Wrong. I simply do not get housework. Anybody who walks into my home could be forgiven for thinking that I am a lazy, feral sloth creature. That all I do all day is sit on the computer posting boring as batshit blogs and Facebook updates. And I would never do anything like that. Ahem. Mainly because I can't now. But that's not the point. I do have one. I promise. I will get to it presently.
The truth is, I have tried so hard to be a Domestic Goddess. To de-clutter, organise and have everything gleaming and perfect. Or, if not perfect, at least somewhat presentable.
|Inside the Bogan Box. This was a good day. Oh, shut up.|
I have purchased all the gear. The mops, brooms, tubs of Gumption, bleach and Pledge Grab-Its. I even purchased that awful smug book called Spotless. And the even smugger (is that a word?) Speed Cleaning, which promised I could have a spotlessly clean house in 15 minutes a day. Uh, yeah right.
I thought I would finally find the secret answer and knowledge that everyone seems to have but me. Apparently it's bi-carb and vinegar, according to that book.
Bi-carb and vinegar fix everything. So I bought those too. But somehow, my house still isn't gleaming. Not even remotely. It smells really vinegary though. Sigh.
The problem is, I can't even logically work out how to go about all the tasks I need to do. If I have say, ten things I know I need to do (it's more like 17 million on any given day, really, but I condensed it) I can't work out how to prioritise them in a completely rational, logical way as most people seem to. I feel bewildered and over-whelmed before I even begin.
"Write a list. " Mick tells me. I've tried that too. Lists and I don't get on. I either forget the list, lose the list or have a lovely list of the things I failed to complete that day mocking me from the fridge door.
|This picture does not accurately reflect the amount of washing|
in our house, which would actually be enough to fill the Indian Ocean.
This leads to Micky Blue Eyes finding the piles later, and becoming annoyed thinking that I deliberately left them there for him to put away. I never do. I just simply forget. The truth is I am just a very forgetful and easily distracted person, especially when it comes to housework.
On the surface it appears that I don't care about this. About the state of my home. That I am deliberately blase about cleanliness and order. Thoroughly relaxed and unconcerned. On the inside, however, this is not the case whatsoever and it actually causes me a great deal of consternation. I've spent nights unable to sleep going over and over it. Truly. Feeling bad about myself because I don't seem to get something so seemingly simple. I mean, it's not Rocket Science is it? These are routine, menial tasks.
To make matters worse, we never invite people over, simply because I am too ashamed. The shame and guilt eat me alive some days.
It also appears that I am the furthest thing possible from a perfectionist. Judging from the perpetual state of my home the idea is truly laughable and absurd, I realise. However, I struggle with the belief that I should be perfect.
Not only should I be a perfect Domestic Goddess with a gleaming home looking like something straight of a Home Beautiful magazine, but I should also be the perfect mother. Able to cook exquisite meals which are promptly served at 6pm every night. Have my boys into a strict routine.
But even that's not quite enough. I think I should also be able to make time not just to get a bit of exercise, but to literally train almost to the degree of an Olympic Athlete. Oh, and since we are living in Boganville, if we wish to have any hope of making it to Boganville Heights, I really should be working outside the home and earning money.
In addition to this, I feel I should really make time to be a creative genius with my writing. A boring as batshit blog isn't good enough. I should have been able to have whipped up a best-selling novel, you know, by lunch time. Yesterday.
I think I see where the problem is.
I'm not a perfectionist. I'm a should-ist. I think I should be perfect, and therefore because I fall so glaringly and pathetically short of my list of shoulds I constantly feel like a useless failure.
These feelings don't work for me. There is no pay-off for me, in cleaning all day. I can't seem to find any positive feeling of a job well done or pride in my home. I just feel like I'm repeatedly failing at something that is supposedly easy or menial. So, the more I think about it, it actually makes sense that I would eventually feel like giving up on it. It's not that I'm lazy. It's more like it just doesn't work for me, there's no pay-off, so I might as well be blowed and forget it and do something else that does work for me. Like writing this blog .Even if I feel like I should be doing something else.
After a diagnosis of Aspergers last year, I'm pretty sure it's time to let all the shoulds go. Maybe there are some Aspergians out there who are thoroughly logical, clean and ordered. I am not one of them.
One of the traits of Aspergers can be reduced Executive Function, which refers to a lot of the things I am talking about. Like prioritising tasks, working memory, switching attention between tasks and organisational and planning abilities. There is a lot more to it, but it's too dry and uninteresting to bang on about too much in this blog. The upshot of it is, as I heard author of The Complete Guide To Aspergers Syndrome, Prof Tony Attwood succinctly describe in an interview, a lot of us Aspies "Couldn't organise a piss-up in a Brewery."
It's true. For me. I really can't. And, I guess it just has to be okay. Sure, I don't want to fall into the trap of using my Aspergers as an excuse. It doesn't mean that I can just throw my hands up in the air and say I give up, and we live in a feral pig-sty. Even though it seems like it on some days. It does mean that I accept that it won't be as perfect as I'd like.
The fact that being an Aspie for me, means I crave order and routine in my environment and surroundings, while simultaneously being completely clueless about actually creating it for myself and my family, is just another one of those little tragic ironies of my life that I have to live with.
And the only other thing that I should do, is throw away that bloody Spotless book. See? I'm de-cluttering.
And then promptly stop using the word should.
Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.