This is Why I’m Not Normal

I’ve been taking on more projects lately, since things seem to be getting better.

Therapy and meds have brought me a long way, even though it’s only been a few weeks.

I’ve been going to bed earlier and easier (actually it’s impossible for me to stay awake most nights), waking up earlier, more willing to do things and enjoying them when I do. Even the people around me say that I seem different — better.

But there are problems.

*  *  *  *  *

1. I let things go so much while I wasn’t well, now normal projects aren’t normal.

When someone else says they need to clean their kitchen floor, they probably mean sweep and swiffer. Maybe they’ll get down there and scrub, but it won’t be all too bad because if they’re the type of people who scrub in the first place, they also probably did it last week.

I haven’t even swept or swiffered in months. That’s how bad it is.

When someone else says they’re doing laundry, they probably mean because the laundry baskets throughout their home are full. Maybe they have kids and end up with 10 loads.

But when I do laundry it’s because I literally have nothing to wear other than the shirt I’ve kept since 6th grade and that little black dress that somehow became inappropriately too short since the last time I wore it. Oh, and some Halloween costumes. So when I do laundry, I do every single item of clothing in my entire house. It takes days — sometimes weeks — to finish.

*  *  *  *  *

2. I have a tendency to increase everything I do.

The other day my dad asked me to “tidy up” the living and dining rooms because he was having a coworker over to do something on the computer. His exact words were, “you can throw all the stuff in one pile for all I care, I just don’t want it covering every inch of the floor anymore”. (By stuff he mainly means Holden’s toys.)

So I decided “tidy up” and “throw in a pile” meant to go through, rearrange and reorganize every toy in the house. I spent hours working on the dining room, which, out of all the rooms in the house other than the kitchen and my father’s, has the least amount of toys. There’s now a 10X4ft section of our basement filled with toys we’re getting rid of. I finished the dining room and 1/4 of the living room before I had to give up and go to bed.

2a. I never finish anything.

This goes with number 2. I start an easy project, turn it into something intensive, and then never finish it.

Most people might take a break, but their weekly project will be the same one.

It’s been days since I started going through and arranging Holden’s toys. Instead of picking up where I left off, I decided to organize and arrange all the stuff in the backyard.

That’s not done yet, either.

Last week I decided to clean my room. Also not complete, and getting dirtier.

*  *  *  *  *

3. I consider one small chore a daily task.

When most people do the dishes, they then make dinner and vacuüm and wipe down the counters and teach their kids the ABCs.

When I do the dishes, I forget the pots and pans. When Jack gets home I announce “I DID THE DISHES!!” like it’s the most important thing in the world. I feel so accomplished, I don’t have the energy to do anything else all day. I seriously base my week on my chores:

Monday — dishes. Tuesday — wash and dry laundry. Wednesday — fold and put away laundry. Thursday — break down all boxes and put recycling out. Friday — sweep and swiffer kitchen floor. Saturday — vacuüm living and dining room.

Sunday’s a free day, obviously. And, also obviously, half of those chores never get done because I decide I’d rather clean the walls or organize my desk that day or something.

(Jack is not amused at how enthusiastic I get over things I should be doing regularly anyway.)

*  *  *  *  *

So, with those three quirks added together, I have no idea how “normal” people are able to be normal. How on earth can home-makers handle doing all of the chores every day? How the hell do people who work still have time to make sure they live in a non-toxic house?

I don’t know how you people do it — this normal thing — but I’m not quite there yet. Or rather, not even close.

Still, doing anything is an accomplishment. Today I did half the dishes, loaded old toys and clothes into the car, and brought them to a consignment shop.

I’m exhausted. But I did stuff!!

*  *  *  *  *

P.S. – I know yesterday was Thursday. I’m sorry, but there will (again) be no Tired Toddler Thursdays post or photos because I still haven’t found my damn camera. I’ll try to take an extra lot of pictures once I do find it, to make up for the days lost.

P.P.S. – I got two subscribers to my biweekly newsletter, Tidbits & Smidgens. (Thank you whoever you are!) However, it’s actually a lot of work to write and send those things out, so it’s be extra specially super cool if I could do that much work for more than 2 people (not that I don’t appreciate you and all). So please, check it out.

How do you find the time / motivation / energy / etc. to complete your chores? Do you tend to do what I do and instead of doing one simple thing, turn it into something much larger? What are your favorite and least-favorite chores? Let me know!

(P.S. WordPress just told me motivation is a cliché. Really?)


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25 thoughts on “This is Why I’m Not Normal

  1. I clean my entire apartment, first thing in the morning, every morning, whether it needs it needs it or not; because I’m a freak, and I can’t relax until I do :/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m one of those two people subscribed to Tidbits. Don’t do it if it’s too much work.

    You must be more forgiving of yourself and more realistic in your expectations of yourself. “Normal” mothers are not Stepford wives. Housework sucks. It is never-ending drudgery. Your M-F chore schedule is a HELL of a lot more housework than I do in a week, or a month. My hat off to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I don’t actually do those things though. I just say I’m going to. Haha.

      Now that Jack’s working I’m kind of being forced to at least do some stuff. Like I can’t leave the dishes overflowing or a pile of poop on the floor or anything.

      And no, it’s not too much work. There are actually three people now, I wrote (and scheduled) this post a few days ago. I just feel weird sending it to only three people, ya know?

      Liked by 1 person

          • Then living with your dad is a good thing. I couldn’t do it on my own. My parents had to come up to the Bay Area to rescue me twice when I was 30. First I was so depressed I couldn’t get out of bed. Months later I was so manic I didn’t sleep for a week and became psychotic. When I was psychotic, my friend called my Episcopal priest and my parents and told them I needed their help ASAP. My relationship completely turned around after that breakdown. I had been angry because of their alcoholism, blah, blah, blah. Clearly, they loved me. Nothing else mattered as much.

            Liked by 1 person

          • It’s good but it’s bad. I do it out of fear of him yelling at me, not because I want to. I’m actually working out my “daddy issues” with my therapist, because I have them but have NO idea why I have them. I’m working on a blog post about everything I love about him because I always tend to focus on the negative.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Maybe you have “daddy issues” because you fear him yelling at you? I’m sure in spite of his yelling (Remember genetics? I can now identify with my mother. Before, I was just angry with her.), he loves you. At least I hope he does. Your son certainly appears to be well-loved. Such a cutie!


  3. Oh my goodness – are you secretly my husband in disguise? He also does that thing where he takes a simple project, turns it into something nightmareishly detailed and intense and complicated … and of course never finishes it. And one simple project takes all day. It would drive me crazy if I didn’t remind myself that: 1) the house has yet to burn down (came close one day but thankfully he knows how to use a fire extinguisher); 2) kids are alive (all of them!); 3) kids are fed and (somewhat) decently clothed.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. What is normal anyways?! People that seem “normal” are probably more f’ed up than we are but they just hide it better.

    I guess being OCD works in my favor. I cannot stand a dirty counter or dishes in the sink, so I usually clean all of that nightly. I do the floors and clean the bathrooms on the weekends.

    Thankfully my son is older now, so he gets to mow the lawn and do yard work. I had to weed as a punishment growing up, so I absolutely hate to weed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh I couldn’t imagine cleaning that often. THAT would drive me nuts — I actually feel super uncomfortable in very clean places.

      And I know there is no “normal,” but there is at least a standard when it comes to housework that MOST people live up to.


      • Trust me when I say this (used to work a job where I went into ppls houses every day) that there is no cleanliness standard. I’ve been in million dollar neighborhoods where the house was so nasty I wanted to vomit upon entering. I have also been in “the hood” and walked into an immaculate place. Cannot judge a book by its cover.for sure.

        There is also a pattern to my OCD. I clean the counters, floors, kitchen and bathrooms but ignore dusting. I sweep and swiffer wet mop but I don’t mop “for real.” Yardwork…yea avoid it. Fixing things…pay to get somone to do it. I think I do a good superficial clean but I do not dig deep, lol.


        • See that’s what I NEED to do. If I swiffered and vacuumed once a week, I wouldn’t end up needing to scrub and carpet clean on the rare occasions I do clean.

          I’m more of a fix it myself but pay someone else to clean kind of person.


  5. Motivation cannot be a cliche – it’s a word not a phrase. Anyway I guess this might be a cliche but my motivation is the sense of accomplishment. I hate it when a chore snowballs into a million other things that need to be done. I have to remind myself to focus. Blah – I hate to clean when I’m working everyday. I usually don’t. My house is filthy right now. It will be waiting for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You sound so much like me. I detest cleaning. I do the minimum to keep it from being straight up filthy, but I detest cleaning. I feel absolutely NO sense of accomplishment from scrubbing a toilet or washing dishes, plus around my house these tedious tasks never end. I finish and it needs doing again. Damn. It. It helps me to set a timer so I can focus on one task, like the kitchen. Otherwise I get distracted. I do about an hour a day (set timer in five or ten minute intervals) but that’s my max. Some days it’s less. I’ve accepted that I’ll never be a domestic goddess and I don’t even remotely care. I used to beat myself up but I don’t anymore. I also stash cash and occasionally hire a housekeeper. We’re overdue for that — hopefully she can come next week. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh I replied and then the internet went down.

      In short, I feel the same way — I prefer things messy, and I’m okay with never being a homemaker, but those close to me don’t seem to feel the same.

      And thank you!


  7. Don’t stress. I haven’t cleaned the tiled floors properly in 3 years. I plan on using a toothbrush to clean the grouting – a tiny bit every weekend. Which weekend…. I have no idea! Also start projects and don’t finish them. I went and bought a plastic lidded crate – threw everything in and its now the stool for my desk. Its been more than 1 year since I opened it up

    Liked by 1 person

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