Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Mundane

Our lives are filled with the mundane. Chores, meals, dishes, laundry, groceries, and the endless wiping of counters and picking up clothes and toys that are under our feet. As an experiment, I'm tempted to calculate how much time I waste on a daily basis with menial jobs, but I think the tally would be so depressing that I shy away from this measurement.

I try to remind myself that there is comfort in the everyday tasks; that working to keep my house orderly and welcoming has its own reward. I know my kids won't remember that the dishes were done or the floors were clean (at least I hope not because most of the time my floors are sticky), but they will certainly remember the atmosphere that they grew up in. Was it comforting or cold? Did they feel relaxed and good when they were home, or tense and irritated?

The atmosphere in any home tends to flow from the woman who lives there. If I'm resentful and angry, everyone in my house walks on eggshells. If I'm in a great mood, it rubs off on the rest of the family. I'm not sure why it falls to women to be the barometer of the household, but I'm guessing it's been that way since the beginning of civilization (I can't comment on the jurassic period).

It's important to be honest about how we feel as women. If our husbands aren't willing or able to help out with the dishes, meals and laundry and we are exhausted and need a break, pay a teenage neighbour to come in once in a while and help with the kids or the chores. Attempting to be superwoman and failing (as you inevitably will) exacts a high cost on you and your family. We need to be reasonable about what we can accomplish in any given day.

When I give myself a list, I am almost frantic until I complete each item on the list. I'm trying to learn to slow down, and not rush my kids when they are playing at the park in beautiful 20 degree spring weather, in order to cross another item off. If I can't do it today, there is a tomorrow coming, and even a day after that. What good is accomplishing everything on my list if I'm tired and stressed and not enjoying my life?

The mundane will always be there. We have to eat, wear clean(ish) clothes and pack lunches for our school kids. These little, time-consuming jobs are necessary for the fabric of our lives, but they are mostly unnoticed and unappreciated. While we wipe the counter for the 20th time each day, we dream of beach vacations where we get a break from the menial stuff of life. Don't forget that your state of mind affects your family. Dreams are free, and we should indulge in them as much as possible as an antidote to the mundane.


  1. Paying anyone other than the husband does two things. 1. Gets the damned job done....2. Is the best insult you can throw in your husband's face and YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING!

  2. Hahahaha, are too funny.