Our house used to be clean.
I mean super-d-dupity tidy.
Counters were wiped down religiously. Everything had a place. I enjoyed organizing closets & drawers in my free time.
Neala, when you were born your nursery was totally adorable. Your clothes were hung in the closet by size and type. We kept the majority of the toys in your bedroom. A small, cute tub held a few toys and books in the living room.
Lincoln came along, we moved, and the amount of toys & clothes increased. Still, I was able to maintain tidiness and order. I steam mopped my floors often and the bathrooms were cleaned weekly. A jungle jumper and more toys invaded the living room, but they were still in cute little brown tubs, so I was ok with it.
Then I got pregnant with the twins. And the house sorta kinda suffered.
By sorta kinda, I mean totally and completely.
The floors were lucky to see the steam mop once a month. Dusting was optional depending on my mood. And the closets cluttered faster than you can say,”Oh my word, I can’t believe she’s pregnant again.”
The only reason the bathrooms stayed clean was because I vomited into them on a daily basis and refused to throw up in a dirty toilet.
The twins were born, we moved AGAIN, and I’m pretty sure this house has never met my standards of cleanliness and order.
Oh sure, I pick up and put away the necessary things. Knives, dirty dishes, bleach…
But the amount of stuff four small children accumulate in one day is at times overwhelming. As soon as I finish cleaning up one mess, I walk into the next room to find you have made another.
Toys and books are no longer in tubs. We just put them directly on the shelves of the built-in. We found if we put them in tubs or baskets, you would just dump them all out and walk away. Clothes are no longer hung in closets by size and season. I usually just pile them on top of the dresser and use them the following week.
Emmy, you are so precious. I mean, seriously presh. But girlfriend, you spit up like it’s your job. We easily go through six bibs and three outfits in one day. The past two weeks you’ve had a cold. Spit up mixed with snot is hands down the grossest thing ever. I nearly throw up in my mouth every time I have to change your bib. I love ya sissy, but I’m over it.
Linky, you have entered your curious and sneaky stage of toddlerhood. You want to grab all the things you’re not supposed to. Dirty dishes in the dishwasher, mechanical pencils, and the fish, just to name a few.
I taught you how to throw dirty diapers away ,which is awesome sauce. The problem is now you want to throw everything away. I’m convinced you’ve thrown away at least two sippy cups, a few socks and possibly an insurance refund check.
You’re big enough to make a mess, but not quite big enough to clean anything.
As I sit on the couch writing this I am looking around the room. Daddy and I helped the “big” kids clean up their toys, so it’s not messy. But there’s still So. Much. Stuff that it feels messy to me. Two bouncy seats. Two Bumbos. Two Boppies. Baby blankets, bibs and a teething toy. And that’s just the living room. Don’t get me started on the kitchen.
The nice thing is none of you seem to mind the constant mess, daddy included.
You don’t notice the pile of dishes in the sink waiting to be loaded in the dishwasher.
You don’t notice the laundry piled on the end of my bed that will probably never get put away.
You don’t notice the handprints and smears on the windows and front door.
I definitely notice.
I definitely notice too much.
Neala and Linky, you play well together most of the time. It’s so easy to leave you in the playroom while I clean the stove. I have to make a conscious decision to walk away from the housework and play with you instead.
The other day, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the never ending clutter and the list of projects I hope to complete one day in our 1980’s house. Neala, you walked over and out of the blue said, “I love our new house. It’s so fun!” Immediately my heart melted.
I decided right then to relax more when it comes to housework. To find the balance between keeping the house tidy and being in the moment with all you kiddos.
Admittedly, I’ve relapsed a time or two. The smell of bleach and shiny floors still makes my heart smile. But I’m loads better than I used to be.
So Lincoln, you still do this:
But I remind myself you also do this:
Neala, you change clothes more than you eat. I wonder if you are trying to set a record for most clothes/costumes pulled out of the closet in one day.
But then I walk into the living room to see you “taking care” of the twins.
Would I prefer a clean house? Uhhhh…yes.
But a joyful, messy home trumps a clean house any day.
Our house used to be clean. Oh well.