Lately I have been reading lots of home decorating magazines, excited with the prospect of having a house in the next year or so... I have also missed work due to a sick self and sick children and got so behind in housework that I would not voluntarily invite friends or the county health nurse over for tea.
The combination of reading lots of "home" magazines and being unable to do ANY housework is not mentally or emotionally healthy, especially when paired with the guilt that comes from not necessarily missing work, but feeling like I should be there because I have so much to do, and then feeling doubly guilty that I am feeling guilty about not being at work when I should be happy and relieved that I am spending quality time with my children, even if we are sick, because usually I feel guilty when I am at work because I am not with them.... (Only the working mothers reading this will FULLY understand me, but hopefully most of you have some idea of what I am trying to convey).
While I am far from supermom or superwoman... I like to think that I am at least capable of accomplishing the smallest of tasks necessary to make it through the day. We make it out of the house close enough to on time in the morning, my kids are bathed more often than once a week and generally eat something green at least once a day. While I don't shave my legs very often anymore, I at least shower....um daily? My kids know about cavity bugs, Jesus and being good helpers. My husband should know that I love him immensely, even if I do forget to wash (or dry) his uniform before he has to leave for work on occasion or put a fork in his lunchbox. He receives occasional surprises and thank yous for all the hard work he does to provide for us. I am usually sorry that I run the water when he is in the shower, but I admit, I sometimes do it on purpose... (just kidding honey, I wrote that to be funny). I sometimes cook meals and freeze them so that I can be prepared for the days I know we won't have time, although we do spend too much money at Sully's some months. If there are no clean socks in our drawers, that usually means we just have to spend the extra time going through the sock basket... although, today I am wearing two different socks (but you can't really tell unless you look really close... and I generally don't let people that close to my ankles).
Although we don't actually have too many "dirty" clothes at our house, I can't honestly say that I am "caught up" on laundry until the clothes are actually put away right? The houses in Metropolitan Homes don't have ANY dirty laundry - and in the closets they do show, all the clothes are color coordinated and hung up by brand, sleeve length and percentage of polyester. But, I am assuming that IF they have kids who puke in all the beds and pee on the couch in the same day, that they have nannies and fancy large capacity washers and dryers and besides, pee wipes right off leather right?
The gleaming, streak-free, unlived in kitchens from Better Homes and Gardens kept flashing through my mind as I dug through the dirty dishes to the bottom of the kitchen sink looking for the car seat buckles that Jason had taken off of a car seat a week ago... There is nothing wrong with survival dishwashing... it just gets kind of frustrating when you have to wash the fork before you can use it. I KNEW when I bought dishes on clearance at Target that I would NEED those 12 plates - not to entertain or serve four course meals (the last thing on my mind is a centerpiece (sorry Martha)), but to make it through the week! I am just patiently waiting for the day that I have a dishwasher... the BHG homes already have their dishwashers, that's why.
Our master bedroom is the same size as the kids' room and it is far from a sanctuary for sleep (as recommended in more than one magazine article)...more like a purgatory for the "clean" clothes waiting to be put away. The bathroom counter is sometimes visible (where DO those yuppies put their toothbrushes anyway?). There is always a path through our living room, somedays it is just more visible than others, but maybe that's because my living room is LIVED in?
I have come to the harsh realization that my home will never grace the pages of Real Simple or Martha Stewart Living, but I have spent some guilty quality time with my kids these past four days, even if we did lie on the floor, eat Saltines and watch T.V. for most of it. Isn't that what really matters?