My husband and I argue all the time, and it's nearly always his fault. (He may not agree with this statement, but he's wrong. (Which is also another reason we argue. He is often wrong.))
Still, there is one tiny, tiny area of marital conflict that I concede may be somewhat my fault, too. And it's not my excessive drinking, or my sideline as an exotic pole dancer, or the second family I keep up North.
No. It's something much more prosaic than that.
I am a bit of a slob.
Except that I'm not, really. My husband calls me a slob, and my house may, on occasion, look like it's inhabited by a slob, but I'm not actually a slob. I am not a slob by character at all. My nature is to be extremely tidy, and I was so until just over a decade ago.
No, I am a slob by circumstance.
Growing up, I was exceptionally neat. After I got married (to an architect, who likes everything in its aesthetically correct position) I continued to be exceptionally neat. And even after I had my first baby, and everyone - everyone! - told me that my house would go to hell, I continued to be exceptionally neat. All the toys were put away each night. Nappies were kept in a drawer. No-one would ever have known a third, vomitus person lived in the house with us.
But then two years later my daughter was born, and I threw up my hands and gave up. It all just got too difficult. Cleaning up after two small kids was a full time job, and if I did it perfectly I wouldn't have had time to actually parent said children as well - which, apparently, is as important a part of motherhood as cleaning. So I stopped trying to keep my home perfect. I let things go, just a little. And then my third child came along, and I started writing as well as parenting, and before I knew it, I had thrown up my hands and Completely Given Up Trying.
And so it has been, for the past four and a half years. Until today. Because my husband, The Architect, can take it no more. He is tired of living in squalor.
"Please," he asks, "please can't you just clean up after yourself?" (using 'yourself', presumably, in the sense of 'yourself, me and the kids').
And so I am trying. I am trying to Be Neat again. And so far, for a week I have succeeded. I've kept the kitchen clean and the laundry folded. I've kept the rooms uncluttered and the fridge wiped clean. I've put the Weet Bix away as soon as breakfast is over and closed the cupboard doors and thrown out the toilet rolls. I've emptied the dishwasher and dusted the surfaces. The house looks absolutely fantastic.
There's just one small problem.
I haven't had time to do anything else. I've barely written a word. I've only showered four nights out of seven. This housework thing is really a full time job.
So I'm asking you: friends, seriously, help me out. How do you DO it? How do you keep your house clean AND clean yourself? How do you put meals on the table every night AND have some semblance of a life? What advice can you give me?
What am I doing wrong??? Or is it time to Give Up again and Just Start Living???