In the hierarchy of household tasks, we all have those we don’t mind and those we actually kind of enjoy – or at least get satisfaction from having done. I don’t mind scrubbing the toilets (mostly because I hate a not-quite-clean one) or doing laundry, and I even love doing the white towels in bleach because it’s so lovely to fold them, warm and fragrant from the dryer. I find doing dishes a nearly Zen-like experience, perhaps in part because while I stand at my spacious kitchen sink I can look out the window at the yard, meadow, and woods beyond.
On the other hand, I hate to vacuum. I mean, I hate it. Maybe it’s because our old Victorian farmhouse has mostly hardwood floors with area rugs strewn throughout, so you have to keep switching the vacuum from carpet to wood-floor mode. And because both of our dogs are heavy shedders, you have to make extra effort to suck up all those tumbling tumbleweeds – and empty the canister a zillion times.
I am lucky to be married to a man who offers to vacuum and does so regularly. That’s in addition to mowing the lawn and doing all the other outdoor chores. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate that.
We try to do most of our chores on Saturday morning and early afternoon, so that by Saturday night we have a relaxing evening and a relatively free and clear Sunday to look forward to and enjoy.
For many people with multiple sclerosis, maintaining a household is all about making tradeoffs and compromises. Those of us lucky enough to have supportive, helpful partners are, well, really lucky indeed, and we have to make sure we pull our own weight in some way – and that we take time to express our appreciation for their contributions.
What’s your experience with household chores? Do you feel overburdened, and could you use advice for getting help? Or do you have a system in place that you might share with others who might benefit from your experience?