Friday, August 6, 2010

Cleaning Blues

It is the end of one really crazy, incredibly taxing, ridiculously busy and challenging week. It's been one of those weeks where I look back and really, I can hardly believe everything that I got done. I have been so productive, in the midst of incredible time-pressure, and I am so proud of the way I buckled down and just did it all. I came home at 6:00 with this lovely, weighty feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.

And then the cleaning started. Keith and I spent a little time straightening the house, getting the guest room ready and so forth for my mom and dad (who are staying with us tomorrow night). And again, I worked hard, and again, I buckled down and got it all done. But for some reason, I never feel the same feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment after doing housework. Instead I feel shame...and guilt.

Even at my best I am not the most accomplished housekeeper. And the busier I get with work, the worse I get at home. Luckily I have the studly Dr. Handyman for a house-husband and he keeps things from getting out of hand. But our house is never as clean as I'd like it, as clean as it should be. And I can turn it off, shut it down, ignore the nagging feeling of it most of the time. But once I actually get down to the business of cleaning my denial is futile, it's staring me right in the face, and all I can hear is that voice in my head screeching, "Just what would your mother think?"

So housekeeping is rarely pleasurable for me and I guess that may be part of the reason I tend to avoid it. Even now, I'm sitting in our living room, which looks great, and instead of feeling proud about it, all I can feel is embarrassed. My proposed solution? I need to quit doing any housework altogether and hire a maid who will work for free. It will be much better for my general health and well being.

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