Monday, March 28, 2011

The Secret

So often people ask me what "my secret" is. Those who know me well already know the "secret", but they may not realize it.

How do I do everything that I do?

Answer: my house is almost never "clean". I spend too much time cleaning up things like this....

Oops! That's what I get for folding laundry downstairs!
There are two reasons for this. 1. If I *did* keep the house sparkling, I'd freak out that much more when the boys messed it up. 2. It takes two days to clean one days' worth of the mess my boys can make. Example above.

Just to clarify - I don't live in a pit of germs and old food and disgusting-ness. It's just not *sparkly* the way I'd want it to be. Being a little obsessive/compulsive about tidiness isn't helpful, because in my mind I'm constantly tearing apart all the ways in my mind that my home could be more beautiful, but it's been a profound lesson in patience and looking beyond my current circumstances.

The outdoor dirt festival.
One day, I thought to myself, "I wish the boys weren't here so that I could have a clean house for once!!!" But then, I really gave this thought a once-over, and I realized how LONELY a sparkling clean, EMPTY house could be. If it always stayed clean, there wouldn't be any morning snuggles, play dough playtimes, crafts with 20 google eyes glued to them, or adorable little "chefs" stirring the brownie mix and accidentally splattering some on the wall. To me, I'll take the mess if it means I get three precious sons in return.

The three little explorers.
So, today - instead of sending them off to preschool on spring break so I could begin day one of spring cleaning, I kept them home and played with them all morning. We learned all about gardens, how seeds grow, the differences between veggies and flowers, rode bikes and read stories. I have about three loads of laundry and some dishes sitting idle, but I can get to those during nap time.

After all, chores don't grow up and leave you behind, they're ALWAYS there.


  1. Beautiful Erin, and so true... Thank you for PERSPECTIVE!

  2. I love it!! And I'm RIGHT there with you girl friend. Surprise visitors nearly give me a heart attack-- cause they see the REAL inside of my house!! YIKES!

  3. The dirt will ALWAYS be there - I'm so with you!

    When I was newly divorced I struggled with how difficult it was to maintain my home. My mother and grandmother are IMMACULATE housekeepers and I felt I had this legacy to keep up with ... but 6 yrs later ... I'm happy to say ... I've made my peace with some dust and a few dishes piled up with some laundry always in the baskets waiting to be washed.

    My kids and I laugh and connect a lot. We share an incredible bond and in my book - it's well worth the trade. ;)

    Thanks for sharing!