Not June Cleaver
I love sitting in a clean house. I love knowing that every room is picked up, the floors are fur free (at least until someone pets the dog — NO ONE PET THE DOG!!), and there isn’t a single dish festering in the sink; knowing that I can sit guilt free at the computer and wake up in the morning to a clean slate. Perhaps I love this state of house so much because it’s so rare. Tonight I sit in a clean-enough house (which means anyone is welcome to visit — just don’t go upstairs) , but I can’t help reflecting on just how much work and time went into cleaning today, and how clearly I must be missing some housewife secret.
I’ve figured out how to juggle around the house two-year-old entertainment and a day’s worth of cleaning. Which is definitely worth celebrating with a zucchini muffin turned cupcake topped with chocolate sour cream frosting.
I’ve finally figured out how to cook a nice dinner
with Nora’s assistance, but not so much assistance that she’s full by the time we sit at the table.
I’ve figured out how to expand Nora’s horizons, entertain and excite her for hours,
spending lots of time spent out of the house, often with sandy toes.
I can do those things: cook, clean, and care. Sometimes I have an amazing day where I manage to do two of the three. But I cannot for the life of me figure out how to end a day feeling like I’ve done all three. Cleaning is really my nemesis. It just takes so much time away from what I think ought to be priority one: engaging and entertaining Nora. I know it’s good for her to see me clean, I know it’s good to involve her in the process, I know it’s good for her to have time each day during which she has to self-entertain, and I know its better for all of us to live in a clean house…but why does it feel like time spent cleaning is time not spent parenting at 100%?
I’m not sure if I will ever figure that balance out, especially when I have to save time and motivation for working after she’s been jammied and tucked into bed. For now, we alternate between quality time spent together with a messy house and having a cleaner house after a day spent merely in one another’s proximity. For now, I fantasize about a housekeeper/dishwasher/do-er to get things done for me while I’m out pushing Nora in a swing.
I would rather my kids have memories of us playing together than me saying “just a minute” as I clean/change over the laundry/etc. The house will be clean when they are at school for 8 hrs a day which is just around the corner. Enjoy every minute it does go by way too fast!!!
So true, I would love to know the secret if you ever figure it out. I can have a great day with the kids or cook a really good meal (sometimes both) but boy oh boy does the housework suffer…and mine are old enough to help now.