Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Cleaning Day

Since we had no power, we changed "cleaning day" from Monday to Wednesday this week. But really, with three children, a husband, and my clutter-bug self, what day isn't cleaning day?!

Home management has to be the hardest part of my job. I'm just not a naturally organized person. I try to follow flylady's system, and it certainly helps. But I find myself thinking, even if I did only what flylady said to do everyday, I would still be working myself to death with cleaning! I can't even seem to do flylady. I always tell myself it's because she's not surrounded by little people all day that she gets all this "zone work" done!

Here's the routine at my soon as one pile is eliminated, another comes to take its place. What mom can't relate to that hilarious and oh-so-true Erma Bombeck quote: "Cleaning the house while your children are at home is like shoveling snow in a snowstorm." Preach it, sister!

The problem with cleaning day is that I turn into Grumpy Mom. I start ordering my children around, expecting them to be as quick as me, and then scolding them when they aren't. The get distracted from their job, as children will do, and I have to quit mopping to redirect them every five, make that two, minutes. They complain about ALL the work I'm making them do and then I launch into a commentary that goes something like this recent one with my son:

"Mom, I don't want to do all the work around here!"

"Don't worry, you never will. Do you wash the clothes?"


"Do you load and unload the dishwasher?"


"Do you clean the bathrooms?"


This list of mine went on and on. Each time my poor subject, er, son, answered no. Of course, the whole idea was lost on him. He didn't know nor care what my point was. I actually think he thought it was a fun game. We wrapped up the question and answer session like this:

"Well, then you don't do all the work around here, do you?!"

Score one for Mommy! What was I trying to prove here, anyway? That I know how to operate the major appliances, and can clean a toilet, that I know where all the dishes go, and how much soap to put in the dishwasher?!

I attribute this conversation to my mommy-martyrdom. You know, the poor-pitiful-me routine you start into as a mom, feeling sorry for yourself about all you do and what everyone else is the house doesn't do. The fact that you are seemingly the only one who knows how to clean a toilet, because you're the only one who ever does (hint to hubby).

I've recently read God is Closer Than You Think by John Ortberg and it has me wondering, is it possible to "practice His Presence" in the midst of cleaning day? I'll have to get back to you on that!

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