Friday, July 17, 2015

A Housekeeping Challenge.

I'm here, I'm here!

It took me a while to process some of your comments--namely those surrounding the issue of getting help from other family members. I responded in the comments, here.

I've been working many hours at the job--and trying to stay cool in the heat. One thing I have not done, however, is taken my own wise advice.

I have let things pile up. Like so.


But nothing comes of quitting but nastiness, so I'm pulling up my bootstraps and starting over.

Obviously, I need some accountability.

Here's the deal. For one week, I will return to my housekeeping roots and do the following tasks every day (and yes, I will delegate as I can!).

1. Make the bed.

2. Swish and swipe the bathrooms. (Full bath on the main floor and the powder room upstairs)

3. Put away dishes in dish rack.

4. 15 minute pick up throughout main floor.

5. Pick up the principle (formerly, master) bedroom

6. Laundry:
Wash one, dry one, fold one, put one away. Not necessarily the same one.

8. Do the Evening Dishes.

If I don't run the water too hot, I can get these suckers done in under ten minutes.

The Challenge is not only to do these things every day, but to report to you on my progress each night.

The last time I did this, I didn't have a job. Now I do. This week I am working the following:

Sat, 8 hours
Sun, 6 1/4 h
Mon, 8 hours
Tues, off
Wed, 7 hours
Thurs, off
Friday, off.
Total: 29 1/4 hours.

Let the challenge begin!


Marian said...

I'm so relieved to see you back again, Alana - I was getting a bit worried, and certainly thinking I had completely overstepped with my last comment. I feel bad that you were thinking you were a "bad mother" because of my words. My SIL and I have had some conversations about kids and chores over the years. Her early thoughts ran something like this: I have the time to clean the house, and I consider it my "job"; my kids' "job" is to go to school/be involved in sports/have *actual* part-time jobs, so I shouldn't be asking them to clean. My SIL is a wonderful mother, but her now-adult kids are clueless about how to clean, and she freely admits this line of thinking as they were growing up was the wrong approach for her to take. Lest I come off sounding like I have it all figured out ... when I was growing up, my mother had both my brother and me perform various cleaning duties on a weekly basis. I didn't resent it; it was simply what one did when one lived in a house with other people; you simply pulled your weight and contributed. Fast forward to my own kids ... I have tried to institute the same system of chores, but have had mixed results. Yes, the kids do some chores (cleaning their bathroom, helping with dishes) but the bulk of it falls to me and I either do it myself, or it takes me having to ask them. And yes, they do the things I ask, but there is a slight feeling there that they are doing me a favour! (Grrr...) I would love to be at the point where my kids simply "see" what needs to be done, and do it, but I think in order to get there, I have to be more firm in scheduling: "this is our cleaning day; these are your jobs".

It has occurred to me that part of the reason for the difficulty with all this is that our collective standards have slipped. Even my Dutch mother no longer keeps as clean a house as she used to. I sometimes feel life is too short to be worried about a dirty floor, and I would rather be doing something else ... but then when I don't clean the floor on a regular basis (and oh my, the floor right now, and when exactly did I last wash it?!?!) the grime weighs on me more than it probably should, so obviously some standards of cleanliness are needed!

Janina Laird said...

Hi Marian and Alana,

Getting help from kids is a great idea but it doesn't always come easily, does it? I've always insisted that my kids help out out with their share of chores in the home because since we all use and benefit from the amenities in our home, we should ALL be responsible for maintaining it. Ha! Easier said than done!!! Lol. Sometimes I used to think to myself it would just be simpler to do it myself!!! But that really is taking the easy way out.

Kids will put on their brakes and dig in their heels to avoid doing chores because work just isn't any fun. But I have to realize they just take after me because I put off cleaning whenever I can, too!

Alana, I still say you need to make sure you need to make sure you take care of YOU. I've been missing your posts greatly. Within the week I'm losing a second daughter to the great province of AB. I'm one sad mommy!!! The beautiful 'West' claims another child of the wicked 'East'. (I can say that because I'm western born and bred!

Alana in Canada said...

Marian--please don't feel bad--I took that guilt trip all by myself!
Thanks for your comments about the kids. I haven't got but a minute, so I'll condense my thoughts with the comment that it is a process!

Luisa in Dallas said...

Back in the olden days, my mother tried to get my sister and me (teenagers) to do our own ironing. (I know, how unreasonable, right?) Well, we procrastinated, we whinged, we begged her to do it for us because she was better at it. She finally gave up because she hated conflict. But, you know, if she had just stayed firm for just a little longer, I would have taken over my own ironing. I knew in my heart that she was totally right and that she was not my maid, but, darn it, ironing wasn't fun, so I complained. And I was successful in avoiding all chores - I never learned anything until I was on my own. When I went away to college, my roommate was horrified that I didn't know how to operate a washing machine. Wake up call!

As an aside, my equally lazy sister secretly married while she was in high school but continued to live at home. My mom guessed that she was married when my sister started (for the first time in her life) showing an interest in cooking and homemaking!

So, please, keep after that child, who will someday (I hope) thank you for having been "encouraged" to learn some necessary life skills.

So glad you're back.

Alana in Canada said...

That's a great story Luisa. I appreciate the encouragement!

Janina--there's nothing for it, then, you must come back! Should you ever come out to visit and feel inclined, we should get together for coffee. Just e-mail me and let me know.

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