I've always wanted a clean house. No, NEEDED a clean house. (It's an OCD thing, yo. But hey, it could be worse.) I decided ages ago that when I had my own home it would always be clean and clutter-free. It would be light and bright and tastefully but minimally decorated to ensure proper rest space for the eyes. I would teach my kids to make their beds and to pick up after themselves. They would put away little shoes and hang little coats on cute little hooks upon entering our charming abode. The kitchen would never be caught with a dirty dish in the sink. Bedtime would find everyone cheerfully pitching in, tackling a rotating chore list. Everything has a place, and everything in it's place would absolutely be the case in our happy household. Every morning we'd all start a clean fresh day in a clean fresh house.
(If you're done laughing now I'd like to continue my rant. Thanks.)
You see, there are things they don't tell you about being a mom. When you make that choice (which is amazing and great and really a superb way to live the rest of your life) you are also choosing a life full of yuck and some of the most creative messes you could never have conceived of on your own.
How surprised were you after having kids? You were, weren't you? I was too, but really we all knew better. Its right in front of us everyday, and we totally pass judgment. (Yes you do!) You see things...unpleasant things...things you tell yourself you'd never do cuz that's just gross. Go to the park or a McDonalds. Take a good look around. I guarantee you'll see at least one mom spit wiping a kid's face while another shoves a dropped pacifier in her own mouth before giving it back to the baby. Moms share their cups and silverware, let nasty gooey fingers hand feed them previously chewed fruit and french fries. You'll see a mom shove a kid's diapered butt to her nose and take a good whiff. More than one will look directly down in there and take inventory. Yuck, right!
I attest that every mom is guilty. We say we won't do it, but we ALL DO. Why? Well can you blame us? We are messed up, yo! What we go through for sake of our young'uns-it can't help but mess with your MIND. (Yeah, I see you over there, twitching in the corner.) Mom's get drooled on, chewed on, pooped and peed on. We get bled on and coughed on, snotted and sneezed on. A day I don't get puked on I count as a very good day indeed! It's got to get to you after a while. (You'll know you're there when you reach out to pick that boogie off a kid's nose. Mark my words.)
So "How can I survive", you ask? "How do I cope"? "How can I possibly hope to stave off those nice men in their pretty white coats for just one more day" (sure you want too:)? Well you've come to right place. It's a little thing I like to call a making a reality adjustment.
Ok, let me try that again..ahem... Making a Reality Adjustment. Yes, looks way more impressive that way.
Let me explain. Since becoming a mother I've been introduced to levels of disaster I'd previously thought impossible, even UNREAL, because the messes I have to tackle on a pretty daily basis are so unbelievable that reality must have shifted. Therefore my idea of what it means to be clean must also shift. Right? Right.
Let me introduce you to my new definition of clean.
1. If a whole box of Cheerios does not dot a few hundred square feet of open floor, your house is probably pretty clean.
2. If you can close your dishwasher without having to remove 10 lbs of flour or sugar (or both from off it, your house is probably pretty clean.
3. If you did not find a spaghetti noodle sculpture made out of your 3 month supply of pasta, your house is probably pretty clean.
4. If when you come down the stairs you do not slip in a dozen raw broken eggs, your house is probably pretty clean.
5. If your kitchen has never resembled a murder scene (details coming soon to a blog near you), your house is probably pretty clean.
6. If water has never come pouring into your kitchen from the upstairs...
7. If you have more parmesan in your lasagna than your vacuum...
8. If you're walls have not suddenly attained the same dark brown color of a 2 year old's diaper, then let me assure you, one and all, YOUR HOUSE IS PRETTY FREAKIN CLEAN.
So the next time someone shows up unexpectedly at the door while you're sorting laundry on the couch, or you trip over a stuffed animal or step barefooted on a handful of microscopic legos--when crayon art is more prevalent on your walls than the 15 thousand family portraits, stop. Take a deep breath, and remember to make that reality adjustment. This too shall pass. You're doing just fine.
And sticky kisses always taste the sweetest.
The things we leave behind.
14 hours ago