Friday, October 25, 2013

Life in a Shoe

My in laws are coming today.  Excellent, wonderful people who love us more than we could possibly deserve.  I'm spending the day in that inbetween place a Mom of many finds herself when people are coming to visit.  Wanting to clean, but not wanting to do it too early because the efforts will surely be undone lickety split.  And chuckling a bit to myself that "clean" has come to mean "everything up off the floors and possibly shoved into Mom's room."  Because a house this size and a family this size...well, we are surely bursting at the seams.  Also that "clean your room" has come to mean "bring down all the clothes of questionable cleanliness at once.  When Mom doesn't have time for 10 loads of laundry.  Oh and clutter on dressers is fine and expected."

Truthfully, we're a bit of a mess at all times.  I'm not much of a housekeeper.  I like things clean and picked up, yes, but not so much that I do what would be necessary - spending my entire life picking up and cleaning - to keep things that way.  I remind myself that most people, they don't have 6 kids.  And if they do, they go to school all day.  They aren't searching through boxes of dumped out legos for one specific piece, or building train tracks around and around the living room right after you picked them all up.  And even if they do, they aren't me.  I was raised with the old saying: "A place for everything and everything in it's place."  But I was raised in a house three times the size of this one.  The truth is, not every person has a place (yet) in this house - much less every thing.  And besides, I prefer taking hundreds of pictures of babies and knitting a few rounds to matching socks and steaming curtains.

That's just another reason why it is so, so very good to have company every few months.  The type that love us just as we are, of course, but also help to prick that guilty conscience of mine into dusting the piano and washing windows.   And hauling all the yarn up to my room and closing the door so we can pretend it's not in a mountain beside my bed.

So I'm waiting, waiting for that sweet spot when it's not too early to sweep and mop the kitchen floor in hopes that it still looks good when they arrive.  Because I know me, and there's no way I'm doing it twice.

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  1. A quick vacuum right before company comes always makes things look clean! we always start at the bottom and work our way up...and that means kids end up playing in their rooms and only their rooms the last few hours before company comes...or I give in and put on a movie :) And then there's the kitchen...the room that as soon as it's clean it's time to eat again!

  2. In a pinch, I'm a big fan of that "throw everything in laundry baskets and take them to the basement" method. It is true that homes that are LIVED in are never showcase homes.

  3. Yes! I sweep and vacuum right before they come. The bathrooms are dicey - they can very quickly go downhill. Thankfully our dinner is all set in the crock pot, bread is baking so I can do the kitchen once lunch is done and it should stay decently clean. Phew!

  4. We did that with the kids' rooms. They don't usually play in their rooms and we don't keep a lot up there (really only space for clothes and sleeping), but that was my answer this time. Great stacks of books and baskets of the rest.

  5. One reason I love our weekly open house supper! It falls on Wednesday which means the downstairs gets picked up mid-week instead of accumulating a mess until Friday!...K

  6. You know, that's a great idea. Maybe the lesson here is that I need to be more hospitable!

  7. We have only one baby and one dog baby and we still struggle to be tidy! But like you, I never regret prioritising playing or loving over cleaning. You are a wonderful Mama. K xxx

  8. Oh Thank you thankyouTHANKYOU!!! Hahaha! Clean your room means "bring down all the clothes of questionable cleanliness at once!" Haha. Oh man. That truth rings a little close to home. *sigh* Thank you. I sometimes scratch my head and wonder "why" and am completely confused as to why it's so difficult to keep just one surface clear. I really have to wrap my head around all the details that explain why my life doesn't fit into someone else's box. Oh that self-imposed standard!
    I think my "cleaning" personality is pretty similar to yours and it's refreshing (comforting) to know someone else makes the conscious decision to take pictures of babies and create for delight and sanity :-) Messes seem to multiply and I agree that cleaning would be a full-time job all its own. Meh - let's just let them add up until one big-hoorah kind of cleaning frenzy.

    I think your priorities shine through the dresser tops friend~ I really got a good chuckle out of this today and it's a privilege to know we are one of many mothers who are comrades in the investment of our people!

    Hugs to you. Enjoy those parents-in-love!

  9. I know that someday I won't have little girls leaving scissor snippets and heart shapes all over the world - or little boys setting up important lego creations. The dressers will be decluttered and will stay that way! Trying to remember that this is life - and life is beautiful! Thanks for your encouraging comment!

  10. Sometimes I just need the reminder. Our priorities shine through, yes?

  11. "illusion of clean" that's me.
    and if it wasn't for Company's Coming -- not even likely that.
    We have a saying in Canada: "Cleaning your house while kids are still living in it is kind of like shoveling the driveway during a blizzard." LOL
    Enjoy your company.


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