I never really put much stock in full time stay-at-home moms. I was raised by two parents who, for as long as I can remember, always worked full time. From a young age I saw my mom balance a full time career and a home, and I assumed that anyone who only did one or the other had it easy.
When Ken and I moved in together my mom tried to warn me that keeping up a house was a lot of work. I didn't listen. Then, as I realized she was right, I was in denial. And so for two and a half years I did sporadic basic cleaning thinking it was sufficient. I also picked about 2,000,000 fights with Ken about whose responsibility it was to do the minimal sporadic cleaning. Obviously I didn't think it was solely mine. I was going to work all day every day just like he was.
Fast forward to: epiphany. For 4 months I've been working hard to get the sporadic cleaning up to routine cleaning. And I've added in more routine cleaning thinking that I could manage a sparkling home. Now, after 4 months of not working full time I am finding out that truly keeping a clean and orderly house is definitely a full time job. On Tuesday I got up at 8:00 to begin my 'spring cleaning'. I see no reason to keep putting it off until spring. So, I started in one corner of the house and started working my way out. Clean the bathroom, that's pretty standard. Clean under the sink, and inside the medicine cabinet. Clean off the baseboards, and the door. Check. Check. Check.
Next the bedroom. Change the sheets. Vacuum. Move the furniture to clean under and behind it. Ok. Now I'm starting to realize that some of this stuff is nasty. I can't believe I haven't moved my bedroom furniture in 3 years! Now clean the drapes. And the mini blinds. The mini blinds! They used to be white! And I thought they still were until I got up close to them. Again clean the baseboards, walls, and door. By 11:00 I had done two rooms and two loads of laundry, and was wondering if I was the only person not seeing a dent. At 12:30 reinforcements arrived. By 4:00 we had tackled the 3 bedrooms and kitchen and they were sparkling. But I was exhausted, and it was time to switch gears to the dog park and dinner. I had a partner and we had barely gotten through half of the house! And I had ignored some of the major areas: the closets.
I'm still amazed at how much cleaner my house looks and feels. And I'm amazed that it can look and feel cleaner as I thought it was already pretty clean. Yesterday I tackled the dining room and living room for a good dusting and cleaning the floors, but the mini blinds and draperies are still to be done. And I've not even touched the basement yet.
So I would just like to say this: To all of you lifelong stay-at-home moms out there, wow! I am so sorry that I ever judged you as not working as hard as corporate moms. And to you corporate moms who balance two full time jobs I don't know how you do it. And finally to all of you children, regardless of your age, however your mom managed it please try to recognize now how hard she was working despite what you might have seen. Trust me, she was sweating up a storm!