Tuesday, August 14, 2012

{31 Things} Day 13: Chores

The word "chores" may bring to mind something kids do to earn their allowance, but truthfully, I'm learning that chores are actually an unavoidable part of being an adult. I love a clean house (you'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't) but I really just don't love cleaning (again, not exactly a rare sentiment). I thought it would grow on me as I emerged from my lazy teenage years, but alas I'm still waiting for my inner neat freak to show herself. I'm beginning to doubt she's in there...

One thing I do love is to organize and sort. If there's a task that enables me to make order quickly out of chaos, then I'm a happy girl. So I embrace jobs like emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry and tidying up and sorting messes into piles to be put away. The catch for me is that everything needs to have its "place" or the organization just turns into shifting junk from one temporary spot to another. When something doesn't have a home- or outgrows its designated area- I struggle to keep up with the chaos, leading to a losing battle against the clutter.

After Dustin and I got married, I quickly learned that while there was now twice the mess, there were also double the hands to take care of it- and I got the bonus of marrying a husband who is not only cleaner, but also more hardworking than I am. (I think I make up for it in other areas...like being so charming he forgets that he pretty much got the short end of the marriage stick. Love you babe!) There are a fair amount of chores (grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, dishes) that we more or less split, and a couple jobs (dusting, vacuuming) that we both avoid until absolutely necessary- i.e. until company is coming and our house has become embarrassing. But for a lot of tasks I strongly believe in a division of labor, and have become an advocate of Boy Jobs and Girl Jobs. A quick selection of tasks:

Boy Jobs
Taking out the trash
Yard work
Paying bills
Cleaning the bathroom
Taking care of the cars (oil changes etc.)
Killing stink bugs
Washing baby bottles 

Girl Jobs
Making the grocery list
Buying/sending cards and presents
Feeding the baby (not exactly a chore, but is the fair counterpoint to all that bottle washing)
Ummm...probably some other really important things
You know...stuff. That I do. 
Party planning?

So, yeah. In my head this system seems like an easy way to divide and conquer household tasks, but when it comes down to writing the list I realize that perhaps it's less Boy vs. Girl, and more Things I Don't Like Doing vs. Things I Do That Barely Count as Chores. I also realize that I'm extremely lucky to have a husband that humors my cleaning excuses ("I can't do laundry- I'm scared of the basement!" "You have to mow the lawn- I'm allergic to grass!") and pitches in without complaint. (Truth be told I'm probably not quite as lazy as this list suggests, but Dustin does definitely deserves some sort of medal for putting up with me sometimes.)

Having a baby has lead to a whole new world of to-do lists, as well as an updated standard of clean. On the one hand, some things have just had to slide a bit, as we focus on bigger priorities, but on the other, Piper generates more messes than the two of us combined, and her tiny curious hands (and mouth) demands we pay attention to cleanliness in ways we could have previously avoided. Recently, I've been thinking about hiring someone to come help out a bit. I'm torn on the idea because it seems so spoiled and I hate to spend money on something I could (or should!) do myself. But at the same time, it's about evaluating what I'd rather spend my time on at this stage of our lives. I'm often inclined to think that working full time takes me away from Piper enough, so weekends shouldn't be filled with endless mountains of chores and cleaning checklists. {Spoiler alert...after I wrote this we went ahead and bit the bullet, and hired a woman to come clean twice a month. More like spoiled alert.}

But for now we continue to muddle through. The workload ebs and flows. Sometimes we are on top of things, with a relatively tidy house, a well stocked fridge, and closets full of clean clothes...And sometimes it's a miracle if we can find three clean bottles for Piper's daycare bag, and get out the door without tripping over a week's worth of clutter. Real Simple isn't exactly breaking down my door asking for my household management tips, but for now, that's ok. After all, it's only about five years before Piper's going to want an allowance, and you'd better believe we're going to make her earn her keep around here (I kid! Kinda...)

1 comment :

  1. How can you take a post about chores and make it so lively?! Ah, to have the mojo you have!

    Derek helps out a good bit with household chores, despite that he works outside the home and my job is the home. However, I do have to take out the garbage, which I am in process of teaching Noah how to do. He looks so cute taking the containers down on garbage day because they are taller/wider than he is and it almost looks like they are rolling down the drive way on their own! I love it. But mostly I just love that I don't have to do it.