How to survive when you’re drowning in housework



Hi there, fellow parent. I see you’re drowning in housework and seeking assistance...

Well, you’ve come to right place*. Allow me to talk you through my top tips for navigating this natural disaster.


1. Locate your nearest exit

I hate to break it to you, but if you’re drowning in housework the best thing you can do is vacate your premises. That’s because the fumes from your dirty clothes and dishes are probably not good for your lungs. (I’m not sure if that’s true, but it seems about right). After you’ve located your nearest exit, calmly head towards it. Try not to look at the heaving mountains of clothes waiting to be washed, nor the dishes piled up in the sink. The housework wants you to try to tackle it, but stay strong. Once you’ve left your property, head somewhere safe, like a café or cinema. However, if the situation is so dire you can no longer locate your nearest exit, you may need to try a back-up plan instead:


1. Locate a life raft

If you can’t vacate your premises, you’ll need a life raft. The most common type of household life raft is a bed. Couches are also acceptable. Before climbing onto your life raft, ensure you have adequate supplies. Grab some fluids (coffee), sustenance (cake) and reading material (your iPhone), before climbing aboard your chosen safety device. While the life raft will not clear the natural disaster that has overtaken your house, once on the raft you can at least pretend the mess doesn’t exist.


1. Breathe

When drowning in housework it’s easy to panic. Try to breathe through this feeling. Find a mess-free corner of the house where you can face a bare wall and pretend you live in a tiny, minimalistic home. When you’ve found your Zen, it’s time to step up and be the hero you (and Mariah Carey) know you are. Then, it’s time to tackle the beast (a.k.a: the housework). While some people advocate for a ‘gently, gently’ approach, I say hit it with all you’ve got. This is a natural disaster, after all, and the washing isn’t just going to go away – until you teach it who’s the boss, that is. Which leads us to the most important step:


4. Fight for your life

Congratulations. You’ve decided to single-handedly rid your house of the debris that threatens your family. You deserve some kind of trophy. But first, you attack the housework. Start with the masses of dirty clothes snaking their way around the house. Scoop them all up and dump them on the laundry floor. Then – and this part is key – pop them all into the washing machine at once. Is Velcro machine-washable you might ask? To which I’d say: Stop slowing yourself down by asking questions, and just keep piling stuff into the machine. If you start feeling like you’re drowning again, remember: You’ve got this. You’re Jenny from the Block. You’re Amal Clooney delivering her UN speech. You’re BBC interview dad’s daughter Marion ‘hippity hoppying’ her way into her dad’s office.

You’re…

Ah, who am I kidding?

If you’ve been wading through the mess of housework for this long, you’re probably just high on all those fumes. Which can only mean one thing: It’s time to locate your nearest exit and vacate the premises…

* These tips may not actually be helpful, but they will at least distract you from said housework.

Words: Evelyn Lewin | Image: Mario Testino for VOGUE


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