As I scrub the minute bathroom tiles in my shower, and frown at the grime which seems to collect on a daily basis, my mind wanders back to previous bathrooms I have had the pleasure of knowing. There was a time, indeed a lifetime it feels, when the bathroom, as well as all the other rooms in the house, were for playing in and having fun, not for cleaning and keeping tidy with military precision.
There was the seaside-themed bathroom of my childhood, with its clean white tiles and blue towels. The chrome and black number of a fancy friend I used to live with. I barely dared to touch anything in that room. Then there were the rather grotty, lime green, peeling walls of the bathroom in Uni halls. To enjoy a relaxing bath, you had to light candles to enhance its ambience.
Bathrooms are a place in the house to escape to, to rejuvenate and to cleanse away the worries of the day. As such, it is imperative both that you like the décor in the room, and that you manage to keep the bathroom as clean as you can. Cleaning it thoroughly on a weekly basis, and doing a mini clean every few days, means that the bathroom is shiny and fresh at all times. I like to use the cleaning products which also give out a lovely fragrance, like linen sheets or lavender.
As for cleaning the rest of the house, well, I have two small but indomitable cats, three children and one man. It can be quite a task to balance being a Mum, wife, worker, kitchen goddess and cleaner. Usually, things tend to get on top of me.
Take the pets, for instance. They are gorgeous and playful but they can unfortunately sometimes smell less than adorable. When they roll in dirt, shed cat hair all over the floor, or regurgitate food, I am not often amused. Yes, I love how cute it is when my (naughty) kitten leaps up onto the dining room table and stretches out to show off his tiger-striped belly in full. No, I don’t like having to wipe the table down three times with disinfectant before our pregnant friend comes round for dinner.
Then there are the children. No amount of nagging, threats or scolding really makes any difference. The most they will currently do for me is reluctantly put their plates in the dishwasher after dinner, on pain of death. Hours of my life are spent hoovering up the mud they have brought into the house, clearing their bedrooms of cups, plates and other detritus and generally being a maid-of-all-work around the house.
As for my husband, well he tries. He tries to help but usually offers just a little too late.
It’s funny how that happens.