Keeping the house

By kate on June 19th, 2007

Now that I’m home with Ruby, I see my job as caring for her and taking care of the house. As in, it’s my job, what I’m (sort of) being paid to do. I’m finding, to my surprise, that it’s a pleasure to get the chance to focus on these things instead of stuffing them into the odd moments of free time that I could find. When I was working, housework was at the bottom of my list of priorities. Now, I have the chance to apply my “work mind” to the house. I can organize and schedule and expend effort like I did at work.

Another surprise is that I’m a pretty neat parent. This was not expected. In the past, I’ve lived in a state of somewhat untidiness, letting things pile up until I had time to clean (usually on the weekend). Now, though, I find myself cleaning up the playroom anytime Ruby is napping. I straighten up the main floor every morning, and clean the kitchen after every meal. It’s pleasant to live in a cleaner space, and straightening up doesn’t take too long. I also like that Ruby sees me doing it, so she’ll learn that it is a task to be done (rather than it happening magically while she’s asleep).  I plan to have her help me as soon as she is able.

One aspect of housekeeping that feels familiar is the more “handy” side. I’ve always been adept with tools, and enjoyed a woodworking hobby for a while (before aerial, then Ruby, pushed it out of the way). In the past couple of years, though, it’s been Steve who has done things like replace our kitchen faucet, change the furnace filter, etc.  It was easier to have him do it because he was the one at home (working from home, then being a stay-at-home parent). Even on weekends, my to-do list was so crowded (and I also needed time to relax) that I rarely took on a house-related project.

Now, though, I’m finding room in my schedule for such things, especially on the days when Ruby’s grandparents are watching her. This week I keep puttering happily into the garage looking for the right drill bit or a scrap of wood. I’ve washed all the windows (inside and out), edged the lawn, installed a clothesline, and am working on babyproofing some cabinets.

Productivity is so satisfying when you can see the results.

Filed under: handiwork, life
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