Each year, my son goes to Tennessee to spend a couple of weeks with his grandparents (my in-laws) and cousins, without the rest of our family. And each year that I can, I send my husband to go visit his parents for a long weekend and take the twins with him, leaving me alone with the dogs. What do I do with this precious quiet time? Massages, manicures, naps, and Netflix? Oh no, not me, glutton for punishment. I use the time to clean the house of old toys, catch up on simple projects that can’t get completed with three children underfoot, and purge the junk that accumulates between the five of us over the course of the year.
People ask me often how I “do it all” with three kids and two out-of-the-house jobs. I always laugh at them and ask if they’ve seen my house. It’s the thing I’m quickest to let fall by the wayside … and most reluctant to pick back up. I’m not the girl that has to have everything in order before she can fall asleep. I waltz unbothered right past that armchair piled high with clean, unfolded clothes and into my unmade bed. It gets to the point where I fall so behind that the task of catching back up starts to become overwhelming, so why not just wait longer? I failed Mark Twain Benjamin Franklin Quips 101. When it comes to my house, I will most certainly put off til’ tomorrow what can be done today.
So you can imagine that a year of putting things off tends to pile up. Bathtubs need to be caulked, dust bunnies the size of chihuahuas reside under entertainment centers, books get outgrown, expired cereal gets lost behind other things in the cupboard. I set out with a goal of deep cleaning and purging every room of the house in the four days I had alone. I paid a house cleaner to deep clean my house once and she did it in eight hours. How hard could it be?
I really need to stop overdoing it on weekends I should be using to relax. Teach me your ways, goddesses of relaxation. I beg you.
I ate a lot of words that weekend. Kids are gross. I found legos wrapped in used dryer sheets, placed neatly on shelves. I found Mardi Gras stuff dated 2013 on our bedroom dresser. This is why we can’t have nice things. You get the picture. All five of us need to curb our collecting habits. I ran out of cleaning supplies and had to make two separate runs to the store for backups. Eight black garbage bags of trash and four goodwill bags later, I only finished 4.5 of the 8 rooms I set out to complete. But dang, 2/3 of my house looked GOOD.
That is, until my family ran through the door and ran into my open arms to shower me with hugs and kisses … and promptly dropped their stuff all over the sparkling living room. They’re lucky they’re cute. I’m told I’ll miss the mess one day, but I’m not so sure. Then again, I’m also not sure I’ll ever grow out of being a major contributor to the mess.