Getting Real With Veronica Ibarra

Domestic living isn’t glamorous, and is often taken for granted. But the trash doesn’t magically disappear, toys don’t dance back into toy boxes, clothes don’t clean themselves, and meals don’t fall from the sky like so much manna. Remember the old adage If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself?  Well, that’s life.

As a mother of two energetic kids and a wife of one workaholic husband—a mixed blessing if ever there was one—I am the self that makes domestic living a cozy home for my family. No, I don’t do everything. Yes, everyone who lives in the house helps keep it up. But let’s face it, the bulk of the upkeep falls on me.

If I’m not the one doing it, I’m the one directing the others as to what needs doing. We’ve played this game long enough that it’s just the way we have to operate now. If I say nothing the clutter will continue to pile up until one or all of the others begin to complain. This usually happens when I secretly go on strike, which I do once a month or so for a few days just to test my hypothesis turned theory.

During my secret strikes, when the complaining begins, these are some of my favorite comebacks:

  • You don’t have any clean socks? Why don’t you put all your dirty clothes in the hamper so they will get washed?
  • No clean plates? I used a bowl, but if you want clean plates the dishwasher is empty, why don’t you fill it?
  • Your juice spilled? That’s a shame; here’s a towel.
  • If you found the mess, you clean the mess.
  • If you made the mess, you clean the mess.
  • Well, look at that! We DO have a closet full of cleaning supplies!

OK, so I become very snarky and the least liked person in the house. But every now and then it just becomes too much to be the one doing most of the work…repeatedly. This is one of my coping skills, though, admittedly, not my best.

My secret strikes don’t last for more than a few days. Even I get tired of the clutter, and eventually I run out of dishes and clothes. Sometimes I view what I do as my being a house slave, that’s when I feel a strike coming on. When I don’t get thanked for anything, and they complain about everything that hasn’t been done yet. However, most of the time I think of our home as mine.

I want to live in a clean, mostly organized home. I want a warm cozy bed waiting for me at the end of the day. I want my closet and dresser full of clean clothes waiting to be coordinated. I want delicious meals to eat off clean plates. I want a bathroom that ironically smells like a rose garden. I want these things. Because I want them, I make it so.