Q: So How’s that Chore Schedule Working Out For Ya, Superstar?

A: Ugh.

Two weeks ago I wrote this post, about how I’m trying to be a better stay-at-homie by keeping my house at the lowest possible order of functional cleanliness. It’s sort of a deal I made with myself. If I can do a set of chores on a regular basis, maybe I won’t need to feel so guilty about working on my manuscript or writing inane blog posts. As an added bonus, maybe some modicum of respectability vis-a-vis the floors, furniture, and bathrooms could keep me from wanting to jab my eyes out every time I look around.

Those things are true. But they only work if I do my chores.


And things keep getting in my way.

1. Outside Appearances: We can go a long time without doing anything, and then WHAM. Every morning and afternoon has something going on. There’s the Parents & Tots class at the preschool, there’s Music Together class. Play dates. Necessary trips to the library so Z can get new books. (Okay, fine, because Mommy has a passel o’ new YA books waiting for her on the hold shelf. But let’s allow Z to think this is about her.) We’re going going going and it’s all I can do to catch my breath, much less open the closet to see if we still have a vacuum cleaner.

2. The Grandma: It would sound bad if I left it like that. So allow me to explain, please. When Grandma comes to visit, The Ever-Suffering Mother (moi) gets to hide in her bedroom with her laptop and write in the mornings. It is GLORIOUS. I get so much work done. But not chore-schedule kind of work. More like, manuscript revising, manuscript critiquing for other people, other business for writers groups, and those all-important Facebook status updates. And blog posts. The free babysitting is for the morning, when everyone is at her happiest. But the mornings are when I usually do my chore schedule chores. Do I become flexible and do my chores in the afternoon? No. I become slothful and lazy and don’t do my chores and I don’t look back. Much.

3. Ennui: Sometimes I don’t feel like it. Usually Wednesday-Whatever-Day gives me a chance to catch up if ennui hits on a different day. But sometimes it doesn’t help at all.

4. The Library: This was partially covered in “Outside Appearances” above. But “The Library” also includes those YA books I borrow. You see, I don’t just like to bring them back and forth between the library and my (messy) house. I also like to read them. This takes time. Sometimes it takes…chore time.

5. The Kid: She wants to play “cave,” which is my new favorite game where we sit on the couch under a blanket. Sometimes we pretend to sleep in the cave (and one of us is doing more pretending than the other). Usually we pretend to feed passing animals who visit our cave. Either way I’m a) on the couch and b) under a blanket and c) do you really think I’m going to get off my butt and fold laundry when I can be doing a) and b)?

So if you come over (and please only do this if you actually have met me in person and I have given you the okay), and my house is making you think “how do they live like pig people?” – just remember, it isn’t my fault. I have 1 through 5 above, all conspiring against me.

Oh, and 6. The Cat: This is a rare shot of her up and moving around. Usually she’s resting peacefully…on my lap…while I read one of those books I mentioned…and it would be too cruel to dislodge her from her favorite napping spot.


  1. Nathalie · January 27, 2011

    Hi Beth,

    I love your blog! Thanks for the insights into your writing life. I relate to the chore schedule, down to the lap cat keeping you in one place for as long as he/she decides she’s had enough sleep. Hope the writing is going well. 😀

    • Beth Hull · January 27, 2011

      Nathalie, thanks for visiting my blog! Maybe we’ll see each other at a schmooze soon, or if not then, there’s always the Spring Spirit Conference….

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