Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The House Wins and I Blame my Mother

I don't know about you, but when I grew up a generation ago, my mother, as well as my aunt, and the majority of my friends' moms stayed home. My mother, my aunt, and my childhood best friend's mom kept immaculately clean houses. Not only were they tidied up by the end of the day, but they were scrubbed clean once a week, and gutted clean every spring. Even when they returned to the working world as we entered middle school, it always seemed like they somehow managed to keep the house so clean and tidy.

I love my mother dearly but sometimes I think the expectations I place on myself are a result of thinking I need to live up to this superwoman image I've created of her in my head. Because seriously once I hit the halfway point of the week, I'm convinced she must have had some real pixie dust, a fairy godmother, a magic wand, or something from fairy tale land to keep a house that didn't resemble a three ring circus with a confetti explosion of toys all over it.

When I was first married, I was all about keeping my house tidied during the week, scrubbed clean on Saturday morning, and even a yearly spring clean. I had a ton of pride in being a homeowner and in my mind women and mothers abided by the "cleanliness is next to godliness" policy. But as children have come into my life, I have slowly let chaos replace organization, and messes replace cleanliness.

In my world, between kids, husband, work, extra work on top of work, time for me, the necessary household tasks like laundry, bills, and dinner, and then housecleaning, something has to go at the bottom. So I am waving my white flag of surrender. With two kids, two pets, and a husband keeping this house tidied and clean is a full time job in itself. I am not the woman for that job. I feel like my choice at the end of the day is clean up my house or take some time for me and I choose me about every time. I live half a country away from my mother so maybe she'll never have to know the truth. I think she'll understand though.

Are you someone that has a hard time letting go of the fact that it's about near impossible to keep a house cleaned up with small children? Do you feel like you try to measure up to some false idea you got in your head about motherhood from your own mother?

                                  Welcome to the three ring circus with the confetti explosion of toys

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  1. Growing up my mother was a nurse, she worked night shifts. When she was home, she was constantly cleaning, and keeping things squared away. We were told to keep our rooms in tip top shape, which we did. Before my husband and I had our daughter our home was spotless, now that we have our daughter, it remains clean, but definitely not spotless. Our daughter scatters her toys through out the house, and I am often left with that same decision, Do I choose me time or pick up again for the third time today?-Today I can honestly say I had to choose some me time! =)

  2. This is such a great post with great writing! LOVE the photos you posted; they could be of my own about 9 a.m. most mornings :). I marvel at other moms who keep their houses perfectly clean. I tried recently to keep it somewhat spotless b/c I felt like I had to, but you know what? I was exhausted. I was trying to live up to an expectation that my husband and kids don't even have for me. So we straighten up a little after the kids go to bed, but I'm not spending all my time dusting and scrubbing!