Sometimes, the mom guilt goes too far.
Like when it comes to cleaning. I read this post yesterday from Little Miss Momma (my newest blog obsession, although I almost hate her and her adorable little family. As if anyone looks that good at home all day with kids. Hmmpph) and I felt like I knew exactly she was talking about.
I am that mom. I’ll admit it—I get stressed out when things are messy. And it used to bother me that I had this little dirty secret. After all, moms are supposed to embrace the fingerprints and the cookie crumbs and the toys strewn about.
And I do.
To a point.
But there is also a point where I need to maintain a clean(ish) house to maintain my sanity. I’ve always been like this, but after I had kids, I started to feel guilty about it. Because after all, moms are supposed to savor every minute of their kids’ lived that are flying by so fast and cleaning or organizing were in direct opposition of that. I distinctly remember feeling ridiculously guilty after Mya was born for any and all cleaning that I did.
I can remember standing at the sink doing dishes and feeling torn that I could hear Ada playing with blocks in the living room. I actually had moments where I panicked—should I do the dishes or should I go play with her? Should I lay Mya down for her nap or should I snuggle her just a moment longer? Was I wasting every precious moment of my babies’ lives by meaningless cleaning?
I mean, really.
When did things get so out of control? Where did this kind of pressure on us come from? That I would feel guilty for doing the dishes?
Yes, crumbs represent the times we’ve baked homemade cookies together, but they also can lead to ants in your lasagna. Which is no fun.
I’ve come to a good balance in my life as a mother who likes a clean(ish) house. The thing is, I’m here with these little people every day and if it takes a little bit of cleaning and organizing throughout the day to help me get through the day, then so be it. I don’t feel guilty anymore about being adamant about getting my cleaning done when I can. If this week is any indication, you just never know what lies in store and when you will be holed up with sick children and fevers and diapers that you will feel guilty for contaminating the landfills with.
Of course, I’m not advocating ignoring our children and cleaning 24/7. I just know that there will be times for dropping everything and playing on the living room rug and there will be times for looking the other way when your kids drop food all over the floor. There will be times to let the toys pile up and the vacuuming to wait.
But there will also be a time to do the dishes. And for heaven’s sake—
Let’s not feel guilty about doing the dishes.