Move It Mama Monday! Clean House Or Exercise?

Oy, this almost didn’t get out today. I got hit with something yesterday that involved a very painfully swollen lymph node in my neck, plus a ton of other aches and pains all over my body. I’m thinking this was a result of too much work, too much working out, and not enough sleep. My knees have been bothering me all week. Those last couple of workouts on the EA Sports Active 30-day challenge were not easy on the jumping and squatting and lunging. Plus, I switched to the heavier weight band the week before and that probably contributed to the sore arms and shoulders. Top all that with a day at the beach, a day at a friend’s pool party, and some massive deadlines that had to be met, and I was one beat mama Sunday. No wonder then that I slept through my alarm and dragged through this morning.

However, I did perk up enough to get some exercise in. Given my knee problems, I opted to forgo EA Sports Active today and stuck with a combination of Wii Fit and DDR. I love the workout mode in DDR. I set the target number of calories I want to burn and then fail badly to hit the right arrow combinations as I stomp mercilessly all over the mat. My DDR skillz suck, but I do work up a sweat, and the kids get a laugh out of watching me flail around like a demoniacally possessed monkey on speed. In fact, on at least one occasion while I shook my booty to the cadence of DDR, Michael did consider calling in a priest to perform an exorcism on me.

But that’s not what I really wanted to talk about today. Today, I have yet another wrinkle in my routine to iron out, and that would be house cleaning, or the lack thereof. I try my best to keep this place neat, but I suck at house cleaning the way I suck at DDR. Yeah, I can do it, but once again, I flail around like the aforementioned demoniacally possessed monkey on speed.

My problem with house cleaning is not that I don’t know how to do it, but that I don’t know when to do it. We all know there aren’t enough hours in the day, right? Well my hours in the day start at 5AMish (like some others I know), and usually end around 11PMish (though I’m trying to get back to that 9PM bedtime, really I am). In between those times, I write, cook, exercise, fold laundry, play with the kids, cartoon, blog, do more writing, record, podcast, do even more writing, work on art commissions, promote my work, etc. I have a hard enough time some days finding time to clean ME, let alone the house, so the house work sort of falls by the wayside most days. I do try to keep up with the kitchen and the vacuuming and the laundry, but that’s about as good as I can do. I just can’t seem to find half an hour more in my day to do a simple chore like dust one room, and frankly, even if I did dust one room, then I have to remember which room I dusted so that if I remember to clean again the next day, I don’t end up dusting the same room twice.

I had signed on at one time with Fly Lady. Fly Lady is cool. Here is a woman who’s worked out a system to get housework done in bits and pieces. She is encouraging, she is helpful, she has her act pretty much together. For a few months, I was doing good following the Fly Lady system. The problem was, those few months occurred prior to the birth of Pixie, and once Pixie was born, it was all down hill from there! I think the reason Fly Lady worked for me at the time was because I was nesting (even though I swore at the time I wasn’t), getting my house ready for my upcoming addition. During those few months, I had no problem waking up at 4AM without needing an alarm and throwing on my clothes so I could go clean the house. Yes folks, I was cleaning house at 4AM. I was soooooo nesting.

But I can’t do that now. Now, I do my best to get up at 5AM so I can grab a quick shower and write for an hour or two. Then the kids are up and it’s breakfast, laundry, outside to play, back inside to work out, time for lunch, time to read stories, time to sit and work, and oh my god, is it really 6PM already? Crap, I haven’t even started on dinner yet!

Yeah, that’s my day. Just about every day, too.

So what am I going to do? I’ve thought that maybe I ought to give up some of my workout time to clean, but my weight isn’t were I’d like it to be, and quite frankly, I hate giving up workout time. I sure as hell ain’t giving up writing time. As for cleaning when the kids are outside… well, we don’t have a fence around our backyard. I don’t mind sending the kids out to play while I’m in the kitchen or the living room where I can keep an eye on them, but I sure as hell am not going to let a six-year-old and a three-year-old play outside by themselves when I can’t keep an eye on them. Just doesn’t seem like a smart idea.

I’m not sure what to do. House cleaning is one of those activities that would burn calories, although not as many as a good 20 minutes playing DDR will. I need to see what I can fit in. Maybe if I can get the kids to help me…

Or would I end up cleaning up after them in addition to any other house cleaning I’d be doing?

I got no solution here. Will keep thinking about it. I’m hitting the hay now, so I hope everyone has a good night.

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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  1. okay, you don't know me at all, but i follow you on twitter & read this blog entry.

    i have just enough ocd to keep life interesting. i also have 4 kids and work full-time. my only tip/secret/whathaveyou is routines. find something that takes you a few minutes morning/noon/dinnertime/bedtime and that meets your BARE MINIMUM cleanliness standards.

    this time of your life is just pure survival mode.

  2. Amanda, you are right, it does come down to routines and I am in survival mode right now. I do have my regular few minutes a day that I spend on those few chores I mentioned – laundry, vacuuming, and dishes. That keeps the house liveable, though not as nice as I would like. Oh well.

    One of my problems is, the Hubster is also in survival mode, and he started a renovation project three years ago that is still unfinished. He pulled out the downstairs toilet and flooring, hoping to spend a week or so re-tiling that area, and ever since then we've had no toilet and no linoleum in our foyer. He had to fix a massive problem with the floor in that bathroom, a fault of the builder, and hasn't been able to get any further. Thus yours truly is now also wondering how to finish that chore for him in addition to how to get the house clean. I scraped 2 square feet of linoleum off the kitchen floor today (we're going to re-tile the entire downstairs). I fear I will die with my foyer and kitchen floor unfinished.


    BTW, ping me on Twitter if I'm not following you back yet! Then we can chat and laugh at my housecleaning attempts together };)

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