Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm Not Lazy

For the last couple of years the cleanliness of my house has steadily declined. When I learned I was pregnant with Hewitt I decided that I was going to do everything I possibly could to have a healthy baby. I took it easy and practiced "selective neglect." I learned to be my own skeleton crew and do the bare minimum to keep my house functional. (And Jeremiah kicked in...a lot.) Things worked out well when I delivered my biggest baby yet without any emergencies or unexpected surprises.

After I had Hewitt I decided that I should ease back into caring for the house. I was recovering from surgery, after all. I started to do a little more a little at a time, giving Jeremiah a break from being breadwinner and housekeeper. But as I returned to duty, I just couldn't seem to get a rhythm back. Laundry and dishes were still piling, toilets were in need of a good scrub, toys found homes on the living room floor and the floors were in continual need of a vacuum or a mop.
Today I looked around my house and while it probably just looks "lived in," I can't tell you how much it gets me down. I clean every day. Every. Single. Day. But I also have Fibromyalgia. (It's a connective tissue disorder but it has several, seemingly unrelated symptoms.) It's something I try not to complain about outside of whine-fests conversations with my husband, mom and close friends who happen to catch me on a bad day. But really, it can be a little limiting, and not just in terms of housework.

I don't always pick up my kids because, little as they are, it actually hurts me to lift and hold them. A few minutes in my arms can mean a few hours of pain in my back. It's hard to explain to others because it sounds really dramatic, which is why I don't often mention it. But it breaks my heart that others might have the notion that I'm ignoring my children. It's a difficult balance of nurturing them and maintaining myself. Same goes for my house.

It's like I tell my husband some days when he gets home from work, "It may not look like I did anything today, but trust me: If I had done nothing, it would look tons worse!"