Well at least how I am channeling my inner housekeeper. Lets face it when the universe was handing out the instincts for keeping a house clean at all times, I must have been out hiking. Housekeeping is my achilles heal when it comes to domestic life. Thankfully due to the modern invention of the internet there is help for someone like me. Some of my favorite mentoring/tutoring sites for when/how to keep house are; FlyLady, zen habits, Clean House| Organized Home, and Sidetracked Home Executives – S.H.E.. Are there more sites out there, with out a doubt yes, but these 4 are my corner stones where I turn every time I feel like I’m getting stuck. Do they work for everyone, no. There are possibly twice as many housekeeping books as there are websites, so websites are not the only resource for the cleaning challenged.

The trick I figured out early on, is play with the advice they are offering on the sites, or in books, see what works for you and what doesn’t. I found that trying something consistently for at least a week (if it’s tried every day) to a month (if it’s not being tried every day) the way the author describes helps me figure out what does and does not work for me, and where I can tweak something, and where I can honestly say ‘nope this step/style is not for me’.

My newest self discovery in the how to keep me motivated category, came in the form of a mini ah-ha moment. I’ve been almost wishing that the Doll House, or that Matrix style brain uploads were real so I could program my brain permanently for keeping a nice house, either that or hit the lotto (and I don’t play so you figure the odds on that one {grin}) and hire a housekeeper. My mind keeps turning to old sitcoms, Leave it to Beaver, Brady Bunch, Bewitched, and I dream of Jeannie. Of course they had a real advantage that no mortal house wife could ever have, there homes were Hollywood studio sets, if mine was ever a set it’s a cross between Roseanne’s and a Mad Max set. Well ok not as bad as Mad Max, sometimes though it feels like it. Back to my ah-ha, and it’s something that FlyLady has touched on, what to wear when cleaning, pearls and heels are out for me, nor am I going to wear a uniform like a janitorial service. I did figure mine out at least partially, a head band, a pair of hot pink shoes, a touch of gloss (the only time I wear any), the apron my Grandma made me, and a necklace.

Today was my first day playing with the “uniform” concept, the difference mentally was nice, swapped shoes and put on the accessories and things just clicked into place. Sometimes I can use music to help motivate and other times it’s just not enough.

From here down it’s more of a vent/rant, and not strongly related to the first part of the post.

After this week I go back to work, and the kids are back in school. I am not the only one in the house who can do housework, DH helps out sometimes but given how much outside(yard) work he does not to mention basic maintenance on stuff like the dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, etc. I don’t like to ask him, because he does a lot, sometimes it feels like he’s overworked with all that needs doing. The kids on the other hand can help but choose not to, oh Tdd {teen darling daughter} will help sometimes if asked, other times takes threatening to pull privileges to get help. Tds{teen darling son}, doesn’t care one way or the other we’ve tried everything from bribery, payment for work completed, asking nicely, allowances, to threatening to pull privileges all to no avail, he just doesn’t give a cr*p. I strongly suspect that they both do things on purpose to piss me off, and try to make me loose my temper, I’ve learned to internalize and vent in constructive ways, well most of the time any how. I’m at my usual once a month gripe point, where I tell DH same ol’ grumble usual b*th and he knows exactly what my complaints are without me saying anything further.

Kids want cell phones, they don’t help = no cell phones. Well Tds has use of one until October when the contract on the line is up, then it’s going poof.

The next poof to figure out is the wireless router, they don’t need internet, it’s a luxury, although I have to rethink that one, to perhaps more limited access during select hours, to many employers are only doing web based applications and they are both starting to think about outside employment. ‘Course Tds could have worked this summer but was to pig headed about travel options to take the job. Travel options would have most likely been me or DH dropping off/picking up to from work, we offered him the ride(s) no strings attached. He refused, to proud to take help from parents just so he could earn his own paycheck.

I’m thinking tv too. In the end DH plays a large part in tempering what decisions get made and what consequences happen, and I abide by his decisions, don’t always agree, and we long ago agreed that we wouldn’t always agree. In the end it boils down to natural parent vs step-parent mentality on the parts of the kids. DH is always reminding me that they won’t be at home forever, that I married him not the kids, and I always remind myself that I chose to be their mom even if it’s a step title, and that if things are ever truly horrid and unbearable I always have the choice of walking or DH always has the choice of asking me to leave. In the end it’s all about loving unconditionally those we choose to share our lives with, and accepting them for who they are and supporting them as best as we can.

Peace, Melinda Dawn