Woman V Housework: fighting a losing battle


Housework. When I was pregnant, I would imagine my life as a new mum on maternity leave. I imagined living like some kind of 1950s housewife. I’d be up with the sun, refreshed from sleep, washed and dressed. The house would always be tidy, I’d make breakfast and send my husband off to work with a packed lunch, then spend my mornings pottering about the house, my afternoons strolling through the park with my baby, and I’d have dinner on the table for when my husband came home.

Well. Frankly, some days I’m lucky to be out of my dressing gown when Dan comes back from work. The house is usually a mess, with dishes stacked up on the worktops and washing lurking in baskets (either waiting to be washed, or slowly going mouldy, having been washed three days ago and never dealt with). Some days we’re lucky to have a bowl of Cheerios for dinner.

How do other mums do it? Seriously?! Am I the only one fighting a never-ending battle with cat hair? And dust? Some people seem to be able to do it all. Other mums who blog often post pictures of their lovely, perfect houses. Now, either this is some kind of façade or I’m just really rubbish at keeping on top of things. Maybe both.

I used to get really quite stressed about this situation, beating myself up for not having everything ‘perfect’ every day. But do you know what? I’m five months in now. My baby is healthy and happy and clean. I spend time with her every day, strengthening our bond, interacting with her, singing, reading, talking, playing, and taking her out. I also spend time out of the house, seeing my friends and their babies.

My house might not be perfectly straight. Clothes might have been sitting in the washing machine for three days. I might not have planned or shopped for dinner. But, you know what? That’s ok. My daughter isn’t going to grow up and remember how tidy our house may or may not have been when she was a baby, but she will know how much she is loved. Housework can wait. These times are so precious and we’ll never get them back. Let’s embrace them!

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