Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of a home owner like realizing you have company coming in a couple of days. Pure terror takes over when you realize your company is your Mother (or Mother in Law- take your pick).
Once Upon A Time...there lived a young woman who liked every thing to have a place and expected it to be in that place. This put together executive, made sure laundry was washed, folded AND put away. She liked to see vacuum marks in the carpet and the kitchen was always spotless. Whatever she and her husband needed could be found with ease. The toilets were gleaming, the mirrors were so clean that they sparkled, you could probably eat off of the floors. Her home was so "caught up" that making a home made dinner every night, was a snap without the looming list of to-do's staring her in the face. With every corner cleaned, she would snuggle up to her husband at night and watch hours of TV, or retreat to a cozy chair and get lost in a book. Sound like a Fairy Tale? It was....once upon a time.
Now? Well, lets just say this princess lost her wand, her sparkle and her sanity, which I am pretty sure I delivered right with the placenta of my first kid!
John took over the laundry several years ago, when he was concerned about having underwear and a clean shirt. I was simply glad I didn't smell like sour milk from nursing all night. I do put away laundry, just not expeditiously. It might sit for a "little" while. Oh, who am I kidding, I just dig through the baskets to find what I want to wear. John has on more than one occasion left this house with wrinkled pants (because, I don't iron and apparently neither does he).
Gleaming Toilets? Are you kidding me! Just recently, I had a family meeting. I wasn't asking for much. "Listen, family. If you leave a poop streak in the toilet bowl, can you please just use the disposable wand and swirl it away. Especially in the downstairs half bath which is our "guest" bath." This resulted in laughter, as mom called a meeting to talk about poop streaks in the bowl! I usually warn anyone who says, "Hey can I use your bathroom?" Why, yes you can. But I am not guaranteeing there is not pee/poop or both currently in the toilet, because my family also seems to have developed a flushing problem.
Sparkling mirrors, well maybe. But it is probably jus the gleam from the toothpaste you are seeing or quite possibly the glitter that seems to be in eyeshadow, nail polish, lip gloss and every other teenage product. How did it get on the mirror? Your guess is as good as mine.
Warning: If you choose to eat off the floors do so at your own risk. The dog/cats or both may have recently puked there. Sure I wiped it up, but hey, you might still find yourself covered in hair or slipping in the spilled apple juice that was "sort of" cleaned up.
Let's not talk about our office. The loading zone. The 4 desks, covered in junk zone. Listen people, I try. I really do. But, I can't clean it off fast enough before more piles emerge. I pick through it and occasionally will get down to business armed with a garbage bag and dust spray but usually it just stays piled up.
Right now, I am in the process of cleaning out a closet and a side attic. This project has re-affirmed that I am not the Cleaning Queen that I used to be. We reached critical hoarder status a few days ago when I pulled out 16 years worth of crap in my closet and side attic. I threw away no less than 10 gigantic garbage bags filled with trash. I have sorted, I have donated, I have sold, and yet, I sit here surrounded by so much stuff that I expect concerned friends and family to show up any minute with a camera crew and a counselor to talk to me about my cleaning problem.
Oh and as for those thoughtful home cooked meals and hours of snuggle time with the hubs. Don't make me laugh. Chick-fil-a for the third time this week, check!
My cats are loving our new status as box trolls, because they think this is their own personal playground.
As I take a break from my closet clean out, I realize that my house IS full of dust and piles and pets and children. However, it is also filled with laughter, and love and moments and memories. It is filled with symbols of a cancer battle, of 16 years of marriage, or children growing up way to fast. It is a home filled with the sound of girls groups, music, movie nights, and baking. It is a house filled with joy and heartbreak and more joy. It is a house built with great love and great faith.
So, welcome. Welcome to my home. If you can ignore the daily life, crazy schedules and tired mama happening here and step inside, you will be loved and your heart will be cared for.
One day in the not to distant future, the busy schedules, the chaos of kids, and the pace of these years, will slow down. I won't have piles of homework, dance and sports gear, or piles upon piles of laundry. Once more John and I can snuggle and watch hours of tv together. Until then, I will try to enjoy the mess, because I would rather take this messy life, than a clean house...any-day.