The Clean Gene

I never been very organized, which translates into a pretty cluttered house. Now my house isn’t dirty–just cluttered. I have lots of “papers” that lie around, I have a lot of clothes that don’t always get put away, O’s toys sometimes litter the living room floor, and I have been known to leave a dirty dish in the sink every once in awhile.

I thought maybe once I had O, my “clean gene” would kick in. My mom is very organized and orderly–some of that had to rub off on me, right? Not so much.
The other day I was having lunch with some co-workers when we started talking about houses, cleaning, organizing, and the like. One co-worker mentioned a SAHM that had a foyer complete with drawers and organizing space so her children could put everything–shoes, backpacks, coats, etc.–away as soon as they walked in the house. I commented that my house was so small that I didn’t even have a foyer.

“I just kick my shoes off and leave them behind my front door,” I said.

“Yeah, I know,” the co-worker remarked. “I’ve seen ’em.”

Ouch. That kinda hurt.
I don’t think she meant anything by it, but I felt embarassed–a little “less than.” Both for not having a foyer and for putting my shoes behind my door.

But when I got home that night, I realized I didn’t mind my clutter-filled home. As a working, single mom (Oh yeah, I’m single now. That’s a different post for a different day.), cleaning can’t be a top priority. I wish I could have a cleaner home, but I just don’t have enough time. I don’t think O cares that I’m not a neat-freak mom, either. I have more time to spend with him, and I don’t mind when he does something like this:

What’s that a picture of, you ask? That’s O and me playing with “snow.” (And yep, that’s a diaper in the lower left corner, and what appears to be a Duke Energy bill behind O. Clutter, remember?)

O found a piece of styrofoam on the couch and started smashing it up with his hands. I joined in on the fun and started breaking it up and sprinkling it around. We had the time of our lives. And made a big mess. I’m still finding little pieces of styrofoam–even though I’ve vacuumed three times since.

But it was worth it.

Definitely worth it.

8 thoughts on “The Clean Gene

  1. CUTE CUTE CUTE post – you could just post O’s pictures and I’d be sold!

    I’m right there with you – time with P always trumps time with the vacuum!!

    Love ya lady!

  2. I think I was the one who said I saw the shoes. I’m sorry! I should have added that I saw them and was relieved, because we do the same thing. The door only opens halfway because of all those shoes.

  3. Well to come ‘clean’, I wasn’t always organized and orderly. When you have three children, not all the housework gets done all the time. There were times when you had to wade through the toys to get to the door. Love ya.

  4. I think I’ve shared this before, but a neighbor once told me “a house isn’t a home unless it looks lived in.” 🙂

  5. I think a lot of us struggle with this issue over our houses. My mom and sister both have always had immaculate homes too, and mine is a constant struggle. But I found the answer that works for me…..a door mat on the front porch. It reads “this house was clean yesterday, sorry you missed it” 🙂
    ordered from LTD for $7 and worth every penny!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m a working, single mother of 2 as well! My daughter is 7 & my son is a 20-mth old bolt of energy. I love my job but office politics makes progress difficult & I have to focus a lot of energy at my job just to able to compete with those that are single/have no kids & can devote endless hours to the job (and get the better jobs/higher pay). By the time I do the mad rush of picking up my son from daycare, getting my daughter from school, homework, cook dinner (which happens when I feel guilty about giving them yet another bowl of cereal for dinner), bathtime, and convincing my 20-mth old that NO it’s not time to swing from the ceiling, it’s BEDTIME… I’m exhausted. Bill paying, ironing, house-cleaning are still left to be done… and this also leaves no time for me to relax or pamper myself. So yeah, it’s messy here sometimes. I’m not superwoman… but I think I do damn good all things considered!

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