Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In Which She Confesses a Shortcoming...

I have a confession.  
It's not a deep dark secret, or maybe it is.
As a homemaker, I am sorely lacking.  I love a clean, uncluttered and tidy home.  I just....I'm waiting for the cleaning fairy to arrive and apparently she is running way behind schedule.

Now, part of it is that I have offspring who are sorely lacking in the "pick up after yourself" department and part of it is that I just don't feel like it, whatever the "it" is.  I do the laundry, the dishes are done.  I even sweep up after the food thrower  Miss M does her customary baptizing of the floor with whatever she deems inedible on a given day.  

But if you were to come to my home today you would find a living room floor littered with Duplos, train tracks, little people and whatever books the lovely Miss M has pulled from the shelves.  The counter is piled with school papers, mail, a skein of yarn, books and various writing utensils. (Instead of a junk drawer I have a junk counter.  My mother is rolling in her have no idea.  Just one more way I would have disappointed her.)

Here's the thing.  Clutter bothers me A LOT.  However, I get a little tired of repeating the same tasks over and over and over and over again; tasks that no one appreciates.  I clear the counter and a new slew of papers replaces the old.  The toys will not be going anywhere for many years.  

And then...and then, one of the same little darlings who seems to think every flat surface in the living room is meant as a storage space for his stuff will say, "the house is messy." Sometimes I breathe deeply and respond calmly, mostly I'm pretty sure steam comes out of my ears and my voice can be heard on the other side of the state.  (I live in a big state.)

I have made cleaning schedules, I have scrubbed and scoured and organized and felt a huge sense of accomplishment...that fades with the new dumping and tossing and crumbing of the floors.  

Part of me thinks Phyllis Diller had it right when she said, "Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing."   

At any rate, I really want to get a handle on things...if only because the lady two doors down only comes and knocks when it looks like Fisher Price had a meltdown in here...and she came knocking yesterday....



  1. My children are now grown and confine their "floor baptisms" (loved that) to their bedrooms, which is their turf. But when my kids were little my mom told me, "I wish, when you kids were little, I had spent a little less time worrying about the house and more time on the floor playing with you. It all goes so quickly." That made a big impact on me and became a standard I tried to remember (like you, clutter makes me nervous). Now that my son is 21 and my daughter almost 16, I definitely see her point.