Please Don’t Feed the Dust Bunnies

April 8, 2011

 “Wow, where is that cleaning fairy? She must be off on a long vacation.” I said as I looked around and saw several piles of unfolded laundry on the couch and the multitude of Hot Wheels, Legos and naked Barbies covering the floor.   My teenage son, Drew, looked up from his video game and said with a smirk, “Yeah, like since before I was born.”  I had to agree there was some truth to that statement.  Our house hasn’t been truly clean for the past 13 years.

In my defense, I’d like to point out that I do constantly clean our house so I should get an “A” for effort, right?  It’s really not fair because I can’t possibly keep up when it’s 4 kids (and sometimes 1 husband) making the messes and just ONE mommy to clean them up.  Those are not very good odds … I no sooner clean up one room when I walk into the next and find several new cleaning projects waiting for me.

B.C. (Before Children) our house was always clean and organized. The living room was nicely dusted and vacuumed and the linen closet had all the towels neatly folded and organized by color.  Thirteen years and four kids later I have a living room with a mountain of laundry waiting hopelessly to be folded, I can’t remember the last time I dusted and I don’t even know where my vacuum is.

B.C. (Before Children) our house was nicely decorated with beautiful wallpaper and brightly colored paint. There were coordinating pictures and wall hangings on the walls and the furniture and carpets were spotless.  Fast forward to present day and you will find plain white walls since I have no time, money or energy to decorate.  The furniture and carpets are covered with stains and remnants of crackers ,cookies and teeny tiny Lego pieces just waiting to be stepped on. Well, I take that back –the walls aren’t all white and boring …. There are the scribbles of crayons and the stickers that line the walls of the kids bedrooms.  

The biggest problem seems to be that I am the only one that notices that the house looks like a tornado ran through it while all the other members of the family seem to be oblivious to the mess.   Maybe they need their eyes checked or maybe I need to learn to relax and realize that this is motherhood.   A clean house is nice, but there are only so many hours in the day.  If it comes down to mopping the floor or playing a game of Sorry with my kids I would choose playing with kids.  The kids are growing up so fast and in a few years I will miss the constant cries of “Hey mom, watch this!”  or “Mom, will you come play with us outside?”

Yes, motherhood is messy, but so are most of the fun things in life.   It’s like the saying , “Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk while it’s still snowing.”   The housework isn’t going anywhere and who knows …. Maybe someday that cleaning fairy will come back from vacation.

8 Responses to “Please Don’t Feed the Dust Bunnies”

  1. Rosie Kinsey Says:

    This is so true, Lori. I must admit that we must live in the same household. I gave up a long time ago on keeping a clean house. David and I were the same way 16 yrs ago. But you are right, time flies and the kids grow. James is going to college next year. Have a great day!

  2. you have got your priorities right.

    The housework will still be there long after the kids have left home, so make the most of the time that you have with them

  3. The Debt Collector Says:

    I agree, it like saying “why not help mummy with the cleaning/cookery”; only to find that the flour bag has fallen off the work-top, and the dustba has fallen out of the vaccuum cleaner !

    And doubtless, like me you will have noticed that the a small child’s voice can carry, inversley proportionate to its size!

  4. I’m glad I”m not the only one with this problem….

    I’m not a mom (just an older sister whose stepped in) but I feel like I’m constantly washing clothes, or trying to clean up messes….. It’s never ending!

  5. You don’t know where your vacuum is??
    I think you should take photographs of the messes and show them to your family. I have heard that when hoarders are shown photographs of their homes they don’t recognize them as their own homes. Sometimes we just need another perspective to really see.

    Without hired help, an involved parent cannot keep a house really clean. We can only do our best!

  6. Stephanie Says:

    Hi! OMG! I totally know how you feel! I used to bust my butt trying to clean house while the kids were in school, and then sit there and cry when they came home! Because what took me all day to clean, took them a matter of 20min. to destroy!! Now, mine are teenagers, still nothing has changed! So, I clean as they need it! lol…I hate not haveing an organized house, but there’s literally nothing I can do about it! lol…

  7. Sandi Ormsby Says:

    I gave up. I used to have a clean house and now I realize, this is the part of my life that there will be toys on the ground and mounds of laundry. The bathroom mirror, after wiping it- the first time someone washes their hands or brushes their teeth, will spray drops all over it…I basically reserve cleaning for when we plan to have guests.

    or, you’re right, you’ll just be cleaning after the kids go to bed to just have it destroyed in the morning while getting ready for school!


  8. Chris R Says:

    May be, but just remember when you get over a “certain age” then you get your own back.

    That is when life AC (After Children) breaks in, and it is their problem not yours, since they have to look after you in your final years.

    And believe me, old folk can make just a much mess as a three year old. You try putting an 84 year old to bed “early”. Come to that having to comode them: potty-time, nothing !

    I know as I watched my Mother having to look after my paternal Grandfather in his fading days and a series of strokes,also having to help mum get Grandad out of bed before he embarrased himself, or clearing up if things “went wrong”.

    A dreadful way to see a man (or woman for that matter) go !

    Savour life as much as you can, and the dust bunny can stroke[sic] at anytime.

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