Helpless Homemaker

Over the course of the past year I became a joiner; I signed up to do various volunteer jobs.  I started making new friends and meeting them for coffee and lunch.  And I began this blog.

Which is all well and good when your life is organized in the first place.  But when things are in such a constant state of chaos, as they are here on a good day, let alone with the way things have been the past year, it might be a bad idea.  It feels like it goes directly against the advice that is given on every flight about putting your own oxygen mask on before you assist others.  How can I help other people when I can hardly breathe myself?  But I often find myself saying yes.  Or volunteering to do something.  Not because I feel like I have to, but because I really enjoy helping out, and meeting with people.  I especially enjoy the opportunity to be more involved with the kids’ school, and get more information about how they are doing.

But my house is suffering.

And at this time of year I start to feel really stretched to my limit, as we are spending more time outside, the kids are up later, and there is extra work to be done in the yard.  Not to mention the sandbox dirt that seems to be everywhere.

I imagine that it sounds strange to people when I say that I can’t keep up with my chores around the house.  Believe me, I don’t get it either.  I mean isn’t that my whole job when the kids are at school?  Shouldn’t I be able to keep the house clean and tidy, bake fresh goodies from scratch, and cook meals that I would be proud to take pictures of and post on the internet?  Instead my house looks like the aftermath of a looting, baking happens approximately 6 times during the year and it is usually because I am baking bribe cookies for unsuspecting educators, or I want chocolate chip cookies, and mine are the only ones I like.  And you’ve seen my cooking efforts.  Pitiful.

My curtains should be hand-sewn to match our decor, inspired by the gorgeous interiors I have seen on Pinterest.  Instead, our family room blinds are made of paper.  Yes.  Paper.  The temporary ones that are intended to be used for the week after you move in (give or take 10 years), or while painting (maybe if you count children squirting the ketchup bottle across the room as painting).  We did have curtains, but our resident Tasmanian devil pulled them down after winding herself up in them.  Along with pulling 2 roller blinds right off the rollers in her room.  And forget sewing.  My mending pile should be a couple of items stacked on the ironing board for maybe a week, while I wait for that chore to come up in my schedule for the week.  Instead it is an overflowing laundry basket purgatory at the back of my closet.  Walk toward the light tattered and ill-fitting garments…your work here is done!

Clearly I was disillusioned about what I would be able to accomplish as a homemaker.  I think I watched too much Leave it to Beaver.  At least I stopped short of calling my child Beaver.  I think June was inhaling too much Mop & Glo.

In my mind I know that it is better that I get out in the world and be involved, spend quality time with my family and friends, and work on my passions.  I will be a better person for it.  But I sure do wish that I could have the clean and organized house too.

Maggie’s speech therapist told me one day that she doesn’t know a lot of the more abstract concepts.  Like clean.  Or tidy.  That’s okay.  Neither do my other two kids.  Or my husband.  I even forget what that is.

But that’s okay.  I have a plan.  We’ll watch Leave It to Beaver.  While we drop popcorn on the floor and eat take-out pizza.

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