I have had the day off work today. I planned to watch a film, and thought I would write a review for this blog, but I didn’t manage to see a film and so ‘Friday Review’ means that I am reviewing Friday, the Day.
So. Friday. Not a bad day.
It started with my alarm going off at 6.45am as it always does (in order to get my daughter up, who has to be at school for 8.45am. You have no idea how long it takes her to do her hair. Or how slowly she walks). The alarm went off and I staggered into her room as I usually do
‘Wakey time,’ I murmured in what I hoped was a sweet and motherly voice, yawning.
‘Yes, yes, I KNOW,’ she said, although she had been snoring before I spoke. I headed downstairs for a coffee with a jubilant song in my head (something like: ‘I don’t have to go to WORK, I don’t have to go to WORK!) At 8am, daughter was duly despatched, looking respectable with bag, blazer and tie.
Husband was off work too, he took the day off so we could spend some time together. He was on the laptop furiously typing away, ‘working-from-home’. We talked of going to the Christmas markets, seeing a film, eating hot dogs…like on our first date.. It was a nice, happy conversation.
I started to clean the house in my pyjamas. Somehow the time passed and it became clear that there would not be time to go to town today. Daughter would be home at 4pm (still with bag, blazer and tie but a bit more dishevelled). So, Husband decided to do some DIY and I decided to go and clean my mother’s house.
These are the reasons why:
1) My mother lent me her car (which she has insured me on) while she had a mini-break in London. I got to drive to work yesterday instead of straggling along in the rain as I usually do.
2) My father also paid for the insurance and lent me the car, so I feel mean not giving him any credit. And he is the best father I could wish for. But:
3) My mother is a woman. I didn’t realise, for so long, what this means, but now I do.
4) It means that when my mother comes to my house to babysit and Daughter is busy playing with friends (which she usually is nowadays) she doesn’t take the time to read a book, as my father does. She cleans my house for me.
5) I find this slightly annoying, because even though I am 40 I still get irritated with my Mum, and I show it, which is really mean as she has just cleaned my house.
6) I was a single Mum up until about 3 years ago, when I moved in with the person who would become my Husband. I didn’t realise that, although life as a married woman with 2 kids is very nice, and EASIER in many ways than life as a single parent with one child, it is also HARDER in some ways, and it is harder because it means a lot more WORK.
7) Now I realise how much work my Mum always did, I feel guilty for saying the following things:
‘She shouldn’t do it if she doesn’t like it. Why be a martyr? If she doesn’t like cleaning, she should just stop doing it. If she wants the house clean, she should clean it. We don’t mind if the house isn’t clean and that is why we don’t do it.’*
(*total lie told by every person who enjoys a clean house without having had to make any effort to achieve it).
‘If she hasn’t got time to clean, she should stop trying to do a full time job and an MA. It’s her choice to be so busy.’*
*(or alternatively, she could stop cleaning and carry on with the MA. Nobody ever said to a man, ‘you should stop trying to advance your career and spend more time on the housework’, did they now?)
‘She should MAKE us do it. She’s the mother, she’s in charge.’*
*annoying, but maybe the fairest comment of them all. Where’s my whip?
8) Because I said these things, and because I was guilty (as my own kids are) of sitting with feet up in front of the TV while being waited on, and never once offering to help.
9) I decided to go and clean my Mum’s house so that when she came back she would be happy and surprised to see it all sparkly clean WITHOUT HER HAVING HAD TO LIFT A FINGER
10) I did this for her, because she would do it for me.
(I apologise for the random numbering. It is Friday night, after all.)
When I came back from my Mum’s house, with a slightly virtuous glow, my daughter came in with a friend. Lots of high pitched giggling entered the house first, then Daughter and Friend appeared through the door (with teenage girls, sound travels faster than light).
So, now I am sitting at the laptop while Husband makes the dinner. I have a glass of wine in my hand, and Daughter and Friend are giggling out of earshot upstairs.
Happy Friday, everyone. I give this day a 7/10, so far.