Because Sometimes Good Enough Is Really Good Enough

I think we all have those friends. Those friends who always look impeccably put together, their kids never seem to get their clothes dirty or their hair mussed, their cars are always washed, and their homes always look like a page out of a home decor magazine.

I am not that friend.

Most days, you’ll find me with my hair pulled back in a ponytail, a little makeup, and probably the jeans I had on yesterday. If I’m lucky, the kids haven’t gotten toothpaste stains on their clothes before we leave the house in the morning.

What you see is what you get with me (and the kids). I’m not putting on airs. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

But my inability to keep my house spotlessly clean really drives me crazy. Makes me anxious. I literally wake up thinking about it at night.

keep-calm-and-fuck-cleaning

Wait…that sounds bad. I like having my house clean, I really do. After I go on a cleaning kick, the smell and feel of the house revives me…makes me think I can just keep up with the cleaning and have it all looking presentable all of the time.

Not so much.

My house looks relatively clean, but look in the corners and you will probably find dust bunnies, or look closely at the furniture and you will see a fine layer of dust covering everything.

In my perfect world, dishes that I don’t put in the dishwasher would be washed, dried, and put away instead of air drying in the sink.

The laundry that actually makes it out of the dryer (that has been tumbled dry at least three times to remove the wrinkles) would not only get folded immediately, but also (eventually) put away.

All of the bathrooms would be wiped down every day and make the weekly cleaning a breeze.

Not only would I vacuum every day, I would mop every other day. I’d have floors so clean you could eat off of them.

Those black marks on the walls from the kids running into the baseboards with toys and stroller wheels would be Magic Erasered away at least monthly. Touch up paint every few months.

And everything would get a good dusting once a week. Never mind that leaving all the doors and windows open all day is like a standing invite for any dust within a 100 mile radius to enter the house and settle on my dark wood furniture and stairs.

Now I could spend time every single day keeping the house spic ‘n span, and it still would never be totally clean. Every time I clean in one room, the kids (AKA The Tornados) come in right behind me and leave messes in their wake.

Their shoes are never put in the closet, and the backpacks and homework are usually spread across the counter. Legos have taken over out kitchen table, and it pointless to put them away because they will just be back on it tomorrow. Their toy room always needs to be straightened up.

Don’t get me wrong, the house is relatively clean. I wouldn’t advise eating off of the tile floors or licking the toilet bowls, but if you walked into my house you wouldn’t think I was a hoarder or a total pig.

I know that the shutters need dusting (always…even right after I dust them) and that the kitchen floor could use a hands-and-knees scrubbing. There’s always laundry piled up that needs to be put away.

I could drive myself crazy trying to keep up with the cleaning and the cooking and the perfect appearance and remembering to get the car washed regularly and put the laundry away instead of leaving it in the laundry room until we need to use it and making everybody think that I have.my.shit.together.

It’s just not gonna happen, and I’m trying to get okay with that. Don’t get me wrong…I would LOVE to be that mom that does have it all together, it’s just not me. I’ve tried.

clean

But we are all happy and healthy. That’s what matters most, right?

When it comes to cleaning and appearances, sometimes good enough really is good enough.

 

This has been in Draft form for a long time. It seems silly, but it was hard to share because it is my truth. I’m sharing an imperfection that I can’t get behind and embrace just yet. Mommy guilt…I feel like less of a mom for not having my shit together all.the.time.

But if you have met me “in real life” and told me that in person I’m EXACTLY what you thought I was like, then I know that by sharing this you already know that I am who I am, and nothing more. This won’t surprise those of you who know me.

And if you are ever invited to my home, just ignore the dusty shutters and dust bunnies in the corners. And don’t lick the toilets.

Comments

  1. You sums it all up here: “But we are all happy and healthy. That’s what matters most, right?”

    Yes, yes, yes! This is coming from me who barely clean – well, does cleaning my own room counts? 😀
    Maureen@Scoops of Joy recently posted..Why Second Chance Can Be The Best Thing EverMy Profile

  2. I can’t stand mess and crumbs and stickiness, so I clean those things off the floors/ walls/ furniture/ rooms/ bathrooms. But I’m not the cleanest/ tidiest person ever, nor do I spend that much time on it. I do a little every day, and I admit, I have a once-a-week cleaning crew who do the more thorough cleaning of bathrooms and kitchen. I don’t mind spending the money because I have better things to do, like be with the kids. And write. :)

    So you’re right, as long as everyone is healthy and happy, what’s a little mess?
    Alison recently posted..Writing The Hard StuffMy Profile

  3. My house is the same way. It looks lived in. Since we moved, I’ve tried really hard to stay on top of things- and I’ve done a much better job here. But it still looks lived in and not like we’re ready for a photo shoot. That will never be my reality.
    Shell recently posted..Whatever You Need to Believe to Be Able to Sleep at Night: Pour Your Heart OutMy Profile

  4. No, never lick the toilets… or the floors, for that matter. LOL. I can relate. Without shame, though I probably should feel it with the pressure of a potential visitor seeing, my space is often cluttered. Lived in. Alive with activity. I’d rather be… living. Enjoying my kids. Traveling the world.
    Rachelle recently posted..Need Anything, Mom?My Profile

  5. I could write about 18 paragraphs here for you about how I was raised in house where you didn’t go anywhere, nothing got done on a Saturday before the house was cleaned etc and how right now I feel a lot of guilt about my own house. How my mom and dad worked full time,went to school etc and our house was still CLEAN all the time…and how I wake up on Saturdays, start the laundry and then if John says “let’s go to NYC or the zoo or catch up on Scandal” ..I pick that instead.

    I know what you’re saying and I say..AMEN. The dust will be back…always, these moments with our families or with our sanity will not. 😉

    XO
    Kir recently posted..For When I Wish I Had all the AnswersMy Profile

  6. I so relate to this. Every single time I’m in the middle of a cleaning kick, I promise myself I’ll keep it up…… It’s like dieting, I swear.
    Poppy recently posted..In Defense of Yoga PantsMy Profile

  7. My bedroom looks like shit, stepping over clothes on the floor. I try better with the living room/kitchen but sometimes shit happens and that includes toys and mail and just…stuff. Also, fuck dishes. I’m tired of them needing to be done every day, reaccumulating like they have nothing else to do. It’s just wrong. So yes, everyone is healthy and happy and that counts more than an unsticky dining room table (for me). There are times, yes, when I absolutely go on a clean spree. Those times are few and I have no damns left to give about it.
    Arnebya recently posted..Just Write: Too ThinMy Profile

  8. I’m not that friend with the spotless house either…and I don’t really care. It’s not my priority. I would much rather have legos all over the coffee table b/c I’m building with my 6 yr old and a few dishes in the sink b/c I am volunteering in their classroom.
    Robbie recently posted..One minuteMy Profile

  9. I don’t have a picture-perfect house. I often have laundry to put away and flat surfaces attract papers in every room. Sometimes I get to the point where I just have to do something about it, but most of the time I am OK with letting the house look lived in.
    Kim@Co-Pilot Mom recently posted..Never Did I EverMy Profile

  10. I love a clean, sparkly house. It makes me more productive – just like you, it revives me. But I can’t help but think that I don’t do my family members any favors by cleaning all the dirt all by myself. Plus I resent that I’m the only one who cleans up everyone else’s dirt. They have to learn that everyone must help keep the house up. So I clean only what I must during the week – crumbs, a leaf that blew in from outside, the kitchen after dinner – and we all do the big cleaning on Saturday mornings. It kind of ruins that day a little, but the peace of mind – and the time it saves me from doing housework – is wonderful.
    Andrea recently posted..How the Week Looks From HereMy Profile

  11. I would love for my house to be clean like that too. But it is just not going to happen. Heck, mine probably isn’t even as clean as yours. As a matter of fact, I know it isn’t. I can’t remember the last time I cleaned the bathrooms or mopped the floor. We aren’t ready for the crew from Hoarder’s to come in, but I wouldn’t say no to someone hiring me a housekeeper.
    Jennifer recently posted..Then and NowMy Profile

  12. I think SO many moms can relate what you are feeling. In fact, my child just returned home from a playdate last week and the first thing he said was, “Mommy, their house is a lot cleaner than ours.” Doh. We’re sharing the ups and downs of life with kids over at Great Moments in Parenting, an open blog, and we’d be honored if you submitted an essay, parenting “moment” or even a photo (Halloween costumes, perhaps?) Here is the link to submit: http://greatmomentsinparenting.com/log-in/. Thanks so much for considering it!
    Nicole recently posted..Would You Like a Rodent With That?My Profile

  13. I can relate!!!!!!!!
    Sarah Jean Ballard recently posted..Give The Gift Of Organization This Christmas! #GiftFellowesMy Profile

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