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Category Archives: house work

There is always a project.

Or twelve.  I will never catch up.

Right now I have the following on the front burners:

Make the female child’s Halloween costume, finish painting the female child’s big girl bed and actually put it in her room, take about a zillion classes for work, clean my desk (still, always), rake the yard and mow and weed again before winter, clean the back porch, get cardboard out of the basement and burned, clean the laundry room (spiderwebs are taking over or this sort of thing would never make it to any burner of mine, let alone the front), buy pumpkins hopefully in time to carve them, go through the toys to donate the ones that are now too young for both kids (or I will never fit that aforementioned bed in the kids’ room), go through my clothes and make the hubs go through his (neither of us have had new clothing for like 3 years, funny what kids do to you), shop for new clothes (hello thrift stores!), get shoes for everyone, clean the ceiling fans, find somebody to replace our stupid furnace…

Oh good lord, it’s worse than I thought and I’m not even done with the list.  For somebody who can’t find the time to do dishes and laundry I think I’m in trouble.  And I have so many things on my back burner that will obviously not even be touched.

This just makes me wish I work full time so I have a reason to be in this pickle.

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Oct 25 Edit

I guess I got overwhelmed when I posted that, because I didn’t even get to the actual issue.  Before I had kids, my house was frequently messy.  I was often behind on getting things done because procrastinantion (or outright laziness) got in my way.  I was busy reading, or visiting friends, or traveling a little bit on the rare occasion I had the money and time all at once.  I lived how I wanted to live and the world be damned.

Now, I think about those days a lot.  More than I should.  I suspect that it’s a normal parent thing… missing the freedom to piss off on your own time, not having the constant and incessant demands of small children, being able to pee all by yourself.

But for the first time in my life I want a clean, organized, beautiful home.  I want things to be perfect for the kids, even as I realize that there is no such thing.  I don’t want to be finishing my daughter’s Halloween costume at 3am when she has to wear it to school at 5 hours later.  It all worked out, but that’s not the right way to do things.  It could have been a disaster.  I could have ruined the costume.  Maybe she would get over it in 10 minutes, or a day, or forget in 3 months that it ever happened.  But I wouldn’t.  I would never forget letting my child down, or forgive myself for it.

I just feel a lot like I’m teetering at the brink.  I plan and schedule and create the perfect calendar, but I don’t always pay attention to the appointments that are written on tomorrow’s date.  I worry over making the Christmas tree beautiful and bright enough to be seen from orbit, but I don’t get enough sleep and get crabby with the whole family.  I work my butt off “part time,” and end up blowing all that money on fast food that I don’t want my kids eating anyway and falling into patterns that aren’t healthy and make everyone’s lives miserable.

And when it comes down to it, there are a lot of nights like tonight.  I needed to do… everything on the above list except the costume.  And instead I sat down with my daughter after the baby went to bed and we made a heart out of tissue paper and glue to give to her cousin.  Maybe she forgot it in 10 minutes, or will forget tomorrow or a month from now.  But I won’t.

Every moment like that with my children makes all the sleep deprivation and missed appointments and chaos and worry and antidepressants worthwhile.  Because before, when I looked around my messy house everything was mine.  Mine mine mine mine.  Now, nothing is mine, and I don’t want it to be any other way.

I do still want to pee alone though.

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Tenants

So we rent out half of our house.  This is nice in that we have extra income, not nice in that I really really want that space.  It’s also a lot more work than it should be.

When we first bought our house, it was set up for an upstairs apartment.  Our plan was to wait and see what would happen, live in the space a while and then decide what to do.  Well, somebody knew somebody who really needed an apartment right then, and it turned out that we had a tenant who actually moved in before us.  Definitely not the plan, but we rolled with it.  And to be honest, it saved us.

So after 15 months, our tenant has moved out.  We rented the apartment to the first people who saw it and still get emails about the rental.  (How do you take an ad off craigslist?)  We have 4 days to do about 3 weeks worth of work up there.  Don’t get me wrong, we had a very responsible tenant; there are just things that need to be addressed now that we didn’t know about before and she didn’t really care.  I think she didn’t care – she never mentioned them.

So now some wallpaper has to be removed and we have to paint the kitchen and touch up the living room.  We have to clean carpets and kitchen cabinets.  We have to replace the faucet in the bath tub.  We have to repair about a dozen little things.  And we have to do the winter-is-coming preparation that we would have needed to do whether we were changing tenants or not.

It is a little frustrating to me because I am trying to find time to do our personal stuff and that time just doesn’t exist.  It’s also expensive at a time we can’t really afford it.  Life goes on and on and on.

Our new tenants have a baby boy just 2 months older than our son, so we are pretty happy about that.  They are happy they can use the swing set and the yard.  We have another adjustment to make.  Just like every other month.  We are looking forward to the challenge…

 
 

Being a Bad Housewife

So I have been a terrible housewife for several weeks.  Tired, unmotivated, blah blah blah.

I blame my laziness for my laziness.  I have not been to the farmers market in a month.  It’s hot, I say.  I’m tired, I say.  We’re broke, I say.  All true.  Also all excuses for not doing what I know to be right.  It’s got to stop.

But it won’t this week.  I had a wart removed from the bottom of my foot yesterday, one that I should’ve taken care of a long time ago but didn’t.  I tried all the home stuff, which didn’t work, even duct tape.  (Don’t waste the duct tape.  What a silly idea.)  Then I just gave up and limped a little.  So when the doc finally took care of it, she said, “stay off your foot for a week.”  Right, I have two small children.

So today I had to go to the basement.  And proceeded to fall right down the stairs.  Bunch of scrapes and bruises, injured pride, and a twisted ankle.  The one attached to the sore foot.  My amazing aunt stopped by moments after I fell, thankfully, so she played with the kids while I nursed myself a bit.

I managed to go back down tonight, on my feet all the way to the bottom, to do some laundry, but the husband is going to have to bring the clothes up from the dryer.

Isn’t life fun?

I have managed to print my weekly calendar.  We haven’t had one for a few months and I just can’t live like that.  The more the family grows up, the less I can remember.  I looked and looked for one that I liked and that would work for our needs before giving up and making my own in Excel.  It has room for work schedules, my husband’s class schedule, appointments, menu planning, chores, holidays and events, and that famous “other.”  There is also space at the bottom for to-do this week and to-do next week.  It is a full calendar.  I have to write very very small.

I will be honest and admit that I have only used the space for menu planning twice.  I keep up with everything else, but I can’t get that meal planning done.  I think I just waste too much time on the computer.

The chores are on a weekly rotation, so I have set things to accomplish each day.  On weekdays, this includes stuff that needs to get done (at least) weekly like vacuuming and scrubbing the bathroom.  Occasionally I even get a day ahead.  It’s a good feeling when that happens.  Rare, but good.  Obviously, the dishes and laundry and tidying up that get done every day are not listed.  My goal is to keep all these basic chores to less than an hour to an hour and a half each day.  On weekends, the chores are on a monthly rotation – stuff like shampooing the carpets and real dusting.  Yardwork is scheduled in the warm months, and house maintenance in the winter.

So far, I’m happy with it, although I think it could use a little tweaking.  There are several chores not listed that I spend a good amount of time on – the big ones being financial stuff (bill paying, budgeting, figuring out how to live on our income) and that pesky menu planning.  Adding those make my time limits go up exponentially, so I’m not so keen on the idea.

What I need to work on is a separate chore list for the kids, one with stickers and stuff.  So far, I’m not real into the rewards.  Nobody rewards me for washing dishes, right?  I’m sure that will change as the kids get older and rebel.

I’m also still working on getting a nice, organized office space.  I have looked and looked at Pinterest for inspiration, read several books about organization, and even know what I want to do, at least to start off.  Finding the time and motivation to get it done…  Hopefully soon I will be bragging about the results.