It’s official – I have turned into my mother


I have never been much of a housewife. My mother was so house proud she could never relax. She was always cooking enormous meals, defrosting the freezer, sweeping, straightening, plumping pillows, washing, ironing, vacuuming up crumbs (heaven forbid you spilled something….), freaking about cat hair, combing the fringes on the carpet, and complaining about dust. She also used to hate people in her kitchen. When I was being punished I had to weed the garden or scrub the floor. My weekly chores were ironing all my dad’s handkerchiefs (ewwww), ironing all the sheets and pillowcases (before the days of steam irons so it was a real chore. I had to sprinkle water on them before I ironed) and darning socks (do people even do that anymore?) I had to use a conch shell to create the perfect darning surface.

Because I grew up like that, I have always gone the opposite way. I cook just enough to avoid starving, I do the minimum of housework and have never enjoyed either of them. I have never had a garden or wanted one. I don’t own an iron. But for the past few years I have loved doing my monthly shop for cleaning supplies. I love trying new ones. I love coloured garbage bags, and new scourers. And different smells and formulas for my washing powder and cleaning products. And for my birthday I am buying myself a really nice vacuum cleaner. I even have healthy houseplants!  Egads what has happened to me?

Today I scared myself. I found an offer to try all three variants of a new dishwashing liquid  for €1! So now when I do the dishes I have four different kinds of liquid to choose from. It made my day!

My mother would be proud!

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

8 thoughts

  1. I too was made to clean as a punishment so I’ve always hated to clean. When it comes to housekeeping, clean enough is clean enough. I still resent time spent cleaning and would rather do anything else! But I would also have jumped on the chance to try lots of different fragrances for cheap!

  2. Oh Janet and Barb, count me in as a member of “The Daughters of Super Cleaning Moms” club. My mother was an excellent cook and she scrubbed down the house every weekend before doing anything else. Thus, I do not cook and barely clean. I wasn’t allowed in HER kitchen, and I was miserable on Saturdays because I had to dust every square inch of the dining and living rooms before we could go to the mall. THEN I had to wait until she did a full face of makeup on a Saturday before we could leave the house (nix that for me as well).

  3. Janet, my Mother was the same way and now I an like you the complete opposite of her. I do sometimes want to clean but not often. I do have a townhouse with 3 floors and 5 vacuum cleaners, 3 carpet cleaners in the house because I have 3 dogs and 3 cats and 1 bird.

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