Monday, May 12, 2008

The Happy Homemaker

Whenever I read blogs by women who just glory in home-making, I'm a bit flummoxed. I will freely admit, that I don't quite "get it". See, I have this love-hate relationship with my whole "homemaker" status. Since graduating from seminary, I've never been anything but a stay-at-home mom. And now a homeschooling mom on top of that.

And I like my life. But I HATE the "homemaking" part of it. OK, the fun stuff is fun. I like making things...sometimes. I like baking and cooking...sometimes. I like having the freedom to set my own schedule. I like being with my kids each day. I like teaching them.

But I loathe housework. Did I use a strong enough word? The dusting, scrubbing, washing parts. Just. Hate. It. Because it's nasty and has to be done again and again. And it stays nasty. And it keeps getting undone. And my house is shabby without the chic. So I feel perpetually defeated by the grungy reality of it all.

Cleaning house is so not creative. One reason I like making things, is that it's a way to spend my time productively, and I'll have something nice, like a shawl or a quilt to show for it, that I can point to and say: I made this and it is good.

The cleaning is not like that.

I wish I could walz though my days with a good routine (think flylady) and a decluttered house and breezes blowing through the windows and a vase of flowers on my lace-bedecked table. But alas, it is not so. I can't ever seem to make myself.

And we are all suffering a BAD case of homeschooling-this-year burn-out. Unfortunately, because of my dd's illness last winter, there were many weeks when school just did not happen. And now we have about five weeks of doubling up on lessons in order to get done and have a bit of a summer break before we launch into another school year. So my son stares at the wall, and my youngest dd needed me to take her by the hand and walk through much of her lesson orally. I'm ready to do that with ds as well, just so he'll be done for the day and I can go for a walk or something.

Furthermore, I wish I weren't so negative so often on my blog. The reason is, I tend to be a bit of an Eeyore in real life as well. My background noise sounds more like penitential psalmody than twinkling fairy music, I guess.

And I suppose it's impossible to change one's basic personality. And I suppose I should channel some of these restless feelings into a nice angry bout of housework. OR a nice non-angry bout of housework. Now THAT would be an accomplishment!

But the fact is, if I were to succeed in charming the birds from the trees, I'd have bird corpses to contend with.


Amber Lee said...

Oh I'm a baker and I like to make pretty things. My room? It's nasty and a wreck.

You and I have a lot in common! I attended Milligan College, which is part of the Stone-Campbell movement, for undergrad and am attending Emmanuel School of Religion for Seminary. But to the admin dismay, our professors influenced us enough that some (like myself) have gone the way of the Oxford Movement (Anglican-Orthodox) and some have become Roman Catholic and my friend Aaron just became Orthodox.


elizabeth said...

i hear you, as i write from a cluttered kicthen... we all have different challenges... it takes time... i am just starting to try to rebuild better habits. like putting my clothes in the laundry hamper instead of on the floor.

Amber Lee said...

Laundry hampers are for quitters.

Liz in Seattle said...

But why do in the birds? I'm thinking of a later scene, where I'd have the pleasure of donning my heavy hiking boots and crunching some cockroaches.

I too am flummoxed by housework. It is the ultimate in multi, multi, multi-variable equations. And those stink. Like my son's room...

Chocolate anyone?

Alana said...

I'll bring the wine and we can have a little party.

Michelle Melania said...

I need to be invited to this party too. Everyone always thinks I have a clean house, but that is because I am usually scrambling to clean it before they walk in the door. I am not a neat person by nature-- I can be clean, but there are still going to be piles everywhere, especially of clean clothes. I just can't get myself to actually put them away... this is a big problem.

maria said...

I love most things associated with "homemaking" -- cooking, decorating, even running the household routine... IF, that is, there's enough time to do it. If there isn't, I become cranky and stressed. One of my favorite things to do is drink hot tea and do something productive while wtching Law & Order during Miranda's naptime. Trouble is, I'm usually tired, or overwhelmed by everything that needs doing, or needing to study, etc etc.

Maybe I should give Flylady another chance.

Amber Lee said...

Anyone else fold their clean laundry and then let it sit on the dresser for about a century - instead of taking the extra TWO MINUTES to move them to the drawer below?

I'll bring the artisian cheese and G&T

Marfa said...

"Shabby without the chic"...what a neat phrase. This week I plan to clean the house, thoroughly. I just finished work (school) for the I went in to clean the classroom and I realized that I like the dusting and scrubbing, but am not good at organizing. So, that's where my house needs help. Maybe I'll invest in some labelled boxes and start there!