It’s Not Helping ME, it’s Helping the HOUSE

“It’s not MY mess!”

“I didn’t do it!”

“Why do *I* have to clean THAT up?!”

“Arg! I’m tired you know, I work hard every day!”

“School is MY job!”

The list of excuses, and complaints is longer than my grocery list before a huge storm cell settles in. No one wants to take responsibility for cleaning the house. No one wants to do more than someone else because everyone thinks that their time, and space are more valuable than someone else’s. Most of all, no one seems to want to have to help anyone other than themselves. It’s pathetic.

Growing up, I knew my role in the house. I had my unwritten list of tasks, and chores that had to be completed every week whether I was consumed with my own life, or not. The bathrooms needed to be cleaned, and I’d do them at 5 in the morning before going to work at 6am. It didn’t matter if I was tired, or if I didn’t want to do them; they got done to my mother’s specifications, period.

I cooked, not only for myself, but for the family. I didn’t eat meat, but I cooked what they wanted, or needed to eat regardless of my preferences. (I did draw the line at washing very greasy pots, and pans though, which was allowed since I put efforts into other tasks in turn.)

I was raised in a very “give, and take” household. I knew my parents worked hard, and they knew that I worked equally as hard, but in different situations at school, and at my actual jobs. They wanted me to have balance between work, school, home, and life as much as they wanted balance between work, home, and life. We honestly fell into step with each other in cleaning, and responsibility patterns.

The only person who was excused from practically any chore, or demonstration of home responsibility was my brother. THAT created myriad issues for him later in life. When he moved out, he had so few independent skills that he had to be taught how to boil water. Thankfully, over many painful years of change, he’s outgrown his ineptitude.

I witness the disease of ineptitude daily. People just seem incapable of thinking for themselves, problem solving, and most of all, taking responsibility, or accountability for their actions. Most live so far up their own posteriors that they can’t recognize when people around them are in need of assistance.

The building I work in is bountiful with people who ignore needs because as their theme song dictates on repeat “THAT’S NOT MY JOB!” I’m literally surrounded by adults who won’t wipe a table down because they are not contractually obligated to do so. I’m surrounded by children who refuse to pick up their own trash because they truly believe that other people are paid to clean up after them. It’s disgusting, both literally, and figuratively.

At home, I face a plethora of excuses, and issues regarding housework. Most people in the house refuse to believe that they are responsible for anything that involves tidying up, regardless of whether they made the mess, or not. They seem to believe that they are entitled to create disasters, but not have to repair the damage in their wake. Some tasks are simply “too gross” to do. Others are “boring,” or “too time consuming.”

The result of these attitudes is an obviously messy house. The scars of these attitudes include ME feeling as though I have to do EVERYTHING, but being too resentful to do it all..resulting again in a MESSY house.

I get discouraged. I get frustrated. I get resentful. I get angry.

Of course, when I dare show emotions regarding the mess, I’m told that it’s unfair for everyone to have to help ME.

Therein lies the problem…helping with the house isn’t just helping ME, especially since I’m not the only person who is responsible for the upkeep of our domain! Helping with the house helps the house. It means we can have social gatherings, it means we can relax in a comfortable space. I means we can find everything we are looking for!

My problem isn’t doing chores, it’s getting the other people in this house to realize that it’s not only about helping me, it’s truly about helping the house!

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