Wednesday, September 1, 2010

10 things I planned to do today... and the things that I did do

Funny how a day at home with plans to clean and neaten and Do Things goes to pot, hey. Here's my delusional list and my actual:
  1. Clean the kitchen benches
  2. Make the bed
  3. Tidy the bedroom - clean the bedhead off, dust, sweep
  4. Do a load of nappies
  5. Fold Sally's clothes
  6. And the nappies
  7. And the basket of adult clothes
  8. Clean up the freezer and see what's in there
  9. Bake a cake
  10. Tidy up the loungeroom 
It's a delusional list. I have a 5 month old babe. It's not like I was going to get all of these things done! Even on a good day. Do I have overblown ideas about my productivity, or am I slack? Cause what I have done is:
  1. Load of nappies
  2. Load of adult clothes
  3. Showered and bathed us both
  4. Run the dishwasher
  5. Spent 2+ hours boobing on the couch
  6. Twice
  7. Bought a "new" camera and learned lots about it
  8. Didn't go crazy in the grey cold weather that replaced the hint of Spring we had a few days ago
  9. Played on the floor
  10. Cleaned off the bedhead, tidied the bedroom floor and played with Sally
I know, it doesn't matter. The house is fine and lived in. Sally is happy, fed, carried, loved and safe (and asleep atm). I am dressed and even have shoes on!

I watched Oprah today and the segment was about OCD. One woman had a lot of issues with cleanliness and shared that she spent 5 hours a day cleaning the house. Her house was spotless and unlivedin and I thought huh I'm not doing too badly to have a house that is a work in progress and I don't spend any where near that amount a day and if that's what it takes then I'm not doing that.

I did start a post yonks ago about why we have clean houses. It's no longer to avoid disease or keep vermin down (past a point, of course). Beyond hygiene, is there any need to obsess about a clean house? And is having a bathroom with hair on the floor, a bit of dust on the ducks, a smidge of scale on the glass - which is still cleaned each week or so - a sign of a bad housekeeper? A bad person? A bad parent? Is disorder and clutter a bad thing as well? Is it disorder and clutter or just how I live my life? Yes I can find things that I don't use very often if they're in the right place but things I use all the time just live close to where I use them.



Anonymous said...

This is a subject I'm dealing with, too, and your post is reassuring.

My mother keeps a home something like the one on Oprah, not because of OCD (although she may be slightly hyperthyroid) but just because that's her standard. As an adult I've tried to maintain the same standard - it's still in my head as the definition of 'clean & tidy', and my inner control freak uses tidiness as a way of compensating for anxiety.

But living with a not-so-neatfreak partner and working makes this unachievable. His love of functionality - the same argument as you use for having things live where you use them rather than Put Away - is slowly winning me over. I tried his suggestion of leaving the tupperware containers of rice, sugar, tea, etc lined up on the benchtop instead of Put Away in the cupboard, and I loved it. I can cope better with paperwork and sheet music on the dining table, not just placemats and a candelabra. I'm even trialling hanging umbrellas behind the front door (so you're reminded to ask if it's raining as you leave), and so far it hasn't completely offended my aesthetics.

Sounds like you got a lot done that day, even if it wasn't what you intended.

Selene said...

Your list of what you did do looks super productive to me :D As for why we clean houses, I agree - I'm more for tidy than squeaky clean. There's something about that sense of order when the place is not a bomb site that makes the whole family feel better. But hair in the bath, what-EVAH!

Adelaide Correspondent said...

The two things that really get me are the bathroom and the front yard. I have Shame about those. The other things I like to have tidy for my own sanity, but if it's not... eh. There's cat hair on the couch and I don't really care, when people come over.

But the bathroom floor is dusty and the drain has visible grunge, and teh front yard is full of weeds. And every time I see it, I think people are judging me. It doesn't help that my mother's comment last time she was at my house was 'nice crop of soursobs'. THANKS MUM.

Well, whatever. I don't notice in other people's houses, why would I think people would care in mine? The bathroom gets cleaned regularly, and the house is messy but obviously lived in - that is, it's messy because the things I use are out, being used. Which is the point, really. I cannot even IMAGINE trying to live up to arbitrary standards while carrying another person around. It just seems silly, and yet we all do it. So frustrating.

Another Outspoken Female said...

I's say that doing anything more than the washing, playing with Sally and boobtime is an incredible bonus. Well done!

My mother was a member of the spotless house generation. I think it was due to her perception of other people's expectations. A time of being judged by the cleanliness of your house/children. When women proudly put "homemaker" down under "occupation". Now she has Alzheimer's she still wanders around with a sense she has work to do but she no longer knows what it is.