YouTube Credit: Alice B
I think my girls were around the ages of five and three respectively when I suddenly became aware of just how much I’d let the housework go. The milk stains on the lounge, the thick dust along the blinds and skirting boards, the sticky floors and the dried-up food splatters encasing the kitchen cupboards like graffiti art.
Not to mention the oven that had not been cleaned since we bought it 2 years earlier (yes that’s right, 2 years!).
Until this sudden revelation I had been bunkered down deep in the trenches of the ‘newborn baby with toddler’ stage of motherhood and, like most mothers in the same scenario, housework was nowhere near the top of my daily priorities (and still isn’t!).
If the floors ever got mopped during this time I would ceremoniously high-five myself in the (fingerprint smudged) mirror and pledge to reinstate my old routine of cleaning once a week.
I can vaguely remember sneaking in a movie or two during this time but the details are so fuzzy that all the footage blends together into a whitewash of spew, poo, sleepless nights and endless cleaning.
There is one movie scene, however, that I have never forgotten from this time. And every time I am faced with the dreaded housework, my mind drifts back to this footage of Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle playing a fed-up, strung out mother relentlessly scrubbing away at a display cabinet with yellow gloves up to her elbows belting out the words to Guns n Roses’ ‘Live and Let Die’.
As she throws the vacuum cleaner from one side of her body to the other, singing and headbanging (the latter causing her ‘mum bun’ to fall apart) she dances (and crawls) her way around the loungeroom whilst her little boy looks on unimpressed. The look on his face is absolutely priceless, nailing the ‘oh dear mummy’s definitely gone mad this time’ look to a tee.
Leopard dress, murderous plot and socks with sandals aside, I can really relate to Lawrence’s character in this scene.
I only have to watch it once (although it’s also fun to watch it over and over for added impact) to receive the sudden boost of energy and motivation required to dig in and just get it done.
It helps me feel like I’m not alone in the whorl of unlimited loads of laundry, washing of dishes, vacuuming, dusting, toilet bowl cleaning and yes – that dreaded mopping. That there may just be other mothers out there who, like me, find themselves completing said domestic duties at the ungodly hour of 11pm because they have been avoiding them up until that time (or in many cases just too busy to get on top of it at any other hour of the day).
I liken it to 3 minutes and 9 seconds of laugh-out-loud pre-cleaning entertainment to lift your spirit and take the edge off the domestic duties.
But there’s never any need to overdo it – in the words of media stalwart Ita Buttrose,
“There’s no need to try to be a superwoman…A tidy house is a sign of a wasted mind” (Ita Buttrose, UOW Outlook Magazine)
Hi there and thanks for dropping by! I'm Tehla Jane and I'm a self-confessed word nerd, bookworm and yoga devotee from Wollongong, Australia. I love to wonder and wander, and especially love spending time with my two little girls and hubby Glen. My blog is inspired by my daily musings in my trusty journal, where I scribble out endless pages in almost illegible handwriting and occasionally convert this into a typed format! Welcome!