i grew up in a fairly spotless household. my mother is the type of person who washes the dishes immediately after dinner, keeps every surface uncluttered and does floor exercises during movies. my dad wipes off the screen of his iphone after every use.
they are terrific parents and passed on many great traits to me and my brother. their clutter-free, clean house quality, however, missed this family member.
i’m certainly not a hoarder, or super messy. i’m just kind of normal, you know? i try to vacuum once a week, keep the bathroom clean, pick up toys when i can. i am not superwoman, but i think i do a fairly good job of keeping this place in order.
or at least i thought so. until i hired a babysitter.
i’m teaching a couple music classes a week throughout this school year and needed someone for a couple hours one day a week to watch the little man. and we found someone great – highly recommended by neighborhood moms, super kind and patient with the little one and friendly and unpretentious.
the first morning she came though, i noticed the thin layer of dust on my dresser-top… the lines of dried water on the underside of the sink… the faint splotches on the floor in front of the stove… and i felt like a slob!
now i know this is not true. i’m not a slob. i’m just a mom. not superwoman.
having someone new in my house – watching my kid, using the sink, walking through my kitchen – makes me want to be superwoman!
i want to scrub my entire apartment with bleach from ceiling to floor, stuffed animals and all.
i want to vacuum every day and then mop afterwards.
i want to organize every drawer, closet and surface.
when i was growing up i had two chores: vacuum the kitchen floor weekly and cut the grass in the summer.
mowing the lawn was actually not so bad, i got to sing as loudly as i wanted for an hour or so, drowned out by the sound of the engine.
i can remember how much work it felt like though, to vacuum that kitchen floor. what a brat i was. if only i knew then what i know now. cleaning just the floor of one small room once a week is nothing. try your whole living space.
that said, i am grateful to live in a one bedroom apartment (you poor parents in four-bedroom homes).
i’m also grateful for my incredible husband. he works a full week, and then comes home and does a large share of housework too. (you should see that man tackle a sink full of dirty dishes. it’s award worthy.)
and while i don’t think i’ll be breaking out the bleach on brobee anytime soon, i am also grateful for the inspiration to tidy up a bit more.
i can’t help but wonder if my parents were like me when they were my age, and perhaps decades worth of babysitters and play-dates and kid clutter drove them to keep such a clean space. if that’s the case, i’m on a slippery slope to keeping our surfaces super clean, iphones and all.
and if their cleanliness has any correlation with their exceptional capacity as parents, i won’t fight my way down that slope.
my parents did a pretty good job raising me. and whether there are dust bunnies behind the couch or not, i’m hoping the little man will be able to say the same about us.