Thursday, August 8, 2013

"The Cleaning and Scrubbing Can Wait Until Tomorrow"

It's a poem that is posted on facebook, repinned on Pinterest, and a piece of advice that's dispensed from mother-to-mother.  It's a poem worth acknowledging, but at the same time, it also made me feel frustrated and guilty (like many well-meaning pieces of parenting advice often do) 

I've come a long way since first having Jake, in that I've learned to let go of a lot of things around the house that don't matter.  The laundry piles up for another day because it's a beautiful day and we want to go to the zoo?  No problem.  I have it in my head that I'm going to clean the house on a Sunday morning, but instead the kids ask me oh so very nicely if I will color a picture with them instead?  I put down my dust rag when I can and assure myself that I can get it done at nap time.  Nap time rolls around and Jake doesn't actually fall asleep (which is the norm at this point), but instead asks me to snuggle him on the couch to watch a movie?  He's a 5 year old boy; I know the time for these requests is limited, so I oblige when I can.

So, as I said, I've been better about doing those things listed above.  Putting something off because I'd rather spend time with the kids when I can.  But the reality of the situation is that eventually those things DO have to get done.  You can't ignore the cobwebs forever. I can ignore some dust for a few days, but eventually it has to get done.  My OCD behavior has really improved, but I will never be able to overlook a dirty bathroom, no matter how hard I may try.

I found myself stressed out and tired on the weekends.  We'd do fun stuff during the day, then I'd either run around like a maniac during nap time trying to get some stuff done, or be up until 11pm cleaning and folding laundry.  Or, the opposite would happen...we'd have great weekend plans and have a fun time as a family, but then the end of the weekend rolled around and even with the best of intentions to get stuff done, we just didn't have the motivation.  It wasn't working.

You may be sitting there saying, "Well, where is your husband through all of this?  You both work, he should chip in!"  And he does.  He certainly does, and he probably vacuums more often than I do (I love my Dyson with all of my heart, but that thing is heavy!) But even with two of us, there are always things that need to be done. Or he has other things to do (because there is no way I'm volunteering to mow the lawn or weed the flower beds or any of that other stuff outside!) 

Now you may be sitting there thinking, "Oh you poor thing!  What a terrible first-world problem to have that you have to clean your own house, just like millions of other families in America!"  I know, I know.  It is a first-world problem, and I'll be the first to admit it.  But for me, it was a problem with one logical solution: hire a cleaning lady.

Fortunately, through a neighbor referral, I was able to find someone who was very, very reasonable.  It is HEAVENLY.  They have been to our house twice, and I've been very happy with the results.

After we made this decision, I almost felt embarrassed by it.  Not embarrassed because I couldn't keep up with my own home, but embarrassed that it seemed indulgent and unnecessary.  But then, like so many other things when it comes to parenthood, I decided I just didn't care.  It's working for our family, and as long as we can continue doing it, we will. 

this is what I look like when I'm not stressed out about my first-world problems.


Amy said...

I agree x100000000! I could have written this word for word. I still have moments of first world stress, but things are much better now!

Katherine {Proverbs and Pacifiers} said...

I say there is no shame is having someone else do the dirty work so you can enjoy being a mom!!! The most important thing your kids need from you is time. You won't EVER look back on your life and say, "I sure wish I'd spent more time cleaning toilet!" haha!

Thanks for linking up to Babies and Beyond.

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