Today is cleaning day. It's not that I really just wanted to clean, but I finally realized it was TIME to clean. I am at this moment in my day taking a break from the cleaning to catch my breath. I have spent most of the morning sweeping and mopping my front bathroom, kitchen, and dining room. We'll see if I make it to all the other rooms in the house. I decided that, after potty training a baby AND a new dog, it was about time for my yearly mopping of the house.
I can hear you laughing at that last comment, but let me assure you, I am quite serious. I mop my house about once a year, if that much. Actually, last year, I think Brient mopped for me. "Why only once a year?" you might be wondering??
A few years ago, I had 4 children, one of whom was a baby and another a toddler. There were just not enough hours in the day to finish everything I NEEDED to get done, let alone all the things I WANTED to get done. So I finally decided that a few things just had to go. I sat down and made a list in my head of all the things I was doing, and then I started eliminating things. I had to make some choices of what MUST stay (like food, clean clothes, and changing the baby's diapers) and what could be let go. Mopping fell on the list of things that I didn't just HAVE to do.
My kids are the most important thing in my life right now - THE "job" that God has called me to. I decided that I wanted to spend more time with them, instead of spending an entire day each week mopping my house. YES, it takes me an entire day. My whole house is linoleum, with only my bedroom having carpet. That means I have to spend a day with the kids cleaning up all the toys off of the floor, sweeping the entire house, and then coming back over the entire house with the mop. WAY too much time here. And yes, I do have them help me. They LOVE to mop, and would probably do it every day if I'd let them. BUT, when I get out the mop water, it's like an invitation for the baby to come play. So I just don't bother.
Now, before you start talking bad about me and my cleaning habits, let's think about this for a minute. First of all, it's not like I NEVER clean. If the kids spill a drink, it gets cleaned up with a wet rag. If the dog has an accident on the floor, the Clorox wipes come out. The second thing is this: what about people with carpet? For all of you people with carpet in your house, how often do you actually CLEAN that? Sure, if you get a spill on it, you clean up that spot. And yes, you probably vacuum once a week. But how often do you pull out (or rent) the steam cleaner to really CLEAN that carpet? ONCE A YEAR! So, in truth, I'm not really much different than you, now am I?
And for all of you who have been feeling badly that you just don't keep your house clean enough, feel encouraged. I can probably pretty safely say that you still clean more than me!
And remember this: your house will still be there when the kids are grown and gone. You can spend every day cleaning then if you want to. But for now, keep your priorities in the right order. Your kids are the most important job you have right now. They will be grown soon enough.