Wednesday, October 10, 2007

All these years I've been lied to . . .

Okay, I finally figured it out. All these years people have been lying to me. First my mom, and now Rhett. You know how when you get your house perfectly spotless, people say things like, "Doesn't it feel great to have a clean house?" or "This is the way a house should look!" But you know what? Those are lies.

First, it doesn't feel great to have a clean house, because you know the second (and I really mean nanosecond) that you have to actually live in your house, it will suddenly be filthy again. Like in twenty minutes! So when you have a clean house, it's actually the worst position to be in, because there's nowhere to go but down from there. And what a depressing downward spiral it is.

Second, a house shouldn't look that way. A HOTEL should look that way because no one lives in it for real. A MODEL HOME should look that way because no one is actually blow-drying their hair in it, or spraying hairspray on the mirror. But a real house, honestly, just likes to be dirty. So I've been expending all this energy and time trying to make my house be something it's not (hmmm, there's an interesting parallel here, and perhaps connection, between this and my mom and my husband trying to get me to be more tidy).

I'm not filthy by nature. I'll clean it up at some point. I don't like to live in squalor and I don't like my toilets to be dirty. But, I don't put everything I touch away immediately (this is where Rhett and I differ). I have piles (of clothes, of paperwork, of stuff to take downstairs, of stuff to take upstairs). But my piles aren't like the ones you see on Oprah where you only have little paths that lead from room to room surrounded by giant piles of who knows what. My piles are little. Really. And they get taken care of eventually. Usually.

I try really hard to overcome my natural untidiness. I even have a laminated chore chart that I'm supposed to cross off each day, wipe it clean it that night, and then recross off the same chores the next day. Here's the daily list: Help Veevs with her chores (she also has a laminated chore chart), Help Spe with his chores (again, another laminated chore chart), Dress and feed Wristy (I DO remember to feed him, but I like to be able to cross things off the list), Read scriptures, Make bed, Tidy up my room, Tidy up Wristy's room, Tidy up the living rooms (of which there are three!), Unload the dishwasher, Load the dishwasher, Clean the kitchen, Do a load of laundry, Tidy up the bathrooms (again, three!), Tidy up the toy room, and Make Dinner. Don't even get me started on the chores I do once a week. Today I had to dust the house and vacuum the downstairs. I'm making a good effort, right?

But, I realized today as I was cleaning that I was fighting the Vietnam War of house cleaning. Because no matter how many times I tidy up the living room, my kids will drag more toys into it. And there we are, back at the 16th Parallel North. So for the rest of the afternoon, I'm going to grab a book, sit on my couch, and let my house enjoy itself. And you know what? I'm not even going to put the book away when I'm done.


Amy said...

I hear ya on the clean house....a happy home is a healthy home! Perfection is for a different world:)
One of my main frustrations is the same as yours...the second it gets clean the kids bring out their stuff and mess it up AGAIN! It is like a clean canvas for their clutter of artwork. lovely and entertaining all in rock!

Valerie said...

Housework is an endless battle that no one can win...I just put out the white flag and move on with the day.

Thanks for the cake quote. I'm trying to figure out how I can use it in my it!

Bryner Family said...

I love the way you write! I linked to your site from Amy's and I'm cracking up! I live in the TC Ward, so I've heard your name but don't think I ever had the pleasure of meeting you. I'll just get to know you through this funny blog, I guess! :)

carl b smith and marilyn said...

heidsmota, I was thinking today about this blog. If not seeing a need to do everything right now can be transmitted genetically, I have finally found something that you inherited from me. Congratulations and condolences. I happy for you and sad for you. May type B personalities rule! DAD

The Holcombs said...

You have a way with words and I love it. You are cracking me up and explaining exactly how I feel right now. So what am I doing instead of cleaning, posting on how great it is just to let it be on your post. Aren't distractions wonderful...I won't see it if I am only looking at the computer.

Keep it up, this is a true daymaker!!!

Celia and Scott said...

Heidi, you're hilarious.

That's all I have to say.

suburbancorrespondent said...

Yes, at some point you just have to call it quits for the day. Enjoy your book!

And thanks for stopping by my blog - hope you enjoyed it.

monkie mama said...

Heidi, you are my hero! I didn't realize until this post that you are my long lost twin. We truly lead parallel lives! My husband is also very tidy and (shhh! fussy) about keeping things nice and clean. Unfortunately--life is NOT neat and clean and I always feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.

I love this line--"So when you have a clean house, it's actually the worst position to be in, because there's nowhere to go but down from there. And what a depressing downward spiral it is." I'm spirallin' girl!

I too create piles of things that I just can't deal with yet (and piles are tidier than stuff just being spread about)--yet another thing that drives the hubby crazy. I keep thinking. "someday." But I've stopped holding my breath for that ethereal someday to come--I keep passing out from lack of oxygen!

I think I need to go read a book!