Trust me I am no June Cleaver. In fact I have often felt I just plain came up short. My house is not emaculate; I am not sure that word with my name has ever been in the same sentance. Rather my house is lived in. It is full of 4 rambunctious boys that are unceasingly hungry and have energy to power a rocket ship (which they often do after building ANOTHER fort in my living room). But as I was cleaning today I thought of all the times we moms and dads have wished for a "How to..." book on parenting. I doubt this book will ever be published as it would be outdated the moment it went to the printers, but I have learned a few things in my travels and thought that I would share them. So for this week, each day I will share a tip I have found on maintaining my sanity and some semblance of clean in a house of growing children- BOYS!- in the 21st century.
I am a working mom. I craft, blog, facebook, scrapbook, excersice, volunteer, etc etc etc. The list never ends. In short, I am just an average mom. I use to believe "Molly Mormon" really did exist. I think I may even have met her a time or two. I, however, am not. I've learned that it's ok to let my friends see my house a disaster (albeit only my close friends and family). Why in the world would I say this you ask? Well, there's a story for this....
A couple of years ago I stopped by my best friend's house. She had been gone through the weekend and just returned from shopping. She was inside so I grabbed a couple of grocery bags and headed in to greet her. "In" meant going through her garage entrance. For most of us, this entrance is sacred and reserved for family only. Not even grandparents are to tread here and for good reason- it's usually a disaster area. I thought nothing of it though. She, however, was APPAULED! She commented on how embarressed she was that I saw the piles of laudry, the piles of dishes on the counter and in the sink, the sacks of groceries unpacked and the general disaster area we all experience after a weekend away with 4 kids. I told her it didn't matter- she had seen my house in a disarray numerous times and I already knew she was a great mom and a good housekeeper. No Judging Here! We laughed and talked then went on our ways.
The next week she stopped by. I was in the middle of canning and it was one of "those days"! I said, "Rebekah, you've gotta see my kitchen!!" She couldn't figure out what was going on but went in to see..... Tornado Alley! *sigh* Yep, I invited her into see, not a clean sparking kitchen, but one in the throws of canning and food prep and simply a MESS! We laughed and I realized that we both felt a little better having seen each others house in the disaster stage. For me, a little pressure was lifted. I no longer felt my house had to be PERFECT every second of the day. Or not even every DAY for that matter. I mean who are we all kidding anyway? Who has a house of happy children in whose lives they are involved that also keeps a spotless house? (ok, don't tell me! please just let me continue to build my fantasy world!)
So for today my tip is to relax. My house isn't perfect and I don't expect yours to be either.
HELLO! WE HAVE CHILDREN TO RAISE!
We clean up first thing in the morning and then don't worry about it too much. I try to get the boys to pick up after themselves (tips for this to follow) which helps a lot too. Needless to say, if you are to drop by my house in the evening you will most likely find, remnants of Tyler's lego star fighter ship on the floor, the train book that Matthew was fascinated with for all of 5 minutes, Keegan's DS game sitting on the couch, Josh's latest book or books stacked around the couch and dishes in the sink. It will all be cleaned up again in the morning but for now, we are working and playing together as a family.
So come on in. Make yourself at home. This house is lived in!
"Mothers of happy children have dirty floors"
Oh, and mom, I haven't dusted yet today either. ;-)