Thursday, April 5, 2012

Becoming Adults

I've been wanting to write this post for awhile now and just haven't been sure how to frame it.  Do other bloggers get writing anxiety like this?  I don't consider myself a great writer at all, so I'm jealous of people who can easily express themselves eloquently and still include some humor to make the reader interested.  While the subjects of my blog posts are typically for record-keeping for myself, I want to make them interesting for my readers so I can keep my readers, too.  I'm an attention whore like that, apparently.


You would think that after being out of college and having a full-time job for 9 years, co-habitating (officially, that is...) for about 7 years, being married for 5 1/2 years, and being parents for 2 1/2 years, The Hubby and I would consider ourselves adults.

You'd be wrong.

You see, we'd fallen into some horrible habits, especially when it comes to housekeeping.  We just didn't really do it.  And there's no one to blame but ourselves, really.  It's not like it happened when Baby Girl arrived--no, we just never did much cleaning.  We'd clean: 1) when someone was coming over 2) when The Hubby got a bug up his ass randomly motivated 3) when we needed dishes to cook or 4) when we realized that we were living like those gross people on Hoarders.  For realz, people.  Gross.  And this went on for a very long time.  We'd let things pile up for weeks days, get really, really annoyed, and then go on a cleaning spree that would wear us out.  Then we'd want to take a break from cleaning because we'd just spent an entire day cleaning and doing laundry and the cycle would begin again.  We kept saying to ourselves, "isn't it nice to have a clean house?  Why can't we keep it this way?"  And then we wouldn't.

But that all changed toward the beginning of January.  It had nothing to do with a resolution or anything.  It might have been a teensy bit of nesting.  But something made me realize that if we just did a little bit each night, we wouldn't get stressed by the grossness that we were living in, we'd have dishes to cook with, and we'd have clean clothes without buying 30 pairs of underwear (which we each still EASILY have).  So I just started doing it.  And I've done it almost every night since.  While dinner is cooking, I'm putting away the dishes from the dishwasher and sometimes working on other cooking projects (like freezing fruits for my smoothies).  After dinner is done, we I put our dishes directly into the dishwasher (which is now empty!), then go in and clean off the counters, package up leftovers, and sweep the floor in the kitchen and dining room.

Am I exhausted most nights?  Do I miss out on some time with Baby Girl?  Do I wish I could just veg out and do nothing?  You betcha.

And do you think The Hubby caught on quickly?  Of course not.  It took until just this week the beginning of March (yes, I've been working on this post for well over a month) (I started this cleaning routine around January 6th...) for him to actually put his dishes into the dishwasher or to wipe off a counter.  But his contributions started at the perfect time because I've been feeling pretty rough these last few days (months?) and really needed the help.  It was really nice to see that the kitchen was cleaned when I went to get Baby Girl's milk before bed, even if I did notice that the countertop could have been cleaned a little better...  [edited to add: his contributions have been severely lacking recently, unfortunately, but he has been doing some things that I can't--namely, the lawn]

I finally, officially, feel like an adult.  I know what it's like to live in a house that I'm not embarrassed to have people see, generally.  Is our bedroom currently a wreck because we didn't put away a couple of loads of laundry?  Yep.  Has any dusting been done in the last 3 months?  Nope.  But our kitchen counters are clean, we don't have more than 2 loads of dirty laundry, and our floors are cleaner than they used to be.  We need to get into a better routine with changing our sheets and maybe start dusting, but it's definitely progress.  And that's what counts.


Cassie said...

I can defintely relate to this, to a certain extent. I'm sort of OCD about my kitchen, in that it is ALWAYS THE MOST CLEAN PLACE EVER, but other parts of my house? Not so much. I hate folding laundry, so clean laundry is piled up everywhere (literally...everywhere....) and the boys' toys are strewn all around the living room. I'm also bad about cleaning floors and changing sheets. I'm a work in progress! :)

Mandy said...

This is awesome. Seriously. Because it's so really only takes a little effort every day to make the house look decent. (And yet I still mostly don't do this.) But it's very inspiring that you've had this revelation and managed to stick with it.

The Stoycheffs said...

This is something I don't know how anyone gets done when you both work. Seriously. I am home all day every day and this place is a wreck half the time. I don't like to clean at all, but I like things to be clean...make sense? I will say our kitchen IS the cleanest room in the house, usually. And if I could make a schedule and stick to one little task a day it'd probably be better. But all I can do is laundry on Mondays and straighten up, put away laundry on Tuesdays, do a minor straightening on Thursdays and watch it all get blown to smithereens over the weekend. Don't feel bad. It's SO HARD to keep up. I hate to admit, but there are still cobwebs from when we moved in. And all the home improvements we did? Stopped the second Aidan was born. Tiles ungrouted, bathroom with no trim on the floor and door... But you won't remember that years from now. You'll remember your time with Hubby, E and Boomer. So keep it up but don't stress too much more about it!