Tuesday, March 8, 2011

House Work My Nemesis

  Do you have any struggles that have lasted your whole life?
Is there something that has always been there and never changed?  Maybe you have changed, and you are in a different place in your life, but that one part remains.  I do.
   For as long as I can remember I have never been organized, never kept my room neat, ever. 
    When I lived on my own there was no cleaning, until company was coming or I had no more dishes to use and had to wash some.  Now imagine how that translated into marriage.  Then add children into the mix.  How was I never able to get a grip on this skill?  How has it evaded me all these years?  Why is house work my nemesis? 
   Oh I've heard it all from, just do it, to writing out lists and schedules.  Flylady worked for me for about a month I think.  I've tried to get back on the fly wagon, it usually lasts about a day. 
   In other areas of my life I've changed, moved on, but this one gets me.  I'm stuck.  It's not that I can't clean, I have, but that's it when I HAVE to. 
    I know this probably doesn't make sense to my "born organized" friends.  Some of my friends are nice and make sweet excuses for me, "You have 5 children!".  "You are very busy!"  Yes, yes, you are all sweet and I love your nonjudgmental love.  But I know the truth, I know that I could do better.  I know that I could BE BETTER.  So what's with NOT being better, what is that?   Am I too nice to myself, allowing myself the excuse to "not feel like it right now"?  Is it something deeper that needs to be worked out?
   Often over the years I have prayed for help.  Begging God to make me good at this.  Asking for the desire to get it done.  Now I have begun to pray again.  Asking God to reveal to me what it is that holds me back.  Giving me His motivation to WANT TO do the cleaning, His knowledge to know HOW and WHERE to start. 
    2 weeks ago an amazing thing happened.  For 3 days I had no dishwasher.  I had to wash all the dishes by hand.  Since my children are spoiled privileged enough to only know how to load and unload a dishwasher, and I was too lazy merciful to teach them.   One son actually took the initiative to dry the dishes and put them away.  A boy after his father's heart!  
 Anyways back to my story of the amazing thing that happened to me.  There is something truly magical in hot, soapy water.  It makes you want to wash everything.  So I did, all the appliances small and big.  All the cupboards (on the outside it's not THAT miraculous!).  All the counters, and walls (above the counter again not THAT miraculous).
   By the time I was done the dishes my kitchen was sparkly, and I didn't even give it a second thought.  I was in awe, and a little fearful that I had left and someone else had moved in (just kidding).
    I kept it nice and sparkly clean for 3 DAYS!!! Then I got a cold and hubby fixed the dishwasher and here I sit in the mess again.
   I don't have a cold anymore.  Maybe I should make some soapy, hot water and stick my hands in it.  Maybe something might happen, and if not then I guess I'll just give myself a manicure.


Dawn said...

Can I offer some advice? Don't you hate that word!!!
THROW STUFF OUT! GET RID OF IT! The more cluttered my house is, the harder it is to keep clean. I used to be like you until Chad made me throw everything out. I made a deal with myself that if I actually missed it in 6 months, I could get it again. Funny thing? I have missed maybe one or two things equalling probably less than $20. That money was worth my sanity. Do a clean sweep on your house! I black garbage bag a day. And make the kids help. You will notice a change in a hurry. And you can donate tons which will make you feel better!
Love you!

Trixie said...

I can soooo relate to this Lauralee!! I'm the same way. It's true though, throwing stuff away or giving it away really helps and I have made up a simple schedule that gets the kids doing something every day to help out. Otherwise my fish doesn't get fed, the garbage cans overflow, there are clean piles of laundry on top of everyone's dressers. Well, the schedule works - as long as I remind them to do what the schedule says :) T'is true also that you should give yourself a break. You are busy with your family doing more important things than cleaning the house and we are always our own worst critics!!

Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home said...

Okay you are not alone in this boat. And I don't have a dishwasher that does a good enough job so we hand wash them.
I have never in the first 17 years of marriage had to keep house. I am not spoiled it just did not figure into our lives. We got married and then hit bible college and he was never home and so there wasn't much cleaning to be done. Then we hit the trail trying to raise support and so we didn't have a "home". Once on the mission field, I had a wonderful katabang - a "helper" not a servant, a helper. So though I kept house, she did a majority of it so I could focus on homeschooling and ministry. Now that we are back in the states, add 4 kids and 2 dogs.... and still homeschooling and full time ministry.... lets just say my house is a flylady hotspot. My mother never taught me to ckeep house either. So I get where you are coming from. Let's encourage one another to climb this mountain and win!!