Mama, Go Ahead and Clean That House
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I know you’ve read all the articles that tell you to enjoy every waking moment with your children. The ones that say you should let the dishes pile up and the laundry sit on the couch so you can sit on the floor with the kids and play a game.
I get it. I do it too. I’ll sit and enjoy time with my kids when things are getting a little out of hand around the house.
Because sometimes, yes, I want to enjoy my kids without the worries of what I need to get done around the house.
But eventually, the mess that builds up stresses me out. Like, a lot. While I don’t mind letting dirty dishes lie in the sink for the night, I cannot function in chaos. If you can, more power to you. But the mess stresses me out. And I don’t enjoy my time with my kids because the mess is building and I start feeling claustrophobic.
So, I clean up. And my kids see me working and chip in and help me too. We do it together sometimes and get it done quickly. Other times, they have some independent play time and I bring the chaos into a more manageable place for my brain to function more clearly.
In a world of self-care promotion, I can’t think of a better way to clear my mind and be ready to be mom than to get rid of my stressors. And if the dishes in the sink are stressing me out, I’m going to spend 15 minutes of my day rinsing them and putting them in the dishwasher.
“But I don’t want my kids to always remember me cleaning up!”
Yep, I’ve heard that and read those articles. But you know what? They can be fond memories!
I remember being a small child watching my mom fold laundry on the couch on a Saturday morning and following her to the bathroom while she scrubbed toilets and cleaned the shower. It was awesome to me and I loved watching and talking to her while she did these things.
My paternal grandmother was a stay at home wife and mother. Every so often, I’d spend the day with her. I loved watching her move through the house, following her around and soaking in all she had to say. Stepping up on a small stool while she hand washed the dishes. She developed dementia and later Alzheimer’s when I was still pretty young, so those memories are the few I have of her when she wasn’t sick.
They didn’t miss out on moments with me, they created them!
On the other hand, my maternal grandmother will tell you she hates cleaning and she’s not good at it. And we still made incredible memories when I was growing up. Going on trips, spending the night when grandpa worked late and making homemade tortillas in her tiny kitchen that she rolled out with a broken wooden broomstick.
So mama, don’t feel guilty when you can’t leave the dirty dishes in the sink or let the laundry pile up on the couch. You do what works for you and your family. Forget the guilt others try to place on you for “missing out”. Because I can almost guarantee you’re still making wonderful memories with your kiddos whether you clean up the messes or let them be for one more snuggle.