Monday, 1 November 2010

Gone are the days...

You are 25 years old, and you have a day job from 9am til 5.30pm.  You get home at 6pm and you don't have to do anything if you don't want to - you can just sit and stare at the walls if you want.  Or you can read a book, watch TV, chat on the phone to friends, have a nap on the sofa, or sit and listen to your 80s records whilst eating crisp sandwiches. 

Your flat is tidy because it is only you and your flatmate who live there and you don't really have that much stuff that could cause a mess.  Your flat is relatively clean - you clean about once a week (ok, maybe once a fortnight) but you are two women and women are generally pretty clean. 

If you fancy a sandwich or a bowl of cereal or a Chinese takeaway for supper that's what you have.  In the mornings when you are bleary eyed you just have yourself to feed, and sometimes you even skip breakfast and grab a croissant on the way to work.  While at work you have your lunchbreak, which means you get a whole hour to go shopping or sit in a cafe with friends.

You go to bed at night, fairly confident that you will get a full night's sleep, only to be woken by the alarm clock at 7am.

Fast forward five years.  You are married to a man, and you quickly realise that men (in your experience) are untidy and a bit dirty.  Empty drinking glasses are left all around the house, as are dirty socks.  Shavings are left all around the sink, and hair in the bath, and the toilet starts to take on a life of its own.  The area around the cooker and the kitchen sink becomes a bit sticky, and crumbs litter the surfaces.  Books, bits of paper, and garden tools are scattered around the house.  And your laundry doubles. 

OK, so things have changed a little bit, your house isn't as tidy and clean as it once was, but a little bit of extra cleaning does the job.  You still go out to work, have your lunch hour, come home, and your time is still yours and your husband's. 

Fast forward another five years.  You have two children, and as with men, you quickly realise that children are untidy and dirty, a hundred-fold.  Your husband now looks like a saint.  You also quickly realise that if you want to stay on top of things and run an efficient household, and one that you are not ashamed to invite guests into, you have to learn the art of serious multi-tasking.  You also learn that you can never ever stop with the tidying, and the cleaning.

You find yourself cooking, hoovering, making playdough, doing the laundry, washing up, wiping bottoms and clearing away lego, simultaneously.  Gone are the days when you can just simply walk through a room, without having to stop and wipe peanut butter off the floor, or pick up some plastic fruit, or remove wee from a potty, or put the sofa cushions back in their rightful place.  Gone are the days of skipping breakfasts, indulgent lunchbreaks, and peaceful evenings/nights.  Gone are the days of silence, and sitting and staring at the walls. 

But am I complaining? NO WAY.  And would I ever want to change it?  NEVER.

15 comments:

sadie said...

totally and utterly agree. 100%.

These days my staring into space is interrupted by a foghorn bellowing 'muuuuuuum', and even going to the loo in peace is something of the past, but like you, wouldn't change a thing.

:o)
x

Expat mum said...

Please tell me that you don't fantisize every now and then about what you would do in the evenings if you weren't cooking a delicious and healthy family meal, helping with homework and supervising bath and bed time. Please.

Iota said...

Did you really just sit and stare at the walls?

Chaos is good, once you've come to accept it as a part of life, and embrace it. It's a battle that is good to lose early on. Then life becomes much easier!

Elsie Button said...

hi sadie, hear hear!

hi expat mum, i fantasise about going on a beach holiday on my own for two weeks.

hi iota, yes yes yes, that's exactly it - accepting and embracing,and then it's easy! (which is sort of what i wanted to say in a very roundabout way)

Nora said...

Yes, I remember going through that and now I'm very happy to be single again and to only have a dog and a cat who are enough work, and I have a cleaning lady twice a week. I loved my kids, but when they were little, I could have pasted them behind the wallpaper for all the work they created. It was not a time I enjoyed very much. I felt like I was in servitude. I'm glad it's behind me, although the memories are good. Selectively!

nappy valley girl said...

Lovely post, Elsie!

I know exactly what you mean, and I wouldn't go back for an instant either...l.

Louise said...

So very true and brilliantly written!

Fantastic post, as always!

What She Said said...

What a lovely post! I am blessed though with selective vision, and a lot of the mess passes me by...

Lucia said...

I want selective vision too please, and also a twice-weekly cleaner!

I only have one child and although she leaves toys (etc) strewn in her wake constantly, unlike my husband she will take her bowl to the sink without being asked. I swear I have not taught her this. She is 20 months. Also she does not leave dirty pants and socks under the bed, or do the washing up in such a way that I have to do at least half of it again the next day etc etc etc

But still, in spite of fantasizing about my husband living next door, if it wasn't for him I wouldn't have my gorgeous girl that I waited so long to meet.

Loved your post.

Katrina said...

If it's having a child that will make my husband look like a saint then maybe I'll bring the breeding plan forward a year or two!
Lovely post, you always reassure me that the madness is worth it.

Sparx said...

Oh yeah.

Beccers said...

great post!

AliBlahBlah said...

I think kids turn you into your parents. I physically can't sit down for five minutes now without thinking - if I just make their lunches now then it'll save me a job for the morning.......

Great post.

Her in Tokyo said...

So with you on this! Loved the post!Enjoying your blog!

Snoggies!

szcairney.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhh...I'm a new mum &sometimes missing those staring at walls moments, when I can remember them thru the haze! Loved reading this post...made me laugh..