To Clean or not to Clean?

To Clean or not to Clean?

We’re all mommas here so I invoke the non-judgment truce. How many of you mommas only clean when you have visitors? Two thumbs at this momma right here. Why not I ask? Your kids do not care, your husband sure as heck doesn’t notice, so basically the only person it would bother to not have a clean house is you, right?

Let me tell you before I had kids, the word cleaning brought joy to my ears. It was my therapy after a long week at work. Saturday would finally come around and I could plug in my headphones turn on an upbeat shake your booty Pandora station and clean my house for hours…literally hours. When I was done I had a clean house, a refreshed attitude about the world. There were some calories burned while dancing my booty off, while no one was watching of course. Fast forward to today’s cleaning I am lucky if I get a toilet scrubbed before someone calls the people with hazmat suits to come, seriously.

I have even gone to extremes trying to be better about cleaning. I gave my toddlers spray bottles with water in it and a rag and told them they could help me dust; yea you can guess how well that went. I lasted for about 30 minutes until my inner control freak declared she was going to lose it. They were soaking tables and pillows, drenching the leather couch; nothing that I told them dust was actually getting dusted.

Want to know what I have come to learn? That it’s okay. It’s okay to not have that perfectly tidy and clean house. It only took me three years to finally be okay with that. I have finally found the peace to not stress about getting my cleaning all done.

When my first baby was born I was so used to my Saturday cleaning that I kept it up, as you can imagine, I found out pretty quick that it wasn’t going to last. By the end of my cleaning I was exhausted, frustrated and downright angry that I could not just clean for a couple hours without interruptions from the baby. Then with a second baby, I came to the realization that it just wasn’t going to happen at all. I am okay with that.

I tidy what I can and try to overlook that smudged face print on the window till I can get to cleaning it. I feel guilt over letting things slip, not having things in perfect order like they used to be. The house is usually in one state of chaos or another no matter how hard I try. I still love cleaning and on the rare opportunity I get to clean-clean, I cherish every minute of it.

To sum up cleaning now a days it’s pretty much about 1 hour of pick up time. It happens when my toddler is consumed by Dino Dan and my baby is napping. I pick up everything I can, as quietly as I can. When the baby wakes up, that’s it, drop your rag because nothing else will be allowed. I get what needs to be done accomplished; the toys picked up (well most of them), beds made, dishes done, laundry started, the important things and that’s all that needs to be done. It helps to keep things manageable, so I do not feel overwhelmed at the untidiness and I do feel that the house is semi-kept up when I do this.

So mommas, don’t stress if your bed is piled with laundry or the dishes are piled in the sink. Do what you can and the rest can wait, I promise. Don’t stress about having everything perfect all at once like I did. I can bet you within 10 minutes it will all be for nothing anyway and you will be mad at the kids because they ruined all your hard work. I hope this advice helps you mommas feeling down on yourselves about what shape your house is in right now, there is always tomorrow and it can wait until then.

Being a good mother does not call for the same qualities as being a good housewife; a dedication to keeping children clean and tidy may override an interest in their separate development as individuals. ~Ann Oakley

Being a good mother does not call for the same qualities as being a good housewife; a dedication to keeping children clean and tidy may override an interest in their separate development as individuals. ~Ann Oakley

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