Monday, February 2, 2009

chucking it, house guilt edition

I don't enjoy living like a pig. (My friends and family: "Lie.") I promise! It's just that the rewards of living in a neat, orderly home are clearly unable to compete with the pleasure of sitting on my butt and blogging about how messy my house is. I am not Pam, I am not Kellie, and my pleas to them to come and organize my house have fallen upon deaf ears. I know! So selfish.

I realized last week that I have one measuring system for how often a house should be cleaned, and my mom has another. I clean my house by my standards, but judge my performance by hers. That's messed up. It creeps my parents out that I usually have laundry stacked in various rooms and states of dirtiness, papers and books and puzzles and toys and snow clothes spread hither and yon, a garage in which a family of hobos could camp without fear of detection, and a lawn that is likely responsible for the carbon capture of the entire state of Utah. But I think they love me anyway. I may not be good at any of the things they are, but I am good at some other things. I hope, or my theory is blown all to heck.

So I decided that I'm not going to feel guilty about my house anymore. As Emily said, "Who cares if you've vacuumed your house that day?" (Emily is very good at concentrating on the stuff that actually matters.) I'll keep it as clean as I do now, sometimes more, sometimes less. Not dirty, because that's gross. Just cluttery. I wish we could take the Andy Warhol approach and just sweep all the mess and clutter into a box every week and stick it in storage. But we're not famous (yet--fingers crossed!), so we can't get away with that. Also the children would probably find a way to get out of the box. So that won't work.

I can't imagine being the kind of person who cleans her house the day after gall bladder surgery because she doesn't want anyone to see her house in an imperfect state. But I know the girl who did that, and no, thank you. I'll just start judging myself by my standards, instead of my mom's. We'll call it artistic.


tipsybaker said...

Everyone in my household is messy, with the possible exception of my daughter. My mother comes over and looks at my living room and says things like, "You're wonderful, so relaxed! I wish I could be so relaxed."

I know a euphemism when I hear one.

All8 said...

Let me know how it works out. My house is messy, verging on dirty. I promise we're not living in a barn. It just looks that way. I guess that means that I can't yell at the kids to shut the door either then, since it looks like a barn.

Can't wait for our citywide clean up. I always say that it's all going. This year is the year. (ha ha ha....)

Jill said...

amen sister! I think in order to be a strict housekeeper, we would have to give up some of our more loveable attributes! I think in heaven I decided I'd rather be fun and creative...:-)

When I am famous...(which I feel is really just around the corner) I will pay to have people clean for me. They will have to do it daily because I've tried it weekly and we still mess it up. I will need to have someone assigned to each memeber of the family. They will just follow us...sorta like the pooper scoopers at the parade. :-)

Sarah said...

I totally know what it's like to have a Cinderella-clean mom. I'm just not that awesome. In fact, the current heap of clutter surrounding me at this very moment would probably send her into a clostrophobia attack. When she had a herniated disk, it drove her absolutely crazy that she wasn't supposed to clean. She would lay on the couch and look around at all of the "filth" and it just made her insane. Sometimes I wish I was THAT clean, but I usually prefer to wish as Jill does - that when my fame and fortune comes, I'll have an army of cleaners to keep up with the tazmanian devils in our home.

Amy said...

I so related to this post. I place a very high value on cleanliness, really I do. But, I just can't achieve the level I would like to achieve and still be the kind of wife and mother I want to be. I had a friend whose home always looked picture perfect and I kept asking her how she did it until she finally confided in me that she never wanted to play with her kids or do anything but clean her house and it was really a problem for her. Plus, she would dive down her husband's throat the minute he came home from work and, say, kicked off his shoes. Her confession has helped me shirk off some of the guilt over not having a home like that. Though . . . I have to be honest with myself and admit it is also part laziness.