My parents visited last weekend and I felt good about how clean my house was. Scrubbed the floors, the kitchen, the microwave, heck, even cleaned the fridge. You could see the bottom of the toilet bowl and I even got on my hands and knees and shined the bathroom floors for the first time in 300 years. I mean I didn’t run the vacuum, but that what that little Roomba is for. His name is Roberto, and I would trust him to babysit my children and teach them Spanish.
But, only 24 hours after my parent’s departure did my house turn back into a scene from a Delta party in the movie Animal House. Except John Belushi wasn’t there to make me laugh through my hangover. Instead, I found myself crying in my beer.
“It could be urine. It could be apple juice”, was the Herdsman’s response when I asked what in the world was that wet/sticky spot on my kitchen floor. The living room turned back into the aftermath of an F-5 tornado. Boy (I assume) urine had found it’s usual resting place on the back of the toilet and my kitchen floor had a every single foot print from every single step made on it in the last three days. (NEVER GET A DARK WOOD FLOOR. NEVER!!!!!!!!!).
I was once a clean freak. Once when I didn’t have a husband and three kids to clean up after. My pre-family apartments and houses looked like Mr. Clean and I were roommates. You would never find an article of clothing not hung up or put away. All my socks had a partner and matched. Random books and used Kleenex’s from last months flu weren’t in every crevice. My closet was color-coded and the hangers all turned the same way. And a footprint on the kitchen floor? I didn’t have any food in the refrigerator, so why would I even need to go into the kitchen.
I’m learning to embrace this portion of my life. Not to pick on my mom, but I certainly do remember running a dairy farming business came way before cleaning toilets and doing laundry. I need to cringe less and smile more at dusty bunnies and piles of out-grown clothes waiting to be put in Rubbermaid tubs. Because I should understand that it’s that way because I was busy reading books to my baby. Or teaching my daughter how to play baseball. Or feeding cows. Or playing with baby pigs. Oh…or running a meat business.
The pressure to be everything, all at once, is exhausting. Don’t go on Pinterest, because every other Pin is about how spotless someone’s home is and how you could have the same thing in 6 easy steps. Truth is; they’re homes aren’t that clean either. It’s unrealistic with children. I could stop there, but throw in a business or full-time job and you’re screwed. “Compare Less” should be every mom’s mantra. We need to have it bedazzled on the top of our phones so every time we’re on social media; we can be reminded that every household is different. Pinterest is the devil….until I need a recipe for skirt steak.
And thankfully, the older I get the less I’m caring. I’m ok with sleeping versus scarping food off the bottom of kitchen chairs. I’m ok if my kid has one white sock and one neon orange sock on. I’m ok if the lid to the triple antibiotic ointment will never ever be found (my kid probably ate it). It won’t be dirty and chaotic forever. I’ll reach my itchy point and the house will be clean again for three seconds. Except for the windows. I don’t do windows.