Wednesday, 29 August 2007

It's Not All Rock and Roll, Believe Me!

I was reading through my blog archives recently (how sad can a person get?) when I suddenly realised something. Apart from my obvious penchant for bad language (sorry about that) and habit of making an arse of myself, my posts do appear to reveal something else which made me wonder if I’m giving the right impression here.

First of all, I don’t actually spend all my time shopping, going out for meals and getting disgracefully drunk at parties and ROCK concerts. Oh no. It just looks that way. I also go to work (full time), do the laundry, shop for food and clean the house. I have been known to do a bit of gardening, although I absolutely draw the line at cleaning the car. That’s men’s work. And of course the ironing – who could forget that? It lies tutting and brooding in an ever increasingly crammed basket (in fact, I’ve got two baskets, which frankly is a big, big mistake) until we run out of clothes or husband is off on a business trip and begs for “work shirts”. I usually tackle it all on a Sunday afternoon (unless we’re out for lunch, of course) dashing away with the smoothing iron whilst watching an entire Eastenders’ Omnibus, a crappy old movie and, if I’ve really let it pile up, the Antiques Road Show too. And then we go out for dinner.

I wasn’t always like this, honestly. When the children were at home everyone regularly took the proverbial pee out of me for my diligence in all things housewifely. I would never go out until everything was clean and tidy, washing on the line, casserole in the oven and cake in the tin. I used to clean my skirting boards weekly. Frankly, it makes me tired now to think about it. And to be honest, a little bit bored. I definitely needed to get out more.

I suppose it’s inevitable that after several decades of caring and nurturing, my selfish gene has finally surfaced. The trouble is, it’s brought with it another one called guilt, so now instead of being driven by the need to scrub, cook endless meals and tidy up after everyone, I really can’t be bothered but I still worry about it. Husband constantly reminds me that the house still looks OK, we don’t ever starve and occasionally we get to wear crease-free clothes, so what more can anyone ask? Tell me, how can I stick to the straight and narrow with a partner in crime like that? It’s impossible, thankfully.

But to be honest, I actually like this new and liberated attitude to life which I have so recently discovered. I don’t quite know where it came from but I suspect the seeds were sewn when I stayed in my son’s student house for a week earlier this year. It was a tip. My fingers itched to clean it, and I did, just a bit. But then this sort-of attitude change hit me. Why clean the kitchen floor when you could be writing a blog or reading a book? Or sitting in the sun talking to your mates? Or watching Masterchef on TV? Now, I’m not saying that I can happily live in squalor but it did suddenly occur to me that there’s more to life than worrying about housework.

Like shopping, going out for meals, getting disgracefully drunk at parties and ROCK concerts.

OK, you got me there.


belle said...

Oh Swearing Mother, welcome to the My House/Life Will Not Fall Apart If I Do Not Do The Housework Club! I've been a fully paid up member for years, possibly life. In fact, I knew I'd scored big time when my then 3 year old son asked 'Why are you doing the ironing, Mummy? That's Daddy's job.' Oh yes!

Swearing Mother said...

Ob Belle, well trained! Why has it taken me so long to see the light when my son and daughter can watch a festering pile of dishes for days and days? They say that kids can teach you everything you know, eventually.

Nice to read you Belle.

laurie said...

we only clean when we have company.
which is why it's kind of fun to be a never have to clean!

Swearing Mother said...

Ha! Was just looking at the dust on my dresser - we really need company to call soon!

Best wishes Laurie.

Manic Mother Of Five said...

Hey S/M I have missed you! Laughed out loud at this post. I so know what you mean. When I found myself tidying up my airing cupboard on a ridiculously regular basis I realised it was time to go back to work. My house, especially in the summer gets seriously neglected but hey, the kids have a ball making the most of the beach and visiting the lovely cricket grounds around here. Beats dusting anyday!! Talk soon xx.

ginger witch said...

My husband has just forwarded your latest posting to my email to inwardly digest . . . think it might be a hint as he sits in his office wearing a clean by crinkled shirt. Still I am at work too so feel, in part, vindicated. Can't complain about him too much anyway, he does do ALL the washing up since he found a bit of raw chicken on a knife I was "cleaned". My plan worked then . . . .

Gena said...

Oh SM how i agree! I have a fridge magnet with a perfectly coiffed 50s housewife saying " A tidy house is a sign of a wasted life! aint that the truth! and the ironing? after years of struggling to keep up and husband wearing shirts that were only ironed on the parts visible under a jacket, I now have an ironing lady. I would happily starve in order to pay someone to iron for me!

Norman said...

Strange thing this ironing lark. My wife sees it as a chore. I do the ironing on Friday evenings listening to "Any Questions" on Radio4. I find it quite relaxing. But I must admit I get a bit obsessive about having nice razor sharp creases in the right places. So it is a bit of a slow job. But I don't care anyway.

knifepainter said...

I sit in the sun (when it's out) on my deckchair, reading a book and topping up my tan. It's a treat I promised myself when I gave up proper work.

Sun out, I'm out.

After all, with our summers I only get about twenty hours sunbathing a year.

All Shook Up said...

SM, we all know you're a rock chick at heart. Keep up with the ironing though.. it wards off bingo-wings (as I often tell Mme.) She'll thank me for it, one day!

Swearing Mother said...

MMOF, Hi! I know about those airing cupboard moments too!

Ginger Witch: Nice one re the raw chicken, works every time!

Gena: Ironing ladies rule, definitely. Until they put creases down shirt sleeves.

Norman: A man who can iron AND paint (and I don't just mean skirting boards) - fantastic!

Knifepainter: I am having a bit of a hot flush thinking about you topping up your tan - I've seen a photo of you in that boat, don't forget. Phew.

All Shook Up: You are so right re bingo wings, the other way to ward them off is to wave your arms in the air, as if you don't care ..... etc., or drive a knackered old Golf with no power steering, like mine.

Lovely to talk to you all. x

Amy said...

You iron?

I'm a sloven. I have guilt from the other side of the clean coin.

Swearing Mother said...

Amy, I do indeed iron but only to make my student son and non-ironing daughter feel guilty. It doesn't work though!