10:13 AM

Everyone's a Cinderella 3

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

So now I have gone from being a messy person to learning the Arab culture's version of CLEAN. It was time to really test out my skills that I had honed for 3 months in the mountain of Lebanon. I finally got my own 3 bedroom house with one and a half bath. I had to set it up and deal with cleaning it weekly and cooking Arab style for my husband and myself. I struggled and many times we fought because without the support of the in-laws I had to do everything on my own. In time though I manged to do it well. With my first pregnancy I slacked off a little bit for the first few months because of sickness and cravings and a certain computer game that i was addicted to. I got back on schedule after a stern talk to. Things were going smoothly enough until I had my baby then i had to balance cleaning and mothering and oh how it was so stressful to me. Every time i got my groove something new comes up. When my daughter was six months we moved to a house just south of Beirut. Again I had to work on keeping things tip top and deal with my daughter. I did try but cleaning just isn't my thing. I can do it and I can do it well but I can't do it all the time. I get caught up in my writing and playing with my daughter and when we got an illegal hook-up from the satellite cable whoo hoo MOVIE CHANNEL!!!!! That sucked a lot of cleaning time away. Luckily my husband's schedule at the time was good for my procrastinating habits. He worked from 7am til 9pm. So I could get my cleaning done while my daughter was napping or sleeping for the night. Sure I wasn't perfect but at least I could get the main things picked up most of the time before he got home.
Now we moved twice since coming to UAE and it has again been the struggle of my life to keep things Arab ship-shape. Just yesterday I decided to just do it and get things re-arranged how I want them and to do that everything gets flipped upside down and you have to clean all the rooms simultaneously. I have two kids one of whom is a baby that i can't just plop somewhere (like in front of a TV) and expect them to be good. So it was difficult and by the end of the day I was only a quarter way done. With the UAE schedule though my husband comes home in the afternoon before working the rest of the night so it's frustrating to have to get things clean enough for him by afternoon and then again in evening. Now with my daughter not having preschool anymore I can't have free time to do things in the morning like I used to. But this is the life of women cleaning, cooking, children, and for the super moms out there that have to work to I salute you. ( I did work when i first got here and was preg. by the way so don't think I'm a total slacker)
SO though I have come far from the messy beginnings of my biological mother and leaned a new culture and Idea of cleanliness I still struggle and everyday is a mountain that I have to climb just to get by. Constant toys to clean up in the playroom, beds to deal with all the time (since there is an afternoon nap and the baby takes naps sporadically all day), dishes to deal with, etc.. you know the USUAL chores. I know I'm not lazy, before i was lazy but not now, because I can do it and I DO do it, yet still I'm never on top of the game like I see some women. My husband wants me to be like the Arabs he grew up with but though I try I'm just not up to par with killing myself by cooking and cleaning all day. No wonder even poor women try to get a maid to come to their house weekly and help them. Keeping Arab standards is an undertaking. Right now we can't afford a maid but I keep wishing and praying for that one day when we can and I can finally relax a little and do what I love to do which is write and take care of my children. I never regret learning the Arab style because it HAS made me a better person and definitly a cleaner and more organized person than I would have been if I stayed in USA. I may not have turned into the messy pack-rat my biological mother is but I certainly wouldn't have had a calm and peaceful home most of the time and a house I wouldn't mind guest to see.
Sometimes I feel like Cinderella and pray my dreams of a maid do come true.....

5 intelligent thoughts:

Umm Ibrahim said...

Salam, Cleaning doesn't come naturally to me either. Not my idea of a good time but the sense of satisfaction is great when everything is neat and clean... mind you the kids wreck that sense of peace in minutes. lol. I am really happy at the moment alhamdu Lillah because I have a lady coming in 6 hours a week (2 hours 3x a week) and it makes an enormous difference! At least the ironing pile doesn't build up to Himalayan proportions and I can get her to do a few other things for me that I hate doing like cleaning the oven! Alhamdu lillah!

Safiyyah said...

As Salaamu Alaikum Sister:

Wow, you sound like you have quite a load! Say dua for Allah (swt) to make it easy for you to get a maid. I'll make dua for you, too.

You husband has a long work day!

Funny how men seem to think that we sit around all day and do nothing, lol.

I am now retired from my full-time job, but I am busier than ever. At times, I wonder how I managed to keep up back then.

MyHijab said...

Just 2 things to say:

1. I have seen many non-Arabs who are much cleaner in their homes than Arabs.


2. Why do you clean your home for your husband? What has he got to do with anything? Your the one that spends most of her time in it so you should keep it how it suits you.

I have a kid, I am pregnant, I am at uni and I'm working and if I don't want to vacuum I won't. Its that simple. I have also been a mum at home without uni or work and still, if I don't want to do it I wont, without in-put from hubby thankyouverymuch.

If hubby wants the house a certain way, get him to do it :)

Love the blog

American Muslima Writer said...

Umm Ibrahim: Alhamdulliah you got a maid! Ah you must feel so much more relaxed! I get so upset when i work so hard to keep thing neat and tidy and the kids just ransake as they move...ugh. But I do love when my house is tidy and in perfect rder and there is peace in each room. Of ocurse this happens so seldom that when it does i enjoy it all the more.

Safiyyah: Subhanallah all women have QUITE a load. No wonder Paradise is at the feet of much giving to give.... it's amazing what we can handle all at once. Jobs, kids, houses, finances, and men think they have it hard....that's why movies like Mr. Mom are so funny becuase trying to watch a man handle it all is really hard for them because we do it naturally and they have to work to do it. Yani Allah made us able to multi-task these things while He made man able to attend to the more "manly" things... that said i know men do it too and many do it well, but if they really had a choice most likely they would rather work the 9-5 than stay home with the hosue and kids.

Umm Ibrahim said...

Well the weekend is upon us now AMW so the house looks like a tornado swept through it! As I said that sense of tidiness never lasts! Grr!

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