Shopping Product Reviews admin  

It’s not dirty, it’s just inhabited

House cleaning is not the bane of my existence. is my existence It’s simply what I do. I have a hard time understanding how some moms have spotless homes and still hold a job outside the home. I guess it’s because there’s no one home all day to mess it up. But in this house, I’m home, Hubbie works from home, the little man is certainly always home, and the girls are here when they’re not in class or school. There are five of them… no nursery, no babysitter, no maid.

My house is constantly being cleaned, but it is never clean. I’ll finish one room, go into another, work there, go back to the first room and think, “Wow, didn’t I just do this?” I have an aunt who once said, “Why bother?”

Well, I get upset because it’s my job– The job I think about and the job I like to do. I just wish that when it was done, it would stay done. For a day, at least.

My girls have to clean their room every Saturday. Every Saturday, unless there are plans, in which case they do it on Sunday. This is, and has been, the rule… since always, as always.

Every Saturday, they are surprised. You want us to do what? In fact??? But Moooooom, do we have to? This leads to:

“It’s your mess, not mine” and “I want my own room.”

Still, despite the procrastination, the arguments, the accusations, the frustration, and the surprise, they manage to do it. They earn an allowance for the few tasks assigned to them, and most weeks they go to the bank. So by Saturday afternoon, the girl’s room is clean.

On Sunday afternoon, the girl’s room is messy.

At the party last week, a little friend; someone I adore, not just because she’s sweet, but because she’s a bit blunt like me and definitely not afraid to say it; this girl says, “I never wanted to tell you at your house, because I didn’t want to embarrass you, but her room is messy.”

Thank you, dear girl, for not embarrassing me in my house; Saying it in front of twenty other people is hands down the kindest, gentlest way to let me know that I’m having trouble keeping up with the masses of my kids.

But I’m not ashamed. The good thing about being a mom is that:

There’s always someone to blame

Afternoon? I’m so sorry, I couldn’t leave on time because of the children.

Forgot to do something? I apologize, there is so much going on with the children.

Don’t return a phone call? Really, he meant to, but the kids had homework.

Dirty plates? They are the children.

Do the floors need sweeping when someone stops? Don’t worry about the mess… it’s the kids, you know… and the dogs.

It’s not me. I know it’s not me.

I tell Steve that while I love my job and live 100% day to day to take care of my family, there is a fine line between taking care of them and being the servant. I don’t mind cleaning. I do care about collecting 10 pairs of shoes from eight rooms, none of which are in their proper closet. I don’t mind doing the dishes, but I do mind picking them up from the toy room (see my post here: my magical sink). I don’t mind cleaning the toys, but I want to clean them off the floor of the toy room, not the couch in the living room. And, don’t get me started on where they deposit the clothes (on the floor, any floor).

But Steve puts it in perspective. He reminds me that he left coffee cups everywhere. It’s true, I put them wherever I’m near the house, I walk away from them, I forget where they are; and for another drink. That’s why I have about 30 cups in my cupboard, well 2 cups in the cupboard, 20 in the dishwasher, and at least 6 in the house.

But it’s my only fault. Apart from this idiosyncrasy, I am very organized. If you ask me where something is, I can tell you in seconds.

Which brings me to:

There is a place for everything and everything in its place.

I think this is what drives me the most to climb the wall. Not the masses, I can handle that just fine. It is the phenomenon of not putting it back where it came from that permeates my daily life.

When I want my black marker, I go to my pen cup. When I want the pliers, I open the bathroom cabinet and look in the back of the shelf in its little holder. When I want the butter, I reach into the drawer with all the dairy products. That’s where I left him, that’s where he belongs, that’s his place.

But these things are never there.


Because some little person used it/took it/borrowed it/lost it and now why

There’s always someone to blame

Usually it’s impossible to find the culprit… I need all my time to find the item. And that brings me back to this:

“It’s your mess, not mine” and “I want my own room.”

I also want my own room. Heck, I’d settle for a small space, maybe just have my desk hands-free to all comers. I tried to label things. I wrote “Mom” on my biggest and best new scissors.

Tonight, Hubbie borrowed the scissors. He, unlike the children, did not run away with them, leaving me wondering where or who took them. He’s too smart, he’s too funny, and he knows me too well. No, he took the scissors, said:

“I am taking these scissors.”

“Okay, but leave them again.”

“I don’t know, I think I’m going to cross out ‘Mom’ and write ‘Dad’.”

That was hours ago… and the scissors have not returned. I know this because I had to open a package and I had to do it with kids’ craft scissors. What package do you order?

A new thermometer. I had to check Alex’s temperature and found that the baby ear thermometer in the girl’s room was not working. Of course, her home is in the bathroom cabinet; but that is the point of this post.

“Which of you took the thermometer?”


“No, Sofia!”

Maybe sometimes there’s no one else to blame. Maybe sometimes it is what it is, a messed up family with too much to do and too much to keep track of. Either way, I think I need to buy some new scissors.

I like things organized. I can’t have that now. Maybe when my kids get older and out of the house, I’ll find a way to do it my way. In the meantime, I fight the best I can. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll be one of those moms who rewrites family history. When my kids say the house is messed up, I will live in denial. “What? Our messy house? No. I always kept it clean.”

It is the cleanliness that I will remember, not the cleanliness. Irma Bombeck once said, “Cleaning your house while the kids are still living in it is like shoveling the road while it’s still snowing.”

Well, it’s snowing here every day and as hard as I try, I can’t find the damn shovel. It’s not where I left it, and I forgot to label it “Mom.”

Leave A Comment

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1