Every so often, I think it’s a good idea to reflect back on the reason I started this blog, and in particular, the reason I named it what I did. I’m going on four years of blogging in June, and while I mostly talk about my kids and my “everyday life”, I still feel pretty much the same about housework. Otherwise known as “The H Word”.
Just before Christmas, I found a brilliant fridge magnet that sums it up: it says, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste on housework”. My thoughts exactly. Thank you, fridge magnet creators. You read my mind.
I go back and forth between guilt and peace when it comes to the state of my house. It’s small, for one thing, so it’s very hard to keep clean. The lack of storage means that there is a lot of clutter. The four children under the age of six mean that there are lots of toys, book, clothes, etc. These factors make me feel okay about the way things are. I’m at peace with the fact that this is not the time in life to expect spotless floors and clear countertops. There will be crumbs on the floor and dust on the shelves. I have my hands full with the needs of my husband and children. And really, I would rather hang out with my kids than clean up after them. They’re only young for so long and then it’s gone.
The other side of this is the terrible thoughts I get when I imagine people dropping by unannounced. I imagine that pretty much everyone keeps their house cleaner than I keep mine. I know that it’s not true (um, have you seen Hoarders? Shudder…), but can’t help but think that way anyway. My mother and mother-in-law are both very neat people by nature who like things in their place. They don’t seem to mind a bit of cleaning, unlike me. I feel like pitching a fit every time I’m forced to do it. I feel better afterward, but feel like a pouty teenager when I’m in the middle of it.
I tell myself that things will be better when we have a larger home. Right now, we live in 768 square feet. Yes, it’s small. Very small, especially for six people. I wrote about that in a previous post, but it’s very relative to this subject as well. Maybe I use the size of my home as an excuse to avoid cleaning, but it works well enough for me.
Anyway, when it comes down to it, I try to do the basics. Keep the dishes and laundry done. Keep the bathroom from growing unidentifiable things in the corners. Make sure there aren’t too many things on the floor for Ben to munch on. It might sound lazy and irresponsible to some, but I know there are other people who feel the same way. There will be a time in my life when my kids aren’t home anymore, and maybe then I’ll spend more time on housework. Or, maybe I’ll spend all my time in my studio (the dream one), writing and creating. Who knows.
For now, I’m happy to spend my time getting to know my kids, who are growing up way too fast. Spending my free time using my brain instead of my elbow grease. I’m not alone in this, right? Yeah, I didn’t think so.