I grew up in a house where we didn’t leave crumbs on the counter. We picked up our toys when we were done playing. And, as a chore, my brother and I would comb the fringe on the oriental carpet. Seriously…we would comb the fringe. With a hair comb.
Now, it only seems natural that I like order. Organizing and reorganizing. Clearing away clutter feels rewarding. Filling bags of clothes to donate or sell at the consignment shops. Donating boxes of unused items to Goodwill. I find peace in a tidy house. I can think clearly when everything is in it’s proper place.
But then my daughter was born, and some things had to change. I had to let some things go. My tidy house being one of those things.
Now it seems like my house is in a constant state of disaster. It’s like a tornado has come through and left nothing but devastation in it’s path. Toys scattered on the floor, on the stairs, on the furniture, under the cushions. Everywhere. Dishes need to be washed. Laundry forever needs folding. Mountains of junk mail needs to be sorted. There’s always something that needs to be done. And never enough time.
So, here’s my confession: I only clean for company.
The other day, we were talking to my sister-in-law on FaceTime. Looking around our living room floor, watching A play, she said, “A has really destroyed the place, huh?” Without hesitation, without even feeling embarrassed at the state of things, I just responded, “This is the way our house looks now.”
It’s a mess. And you know what? I’m Ok with that. I’d rather spend my free time playing on the floor with my little girl than washing dishes. I would rather read her a book than put away laundry. And when she goes to bed, the last thing I feel like doing is cleaning up toys! Toys that will just find their way back to the floor again first thing in the morning.
Eventually, the dishes get done. Laundry gets washed and dried. Occasionally, I even clean up toys. It’s just not my first priority anymore.
If we are expecting visitors, I will clean. I’ll frantically scrub and tidy and clear away messes until the place is halfway decent. Then I will go back to playing with my baby.
Life is so short. I’d rather be making memories with my daughter than stressing out over crumbs or carpet fringe.