Saturday, September 18, 2010

A clean house is

a sign of a wasted life.....I don't know who said it...I've seen it around for years and I always despised it. Mostly because I had a job - an unpaid job - and part of that job enabled me - and in some ways required me - to keep a clean house and I was damn proud of it. And not only was I proud of it but it allowed me to end my days feeling relaxed and calm and not pressured by a disorganized mess surrounding me.

For most of my married life, I've been a stay at home mom. I've worked at various part time jobs through the years as our finances demanded or our children and their position in our lives allowed. I taught music privately and directed choirs and musicals and I performed; I managed a couple of insurance and/or real estate offices, led Cub Scouts and coached soccer, ran an in home daycare and even for a time, cleaned other peoples houses. And I kept a clean house. Most of the time.

So I resented that quote. I felt it belittled me as a a mother who chose to stay at home with my children rather than send them to daycare. We made sacrifices as a family in order for us to afford for me to stay home. And I felt "judged" on all sides.

If my house was too clean I was wasting my life. If it was dirty, then I was lazy because I didn't have a full time paying job outside the house. If it was somewhere in between (which it always seemed to be when "certain people" would drop in!) ...well, there was judgment in their eyes too (with their own unorganized, somewhat dirty houses justified by their paid job I guess.)

But that was before. This is now...after I tried and failed to implement and stick to my resolutions for this new school year. This is now when living with this many animals - two of them ill and old and making messes we didn't have to deal with in their healthy younger days - requires a lot of work. This is now when so much other stuff that isn't quite so noticeable requires my attention and time.

Now, I kind of like that quote. When I steal time in the afternoon to sit on my front porch with a good book or a magazine or even just to look at the hawks soaring overhead and ignore the vacumning that needs doing or the floors that look as if they've not been mopped in a month or the spiders that found their way into that same corner in the mudroom.....When I take a day to just run around with my husband checking out this new fishing hole or going dream shopping or just driving around to look at old houses....

Of course it helps that I have only one real neighbor and that most of my friends and relatives live so far from me now that they wouldn't think of just dropping in and catching me with a dirty house....

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