A few days ago Mr DaisLikeThese picked our eldest son up from a playdate and when he arrived home he told me, enviously, how lovely our son’s friend’s house was. When I asked in which way it was so nice he said “well everything was lovely and spotless”. I felt a pang of guilt – our house is never lovely and spotless!
Don’t get me wrong, our house is by no means a sty but I must admit that it played on my mind a bit. I made a vow that I was going to make a real effort to get on top of things at home; perhaps have a bit of a daily routine like I know a lot of people have. My house was going to be sparkling, ordered and lovely by the end of the week.
Then I remembered….I have three kids and a dog, who was I kidding?!
The washing, drying, folding and putting away of clothes for five people, the muddy paws of a dog, wheels of a pram and feet of of the kids, the endless loading and unloading of the dishwasher, the mountains of papers that need to be filed, the return of the winter jackets on the bannister, the hotwheels cars and the lego – oh my goodness the lego! And please lets not forget the unmentionable state that the toilet gets left in by the boys of the household. It is near impossible to stay on top of.
In a weak attempt to get ‘Operation Tidy House’ started, I bribed my two eldest to help me tackle their room (50p Zomlings are the currency in our house at the moment!). As the 7yr old and I were sorting and storing toys, books, magazines (and general crap) in various drawers, shelves and cupboards, the 4yr old was one step behind us getting it all back out to play with. And then I realised; I really am fighting a losing battle!
Whilst drowning my sorrows with tea and biscuits it dawned on me that playdate boy with the lovely house is, at 7yrs old, the youngest child in his family, the same age as my eldest. His mum has done her newborn, toddler and lego crazy 4yr old stages. She’s been so sleep deprived that a tidy house is in no way a priority, she’s had to down the duster to change an explosive nappy, she’s mopped the floor only to have it trampled with mud again, she’s packed away puzzles only to turn around and find the pieces scattered across the room again. I imagine that a few years ago her house probably looked a bit like ours!!
So rather than add another dimension to my ever expanding mum guilt, I will instead embrace the mess and get on with enjoying my family. I figure that when my youngest is seven (in 7 years time!) our house may just be a little closer to being “lovely and spotless.” Maybe.