Oh my goodness, this week has flown by! I had every intention of blogging on Monday….and Tuesday…..and yesterday. I even have two different drafts started.
But here we are – Thursday – and nothing! Maybe next week I’ll get one out every day [like I always plan, but somehow never ends up happening.]
Since it’s Thursday, I’m linking up with The Tiny Twig and Naptime Diaries for their series about Giving up on “Good.” We’re talking about the things that – while not at all bad things – we choose not to do in our family. We give these things up for so many reasons – to save us time, to save us money, to save our sanity. Whatever reason, these “good things” just aren’t for us.
Today, I’m giving up on a clean house.
I know, some of you aren’t surprised by this – especially if you saw my bedroom in high school. Or my dorm room the first 2 years of college. [My roommate was even less tidy then me, if you can imagine!]
But then I had a couple of roommates who were more into being neat, so I worked on cleaning up my act if you will.
And then I got married, and I worked really hard to keep a tidy home for my hubby. And then we moved into a tiny 1 bedroom apartment and I had to keep it clean. And then we moved again. And again. And again. Moving that many times meant that by nature things stayed cleaner and less cluttered. Then we lived with my parents and [although he tried to be very nice about it] it really bothered my dad if things were messy.
But now? Now we’ve been living in the same home for 9 months. And we had another baby. I don’t feel the need to impress the hubby like when we were first married [let’s be honest, he knew what he was getting into from the beginning anyway!] My days are full of chasing after a 2 and a half year old and a 6 month old. Making sure they’re happy, healthy, well fed, growing mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Keeping the house picked up has gone way down on the priority list.
At first I really struggled with this. I hated letting people see my home in a less-than-tidy state. But C and I love to host – we love opening up our home to people, inviting them in, and taking care of them.
So I had this war going on inside of me. And the stress of it was spilling out onto the hubby and the kiddos – even though it totally wasn’t their fault. Well, maybe it was a little bit their fault – they were definitely contributing to the mess. But the stress it was causing me wasn’t their fault. Now I’m a happier, more engaged, less stressed Mama – and we’re all the better for it.
Some days I still get frustrated – still feel horribly guilty when someone comes over and there are stacks of papers and pictures on the coffee table or there’s nowhere to sit because the couches are full of clean clothes. But I’m learning to let go of it.
God gave me a beautiful picture to help me on those days. At first I saw our living room all neat and pristine -even the furniture was nicer, newer. It was also empty. And then I saw His hands take a chisel and a hammer and chink away the picture to reveal our real living room – mess and all – with some of our dearest friends laughing, having fun, and enjoying time together. The thing is, no one cared that there were toys all over the floor and dust on the TV stand [our house has some serious dust issues!]
To those of you who have beautifully, immaculate houses – more grace to you! [And if you want to put your cleaning skills to use, feel free to come over any time!]
What good things are you giving up to make room for a happier, healthier, calmer household?
In the interest of full disclosure: Here’s what my living room looks like right now.