How To Deal with a Perfectionist

Dearest FlyLady,

I have been flying for about three years now, and one of the best FlyLady tricks ever thought of is using the same soap that you clean yourself with to also wash the shower and tub.  I love the idea of not being subjected to toxic fumes!  I have taught my DS (now 8) to use just a little bit of his body-wash on SpongeBob (just a regular yellow sponge) to wipe the sides of the tub when the water is starting to drain out of the tub.

Now my dilemma . . . I have never told DH that I have been cleaning the tub and shower the FlyLady way (using body-soap instead of cleansers) because I know he would not think I was getting it clean enough (he is very critical of many things that I do).  Yes, the bathtub is sparkling, and the shower looks fairly decent too (there are some stained areas from my pre-Flylady days), but I just know what my DH would say.  Well, today my worst fears came true.

My DH was in the bathroom working on fixing the light switch when DS decided he wanted to clean the shower and bathtub just for fun, even though they didn’t really need it.  He was happily scrubbing away using the body-soap when my DH noticed what he was doing.  My DH, intent on keeping my DS safe from slipping in the shower, started ranting and raving about cleaning it the right way (yes, he too is a SHE).  I tried to keep it nonchalant, and told him let’s just let DS finish it up the way he started, but my DH said, “That’s teaching him the wrong way to do things.”  Of course, my DS is bewildered because that’s the way he was taught to do it.  I really didn’t want to go into it with DH right then, so after the shower had been rinsed, I pulled DS aside and told him that Daddy doesn’t know the secret of keeping it clean the FlyLady way.  It’s not what you use to clean, but the elbow grease involved.

I really don’t want to keep this a little secret between my DS and me, but I don’t want to hear from my DH how I’m not doing it right.  Should I just confess to my DH how I’ve been cleaning all along, put up with the tirade, and then continue to do it the FlyLady way?  BTW, I have done just about all of the household cleaning in our 19 years of marriage, and he has never complained that it was not clean enough.  He could live in utter CHAOS, and even invite people over, and the cluttered appearance of our house wouldn’t bother him a bit.

Thank you for you help!!
Flying with body-soap in CA

Dear  Flying in CA,

Secrets are no fun. Keep in mind that you can’t change the way your husband was raised. The rebel in me would like to tell him a thing or two but the peace-maker in me says to bite your tongue. Telling him about the FlyLady way is no different from him telling you that you are doing it wrong.


Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

There is no right or wrong way to clean. We just like to use what we have handy and make it fun.

Angry words hurt our babies. Even seeing angry words coming from his father’s mouth can be sad but seeing a argument between his father and mother is much worse. I know because I lived with a perfectionist like this. Nothing was ever good enough. This is why I decided to keep doing what I do and just keep it to myself.

Soap is soap! Elbow grease and a purple rag will clean the soap film off of a shower door. Believe it or not; you don’t even need soap because the film is the soap. Try it!

Old shampoo, bubble bath, and body wash that you don’t like is good enough to clean a toilet. I keep my Rubba Swisha in a vase by my toilet. I fill it with one part soap and one part water. My toilet is swished every morning as part of my Swish and Swipe. In fact you never have to see dirt in my bathroom because of my daily swish and swipe. My tub gets swiped too; just like this FlyBaby taught her young son to do. These are habits that keep your bathroom sparkling with very little elbow grease.

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