Jo Sugarman
A humourous take on making Aliyah
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I’m not a great housewife

If I could clean just once, I'd pat myself on the back, and put the cleaning stuff away. Forever.

I have a confession to make..

I’m not a great housewife.

I’m sorry. I wish I was. Truly I do. In my fantasies I run an organized household, there are fresh flowers placed on the tables, the decor is tasteful and on trend, and everything is clean. No dust dare alight on my counter tops, and any visitors choosing to use my guest facilities will find everything they require for their bathroom needs. The fridge is full of appetizing but healthy snacks, and two delicious meals are prepared each day which provide for my family’s nutritional needs, but also tickle their taste buds. Breakfast they can do themselves for Gawds sake. I’m not a complete domestic goddess.

But that’s in my dreams. My house is not like that. Dust finds its way onto every surface. Three teenage children means that the bathroom is constantly covered in a colourful mixture of toothpaste, shower gel and razor foam and the toilets are, well, just not acceptable for visitors at a moments’ notice. My house is “tidy.” I am always putting things away (squashing them in a cupboard), the kids bedroom floors are cleared of “stuff” and you can see the carpet for two days out of every seven, and on the surface all is well. You wouldn’t walk into my house and think “God, woman, what is WRONG with you?” dry heave and pass out, but you might want to use the neighbours toilet instead of mine, and my kitchen floor won’t be gleaming like you see in those really annoying floor cleaner adverts. (I don’t think they use real people’s houses in those adverts).

In an ideal world I would have a cleaner, and a chef. I don’t think that’s too greedy. I know there are a lot of people that do have cleaners (chefs not so much, I’m not mates with the Beckhams), in fact — ahem — I used to have a cleaner myself before we made aliyah. But unfortunately an increase in a liking (addiction) for Candy Crush and Netflix bingeing, has led to a subsequent decrease in what I used to do, which was, work. For money. Which ultimately paid for my cleaner.

Weirdly, I married someone with a sense of morals, and Husband feels very strongly that if there is no paid work being done currently by me, then there can be no cleaner being paid currently by me. I sort of see his point.

As Husband and kids are out of the house most of the time, (Husband thankfully has not succumbed to Candy Crush addiction and therefore still goes to work), I am left alone and it appears that as I am the only one here, the cleaning and laundry falls to me.

I actually wouldn’t mind it so much if I could do it just once. I would pat myself on the back on a job well done and put the cleaning stuff away. Forever. And get back to lying on the couch.

But the problem with cleaning is that it needs doing regularly. You finish, take off your Marigolds, and before you can say Cillit Bang, there’s a mark on the counter, or someone’s had the audacity to use the flippin’ toilet. Good God People. Can’t you hold it in? Or only use the toilet at other people’s houses?

So half an hour later, all my wiping and scrubbing is for nought, as before my eyes the sparkling sink is covered in food and my clean(ish) floor has footmarks . I count down the minutes, until I have to do it all over again.

Although Husband does not appear to have an addictive personality, (Lord knows how he — or anyone — can abstain from Candy Crush), he does have a mild case of OCD. Which means he likes things to be tidy. And clean. Or he’s not a happy bunny. So before he gets home I move (or hide) all the things that could be a trigger — could be last night’s dinner festering in the sink, or a huge bag of rubbish that he trips over as he walks in the door. (You see — they’re only small things).

Ultimately, having a Husband that is tidier than me has an upside. Although I do the cleaning and washing, it’s never quite done to his standards. The collar of his shirt is still creased after I iron it, hung it up straight from the dryer, the toilet isn’t clean enough, even though I used bleach on it 20 minutes ago, the week before last. He wants it done better. But we both know that is not in my capabilities. I just don’t have the cleaning gene. So, after 20 years of marriage he has realized that the only way to get it done to his satisfaction – is to do it himself

I have to say this seems to be working out very well. He’s happy as his clothes are now wrinkle free and he is no longer mistaken for a homeless person — although we will miss the additional income from his street collection — and I’m happy as I’ve finally reached Level 1,049 in Candy Crush Saga.

It’s all good.

About the Author
Jo Sugarman is a reasonably good mother and wife and just wants an easy life playing Candy Crush. But when her husband informed her that you don't get an ACTUAL prize for reaching level 4,896 she thought she would try writing a blog instead. She is 50, made Aliyah 6 years ago from the UK and lives in Raanana, Israel with her husband and three (roughly) teenage children. She still cannot speak Hebrew.
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