Generations of Housekeeping

Recently I’ve had many conversations with women about housekeeping. It seems that with stay at homes and working moms alike, there is a trend of letting our houses go. It now is looked upon as having OCD if you continually keep a clean home, if you just can’t relate to the messes and chaos that accompanies this new mentality.

Now let’s rewind time about 50 years. 

Back to my granny. She was primarily a stay at home mother. There were times when she would work part time at a store, but for the most part she was at home, caring for her husband and 4 children. I didn’t know her back then of course, I was not even a possibility yet, with my dad being about 10 at this time. My granny was what one would call a neat freak. She scrubbed all her floors by hand, upheld a rigorous schedule of waxing those spotless floors, dusting the many nicknacks she owned and never leaving dishes sit in the sink more than a few hours. By the time I came along, she was still as neat and dedicated to keeping her home. 

And now let’s go back 25 years from now. 

I’m 7 years old. My mother, like my granny, has 4 children running around. Along with a menagerie of pets; rabbits, dogs, cats, birds. Never could a mess be found in her home. Always tidy. Always clean. The difference between her and my granny? A full time job. My mother almost always worked outside the home. And yet, she still found time to keep up with house. 

My own housekeeping journey has been a long and winding road. I did not get the clean gene that my ancestors seem to have been born with, it must skip 5 generations. Instead I got a lazy gene. Struggling to keep up with even the smallest of household chores. My own transformation in the “OCD” neat freak that I am now has been a recent transformation. As in the last 4 years it has slowly unfolded. And it’s still coming out. I have so many areas to improve.

So what then, has 25 years done to women? Where did the pride that a clean home once garner go to? Did it go the way of hosting afternoon teas and weeknight Canasta? I think it DID go that way. Because we don’t host as many people in our homes, we are more tempted to let things go. We don’t keep up a state of “company ready” because we know it’s not as likely that we will get company on such a regular basis. 

Think about it. What do you do when you get a call that your mother in law is coming over in an hour? Make a mad dash, tossing dirty clothes under the cabinets and shoving all the dishes out of site in the dishwasher? Yelling at kids to quickly pick up their clothes and toys? Frantically running the vacuum?  

Come on ladies. Stay at home and working alike. Get your priorities straight. Work first, then play. Let’s take pride in our homes. May they always be company ready, no matter how far and in between we get company.


remember ladies: it’s easy to follow the wide path, but it take courage to walk the narrow way.


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