One of my longtime struggles is housework. I never really learned that growing up (my grandma was a compulsive OCD cleaner, so nope not allowed) and I’ve struggled as an adult. It’s hard working full time and trying to fit it all in, plus battling depression and anxiety as well as exhaustion beyond belief.
Once in a while, I get on a cleaning kick and everything looks great, but it doesn’t last. Consistency has always been a drawback for me. I just can’t master it. Add to it critics that always seem to notice the one thing you haven’t done, and you can appreciate why it’s never “good enough”.
I have half heartedly followed fly lady for years, but it’s been recently that it’s starting to set in. I mean, I know what I’m supposed to do, it’s actually doing it that’s hard. Not the cleaning part, the whole anticipating that you didn’t do it right or you forgot something or there’s something wrong with how you did it part that paralyzes me. I don’t handle conflict or criticism well, and it causes me to retreat into my shell.
And there I’ve stayed for years. Literally. It’s safe there, no one complains or yells at you or criticizes you. I struggle with it, because I really want a clean house but I really don’t want to be feeling like crap over it. So I kind of half heartedly do stuff to keep things presentable and that’s about it.
Until now. I made the decision, crying over my missed connection with Weezer and the absolute suck age my life has turned into, that I really don’t value certain people’s opinions anymore and giving them that power wasn’t going to improve my life or my house. I said f*ck it and I’m doing what I have to do. And if they don’t like it, then they either do it or shut up about it.
No more miss nice girl here.
I also realized that there are a lot of emotions surrounding housework. My mother is a hoarder. When I let things build up, I get so much anxiety over it that I get “stuck”. If I don’t force myself to, I would wind up like her (thus provoking a cleaning frenzy). Then the cycle repeats itself.
I’ve done a lot of exploring it over the why I’m like this. There’s a lot of fear involved as well as being a perfectionist. I’m so afraid of not doing it right, I just don’t. Until things build up, and the anxiety kicks in and the cycle starts all over again.
Its exhausting living like this, so I’m going back to a few basics. I don’t have a functioning dishwasher, so all my dishes get hand washed(which also plays into my eating, but that’s a different story for a different day). I hate doing dishes. I let them pile up and then bitch and moan while I do them. I have to get better at that, all while I save my pennies to get a new dishwasher. Plus my sink is white enamel. I need to start doing the fly lady thing and shining my sink every day.
With the wonder twins, I have dog hair everywhere. I need to get better about preventing the hair bunnies that take up every corner. I would swifter, but then get criticism that it wasn’t good enough. Add daily swiftering to my list.
My bathrooms usually look like some sort of dirt warfare ensued. I try to keep up with them, but again, there are issues of my own making. I need to add fly lady’s swish & swipe to the daily to do’s.
Then we have the issue of running out of spoons by the time I get home from work most days. I know that as I heal my body and manage stress better, there will be less exhaustion. I also need to plan my days & nights around when I have more energy and able to get stuff done.
Changing my mindset from expecting crap over how I did things to IDGAF is also going to make a difference. I already have a mantra in place, “I’m doing my best, if that’s not good enough then they can do the rest”. It’s so freeing saying that as I start my chores.
I’m letting go of the guilt and shame over home keeping. I know it’s not my strong suit, but I’m keeping at it. I’ll never be as good as some of those who were full time stay at homes, just because of the time and energy difference. It’s not cool comparing yourself to other people, whether you do it or someone else does. Again, the mantra, “I’m doing my best. If that’s not good enough, you can do the rest” fits perfectly.