You know how you see those posts on social media from moms sharing their house-cleaning woes? The ones where their husband’s dirty socks didn’t make it all the way to the hamper or where they leave their husband with the kids only to come home to paint on the dog and teetering dishes in the sink? Well, a few of those posts are true of life over here, but for the most part, it’s the other way around. I’m the parent who doesn’t mind dying the dog’s tail pink and can handle glitter on the chairs and play dough in the carpet. My husband is the one who will double and triple check the cleaning jobs of my children and is known to look at our countertop from different angles to detect fingerprints.
Somehow I missed the mom-gene that makes makes me want the floors spotless and the walls fingerprint free. I don’t want to live in a disaster area but I’m not compulsively cleaning the baseboards before company comes over either. I’m a firm believer in the fact that this house is going to be semi-messy for as long as the kids live here. I have no desire to have a magazine-worthy house– okay maybe I do– I have no desire to clean enough to have a magazine-worthy house while my kids are still running through here with markers and creativity flying.
I do the run through the house and find a place for everything cleaning job we all do before company comes over, but I don’t go crazy over it. I don’t mind if we are mid-art project on the kitchen table or if the worlds almost-largest LEGO tower is perched on our coffee table. It’s part of the decor, which works since I’m not that great at decorating either.
I have friends who tell me they have one room in their house that they try to always keep nice. They’ve taught their kids there is no eating or drinking in that room and the furniture is only for sitting on with clean hands and socked feet. I truly appreciate their efforts and might even be a little envious of their discipline, but not envious enough to enforce the same rules here.
I’m not sure that I’m necessarily a messy person. I do try to keep the laundry piles low and the dishes from caving in on our sink– I just don’t mind the mess as much as others do. It doesn’t bother me to have a stuffed animal hospital going on in our living room, yet my husband will be the first one to talk the kids into relocating their triage to the basement or a bedroom. Some might call me messy or unorganized. I prefer to consider myself the free-spirited mom who could have authored the sign that reads “Don’t mind the mess, the kids still live here.” And hopefully the sequel to that sign, “I have grandkids so I still don’t have to clean.”
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