Musings about life in the Pigeon household

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Strike Time (aka Need and Want)

I don’t have elaborate social circles, but in the ones I consider myself belonging to, there has been a lot of talk lately about the Calgary Mom who went on strike. In her own home.

She posted a blog about it and even got on the Today show with this ingenious idea.

I’ll be honest; I’m not up on all the current events of the day. I’m not the most with-it when it comes to goings-on in our world.

In fact, I didn’t even hear about doing anything Gangnam-Style until about two weeks ago.

So I finally heard about this blog through word of mouth and on Facebook. I checked it out. I didn’t read it all to be honest, but I skimmed through and it looked pretty funny. I’ve been meaning to get back on there and go over it more thoroughly, but it has been a crazy couple of weeks around the Pigeon Coop (somehow I’ve managed to see the Psy music video about three times via my kids in the last two days though… hmmm…).

But this thought about the mom going on strike. I found it intriguing.

So the jist that I got from it is – a Mom was tired of cleaning and doing it all. So she went on strike and refused to clean her home anymore, leaving the job to the rest of her family…

Now let’s back up a bit here. I’ve been back in the work force now for a full year. And while I’m a consultant and can choose my own hours, projects have been bombarding me at work.

I relish the responsibility being handed to me, but it is non-stop and my idyllic part-time job of three days a week has exploded into almost full-time hours and I’m even thinking of going in Sunday to try and catch up…

Where does this leave the state of my house?

Well, let’s just say that as much as I’d like to go on strike around here, I honestly don’t think anyone would notice a difference.

And I’m not kidding.

I can hear it now with my announcement to hubby, “Hey. I’m sick of the state of this house and having to pick up after these three boys of ours.”

“I hear you, honey.” (He’s always so attentive and never on his cell phone, so he actually hears me the first time in my daydreams, “here, have some peeled grapes. Let me feed them to you.”

My daydream. Go get your own.

“I’ve had it.” I’ll continue, “I can’t do this anymore. This place is a dump. I’m working all day and none of these kids lift a finger to help clean up our home. I’m tired of the whining… the complaining when they’re asked to help. This place is a sty. I’m going on strike.”

Hubby pauses. And backs away a few steps. “Strike? Going on strike?”

“Yes.” I respond, thinking that this is exactly the sort of shock value I’m after. “I’m going on strike. I’m not doing this anymore.”

“Soooo… you aren’t cleaning the house anymore?”

“Right on. Now be a good daydream-hubby and give me a back rub.”

“You refuse to clean? You aren’t cleaning? Right… so what else is new?… Hey… where’s my cell phone?”

And that’s when I come hurtling back to reality.

Truth is, I will never be remembered for my cleaning capabilities. Or even my desire to clean.

I have a strong desire for a clean home; but I don’t want to be the one doing it.


Back in the day when the kids were young, I would clean and keep the place tidy…

Or at least it seemed a lot easier back then some days.

Okay, not really. I wanted to spend my days with the boys and more often than not we’d be out all day and by the time hubby walked in the door exhausted from long days spent working, he would be faced with a messy home.

I now know how he feels.

I need a cleaning lady.

But for that, I need to clean up first. I can’t have someone see my house like this.

I would be way too embarrassed to have someone come into my home with the way it looks right now and expect them to clean it.

I would at least need to pick up everything off the floor.

What I need is an organizer.

One of those people who come into your home to help you find a place for everything and everything goes in its place.

Maybe that would keep things off my floor… and the couch… and the kitchen stools and kitchen table and kitchen island…


Kitchen Island – typical day












You mean you don’t shove all the papers collected on the kitchen island into a drawer?

Boots, shoes, backpacks and jackets don’t need to be hauled into a closet?

Anything with a door is my friend.

That includes my bedroom door. The worst offender for hiding things from family and friends when they come over.

Our master bedroom is used for everything from homework papers and books to toys to laundry to Halloween decorations to tools (and I ain’t talking about the fun sort of tools you want in the boudoir)…

So I definitely need an organizer.

But it just seems like a lot of work to research companies and find someone… and then try and find the time to fit them in to our busy schedule to come and give us a consultation and then set up an appointment with them to come and actually do the work… and what is the cost of all that?

Maybe I don’t need an organizer as much as I just need a bigger home.

I need a four bedroom house.

A house where the boys can each have a room to themselves and all their junk. A bigger home where things don’t look so cluttered.

Three days ago we put seven garbage bags of ‘stuff’ out on our front step to be hauled away for whatever charity it was. It was a great feeling to clean up and clean out and purge.

But we still have a pile of other ‘things’ around here and I sometimes feel like I belong on that show Hoarders.

Maybe that’s what I need. I’ll watch that show and then I won’t feel so bad.

I need to sit and relax. Sitting on my butt and watching a show sounds way better than having to dust and sweep….

What I need is motivation.

That’s what I need. Something to kick-start my cleaning.

I need to have some people over. That always puts me into high gear with the cleaning.

That is also when those papers get ‘filed’ away into drawers never to be seen again… and actually, my closets are already brimming with crap…

And the next day after having friends over, my house is an even bigger mess. The basement is littered with popcorn, chips and juice boxes and the upstairs floor is full of crumbs…

Don’t get me started on the empties…


I need to cut back my hours. Clearly.

I need to stop working so much and spend more time at home…

So I can clean.

Har har.

I can’t believe I even typed that… as if I ever meant it. And there it is, staring at me in black and white.

Staying home so I can clean.

I kill me. That was a good one.

Cleaning would be the last thing I’d do in a day! I would maybe spend an hour or two tops tidying and then what would I do? Go to a spa or go shopping or sit on my rump watching Hoarders…

So where does that leave me?

It leaves me with one option.

Know what I need?

I need to enlist child labour.

One of my favourite pastimes.

I have three able-bodies boys in my house. Who apparently ‘don’t have anything good to play with and nothing to do’….

Plus, they are so much closer to the ground and can pick up all the crud littering our floors way better than me.

And video game play is a huge commodity in the Pigeon Coop. Threats and bribes work – especially when screen-time is involved…

Phew. I feel better. I feel a bit relieved. Now I can differentiate between need and want.

What I want is to twitch my nose a certain way and have my house appear before me, clean, sparkling and organized.

What I need is to just clear a path in the mess for now. And then I’m gonna go veg on the couch…. Until our next guests come over.