Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Does this housework make my butt look fat?

It is May, so that means the bi-annual summer/winter switch of clothes is upon me.  Every May and October I have the massive undertaking of weeding through the girl’s clothes – what fits, what doesn’t, properly storing snow pants for next season, and then selecting what clothes I will take to Goodwill or which ones I will pass onto friends.  It is an essential pain in the ass task that seems to take forever, and with the picky New England weather, it comes in fits and starts. 

I embark on a similar undertaking for myself, switching out woolen sweaters for cotton skirts and tall black boots for open toed anything.  As I was trying on skirts the other day I came to realize that some of my skirts were feeling a wee bit tight.  I put on my trusty teal green cropped pants and lo and behold, they betrayed me and were a little snug as well.

Now, I am not a girl who has weekly weigh-ins.  I have always gone by a simple measure of how my clothes fit - and by the adage of everything in moderation- so I enjoy my cheeseburgers as much as I appreciate a damn good salad.   I also try very hard to never, ever call myself fat, especially in front of Sophie and Katie.   I am acutely aware of girls and self image and how much of a direct – and hopefully - positive influence I have upon their growing little bodies and self esteem.  So I tell them that I run because it makes me feel strong and happy and it is good for my body and they should enjoy sports or being active for the same reason. 

I think that Fat and Diet are mean, nasty curse words.  Too many women have these words embedded in their brains and vocabulary and I refuse to be one of them.   I exercise because those endorphins rush through me and that feeling translates into feeling confident in a bathing suit - that is what is important.  I know that I will never be a size four, so I will make my body size the best it can be. 

But trying on my clothes the other day I began to realize that I had put on a few pounds – not much, but enough to make my clothes feel snug.  So I tried to think about what I have been doing to cause this small weight gain. 

I came to realize that it has been what I have not been doing.  I realized that I had not exercised one bit in the past three weeks.  I tried to figure out and sift through my daily time to understand why.  I realized it is just so hard to squeeze it all in, every single day - work, sleep, play,  what not, and my most dreaded of all life maintenance, housework.

Anyone who knows me knows what a joyless task I find cleaning to be.  I know that adult life can be littered with tasks that must be performed to keep it all chugging along, but the amount that has to be done to just keep a path clean from one room to the next is depressing to me.  It is one the ultimate catch 22’s in my life.  I love my home – I spend a great deal of time in it and I love having it filled with friends and family, so some sort of order must be maintained.  Yet I resent every moment that I spend sweeping the kitchen floor of crumbs that magically appear three minutes later. 

And I don’t care so little that I am just going to let it go to squalor, because, well, I don’t want my house to look like total crap.

When I clean, I begrudge every second I spend doing something I hate, wishing I was doing something else.  When my house is a mess of piles, sticky floors and dust bunnies it makes me cuckoo.  And I don’t think it is fair to ask Cliff to do more – he is not one of those guys who  complains while  I’m vacuuming, telling me to keep it down so he can watch the game, and get me another beer while I’m up.  He is a full, contributing member of this home, with an overflowing amount of life to contend with as well.   

 I have been sacrificing my work-out time for housework – and that is not cool.   Something has to change.


  1. I wonder if you have tried committing to a work out or running time. Saying to yourself, or putting on the calendar in the kitchen that such and such a time three days is for your workout. The cleaning will always be there, waiting.

  2. I love this - Such a simple idea to block it out. I know nothing happens unless it is on the kitchen calender! (and it is so true - that cleaning will ALWAYS be there)

  3. We've just got the one kid and these three asshole dogs, Steve does the laundry which probably contributes mightily to my not hating housework. Maybe because my job involves so much planning and not doing, housework is kind of nice for me because I get to see (and smell, OMG) the result of my labor. Sometimes it doesn't get done until there's mold on the shower curtain and dust bunnies bigger than the dogs, and some mornings I curse the other members of this household's inability to remove their G.D. clothing from the living room, but otherwise me and chores are pretty copacetic.

    I'll skate behind your run if you need inspiration. I'll curse if you want.