Family · Life · Parenting

Cleaning House

Elias, who is currently attempting to break my spirit by refusing to eat anything I place before him, struggled down some green beans and about five bites of potato beef hash (it’s potatoes and ground beef and cheese; I swear I didn’t try to sneak in any broccoli or, God forbid, kale) in order to be allowed the treat in the bowl you see below.

It’s the leftover juice after all the green beans were gone. Seriously. I don’t even know if he liked it. I think it was just the only thing he could think of to have a fit about.

I remember a point at which I wasn’t sure both Levi and I were going to survive his childhood. I think I might be there with Elias. Deep breaths. Lots and lots of deep breaths. And, I don’t know, maybe some light sedation.

In other news, I let the house get away from me more than usual this week. For most of the week, I had a script running in my head about how irredeemably lazy I am and how I can’t ever seem to pull it together. This morning I woke up raring to go and realized that I actually haven’t been feeling that great, and I probably needed the extra rest. So it was a temporary situation and not a permanent character flaw. This is not the first time the very same thing has happened, but I seem to be able to grant myself a little grace only in hindsight. I possibly need to work on that.

Anyway, since I was so spunky today, I went after everything with a vengeance. I bagged up some stuff to drop off at the thrift shop. The laundry room doesn’t even know what hit it, there is not a dirty dish in the house, and I even moved the couch to vacuum. (“Mom, are we having company?!?”)

I was finishing up the supper dishes as we entered the Bedtime Vortex, and it suddenly hit me. The only person in this house who cares about any of this, with the possible exception of clean underpants, is me.

Paul does not care whether the floor has been swept. In fact, I’m not sure he can tell one way or the other. The boys mostly don’t care about anything except which one can punch harder.

Then this popped up on my Facebook feed.

I don’t even know who this woman is, but I think she’s got a point. I’m not saying a clean house is a bad thing, but my housekeeping skills are probably not the most important thing about me. In fact, I very much hope not. I’m also not saying that I want to let the house descend into squalor. But I think I might try to relax a little and not worry about it quite so much. Because who am I trying to impress, exactly? Not anyone who lives here. And those are the people I should be most worried about.

This will probably have little to no effect on how much housework gets done, but it might mean I stop beating myself up so much about the housework that doesn’t get done. Isn’t it pretty to think so?

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