Clean as a whistle

My house is a mess.

This is, of course, all relative. If I told you that I had three kids, ages 5 and under, worked three part-time jobs, and a husband who works full time, you might walk into my house and think it looks surprisingly clean, all things considered. Especially since I make the conscious choice to take time for myself instead of choosing to spend every free minute cleaning. You can’t fault me for that, can you?

Of course, this means I have to balance my desire for an immaculate home with my desire for a few minutes to knit, update Facebook, tweet, or read when the kids are all otherwise engaged. It means that I have to recognize that I would really rather a house where we can play and have fun without worrying about the mess all the time. It means that I can’t compare myself to friends that have babysitters or cleaning people or less children or more children (I shouldn’t compare myself to anyone else anyway, but thats another post).

Still, it’s hard. I like to maintain this facade that I have it all under control all the time, and that means that my house is clean. If my house is clean then people will think I can manage the house and the kids and that I’m doing a good job at my job.

Im working on letting that go. I went to a speaker at church recently who talked about naming our biggest fear, so that we couldn’t be tempted by the devil with it. It started me thinking. My biggest fear, what all the other fears boil down to, is failure. In this instance, its failing to have a clean house. If i fail at that, then i fail at showing people that i can do it all. If people don’t see that, then maybe they won’t like me, and I’ve failed at making friends.

Of course, it sounds silly all written out like that, doesn’t it?

So maybe my house will never be clean as a whistle. And maybe that’s ok, too.


One thought on “Clean as a whistle

  1. I too am struggling with how clean a house do I want to maintain. I’ve decided a little dirty is inevitable, but when it starts grating on my nerves then it’s time to clean. When are you allowed to dispense out chores to the kids?
    My greatest fear: losing myself, so I am trying to cling tightly to at least one hobby of mine. Currently that hobby is sewing – having given up knitting for the time being due to the heat.
    And you’re right, you shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone. Besides, I think you’re amazing and we’ve never even met. =)

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