Monday, December 13, 2010

When the kids are grown...

When the kids are grown the house will be clean.
'Til then, make a path.

I love this saying.

I came across it about 7-8 yrs ago, I think. It suites me.

I'm not completely domestically challeneged. I mean, I can clean and be tidy and I like to be organized... but I'm a FAR CRY from the obsessive compulsive cleaner my MIL is. My mom wasn't a bad housekeeper, but 'anal' would not even make the top 100 in words I would use to describe her home-keeping qualities. I wasn't raised in that sort of magazine quality tidybowl wonderland. My dearest hunka hunka burnin' love, Kong, however, was. The kind of clean where you scrub the kitchen floor on hands and knees kind of clean. (I remember my mom doing that... once... when her anal housekeeper mother was coming for a visit. She hand-waxed the kitchen floor. I don't recall any other time she did that. Not to say it didn't happen.) And, his mother is also very gifted in the crafty/home decorator department, so everything always looked beautiful, and back then, she wouldn't probably have let you in the door even if you were on fire or being chased by an axe murderer if there was one thing out of order. (She's a bit more relaxed now.) Given the differences in our upbringing, my hub had different expectations. Expectations of me and what our house "should" look like. Since we, um, cohabitated dated for 3 yrs before marriage, he knew that it wasn't going to be like that with me. That didn't change him wanting it that way, though.

Ah, how much has changed. lol

Not to say that I don't strive to be clean and tidy and clutter free (a MAJOR issue), but some people just seem to be gifted in this area, and I am not one of them. It's harder for me, not automatic. I think it stems off my procrastination tendencies - the whole "I'll deal with this later" pattern. But I digress. Actually, having many monkeys is probably challenging me to be better, work harder, at achieving and maintaining domestic blissdom. (Thus, the entry way project that I almost but not quite demanded pre-baby.)

I will forever deal with piles and putting things away now rather than later (when multiple small people are screaming for supper, it's easier to pile up all those things on the table in one fell 3-second swoop and set it aside for "later" than to take 15 minutes to "deal" with it all, in effort to curb the madness). It's a bad bad habit. Worse than nail biting. But I have grown and improved, and I do that to "please my hubby" and to challenge myself. It just feels good to have a clean home.

Though I'm sure it would feel even better to have a home that actually has storage. Like closets. And cabinets. And with an upstairs bathroom. But I'm happy I have a home at all. Some don't. So I count my blessings there.

Today, I recalled this saying, after my 2 babysitters, 3 of her sisters, and her mom, showed up unannounced, to see the baby. (Boy am I glad I had clothes on.) And there we stood, them looking upon my as-is house, with laundry piled 2 feet high, taking up chair and couch. Dirty diapers on the floor next to the garbage can (I will never be a basketball star). Toys strewn from here to kingdom come. And my ever-cluttered entertainment center that is the bane of all catch-alls. Nevermind the counter full of dishes etc. I am who I am. Tidy is not my strong suite. I have 5 children, one of which is in the "major time suck" stage, suck being the key word - as in suckle, not aweful. Another who is busy, naughty and 2, as if that needs any more explanation. And a third who just loves to play her heart away and leave a path of her creative juices fancy dresses.

So... when the kids are grown, or at least all in school, the house may, or may not, be clean. Til then, you'll just have to love me for who I am, and make a path to the couch. I sort of promise there won't be anything dangerous or gooey there. I would say it would be Lego-free (cuz every parent knows how much it hurts to step one one of those things) but that would be last week. This week, it's a complete dangerzone.


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