May 17, 2005


Let's talk a bit about Housework. I have, over the years, come to appreciate certain tasks, while others remain on my hate list.

In the states, when we had wall to wall carpeting, I loved to vacuum. It's that save the best for last job that is almost magically easy, with the gratifying sound of debris being sucked up. Not to mention the satisfaction of dumping the evidence from the canister.

Nowadays, not unlike many Egyptian homes, we have tile. Sweeping isn't much fun, but mopping with bleach water afterwards is pleasing. Note that I do this after the kids' bedtime in order to take pleasure in a few hours of clean, crumb free floors. Same goes for the bathroom. Picking up toys, laundry, and other general tidying up is done throughout the day.

The one job I really find insufferable? Dishes. Washing dishes. It's the worst. I'd rather scrub the toilet. It doesn't help when your sink faces a wall and the kitchen window cannot be opened due to neighbors being RIGHT THERE. I always say I'll wash stuff as I go, throughout the day. That seems like the smart thing to do. Nothing is stuck on and the sink isn't laden with a day's worth heap of cups, plates, flatware, pots, pans, bottles etc. Unfortunately, I usually end up letting them pile up.

Dishwashers here are quite expensive and small, so we're talking hand washing dishes here for those of you spoiled by a Whirlpool. (I can't believe I used to complain about washing dishes at my parent’s house when there was a dishwasher!)

Whoever said that trying to keep a clean and orderly home while bringing up kids is like trying to shovel snow during a snowstorm was right. It never ends, but I have them help. Their room is almost always in disarray. I tell them, if you contributed to the mess, and then contribute to the clean up. Doesn't always work but although they whine and try to get out of it, they realize that it's not my job to constantly pick up after them.

Sometime I set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes and the kid's and I go crazy, tidying up, etc, until the timer goes off. It always surprises me how much gets done. Most of the time I keep going, having gotten into a cleaning groove.

Procrastination is really the enemy here. It's always the getting started part that's the hardest. Once begun, cleaning jobs are rewarding and even fun sometimes.

Hmm, my keyboard needs a good cleaning; I suppose that requires shutting the computer off!


  1. Anonymous11:09 PM

    Yes, I agree that housework can be mundane ...but my favorites believe it or not is scrubbing floors with a broom, tide, and some sented soap...My doctor said to stop adding clorox to the potion cause my asthma was worsened...Its really very bad to inhale such a mix. As per, the ironing, that I hate...I hate more than anything.. I dont mind sorting laundry, washing, even folding but ironing Ugh!
    Surprisingly, washing dishes is tolerable to me on some days when i have good music playing...
    And I like washing windows..there is nothing like the feeling of seeing clearly now the rain is gone...hmmm
    Any way....Tell you a secret...when Im really mad, or angry or frrustrated, I putt on my gloves and ge the veem and start scrubbing the stove top till i can see in it. Its very thereaputic

  2. I'm with you on the dishes. That has always been the one thing I hate doing until now. Now that I am here in Yemen. We have carpet but no vacuum here. We sweep the carpet with these dried leaves of some sort. It is awful. I hate doing the laundry the most. The washers here are awful and everything has to be rinsed by hand. I can't wait til I get back to the US and have real washer and dryer. I will certainly appreciate things so much more then I did before.

  3. Ohh, I also wanted to say that I like your idea with the timer. I will have to remember that and use it with my oldest.

  4. Eman, Yea the sink is what I love to scrub to a shiney polish, stainless steel is a beautiful thing.

    Surviving, you have my sympathies, Can you at least get a proper broom? Or give the rugs a good whack outside? I know about the primative washers. I had one for a month once. Is it like a big pot and you basically still have to wash them by hand but this thing mixes them up and tangles stuff up and your socks are 3 feet long? Allah Maakee, InshaAllah. I love your blog, by the way.

  5. mmmmm bleach mmmmm one true love.

    I wish my husband would do dishes on the weekend. I used to like doing dishes, but it is all I ever seem to be doing and i am over it. I often remind him that i used to get paid to do dishes.

  6. Anonymous11:37 PM

    well im the total opposite of you mones, i hate mopping i mean i just can't stand it, i would do anything for wall to wall. but i now vacuum the floor before mopping which takes less time and effort then sweeping, so it's a bit better i guess. i don't love doing dishes but it's my time to think, like i just go into another world and just think about things really clearly. anyway i love cleanliness, and according to omar way too much, but i just can't ok salaams

  7. HALA! How ya been!? The carpet and floor combo is the hardest, since you have to do both and they get in eachother's way and stuff.

  8. Ohh, I know what you mean about shoveling snow in a snowstorm. My DH contributes his fair share too... It's not just the kids!LOL But you can't really tell your DH to set the timer and get working on his mess!LOL At least not on a regular basis!LOL

    Seriously, I am a horrible housekeeper. But when you get down to it I think most women in the same age range as me are (I am thirty). We all seem to hate it, or parts of it anyway. Most of us are just getting by it seems.

    I figure that as long as I have a fairly clear pathway through the house and there are clean floors underneath it I am good. Oh, and also the kitchen has to be clean... Actually I will clean it before I start cooking if it is a mess when I go to make dinner... Which can delay dinner considerably. Alhamdulilah for dishwashers!!! I can just load as I go and run it when it gets full. Before we had one I spent literally hours doing dishes every day.

    I wish I could say I was a model housekeeper... But the truth is I need fair notice before anyone comes over so I can be sure there is no underwear on the bathroom floor!LOL But I'm thinking I am not alone in this!LOL


Thanks for commenting!