Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I hate clutter.  And I hate being a Mom who is always cleaning.  Remember that scene in the "Incredibles" where Elasti-girl is vacuuming and Mr. Incredible picks up the couch for her.  I feel like I'm constantly vacumming, but instead of couches, I'm picking up kids.

I wanted kids.  I wanted lots of kids.  I also wanted to be a super hero Mom who maintained an immaculate home while having fresh baked cookies every afternoon for spic and span children politely lining up with clean and manicured hands asking for a "treat".

My house is gross and I'm overweight.  So much for "super Mom":)

I have a storage unit and we've constantly cycled through storing stuff.  We've downsized and downsized.  We've gotten rid of most everything save the children.  And yet, it still seems to get in!

I know there are people who are going to give me the lame excuse that I have lots of kids, therefore its a foregone conclusion that I'm going to have a messy house.  And then there's the other excuse that I work part time and otherwise I'd have a lovely home that was mess free.  Well, I'm friends with a lot of women who have much larger families than mine, and when I visit them, regardless of the time of day, their homes are always tidy and in order.  And my own mother, who worked incessantly to support her family also kept an immaculate house, althewhile attending to my brother who has intense medical needs.  I know neat houses can be accomplished.  I just have no clue how.

I feel like I walk around all day grumpy, snarking at the kids.  That's not the person I want to be.  I get guilt complexes when I feel like I'm turning into that housewife that the rest of the world part despises/part makes fun of.  Again, most definitely not who I want to be.  Generally speaking I'm a fun-loving, easy-going individual.  But my kids tremble in fear when they start to hear the water boiling in my brain "WHO LEFT THE MARSHMALLOW CEREAL ON THE TABLE...OUTSIDE OF ITS BAG?!?!?!"  "PICK UP THESE THOMAS TRACKS NOW!!!"  "PICK UP THESE LEGOS NOW!!!"  "COME AND HOLD YOUR SISTER I HAVE TO CLEAN UP PEE, (OR PUKE)!!!"  "CAN YOU PLEASE LIFT THE LID AND AIM FOR ONCE!!!"  The only times I don't scream are when the baby's sleeping or when I'm afraid to hurt my voice before a singing gig.

I want a routine.  I want to know that I'm going to (at least strive to) get up at the same time every morning.  Do schoolwork at the same time.  Allow time for housework and cooking and other daily needs.  I'd like to make time to spend with my children before they're grown up.  I'd like to make it to Mass more than once a week (and even better...Before the Responsorial Psalm!!)  And yet, when we go to bed early, something (or someone) always wakes us in the middle of the night.  Be it a bad dream, a cat, or even a water heater...And the next day I'm functioning on lack of sleep and kids that are looking to take advantage of that fact.

So what's the first step?  What's the next step?  How do I get out of this cycle of ensuing chaos?  If I'm striving for a healthier lifestyle, isn't it only right that I should include my mental health? 

Well, I'll figure it out...Right after I blast through those 8 loads of laundry still waiting to be attended to, and that pile of dishes in the sink, and the rest of our school day is finished up, and the baby's next size up clothes are done being sorted through...


  1. Oh, Patty... I hear your cry. Seriously, your post is me with some minor details changed. I never had a role model for home management and my natural ability to manage only held up through child #4... then it all seemed to fall apart. I guess this is where we become little again and offer up our failures to God while we try to figure out how to make it all work. I was hoping you had the answer at the bottom of the post... because no matter how often I look for it other places, I still find that I can't seem to make it work. Talk about a journey in humility!

    Keep walking, girl. Keep your eyes on Him. Lay it at the foot of the Cross. Let Him pull you up and forward. I'll pray for you. Pray for me?

  2. When your children are grown, will they remember the spotless home and clean hands? Or, will it be the home filled with love no matter that their hands were dirty and legos were on the floor.

    I too aspire to be a 1950's June Cleaver mom. But, sadly that is not me. Too much VDM in me to be neat and organized!! :)

    A good friend who is like a 2nd dad frequently reminds me that my child is my primary responsibility and if she is happy, my job is done and done well!

  3. Ahhhh Patty! I totally hear you my friend. It is difficult for me to have a routine and I have no children!!! But if I've learned anything, it's start really really really small. Babysteps. Pick something out of your day, maybe something that drives you the most crazy, and change it...and, if you wish, at the same time every day. Do that for a while and then add the next little babystep to that. It will definitely not all happen at once - but when you're having the worst of the screaming days, with no routine and annoyed out the ying yangs, you can at least look at **insert first babystep here** and know that you are working...working...working towards your goals. It can be done my friend..and you may realize that you will let go of some of the anxiety?! Who knows? This phase of life doesn't last forever...and sooner than I'm sure you'd like, your kids will be all grown up and moving away, and your house will be clean and you'll cry into your apron wishing them back to their little kid days!!! (LOL - that's where my mom's at right now as the very last of my siblings just left home this month!)

  4. amen sister. Why do we always have friends who are so dern CLEAN?!?! I know they have to have a junk drawer or closet somewhere..how come they don't have any papers stacked in baskets all over the dern house?!?! Where do they store their junk mail? I know it's in there somewhere :) How do they keep the baseboards clean?

  5. Hey Patty,
    I saw your comment on my own blog entry, "Things I Like" and how it's not always good to compare ourselves to others. So don't be too hard on yourself. :)

    I like Lisa B's comment about what kids will remember - a loving home or a tidy house.
    If it's any consolation, I struggle with the opposite problem to you. I spend too much time cleaning and too little time with the kids.

    In terms of organization, though, I've found "Fly Lady" helpful. You kind of have to be careful with her website because one can get REALLY caught up in and enslaved to "the routine". But she has some great ideas that I've adopted,like doing a load of laundry as soon as one needs to be done. You wash it, dry it and put it away immediately. Or the bathroom "swish and swipe" - a really quick daily bathroom clean. Or organizing one drawer a day.

  6. Thanks Anon Cat:)
    I used to LOVE Fly Lady!!! I need to restart that habit:) Thanks for the tip...

  7. I hear you! and what about baskets of laundry....clean or dirty...and then getting mixed together...argh