Friday, October 18, 2013

Full Volume Homemaking

I grew up in a very small cozy house with both my parents, my brother, and one bathroom. We had to get along or I think there would have been some consequences to our quality of living. The phrase "too many butts in the kitchen!" had to be used on a regular basis. It made for interesting inside jokes, especially in relation to the single bathroom issue. Both my parents worked full time so us kids helped out with chores. My main job was the dishes and since it was a semi-old house there was no dishwasher. Having one now always feels like a huge luxury. I have memories of my mom and dad putting on Paul Simon or the Gypsy Kings at full volume and I danced around the house as we cleaned. "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes" and "Bamboleo" give me the urge to swing my hips with the vacuum as my dancing partner. Makes me want to dust with some serious flare. Do the cha-cha from the waist down at the kitchen sink.

 Even though we helped with household chores, I could count on one hand the number of times I was asked to clean my room. My room was always my own. I was always able to express my creativity without worrying about making a mess. When I was really young, my bed turned into a stage. My friends and I would rearrange furniture every which way we could and put on performances for my family. As I got older, my mom and I would redecorate my room at least once every couple years. We would go down to the garment district in LA and get fabric to sew new window treatments, bedspreads, and pillows. Even with all the rearranging, my room was always pretty orderly. 

Now that I have my own home, I still enjoy rearranging and organizing things to be visually appealing. Doing chores doesn't really feel like a job, but rather brings up memories of singing and dancing (most of the time). I enjoy keeping our home comfortable and peaceful. Putting on some good music makes almost any job more enjoyable. There are certain chores I'm a bit picky about though. Certain ways I like things done that just make me happy. I make our bed everyday right after breakfast. I don't like a lot of dishes on the counters. They either get washed right away or are put in the sink instead of on the counter. I make our weekly dinner menu every Sunday. One of my stranger preferences pertains to our towels. When I fold towels, I do it a certain way and they are stored a certain way. Josh is no longer allowed to help fold towels. He just doesn't do it right! I think this one stems back to my childhood bathroom shared with three other people. I folded a lot of towels.

When our future children do chores or clean their rooms, we'll probably take an approach similar to my parents'. Being productive doesn't mean you can't have fun. Since I intend to be a stay at home mom, I believe a lot of the household maintenance will be part of my "job". However, I think it's important for all family members to contribute. I understand I'll need to let go of some of my housekeeping quirks. There will be more dishes on the counter, beds might not get made, and really, the towels aren't that important. When our little one starts making their own bed or helping fold laundry, it won't be done perfectly. But I will be proud that they helped and I will nurture their desire to help others. I intend to seek out and nurture our child's strengths. If a huge mess is involved, so be it. We'll live at full volume and clean up before bed.

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