Monday, September 21, 2009

Domestic Distress!!

1. Bad, bad night for Layla with her teeth. (Almost zero sleep for me.)
2. But I'm still enjoying my glossy lacquered nails - AND toenails. At least I can be glamourouslyshattered!
3. Instead of actually painting, I nearly started a new blog about my painting. Realised I was really just procrastinating in an incredibly self-deceptive way: I believed for a few minutes I was actually working! Have decided to blog about my art on this blog if I really have to!
4. And now for the absolute crux of why I am here today: I need help! But constructive help only, please. Why?

... My house is a mess. There are some areas which are pristine and fantastically organised - but they are frustratingly few and far between. When I was pregnant, I was so badly bloated and exhausted, that not having enough energy to keep it tidy didn't bother me too much. Now that Layla's older and easier, I find that I get stuck into setting the house to rights - only to have it all fall down like a sandcastle smashed by the inevitable wave. (Funny little metaphor - but that's what it really feels like to me. Like I've spent hours playing and creating and perfecting, only to watch in horror as the waves creep closer and closer... and then to watch as it crumbles down upon itself and disappears into only a memory of itself.) I think it New York Mayor Giuliani's notion of 'The Broken Window' that's at fault for 99% of the messes in my house. i.e. when there's a broken window in an otherwise nice neighbourhood, it attracts naughty, loitering boys - who then scribble a little graffiti on the wall, and maybe break the next window along. Then a gang moves in to claim it as its turf, and the drug dealer's the next step. Etcetera etcetera. The solution: prevention is better than cure: so when there's a broken window, fix it immediately so it doesn't attract more brokenness.
I've tried to explain that to my other half who really does seem to try his best but honestly doesn't have a tidy bone in his body - so while he agrees with needing to clean/tidy straightaway, he can't seem to put it into practise. Hence, my chronically messy house that, when someone unexpectedly knocks at the door for a visit, has my heart going into miniature cardiac arrest, or telling a white lie like, "I was just about to leave for the dentist" (even though I'm blatabtly un-ready in my pink polka-dot gown and steaming mug of coffee!)
So: any advice or CONSTRUCTIVE ideas? One idea I've had is to get in a cleaning service once every two weeks to vacuum, dust etc, so I don't have to spend so much time doing that sort of housework, and can then focus on keeping things tidy/organised. (If I tell Craig about this idea, he'll enthusiastically launch into telling me HE will do those things for me on weekends. But... does it EVER happen? You know the answer to that.)
Wondering if I should sign off the rest of the week to getting the house PERFECT, then begin painting again on the weekend? Even though I'm not anally-retentive about tidyness, I struggle to be creative if there are too many messes lurking around, making me feel distracted with guilt!


Andrea said...

We have a team tidy on Sunday evening and then I write off Monday and do what I can until I run out of steam - that way the week starts off tidy and it is a little easier to keep it that way....I also start with a different room every week and that way I know that each one is done properly at least once a month.

Boxes are also the answer, I have boxes in the corner for Nick's toys so I can just throw them in quickly and tidy the floor, boxes for shoes by the door - same applies, boxes in the bathroom for bath toys etc etc etc, that way I can chuck the mess inside and go through it every couple of months to declutter.

Unfortunately it is one endless job and I so agree with you with the sandcastle analogy....a bit pointless really.

Hang in there and know you are so not alone :0)


P.S. LOVE the new blog look!!!!

Lisa said...

A, that is SUCH good advice!! LOVE the idea of a 'team tidy' (guess what Craig's doing this weekend with me?! lol) and also the boxes in each room! I bought these gorgeous candy-pink flexi round buckets for Layla's toys in the lounge and they work like a charm: just never thought to do it in each room: THANK YOU!!!! (Glad you like my new look -- all thanks to you!) x

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa, love reading your blog, you write beautifully. Teething is awful isn't it? I used to wonder why babes couldn't be born with a full set of gleaming white teeth! I also don't believe in the "cry it out" method. Babies only cry when they need something from their caregiver, and recent research has shown that babies who are left to cry it out have high levels of the stress hormone Cortisol in their brain (which over a long period of time can cause damage!).
Just trust that you are being a wonderful Mother...the best mother Layla could have...and don't stress so much about the housework.