In recent weeks it’s become very obvious to me that, as the job hunt continues to falter, I have taken on a new role in this household. My parents are out at work, my brother and sister are in school, and now even my other brother has a job and will be starting university shortly.

That leaves me here all day most of the time. Sure, I do the odd thing to get me out the house. But mostly I’m here. I do the washing up, I clean the kitchen and the bathroom, and I do the clothes washing too. Oh, and vacuum the house. Each day I do a combination of those things, helping the house keep ticking over. If I don’t do it, then it will be left to my parents (my siblings are useless), and they hardly get enough time to do anything in this house anyway. And that’s because my brothers and sister are always wanting taken places, to friends houses, and so my parents constantly act as a taxi service.

I don’t ever remember being that demanding when I was their age. But that’s probably because I was a bore. I did very little as a child. Never went anywhere. Never did anything. No wonder I’m so socially inept. But because of that I really didn’t ask for much at all.

For my mum and dad they don’t seem to get any peace. If it’s not the people living here then it’s my sister, who is extremely demanding on their time. And then it’s the rest of the family, who aren’t particularly helpful when it comes to looking after my grandparents.

So for me, and to alleviate my guilt for sponging off them for such a long time, I feel like I am at least making a contribution to the house by helping them out here. I know they appreciate it.

It puts a new perspective on the day though when you’re around here all the time. When you’re in work, the day generally seems to drag. When you’re here, it flies by. It is already mid morning. It will soon be lunch time, and once that comes around it’s almost time for my brother and sister to come home. When I shared this observation with my mum the other day, she said “Welcome to my world”. My mum was a housewife for over 20 years, from my elder sister’s birth right the way through to when she got a job a few years ago.

It’s a weird position to be in. You don’t feel like you’re achieving anything. And in a way you’re not. It’s not changing the world. But it does help calm the atmosphere in here. Plus, it keeps me from feeling too useless. I know that if I wasn’t doing all I am there would certainly be a lot more pressure in the house.And it’s not fair anyway.

We’re all getting older now. In theory things should be easing up. If anything, it’s going in the opposite direction.

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