20 April 2008

Spontaneous Combustion looks like a good option right about now

Sunday. Cleaning day. Complete a few, simple chores and catch up on daily chores nobody touched during the week. I streamlined the chore list, just a couple everyday - well, for the kids that is. Moms, you know, have never ending chore lists - ergo my philosophy that 25% completion rate of one's task list equates success. As soon as I complete one onerous task, five more clamor to take its place.

Back to the kids. Two chores a day. No big friggin deal, just two simple chores - one of which is clean up bedroom and is meant to include books, toys and clothes. If you put the laundry away each day, it can't morph into a scary laundry monster that may well consume you leg and a few fingers. But no, that would be far to easy and take all the joy out of the now traditional Sunday family arguments.

Like I said, spontaneous combustion looks good right about now. I managed to get the house clean with the exception of one laundry load and one room - mine of course, only two weeks ago. Came in for a close second last weekend, but the bathrooms sat untouched. So, This weekend I started the announcements on Friday, no games, outings, playdates or Wii until your chores are complete. Do you think they heard the message, or that there's been any follow through? Why of course not - the games have been played, the Wii's logged at least a couple hours, the rooms are still dirty and now I'm shouted out. I can't do this anymore, and I'm relatively certain my neighbors consider a weekly call to child safety. Not that they'd understand, their children are grown and moved on, their memories altered slightly to allow annoying little quips about how their children never talked back and always did there chores when asked.

Not here, not today, not my kids. There's a song running through my head surrounding all this. I feel like a failure as a mother, I don't know how to get it all done, and yet I need to get it all done, I wonder if a spouse would make a difference, or just complicate things. Probably the latter. I have one of those milestone birthdays coming up, and realize it's not the age that bothers me at all, it's where I am in my life.

I'll let you know if I finish the song, because of course that's far more important than actually finishing any chores. Just ask the kids, I'm sure they'd reassure you that my priorities fit. I mean seriously, why do we need a clean house, clothes for the week, or food in the fridge? Let me retract that, sarcasm really doesn't suit me well, I know this. I love my children deeply, eternally, so much that my insides ache. This weekly struggle may be one for power and control over their environment to them, but to me its a matter of sanity and ensuring they leave our little nest as well-mannered, polite little neat freaks. Days pass by and I fear the task impossible, and then think of my oldest who, now that she's moved into her own place, could certainly challenge Mary Poppins for cleanest and best run house. Now how in the heck did that happen?!?

If spontaneous combustion isn't an option, I may well go bald well before I turn gray. This is hair pulling, mind warping stuff! Who'd have thunk it - I just want a clean house that doesn't embarrass the moment the doorbell rings. Oh, and a peaceful Sunday afternoon playing with kids who enjoy my presence...

sigh... back to my checklist and the next skirmish. Wish us well, we all need it!

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