Let me start off by saying hats off to all moms who hand craft their kids artesian lunches, send in homemade individual treats for treat day, and organize their homes so that their children can not only find their school items (book bags, shoes, glasses, etc) but also put them away neatly. Hats off indeed.
Now let me fill you in on a secret. I love Pinterest. I adore it. I am completely and utterly horrible at attempting to do anything that I find on Pinterest and it not looking like my 5 year old did it. I forget my kids snack day. And when I do remember, I send in store bought snack. Goldfish, pretzels, crackers, if I am actually on the ball, easy peel-able oranges. My house is organized in the sense that I can find stuff that is lost. Not easily and maybe not on the day that I need it, but I can eventually find it.
I long for a home that is organized. Tidy little shelves and cubbyholes. A place for everything and everything in its place. Realistically, not gonna happen. If my house has been vacuumed, half assed dusted, and your feet don’t stick to my kitchen floor, I am calling it a day. I can live out of laundry baskets and frequently do. Yes, it is easier when all the clothes are hung up and in their drawers but it also takes about 3 hours a day to do so. I don’t have 3 hours a day to invest in just hanging up the clothes. It takes that long just to wash and dry them.
My house does not look like anything out of Better Homes & Gardens. It looks like the house off of Roseanne. Mismatched furniture, dishes still sitting in the dishwasher and there’s a good chance that there are sippy cups laying in every room but the kitchen. I am not lazy. I like my house to be clean and to smell good. The problem is that as soon as I pick up and vacuum and dust and put away everything, it all migrates right back to the original condition. Some of its kids, some of it is husband, and a tiny portion is me. I don’t want to spend my entire time running around cleaning and picking up. I want to interact with my children, spend time with my husband, and watch the Real Housewives.
So, my kids get store bought snacks, and Valentines, and I am not crafty in a I ♥ Pinterest kind of way. Every once in a blue moon I will get a bug up my behind about trying out something homemade and crafty (mainly birthday parties and family gatherings) but for the most part I am perfectly content living in my well lived in home and putting my feet up on my clean clothes resting in a laundry basket. I work hard to be able to do so.
When I pack #6’s lunch for school she thinks it is exotic when she gets a PB&J with apple jelly instead of grape. And that is okay. When I spent 3 hours cleaning the house and am able to sit back for 5 minutes and breathe in the smell of carpet fresh and cleanliness, I am in Nirvana. I will miss the days when I do not have kids at home to mess up my house. I will miss the times that I have to rush to the grocery store at 7 am to pick up snacks for snack day. But I will enjoy this time while I have it. Plus, I get to catch up on trashy reality shows that make me feel like a better person. All in all, I’ll take that any day over stressing out over whether #4’s art project is the most unique thing ever or if #7’s toys are put into color coordinated organized cubicles.
My advice to all moms out there: if cleaning and organizing is your thing, do your thing girl! But don’t let it define you. A sparkling clean house does not make you a great mom. A sink full of dirty dishes doesn’t make you a bad mom. Enjoy the moments that you have with your children instead of focusing on whether the couch cushions are perfectly fluffed. And enjoy knowing that some day, in the not so distant future, the only mess you are going to have to clean up, is after yourself. And always your husband. Always.