I grew up in semi-rural, northern Indiana. There was a cornfield behind our house. This was the bane of my mother’s existence every time they plowed and sent dust into her house. There was an empty field on one side, where my brother was allowed to play with his friends but I was not. Mother was always convinced I was going to be kidnapped. In later years, I decided that it wasn’t so much that she thought I would be kidnapped as that she had kidnapped me herself and did not want them to come and get me back. This was in response to the fact that my mother is OCD and I have IWRPPTCH (I would rather paint pictures than clean house).
My lackadaisical attitude toward housecleaning has been the bane of my mother’s existence forever. It was not an era of concentrating on the positive, with a child. It was the era when you wrote my mom a poem and she corrected the spelling and handed it back. When young, my paintings looked a bit abstract and that was considered “messy” too. The truth is, I am messy.
I have had three houses that I kept clean: 1. was a new house with plenty of storage and room, 2. was a house in Wyoming that only had husband and myself in for one year and was big, nice and I kept it clean. Then, my daughter needed a place and everything from the basement came up and five people moved into the finished basement, but I still kept it fairly clean. A year later, daughter’s family moved out, mom and dad moved in and we moved down into the finished basement. We now live in a small house with two to three growing boys. It reaches status as a feature on Hoarders periodically, and I just don’t care anymore. Upstairs we have 1 closet and no food pantry, or coat closet or any type of storage. I just cannot keep it clean.
Recently, a dear friend commented that she had so much fun when mom and I visited. I stated it was too bad I didn’t have room for them to stay here when they were traveling through. My mother almost had a heart attack.
I’ve always felt inferior. It took me till I hit 60 to realize that it was not a matter of me not being good enough. i was even winning awards in painting yet never thought I had talent. But, one day, as mom was on her constant search for the perfect “whatever” I woke up and said, “It’s not me. Nothing is ever good enough for mom.”