Cleanliness is next to to godliness and all that good stuff 😁
I’ve gone through so many transitions within my lady role growing up, that now I’ve had to find my own rhythm, as I intentionally embrace me stepping into womanhood.
Being continuously tidy was something I’ve struggled with in adulthood. Being clean wasn’t a problem but being tidy was work! I’ve always had more things than I had storage. I’ve always been a very busy person where structure or routines was something I feared because I never had it growing up. I didn’t like the idea of being controlled by anyone or anything. I didn’t like the idea that my exes would be expectant of me doing what they think you should standardly do as a woman because it was fully imbalanced within our dynamic. It used to make me mad because they weren’t doing the things I identified as the role in which a man should play in a relationship. Even though I’ve got better as the years go on, was it rebellion? This is something I’ve been trying to understand so I correct this bad pattern:
- From the ages of 6-11, I was substitute mum. My mum and single parent boyfriend lived together with me, my younger sister and his daughter. They both worked two jobs so they were never home and on the weekends, we were at my nan’s. I used to walk us to and from school, make sure the house was tidy, make sure the uniforms were ready, basic cooking, prepare the packed lunches and anything else that needed doing. At the time, I thought it was like a privilege to have so much responsibility because I was so used to doing it. I didn’t really get to enjoy being a kid.
- From the ages of 11/12, that family set up broke up, everyone dispersed: the boyfriend and his daughter moved out; my mum, my sister and I went to live at my nan’s. I loved staying at my nan’s, so I thought this would be great and it was a relief to not do anything much and just relax. But that was short lived.
- We moved to Huddersfield for 6 months, at this time it was the start of my mum’s sickness. I done all the cleaning, hand washed all the clothes, the towels and bedding in the bath.
- Moved back to Birmingham when I was 13 and back to my nan’s where I ended up until she passed away when I was 17. Living with my nan wasn’t as enjoyable as I thought it would be at this point. My mum wasn’t well and yeah, I had a house to live in, but no one took on actual responsibility for me. I’d have my nan get up and clean at 6am and then moan that was you wasn’t helping. I hated that because it made me feel like she was saying I was lazy when I wasn’t. Then I’d ask to learn cook certain meals, she’d say in the morning and then I wake up to smell that she’d already started.
- From 18- 21, I was in two mother and baby units, with some support but with all my belongings with me in cramped up spaces and struggling with self discipline. Love for my son had me keep the places I lived as clean as I could but couldn’t I consistently maintain it.
- At 21, I moved into my house and it’s been a journey. With two exes within the first six years, I had them not be responsible men but then they’d expect me to just “be a girl”. So let me get this straight, they weren’t “being a man” but they were expecting all these benefits. I never let any of them live with me because of this. I didn’t trust them to lead me or be responsible. Here comes the rebellion! It made me feel like doing “girly” things was more like a chore and something they just expected me to do regardless of what they were doing or not doing. We weren’t going halves on nothing: food, responsibilities, nothing. Full blown imbalance.
What I have learned during my time alone for the last eight years, but these last two in particular, is that I actually enjoy taking care of the house. But more importantly, I don’t have to keep all the things I once owned. I don’t have to keep taking all the memories of the past with me everywhere I live.
I’ve been clearing up and clearing out. I’ve been trying to get into somewhat of a routine. Something that I do for me so when I get with my partner it’s just built into me. I’ve picked up different tips along the way, from some of my job roles, which have helped me clean within a time scale:
- When I used to do home care with the elderly back in 2012/13, you had to go into your client’s home and do certain cleaning tasks within the 30 minutes to an hour that you within their home.
- This summer, I was doing housekeeping in hotels for one of my agencies. This really changed everything. You are fully cleaning down rooms within a time frame. I was inspired! It was the first time I used a cleaning caddy. I don’t even recall anyone I know having one but since then I was so excited to get one of my own. Having it pre-stocked with everything I need, and moving around the house along with the vacuum and the mop bucket it makes everything easier and quicker.
Cleaning always took me long to do, because I had so much to do but this is improving with time, especially as I’m clearing out more and more items. No more keeping all my studying equipment that I’m not using anymore, extra blankets and towels that I’d keep just in case anyone was staying over. Clothes I no longer wear and toiletries I no longer use. I just want everything as simple as I can get it.
Most importantly, I try not beat myself up for not being perfect. I always work on self improvement and need to be gentle with myself. Breaking out of bad habits due to inconsistent examples and possibly not loving myself enough before getting to this stage is a process but I’m doing it. Why? Because I deserve to have a nice, clear living space and it feels good ♥
I embraced the fact I love cleaning and laundry products 😍 I love all the different scents 😍 Doing the washing is my favourite 😍 The cleaning aisle is usually the one I spend the longest on at any one time. If I go to people’s houses, I usually tend to smell some of their products, especially if I haven’t tried it before. I’ve always been stocked up, even when I wasn’t always the tidiest person. Why should I be feel embarrassed to say that?
It’s a part of life. It’s a part of what is typically deemed to be feminine. There’s nothing wrong with loving cleaning when there is so much emphasis on the importance of good hygiene in all areas of life. It may just be something people do without thought because it needs to be done, but there other people in the world who do it with joy, with love. Love for themselves. Love for the people they genuinely love and care for. It brings them contentment. It brings them peace. I think it’s always been there at my core but was somehow buried under all the changes, traumas and negative feelings attached to the loving and caring aspect of it in and around the wrong environments and energies. The more I’ve got rid of people and things that don’t fit my loving vibrations, the more I realised that my outer world has slowly but surely started to reflect my inner world until it’s intentional. Loving myself has always been at my core, but it was buried under the traumas and hurts but now it is intentional. I take it one day at a time but I’m getting there and trying to find a happy medium.
If they say, your living space is a reflection of your mental space, then mine is getting better and better with time. Also, I don’t have to take all the cleaning tasks on solely. Certain tasks can be delegated to lighten the load. Not forcibly but due to compromise. My son does have some minor jobs to do but I’m so used to living on my own that I haven’t known any other way. I’m not perfect, no one is. Not everyone is parented. Not everyone has consistent examples, if any at all, showing you the way to be.
I am a work in progress.
I am my own imperfect perfection.
I am creating my own happy.
I am creating the best version of myself.
I am creating my own Heaven on Earth.
I am forever learning and evolving.
Until next time,