My house is a mess. I do not care. I used to care. I try to care, but it’s an ongoing fruitless endeavor. A moot point. I clean and the kids are behind me room by room overturning lego bins and stripping polly pocket of her minuscule shoes and jewelry. It’s nearly stupid to expend any sort of effort on cleaning. So I quit.
I do laundry and meals. Yes. But no more worrying about scattered toys and papers. If I let those things get to me I’d go insane and still have a messy house. I’d spend hours a day yelling at my kids to pick up after themselves, likely to no avail. If I cared about tidiness, I would be unhappy and make bad memories for my children to hold onto. Not to mention give them weird ideas about what’s important in life.
So, my house is a mess. If you come over I will put on the coffee, wipe off the table and feed you something yummy – which I will clean up (dirty kitchen are germy after all). I will give you my undivided attention and leave my cell on the counter. You will find toilet paper where it should be and hand soap in my dispenser. You will also find bath toys lying in the tub and possibly a towl hanging over the curtain rod to dry. That is my house. This is my life.
For the first two years of my writer life, I tried noveling and housekeeping. I was miserable and so was my family. It didn’t work for me. Like everything worth doing, sacrifices were made. I let go of things that no one should care about – like a little clutter. If they live here and care, then I reason they have two hands to pick it up themselves. If they don’t live here, they have no business caring about how many pair of shoes line my front door. Please. I beg you. Get a life.
I believe when you write, something else in your life has to give because writing takes everything you have. I gave up Holly Homemaker. At the end of the day, I’d rather spend my free hour playing polly pockets or legos with my kids not cleaning them up. Soon they’ll learn to do this themselves with some consistency. Until then, I choose to embrace the life I have. One where I get to do the thing I love. One where three healthy happy children play. One where we have a warm home and toys to give them.
There will be plenty of time to worry about the mess when they’re gone. And I make no mistake about it, that day will come far too soon.