Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Is it really inevitable?

This weekend I was accused of ‘turning into my mother.’ The crime in question was my suggesting that I might postpone leaving the house until the washing machine had finished.

This in indeed something my mother would do.

I foolishly thought that I had a few years of independent thought and deed before that one hit me. In fact I thought I had 4 good years before I knew the exact way to hang up washing, iron a shirt and where exactly the scissors were at any given moment.

I say 4 years because Hallmark have been doing some research – no doubt rigorously conducted by team of sociologists and qualitative research teams that they have on hand at all times – which has revealed that 32 is the age at which women turn into their mothers. This disturbs me more than a little.

Whilst we’re on the topic, I do also keep finding myself involuntarily tidying. Whole evenings are suddenly being lost to this hidden art. Tidying is a relatively new discovery for me, and something I have previously considered quite a waste of time. My mother has an altogether different opinion of tidying.

I grew up in house where spillage was a serious crime, shoes were swiftly removed at the front door, and if you left anything unattended, even for a moment, it was swept into the dishwasher/ washbasket / bin. Like every good child I rebelled wholeheartedly against this.

I have been known to leave a case fully packed until the next holiday rolled around. I have thrown pans into the dustbin because I could not face removing the scrambled egg burnt onto the bottom. I have been out and bought new underwear to avoid laundering. (In my defence on the final one, I did not have a washing machine in my own home.)

All of these things would result in serious tones of disapproval from my mother.

Of course many of my mother’s traits are apparent. I’ve got the ability to witter on, the financially ruining love of shopping and the compulsion to always take fresh products in the supermarket from the back of the shelf and check the sell by date.

But when do I get the good stuff? The efficiency, the managerial competence, the discipline, a life free of chaos? My mum doesn’t need to watch a ‘how to change a lightbulb video’ on you tube before she attempts the task. When do I learn to do DIY without first scouring the internet?

The good news is that I did in fact leave the house before the washing machine had finished. I decided that life is short, and whilst I would love to have a home that is immaculate, and a laundry basket that never overflows, I’m just not quite ready to put in the appropriate level of effort.

As for the scrambled egg pan, I haven’t had to throw one of those out in a while. Not since the discovery of non-stick you’ll understand.



  1. As you can well imagine Rach, I always plan my clothes washing carefully to fit in with my activities. I can't help it!

  2. I don't think I am ever going to turn into my mum... although maybe it is something that automatically happens when you have kids?