Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Search for the Couch and Other Stories.

We had to have a plumber come to our house today (leaking bath tub + wet ceiling = bad news). That’s bad enough, but you know what’s worse? Having to clean the house for the plumber.

Yep, you read that right. Our house was so embarrassingly dirty that my husband and I spent more time than I’d like to admit making it presentable. For the plumber. Not spic and span, by any means. But clean enough so that we’re reasonably sure the guy won’t call CPS on us.

Which he might have, had he seen it on Saturday.

The kitchen floor was littered with cheerios, puffs, pieces of dog biscuits and other random bits of trashy excellence. So much so that I found myself constantly chasing Tori around, snatching things out of her mouth (I may or may not have let her eat a few stray cheerios along the way).

The table was piled high three feet high with books, magazines, cereal boxes and mail. It had gotten so bad that I was forced to shove things aside to make room for our plates every time we actually wanted to have a meal there.

The family room and living room were buried in toys, laundry and the other flotsam of daily life. In fact, it took me fifteen minutes to even find the couch. And when I finally got out the vacuum? I managed to completely fill up the canister before I even finished a single room (but in my defense, the animals are all shedding).

And don’t even get me started on the state of our bedroom.

I’m sick to death of living this way. Tired of being greeted by a scene from a disaster movie every time I open my front door. I don’t want to live with a laundry pile that’s perpetually in danger of taking over the house. And I certainly don’t want to plan my meals based on what pots are clean.

But I’m not sure how to get a handle on it.

The things my mom always told me? You know, like put stuff away after you use it. And wash the pan you were using before you take another one out. And do a load of laundry every night. Those kind of things?

Are all very good ideas. And seemingly easy to implement. Except they’re not. At least, not for me.

I won’t lie, I’ve always been a slob. But since Tori was born, it’s got a thousand times worse. The dishes don’t get done after dinner because as soon as I’ve eaten, I’m rushing to get her ready for bed. My things don’t get put away because I almost never finish what I start—halfway through, I get pulled away by a Tori roar and never quite make it back.

And as for laundry? Well, by the time I can tackle the clothes pile, all I want to do is collapse on the couch for an hour or two.

My husband and I have resolved (yet again), to do better. To actually clean up after ourselves and keep the mess under control. We’re really going to try. At least until the memories of our latest cleaning frenzy fade. I'm just not sure how.

How do you guys do it? How do you manage to get everything done in the 24 hours we’re allotted each day? Does it ever get easier to pull off the super mom charade?

11 comments:

  1. I always feel like I'm behind with chores or shopping or that I should be doing something else when all I want to do is sit down for 20 minutes! Sometimes that means a load of laundry doesn't get done or I have a dirty kitchen floor, but oh well, at least I have got my sanity! ;)

    I'm convinced there is no such thing as a super mom! All of us are struggling on a daily basis. Some just cover it up better than others, and some are honest and upfront about it all like you! :)

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  2. I could have written this post, seriously! I call myself a reformed slob. When we bought our new house last June, I vowed to keep it clean, and it's going okay. Your mom is right...doing a little bit every day is seriously the trick. One load of laundry, one load of dishes, picking up one room...it makes it all so much more manageable. For me, anyway, when the mess piles up, I get so overwhelmed I just leave it alone instead of doing anything about it:)

    You're not alone, friend!

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  3. Oh, I am with you! I've always been clean but messy, there always seems to be stuff everywhere. My laundry room could be the location of a horror film, perhaps When Laundry Attacks? Terrifying.

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  4. I struggle with the same situation!

    What really irks me, I think, is that my husband and children (11, 9, 7, and 3) are old enough to help out around here, but they don't. I've told them all that I'm not interested in becoming their slave, but if I don't do the housework myself or become Crazy Mom and MAKE THEM do it... it doesn't get done.

    Maybe I need my own apartment? And I could come visit on weekends...

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  5. It's impossible to dig yourself out from underneath everything, when you have a little one. I've realized that over the last year. You are trying your best, and you are a great mom! xoxo

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  6. haha I'd totally clean my house for the plumber too!

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  7. I don't try to be perfect and for a while I was letting things get a little out of control. Now I just focus a few minutes a day on cleaning. It's amazing how much you can clean in 20 minutes. I set the stove timer and when it stops then I stop cleaning guilt free, but 20 minutes everyday really helps.

    I try to put in a load of laundry everyday. It doesn't always get folded, but at least I don't have to look at an overflowing hamper.

    Kudos on using the word flotsam. I though only William Faulkner ever used that word. I stand corrected.

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  8. I have no advice because I am the SAME WAY. Just last night I chose dinner based on which pots were clean. My MIL visits every Monday morning (LOVELY way to start my week...) so I usually do a big pick up on Sunday. But otherwise it's usually in various states of disarray. That's why I recently started purging stuff again. I can't deal with all this...STUFF...everywhere. Our house is so small that it quickly gets overwhelming. The best tip I have is to have your DH take the baby out one afternoon. My DH did that for me, in 2007 (sigh) and I was able to get the house in PERFECT shape in a few hours. It was a FABulous feeling.

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  9. Well, it's good to know I'm not the only one. The 20 minute timer is an excellent idea! I'm going to try to go home at lunch today and pick up our mess from last night...we'll see if that works.

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  10. We're pretty good about this stuff.

    I've implemented a strict "no-shoe" policy when you walk in our front door.

    Everything kind of has a place. The mail stays on the foyer table. The bottles stay in their bottle drawer... It works.

    Food gets cleaned up right away.

    I think it is just staying on top of it. Do I have clean laundry waiting to be put away from last week? SOmetimes. Do I have dust bunnies in my bedroom? Yes. But I find if you go through and clean really well once, and just keep up with it, you feel so much saner.

    Just don't go in our guest bedroom.

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  11. I totally relate to what you've just written. It's so hard to keep up, and when you've got a little one around, you're constantly multi-tasking and sometimes (ok, most times) stuff doesn't get done. I could have written this myself. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone in my mess. :)

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