When I was a kid, Saturdays were for cleaning. Period. We got up Saturday morning knowing that before we could do anything else we had to help my Mother clean the house. We did get to sneak in a few Saturday morning cartoons sometimes, but it never lasted long. She would get out the bucket of cleaning supplies and delegate out the tasks that needed to be done. Besides cleaning our own bedrooms we were also expected to help with the dusting and vacuuming of the rest of the house, as well as fold laundry and other various tasks that she may deem necessary that week. As we got older, my mom would just make out a list of “chores” that we were supposed to do and the completion of those chores was directly related to the amount of allowance we received so we always did what was on the list.
Our house was never really that dirty. There were things misplaced and toys strung about, but it was never just dirty. We cleaned so often that there was never a chance of anything being dirty. This is the way that it was supposed to be I guess, because that’s what my mother taught me. With my dad being a preacher, we had to keep things clean and picked up because someone from the church could drop by at any time. This rarely ever happened, but it was a possibility and my mom could not stand for someone to see a little dust settling on the coffee table.
As a teenager, it became mostly my responsibility to keep the house clean. After school and during the summers I had a schedule of one room a day. I got paid pretty well for my efforts and once I added mowing the lawn to my duties I had enough money to buy the Levi’s jeans and Nike tennis shoes that were so absolutely necessary to fit in with the social circles of my high school. I didn’t always keep things as clean as my mom would have, but she was too busy working and avoiding home most of the time to notice. She would help out sometimes when relatives or special company were coming over for a visit. Actually, she would kind of go into OCD mode when she knew someone was coming over. Things had to be completely spotless before anyone was allowed to view our home.
My mother’s habits have rubbed off on me a little bit over the years, but not so much in a good way. My house is never close to being spotless. I do as much cleaning as is necessary to keep myself from getting grossed out, but you are guaranteed to find dust bunnies lying around and you don’t have to look hard to find them. I absolutely hate spending my weekends doing house cleaning. I enjoy having a clean house, I just don’t enjoy the work involved to have it. Over the years I have finally managed to get Hubby to help out some so I don’t have to do all of the cleaning on my own and that has really helped.
We do the day to day necessary stuff like laundry and dishes and vacuum from time to time, but the deep cleaning is saved for when company comes over. And that is the part that I get from my mother. When I know someone is coming over, I go through a cleaning frenzy. Which is why, when I found out today that my cousin and her family may be stopping by this afternoon I freaked out just a little bit. My house is an absolute mess. There is stuff strung out all over the place. The bathrooms need cleaned. The floors need swept and vacuumed. The place is a wreck and that is how they will see my house for the first time.
I’m sure my cousin won’t judge me on my housekeeping abilities, but I just can’t stand the thought of her walking in and thinking we live in a pig sty. Plus, they will most likely arrive before I am home from work so I can’t even offer up the obligatory apology for the mess as they walk in. At least I have the reassurance that she has two kids and two dogs at home so maybe she won’t be completely appalled.