housework and malcontent.

not tired enough for bed, too tired for dishes: this is my life.

i do feel that if the current trend of my housekeeping continues, then it will be at least a decade (probably more) before the whole of my house could be found to be clean at the same point in time.  i often wonder why it is that i can’t get up to wash the last few dishes or fold that small basket of laundry past 9p, but when i feel the little flutters in my belly, i vaguely remember reading something about the energy needed to grow another human.  or mother the ones running around.  or something like that.  and then i feel tired, and i wage war with my soul over whether or not the scale can handle another bedtime snack.

i remember when jones was about a year old — it was another 10 months or so before i got pregnant with baby #2, so i had plenty of time to go about creating a ridiculous standard for housewivery that would be utterly unattainable with the babies to come.  i did the dishes every night.  every night, the kitchen was clean before i went to bed, and the coffee was on a timer.  tonight, as i came into the living room from brushing my teeth, i thought about making coffee for the morning, how nice it would be to come downstairs to a pot already brewed, but i didn’t want to reach into the freezer, and i didn’t want to grind the beans, and i didn’t want to go into the kitchen and see the dishes left in the sink and feel bad about them, so i just came back to the couch, where i am currently typing out this post.

at that time in my life, i hung laundry out to dry, folded it, and put it away in the same day.  i spent hours outside with jones.  we went to a park everyday, sometimes two.  (though they can be more easily found in japan than in america, given that kids don’t play in backyards and the like — they play in parks.)  most mornings, i got up before jones.  i read things, i organized things, i studied, i learned another freaking language!

i read blogs of moms who felt harried and drank four cups of coffee a day, and it wasn’t that i thought they were lying about the toughness of their situation, i just thought it would be different when i did it.  perhaps i thought i possessed the organizational skills, energy, and creativity that save me from ever entering that zone of motherhood.  i thought i had enough of what it would take.  ha.  ha ha ha ha ha.

turns out i just have to have enough of one thing: caffeine.  and WOW, does it make a difference.  i didn’t understand the full extent of the wonder of coffee until i was pregnant with two kids running around.  in fact, prior to now, i had been caffeine-less as i nursed ezra, and often thought, “perhaps that’s it.  perhaps i won’t be a coffee drinker anymore.”  and now i know.  i know.  i really really really know that i won’t be parting with coffee for a looooooong time.

but it still doesn’t help me with the dishes.  please tell me i’m not alone.

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9 thoughts on “housework and malcontent.

  1. I could never give up coffee (short of a doctor telling me it’s killing me or killing someone I love). Giving up coffee is like giving up breathing and laughing and enjoying life. Coffee not only sustains your weary body when it physically needs a pick-me-up but it also allows you (when I assume, your children allow you) to sit down, drink in the morning and sigh, thinking, “Life is good.” Coffee allows you dates with girlfriends and catch-ups with those you don’t often get to catch up with. Coffee is your friend Jamie. 🙂 I love being a nut.
    Also, I don’t have children begging for my attention at this moment and I still have problems keeping my tiny apartment clean. Is this a bad sign?

    • you’re right, jo jo. coffee is my friend. although i might be more likely to call it my “crutch” at the moment 😉
      and glad to hear i’m not the only one with cleaning issues.

  2. I’m a big fan of bins. And throwing piles of stuff into them. That’s what I call “organizing.” I’m not a coffee drinker outside of my occasional Starbucks latte, so I often wonder what will be my “fix” that will get me through the day if I ever have my own kids. Probably the Sprout network, I’m not gonna lie. I love that little anthropomorphic star that tells kids it’s time to go to bed (and you better believe I’ve DVR’d that little guy and played it right before naptime). Since it’s part of my job as a nanny to have specific cleaning and laundry tasks done each day, I sometimes think I would just carry that mindset into my own family at some point. Haha riiiiight. Then I remember that I come home from work and have no interest in cooking a meal for myself, doing my own laundry, emptying my own dishwasher, or cleaning my house.

    So, you know. Carry on 🙂

  3. friend you are NOT alone! I love having it ready in the morning- I don’t know if it keeps my energy up but for sure love the taste!!! 🙂

  4. Hey! I just headed over to Passionate Homemaking and she did a post on Simple Schedule/Routine for cleaning, etc.
    I’m not sure if this works for everyone but i like the thought of getting everything cleaned and organized in one day so that the rest of the week can be more relaxed and fun. I especially like that she gets ALL her laundry done in one day. Wowzers! I don’t know how much laundry people do with babies but I imagine it’s a lot. So to have that out of the way. Crazy!
    Okay, sorry. Just saw the post and thought of you. 🙂

  5. It’s OK, Jamie. In the the big scheme of things, you’re doing what is most important. I was talking to a new bride this week, and relating how all the things I thought I HAD to do when I was a young wife and mother may not even get done at all now. I laughed and told her I’d like to think I’m more laid back. She replied that maybe I’m just not as rigid. I like that.

  6. ha!! thanks for writing this post in your blog…..i think i might just copy and paste it to my own……for it is a mirror image of my life at this point!!

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