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Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm No June Cleaver - Neither Are You

Looking around my house the past couple of days it's a wonder there are no small animals taking up residence somewhere among the discarded toys, coffee cups and folded laundry that has yet to be put away. It's like Fisher Price puked in my living room during an earthquake.

It got me to thinking - I can't be the only one! In fact, some of my friends have admitted that they are in the same boat. I strongly suspect ones with clean, tidy houses are single, childless and have housekeepers, but that's just my opinion. Actually, we have cleaners that come once a month and oh, for that 1/2 a day after they've been here the house sparkles and smells so fresh and clean.  They even vacuum little crosshatch patterns into the couch!  Eeee!

And then that evening comes along, the kid is home, the dog is shedding, husband is flopped out and I have 14 things that I want to work on scattered all around. And that's how it stays for the next month until the cleaners come again. But we try, you see. That's the clincher - we constantly tidy, wipe, wash, put away and sweep only to have it look like that whole time spent cleaning was nothing more than a nightmare full of lies!

Gawd Ender - Clean your kitchen, dude!
So how did June Cleaver do it? How did she cook three luscious meals a day, keep her house spotless, raise great kids and keep her husband happy and satisfied, all while wearing a prim dress and perfect hair and makeup? I'll tell you - the magic of television! I don't believe that every household in America was like that. My own mother cooked, cleaned and had a pretty spotless house. She did employ us kids to achieve that though. Scuffy little chimney sweeps we were! Ok, that part isn't true - we didn't sweep the chimney but we cleaned the damned fireplace and mowed a lawn the size of a field!

Life is too fast now - we need to take the time to slow it down a little. We speed around trying to achieve so much in so little time because that's our culture - everything at the speed of light. Who has time to worry about their home when there are things in cyber-space that need our attention? We try to spend more time with our kids I think - maybe it's easier to vacuum or cook dinner when your kids know to be seen and not heard?

Even as a stay at home mom, attending school, taking the full gamut of financial, legal, parenting and household maintenance on as my responsibilities takes a huge bite out of my time. Not to mention that since I am a stay at home mom I feel that I need to put so much extra effort into doing amazing things for my son that he probably doesn't notice or need. I HAVE to take him to the park more, I HAVE to do more activities, arts, crafts etc. because that's my job too, right?

I think it's obvious that I'm a little confused and overwhelmed, even after three years of this. Working in a law firm was easier. Yes it was. But it's also fun and I get to be a kid for a big part of the day. So my house is kinda messy today. Meh - I'll clean it up a bit later, after I play some cars with Ender :)

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Denise Sutton said...

So true!!!! I made my husband read your post, he was frustrated last week that we can't seem to keep up with the house and the words "other families manage to do come we can't?" came out of his I have an answer -"they don't". Welcome to parenthood - now relax and enjoy!! You have just secured a faithful reader ;-)

Tracy said...

Denise - isn't it nice to know we're not alone? I admit before I had kids I would never have understood how hard it is to clean the house! When my son is home with me I literally have to clean the play area at least 10 or 15 times in one day. :/
Glad you enjoyed the post :) It's great to hear nice comments.

Anonymous said...

Well that is not quite how I remember it. As I recall I did look like June Cleaver with perfectly manicured hair and high heels as I hummed and whistled while I cleaned the house 24/7, kept a job and raised two adorable children. Dad said onset of dementia is a wonderful thing, it really alters one;s perception. Now let me think were you seen and not heard, even the neighbors got a good laugh as they seem to recall hearing you on more than one occasion. Oh while I am thinking of this huge lawn you had to mow, do you recall when we got our new self-propelled lawn mower how it took you for a walk. Absolutely hilarious.

Seriously though, a wise woman told me years and years ago that when your children leave home and think back on their childhood, they do not remember whether you could write your name on the furniture, or that the cob webs were holding up the chandelier, what most kids remember is the time spent making cookies and chocolates at Christmas. Crafts and glitter all over the place and time spent. I will always be glad that I let the house go and glued and glittered with the best of them.

Great post. Mom

This is driving me crazy, I still cannot post under my google account. I will have to be anonymous once again, sorry.

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