Monday, November 10, 2008

Confessions of an Untidy Housewife

I think it's entirely possible that I have the messiest house on the planet. No matter what I do, I never seem to be able to get it under control. Yes, I realize that I do have six kids, and that does, in fact, contribute to the disorganization, but I feel that I ought to be able to keep up with things much better than I actually do. *sigh*

I have tried FlyLady, but the best I can seem to do with that is to have my sink clean before bed. And forget about the whole putting on shoes to clean your house... I wear shoes outdoors under protest, only when necessitated by weather conditions and the fact that Target won't allow me in with bare feet. Having to wear shoes inside my house is just WRONG. Period.

It's not like I dislike housekeeping, either. I have done it for pay, for years. I did light cleaning for an elderly widow when I was in high school, after her husband died. He was the tidy one, and she just couldn't bring herself to take on those chores after he passed. And I worked as a housekeeper in a B&B summers in high school and college. I don't mind cleaning someone else's house, but when it comes to my own, somehow I just can't quite keep up. *sigh*

I suppose one contributing factor is that my husband doesn't really mind the mess. If he did, I'd probably be more motivated to do something about it. But he'd rather relax during his off time than help me with the chores, and there's something to that - there is a true need for a Sabbath which is often neglected in our busy-busy culture. And I'd rather spend my time interacting with my kids than sweeping the kitchen floor for the twentieth time this week.

A wise friend of mine once commented to me that she discovered that she was a much nicer person when she had a dirty floor. Clean floors would always bring out the b*tch in her - yelling at her kids to keep everything just so, and generally becoming not a very nice person. But once the floor wasn't so pristine anymore, she discovered that she had mellowed, and the little things would slide off her back much more easily.

I have tried to learn from her wisdom, as she is a mom of 4. But I am afraid that I take it to the extreme. My kitchen floor is beyond dirty, most days.. Shoes, coats, toys, school papers... And that's not even mentioning the crumbs, wrappers, and other assorted  gunk that accumulates and reproduces under the kitchen table...

I have been told that as the wife of a priest, I need to be ready for drop-in visits at all times. Ummm - no. Not here... But fortunately, most of the people in our parish respect that I have 6 kids, and are kind enough to call first, giving me enough time to shove and sweep things into some sort of pretend order.

Am I proud of this??? No.  But I am trying to improve, bit by bit.  One day, I do realize, the wee ones will be no longer wee, and I will have more freedom to engage in orderly homekeeping.  But for now, I will settle for clean enough, and hope the guests don't mind...


  1. I'm soooooooooo with you, except I have 4 less excuses (kids) then you do!

  2. And yet another area where I am RIGHT THERE with you! And I totally agree about Flylady...I was just chuckling to myself yesterday about the idea of wearing shoes to clean my house. Whatever!

  3. My house permanently looks like it's been hit by a large, destructive bomb. In fact, a large distructive bomb would probably creat significant cosmetic improvements in my house...

    I feel your pain! I cleaned our house on Saturday and the kids had it trashed in about ten minutes when Ian brought them home!

  4. You know me and my barefoot self will ALWAYS rebel against shoes in the house. It's very wrong.

    I love this. My house is SO MESSY. Not necessarily dirty, just MESSY. It's a constant battle. Thanks for the perspective today.

  5. lol, I'm the opposite. If Max didn't remind me to take off my shoes I'd probably wear them to bed :)

    Um...yeah. My house is a mess too, and I only have 2 kids, well, three if you count Nolan.

    But amazingly enough, with 25 kids in the class (and a custodian who sweeps the floor) my classroom is pretty darn clean!