Being tidy doesn’t come naturally to me.
I spent much of my childhood being nagged by my poor sister for leaving our shared bedroom in a mess, and I’ve spent much of my adult life being (playfully) nagged by my husband for leaving our house in a mess. That’s not to say I LIKE mess. I don’t. But I’ve never been much good at tidying up; apparently I don’t ‘see’ mess the same way others do.
Being of a messy nature makes being a good housewife somewhat challenging. But, being a good housewife has somehow become my new calling in life; or at least my temporary calling while the world sorts itself out.
Now, before I had MS I would do much of the cleaning, plumping of cushions and all that jazz – I didn’t enjoy it, but I did it. But, since being struck down with MS these chores have become even more of a … chore. To do a simple little thing like unload the dishwasher requires a quick sit down before and after. To run the hoover around the house requires a lie down. To clean the bathroom or cook a meal requires a nap in bed for as long as it takes for someone else to do the job or to forget that the job ever needed doing. It is exhausting and probably the worst job that could befall someone like myself.
At any rate, I am doing my best to keep house while my husband works his socks off. That way he has a nice, happy home to return to so that he can get on with making everyone’s dinner, bathing the kids and tidying away all the stuff that I thought I’d tidied away but which had apparently just been shoved to the side.
There is a positive side to being a housewife, however. I get to spend more time with my children. But even that isn’t always easy. Just the other day, having spent the morning dusting and mopping and flopping, my youngest eagerly presented me with his current favourite game ‘Hungry Hippos’. I was in bed at the time – the vacuum cleaner had worn me out – and it took all the energy I had just to shuffle myself up into a seated position. ‘Hungry Hippos’, one of the best games ever to be invented, had me defeated. I couldn’t even summon the energy to push the lever hard enough to feed my poor starving hippo. Luckily my son was having far too much fun winning to realise the strain the game was having on me and that helped to ease my guilt enormously.
And just when I thought housewifery couldn’t get any tougher I am contacted by my kids’ school to say that 2 of the 3 of them need to stay home for 2 weeks having been in contact with the dreaded virus in their classes. So, I have to somehow summon the strength, the energy and the resilience to once again add homeschooling to my list of impossible tasks.
Wish me luck!