Made it through the emotional storm that hit the past few days, and now just have to clean up the debris.
I think I figured out why it makes me so angry. It isn’t just about perfectionism, though that is a part of it. I think the part that makes me not like myself and be so hard on myself, is that I fear I sound like my mom.
Yup, I hate hearing all my mom’s excuses for why her life isn’t how she wants, how her diseases keep her from exercising or cleaning or house. How her fears keep her from being real, or sharing her life with friends and family. I am disgusted by her. When you can tell her microwave has not been wiped out in months, and I pop in a cup of coffee, I am unsure how to react. But she has trained me to be non-confrontational with her, so I use the microwave and drink my coffee in silence. (I only go to her house a few times a year, she does not live nearby, but the sticky mess bothers me)
And then the phone calls, of her saying repeatedly how she is so tired, could barely make it through the work day, and is so happy to have a day off to just sit in her easy chair and watch TV. How is this different from my hours of computer games? The laundry has piled up, and it is getting difficult to walk through the rooms with so many displaced items randomly strewn about. She chooses to ignore her crusty microwave, and I choose to ignore the disorganized clutter.
I don’t want to ignore the unpleasant chores. I want to be proud of my home. And I don’t want to hear my mom’s excuses coming out of my mouth – and yet they do. Hmmm.
It is so hard to balance my mental health needs. When should I push myself to work harder, to have discipline and overcome mental blocks – and when do I give myself a break, and how long should that break be.
When I was in school, I always took the maximum number of days off allowed each quarter, which I think was 10. So I missed 40 days out of 180 each school year. Many of those days I was actually sick, fevers, ear infections and asthma kept me home often. But the other days, my dad let me stay home any time I wanted as long as I had straight A’s, which I always did. I thought that was awesome then, but now I think it taught me that working hard is not important. I always did the least amount of work possible to get those A’s, and would even calculate which homeworks I could neglect, always looking for a way out. I did not repsect the assignments or the teachers, so that was my way of silently getting back at them for wasting my time.
I usually did the homework for 1st period on the bus, homework for 2nd period in 1st period, and so on. It made the day interesting for me and provided a challenge that otherwise was not there. I know school is hard for some people, it just wasn’t for me. I was blessed with brains and memory and the ability to learn very quickly. So I never had to study. Never had to work hard. And I think that set me up for problems and makes me think I shouldn’t HAVE to do all this housework, and deserve time off from it. To me housework is just like those terrible worksheets the teachers assigned, just filled my time and never gave any benefit. I don’t learn anything new from housework, and have to do the same task daily, wash the same dish, wipe the same counter. And whatever I clean only lasts a few minutes. It is hard for me to be grateful for my house, when I feel like a prisoner, sentenced to fill my days with futility.
I keep hoping that one day I will *grow up* and it won’t be so difficult. I’ll just do the tasks that need done. But until then, it feels like torture, because I can never get the house clean enough for my perfectionistic standards like i did before kids. And it is endless. Mind-numbing torture. So I make lists of what I must do each day, and put on music, and try to dance or enjoy the tasks, but I am too smart to fool myself.
I tried to hire a housekeeper a few years ago, but that didn’t last long. I hated giving my money to her – I felt guilty paying someone to do my job. I hated that she talked to me. I didn’t want to be her friend. And I started feeling guilty for leaving messes for her. I had enough guilt, so I have not asked her back.
And now I’m blogging about my messy house instead of cleaning it. I have so many avoidance tactics, just not funny.
- Haier Work-Life Balance for Women : Microwave Giveaway (Ends 5/31) (shibleysmiles.com)
- Homemaking Inspiration (gretchenknuffke.wordpress.com)
- Let Your Microwave Clean Itself… Well Almost! (perfectshinehousekeeping.wordpress.com)
- Perfectionism or Fear? (akissofbliss.wordpress.com)
- Perfectionism Is The Devil – Part I (ariawrites.wordpress.com)