. Someone wrote, “This time I’m going to enjoy my baby!” She insisted that this was not her intent to “spoil” the child, as most people mean when they say “enjoy the baby”. She was simply recognizing that babies and children require a great deal of care. She just decided enjoy the time she needed to spend with the children and not to assume a guilt trip when she sat down to comfort a kid or to feed a baby. You already know baby bottoms are cute. After they’ve been cleaned up they’re clean — until the next time. Then you get to see that cute bottom again!

I’m so sorry that the rest of the world doesn’t know that mommies WORK, too. And that messes happen when children happen. Even prospective buyers may need to know that perfection is unnatural!

Guess moms are aliens. I like to think of myself as “different”! My mother-in-law often groused and called me “peculiar”. That’s me.

12 12 2007
candress

Well, I knew you were different. I think that is one of the reasons I like you. No pretense. That is a good thing. But alien? (Cartoon thinking.) Who was the little alien guy on the Flintstones? Just try to picture him taking care of the many tasks you had to perform last week!!! Are you laughing yet. I am pretty sure that the children prefer to have you taking care of them.
Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog.

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