It's a quiet night here at my wit's end. I am still under the weather, or rather, more like once again under the weather. I cannot tell if I've been reinfected or just been blessed with round two of what I thought I had recouperated from last weekend. Suffice it to say I'm still sounding like Bea Arthur, coughing like a consumptive and sleeping every chance I get. On the bright side, Man-Cub, bless him, is finally better and returned to school with a spring in his step this morning.
In my convalesence over the past few weeks, I've had lots of time to think and plan my re-entry into productive housekeeping. As you can imagine, my house has kind of gone feral while I've been lying low. I had managed to tame it enough for safety's sake, but after a few weeks' neglect it's reverted back to its wild ways. And, I fear it's going to take a lot of muster to bring it back from the brink. A lot.
I think I may have shared this before, but I'm not the best housekeeper. Don't get me wrong, I've learned a lot and am worlds better than I was before, but I'm still not that great. I have tried to keep my house clean all the time, really I have, but it is just impossible for me. I'm just not wired that way. I am one of those women who would benefit greatly from having a live-in housekeeper. I can hear you all spluttering, "Pffft! Who wouldn't!?" But I'm serious! I'm not talking about a nameless, faceless maid who comes and goes while I'm out shopping all day, like an office night-cleaning crew. I'm talking about an old-fashioned, kindly, older, possibly widowed woman who lives with us and becomes part of the family. The kind who polishes furniture and airs linens and works alonside me making beds and preparing meals. Sort of like Mrs. Doubtfire. Or the housekeeper in every Rosamunde Pilcher book I've ever read. Or Aunt Jamesina, Rebecca Dew or Susan Baker in the Anne of Green Gables books. I would be brilliant with one of those!
But they don't exist anymore, do they? So, since I don't have an unmarried, but spry Aunt who needs a place to live and a family to love, I'm on my own. And I have set myself to the task of always improving on my housekeeping abilities and habits. It hasn't been easy. I grew up with a mother who was practically a Bohemian. She hated housekeeping (still does) and only ever did it if someone was coming over. Someone she wanted to impress, that is. We never tidied up for just our friends.
I never learned any proper housekeeping habits, except how to make hospital corners and fold sheets. I was married before I knew most people dust and vacuum once a week and make their beds every day. Isn't that horrifying? You can see what I was up against. Fortunately, I have a most patient and supportive husband who never complains and does his best to help me in my quest.
As a result of my never-ending endeavors to improve, I have become intensely interested in other people's routines. I've spent hours looking through blogs, scouring websites, studying books. I've created chores lists, chores schedules, goal lists, you name it. I haven't yet gotten things running as smoothly as I'd like, but during this last bout of enforced idleness, I've been tweaking things and I'm ready to get started again.
So, I'm wondering: what is your routine? Daily, weekly, monthly or more? Are you one of those women who rise early, shower, dress, enjoy a cup of coffee and have a hot breakfast on the table by the time your family comes downstairs in the morning? Or do you (like some people who shall remain nameless) tear yourself out of bed at the very last possible moment, stumble down the stairs behind the children in pjs and bathrobe, blindly shake some dry cereal and a splatter of milk into two bowls and slide them across the island, praying for a phone call that pipes have burst in the school building and everyone can go back to bed? I want to know!
What do you do before you go to bed at night to prepare for the day to come? Do you set out clothes for everyone, set the table for breakfast and set backpacks, purse and car keys by the door? Or do you just make sure there are enough clean clothes in the dryer, enough fixin's for everyone's breakfast and lunch and take your chances that each shoe, bookbag and school paper will be in the last place you remembered it at 7:55 the next morning? I want to know!
Do you keep yourself strictly to a chores schedule, or do you just "feel" what needs to be done and then do it? What do you do first? Make your bed, have breakfast, take a shower? I want to know! How do you manage your weekly chores, such as dusting, mopping, cleaning the bathrooms and other such things? Do you assign them each to a day? Do you do them all in one day? What about Saturdays? What about the kids' jobs? I want to know!
I'm not trying to pry, I'm just trying to find out from normal, every day women what works for them. What are your secrets for a smoothly-running, comfortable, homey household?
Tell me your housekeeping secrets! I want to know!
P.S. Spell checker STILL not working. Of all the dirty, rotten, low-down...