As a kid, when Friday rolled around, most kids would excitedly scream and run out of school. They’d cheer at the possibilities their weekend would hold. A sleepover? Cheering for the basketball team? Dinner with friends? Oh sure, I would smile and join in the excitement, but then I’d be brought back to reality the moment I walked through the door of my house. You see, when I was younger, my mom always had this rule on Friday nights: You can’t go anywhere until your bathroom is clean. I’d piddle around to try to put off the inevitable. I’d whine about having to do chores when, “nobody else has to!” I remember doing this elementary through high school. My mom and I would battle about this stupid, mundane chore that I hated doing week after week. You have to know one thing about my mom though; she loves to clean. I was never that kid with a messy room. I had to make my bed every day and everything I owned had its place in my room. Usually when I came home from school on Fridays and started to makes excuses to get out of cleaning, my mom already had her old volleyball knee pads on and was busy scrubbing the kitchen floor. I remember hanging out in my friends’ rooms and being jealous of their mess. They’d have makeup laying out, magazines and pictures strewn around the floor, and clothes lying on their bed. It was normal to them and foreign to me.
Flash forward to today. I’m 25 and own a home with my husband. Prior to being married, we’d never lived together. I’m sure he imagined a wonderful wife who would keep the house sparkling clean and would have freshly cut flowers standing tall on our dining room table. Poor guy. He had no idea what was coming. Turns out when my mom doesn’t make me clean before I can go out…. I just don’t clean at all. Go ahead, make your judgements about me. I like to think I’m just being rebellious at this point in my life. Nobody is making me clean. Nobody is riding me about the soap scum in the shower. Nobody is yelling up the stairs, “Be sure that bed is made young lady!” So guess what? It’s just not getting cleaned. I despise doing the dishes. I scoff at taking care of the laundry. I cringe at scrubbing the floor. But most of all, I loath cleaning the shower. I believe it’s just me saying, “I’m a grown up now and you can’t make me.” (Sticks out tongue)
Today however, my husband placed a laundry basket in front me as I woke up from my Sunday nap. “Got a little job for ya!” he said in his usual chipper way. Of course I knew he’d probably end up folding the laundry, but for the first time in 2.5 years I felt this unusual feeling. A feeling of guilt. I should help out more with the cleaning. I need to give up my feminist way of thinking. Just because I put some laundry in or unload the dishwasher, it doesn’t make me a 1950’s housewife. It makes me a partner in my marriage. So today I folded laundry, made dinner, washed dishes and… wait for it… cleaned the bathroom, shower included. Together, my hubbie and I made our house shine like new. Now, we’re sitting together in bed watching the Academy Awards. He’s reading a book while I furiously blog about cleanliness. We both have this sense of contentment and calmness as we gaze over our freshly vacuumed carpet. As much as I hate to admit it, my mom was right. A clean house is the way to go. I think I’m over the halfway to 50 shock of being a first time home owner and wife. I think it’s time I stop enjoying the fact that nobody is making me do anything and start doing it because I want to. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll make my kids clean before they can go anywhere on a Friday night.