Monday, February 3, 2014

one of the lies of parenting


I might get some flack for writing this, but I keep seeing articles and reading blogs about this topic and it's been bothering me. 

It is a lie that many parents are believing, the lie that, "once you have children you cannot have a clean house ever again"

I get it, life is harder, there isn't as much time, your children are very important, way more important than a clean home in fact, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice a clean home, does it?  Why can't it be both, why can't you take good care of your home and your children?

There is this comradery going around, the messy house comradery, it makes us all feel better when we see other people have a messy house and don't have it all together, because it is real life.  I totally understand that, it is real life, my house isn't always perfect, just ask my husband and don't look in my basement.  But I think there is a point where it becomes an excuse or just plain laziness.  "Welp, I've got kids, I don't need to clean the bathroom, ever."

I've heard things thrown around like, " Sorry, you can't be my friend if you aren't willing to come over to my messy house."  I would never stop being someone's friend if they have a messy house, that is totally silly and life is being lived, but at the same time when I invite people over I want them to feel welcome and important and if my house is trashed, it doesn't quite give off that same welcoming vibe.  And believe me, there is a difference between toys strewn about and just a plain disaster.

We are also called to be stewards, stewards of the things we have, like our home, it should be taken care of.  Of course it is much harder to take care of a home the more children you have, but you just have to figure out how to do things a little differently.  And cleaning under the couch just doesn't get done as frequently.

I don't spend hours cleaning, I don't have time for that, nor do I ever need to spend 3 hours cleaning my home before someone comes over, because I keep up on it.  I do bits at a time, that is how it works in this stage of life.  Seriously, why can't I set aside 15 minutes during nap time and clean the bathrooms, or 10 minutes in the evening picking up?  I easily can waste that much time on facebook.  I also give my kids responsibility, yes they make their own beds even though they look lumpy, it's the habit I want them to have. I know everyone's strengths are different, for some people cleanliness is more important or easier than it is for others, but don't believe that it is impossible to keep up with your home when you have kids.

Please don't think I am judging your or saying you are not a good parent/person if your home is not clean.  That is not my heart at all. And there are probably times that I should be playing with my kids rather than sweeping (still working on that) but there are also times when I am sick, or my family is, and there are seasons where my house isn't a well kept up, but I just don't ever want to believe the lie that the season of a clean home is when my kids move out.  I don't buy it, nor to I live like that.  It's balance.

It is possible, it is possible to have 4 kids and a clean house and be ok.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for being true to you. I am a lot like you. I love teaching my son chores and how to clean up a toy before taking on a new one or at the end of the night. Do we always do that, no. But for the most part he truly loves it, it helps keep the house a little more sane for us both, and he now knows the value of some little life lessons. Kids are capable of a lot of things at such a young age and truly love having that responsibility. Kids do need to be kids, and I am in no way striving for perfection, but my strength is to keep up a clean house as much as I can. And I also work hard at giving my time to my son too. Kudos to you for writing what is on your heart, I love reading about your values and family!

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    1. Thanks Jen! Yes, it is so true, kids need to be kids, but that doesn't mean they can't have responsibility. I do think much of it is a personality thing too, some people are just more bent in the clean direction

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  2. Totally agree. And I also think there is a difference between "messy from life being lived" and "dirty because we make excuses." I can't handle filth. I've been to places with food cakes on counters and disgusting floors that haven't been swept in forever...with their excuse being four kids. Anyway, I totally get you and I think it's great you are striving to keep it up. It's also teaching your kids good values. You are an awesome momma.

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    1. Diane, you couldn't have said it better "messy from life being lived and dirty because we make excuses" are 2 different things! You summed up all I was trying to say.

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  3. I agree with you! My house is messy more often than I like, but messy is different than dirty. And if I never vacuum or clean the bathrooms, that's my house being dirty, and I don't think it's good to let that go for too long - for sanity or health!

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    1. haha Callie, yes for sanity and health!!

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  4. This is something I'm learning right now. Housekeeping has never come naturally to me, and I struggled with going to extremes - I either gave up and just let it all go to pot, or I felt like I had to keep it absolutely perfect. So what I'm learning right now is A) the rhythm that works for me to keep my house relatively clean - not PERFECT, but livable and presentable - and B) to have a little grace for myself and my house. I can't have everything clean and put away all at the same time. There are always going to be dirty dishes and dirty clothes and dust accumulating on something (because this is Colorado and that's what dust does) and that is no reason to go sit in the corner and have a pity party and feel like a failure. That's just LIFE. Stuff gets dirty when you live life. :-)

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  5. Man I just don't know. I own my own business and work about 60-80 hours a week, and every other day I tend to spend about 2 hours cleaning, and looking around right now, it's still a chaotic mess.... and that's without children! I greatly value a clean home and I wish I could say I could get away with simply straightening up 15 minutes a day, but for some reason it always looks like a tornado has just blown through our house.

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