6 Reasons My House Is NOT Going To Get Cleaned Today

6 Reasons My House is Not Going to Get Cleaned TodayThere’s blood on my floor. Or maybe it’s Kool-Aid. But I don’t think we have any Kool-Aid. So maybe it’s popsicle.

I hope it’s popsicle.

Either way, chances are, it’s going to stay there a long time. Not because I don’t care about a sticky red stain on the floor, but because I’m not going to clean it. And I’ve made peace with that.

I think it will actually make for a nice addition. My kids’ friends, for example, will assume it’s blood and might just wonder how it got there…and better yet, what the offender did to warrant bloodshed. That should keep them on their toes.

For my friends, it will serve as a little pick-me-up; a gentle, red reminder of how their house is cleaner than mine. They will be too polite to question its origin, of course; but the part about their house being cleaner will overpower any real concern, anyway.

The thing is, I love the idea of a clean house. I know people who somehow manage to make it look so easy. The laundry is always put away. The counters are free of clutter. I have no idea what they had for dinner last night, because there are no dishes in the sink bearing the tell-tale signs of Taco Tuesday. My Taco Tuesday dishes are usually still in the sink on Thursday.

I’ve never been so delusional as to think I would be a perfect housekeeper. A friend in high school once expressed surprise that the rug covering most of my bedroom floor was red. I guess in the two years she had known me she just assumed I had a carpet made of flannel shirts (yeah, flannel. I know…but it was the 90s). In college, my roommate and I loved when our boyfriends would come visit from their military school, because they would do the dishes and clean the bathroom. They got away from barracks and we got a clean house. It was a win-win.

But once I had my own house and my own family, I stepped up. I kept things tidy. I cleaned the kitchen and mopped floors. I even (usually) went as far as to put the new roll of toilet paper on the holder instead of letting it sit on the bathroom floor until it was time for a new one.

As the demands of kids and work grew, my time and interest in cleaning decreased. I’m not saying I DON’T do it. I’m saying that it’s not what makes my world go around.

After a month of summer vacation, I know my house needs a little TLC. But I’m not going to do it today and here’s why:

 

1. I don’t have to do everything. That’s what kids are for.

In my house, child labor is 100% encouraged. Just because I am not going to clean today, doesn’t mean my kids can’t. But I also know that for many of us, housework and kids can be a slippery slope. Sometimes we feel that if want something done right, we have to do it ourselves. Let me make one thing clear. This rule applies to not letting your kid cut her own bangs. It does not apply to her loading a dishwasher. I don’t care which way the plates face, just get them in there…at least before the next Taco Tuesday.

2. It’s just going to get dirty again.

Trying to keep a spotless house with three kids, five pets and a job is like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube. It’s never going to happen all at once. It’s best just to keep the stress levels down and do what you can, when you can. There will never be a shortage of things to do should the desire to clean strike. I promise.

3. Doors close for a reason.

There are times when I need the house to be neat. Maybe the new neighbor is stopping by and I want to ease her into my reality slowly. Maybe my mother-in-law doesn’t take the same lax attitude towards her grandchildren’s living situation as I do. Or maybe, I’ve just had enough of tripping over the skateboard that is inexplicably by the front door. (When did we even GET a skateboard?) This is when I utilize doors. The goal is to get the key areas picked up. The rest can be put away in a bedroom or closet. I’ll get to it…eventually.

4. Most of the clutter in my house doesn’t belong to me.

Evidence suggests that there are people living in my house that I’ve never seen. I am fairly certain they are either in the walls, or possibly the attic; coming out like crazed Buzz Lightyears only when we are asleep. At least twice a day, I find something lying around that I’ve never seen before. Clothes, jewelry, shoes, and random trinkets. You name it. I’m at a loss and take no responsibility for these things. The best option is to make a pile, preferably near a crawlspace, and hope it gets claimed.

5. I don’t want to.

As an adult, the list of things I HAVE to do seems to grow exponentially with time. And with kids, the list of things I can’t control grows just as quickly. One thing I don’t have to do, which also happens to fall under my control, is clean my house. I will get tired of the mess at some point, go into a frenetic cleaning binge and yell at everyone within hearing distance that I. JUST. CAN’T. LIVE. LIKE. THIS. ANYMORE. Then I’ll clean. But right now, I’d rather read my book. I get to be the boss of me like that.

6. My kids will leave the house one day and it won’t be so messy.

This is the thought that sustains me. One day, everyone is going to move out. They’ll head off to college, get jobs and, eventually, homes of their own. This is the time where I will sell everything and get a one-bedroom condo in an undisclosed location. (HA HA HA. Just kidding, kids! It will probably be an RV.) But don’t worry, I will visit them. Often. And just for fun, I will leave dirty socks on their living room floor.

 

It’s true. Having a clean house is nice. It’s peaceful and soothing and I truly do love it. But I love a lot of other things, too. I love hanging out and playing games with my kids on the rare occasions we’re all in the same place at the same time. I love a good book. I love watching a TV show without feeling guilty for not folding laundry at the same time. I love a glass of wine on the back deck after a busy day. I love knowing that my house does not define me, but it is a reflection of me – and sometimes, I am messy and chaotic and covered in stains. But, like my house, I always have a story to tell – and really, that’s the best thing of all.

At some point, I’ll get to that sticky red stain. But not today. Today, I will do other things. Simply because, I can.

 

SHARE
Anna Strock
Anna has spent the last 18 years writing, directing creative projects, and trying to be the best mom possible to her three girls. When she's not exploring Richmond for the latest and greatest resources, offerings, and activities, she can be found daydreaming on travel blogs, drinking too much coffee, and running kids to endless activities.