Life at our house is an exercise in doing your best. Especially, when it comes to cleaning, and keeping up on the household chores. Living in our house you learn to overlook the sink full of dirty dishes, step over and around (or even play in) the pile of unfolded laundry, and you make sure to look before you plop yourself down on the couch. Walking barefoot is something you do at your own risk on my floors because you know, intuitively, that there will be sandbox residue, crumbs, dust bunnies, writing implements, and possibly a matchbox car or two in your way. Don’t even look in my car…
I never used to be this way. We never used to be this way. Back in the days before children we were still not perfect about folding laundry, but there was a lot less of it then. We were tidy, however, and seemed to have all the time in the world to get the house cleaned.
Even when my son was born, my anal-retentive side had all of his clothing laundered separately, folded in uniform piles of equal height and matching width, every single day. I relished the image of the tiny dresser loaded up, each drawer a Martha Stewart photo of cuteness and perfection.
Fast forward to present times, when we are now 4 children deep, and a lot of those little niggly things have fallen by the wayside. My house is usually a mess. Not dirty, just a wreck. Toys are everywhere, clothing lay where it falls, and the wood floors look a bit… shall we say, nubby?
Clothing is folded in haphazard piles, in the living room, organized by owner sometimes. The dishes from lunch are still on the table…
This morning my husband and I made a plan to get cracking on the house. We had a plan. We would start in the kitchen, he at the sink, me in the pantry, and we would get this place into ship shape. About an hour into our day of cleaning and organizing, the kitchen is clean, the pantry purged and organized, and tummies were looking for lunch.
So, we stop to get fed, get the kids dressed for a friend’s birthday party this afternoon. Oh, and the gift shopping on the way… might as well get moving now.
Four hours later, the three younger ones and I are now home from the party. I was excited to get home and back into the cleaning project we made the big plan for today. I see my gleaming kitchen, smile that we got at least that far. I realize that it is dinner time.
I am resolved at this point that we’ve done all we can today. And I am grateful that it doesn’t really matter all that much to me. The kids are running around with their balloons, they are totally spent after a completely full weekend. My husband is still out with my oldest son, and life is good.
The cleaning can totally wait…