Whoever coined the phrase: 'cleanliness is next to godliness' must not have had toddlers!
I think most of us home.makers can relate to having a love/hate relationship with our nest.
We delight in making it a warm, inviting, organised, and beauty-full... home.
We cringe at the messes, clutter, and carnage that creep around every corner.
We find ourselves choosing a position between two extremes: on one side the 'Stepford wife' who's spotless, sterilised, sparkling home makes you feel like a dirty hobo just for setting foot in it. While the other side shows the chaos, clutter and cacophony of a home fit for zombies.
I tend to fall in between these two extremes.. with a style I've referred to before as 'shabby-chic'.
In that, our home is moderately clean. For every area of tidiness, there's a corresponding place of messiness. Which is to say, I'm the kind of person who gets irked when there's an untidy spot giving me the ugly eye... my blood pressure starts to rise when I see clutter/chaos left unchecked. Once I've done a frenzy-cleaning I feel way more calm, content, 'deserving' of a break... However, I also don't mind leaving a space slightly rumpled, neglected or moderately messy if it means I'm freeing time to pursue something better (children, creating, socialising, etc). Sound contradictory? That's the confusion of my own mind.
It comes out looking like this:
The dishes are always either: dirty in the sink - or - drying in the rack.
The laundry sits in a dirty pile half the week - and a clean pile the other half. Then it gets sorted in to neat groupings for our 'floor-drobe'... right, husband?
The toys get sorted and stashed... and two minutes later, scrambled afresh.
Dust-bunnies have been named that for the very reason that they multiply grotesquely (not because they're cute and fuzzy).
I don't know about you, but it feels almost
enraging exhausting sometimes.
Like trying to keep a home clean ('enough') is a lesson in futility.
Like you're trying to walk up a downward escalator... and if you just stop to relax for one moment, you'll be sucked down.
Like you're fighting Hercules' many-headed Hydra... and for every successful attack - two more messes show up in it's place.
Like you're 'brushing your teeth, while eating Oreos' (quote).
The clean-dirty-repeat-cycle never stops.
It doesn't wait for me to catch my breath.
Like life, it just keeps on going, while I have to try and learn through it.
Learn? You say? Yes.
I need to learn to not loathe this part of life.
To not fill a blog post with rantings about it (oops)!
To not let the pressure of shame force me to pretend I 'have it all together' for every flippin' person that comes to visit our house to think that we never really live here because it's kept in such an unrealistic state of cleanliness!
Why do we all do this to each other??
Invite someone over, and go crazy cleaning the house to ensure they don't discover we live like uncivilised sewer rat-people!
Most importantly, I keep needing to learn to look at these souls..
..and not see lil' mess-makers. But softly start singing:
"Mother, O' Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth.
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek - peekaboo.
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew,
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo.
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."
~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton
Yep, that's the dirt on how I clean,
Just another manic Monday here,
thanks for letting me rant,