Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thankless Chores No One Notices

In preparation for two weekends of out-of-town relatives visiting, I decided to spend some time last weekend house cleaning. I tend to do a good job of surface cleaning and keeping things picked up, but wanted to do the tough stuff (especially in the boys' rooms and bathroom) while I had time.

What ended up happening is the story of my life. It turned into a spring cleaning kind of session. Which is not all that bad, and I'll admit is a bit of a high for me. I like cleaning, I love all day cleaning sessions. I'm just not loving cleaning every single night after kids are in bed and all I really want to do is fall into bed for a "Teen Mom 2" marathon.

Anyway, John took the boys out of the house for a few hours while I dug out the bleach and a new Swiffer Wet Jet. I was proud of my progress, until John came home and incredulously asked me "what did you even do while I was gone?".

Enter crazy woman.

In one breath of rage, I spit out every single thing I did in those hours he was entertaining toddlers away from home. But he couldn't notice. Because there was still a lot to do (especially in our room) and I'd ended up doing SPRING cleaning instead of regular cleaning. My rage went something like this:

"What did I do? WHAT DID I DO? Well, for your information I sortedtheboysclothessweptandmoppedalltilefloorscleanedthemicrowavecleanedoutthefridgedustedthetopofthefridgepolishedallthewoodfurniturecleanedtheboysbathroomCLEANEDTHECANOPENERBLADEscrubbedtheupholsterydid4loadsoflaundryincludingtheboyslinensandwipeddowntheappliances!"

Don't worry, I'll break it down for you as I had to with John. It got me thinking about all those thankless chores we do that our families won't ever notice but that have to be done. I even asked my Twitter friends to chime are just a few of those things:
  • Cleaning the microwave
  • Stain prepping kid's laundry
  • Sorting kid's clothes by size and season
  • Storing kid's clothes by size and season
  • Cleaning the ceiling fans
  • Cleaning the top of the fridge/cabinets
  • Cleaning the thingie that catches water from the dispense on the fridge
  • Washing windows
  • Dusting things on top shelves and mantle
  • Dusting blinds
  • Cleaning out the fridge
  • Vacuuming couch cushions
  • Pantry organization
  • Sanitizing doorknobs
  • And my personal favorite: cleaning the blade of the electric can opener (go check it right now, you'll see what I mean)
As a woman, these things HAUNT MY DREAMS. Which will be a whole separate post on what goes on inside a woman's brain and how exhausting, really, it is to live in my head. I'll be sure to tag my husband on that one.

Any way, do you agree/disagree? What thankless, unnoticeable chores am I missing?


not so zen momma said...

Family management - coordinating the who, what, where and when (plus feeding of) of every member of the family.

happymomof2 said...

What gets me is when hubby does something, tells me and about all that he has done and expects me to say thank you to every little thing, yet doesn't notice all that I do!!!! UGH! (don't get me wrong I appreciate what he did and don't mind saying thank you just wish he would do the same- notice what I have done)

Sammy said...

That's my biggest source of stress- the way the house looks and is. I just can't clean it the way I want to, or used to. Argh. I am a neat/ clean freak and looking at finger prints on the doors in the house for the 65th day in a row (knowing I don't have the time or the energy to clean them off) does my head in. Sigh.

The White Family Circus said...

cleaning baseboards. They don't notice those things. Cobwebs out of the corners, lamp shades, I could go on and on! I completely agree Jess!

Leah said...

Totally relate to this post! Day in and day out, I keep up with the surface things. The kids go to sleep, I pick up toys, perhaps dust and sweep. So, things look good. BUT. . . there are those things that haunt me. The things that NEED to get done, and the things no one (except me) will notice are getting done.

Seriously, being Mom's, we should all just automatically get maids. I would so love a maid. :)

Ms. J said...

may I add to the list of thankless chores . . . the fact that Mommy does not get to bathe regularly, so I guess that goes under "Sacrifices in personal hygiene and feeling human in order to more efficiently manage family chores and responsibilities."

I showered and washed my hair yesterday. Today I couldn't chance it less wake the baby. (hair dryer, running watter . . . old house with hardwood floors, her room is only 10 feet from bathroom).

Ms. J said...
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