A Harsh Comment

A couple of weeks ago I received a harsh comment on my ‘Messy House Debate’ post that literally had me fuming. As soon as I read it I was outraged, defensive, hurt and bewildered.  The commenter basically told me I was being patronizing for giving advice on how to have a clean house; that I clearly couldn’t tell the difference between a clean home and tidy home; AND, that she didn’t seem to think my home WAS ‘clean’, because I ONLY vacuum twice a week. She went so far as to say I was lazy.

When I first read the harsh comment I wanted to get rid of it right then and there.  However before I pushed the delete button, I questioned this rationalization. She is entitled to her opinion, and I most definitely can’t expect everyone to agree with what I have written – not to mention, I can’t expect everyone to always have nice things to say. Can I?

I sent my concerns out to the ‘Twitterverse’ (my twitter account) to see what other bloggers have done when it comes to this kind of thing.  Apparently the best way to react to negative comments is to kill them with kindness in the reply.  As I was already thinking of doing this I approved the harsh comment and replied as sweetly as I could.

However – and this is a BIG however – I have a feeling the reason the comment struck me with such force is because there may in fact be some truth to what she said. I took a long hard look at my house and realized she is quite right…while my house could be considered ‘tidy’, at the moment it really isn’t ‘clean’.

Since my daughter has been doing the majority of her education at home, the truth is I am having a hard time keeping up with my house  –  and it’s getting to me.  On several occasions I have even gone so far as to look up ‘house-cleaners’ on Kijiji to come rescue me from the madness – but then my bank account balance snaps me back to reality.

So yes, lately I do feel like a hypocrite for writing that particular post on keeping a clean home. I can safely say my house is organized, for there is a spot for everything and at the end of the day everything is (usually) in the correct spot.  And although I still try to follow the same cleaning guidelines as outlined in the other post, it doesn’t always get done in a timely fashion.

So basically, I truthfully can’t say my house is clean.

Here’s why:

  • My windows are a disgrace – with my only saving grace being the weather. The constant grey sky thankfully makes the grime and fingerprints not so noticeable
  • But then there are the windowsills that are crying for some attention as well
  • And the blinds? – dear god, I am not even going to think about that disaster
  • I honestly can’t remember the last time I washed the floors properly. I spot clean if something sticky gets on them. But, to actually move all the furniture, get out the mop and bucket, and scrub the hard floors until I sweat? Like I said, it has been far too long
  • The moldings are in desperate need of a good clean and are more of an off white color, rather than the brilliant white they are supposed to be
  • The fans, lights, and registers have their fair share of cobwebs and dust
  • And, as I look at the floor this very moment I have to admit that there are in fact small piles of dog hair in some places (SIGH!)

So I have come to realize the reason the harsh comment stung so much was because…well, sometimes the truth hurts!

I am also reluctantly starting to recognize that my standards are somewhat changing. While I struggle with not being able to get my house back to my ‘normal’ standard of clean, I am also not doing much about it either.

In my spare time yesterday I wrote this blog post, instead of washing windows; I took 45 minutes to play hockey with my children, instead of washing the floors; and, I stole an hour during the day to watch and listen to Oprah’s Lifeclass on-line, instead of taking a broom or vacuum to those cobwebs.

While I don’t approve of being called lazy, I do appreciate that the harsh comment made me really look at the issue at hand.  I know those cleaning tasks will get done sooner or later because they are forever nagging at my brain, but in the meantime I need to learn to be satisfied that my priorities seem to be altering. And, that it is OK that my house is ‘tidy’, but maybe not necessarily ‘clean’ all the time!

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