I get to go on a real, real vacation in a couple of days! And, man, I’m ready for it. Summer’s great even when we’re home–no homework means evenings are virtually stressfree–but those dishes still keep piling up and with our concrete slab exposed because of a flood (long, sad story), keeping the house clean has never been harder. Not that I’m good at keeping the house clean under the best of circumstances, let’s be honest.
That–to go off on a tangent–is one of the first things I tell people who say to me, “How do you manage to find time to write when you have four kids?” My reply is always something like, “You should see what a mess my house is.” At that point I think I cease to be an inspiration to most would-be writers. Most women, at least, are kind of like, “Ew, I don’t want to make THAT choice. Can’t I have a writing career and a clean house?” I suppose you can. I just don’t.
I’d love to be able to say, “I do it all!” but if you saw our kitchen table on any given day, you’d know that “all” is hardly what I do. Kids come first, then writing. Oh, and husband’s somewhere in there too. (After kids and before writing, I’d say. I’m not sure what he’d say.) And then friends, of course–I’ll happily ditch cleaning up to go to lunch with a good friend. But that’s about saving my sanity, right? And if I have time to exercise a little (a very little–say a few dumbbell lifts and a couple of push-ups), I’ll happily fit that in before emptying the dishwasher. And then there are the two dogs, the three mice, the two turtles, the praying mantis, the frog and the fish to take care of. Although the fish keep dying . . . So maybe I’m not doing such a good job of taking care of them?
ANYWAY, my point is . . . keeping house is pretty far down on the list. We have to invite people over on a regular basis just to clean up the mess. Nothing like that panicky adrenalin rush before a dinner party to get you to finally clear all the mail off the counters. Of course, it just gets transferred upstairs where it still sits until my husband takes care of it. At least he takes care of it. That makes one of us.
But you have to keep up with dishes and laundry on a regular basis, even if you let everything else go, because otherwise it’s just gross. And dishes and laundry for a family of six are just a LOT. So the idea of a vacation–a vacation!–where someone else cooks and cleans up and you’re allowed to be lazy and only think of your own pleasure (well, your own and the rest of your family’s) . . . Just knowing I have that ahead of me has kept me sane during a fairly crazy summer. So hooray for vacation.
But re-entry is going to be awfully painful . . .