Tales of a Failed Housewife
I have a lot of education. None of it is in housework. For some reason, I figured since I was going to work outside the home, I wouldn’t actually need to know how to clean. I’m not sure just who I thought was going to be doing the cleaning. Maybe cleaning fairies. Or perhaps I’d buy a self-cleaning house. Degrees in the arts certainly don’t give you the money to hire maids, that’s for certain.
For a short time I was only a housewife. I stayed home with two small children. I had a four-year-old and an infant. When you never get enough sleep and you’re dealing what amounts to a furless screeching cat and a short, insane, drunk person, you just kind of try to survive. Or at least I did.
I knew women whose houses always sparkled, at least when I was there. I couldn’t figure out what she did with the children while cleaning. Kennels? And what about after? Did they just stay in the kennels all day? Does Baby Bjorn make one of those? Wait, no, you shouldn’t treat your child like a dog no matter how much it acts like one, because, you know, illegal.
Anyway, I no longer have little creatures, but a thirteen-year-old and a nine-year-old. Conceivably, these kids should not only know how not to make messes, but be able to clean them up at least part of the time. This hasn’t happened yet. It might be because I haven’t taught them properly because, and I am ashamed to admit this as part of womankind, but I don’t know how to really clean either.
Oh, sure, I get the concept behind putting dishes in a dishwasher and taking out trash and doing laundry and not simply throwing said trash or dishes or laundry on the floor (something that has escaped the children entirely) but as far as real, honest to goodness cleaning with a capital “C”, I don’t have a clue. I am trying to learn, though, not to get my Martha Stewart I am a real woman badge, but to get healthy.
I have horrible allergies. I am allergic to anything green including most trees, bushes, weeds, grasses, etc. I’m also allergic to mold. I can’t tolerate cigarette smoke and dust, well, do you know what’s in those cute dust bunnies? Dust MITES which are disgusting little bugs who not only hang out in your pillow (sleep tight) but have the audacity to just poop all over everything. Even the children now know how to go poop in the toilet. But these mites just consider the world their toilet and all of us get to breathe in their feces.
That was your science lesson for today. You are welcome.
So since I’m allergic to life inside and out, I figured I would start trying to combat it. Um, the allergies, not life, since the allergies are already doing a swell job of combating my life. I get sick all the time, and it’s starting to not be fun anymore. Last year, as anyone who has read my blog for a long period of time knows, I had pneumonia. I wrote, under the influence of fever and various pharmaceuticals, about my journey to mucusland, starting with this (LINK DROP) post, which caused me to miss an entire month of work and weakened me for some time after that. That kind of sucked.
All this to say I’m trying to clean my house and I don’t know how. I decided to get natural cleaners like vinegar (not on chips, although it’s in the food aisle turns out) and bleach added to water. But how much bleach or vinegar to water? I wasted a good chunk of time today trying to figure that out. If it’s ¾ cup to one gallon, and I have a bottle that is 32 ounces, and the train is coming at 80 miles per hour, how long until I say I give up and go eat salt and vinegar chips? Not long.
I also bought a steam vacuum. It has a million attachments and blows out steam all over the place. You can burn yourself on this if you’re stupid, or you know, me. Also I have a vacuum cleaner with fun attachments on order since I’m not too keen on dragging the a50 year old, 200 pound Kirby my husband loves like a family member with me all over the house. I spent a LOT of time picking out vacuums. I even employed friends to help, friends who thought it couldn’t get worse than the yoga obsession I had a few months back.
So I have cleaning supplies and contraptions, if I can figure out how to work them. But I’m so tired just from all the research and from looking at my house which has at least 5 years worth of deep cleaning needed due to my utter lack of a Martha Stewart gene. Maybe I’ll just go take a nap.
So, guys, how do you clean?