The New Norm

When I was growing up, there was a constant struggle to keep the house clean.  My mother struggled with putting laundry away, keeping the dishes washed, etc.  When my brother, my sister and me were older, we of course became the hired help – Read:chores, but she still struggled.  I remember saying to myself, I will never let my house look like ours did at times.

Oh how we lie to ourselves.

Now, I want to preface this by saying we live quite modestly.  No McMansions over here, we use our space quite efficiently.  My husband and our two kids are comfortable but we aren’t spread out.  So when I say that our house is in a constant state of emergency, I no kid.

Like the aftermath of a midwest tornado, things are everywhere.  Toys, books, games, book bags, purses, clothes, mail you name it, we have it, all. spread. out.

I keep telling myself that I am going to get to it, but a part of me doesn’t want to.  You know why?  Because I know that the minute I pick it up and put it all away, two seconds later it will be back on the floor.  And i’m not just talking about the toys.  I’ve had three different organizers come into our home to “de-clutter”.  I’ve purchased all of the organizational solutions known to man.  Closet organizer? Got it.  Storage furniture? multiple ones.  Shelving solutions? Elfa is my friend.

In my head I know it makes sense to clean up the house, in order for it to stay clean, in order not to be embarrassed when company comes over and so the kids can play without me constantly picking up toys so that they don’t trip on them.  But in practice it’s a losing proposition.  To knowingly keep cleaning something that will immediately get dirty over and over and over again means that you keep getting on the wheel thinking you’ll get different results when the results will always be the same.  I will never rid myself of cleaning up the house, well that is unless we get a maid, but even then the organization still needs to be in place, otherwise I’m just going to be cleaning up for the maid.

But even more than just me, this seems to be a phenomenon with people I know with young kids.  As messy as I thought our house was growing up, I never remember it being in the current state that mine is in now.  Maybe i’m glossing over my youth (as I sometimes do) but there were certain parts of my house growing up that would never be subject to a mess.  So why am I allowing this mess to take over?  Are we (me and my husband) that busy that we can’t take an hour or two to clean up? Are dual income households in general too busy that they don’t have time to take care of the home anymore?  Most of my peers that don’t have this problem have a maid.  Is this what it has to come to? And what happens to the people that can’t afford a maid?  I have too many questions…lol.  Everyone that I talk to with young children says yes and to just get a maid, but I refuse.  I guess i’m still in denial about my ability to “do it all”, but I haven’t yet accepted the fact that in order to keep our house clean, someone else has to do it.

But right now in our current state, our house stays clean for maybe one week out of a month. Maybe that’s good, maybe it’s not.  And just maybe i’ll have to wait until my kids get older in order for me to keep it clean for the other 3 weeks of the month.  Only time will tell.

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