Reality Bites – Bloody Floors

Something exciting has been happening here at The New Good Life and it all started with a comment from narf77 on my Anti-resolution post.  She said this,

 Social media has made it VERY easy to blur the lines between reality and “perfection” which we are led to believe, is what we should all be aiming for.

and this,

I love it when I read about other bloggers breaking free from the need to pursue perfection at all costs. There are entire blogging comunities surviving on on-upmanship (barely) to the detriment of real life. When we can back off from the hype we are able to see that it’s all just a massive big addiction where the winner invariably ends up anorexic, neurotic and wondering where their life went!

and while these weren’t entirely new thoughts for me it did make something click in my head (I’m not sure heads aren’t supposed to click, but none the less, mine did).  I was as guilty as the next at perpetuating the perfection ideal and it was time that changed.  So on The New Good Life Facebook page I posted this.

I have been thinking about a comment left on my blog about how the lives of other people seem perfect on social media. In an attempt to redress this here’s a piece of my reality… I current have three clean rooms, the laundry, my bedroom and Mr Good’s study. The rest of the house looks something like this. What’s your reality, go on I dare you to share it!!
Photo: I have been thinking about a comment left on my blog about how the lives of other people seem perfect on social media. In an attempt to redress this here's a piece of my reality... I current have three clean rooms, the laundry, my bedroom and Mr Good's study. The rest of the house looks something like this. What's your reality, go on I dare you to share it!!

This status update reached 8 TIMES the number most of my posts reach, it was liked by people who had never liked before and there were more comments than ever before.  I think it struck a nerve.

Then I got talking to my friend Jess – who incidentally posted her own photo of her reality in the comments section.  We have a lot in common, both worked in education, both have four year olds, both have two girls, plus we share many of the same life frustrations.  We talk about these things all the time, but as we also both like to write we decided to write about our frustrations, get them out there, in their raw, unadulterated form.  The truth that is our lives at this stage.

This is going to be a weekly posts with a common theme.  Please feel free to join in, I’d love to flood the blogging world with a taste of all of our realities.  If you write you’re own post let me know and I’ll link to it here as well. This week the theme is “Bloody Floors”.  So here goes….

If I could offload one household chore it would be the floors, I hate cleaning floors and the reasons are many.  You see the thing with floors is that there are a lot of them, and many different coverings require different cleaning methods.  In my house we have carpets that need vacuuming, lino that needs sweeping and washing with something that will properly clean the area around the toilet (with two kids those floors really need attention sometimes, I know you know what I’m talking about here!) and timber floor boards that need sweeping and washing with a special microfiber mop and a spray bottle of water and vinegar – not too much water mind you or you’ll leave water marks!  All that takes ages, it’s fiddly and it’s physically exhausting like no other cleaning task I have.

But that’s not the worst part.  You see I have kids, messy, disorganised cyclone-like kids.  So before I can even begin to clean the floors I first have to find them!  Take note of the picture above, this is how we live MOST of the time.  It can take me half the day and a lot of TV used as babysitter for me to clean up first (I know I should get them to help, but that’s a whole other post), before I can even start on the actual floors.  In fact sometimes it takes me so long to tidy that I give up on the floors altogether.

Generally speaking I can live with mess, if I couldn’t I’d be a pretty miserable person.  I married a messy man, he was always messy.  I’m pretty messy myself naturally – you can imagine what our kids are like.  Before kids I considered our mess, clean mess, it was just stuff left out rather than grime and dirt and things too disgusting to think about.  Kids kind of change that, they’re messy in a whole new way.  Food gets dropped, drinks spilt, ‘accidents’ happen (did I mention Miss Two is toilet training…. it’s not going well!). And given that we’re a household that likes to go barefoot inside when it’s warm enough, cleaning those floors has a new level of importance.  But it’s also a new kind of hell, ever tried mopping a large room with a two year old attached to the handle trying to ‘help’ or a four year old with her own broom scattering the piles of dirt and dust you’ve neatly made all over the house?

But I do have one secret weapon….


She comes in after each meal and does a stunningly efficient ‘vacuum’ around the tables and chairs, or anywhere else food crumbs have been scattered.

The phrase “clean enough to eat off” is probably never going to apply to my floors – well not in the near future anyway – but I’m doing my best and sometimes I feel like busting through those damn filthy floorboards and hiding in the dark and quiet underneath…. then I think about that a bit more and decide to leave that space to the mice and spiders and lie on the couch with kids crawling all over me instead.  They will get done eventually and in the meantime no one is going to die because that unidentifiable sticky spot is still in the middle of the kitchen… just walk around it I say.

Now it’s your turn.  How do you cope with this most hideous of household chores?  Do you turn a blind eye like me at times? And if you could offload one job what would it be?

Jess is going to posts her thoughts here later today.  Make sure you go and check them out.

This entry was posted in Cleaning, Kids, Lifestyle, Reality Bites and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Reality Bites – Bloody Floors

  1. Jess Mc says:

    Best secret weapon ever! Love the image of you busting through the floorboards! nice one Barbara.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Did I mention Mr Good killed a massive Huntsman this morning, as much as I’d like a dark, quiet space to curl myself into, I don’t think under the floorboards is necessarily the place to go.

  2. Liz says:

    I have to admit that I judge the need to clean my floors by the amount of dirt my feet get on them between waking and showering in the morning. A light dusting of dirt I will overlook but when they start to look muddy (all too frequently) I get out the mop. Personally though floors aren’t my most hated task – I would definitely off load the laundry – arrrggggghhhh – never ending and thankless.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Yes, the laundry is one never-ending task Liz, but for me it’s a saving grace. Cos even though I can’t get the floors done, the bathrooms need a darn good scrub and the children too for that matter, I can put on a load of washing, hang it out and bring it in. I can’t promise to fold it, but I can point to that basket of clean washing and say ‘Yeah, I did that today…. if nothing else.” This is why I wash EVERYDAY, so I can say I did something useful. Is that a bit weird?

  3. Pingback: The Honesty Column – Bloody Floors | the stretched imagination

  4. Fran and I had the same conversation this week and I thought of doing a similar post “Who I am, Who I Am Not” I am no perfectionist, I am disorganised, constantly messy, often weary. I don’t pretend to be anyone other than who I am and I like similar blogs. I show some occcasional nice photos…in which you can’t see the piles of branches, weeds, dog bones and bowls lying everywhere because I don’t think people really want to see my mess but it’s nothing about pretense or attempting to project an illusion. Enjoyed reading this, ta 🙂

  5. Sue says:

    I de-cobwebbed today, I see its not been done for a good 6 months, lol. I think the more life can spiral out of control the more perfectionism kicks in and anyone with kids is never fully in control. Just when you think life is going smoothly one of the boys will break their arm and require an emergency trip to Casualty! Control gone, housework out the window!

  6. I hate the floors too. We made the stupid mistake of choosing light grey textured tiles for our kitchen/dining area, and they are a complete nightmare to keep clean. I’ve discovered that they sell mop heads made of ‘magic eraser’ material. They work (as the name suggests) like magic.
    And we got a dog for exactly the same reason!

  7. We have always employed similar secret cleaning weapons. Sometimes we have more than one. Actually, even 3.. our cat has been known to scarf up crumbs too.

    My house looked exactly like that during the toy years. My kids could rip apart a perfectly organized and cleaned house in minutes. It usually looked like we’d been robbed. There is hope though – now that they are older, one is out of toys altogether and the other has her toys set up exactly to her own specifications in her room. It makes for a more grown up looking space in the main part of the house. Still not perfect, mind you, but nice. Our house looks like real people live in it.

    And then our niece and nephews show up (all under 5) and once again tear the house apart for a few wonderful hours.

  8. narf77 says:

    I don’t know…the dog certainly thinks it is clean enough to eat off! ;). I used to be house proud. I used to give a damn about aesthetics and the placement of “stuff” but now I am just happy that Earl hasn’t eaten the couch (again) or that Bezial hasn’t decided to roll upside down on my crochet rug and leave most of his hair behind or that Steve has decided that it’s a good idea to put his socks actually in the wash basket rather than allowing Earl to chew them up in parmesan cheese heaven (with accompanying closed eyes and sighs of contentment) all over the lounge room floor.

    Throw in about a bucket of dog hair a day (“HOW! You have short hair both of you…HOW!!!”), most of the topsoil that migrates from the front door slowly through the house to the back door where it joins the leaves and grass clippings waiting patiently to be elevated over the door step and make the reverse journey back through the house all over again. I gave up trying to be perfect because it would have killed me. I would be in G Ward in the Launceston General Hospital twitching and muttering about domestos or something similar.

    We are being forced into trying too hard…our attentions are all focussed on making everything white and pristine when the real world is waiting patiently along with our children, the dogs, etc. for us to wake up to ourselves and realise that this is fiction. Nefarious fiction, designed to elevate the few to cult status and sell just about everything…EVERYTHING possible to people who have anything ranging from a vague sense that they should be buying/doing something other than what they are currently doing in order to “fit in” to full blown panic that they HAVE TO GET IT OR I WILL DIE! Satisfaction doesn’t sell. I sweep the floor. I look at it with its various clusters of water marks (dogs like to drink water) and hair and red rug fibres and small transient bits of food and I am learning to love it. I can only wonder at how our ancestors with dirt floors coped without microfibre mops 😉

  9. A says:

    I would say the floors, but then I remember the dusting. The dusting is biannual. But then it’s the floors. Bub makes a fair mess but I instantly didn’t see it once she was able to do that. It only annoys me when I step on something that hurts or threatens my balance. At least when I see a mess I know she’s been occupied.
    The floors… I really like that our rented house has old Lino in the kitchen, dark tiles in the bathroom and old speckled beige carpet. The floors happen when I can make bird feed out of the debris. Or when my feet stick to the Lino. Or if I find mouse poo – that triggers an instant clean. Ugh.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Generally speaking I don’t dust. I occasionally wipe my hand over the top of the mantel piece or crystal cabinet when I’m standing next to it and realise how much dust is caking the surface, but I don’t think that counts.

  10. gillian says:

    What a refreshing post! Our place looks like that when the grandchildren come around! I have laminate flooring which I thought I would love, and I do, when they are clean….. Everyone says that they dont need polishing, but they begin to get really dull. I found a spray type polish which if used VERY sparingly creates a nice shine. I did that over the weekend and find that I am going to have to keep cleaning with a microfibre mop for a week or so until they look really nice.

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