(This is what 5 loads of laundry looks like at my house)
This is the part where I have to remain very disciplined.
Homemaking here varies vastly from homemaking in the States, and because of the fact that certain, everyday modern conveniences taken for granted in the States are luxury items here, if I let homemaking go for a week - or even a few days - it can take me days and days to catch up.
Take laundry for example.
As you can see in my picture above - my balcony is packed to the hilt with 3 drying racks full of 5 loads of laundry. You may say, "That equals two loads in my washer". Exactly! My washer doesn't hold what American washers do.
And dryers are a luxury item here. Seriously, if we had a dryer I'd probably go bankrupt when my electric bill showed up for the month. Not to mention that houses and apartments don't come with dryer hook-ups (Z and I've discussed where we'd put one if we had one - and we still haven't come up with a solution). And I haven't even begun to discuss prices for a dryer! So, I dry everything on drying racks. Which isn't so bad in the summer. Usually everything is dry the next day. But when it's overcast, rainy, cold...it can take 2-3 days (and sometimes our clothes end up smelling sour!). And in the winter my house is full of drying racks and smells like laundry soap.
And yet, in talking with my mother-in-law, it was this side of 15 years ago that she washed everything by hand. They didn't have a wash machine. I really can't fathom that!!
Then the aftermath of all that laundry. Dryers shake out wrinkles. So, you guessed it. About 75% of what is washed must be ironed. So you can imagine what "ironing day" looks like at my house.
Then take dishes. Dish washers are also a luxury item. I do like doing dishes (as opposed to laundry and ironing!). But lately I've been finding ways to cut back on how many dishes get used at a meal, because I could seriously do nothing more all day than stand at that sink washing all my dishes by hand. I look back at when I lived in the States and how much I took for granted having a dish washer. And am now dumbfounded at remembering how most homes and apartments come with one already installed.
Lastly, take grocery shopping. While our fridge is considered rather large (and compared to many of our friend's fridges, it is rather large with a fairly large freezer), it is still quite a bit smaller than what you normally see in the States. This usually means more shopping trips in a month. I do one big shopping trip after I get my support, and even then I am having to get very creative about where to put all the food. I don't stock up on fruits and veggies very often (especially in the summer, as they go bad after a few days), and I usually can't stock up on dairy products as I'd like because there is simply not enough room. This means, quick trips every other day or so to the store to buy what I need to make lunch.
And while we buy "shelf milk" (milk pasteurized at a higher temperature and packed in special packaging that allows you to store it for 3 months outside of refrigeration), they are sold in 1-liter packages. So, because I am usually the one doing store runs, I only buy 3-4 liters at time. Considering our house goes through approximately 1-1 1/2 liters a day - this also makes for very frequent shopping trips.
To ensure that all of my housework gets done in a week, which includes:
2 loads a diapers
3-4 loads of regular laundry
vacuuming 2 times
cleaning both bathrooms
special attention to the kitchen once a week (very necessary!)
and all of this along with keeping things picked up, dishes washed, the computer work I do, regular shopping trips, and mothering an active toddler, I have to maintain a pretty tight ship. That means getting up early and strictly regulating how much time is spent at the computer.
Honestly, its better that way. On the days I've neglected housework, not only have I paid dearly - I tend to feel lethargic, depressed, and guilty. The payoff just isn't worth the luxury of sitting and surfing all day.
So for me, its just not an area of compromise. I get the bulk of my computer time in the morning getting church work done before Robi gets up , I grab a few minutes during the day, and if Z is working 2nd shift, I may take an evening or two and spend extra time on the computer after Robi goes to bed.
I know this post sounds funny following on the heels of my Let's Get Together post - and it does remain a tug-of-war with me - but I have learned to be disciplined about it.
Because there is just no way I'm letting the media mess with my homemaking schedule!
Linking up at Women Living Well - Media Mondays
Thank you for sharing...