II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

messy house does not equal dirty house

I've come to realize that there are 4 different "conditions" your house can be in...all of which are completely different.
First of all, you might have a clean house. This means you have mopped and vacuumed your floors, scrubbed your showers and toilets and dusted each and every surface. You've done the dishes and maybe even that heap of laundry.
Secondly, you might have a neat house. Neat would mean that you have picked up the toys and clothes that litter (most of our) floors, sorted through that big pile of mail on the counter, made the beds and have moved the dishes from the counter into the dishwasher.
Or, to throw a twist in things, you could be like my mother, who at any given moment, has a clean AND neat house. (she's my hero!)
Thirdly, you might have a messy house. This condition consists of toys, clothes and 3-day-old sippy cups scattered all over the floor, several piles of papers and magazines on the kitchen counters, beds unmade and yesterday's newspaper spread across the entire kitchen table.
Lastly, you might have a dirty house. In this instance, you haven't mopped, swept or vacuumed your floors in nearly a month, haven't scrubbed a toilet or shower in weeks and your children are starting to write notes to you in the dust that has collected on every surface in your house.
I must note that just because your house is messy does not mean it is dirty and vice versa. I know this because I can clean my house for an entire day and by that evening, although I have a clean house..I also have a very messy house. (Thanks to my two little helpers!)
Anyhow, as I write this, I am sad to say I have not "become my mother." No matter how hard I try, I cannot keep a clean AND neat house. It's one or the other but not both.
The good thing is that I've also come to the realization that my kids don't really care how neat or clean their house is...they just want to play and sing and dance and live. My husband, although he appreciates clean and neat, would much rather have a stress-free, refreshed and light-hearted wife waiting for him when he comes home. What a concept...!?! Quit worrying about the house so much and enjoy life!!??!! Those of you that know me know I am somewhat of a neat/clean freak naturally but I just can't do it anymore and I am giving up. To end this post, I will leave you with one of my all-time favorite quotes:
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow for babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep, I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.
Go ahead, take the weekend off from cleaning and enjoy your family! I won't tell!


Logzie said...

I could not agree more! I was just having this conversation with a friend the other day and we were both saying that we just can't do it all anymore...and when we try, we just make our families miserable so the cost it too high. I think there is a lot of pressure on us young mothers these days...it's like we are expected to have it all, do it all and be it all. If we would all just be 'real' with eachother it would help all of us. Thanks for your entry. I am going to put your quote on my fridge to remind me every day to keep my priorities straight.

KC said...

This was so good! We just had this discussion the other day. We had been at my Nanny's house, helping with Papaw and the farm, and after we got home Stephen commented on how neat/clean her house always is. even while we were there she was cleaning floors, etc. He said "it can't be that hard, if we would just do it and keep it that way"! HA! He hasn't tried to "keep" it that way all day with our two little boys. So lately I have felt like I have to try to keep it perfect so that he will be happy, and then dealing with the grief of losing my Papaw this week too...it has been tough. I feel like such a failure, because I can't keep this place clean/neat, and then I get mad at the boys when they make "another mess". I hate that I have been that way with them lately. They are my babies, and they will be grown and gone before I know it....
Thanks for this post girl, I will put this up where I can see it everyday! :)
Love ya girl,