I shined my sink today! Woo-hoo! (Refer to flylady post if you don't understand this euphoria.) I even kept it wiped out and empty until after supper when we rushed off to a birthday party and left dishes in it. I'm not going to get discouraged about it, though...ten hours of clean sink is probably a record in this house! It seems, though, that while I am striving to keep one area clean, all the others have gone to pot. I've come to the conclusion that flylady doesn't have 5 children, or (lets be honest here) even one. In fact, judging by her daily and weekly to-do lists, she probably stays home and doesn't have any hobbies other than cleaning and helping others become so anal about their own housekeeping that they keep rigid calendars and "control journals." People like flylady scare me.
I am always suspicious of perfectly coiffed mothers with clean houses. I feel sorry for their children. I imagine them nagging them all day to clean up after themselves and not touch this or that. They must be the kind of moms who make their children go up and change when they come downstairs in a green shirt and purple shorts worn backward. I imagine their children sitting perfectly still, looking perfect in their perfect houses afraid to make a mess or be a mess. It's a different form of neglect. They are the Nazis of clean. My method of parenting is somewhat different. Take for example Avery who literally bathed in sand at the birthday party. My philosophy is, "They'll wash." And, except for the odd occasion, could really care less if they match.
Perfect houses are often not comfortable. Have you ever been to one of those houses where you are afraid to sit on the wrong chair or use the wrong coaster? And heaven forbid you don't see a coaster for your glass...you sit on the edge of your seat awkwardly holding your glass so that you don't leave a ring on the shiny as glass coffee table. I find it uncomfortable when my hostess is cleaning up after me in front of me. Don't get me wrong, my idea of hospitality does not involve having to move piles of old mail off of furniture or mow years of pet hair from the couch before sitting. Surely there's a balance?
I don't want to be a slave to my housekeeping duties. I have interests and hobbies. I like to be outside. I like to play with my children. Sure, I have my areas of obsession where housekeeping is concerned...for example, all of our Disney movies are alphabetized according to title, I'm obsessed with keeping the counters clean, and I steam clean my carpet monthly. But for the most part, cleaning is something I do just enough of to get by and I'm not sure I'd really have it any other way.