Thursday, 29 September 2011

Carrot or Stick?


I am again expecting visitors for a few days, hard on the heels of the last lot, so although I have changed all the sheets, I have not cleaned the house since the New Zealand guys were here. Still there's nothing like a bit of pressure to galvanize me into action (and it takes a lot of pressure to get me to do housework!) There are always much nicer and more rewarding things to do. However, this particular sister-in-law has an immaculate house and I would hate it to travel around the grapevine that I am a lazy slut.  So that's a bit of a stick.  The carrot side is that I have promised myself that if I race around like a mad thing I can get it all done in an hour (at least to pass cursory inspection) and if I achieve that I have time to go to a morning movie! I have found throughout my life that this is the best way to discipline myself, having seen that it worked with my kids.  When I was teaching, I used to sit at night with a pile of essays to mark and a packet of cigarettes next to my coffee.  I was allowed one cigarette for every 10 essays  (there would be about 40 - essays I mean.) How awful is that? Well, it was the seventies and everyone smoked.  The staffroom was thick with it by second break and most of us felt it was the only way to survive the overcrowded classrooms and the disruptive pupils - there always had to be some in each class.  No-one I know would be seen dead with a cigarette now. Thus have we moved on.  Housework remains but it can be managed by a blend of carrot and stick. Funny that most of the Google Images I searched showed images of housewives from the fifties!

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