|Definition:||cleaning, maintaining a home|
|Synonyms:||administration, bed-making, cooking, domestic art, domestic science, dusting, home economics, homemaking, housecraft, housekeeping, ironing, laundering, management, mopping, sewing, stewardship, sweeping, washing|
This extract from thesaurus.com only includes the actions of housework. It doesn't include the value loaded terms like drudgery and chores, adjectives like repetitive, boring and neverending that I tend to mentally add when my thoughts or actions venture in this direction.
I know I need to keep things clean for health reasons, and for aesthetics, and I really enjoy the virtuous buzz when everything spakles and looks good. And I quite enjoy the water related aspects of 'the job': washing, mopping the floors, even washing up (water play for seniors). But then along comes a dirty footprint, a mug on the bench, spatters and drips from the cooking, and it all needs doing again.
I can guiltily admit to my children asking who was coming when I embarked on a spot of spring cleaning, and if there was ever an incentive to being a working mother, it was being able to justify paying to have a cleaner!
By experience I have learnt, that keeping things tidy, putting away as things are used, doing a 'tidy round' at least once a day, stop the house looking as if slobs live here. And wiping spills as they happen, keeping the washing up to date and putting it away frsh from the line or dryer are all good practices. BUT keeping up with the ironing is not one of my attributes. Thank heavens we are now wearing winter clothes which don't require as much care as the cottons and linens of summer!
Yet when I think back to my mother and grandmother, how easy we have it.
- Washing machines and dryers instead of the copper, troughs of 'blue' to keep the whites white, starch to be mixed and used (ending up with clothes like cardboard), wringers to get the clothes as dry as possible before hanging.
- Electric steam and spray irons instead of the sprinkle bottle andflat irons that had to be constanatly reheated.
- Vacuum cleaners instead of rolling up the rugs, putting them over the clothes line and beating them.
- Many different appliances to beat, chop and mix compared to knives, graters and rotary beaters and whisks.
At least all that physical exercise kept the women ( you know whose role it all was!) fit and healthy. And there was certainly a degree of competition in keeping 'a good house', and pride taken in its achievement.
For me, it tends towards drudgery, but it is also a time when I can think through things that are worrying me, work off emotional energy, make plans, indulge in flights of fantasy about the home for lost socks and occasionally, concentrate on what I'm doing.
And a sparkling house, of which I'm proud, it its own reward....until the next footprint, abandoned mug or cooking mess!