Why I Have a Messy House
I grew up in a big 6000 square foot house where all the neighbors had housekeepers—many live- in. But my parents were baby boomers with parents survived the depression. The values in our house were tempered. For example, a car is there to get you from point A to point B, and you don’t need to spend $60K to do that. The big one, though, was: you don’t hire someone to do what you can do yourself. So, we did not have a housekeeper.
My mother cleaned our house top to bottom every single day. She says if you do it every day it only takes a short time. So five bathrooms were scrubbed daily. She made everyone’s bed, if they didn’t do it themselves. Every night she did the dishes; don’t worry, we did have a dishwasher. She did 2-3 loads of laundry every single day. She dusted everything each day. You get the point. Anything you could see was cleaned daily. She was efficient and quick. She got it from my grandmother.
You’d think with that example my house would be spotless. Not so! In fact, I’m terrified on some days that someone will stop by unexpectedly. Oh, anything to do with food is clean, but I don’t dust regularly. My Dyson doesn’t get the work out it should. Clutter will build up; I truly want to get organized this year. I clean when I want to run from my house.
How could this be? What is wrong with me? Why would I allow this? Simple, the hour or two it would take to maintain a spotless house is just one more thing I must give up. I would rather sing and dance with my preschoolers to The Wiggles or Laurie Berkner. I would rather teach my child how to climb a tree without hurting himself or the tree. I have spent that time learning all about Thomas the Tank Engine, how to play soccer, all about Star Wars.
Yes, I have a messy house. I have spent over an hour walking around our small block so my kids can stop to examine every plant and bush along the way. We have discussed what worms might do for fun. We’ve examined at the clouds, the stars and the moon. We’ve taken the time to make our own sidewalk chalk rather than buying it. Sometimes, I do something for myself while I watch/listen to the kids pull out every toy we own and play with all of it at once, and don’t care even think about the mess we will be faced with as I hear their imaginations go wild. I do not want regrets in life. I do not want to miss out. So, I happily have a messy house.
While my mother was efficient at cleaning, she did not enjoy cleaning. We could not do what would make the house messy. One toy at a time—it didn’t matter if you were playing with them together. Don’t experiment in the kitchen because it might be difficult to clean that mess. Just let her handle the cooking and preparing; it was easier. She never knew who we were or what we wanted because she spent her time wiping down the tables. She never had an interest/hobby of her own because there was never time.
I agree it doesn’t make sense to pay someone what I am perfectly capable of doing myself, but I’m not willing to do it myself. I don’t want to miss out on my raising my children. When they are older and my job parenting is done, I want us to have a basis for a friendship. I have a messy house and am proud of it. I see my messy house as a sign of life and love.
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