I have a bad case of the shoulda-woulda-couldas at the moment. You know what I mean when you do something and then spend ages going back over it and thinking you shoulda done something different.
I think it’s mainly because I’ve never had a job which I’ve been rubbish at before. I made a pretty amazing giant seagull at the shopping centre and when I used to pack sweetcorn I made sure my sweetcorn was pretty darn beautiful. I’m not exactly a perfectionist but I’ve always been a hard worker. I’ve prided myself on being good at my job. So why am I such a rubbish housewife?
I don’t really mean the parenting part. I think most of the time I’m ok at that. I play with the girls, read with them every day, keep them clean, feed them at regular times and all that malarkey. Got that sorted. Things did break down a little bit last week when M got ill. I’m not brilliant with medical things but as she had a fluctuating temperature I kept her off school. On Thursday I took her to school, but she was sent home from school and I did feel dreadful about it. I shoulda kept her home, but it is hard to tell. Then it developed into a cough over the weekend and I shoulda taken her to the drop in clinic. By Monday it was quite bad so I took her to the doctors and got some antibiotics. This was fine but it took a few days to work which meant she had to miss her first ever school trip (cue enormous case of mother guilt). I know there’s nothing I can do about it now. It’s too late to say I shoulda taken her to the doctor’s earlier, and if I’d taken her at the weekend her symptoms might not have warranted antibiotics. So why waste energy beating myself up about it?
It’s so easy to do. One thing goes wrong and you spend the rest of the day going over it. I know if it were someone else I would tell them not to worry, that it doesn’t really matter. In my head I think I’ve always felt being a housewife is easy. Mopping floors and making dinner is not difficult. Keeping the house tidy, keeping up with the bills and the laundry should not be that taxing. I can’t help thinking I should cope with it better than I do. It’s just that there is so much of it. I finish one load of laundry and another comes along. There are endless small household tasks to complete: sorting out the car insurance, paying dinner money, fixing all the things which are broken. I feel that as I’m home most of the time it should be easier to keep up with these things.
I know it’s true I fritter time away. Washing up is boring so I put it off for as long as possible. If it was my job I would just do it, and if I had a strict deadline I would do that first so that it was finished. So maybe the answer is to treat life at home more like a job. Stick to regular time slots, set a deadline, don’t put off things just because they’re boring.
Or maybe I just have to stop worrying about what I shoulda-would-coulda have done and go out in the sunshine and enjoy spending time with the children. After all my main philosophy in life is that no one ever looks back from their death-bed and wishes they’d done more ironing.
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