Some girls in my neighborhood have started a blog called The Well Functioning Family. They have some great posts about managing your home. Someone did a post about their daily routine and it took me back to when I had only Scotty. After the initial shock of becoming parents wore off I set up a great daily schedule for me. I really hate doing housework, so I would only schedule one big cleaning task a day. It was great- the house stayed clean week to week and I wasn't dreading a day that I had to all the cleaning at once. I did the cleaning while Scotty took his morning nap and then when he no longer took a morning nap he loved to help me- it was fun! When Grant came along I had to adjust to having two kids and my schedule went out the window. I had a hard time keeping myself clean let alone the house! Then only 7 months later I find that I'm pregnant again and begin the months of morning sickness, heartburn and exhaustion- all while still taking care of a baby. Then after Collin was born there was 9 months of the time consuming task of caring for 2 kids under 2yrs plus an energetic preschooler. Let's just say that the housework wasn't on my to-do list. But I'll tell you what WAS on the top of my to-do list: guilt about not doing the housework. I just felt like a loser wife and Mom because I didn't have the energy, willpower or desire to do much housework. I kept up on the laundry and the daily straightening, dishes, etc, but not much else. I would much rather spend my time playing with the kids than cleaning. And I have a strict no cleaning policy during afternoon naps- that is pure "me" time. I need that afternoon break to just relax and refuel for the after nap crazy time. And after the kids are in bed is couple time. Plus by evening I'm way too tired to tackle any major cleaning jobs. But the guilt started to eat me alive. I would argue with myself that I should just do the cleaning during nap time, or make the kids play without me in the morning and clean then. But I really didn't want to do either of those. Then one day I had a realization: I am a stay at home MOM, not a stay at home HOUSECLEANER. My kids are young. They need a lot of attention. They are fun to be with and I enjoy playing with them and spending time with them. They are growing up at an alarming rate. I stay at home so I can raise my kids- not keep a sparkling clean house. I still need to do housecleaning, but I don't need to beat myself up over it. I gave myself permission to dump the guilt and cherish this time I have with my young kids. Someday they will be in school all day and I'll have plenty of time to clean, but for now, I am going to enjoy all the time I have to spend with them. I'm very lucky to be able to stay home and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Even when I'm having a day like the day in my video I just posted!
I am so much happier now that I can stop stressing about this: