It’s hard! I wonder how other people manage. I see them, with their children and their jobs and their clean houses. How and when do people find the time? While caring for my grandmother it’s surprisingly easy. I make a mess, I tidy it up. I leave her rooms tidy and kitchen spotless every day before I leave to come home to my pigsty.
Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating, but sometimes my house is so far from my standard of what I feel is acceptable that it makes me want to cry. But oddly enough, not clean up. How do people stay on top of it all and have any life left to live? I feel that I have failed as a woman (sorry feminists) to not be able to manage it all.
I have been known to cancel house guests because I’ve not had time to dust the skirting and polish the towel heater. I change plans with friends because I’m so scared they’ll judge the oil spattered along the back of my range cooker or cat hair on the carpet. Even having a “leccy” round to give a quote to fit a shower sent me into blind panic about the limescale around the bath taps and mess in the fuse cupboard.
Recently I got suckered into buying a steam cleaner plus all the accessories from a shopping channel. I used it once, the pad got caked in old dirt from a tiled floor, I panicked as I didn’t know how to wash it, and it’s been sitting in the dark ever since. Why, when I fantasised so vividly about the jet nozzle giving the grout a seeing to, have I not even used it yet?
I want to host, I want to welcome people into our home, but I worry so much about what they will think of how we live that I end up stifling my social life and avoiding so much as a cup of tea at mine. Surely this is not normal behaviour and I need help of some kind. Or I need to quit a hobby, watch less TV, go on eBay less, ping on a pair of marigolds and just get on with it.
The only time this strange obsession is put into perspective is when I visit other people’s messy houses and realise that it’s normal for a home to look lived in. In the way air-brushed cover girls wreak havoc with my body image, I expect my abode to resemble a show home and must have a distorted view of reality. It’s like anorexia but without the malnutrition. A kind of household dismorphia.
So, I have OCD but don’t do anything about it – what is wrong with me…? Maybe I’m just lazy. Should I hire a cleaner or is that failing? I fear failure more than all of the above. But that’s another post.