Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What my messy house means to me

Dirty laundry. Clean laundry waiting to be folded. Clean laundry waiting to be put in the dryer.

Dirty dishes. Clean dishes waiting to be put away. Broken dishes.

Floors with toys scattered abroad. Floors with food scattered and/or stuck abroad. Floors that make you slip and fall due to a water spill. At least you hope it's water... it might be pee.

Bedrooms where nothing is in its place. Bedrooms where you discover food that's who-knows-how-old.

Bathrooms where you find a whole roll of toilet paper covering the entire floor and draped ever-so-perfectly into the toilet full of you-know-what. Bathrooms that you still can't figure out what that smell is and how to get rid of it.

One stair topped with stuff that needs to go up next trip. Two stairs. Three stairs, four. Can't reach any higher, time to put it all in a basket.

"Where's my brush?" Three days later, oh it's in that basket of stuff that's still sitting in the hallway from all the stuff that was brought up from the stairs.

These things can add up to quite a bit of frustration, overwhelmedness and depression, among other sentiments.

These things are also a sign to me of so much to be grateful for--

1. We are blessed to have plenty of clothes for our family to wear.

2. We have a washing machine and dryer that work.

3. We have plenty of dishes to eat off of, and plenty of food to eat on them.

4. Our kids are learning what happens when "fragile" meets "gravity" before being exposed to crystal or other more expensive things.

5. Our kids are playing, as they should. Our kids are well-nourished.

6. Our kids are learning what slippery means... on a tile floor, instead of a steep cliff.

7. Our kids' urinary systems are functioning properly.

8. We get to use toilet paper instead of leaves.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Do I love having a messy house? Absolutely not. Is it always messy? No-- I do what I can, when I can, when I'm not exhausted, to keep it clean and orderly. But you all know the drill-- you're cleaning one thing and the kids are playing and another mess is made. You go clean that up, and something gets broken. Somebody needs a diaper change/trip-to-the-potty. A few activities later and you just want 5 minutes alone on the couch. It never seems to end. Alas, you continue to work diligently as Proverbs 31 would have you!

Will it ever be as clean as my mother-in-law/stepmom/etc's house? Maybe in 25 more years, when all I really care about is holding my grandbabies!

Am I trying to form good housekeeping habits? Of course. Does life take over sometimes? You bet. Does it pile up so high that I just avoid it altogether and then get depressed about it and then avoid it some more until my husband has to intervene? Not as much as it used to, thankfully.

Many of you have seen our house. Now, picture it in your mind. That's not what it usually looks like. We all know how easy it becomes to get that cleaning-motivation when we have people coming over. Don't get me wrong, I want my family to enjoy that same order and peace and cleanliness. So I'm working on it. And I'm sure you are too.

I may never have a spotless house, but to me that just means that life is happening here. I have wonderful kids and an awesome husband, all of which I love dearly. And I want to provide them with a nice home. I'm learning. And in the moments where it's just more than I can handle, I will remember to be thankful for all that we've been blessed with. Even if it's stuck on the sliding glass door.


*Props to my good friend Caelene for inspiring this post!


  1. This also applies to the single folks accept without the kiddos. I don't have washer & dryer but it takes lot of work carrying clothes 3 floors up and down stars into a laundry mat. We have plenty clothes, food and toilet paper. We can't live without these things which I agree. Thanks for sharing! Be Blessed.

  2. When my children were little I obsessed that everything stay neat and clean. I was strict about toys being put away that were not being played with. I was constantly cleaning my house. Our clothes were perfectly laundered and wrinkle free. Breakfast was served before leaving the house for work, and dinner was served promptly at 6:00. My neighbors marveled at how perfectly I ran my household and held a job. Let's face it, I was Supermom!!! I was also exhausted. I never had time to relax. I didn't always get to enjoy the time I did have with my kids because I was so busy. Looking back, I would have done things differently. So what if a toy was out of place. So what if the house wasn't perfectly cleaned. So what if dinner wasn't served promptly at 6:00. SO WHAT!! Joanna, you are right on when you say that life is happening in your home. Good for you!! Enjoy your children. Enjoy your husband. Enjoy your home. Do what you can and don't stress out on the rest. You're a great mom, a wonderful wife, and a precious daughter. That's all that matters!

  3. Thanks Mama B! I've always admired how you keep your house so orderly and clean, I hope you don't think I'm knocking such a wonderful value!

  4. my biggest peeve-dirty glass.
    but yes, this post is a GREAT reminder. THANK YOU! {cuz sometimes I get too obsessed with cleanliness and I need to chill}

  5. 2 seconds in and the simple picture and message has me in fits of laughter, so so true, i do my absolute best to keep my house tidy, but i have a 2 1/2yr old and a 10 1/2month old... you can imagine how many toys we have, the mountains of clothes, the FOOD! my lord the food i find!!

    absolutely love this blog!!

  6. Thanks rose! It's so nice to know we're not alone in this motherhood journey! How did you come across my blog?