So. I hate vacuuming. It’s not even a rational hate – When I was growing up I just remember becoming horribly allergic and asthmatic whenever the vacuum came out. Which wasn’t that often because I wasn’t the only family member that was asthmatic. I think I am still holding onto this expectation of feeling awful when the vacuuming is done.
But of course these days you can get vacuum cleaners with hepa filters and barrels instead of bags to stop all this happening, which is why I bought a super duper vacuum with all these features and more! And it really does work, vacuuming doesn’t make me sick anymore. But I still hate it.
It probably doesn’t help that it’s not only me that seems to dislike vacuuming. My husband does vacuum, but he tries to get it over as quick as possible and misses bits. Baby A gets agitated when the vacuum comes out and I am NOT game to try it when he is napping. Our two furry housemates are both terrified by the vacuum.
Vacuuming isn’t even a really big task, I think maybe it’s just emotionally easier to not do it. But! When it is done it makes such a difference. You can see the carpet anywhere you are in the house, and when it looks clean everything seems tidier.
When Baby A was born I was vacuuming every day, it seems ridiculous now. It felt like I was vacuuming to survive though – so many visitors, I felt like I needed to do it in order to look kind of on top of everything. Then I got totally absorbed in my apparent inability to ‘just trust my body’ to nourish my child and went on week long ‘nursing vacations’ spending every other waking hour expressing or baking lactation cookies or desperately scouring the internet for answers to why Baby A wasn’t thriving. All the while staring at the dirty carpet, the sight of which just layered more guilt on top of what was already there – because clearly I couldn’t cope with the housework either.
Staring at a clean carpet has the opposite effect – it invokes either no emotion, or some sort of reassurance that the house is actually ok. Which is why it is my new daily task. It is a bit of a challenge for me, but it really isn’t that big a task, and it has a big affect on how I feel.
I am not going to vacuum every day though, because that really wasn’t working. I’m starting small and saying I will vacuum once a week. But I know that by the end of that week the carpet will start looking not so great. So I had a brainstorm to come up with a daily something that I can do to keep it tidy until the next vacuum.
During my ‘nursing vacation’ days, visitors still came, and the first thing I would think is ‘oh no, the carpet looks uncared for’. We have a brush which we use to remove furry housemate fur of furniture and clothing, which I quickly ran around the house picking up fur and lint from the carpet. I was so ashamed of doing this, it just felt so unacceptable for some reason. I guess because it wasn’t done ‘properly’.
But, I obviously did it because it worked. And sometimes you just have to do what works apparently. So for this week I vacuumed once, and every other day spent a few minutes scanning the floor for any fluff or little bits of things and picking them up.
How well this worked actually surprised me. I got to the end of the week and the carpet still looked like it had been vacuumed yesterday. Over 24 hours the floor doesn’t seem to actually get that dirty. I suppose we don’t wear shoes inside, and the furry housemates are mostly indoors, so it’s mostly just fluff and dust and fur and sometimes some crumbs. (I know this will change with the littlies as they get bigger, but hopefully I will be prepared! Maybe…).
With baby A spending more time on the floor I would like to work up to more weekly vacuuming to get that dust and stuff you can’t see, but this is a happy starting point. 😊
Slightly disturbing discovery: I kept finding weirdly shaped toenail clippings and couldn’t figure out where they are coming from. I clip mine in the bathroom and sweep up the clippings, and I couldn’t bring myself to believe that my husband was leaving them around. I was just about to semi accuse him of producing them when I finally realised what they were. One of our cats bites her nails, and I’d always seemed she was eating them, but obviously not! Oh well, it’s not hard to pick up the odd cat nail clipping when I see one. We never need to have her nails clipped so can’t complain 🤗.
Not sure what the next daily task should be, I am going to have to have a good think!