By Kristen Eriksen
Before twins, I used to have a blast cleaning, I mean really cleaning my house. Sometimes, I would spend a whole day dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping. I would blast my tunes, and just get started. Candles were lit everywhere. I used to spend a fortune at Yankee Candle on some of my favorite scents like vanilla cookie, musk and sweet pea.
Now, sometimes I walk through my house in disgust! I don’t know when I last dusted my bedroom. My basement carpet is brown, but looks to be polka-dotted with lint, paper, crumbs and stains. There is mud tracked in from the back door through my kitchen. There are sometimes four pairs of socks strewn around my house. There are dust bunnies on top of dust bunnies. There are food stains on my kitchen floor, and all over the cabinets. My bathroom smells like pee. The twin’s bedroom smells like pee. The trash barrel and fridge do not smell fresh. There are piles of papers, mail and art projects all over my counters.
My house is gross! I have traded in the scent of cookies, musk and sweet pea for spilled milk, musty dust and real pee!
I rarely have the opportunity to really clean now. I used to get overwhelmed, and beat myself up about it, but then I adopted a new mindset. My motto, if you will, is “get one extra thing done a day” and that makes for an accomplished day. When I use this mindset, there are days when I am supermom! I get three loads of laundry done, make dinner, food shop and wash the kitchen floor, all in one day! There are other days when my motto helps me feel better when I look around and smell my home. I may just scrub the tub, or toilet, but not get the whole bathroom clean. I may take advantage of splashing kids in the tub to wash the bathroom floor.
I like to include the kids in cleaning projects, too. I store all the twin’s socks in a big basket. We play basketball shooting with socks as part of putting laundry away. The kids have their own brooms to help with sweeping. They have dust rag mitts. They love to “flat out” the blankets on our beds.
There are a lot of messages out there about a messy home being the sign of a good mother or a happy home. I could not agree more, but have to say, sometimes messy just doesn’t set well with me!
But, I really do choose happy, healthy children over an impeccable, spotless home.
Today, I scrubbed the toilet and hosed down the back deck (that had been covered with the twin’s mud pies). The rest of my house is cluttered and messy. Yeah, it’s a good day!
As an aside, I remember a post on Facebook and/or email that describes the state of a home when the mother doesn’t do anything all day, and the house is a mess. It details the dad coming home to dishes in the sink, laundry everywhere, kids are filthy etc. When he asks his wife what happened, she says “You know how you often ask me what I do all day? Well, today I didn’t do it.” I have been looking for that post to include in this blog, so I posted a request on Facebook for anyone who can find it to post it for me. Well, my poor husband thought it was a personal jab at him. Sorry, hon, I really was not pointing a finger at you! Wanted to point out that I run around like a chicken with my head cut off and my house sometimes still looks like I took a nap and ate bon bons!
Can you believe I am missing marathon cleaning days?