I have this running list of goals, check lists and hope to’s, that include things like: Parachuting before I’m too old, getting back to my pre-baby weight before my youngest is 10, writing a funny ‘mom’ book and vacationing in CABO with all my favorite people, but the hope of a clean house – well, this isn’t in the cards.
I’ve walked miles in this house, picking up stuff, folding things, stepping on sharp toys, throwing away unidentifiable objects and looking for weird smells. I’ve washed a million dishes, made that many lunches and wiped about that many little butts and still, this house is full of piles.
There are piles for everything: A clothes pile, a shoe pile, a toy pile, a book pile even a miscellaneous pile. By the time one pile is put in its place, another one appears, containing kid’s swords, the inside of a shoe, a kid’s sock I’m sure I never bought, and one random flip flop. I’d love to have one of those Blue City dumpsters in my bag yard, so I could just throw things right out the back door, ready for pick up on Thursday morning.
For the record, I believe children should be given responsibilities, tasks they are held accountable for, to ensure team spirit, whether it be laundry, dishes or picking up toys.
But when it comes to teaching them, off the bat, it’s way more work for us. If we’re teaching kids to make pancakes, there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll find batter on the ceiling fan. As much as we delegate responsibilities, if each person makes 2 messes, this may catapult into exponential numbers, in a matter of hours, if we don’t stay on top of laundry and dishes alone.
I love to have a clean house: pristine kitchen, spotless windows. I love candles and nice smells, but if it stayed this way for more than 2 days, it’s probably because we’re on vacation.
One day, I spoke the words with my mouth, “I will NOT have a clean house everyday, and that’s OK”, but I didn’t believe it. “It’ WASN’T OK,” which placed me in an odd predicament. I was like a person with one leg on shore and one in a boat headed out to sea. I was straddling the fact that I could have a clean house all the time and still have a livable one.
Welcome to reality: you can’t have 4, 5, 6 or more living under one roof and keep it clean all the time. This either means you’re living in a museum, or no one is having any fun. I choose fun.
While I’d like to be my college weight, I still love to eat pizza, and while I’d like to go parachuting, I FEAR what I’ll do to the guy who pushes me out of the plane. I may need to re-evaluate my list. But one thing is for sure, I need to cherish this season of life. Don’t rush to windex the handprints off the windows . . . for one day your house will stay clean . . . but it will also be empty.
So embrace the giggler with the dirty hands and move out the furniture for your boys to have fun wrestling matches; Mark Twain once said: “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” And just like a house that is disorganized at times, with piles of things and little mud prints by the door, it indicates where love lives. Embrace it. Here’s to living the best version of you!