They Tell Me I'll Miss It Someday

When we were first married, I was a good wife. I cooked every meal, packed my husband's lunch (getting up with him in the morning to do it instead of packing it the night before), I cleaned everything in every room of the house on a weekly basis, kept up with laundry and even put my husband's laundry away for him, and I even cleaned the refrigerator out on a regular basis. I rocked.

I also didn't have kids.

Or dogs.

Life was so easy then.

I remember sometime during Becky's first year, after she was mobile, I lost a necklace. It was the very first thing that I lost and never found again. It wasn't even found when we moved and the house was emptied. I am convinced that Becky flushed it down the crapper. That is memorable to me because up until that point I merely misplaced things temporarily. And THAT was something that only started happening when I became pregnant. (Hey, phones in the bread drawer are found quickly. Bread is a staple of life.) (And pregnancy messed with my mind, yo.) (No, I haven't fully recovered from pregnancy. Why would you ask?)

Since that time, I've had a few more kids and added a whole lot of chaos to the mix. My days degraded from deep cleaning to quick swipes with the burp cloth I had in my hand before I tossed it into the washer. (Those things are awesome. They dust, and mop messes, and even polish glass rather well.) And now, I no longer have burp cloths or even wipies to help with the housecleaning. (THE BOY IS POTTY TRAINED! ::sigh:: I'll never quite get over the excitement of that.) In the event that I make time in the schedule (yes, MAKE) to actually dust and mop the right way, it looks like I did nada a mere few hours later. I blame the dogs, mostly. But the kids contribute their fair share.

Currently, we've got 6 dogs in the house. Please, don't ask why because I have no answer for that. Just know that it's so. Simple math tells me that 6 dogs with 4 feet each equals 24 paw prints all over the floor. And the dogs have a perverse joy in following me as I mop, knowing full well that they are letting their prints in the freshly mopped floor before it's even dry. Add to that another set of 24 every single time I let the out in the snow to go potty. And you can't even imagine how much hair 6 dogs leave behind. (No, trust me. You can't.) If I vacuum at 9 AM, there are hair balls rolling like tumbleweeds across the hardwood by noon. (I only wish I were exaggerating.)

Lather, rinse, repeat with dishes and dusting and general picking up. A family of 6 eats a lot, and teens never really stop eating. We've got 2 of those. Micah has been a teen in training for years now, so consider him a 3rd teen. Breakfast bowls, cups, snack bowls, lunch dishes, popcorn bags - you name it, it's found somewhere. Upstairs where kids aren't allowed eating, on the coffee table, on the kitchen counter, overflowing the sink...

I'm getting tired just talking about this. I'm sure you know the scenario by heart, too.

And yet, I'm intimidated by those with clean homes. I want my house to be clean, but it's just not a reality. I do the best that I can (most days) and we're happy. It's the best we can wish for. I've decided that right now I'd rather enjoy the kids and the chaos while it's here, because some day when the house is clean, I'll miss it. For those days, there's this.



If my house just made you feel a little better about your house, you're welcome. Know that this mess was mastered in just an hour. That boy of mine is talented.


JennyH said...

So true about all of it. I have 3 really messy kids. Max is a cleaner. Plus he doesn't really 'play' with much. Max helps fold laundry, put dishes in the dish wahser, vacuum, etc... Sometimes it may be easier without the help but I don't discourage him at all. Heck, if he wants to help, more power to him!

Back to the messes. I think my house may put your house to shame. Our living room as a fort in it made out of little fold out couches (4 of them!), blankets, laundry baskets (some full of laundry), and a tote or 2. Then there is a big car race track set up and lets not forget the shoes, socks, coats, cups, paper, markers and more art stuff, beach balls, and card games.

I'm not sure how anyone could keep up with the messes multiple kids make. When I step into other peoples houses, I just wonder, "how the heck do they do it?" I'm sure when people step into my house they are in shock!! Oh well, live with it!!

Becoming Mommy said...

I only have 1 kid and 2 dogs. My house fits that description, and if I didn't know better, I'd think that was a photo of my living room.

Karen Deborah said...

Um yep I'm amazed at what 2 pre teens and one more adult can do. So is it 6 dogs or are those the pitter patter of puppy feet? You have tortured us with adorable pictures.
Can a woman lactate over a puppy?

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

My brother's wife is someone who is always cleaning her house. They have 4 kids (like you). I have 2. Their house is a similar size to mine. Yet hers is always much more organized (-looking) and cleaner than mine.

But, what I've learned from more people than just this dear sister-in-law of mine is that a clean house does not make anyone happy. The ACT of cleaning gives a moment of satisfaction. But within a short time, that table is dusty again. Clothes need to be washed every day. Toys need to be put away all day.

Sometimes life is easier - AND HAPPIER - when you figure out that cleanliness, while next to godliness - is not necessarily a path to happiness.

You and I both know where true happiness - peace and contentment - comes from. And He doesn't care if my floors have been vacuumed or not.

If I were to share a picture of my living room right now, you'd have a wonderful surge in self esteem over yours! ;)

Shellie said...

I so relate, it would be nice to have clean orderliness, but it's better to be lived in for now.