16 Chores I Will Never Complete
Sometimes, the drag of daily maintenance gets me down. There isn’t much I mind doing, but doing the same thing over and over, I mind tremendously. When I return to restart a task I have the sense of just having completed, I get mad and, too often, stay mad, muttering and stewing while I’m working through it to another false finish. At my worst, I feel I am spinning around in continuous circles of the same sets of chores. Rather than working to accept that some tasks are never truly finished for good, I offer up this rant about those activities which require never ending effort. Pay no mind that most of the things on my list are complaints which include my family. I had this stupid self inflicted problem, long before they showed up.
1) Making dinner
I like to eat. I like to plan. I like to try to new recipes. I would even say that cooking is a hobby of mine. I am happy to provide for my family, but it is tricky to choose what to make for them. Not only do they not all like the same foods, some of them don’t even like the same foods they liked yesterday.
During dinner, one of them usually refuses to get up off the floor and sit at her plate and another sits at her plate and throws food on the floor.
Meal prep begins at noon and is completed in five minute increments throughout the day in order to get something on the table by 6 pm. And no matter what I serve, my husband will still fix himself a piece of toast afterwards.
Often, retrieving ingredients for one meal takes more than one shopping trip because one of my two small companions short-circuits in the middle of my list and cannot tolerate the grocery store as long as I need them to.
The worst of it is, dinner is a nightly event.
2) Taking out the garbage/compost/recycling
It isn’t any great distance to the cans in the driveway or the heap out back but, in order to get to them I have to put my shoes on. Besides it is cold/dark/raining and I’m afraid the neighbors might see me in my pajamas and note the lateness of morning or earliness of evening.
I like being fresh and clean, sure thing, but bathing can be a real time suck, especially when I could be sleeping. Thankfully, having children has required that bathing be more sporadic, than daily.
4) Cutting fingernails
Our three year-old holds still enough while I trim, but it could take a week to convince her to put it on her schedule. The baby is the squirmiest I have ever met, she has nails like razor blades, knows how to use them and grows fresh ones overnight.
My husband is entirely self sufficient in this department (yippee!) but, as for me, I’ve had to let it go to fit other things into my life. I alternate between a quick trim and gnawing them when they get too long.
5) Prying the preschooler off the baby
We have asked our three-year-old to tune in to distressful sounds that come from her sister when she prods, pushes, pinches, punches, pummels or pounds her, in order to use those sounds as an indication that she should cease her course of action. It has become quite clear that her hearing does not register certain frequencies.
6)Having a raging, hormonal mood swing
It is one of the most frustrating things I can think of to have the ability to step outside myself and witness my crazy but not the ability to crawl back in and bring it to a halt. By the time I recover from one storm, another appears on the horizon. This is getting old.
7) Changing the cat litter
My cat is practically afraid of her own bones, forget getting her to poop outside. No matter how it is handled, or how much she cleans herself, it is disgusting to see her litter box and remember that she sleeps on our bed. At least I got out of it when I was pregnant.
8) Reordering the closets, drawers, mudroom, kitchen cabinets, refrigerator, and pantry
It does not matter if everything starts out living in an assigned location, nothing stays in its place for long. In a house with small children, most things just get dropped wherever you are when you have to stop using them to make sure the screaming from the next room doesn’t warrant a hospital visit.
9) Getting gas
You always need it when you don’t have time to get it, when there isn’t a station nearby, and when, if you stop the car, eyelids pop up to reveal the eyeballs of those you were counting on to sleep to your ultimate destination.
We people are filthy. Each time we enter our house, we bring the outside in with us. I’m ready to consider either taking up habitat in a bubble or installing an all dirt floor because I’m tired of sucking it up from the carpet.
11) Waking up before I am ready to
To any and all those who snore, lick themselves clean, cry for milk stored in my body, collect the garbage, and fly helicopters over the freeway to report morning traffic in proximity to the location of my slumber: I am not impressed.
12) Laundering every article of clothing in the house
My Grandmother used to wear the same clothes every day for a week. Members of our household change outfits an average of three times a day. Wardrobe adjustments are frequently necessary since our garments are prone to accumulating food and slobber and paint and mud and snot and etc. One family member in particular, changes her outfits multiple times daily even when they are still clean, because her mood and taste is constantly evolving. (Despite what you've read about my hormones, it isn't me.)
13) Updating family photos
Why even bother putting up photos of people who are barely recognizable after the passing of a few months?
14) Picking up toys
I keep hearing how much more important it is to play with your kids than spend all your time cleaning up after them, but it if you don’t sort the toys back into like categories several times a day, by the end of the week you’ll end up with a heap of unrelated bits and pieces that nobody wants to play with.
15) Doing dishes
I don’t mind doing dishes, even by hand, but I’m so sick of the dish pile up that I’m about to propose one plate, bowl, cup and set of silverware per person. We could do that with the clothes too. People do that. I read about it somewhere once.
16) Being surprised that I have to keep doing anything listed above
I seek to free my mind while performing these tasks to think of anything besides how annoyed I am to be faced with doing them over and again. Please, will someone send me the key to enlightenment?
Actually, now that I read back through this list, I notice that almost all of my “problems” (save for the self grooming thing) could be alleviated by a maid or personal assistant of sorts.
Please send me one of those instead.
~Carisa Miller:Do you read me?