“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.