As good as it feels to have a clean, organized, tidy, everything-in-it's place kind of home, mine rarely ever is. In the past year I've learned to be more okay with that. It used to be, that if by the end of any weekend, if every load of laundry wasn't washed and put away and all the dishes weren't in the cupboards and my living room wasn't freshly dusted, I would beat myself up about what a bad job I'm doing as a housewife.
How pathetic I must be that I can't work AND be mommy AND make dinner AND stay on top of all my chores. I'm a failure at this like I have been at everything else in my life, I would say. And what an ugly thing to say to myself too. Yikes.
There are days still that I wish I could be super-woman and find a way to stay on top of it all so that my life and my home look pristine and perfect and put-together. But that's just not REAL life. And ya'll know - I am all about being real.
These days, I apologize less to my friends when they come over and see toys strewn about or groceries sitting on the coffee table because Tommy has decided to go "shopping" in the pantry again.
The evenings that I come home from work and the dishes are all done with the exception of a couple of things that need to be washed by hand, I just smile and feel relieved. Because I have a gracious husband who helps and doesn't leave it all for me to do.
Also, I hate, loathe and have great disdain for dishes. They are, and always will be, my household nemesis.
Inevitably, piles stack up. Piles of randomness from leftover crafty projects or lessons being worked on, half-made grocery lists, and bills that need paying. Life just accumulates somehow.
Maybe that's what happens when you're really living. There will always be things that remain undone or not put away in their place because you've been too busy reading Dr. Seuss books and crashing trucks into walls because you love to make your son laugh. Or because you are taking five minutes all to yourself just to breathe and sit in front of your blog and write to your heart's content because there are few other things in the world that you would rather be doing.
Maybe what I'm trying to say is that I've decided not to let the mess that often happens around me, define my worth or value as a wife or homemaker. I'm not being graded and I've let myself off the hook.
Next week marks the beginning of a new work schedule for me. Work has changed a lot in the last year for me too as I've been gradually asked to take on more hours and more responsibility. I'm grateful for a job and employment - I love where I work and who I work for. The company is growing, and in this economy, that's kind of a big deal.
But at the same time, I've been kind of mourning the things I will be missing too. Mostly time with Tommy and the extra time just for me that I've been thoroughly enjoying. Working part-time created the space for me just to learn how to be and to learn what it is that I need in order to take care of myself. It's hard not to be fearful that working full-time again is going to morph me back into the person I was before. The frazzled, exhausted and numbed-out woman who did everything half-assed and just survived and existed day in and day out.
Something in me tells me though that it won't be like last time. I'm different. I know how to take care of myself. I know what I need. I know how to ask for help. I know how to make changes. I feel at peace - like I know I'm gonna be alright.
One thing is for sure though - my house will be just as messy. I'm sure that clothes still won't make it into the hampers and I will still trip over motorcycles on my way to brush my teeth every night.
And you know what?