Cleaning was Mom’s work

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Growing up has been wonderful, exhilarating, frustrating, and downright terrifying at times. When you’re young, everyone tells you what’s coming, but you never believe them. At least I didn’t.

When you’re a child there is usually a parent or some figure of authority who cleans the house, cooks food, washes clothes, etc. It never quite clicks that one day you will be that person and yes it’s just as awful and time-consuming as it looks.

Growing up, I remember thinking that my mom was always over-complicating the whole “maintaining of the house” idea. Seriously? You have to wash your sheets each and every week? And you just cleaned the kitchen yesterday! Why do you have to do it again? Also, bathrooms. They always stay magically clean and perfect. Why do you have to clean them again?

Oh my God, was I delusional or what? My kitchen is always dirty. If I even think of cooking it will require an hour of cleaning up time. I mean, how does grease spread from one end to the other? How is that even possible?

And my sheets. Holy mother of God, I remember once in college thinking it’d been at least a month since I’d washed them — and for some reason that was okay. First of all that is not okay. That is disgusting. However I was in my early 20’s and it just didn’t occur to me. These days I wash my sheets at least once a week!

What about laundry? How do I have so much laundry all of the time? It’s just me! I live alone. There is only one person’s amount of clothing to wash. Often times I’m horrified by how quickly it builds up. I used to think my mom was always obsessively washing clothes for no reason. Now I realize she was just trying to stay ahead of the game!

By the way, has anyone figured out how to stop dust from settling in your house? I mean, what is up with that? The hardwood floors are so beautiful, but there’s always a layer of dust over them. It feels like I never stop sweeping, and it also seems like the broom just spreads it around even more. The TV is like a magnet for dust too. The entertainment center is also perpetually covered in several layers of dust.

Then there’s that thing we have to do to survive: get a job. Of course some jobs are getter than others. (Photo by Kyle Levy)
Then there’s that thing we have to do to survive: get a job.
Of course some jobs are getter than others.
(Photo by Kyle Levy)

Needless to say, cleaning is a very real and important aspect of growing up and being mature. It’s certainly one that I wasn’t prepared for. However, living alone has forced me to be responsible and take care of my apartment because there’s no one else to do it!

There’s also another aspect of life that I was warned about but never acknowledged until now. Life is hard when you’re on your own. If you don’t have a job, then you don’t eat. You don’t buy new clothes. You can’t put gas in your car. It’s tough and what’s worse is when you have a job and you actually have to work. If you thought it was bad before, try working on your feet for eight hours a day trying to please everyone around while maintaining a smile on your face.

Fortunately, my parents forced me to get a job when I was about 17-years old. Ever since then I’ve known the value of hard work and that lesson alone has enabled me to survive this long on my own. Even though I hate the fact that I have to work to survive, I do it anyways because I don’t have a choice. It’s one of the first signs of adulthood and I think I’m turning into a great man. All I need is a little more time.