Friday, 15 February 2013

Housework or Sleep?

It is midnight and I just finished picking up toys, vacuuming the living room, doing dishes, washing the floor... I should go to sleep now but this tranquil, tidy atmosphere with just the clock ticking, dog chewing her toy, and pellet stove humming is so... relaxing. I know, sleeping in a warm bed would be even more relaxing.

I never used to like housework. Well, I don't like it. But I love the result. I have always loved the result. There was a time that chores would make me quite moody. I loved immaculate, but I really didn't want to work for it. I wanted everyone else to clean up after themselves and keep it sanitary, no matter how busy they were or what else they needed to do, or whether they agreed with my definition of clean in the first place! And when I had to do the up-keep housework I would get bitchy. It took me a while to realize why. My step dad was quite an army commander when it came to things around the home. My brother and I were not allowed to talk when doing tasks together. We couldn't argue (difficult for siblings). And we most definitely could not laugh. If we did, it meant we weren't doing the work. And punishment ensued. It made doing routine things very stressful. And down right unenjoyable. My default became getting indignant as soon as I had to take any responsibility for getting the results I wanted.

Being married to a very busy, hardworking, generous, and um... disorganized man, I had to chip in. So I did. Begrudgingly at first. At first? Who am I kidding?! For a while! Good thing he is also patient and forgiving. The poor guy had to do his own laundry so he had something to wear to work. Not that he complained!

As time went on I started to let go of the "roots" that brought the anger. I realized my selfish and disrespectful attitude. I accepted my task and discovered it can be very rewarding. Now, standing in the kitchen next to the hum of the dishwasher is always a therapeutic reminder that I have grown. I have a family I love. And this is our home. And cleaning late at night (without a helper) is productive serenity.

My daughter is 15 1/2 months now and never stops. She has developed a gleeful screech. She babbles incessantly (with an amazing number of new words every day). She bangs things together. And she gets frustrated. She can do more than she ever has before, but she just can't quite get that lid on the jar straight. She just can't quite fit that large stuffy into the cupboard. She just can't quite force another book into that oven mitt (we got oven mitts from Grandma for Christmas and she claimed them). So, though she is a tremendous joy that repeatedly makes me laugh and endlessly amazes me, she is quite loud. And I kind of like peaceful. A little more than I like sleep :) It is now 1:00 am. Good night.

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