At about 4:00 p.m. every day, I go on a bit of a cleaning spree.
“Come on, Ada, let’s pick up things a bit before Daddy gets home!” I holler, throwing toys over my shoulder as I sprint around the house, Jacob clinging for dear life on my shoulder.
I’ll unload the dishwasher for the second (or third) time that day, switch the laundry again, do a quick sweep, maybe even light a candle. Usually, I’ll start dinner prep. I’ll settle Ada down with a book or a puzzle or coloring and put Jacob in his seat or bouncy chair.
For all intents and purposes, Ben walks into a house looking neat and tidy, smelling of dinner and perhaps cinnamon, children happy and playing contently with something educational.
Never mind that 30 minutes ago, the place was a disaster, I hadn’t even gotten dressed for the day, and all three children were up screaming and crabby.
When he walks in the door, I have usually transformed the house (and myself) into a model home of calmness and happiness. I am a perfect little wife.
Why do I do it?
It’s not like Ben has ever asked me to do it. It’s not like on the rare occasion when he gets home and I haven’t even unloaded the dishwasher for the day, let alone even thought about dinner, that he even notices. Honestly, I don’t think he has any expectations for my little world at home during the day.
But for some reason, I feel compelled to do it.
Maybe it’s my way of measuring up my day–my yardstick for evaluating my worth as a wife and as a mother. Well, if I can have the dishes done and dinner started and the kids calm by the time he gets home, maybe it will look like I’m doing something right.
Or maybe I do it for me.
Maybe it’s my way of “re-setting” the day. With any chaos or tantrums or me-losing-my-temper that had inevitably occurred during the day, maybe my little daily clean-up is a refresher of sorts. A way of hitting pause, and then play again.
I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like a bit of a fraud, pretending to have it all together when he walks in the door. When usually, truth be told, it’s the first time I’ve had it all together all day.
But honestly, I don’t think I do it to try to fool him.
I think I do it to try to fool myself.
*Also, speaking of cleaning, be sure to go enter my Baby Magic giveaway to win some free baby wash and lotion–today’s the last day to enter! You’ll be happy to have this stuff on hand, I promise.