In light of the recent outrage regarding my pre-children domestic goddess status (I USED TO MEAL PLAN), I’m a little reluctant to admit something to you, but, in the spirit of an open, honest relationship, here goes: MY HOUSE IS FUCKING LOVELY. Like, really lovely. Show-home lovely. I know – you wanted me to live in a squat, right, overrun with kids and guinea pigs and shit. Having said that, it’s superficially lovely. Scratch the surface – or look under the fridge, or ask my mum and my nan – and you’ll discover it’s a bit of a shit-hole. Dude, I don’t have TIME to scrub that skanky bit of the dishwasher. But you can’t see that bit. What you can see is BLOODY LOVELY.
Okay, so why am I telling you this? Well, it’s a bit of an admission, I suppose: I spend more time tidying up than I do playing with my kids. You know that poem called Dust if You Must? “Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better if, I dunno, you knitted your kids a tie-dye sweater?” That’s not how it goes. I don’t know how it goes. I glaze every time someone puts it on Facebook, cos FUCK OFF. I don’t want to play with my kids, I want to keep my house clean and tidy.
Which brings me to my next point: please don’t come to my house with your many children. One, maybe, or at a push, two, but anymore than that and I’m gonna have to meet you at a park, or something, cos nothing sends my blood pressure shooting up more than small, wild children running through my lovely home and licking shit.
I attribute my dislike of small house guests to the time I hosted mother’s group at my (old) lovely home. A dozen mums and their toddling, shitting, sticky-fingered children. I had to HOSE my tiled family room after they’d left. I think I hosed the windows too, cos they kept licking the fucking glass. It was at that point, I think, that I decided I would not be hosting mother’s meetings at my lovely home ever again.
I’d love to be that chilled, relaxed mum with the open-door policy, but seriously, no, fuck off, go home, you’re not welcome. (Sorry, I’ve come over all Pauline Hanson, but I’m not being racist. I don’t care if you’re white, brown, yellow or pink – you can all get lost.)
I’m a bit OCD, see. Borderline. I used to be much, much worse, but then three kids came along and, y’know, it’s pretty hard to be OCD with those little fuckers rampaging around my lovely home. It’s like tidying up in the eye of a hurricane. But I do TRY to keep it show-home tidy – I TRY to keep the mess and the toys and the food and the general untidy debris of childhood reserved to one room, or maybe two, which Paul and I can blitz after the kids go to bed. This is important. It’s about reclaiming our space, and not being eye-balled by Buzz Lightyear while we try and eat our carbonara and have a cuddle.
And also, I like getting up to a tidy house. Sometimes the little fuckers outfox me, and get up first and trash the house with chocolate fingers and jigsaw pieces before I’ve even emerged from the bedroom, but for the most part, yeah, we start with a clean slate. I get that this is illogical, given that my kitchen is tidy for only five minutes before it’s destroyed by cornflakes and toast crumbs, but go on, humour me.
I’m particularly weird about my floors. My floors need to be IMMACULATE. I hoover and I mop at least once a day. At least. YES, I realise this time could be better spent playing UNO with my three children, but I wouldn’t be able to concentrate, ‘cos I’d be thinking about my smeary floors. JUDGE ME IF YOU WILL (don't judge me).