Thursday, April 9, 2009

If cleanliness is next to Godliness, then I am in trouble!!

My house is always messy. That would be M.E.S.S.Y.

And you know what? I hate messy. When things are clean I feel happier, prettier, skinnier and more creative. I like stuff to be clean and in its place.

Instead? MESSY!

Now I am not talking about a few toys on the floor or a sink full of dishes. I am talking about dirt, trash, LOADS of smelly-beyond-all-reason laundry, fruit-fly inviting dishes, sand in the carpet and food on the tile.

Like I said- MESSY!

In fact, when neighbor kids want to earn money, they know they can come here and I will always have something for them to do. One little girl told me the other day, “I love to clean, that’s why I always come here.”

For a while we had a housekeeper, but we are making every effort to be more frugal. Save more money. That means I have to suck it up. And I really am OK with that if I could just get the hang of things better.

It isn't like I don't ever clean. I feel like I am always picking up or washing something. It isn't as though the kids don't have jobs. They may not be perfect at them, but they have them. And it isn't as though I don't nag the kids to pick up, clean up, wipe up, etc.

Somehow, even with all this, my house gets horribly, horribly messy. And it is wrong. I am doing something terribly wrong.

It isn't as if I don't know how to clean. I am pretty good at it when it happens. I spent hundreds of hours practicing as a child scrubbing behind toilets and under rugs. I just hate it.

A lot.

If I could do it once and not worry about it again for a few days -- hey, even a few hours -- it wouldn't seem so bad and be so pointless. I could just not like it instead of HATING it.

But mostly, I just don’t like doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over just to have someone come make a mess so I could do it over and over and over again.

I know that part of the problem is that I just don't blow my top over little things like spilled milk or muddy shoes. There are just so many things I am going to have to battle my kids over; I don't want cleaning to be one of them. I just don’t care THAT much. I know all the reasons why I should be more of a stickler, but that isn't me. I just want the kids to instinctively know what to do – and actually do it. If I am going to fight with the kids or turn blue from nagging, I want it to be over something of consequence.

And part of the problem is I move at a snail pace and the kiddos (even though they are as sweet as can be) are like tornadoes… there is just no keeping up.

I have been unsuccessful in teaching cleanliness to my children -- without fighting about it. I know that because they have NO concept of a trash can. I have done my best to tell them the importance of aiming into the toilet, using the trash can or dumping sand outside. But I am afraid unless I become a CLEAN NAZI, there is no hope.

It’s just not good parenting. Gone are the days of following a routine and keeping everything in its place. That was only when I was single, on my own. Now? There is no sense of organization. No inkling of cleanliness.

And really? I am feeling quite frustrated by the whole thing.


Diane said...

Oh Kathy! I SOOOOOO feel your pain on this one! Trouble is, you have 5 children to make messes and keep you forever behind. Me, there's only me here; I'm the only one making messes and truly, I don't make messes.....I just don't like cleaning. I know I'm a bad person, not to mention a bad housekeeper. It's not Momma's fault, she made me do my chores and managed to always have a clean house. I don't know where I dropped the ball, but I did and quite frankly, I'm in no hurry to pick it up! Ahhhhh, my problem in a nutshell! Good luck sweetie! I surely have no advice in this area!

Many hugs...........


Beth said...

I could have written this about fact I was thinking it was about me! I love love love a clean home...but just can't keep it like that! I have a house full of people coming on Sunday for dinner...and my goodness I will be up all night for the next couple!

heather said...

Just the title makes me think: oh I know. me too.

then i read and i was thinking crap. its just me and hubby here and its a mess. how much worse is this going to get??

kel said...

You sound like me.. I am always picking up and putting away things.. but it is a rare day when I actually "scrub" something. I hate it.

Mom said...

I found you from mormon mommys. I used to pride my self in being a clean freak! After 15 years and 4 kids, I celebrated when I clean both bathrooms in the same week!

Michelle said...

I feel we might be wearing the same shoes!! I have 6 children, and I KNOW I am in trouble because my house is never clean!

I try to just keep up with dishes, laundry, and less "clutter". Our baby is almost crawling, so now I have to keep the floors even cleaner!

Plus--it's spring, which means mud and dirt everywhere. I agree with you--I want my children to live in my house, not live for the house, so I don't make them take off their shoes, etc. And they all have chores--but things pile up, bathrooms are always getting dirty, clothes are wore (more laundry), food is consumed (dishes), and fun is had (general mess).

We did have a FHE lesson about finding ways to help out (using D & C 58: 26-28). After dinner, everyone helps out so we don't have a giant mess, and that has helped some.

My mom's advice: enjoy the children while they are home--before you know it, they are gone and that is when you can clean your house :)

Tink said...

I hear you loud and clear on this one. I battle with this all the time because I work full time and when I'm home, I want to spend it with my children, so my house suffers. But when it's unclean, I feel grumpy. It's a vicious cycle. You have my love and support!

Square Root of Family said...

My mom always said the same thing when I was a kid. I remember looking around the house and thinking "It's not so bad...I wonder what she thinks is dirty."

Now that I'm older I can see what she meant, but as a kid I distinctly remember feeling confused about why she always thought we we making a mess. There were seven of us, so I'm sure we were like a whole group of tornadoes.

Our Crazy Family said...

I am hoping my kids will remember that they had a fun mom--and not a clean house. I am afraid they will remember a mean mom, AND a messy house. Oh is what it is. When you make the choice to have a large family--the mess comes naturally along with it. Hang in there. I am proud of you for giving up your housekeeper--I would rather give up FOOD. Enough said.

Anna Lefler said...

Ack, I can relate! You're not alone...

Thanks for visiting my blog, BTW - I really appreciate that!

:^) Anna said...

Here here, sister. WE must be related. You worded it perfectly!