Saturday, December 10, 2005

Mothers, teach your daughters well

It struck me yesterday that after nearly 4 years of marriage, I'm finally getting the hang of housework. I never realized how much work it really is, and how much I didn't know, and how little discipline I had in that area.

Growing up, I used to play house and dream of keeping my own, tidy home. However, I couldn't even keep my bed fixed and my room neat! I used to whip up imaginary gourmet dinners, but I was almost a teenager before mom let me make my own grilled cheese sandwiches. I promised I'd keep my house neat and clean, but even as I type, I'm in a grand scale decluttering and organizing situation.

I was taught some housekeeping skills, washing clothes, ironing, vacuuming, dusting, washing dishes, cooking, etc. But I was never taught the VALUE of them. Simply making me do them was just a chore. It took a lot of scrambling to clean up when someone called to say they were stopping in, and plenty of embarrassing moments when someone stopped in unexpectedly to make me realize that keeping a tidy, clean house is a difficult, but highly rewarding thing! I also realized that during high stress times for myself and in my marriage occurred around the times the house was filthy. Hubby is more on edge and so am I when the house is sloppy, cluttered and unorganized.

I also want to point out that I AM devalued as a stay-at-home wife when the house is a mess. As horrible as it sounds, it's true. (Let me clarify that my husband does NOT devalue me, but it does cause him to raise questions as to what I do all day if I can't even find time to clean the house.) The first thought that seems to come to people's minds when they know I'm a stay-at-home wife and the house is messy is "bon bons and soap operas." (Never mind that I can't eat chocolate and we don't have TV.) In general, I'm lazy and leeching off my hard-working husband.

Keeping a clean and tidy house is valuable. So mothers, teach your young daughters and joy, peace and comfort of a clean house. Teach your daughters the value and discipline of working well with her hands. Don't just make her vacuum the carpet and assume she's "getting it." Teach your daughers well, and save her the misery of 4 years of trying to "get it right" in her married years.


Julie said...

I agree 100%! I will be married five years in a few days and Im still trying to get the hang of this. My kitchen and living room have been livable clean for about a week now and I can see the floor in my bedroom. BLCH!
I am however slowly getting into routine and bring my girls with me!

Calla Lilly said...

When our daughter turned 13, we made her responsible for all of her own laundry in addition to keeping her bedroom and bathroom clean. Teaching her to cook is coming a little slower as it takes a good deal of time. Ironing?? I'm still a novice compared to my mother and I've been married 18 years! :)