There are many drawbacks to owning a lovely property but the main one is keeping it looking lovely while you do all the other super-mum things to stop those depressing flashes of guilt . But then again I do very few super-mum things. I don’t cook – well, I do cook, just nothing that is remotely edible subsequently my children have developed cast-iron stomachs which, I am sure, will become a valuable permanent evolutionary change (their offspring will be eternally grateful when they are lumbered with ‘Nan’); I don’t get up at the crack of dawn on birthdays and Halloween to decorate the house; nor do I faithfully remember the dates, times and weather patterns of significant moments in their lives like their first tooth or their first day at school.
I digress – this isn’t supposed to be list of the reasons why my super-mum crown has all but slipped round my neck. This is about my lovely home. Well, it was lovely when we bought it. Since then (list alert!) the dog has chewed the kitchen; my laundry baskets (yes, plural) are never empty; mud has been tracked up, down, left, right and every which way over the cream carpet (how it got so far up the walls is best left in the ‘don’t go there’ thought pile); there are toys…well, everywhere! There is never enough time to mow the lawns, trim the hedges, plant out cuttings, wash the windows, vacuum, dust, polish… Okay, you’ve got me. I am making a very pathetic attempt to excuse why my home looks like a wreck most days. My mother’s mantra comes back to haunt me: ‘if everyone else can do it why can’t you?’.
It doesn’t help that my neighbours on one side are a retired couple who love to garden and are constantly pootling about doing ‘stuff’ so their home is immaculate. On the other side is a younger couple who have just bought the house so they are experiencing the ‘shiny, new toy’ syndrome and everything is polished and sparkling. Of course, they don’t have children or a very exuberant golden lab. So there my house sits like a rugby-tackled urchin between two debutantes waiting for the snow to come and hide its imperfections.
So, to all you prospective home owners out there, if you intend to have kids and pets and go to work then I seriously suggest you don’t get a large house with a large garden. Instead, get a small flat near a park – no outdoor labour required – with the minimum number of rooms to fulfil your requirements – more space=more cleaning and it all soon gets filled with junk. Either way, the most important thing is to train your children to help around the home – its their living space as well.
Now, where’s my duster? Icall him JJ – kidding!