I have been reading your emails religiously for many months. Like a typical perfectionist FlyBaby, I spent days developing a fully formed and detailed control journal (with 7 zones instead of 5), which I never use. I have ordered several of your products and when a package shows up, my DH says “You got something else from that cleaning lady who doesn’t clean.” It turns out that even magical purple rags don’t fly around and clean by themselves!
DH has been getting exasperated because he feels like he does everything around the house. But that perplexed me, because the way I saw it, he tidied a bit but he didn’t CLEAN. As an all-or-nothing FlyBaby, I am always in either “clean mode” or “don’t give a *$%#! mode.” In clean mode, I notice and obsess over every speck of dust and dirt. When I am in “don’t give a *$%#!” mode (my default, since it is so much easier) things just pile up and I literally stop noticing them. DH doesn’t understand how I can go around the house not noticing the clutter, and I don’t understand how he can not notice the dust and grime and funny smells.
Finally, I asked him exactly what he means when he says he wants more help keeping the house clean. It turns out that his idea of clean includes: (1) bed made, (2) dishes washed each night, (3) no piles of clutter as he walks through the house. Period. Maybe a vacuum on extraordinary occasions. That’s it. I was dumbfounded. For me, this barely brushed the surface of my idea of clean. Still, obviously it was a big deal to him. I decided if those were the things he was worked up about, I’d focus on just those things. And it sounded suspiciously like another little voice in my head telling me to start with a few simple routines: make your bed, shine your sink, de-clutter 15 minutes a day. Period.
Guess what? I’ve been doing just those three things for a week. It doesn’t take any time at all, and even to me the house feels more peaceful, even if there is still plenty of dust and grime and the occasional funny smell. Why am I so surprised? And how could my DH understand the FlyLady way without ever reading any emails? I guess all I can do is laugh at my silly brain and keep shining my sink.
New FlyBaby Preparing for Lift-Off