Tag Archives: Domestically Disabled

I just want to get groceries!

14 Oct

Two children under two years of age. It’s a teetering house of cards on the best of days. Bad days are akin to trying to build a house on quicksand. as it stands now, I’m typing this one-handed while nursing Miles and Ella is “washing dishes”in the kitchen where I can see her.

Most things are like this these days. Attempting activities one handed while juggling two or three other things with the other. It’s an adventure, let me tell you.

Once upon a time, grocery shopping use to be an annoyance. Then I use to think think getting to the grocery store with just Ella was a challenge. It was at times, but nothing like it is now. Trying to balance everyone’s naps (which don’t line up, of course), meal times, dodging rain downpours, and anything else that may crop up makes it near impossible. For some reason, going to the grocery store didn’t happen this weekend when Aaron was home so here it is Wednesday (again!) without any grocery shopping done. My pantry is looking rather woeful and there are no eggs in the refrigerator. I’m praying that when Miles wakes up from his nap, there will be enough time to dash out the door to the store before the school buses emerge to clog the roadways.

Well, dash as well as one can with a toddler in hand, wearing a newborn, and a diaper bag along for the ride.

Sometimes, I get really frustrated with the pace (or lack there of) that my life has taken. Things take immense planning and then there has to be contingency plans. I’m always forgetting things, too. It became very clear to me how often that happens just the other day. Ella has begun to have imaginary play. She packed up her purse, got on her beep beep car and told me she was going grocery shopping. Suddenly she jumped up and said “Oh no! No snacks! Right back!”. She ran to her toy box, grabbed imaginary snacks and got back on her little car.

Just in case you didn’t catch that, it’s become a regular occurrence for me to get EVERYONE and EVERYTHING in the car to suddenly remember I forgot the most important thing of all — snacks! They keep the peace and by warding off the grumpies.

Oh hey! I had more to say but Miles is awake! I’m going to read the story I’ve been promising to Ella, then pack the diaper bag (with snacks), wrestle clothes on my nudist of a daughter, and attempt to make it out the door before school lets out.

Who am I kidding? My goal should be to make it home before dinner.

Either way, wish me luck!

Taking Ownership

30 Sep

For years, I have cringed over my house keeping skills. Or should I say, my lack there of. It’s not that I grew up without being taught how to keep things neat and tidy. To the contrary, my mom is the personification of “a place for everything and everything in it’s place”. She did everything within her power to instill the amazing skills she possessed but I am obviously lacking a very specific gene and this skill set failed to imprint in my brain.

Yes, I do know, comprehend and understand the concepts of organization. I even have some pretty good ideas myself. What I fail at doing is implementing them and then maintaining. “Domestically Disabled” is what I consider myself. I quickly learned that it was simply impossible for me to maintain anything above “organized chaos” and also came to the conclusion that if I couldn’t do it perfectly, why do it at all.

Which is why my room looked like it did as a teenager.

For years, I’ve dreaded housekeeping. As an adult, I realized I couldn’t just let my living area fall to shambles but I’ve never felt like I could live up to the standards of my mom’s house. I always have compared my ability (or lack there of) to her’s and would feel so miserable. That morphed into feeling like I couldn’t live up to the standards of my friends and the world in general.

That has changed now. I came to the conclusion a few weeks ago that I had to stop apply so much pressure to myself. People really don’t care if my house is cluttered, let alone inspect my baseboards. As long as there isn’t bugs in the carpet and mold growing on bowls in the kitchen sink, it shouldn’t matter. The only opinions that truly matter are those who live with me.

Aaron is something of a neat freak and makes housekeeping look so easy that I kind of hate him for it. He’s really picked up where I left off during the 3rd trimester and this early baby time. Watching him just keep a lid on the simmering pot helped me realize that if I could just do that, just keep things from exploding, then life in general and housekeeping in particular will be simpler (not to mention Aaron can do the more meticulous things he loves and I don’t even see).

So this week has been the kitchen. It has been my goal to stay on top of all the dishes this week, keep the stove top and counters clean, and floor swept. That’s it. No gigantic cupboard cleaning binge, otherwise I’ll get burned out like I have any other time I’ve attempted this. Hey, at least I can learn from past failures!

So far, so good. The kitchen hasn’t exploded once in the three days I’ve been doing this. Today I’ve baked breakfast cookies, made apple sauce, and have soup simmering on the stove top. Through all of this I’ve kept the kitchen sink relatively clear of dishes because I’m washing them as I go, which is one of the few things that managed to implement itself in my life from my mother’s teachings.

During this time, I’ve also decided that I’m going to own the fact that I can’t keep house well and am domestically disabled. I’m not a naturally tidy person. That’s part of who I am and I need to stop fighting it. I need to stop being embarrassed when folks come over because there’s nothing wrong with a cluttery home (not hording and dirty!) so long as the inhabitants don’t mind. I’ve found that acceptance has been half the battle. Once I accepted that my home will NEVER look like my mother’s, I’ve had motivation to stay on top of things!

So we’ll see how things go. There are some spots in the house that need some serious help but I’ll tackle those later. I have to start somewhere and the kitchen seemed like the best place to begin.

Clean floors

12 May

A friend came by the other day and commented on how the floor space in front of my sink and counter were so incredibly clean. At first, I wasn’t sure if I should take it as her gently prodding me to mop the remainder of my kitchen floor. Thankfully, she continued and said that the floor in front of her meal prep area was always the most dirty and disgusting and she wanted to know what I did to keep it gunk free.

I had to laugh. Up until about 3 months ago, she would have never said that about my kitchen floor. But then my daughter learned the joys of “washing dishes” and requests to clean the entire contents of my tupperware drawer multiple times a day. Of course, the water never says in the sink and I mop up in front of the counters more times than I wish to count in a week. Here’s to hoping this is a sign she’s not domestically disabled like her mother!

Moral of this story is? If you want clean kitchen floors, get yourself a toddler who loves to wash dishes.

Let's hope this lasts when she's old enough to clean up after supper!

Let's hope this lasts when she's old enough to clean up after supper!

Hello! My Name Is: Domestically Disabled

5 May

I really do have super fail at maintaining our house. I feel like a useless stay at home parent because I’m not staying on top of things. Aaron works 10 hour days of hard manual labor to provide for us and the last thing he should have to come home and do is dishes and pick up toys. Granted, I’m sure once in a while won’t kill him but every night? Not okay. Spending the entire weekend trying to get the house caught up? Again, not okay.

So my goal is to start small and work up to maintaining the whole house. The only things that I’m asking to be his responsibility are:

  • Feeding the cats
  • Taking garbage out
  • Putting diapers on the rinse/wash cycle at night
  • Putting them in the dryer in the morning
  • Bring up laundry from the basement that has already been washed, dryed, and folded. We have a laundry shoot I can send the clothes down in but I physically can not haul it back upstairs.

The past week, I have been “testing” myself and have been able to stay on top of the dishes (for the most part). He hasn’t washed a single dish. Granted, coming home on Saturday after work to find a sink full of dirty dishes from lunch was really frustrating but he acknowledged that he slacked off there and will stay on top of that in the future. I appreciated him telling me that without any prompting or mention from me.

So this afternoon I’m creating a master list of daily, weekly, monthly chores that I want to accomplish and then putting them into a new Google calender to email me my list for the day. I’m only going to be focusing on the kitchen, dining room, living room and bathroom. I think if I can stay on top of that for 6 months, I’ll branch out into the bedrooms and then tackle the basement. In the past, I’ve had epic failure because I try to do *everything* at once. It was so overwhelming and impossible that I quit before the end of two weeks. I’m hoping by taking small bites at a time, I’ll be able to eventually get the entire house under my belt. Kind of like how an ant eats a buffalo, eh?

I’m super super nervous about how I will handle Aaron being gone 6 days a week if he gets into CNA training. He’ll leave for work at 7:15am and get home late at night after training is over. On Saturdays, they meet all day. Sundays would be his only day off. He’s going to be exhausted, stressed, and worn out. I really want Sundays to be relaxing and rejuvenating for him. The only what that will happen is if I stay on top of the house during the week. I’m very thankful that the training is only 6 weeks. Shorter than a minimester. I can deal with that. WE can deal with that.

Another hope I have is that if the house is all caught up and presentable by the time Miles is born, it won’t go into too much disrepair if I take a couple weeks off from house keeping. I’m planning on using disposable plates, bowls, and silverware until I get back up on my feet, so aside from laundry and general house pick up, we should be good to let things slide. Right?

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