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Here’s a confession for you…. You ready for this one?
I don’t know…. maybe I shouldn’t admit it. I tend to obsess over what people think of me sometimes….
Confessing this may not be good for that obsession.
I might worry too much that the hoity toities think ill of me.
You know me better than that.
This blog is a forum of openness on the struggles of learning and adapting to wifeliness, mothering, and housekeeping.
So…Here it is.
I’m not a good housekeeper.. like… at all.
Shocking, right? *snort* (ROFL)
Y’all knew that. I mean…. I try… but I fail. Miserably.
Over and over and over I fail miserably.
I’m just a terrible, no-good, very bad housekeeper….
I don’t think this will catch anyone by surprise, because I do reference towers of dishes and heaps of laundry and seas of Cheerios strewn across my floor so you must know… surely.
Now… before anyone gets the wrong idea and starts the rumor that I am a hoarder with roaches crawling out of my hair and maggots infesting my drains, please… it’s not like that so don’t start any rumors. My critics will have a hay day. Seriously. And that would be too much for me.
Actually, things are just… messy. And cluttered.
And it’s bad enough that a “there in 10 minutes” throws me into a panic-induced cleaning crisis in which Daddy must entertain baby with his toes while doing his school work as Mommy flies about from room to room to achieve a somewhat presentable abode. And even after all that cleaning, I’ll still barricade guests from stepping foot beyond the welcome mat.
It’s like I said. There are dishes on the counter and there’s laundry piled up at the foot of the washer. And the floor needs a good thorough sweeping…
And Zane’s shells and cheese need be powerwashed from the high chair…
That kind of thing.
The bed probably hasn’t made and there’s a lot of clutter that drives me insane. I never, in a million years, get to crazy things like washing windows or vacuuming along the walls or dusting ceiling fans. That’s just crazy.
If you saw my house though, it would probably surprise you to know that I am a perfectionist.
I know… I know. It seems rather incongruous for a messy cluttered home to belong to a perfectionist, but I assure you, it’s true. Perfectionism paralyzes me in all kinds of areas of my life. If I can’t do it perfectly, I avoid it. I do it with goals, with relationships, with God… it’s a real hang-up for me and something I desperately have to work on.
Back in my single days, I used to have a perfectly kept, sparkling home. No clutter. Nothing out of place. No dishes in the sink or laundry in the basket… I had one of those houses that didn’t look “lived in.”
So what happened?
Well, I’m just now figuring that out and I think I get it now. As a single young lady, I would marathon clean. I’d start at one end of the house and go to the other and when I was done I could kick back and enjoy a scrubbed and spotless house front to back, top to bottom, and it would stay that way for weeks. It was just me and I was rarely home. I had a set perfect time to do it all at once and I got everything into perfect tip top shape…
But things are different now. I’m a married woman. I’m a Mama. The number of people and possessions in our home and car has tripled. Walking mess-makers also tripled. Two out of three of us are in the house all day every day and my attention is always divided. I never have an opportunity to submerge myself in the “zone” and come out only when everything is complete. That isn’t realistic anymore. I may have to stop halfway through the dishes to rock a baby to sleep. And I might have to put the vaccuming on hold while the little guy naps. I might have to skip the room I really wanted to clean right now because my husband is studying in there. There is no perfect time to whirl through the house on a cleaning rampage without interruption or interference. When I wash the dishes, there will be more almost immediately. And when I sweep the floor, Zane will be dropping his dissolvable puffs in a trail behind me as his curious little legs follow at my heels. The walker tray will not stay free of smashed cracker goop and the crib bedding will not remain fresh and clean for an indefinite period of time with all the poop, puke, and yellow water that comes out of my son. The space beneath my husband’s desk will never stop breeding dirty socks….
My little pea of a brain tells me everything must be perfect… but when I never get it perfect, or what I do get perfect gets unraveled instantly, and I never get to feel the fullness of finished perfection all throughout a house…. I lose all motivation. I just avoid it altogether.
Life is different and I realize that now. It’s time to stop floundering around and wondering what happened.
It’s time to learn how to be flexible. To embrace what I can do, instead of waiting for the stars to align to do it ‘my way.’ To choose a house that is “15 minutes cleaner” over a house that I’ve completely given up on because it can’t look like a magazine from broom closet to porch ceiling fan.
Surprisingly, this change of mindset has been revolutionary in my home. I’m learning to do routines on auto-pilot, and becoming a master de-clutterer. And I’m learning to embrace smaller accomplishments without bemoaning the fact that the whole house isn’t twinkling at once. It’s been so amazing and drastic that I’ve decided to share the methods with my readers in a new series called “Pig Sty”. I’m working with my techno-hubby to make an app that will be available soon, and together, we can turn our overwhelming clutter infested homes into warm, cozy sanctuaries that hug us in every room. So, keep your eye out for daily whack-a-mole tasks and encouragement to stay on top of things! Let’s see if we can turn our poor housekeeping skills into flexible habits that bless our precious families and transform our pig sties into dwellings of peace and comfort