Converting my house to a home

When I first moved into my flat, I bought some floor cushions, a mattress, a microwave, and a TV for my baby. If it was just me, I’d be content with a fridge and a radio, but she loves her soaps and cartoons, so the screen was necessary.

For a month, I felt my house wasn’t homely, and I wanted to fix that, but I didn’t know how. I looked at cosy houses and tried to see what they had that I didn’t, and I decided it was a sofa – and a carpet. But a carpet needs a vacuum cleaner.

These items were expensive weren’t essential, so I ignored them until my house flooded one day, soaking my floor cushions through. I tried to dry them for a month before I finally gave up and threw them away. Then I splurged on a two-seater sofa. It was gorgeous. I had wanted a cream one, but the carpenter designed it in reddish orange. I was pissed off at first, but after my baby decorated it with uji and tomato paste, I figured orange isn’t such a bad thing.

After a few days, I threw in a carpet. It was a small piece – 210 by 180, and it was a pretty pale yellow. It matches with everything, and is gentle and girly. I was shocked at what a difference the carpet made. My house instantly changed from bachelor to family space. I was jazzed. For a while.

After three days of babies playing kalongo on my carpet, it looked closer to brown. Its talent for catching dirt is amazing. I bought the vacuum cleaner, but with cream-yellow carpet, vacuums can only do so much. So I gathered some psyche and worked on it with Carpet Glo. It cleans beautifully, and you scrub with the foam, so there’s minimal moisture involved. This means I can clean it indoors and dry it with a hair dryer and vacuum cleaner. There are probably some footage somewhere of me standing in shorts and a spaghetti top, attacking a semi-dry carpet with a blow dryer, because princess likes to videotape these things on her phone. Luckily, she hasn’t discovered cables and Youtube. As for the blow dryer it’s a small, chubby, hand-held device, and it looks a little like a fat black gun.

My house now has all the trappings of a home. What it needs is a home maker. It needs a girl that mops the floor daily, vacuums the carpet, scrubs it twice a week, and leaves dishes in the sink for 3 hours maximum. Right now, I’m the freelancing mum who spends 18 hours at the computer, does dishes when there’s nothing left to use, washes uniform just in time for them to dry, cleans just enough sufurias to cook, and don’t even get me started on jeans, tracksuit bottoms, and sneakers.

On the upside, I earn a good living, I get paid for what I love, I’m pretty motivated most days, princess thinks I’m super cool, and my man loves me just the way I am. He deserves an award for that. A big one, and I give him one every chance I can.

When I feel like an underachiever because I suck at being a house-mum, I console myself with this; none of Princess’ buddies’ mothers have nose rings [actually it’s just a piercing – I lost the gold stud] or purple hair. And with her mum being so crazy, my baby can only rebel by being nice, neat, and normal, which is not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all.

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Crystal Ading' is a professional author, editor, rock lover and mother. Her work is available through