I hate housework. With a passion. I always have.
There is always something else I’d rather be doing, something more important and meaningful. Anything! Like skating, going out for lunch, spending quality time with my family, living life.
Cleaning house together, as a family, is not quality time in my books.
I sometimes think, usually as I’m vacuuming or scrubbing the toilet, that if the world ended today I’d like to have spent my last hours doing some truly important things, not cleaning the house or doing laundry or dishes.
But this rebellious line of thinking is ridiculous because I hate having a dirty house. And it’s not going to clean itself! I hate it so much, in fact, that I kind of surprised myself this week. I always thought it was my husband who was a bit OCD, a bit overly clean. But for the past week, we’ve been having some construction done and for the past week, I have cleaned the house thoroughly every single evening after the guys have left.
Every. Single. Evening.
I hate it. But I hate the filth more.
We usually clean the house as a family on Sundays. Each Sunday, I complain and grunt and groan and mope about it. But now, after cleaning it every day for a week, I think the once a week cleanings will feel luxuriously lazy. At least for the first week. Then I’ll go back to hating them.
I remember being about nine years old, standing in the cold, damp basement in our cottage, ironing napkins in the summer. I felt the same then as I do now, though possibly with a greater vehemence and passionate hatred for the household task at hand. I knew that upstairs and outside, the sun was shining and the cool lake was beckoning. There were better things to be doing. I hated ironing, hated that I had to do it, was sure that I was being treated like a slave.
I’ve heard my son mumble the same things about his chores.
Which means, I guess, that we’re doing something right here. He’ll grow up knowing how to do important things like ironing and cleaning, he won’t be spoiled (ok, he won’t be as spoiled as he might otherwise have been), and he’ll have a sense of responsibility and an understanding of the importance of contributing to the running of the household. And as a bonus, he’ll make a lucky girl (or boy) very happy one day because he won’t live in mess and filth. Or maybe he will, in rebellion, but I won’t have to live with him at that point.
These values we’re trying to install in him have already started paying off, in fact, and not just in reducing the amount of chores I have to do – though, score! But seriously, people have commented on his helpfulness and his lack of preciousness. Good stuff!
This is life. He might as well learn that now.
Sometimes you have to do the things you hate to do.
Sometimes, you have to clean house, do the chores, iron the napkins, help out.
But as long as you have a family that suffers through it with you and that loves you enough to introduce you to the way life is, you will survive.
And when the chores are finished – and they’ll be finished faster if we all work together – we can go out and play.