Friday, April 20, 2012

My DIRTY Little Secret...


I was sitting on the couch this morning folding laundry (*surprise!), when I heard a knock at the door.  I always panic when someone stops by unexpectedly. Aaaah!  I took a look around, moved some obvious clutter out of view of the doorway, and opened it to my sweet neighbor.  I was careful to not let her all the way in, lest she find out my DIRTY little secret...I am NOT a domestic Goddess. (If you know me well, this is not a shocker!)  The fact is, I'd rather be doing just about anything than doing housework!  We had a nice conversation there at the door, but when she left, I found myself feeling guilty, once again, for being impolite and not inviting her in.  But alas, most of the week, (who am I kidding, most of EVERY week), this house has looked like a bomb went off in it!  Since we moved from the big house into this one, and went back to a single story house (hate it), the clutter is even worse!  I have found myself up to my ears in housework and clutter, with no end in sight. Add to that the fact that my kids rooms are all in sight now, and I walk by them on a regular basis, and have to close the door to the horror within. Am I the only woman who dreads getting out of bed to face the mess that inevidably awaits me each morning, only to go to bed (too late) each night with the same problem? It gives me anxiety just thinking about it!
Lest you think that I am a hoarder, let's get a few things straight.  I am NOT a hoarder. My kids? Well, that's another story, but we'll get to that later. My house is constantly cluttered, but it is not filthy.   I like to have things clean, which is why it bothers me so much.  We are not living in a germ infested house here.  My problem is, this house is a working house--meaning people are always here, and always messing things up. It's a viscious cycle--I clean, they mess it up.  Sometimes I envy working moms just because they don't have kids at home all day to destroy another room, even as you're cleaning one. If everyone were gone for the day--the house would stay clean for more than like 7 minutes, right?  For instance, yesterday I spent 3 hours cleaning, dusting, and mopping my bedroom, bathroom, and closet.  It seems like my room is the last one on the list most of the time--so it really needed it.  But while I was cleaning my room, Jack was out in the family room, eating chips, and cereal on the couch, and building towers with the canned goods from the pantry.  Another mess to clean up!  It never ends. 
A few weeks ago, I was lamenting this fact to my kids, basically BEGGING them to help me out around here.  After all, this is a one woman show, especially with Todd gone more than ever now. I was so overwhelmed trying to just get the house semi-clean, and just for a weekend, so we could leave town.  I get so tired of nagging my kids to help--I feel like it's all I ever do!  I'm sure they feel it too.  My sweet Erin came up with these words of wisdom, which she had learned in church the week before, and said "Listen, mom, this is what the Prophet says about housework":

"If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly." President Thomas S. Monson

I'm not sure she was ready for my response, when I said, "It's not true.  None of it."  She says, "Are you calling the PROPHET a liar?"  And I said, "No, I'm just saying that the prophet is a man. I'm saying that I think Mrs. Monson, bless her heart, might not miss those piles of laundry, the toys, the smudges and fingerprints quite as much as President Monson, because knowing how busy he was as a church leader all his life--it was HER that had to deal with them!"  I'm also saying that once you're old, and you're looking back on your life, it's easy to say, "Oh, I miss that."  When really, if you really thought it through--you wouldn't go back to those days in a million years!  I'm determined that when my kids get as old as me, and they're complaining about how HARD being a mom is, and how HARD it is to stay on top of the housework, the laundry, and still find a moment in the day to do something you WANT to do, instead of things you HAVE to do--I will NOT tell them that they should just enjoy it.  I am convinced that there are experiences I have had as a mother that I will not miss one bit, and one of those will be when I am finally able to open the door to my neighbor, invite her in, and sit on the couch and visit--without worrying about the cheetos she just sat on, and whether they will stain her pants.  (True story--that was a sweet visiting teacher).  I will miss the kids--I will profoundly and sincerely miss my kids, and the cute things they did as babies and small children--and the fun times we had, but I will NOT miss the MESS! I will not miss it one bit! There, my DIRTY little secret is out now--I feel much better!  That being said--I've gotta go clean my house.  It's a pig pen in here!  Ugh...

1 comment:

Amberly said...

love the honesty. I occasionally have that same moment of panic when someone is at my door. or hope to contain them to the one room that currently looks presentable.. heaven forbid they start to wander... get your kids on board! they live there too- get a job list going and delegate!!

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