They say that confession is good for the soul. So, for the sake of cleansing my soul, I hearby make my confession.
For the past 12 years, I have used Eric's job as the reason for my inability to keep a clean house. And now, at 35, I have realized that really, I'm just not a good housekeeper.
What brings on this confession? Eric started his new job today which promises to give us a more regular schedule and a more stable and predictable home life. I have long used his unpredictable and ever-changing hours as an excuse for my less-than-perfect housekeeping skills. His job left us both drained from other responsibilities so there wasn't ever the extra energy that was needed to complete basic household tasks, you know, like putting away the laundry. Goodness, there wasn't even a hope that I might mop a floor or clean the bathroom.
But over the past three weeks, Eric has been between jobs. We've had no real stress on our plate and you know what, my house still isn't clean. There are still piles on the floor and counters and the laundry still needs to be put away.
I make this confession because thinking about how our life and family is changing has produced in me a great deal of paranoia and soul-searching. With Eric taking a job that has regular hours, I've felt a bit of the pressure that suddenly, I need to be the perfect housewife that complements that. And according to the cultural upbringing and other things I have heard, this means that the house needs to be perfectly clean, dinner on the table, and me "freshened" for the moment that Eric walks in the door.
Isn't it amazing how cultural stereotypes that may not even be applicable anymore still have an ability to haunt us? There are so many other things that do not bother me that I am surprised by how hampered I am by this.
All joking aside, I am actually a bit troubled by this one thing about me, as if my validity and effectiveness as a mother, wife, and housekeeper are hinged on this one thing. Which they are not.
Regardless, today is a big day in our house! A new job! A new beginning! A chance for us to increase our communication skills! A chance to practice grace as we adjust to this new way of living!
But, shoot, I just looked at the clock. Eric's going to be home in a few minutes . . .and I have to clean the house, make a gourmet dinner, freshen my make-up (when do I ever wear make-up?) Oh well, at least I could get off the computer and pretend to do something useful. Maybe fold a basket of laundry!