When we moved in, I was pregnant with my second child. My oldest was about 9 months old. My husband traveled for work and so most of the time, it was just me, the baby and our two dogs. I was vacuuming and mopping several times a week. There was next to no clutter and I wasn't having to do laundry very often. The biggest struggle I had was our female dog getting pregnant and having 6 puppies. THEY were difficult to keep clean.
Fast forward 5 years. As I'm writing this, my third child is sitting at the table with me, "finger painting" with the yogurt she doesn't feel like eating. A few days ago, the day after I cleaned all the windows, this same child took her airhead candy (yea, yeah...that was my first mistake), licked it and stuck it on a window. And continued to lick it. On the window.
Child number 2 and 3 like to draw on their faces with markers.
Child number 4 is 7 months old and thinks diaper blowouts are what all the cool babies are doing. Lately, we have two to three outfit changes a day.
There is something brown smeared on the wall going up the stairs. I'm afraid to find out what it is.
Our male dog peed on stuff I have piled up to donate the other night when he was upset that my husband wouldn't let him in the bedroom.
Vacuume and mop? Dust and organize? "Ain't nobody got time for that!"
The last few weeks, I'd been thinking about how frustrated I am with my messy house. And it came to a head when, earlier this week I read another blog post about how the writer doesn't want you to come over to visit if you can't handle the mess in her house. I agree. I don't invite people over for this very reason. I was discussing the topic with a fellow stay at home mom who felt the same way. Some of us aren't the most organized people. Add that to the fact that we have a handful of kids and well...a messy house is what you've got.
Yesterday, I had every intention of power cleaning the house since we've been so sick and I've gotten behind on some of the necessary chores. Then life happened. My kids made messes. The baby had another blowout. I had multiple errands to run. I had to break up a sibling fight. I had to finish recleaning the donation items. Most of what I'd planned to do never happened. It made me wonder if I'm a bad wife/mother. Why can't I seem to keep the house clean?
I thought about the Proverbs 31 woman. How did she manage to keep her house clean? Um...what??? Proverbs 31 doesn't actually say that her home was clean!!! It doesn't say she was perfect. What it DOES say is that she wasn't lazy. She took care of her family. She worked hard at all she did. She showed love and compassion to those who needed it. She took care of those who worked for her. He husband exalted her. Her children were happy to have her as their mother. No where does it say that her house was spotless. In fact, as busy as she was, coming and going with a husband and children and servants, I'm sure that there was at least a tiny bit of disorder somewhere.
I'm not by any means trying downplay the incredible woman she was. I'm simply trying to point out that she did her best to take care of her family and home. Ladies, if your house is spotless but your kids and husband complain that you never spend time with them or that you're too high strung or that you're cranky when "life happens", then maybe you need to take a step back and reexamin your priorities. If your house is a little cluttered or the laundry sits in the basket for a few days before you're able to fold and put it away but your husband enjoys your company so much that he wants you by his side always or he brags about you to his friends, or if your kids want their friends to come over since they've got "the cool house" with "the fun mom", then maybe you're doin just fine. If you have a spotless house, three kids, a dog and a happy husband, by all means, show your face! You are a role model!!!
I have to get going because I'm pretty sure I really do need to scrub that scary brown smudge off the stairs and kid #2 and #3 are quiet and unsupervised upstairs which can't be good. But I'm not going to beat myself up anymore. My house is lived in. And those in it are loved. And God is my witness that I don't sit around and eat Bon bons all day. I hope you also stop beating yourself up. You're not alone. It's ok that your living room is cluttered or your sink full of dirty dishes. Take a moment to hug your kids or send a loving text to your spouse. And have an awesome weekend.