Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Have you seen or heard this saying?

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I have, over and over and over again. And every time I do, it grates my nerves...oh how it annoys. I've actually written this blog in my head a few times, but didn't want to give this ridiculous saying any air time.


I'm a disclaimer kinda girl. Ask my husband...I love the disclaimer.

So this saying, where to start. If you didn't know what my house looked like would you assume, based on my family, that I qualify for being called a good mom because of the definition on this sign/saying?

I'm a dang good mom. Every moment of my day surrounds them and how I can be better for them. My kids occupy every part of my brain at the current stage we are in and I doubt that as time passes that will change much.

Being a good mom has zero to do with how clean your house is. They are not connected at all actually. Or are they.

My house is clean. It's very very clean. I often have friends razz me about it being so clean. Does this mean I'm a bad neglectful mother, or does this mean I've figured out how to manage a household and motivate the members in that household to...I don't know....HELP?? To me that is a much harder and rewarding task.

Children in this world don't know how to clean. They are entitled. It's easier to do their work for them and complain about it than actually TEACH them to do it themselves. Or it's easier to let it be messy and make plaques to hand in our home listing our excuses for our parenting shortcomings. It's easier to make signs putting down the ones that actually are doing it the right way and not making excuses. Yikes, this is getting mean.

Re-read the disclaimer please!

My good friend Melissa has some vinyl lettering in her house that says, work hard, play harder. I simply love that. We work in this house. We clean it together. They have age appropriate chores and are responsible for their junk. That's the bottom line.

Over the last 12 years, I've become quite good at homemaking. I can juggle and balance a house load. I can. I do my job well. If homemaking were an actual employment, I'd be a Director making six figures. I got it down. I spend less than an hour a day cleaning my house. Yes we have nearly five children and no I don't pay anyone to do it for me. The children pick up their room daily and whatever else I give them to do that takes from my hour. So some days I spend ten minutes cleaning the house, and each kid spends 10. Pretty good deal huh? The other hours in the day are spent having fun and doing what families do together.

I'm not sure what everyone else is doing in these other hours making them better moms than I am...what I actually see is an excuse. I see equalizing. This sign says to me, "I haven't figured out how to do my job, so I will put down the ones who have because surly it's not me. They must be neglecting their kids while trying to maintain a false appearance and a clean house." That's what I see from the side of the battle where I've already won. So ladies...figure it out and stop telling yourself lies.

Everyone knows that when you are in a clean and organized home you just feel better. When we do have a mess brewing I can feel disharmony. Everyone can.

Many many many of my friends have asked me how I keep up on the house and not clean all day everyday. Well it's really simple. I call it plate spinning. You have to jump in and get it to a good livable point if you are beyond messy. I can't help you there, that's all you! How bad do you want it?

Then its a matter of tending to the little things everyday to keep up with it. I do a deep clean once a week, but it's all spread across the week so I never feel wiped out. Also, the kitchen is done everyday. Dishes with every meal and floor swept after every meal. Counters are always cleared off and clean. That's a must because the kitchen is our center.

There rest is peripheral. One day I'll pick up all the extra junk on the floors upstairs and that's the day I'll vacuum too. The kids pick up their rooms nightly so I don't have to deal with that. It's not brain surgery here. Certain tasks go together. One day I'll windex all of the windexable surfaces, mirrors, countertops, tv's, dirty glass on doors, etc. When I sweep and mop downstairs, I sweep and mop the bathroom floors upstairs too. When I dust the kitchen table, I dust all of the wood everywhere else. I run around and get it done. When I bleach a load of towels, I bleach the toilets too. So as the week goes on it gets and stays clean. Simple maintenance keeps me from having to do much deep deep cleaning.

Everyday I am cleaning but not spending a ton of time on it. Spinning plates, see the analogy yet? It's simple. Although I have run into a little challenge here. I am pregnant with baby number five and I'm 32 not 22. Mama is tired. While the house is clean, there is clutter brewing. So I've made a spring cleaning plan. Mostly because I'm a list girl. I need to declutter and organize every room and closet in this house. I think I'm nesting...who knows. It's on my mind and driving me nuts. So here's my plan. Everyday I'm going to tackle one room or sets of rooms and totally knock it out.

3 bathrooms-1
Girls room-5
Zander's room-4
Eryx's room-6
Laundry room-2
Linen closet-3
Computer room-2
Living room-4
Shoe closet-3

The number next to it is the day I'm going to do it. Every square inch will be cleaned and organized in each area. At the end of one week, we will have a very organized house. Since i'm only doing one room a day, it won't feel overwhelming and after a few days the success will carry me into completing it. That's how goals work and why they are so important. To show us how far we have come when we see how far we have to go and just don't wanna do more.....

Are we still friends? Does being a good mom mean you have a messy house? Did I take this too literal and give it way too much thought (probably). I am here to share and motivate. I want others to have what I have because I obviously see worth in it and I believe they do too. I am tired of being put down because I have a strong work ethic. If you want something...go for it already and stop making excuses!! There is always room for improvement. Pick a spot and start chipping away. What you will be left with is self-confidence and the knowledge that you can do anything! It's a good feeling, let me tell you!!


Nicole said...

You have valid points. i think that some people might take that sign as "i focus on my kids instead of obsessing about the house" and feel validated. i think this may stem from generations back when kids came second to keeping a clean home. i don't think it's as true today. it may be for a rare few, but for most, it's an excuse, whether they recognize it or not.

you know me, i'm the queen of excuses. i would be one of those women agreeing with that sign. it would make me feel better about my disorganization and lack of homemaking skills. i don't naturally makes lists and know where to start. yes, i have ADD, which makes it difficult, but not impossible. i just have to tackle the monster from another angle. i have to fight against the voices in my head telling me i can't.

i think that is a skill and talent that you have melissa. not everyone has that. i think anyone can develop it, but it may be more difficult for some than others. ;)

The Allgaiers said...


We saw that sign on pinterest and the first thing Ammon and I said was--that mom needs to make her kids work a bit harder. I think we've told you about Ammon's mom saying "Mean moms make good kids." I also think that those moms who make cleaning, learning, shopping, laundry, bill paying, whatever a priority and teach it to the children in the midst of fun make the best kids out there. I couldn't agree more with everything you said and I think you said it nicely. Now, I do think that what Nicole said is valid as well in that being organized is a talent. But we can always gain and improve on talents. I have always been an organized, list kind of gal but not too long ago I read a book that changed my entire life--The complete guide to getting and staying organized. There were two major things I took from that. #1: When you are organized, house clean, things in order not only is everyone happier and more calm but you save a ton of time allowing you to do more fun things.
#2: You will never get it all done, so instead of using that as a negative, turn it to a positive. There will always be laundry, or shopping, or cleaning, etc. But if you are organized and have a plan and a vision then you will know what needs to be done now and what can wait.

Holy Cow, I just did a blog post myself! Miss you!!


MZP said...

my opinion is that everyone has their strengths and talents, and some people really just aren't as organized as others. my brain explodes if i try to make systems for things and last time i made a big to-do list it made me cry. it's just not my talent. but ask me to sing in church or direct a choir and i'm there :) having said that, i also don't believe in making excuses, but i also don't like judging people because they don't have the same talents as me. which i admittedly have had to work to stop dissecting people's singing performances in church, but i digress.... you're good at what you're good at, others are good at what they're good at and i think that's ok. but not an excuse for living in a pigsty :)

having said that, i completely agree that people don't make their kids work enough. i'm not advocating enslaving them, haha, but i think it's part of a good upbringing to realize you have to be a contributing member to any group you're a part of. honestly, i would have a hard time keeping my house nice if my kids didn't tidy up their toys at night, unload my dishwasher, put their own laundry away, etc. contributing to the group is a lifelong skill that is so important to be taught in the home. the end. and we still like you. actually the end.

Melissa said...

I wasn't judging others, I was defending judgement. I could careless about how others clean. Live in a pigsty, but don't tell me I'm wrong for doing it the other way. Also when I see a talent worthwhile I go for it. We are told that anything is possible. There is no "well I wasn't blessed with that talent so I quit." And I agree with all other things said! Lol!

Melissa said...

I wasn't judging others, I was defending judgement. I could careless about how others clean. Live in a pigsty, but don't tell me I'm wrong for doing it the other way. Also when I see a talent worthwhile I go for it. We are told that anything is possible. There is no "well I wasn't blessed with that talent so I quit." And I agree with all other things said! Lol!

nuttbutts said...

we clean our house every day between 3-4. there are days when it gets more clean than others. days when i really get in the corners and such. but each day it is cleaned. now depending on the time you come by you may see my house as a pigsty. we homeschool and its not always pretty :) but it does get cleaned in the end. i agree whole hartedly about people not teaching their kids to work. all my kids pick 2 chores each day and then they clean their room. i dont know how people expect to have a clean house without the kids help. its silly! they make most of the mess!

MZP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MZP said...

haha, writing isn't one of my talents, either... not calling you judgmental, woman! just thinking/writing about how i feel about the idea.

aaaand you should have seen my to-do list today. made me cry to make it, but it's all checked off :)

Melissa said...

Go sing a song Prince! ;p

Kathleen Jackson said...

I think I would like a sign that just says..... and happy kids! Sometimes my house is messy and sometimes it's not! But I try to keep my kids happy. Somedays are harder than other for them to be that way on days when the house is messy, what does that sign say say!!?? LOL I don't look at it, like anyone is doing it wrong, I think it lets me off the guilt hook, which I baited myself.

Kathleen Jackson said...

I think I need a sign that says...


Melissa said...

Lol! Kathleen!! You made me laugh! I hate stuff!!

Kathleen Jackson said...

I think the key to a neat is no stuff, I just can't seem to get that way, I am trying.