Tag Archives: Motherhood

If I Only Had A…Maid

MaidWeDontHave
I would wile away the hours
Nibbling bonbons and buying flowers
(A significant upgrade)
I’d be chill, I’d be happy
I’d be dressin’ really snappy
If I only had a maid… ♫

I am so fakking sick of housework these days.  I love the warm weather, but I’ll say this for the dead of winter:  it’s a lot cleaner.

In Spring, nature decides to come indoors to play.  Kids walk through the house in pool-wet and lawn-dirty feet and leave smeary footprints from the back door to the front.  There are damp towels…everywhere. Dust and other schmeg blows in to settle in corners, and it becomes impossible to have the glass-topped coffee table look remotely clear.  Flies get trapped between the sliding doors and die there, their corpses needing extrication (but not before driving me half-mad with their desperate and hopeless  pre-mortem buzzing).

The dogs begin to shed more (which is really saying somethin’), leaving blond, brown and black hair all over the leather chairs and couches, where it sticks until I wipe it off because static electricity.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

With additional hours of light comes extended hours I am forced to look at my house As It Is, as opposed to October through April, when it looks ‘romantic’ by 4:30 p.m. because I turn the lights down low and can no longer see the dust.

There is definitely more laundry this time of year.  Aforementioned towels, plus bathing suits, shorts and jeans, t-shirts galore because no kid of mine is ever going to get through an entire Jumbo Freezie without slopping the melted bit all down their fronts.  Before I had kids, I would look down my nose at parent friends of mine who left overflowing baskets of clean laundry in the living room.  “How lazy!” I would think to myself,  “How hard can it be to put away?”  and “When I am a parent, my family will always have a wellspring of pristine clothes to choose from!” Well, a note to those as yet-childless, judgemental bitches: it is ridiculously hard to keep it up when you’re doing it all the fucking time for a houseful of people who (yes, I’m about to say something über-motherish) HAVE NEVER UNDERSTOOD HOW THE CLEAN CLOTHES GET INTO THEIR ROOMS.

This is not a GIF. This is footage. From my house.

Phew.  That was nice.  It felt good to get it out.  Really, really good.

A natural consequence to perpetual circuit cleaning is that while the other three are well put-out, I myself never get out of the clothes I clean in.  I have a closetful of lovely cotton sundresses that have yet to see the light of day this season.  But you see, even IF I had somewhere to wear them, even IF I took a shower, even IF I shaved my legs, I’d still have to iron them (the clothes, not the legs) beforehand, I mean, they’ve spent the past almost-year being shoved aside for cooler-weather clothes and are as wrinkly as Donatella Versace’s tuchus (and I wouldn’t be caught wearing that out in public).  And that’s just more work.  So.

If I had a maid, I would have her (yes, I assume it’s going to be a her, ditch Women’s Studies comments for now) do all sorts of things outside the norm.  Windows?  Don’t care, leave ’em.  Countertops?  Nah, I do those myself several times a day.  Water the plants?  You’re not taking away something I actually like doing.  Run the dishwasher?  Uh, nope, not paying you to press buttons.  Some of  the jobs that have occurred to me in the last 24 hours:

Hangers:  Go through my entire closet and make sure none of them are overlapping.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Paperwork:  Once a month, gather random papers from wherever you may find them in the house and shred them.  This includes bills.  I will never notice.
Bath products:  Once a month, go under the sinks of all washrooms and toss half of what you find there (exception: TP).  I will never notice.
Fridge:  Once a month, pull out the crispers and clean whatever nastiness you find behind/under there.  Most of it you’ll have to use your fingernail to scrape off.  I never want to deal with that shite again.
Rooms:  For God’s sake, capture and kill the dust rhinos under the bed.  My vacuum won’t do it, by the way, technically speaking, the sucker-part angles too much when you get the wand-part that low to the ground.  So you’ll likely have to lie on your stomach on the floor and get some Swiffer-y something-or-other to manage.  Or spray yourself with Pledge and git under there, yourself, and roll about, I don’t care.
Stickers:  This is a kind of I Spy exercise.  My children randomly place stickers around the house (including but not limited to: Superheroes, My Little Pony, dollar-store miscellany, Christmas, Easter, Hallowe’en and Valentine’s Day) with no visible pattern.  Grab yourself a bottle of Goo Gone and make ’em disappear.  I’ll deal with the tears afterward.

That’s all I got for now, though I’ll be adding as I come up with other stuff.

What would YOU have your maid do? (Those able to answer “Well, I usually have her…” need not apply.)

And for those wondering what I really think, this is the kind of maid I’d want, and I’d never have her do any of the grody things listed above, because I would love her far too much:

Sniff! I love you, Aibileen!

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Filed under Ephemera, Rants, The Mama Goddess

A Day In The Life

low-self-esteem

I’m my own worst enemy.

I’ve been contemplating the vicious cycle of low self-esteem this morning.  It always takes the form of an internal conversation, between Me and The Bully (also me). It looks something like this:

Me: I really need to start training for that thing in July.

The Bully:  You haven’t even finished the laundry you started yesterday!  Or done the dishes.  Or cleaned up the gardening tools,  which have been sitting out for a week.  Or filled out the kids’ passport forms. You should get those jobs done first, slacker.

Me: But I’m tired.  I’m tired all the damned time.  And if I exercise, I’ll have more energy, and feel better about myself, which will, in turn, inspire me to do more.

The Bully:  You talk a good talk, but you never walk the walk.   Why don’t you start slowly, do the dishes, have another cigarette, play on Facebook a bit and then see how the day goes?

Me: That’s what I always do!  And it’s not working!  I feel like shit.  I look like hell.  When’s the last time I washed my hair?  If I could just get UP and DO, I’d be so much better off.

The Bully:  You think so?  You think you’re made of the same stuff as the people in all those inspirational YouTube videos you watch late at night while gnoshing pretzels, capable of overcoming tremendous adversity one step at a time?  You think you can deal with the challenges, frustrations and setbacks that come with any grandiose plan (of which you’ve had many)?  You think you can stick with it?  When have YOU ever stuck with anything?

Me: Well…I…

The Bully:  That’s right.  All the things you’ve “accomplished” thus far have been flukes.  It’s not like you’ve ever really tried hard to do something, get something, be something.  You just kind of lamely fall in to situations, and wait.  You’ve never been the proactive type.

Me: But…my university degree…motherhood…my writing…?  Surely those count as accomplishments?

The  Bully:  The only reason you started any one of those is because you had time to fill.  Let’s keep it real.

Me: But…I…

The Bully:  Allrighty, then!  I think we’re done here.  Let’s go have that cigarette and stare aimlessly off the porch for a while and dream impossible dreams for a bit before tackling the laundry.

Me: Okay.

It’s crazy-making.  And what makes it worse is that all the brains in the world can’t suss out how to stop The Bully from dropping in unannounced.  This isn’t something that is ruled by logic and reason. If it were, it would be so easy to build myself back up by looking at all I’ve done, as opposed to focusing on what has been left undone.  I could practice daily Stewart Smalley affirmations.

I could get a subscription to “O” and believe everything I read about self-love.

“Yogurt is the next Prozac!”

I could do yoga and start believing in chakras, and thereby clean ’em out.

I’m fairly certain I’m not doing this right.

Ah, folks.  It’s a hard row to hoe, sometimes.  I don’t have any answers.

But today the sun is shining, and I’m going to get out there and enjoy it, laundry and Bully be damned.

♪ I’m prancin’…they be hatin’ ♫

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Virginia Woolf, Time Porn, and a Room Of One’s Own


Years ago I read an article that addressed the amazing ability of the ‘Friends’ characters to always have enough time to go to work, sit around a coffee shop for hours, have incestuous relationships with each other, do their laundry and sleep enough to wake up looking like, well, the cast of Friends.   The writer referred to this seemingly impossible phenomenon as “Time Porn.”  I attempted to find said article via Google in order to acknowledge the author, but you can imagine the results when I typed in “friends” and “porn” as search terms.  So you’ll just have to believe me.

Time porn is only too common on TV.  But here in suburbia, I barely have time to change my Facebook status before I’m schlepping breakfast, making lunches, ending sibling altercations, answering telemarketer calls, tossing the recycling in the bin, wrestling a ponytail elastic away from the dog and getting Thing 1 and Thing 2 to school.  And no, I didn’t forget to add “getting myself beautiful,” because that doesn’t happen. Most days I look a lot like the other stay-at-home moms I see on the blacktop – lowest common denominator.  I haven’t quite arrived at the male “sniff it and see if it’s still wearable” stage, but I’m close.

That said, my dismal uniform is utterly perfect for blogging, and that makes me happy.  Not as happy, say, as having Rachel Green hair upon waking, or a freezer full of Tanqueray, but it’ll do for now.

Only thing is, back in my idealist, I-want-to-be-Margaret-Laurence days, I’d always imagined myself as Morag from The Diviners, living and writing blissfully in my isolated riverside home, putting the vintage teakettle on to boil, using a beat-up Underwood typewriter, and enduring only the interruption of gulls squabbling over bread crumbs outside.  Here at my current homestead, this is time porn.  Even now, as I sit here, I’m competing for brain space with the sound of Transformers playing not ten feet from me.  Yesterday there were six kids in this house, apparently competing to see who would go hoarse first, when they weren’t begging for food.  I almost never get dinner ready at the same time for more than two consecutive days.  Last year’s kid school work is still neatly packed away in a box, waiting for the discard/keep ritual I’d planned to tackle July 1st. I haven’t printed off a digital picture since sometime in 2009.  My dentist tells me I grind my teeth.  Hmm.  A few steps away yet from where I thought I’d be as a writer.

The author Virginia Woolf really ripped us off, taking her watery leave so soon.  Back in 1928, she’d been asked to give talks to women’s colleges, which led to the publication of A Room Of One’s Own in 1929.  Znaimer’s Idea City and the recently-popularized and (excessively) reposted TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) talks can’t compete with how cutting-edge this chick was, over eighty years ago.  She told the girls that poverty sucked the life out of creativity, that women needed freedom, education and cash in order to produce artistic work, that one needed to defy outdated ideas of female ‘propriety’, and of course, that we need ‘a room of our own’ if we are to be able to write.

Well, Ginny, I don’t have a lot of cash, but I have enough to cover the ISP bill and a bottle of Tanqueray.  I have a few hours free most nights, a university degree (it’s in Sociology but no one here minds, right?), and I’ve never much cared for what the Moral Majority regards as proper girly conduct.

So I don’t have the room of my own.  Who wants perfection?  Someone pour me a G & T.  I have to get to work.

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Filed under Can-Lit, Ephemera, The Mama Goddess, Uncategorized