Making Friends With The Vacuum Cleaner

Sunday 27 April 2014 by

Monday is the dawning of a new era in our household – as well as Tori being in school full time, Arthur is starting to attend Pre-school from 9am to 3.30pm on Mondays and Tuesdays as well as a half day on Wednesdays. This means that, as a Stay-At-Home-Mum, I am suddenly going to be in possession of a very peculiar thing – time to myself.

I have plans for this time and it’s not all hot chocolate and cream cakes, as tempting as that is. I have just this month joined a local gym and plan to use a couple of hours of this child-free time in there, attempting to burn off the muffin top I am currently cultivating.

That aside I am aiming to tackle something even more stubborn than my squishy bits – the housework.

Now housework and I have a very rocky history and it has never been a pretty one. I remember my parents once carrying out the threat that they would tidy my room for me by putting anything on the floor/in the wrong place in bin bags and leaving them on the drive for the bin men or whoever came along. I discovered the bags after school one night, took them back in and probably only emptied the last bag when I moved out after finishing university.

I have never been any good at keeping things tidy and when I try to sort things out I tend to get distracted and end up playing with things I find instead of just putting them away.

This is not helped by the fact that I am a hoarder of… well, pretty much everything. I’m sentimentally attached to all sorts of rubbish and it takes a whole lot of willpower to just clear stuff out to create space.

Add to all this the fact that I am lazy and you end up with one very messy house, especially when there are two small children helping to cause chaos everywhere you turn as well as two grown-ups who live like students when left to their own devices.

But not anymore, I have hit breaking point and it’s time for a change. A big one.

I have spent a few days of the Easter holidays (whilst the Smalls were staying with their Dad) Spring cleaning the house properly all over. It was a disgrace and it was making us miserable but had turned into such an overwhelming job that we just kept putting it off more and more thus making it worse and us more grumpy.

These days have been hard work and they haven’t resulted in perfection but it’s broken the back of it and made me feel more positive, even if I did explode our Dyson on day one in a cloud of choking blue smoke. Luckily we have been able to borrow another whilst ours gets repaired so I could finish what I started.

My aim now is to keep it up. I need to stop living like a student because I haven’t been a student in nearly five years and it’s time I got my head around being a grown up for the whole family’s sake – it’s not fair on any of us.

I have worked out a weekly routine that cleans the whole house on rotation and a handy app onto my phone to remind me every day of what I need to do each day to stay on top of it all. They say it takes three weeks to form a habit and the next school half term is four weeks long so hopefully by the May holiday I will just be doing the chores without my phone having to remind me what to do every time.

It’s not easy to stand up and confess to being utterly useless at something so basic as remembering to do the washing, fill the dishwasher and use a hoover amongst other things but I am and I want to change that.

Fingers crossed this last week has been the start of a life changing habit and I don’t fall apart and slip back into my old ways again.

And fingers crossed that Arthur loves full days at Pre-school too, it’s a big step up for him from just two mornings a week. My Smalls aren’t so small anymore!

Smalls, Children, School

You can follow Carole on Twitter: @caroleheidi

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