“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.

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Loads of Fun?

January 21, 2011

 I wouldn’t say laundry is my least favorite chore (cleaning the bathrooms would win that award), but it is probably the most demanding.  I look around the house and see a mountain of laundry on the couch that needs to be folded and piles of folded clothes that need to be put away.  And don’t forget the clusters of socks, underwear and other miscellaneous clothing items, whose cleanliness is yet to be determined, scattered on the floor throughout the house.  Then if I dare to venture into the laundry room there is the dirty laundry that is semi-sorted into piles of lights, darks, reds and towels.   Could it be I am destined to a life of laundry?  It’s like my own sort of Mission Impossible and I really would rather NOT choose to accept this mission (as if I had a choice).

I read in an organizational book somewhere that if you just do one load of laundry a day you will stay on top of it and it won’t seem overwhelming. Well, I find that I can do 3 or 4 loads of laundry a day and still not conquer Mt. Laundry.   One of my biggest challenges are the socks … oh, yes … the socks. There are socks in a large laundry basket waiting to be paired up with their perfect mate. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the time nor the desire to sit down and spend an hour or two playing the sock matchmaker.  So they sit in the basket until we need a pair of socks and then I spend 15 minutes digging though the basket looking for two that match (or at least come close).  As I’m digging through the basket I swear I will sit down that evening and match all the socks up so that I won’t have to waste time when we are in a hurry to get out the door. But, alas, another day comes and goes and still the socks remain.

A couple of years ago for Halloween I dressed up as “Laundry”. I figured since that was pretty much my life I might as well.  I cut a hole in the bottom of the laundry basket and added string suspenders that went over my shoulders so it looked like I was in the laundry basket. I then glued an empty bottle of Tide and box of Bounce onto the basket and used clothespins to pin socks all over myself.  It was a fun costume to wear and all the mothers that saw me totally “got it”.  At least I knew I was not alone in my battle with the laundry.  Moms in every city and town are all on the same mission ….the mission to keep our families clothed in clean socks and underwear and unstained shirts and pants.   Loads of Fun ?  No, I wouldn’t say that …. Loads of Laundry …yes, yes, we have plenty of laundry.