May 172010


I have this running list of goals, check lists and hope too’s, that include things like:  Parachuting before 40, getting skinny by (this one is still obscure), writing a funny mom book and vacationing in CABO with all my favorite people, but the hope of a clean house – well, this just doesn’t seem possible.

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’s a clothes pile, a shoe pile, a toy pile, a book pile and the accumulations go on and on.  By the time one pile is put in its place, another one appears, containing kid’s swords, the inside of a shoe, a teddy bear and a sippy cup.

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.

When it comes to making breakfast, if they help make pancakes, there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll find batter on the ceiling or the dog is following the baby around the house, vying for her food.  As much as we delegate responsibilities, if each person makes 2 messes, that’s 12 messes, which can 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, a pristine kitchen and 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.

I was talking to a friend last week who has 2 year old twins.  Wow, she has her hands full.  She was telling me how hard it is to have a reasonably clean home; as quick as you can organize, the little ones are destroying it behind you.

What I realized, in talking with her, is – though I knew my house would not be “Party Ready” at a moments notice, I still had not resolved myself to the fact, that my house really isn’t going to be organized everyday, just spurts of every day.  That’s hard for me to swallow.  If it were up to me, my house would look like Pier One Imports, minus toys and any signs of high chairs and bouncy things, but that’s not feasible.

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 on a boat headed 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 skinny, I do enjoy my occasional 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 things for sure, I need to cherish this season of life. Don’t rush it.  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.

Ecclesiastes 3:1. For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.

 Posted by at 11:28 pm

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