My husband struggles and oppresses his upbringing sometimes but more often than not I believe he fails and speaks out and up in volumes about how he wishes our house was more like his mothers andI was too more like his mother.
He had to eat his toast over the sink as a little boy (for fear of crumbs!!!)
I hate insanely tidy houses, and I think anyone who has a PERFECT house is one of two things, bored stiff and lacking any imagination, OR has a very good cleaner! The rest of us, I'm certain like things to neat, tidy, clean but not obsessively so. Especially if you have children! I do not have plastic covers on my sofas,
and I do not have an endless amount of beige in my house.
I allow shoes in the house, (we live in the country and there are no carpets downstairs) and I have a dog, who is occasionally allowed on the furniture. I have a slight tendency to be anal about "everything has a home", (its the Virgo in me), but hey I don't loose sleep if the dishwasher isn't unloaded and the kitchen floor bleached each night before bed.
I teach in my house, for private lessons, so I tend to make sure its rigidly tidy for lessons. Understandably. I have nik-naks and trinket stuff, pictures and bits and bobs everywhere, I DON'T have a glass display cabinet full of tea services, cut crystal and Royal Dalton Figurines though!!!
For four years of marriage I have battled against this with my husband as everything about someone whose house resembles eerily closely Hyacinth Bucket's and whose life has been lived in absolute fear of germs, pets, mess, untidiness and general OCD neurotiscisms seems to scream the opposite of me, but today I snapped. He woke up complaining. Before even the lights had been turned on, that he had woken up late and it was somehow MY fault!
I greet his miserable face downstairs shortly afterwards, hoping the brief interlude would have sorted him out, only to be met with, "This house is like living in squalor!"
I felt this statement was just way too far, and completely ridiculous!
Enough was enough, I downed-tools and went on strike, I made my point more than clear throughout the rest of the day by not lifting a finger, pointing out regularly that certain chores needed doing. Washing, washing and more washing, bathrooms to be cleaned, beds to be changed, toys to be cleared away, lunches to be made, dinners to be made, bottles to be washed, lounge to be vacuumed, the list went on and on and on and I completely stuck to it. What I used I left were it landed, and what the kids got out I left. Muddy wellies, wet coats; you name it I left it.
Now at 7pm the house looks like an utter bombsite. The toys are still in the bath, wet towels are scattering the children's floor and no less than 4 piles of washing litter the floor in the kitchen. There are a stack of dishes on the side in the kitchen to rival an industrial kitchen, and there are wet play clothes and muddy footprints trailing the downstairs of the house. The dinner is still on the kitchen table and unsurprisingly every light in the house is on, every door is open and all the curtains remain un-drawn.
Its killing me! I always tidy the lounge before sitting down in the evening to do my work, and I can't bear it being covered in mess and toys, but this time I'm sticking to my guns. Its like playing a huge game of chicken!
Because I earn a tiny weeny little percentage of what my husband earns, from being a dance and drama teacher and hopeful writer, he sees this pittance earnings as irrelevant, and therefore my work is also irrelevant and as he sees it offers little to no contribution to the household on any significant scale it is therefore a waste of my time- ergo the whole house suffers (in his opinion) because I work. I hasten to add, we have no cleaner, no nanny, no gardener and all this falls to me to fit in around my work and juggling the two little children. As his mother stayed home every day and spent every single day scrubbing the bath until she could see her face in it, he assumes that so should I.
I am a very houseproud person, and I like my house looking lovely, I spend almost every minute of my time in it, trying to keep on top of it all, and also ensure he has a dinner on the table the minute he walks in the door. But - today - it was not enough. And so today this rather risky strategy of mexican stand-offs began.
I will for sure be tearing my hair out by tomorrow evening when the children have no clean clothes and there is nothing in the fridge, but I am hoping (but not holding my breath) that he will realise just how much I do, as well as working each evening.
I am however looking forward very much to having a huge amount of time to play with the children and work on my scripts...