Saturday, April 22, 2017

I'm not a good house keeper

 ....I just am not.
It has bothered me for years that I'm not good at keeping the house spick and span.
In fact it has been a real source of shame and anxiety for me at times. I remember several years ago having a bad dream about my mother coming to my house, looking at the state of it and just shaking her head sadly sighing 'Oh Teenie!'
At times I feel so bad that I can't invite people over or panic for days before guests come, tidying up and cleaning the best I can, getting crosser and crosser with everyone and the whole thing.

But yesterday in the bath (where I do most of my quiet thinking) I realised something: although I am not a good house keeper, I am a very good home maker!

So the house may never be tidy. I may not ever have the time in the mornings to put away the breakfast things before leaving for the school run....
post breakfast mess
 I may never find the time to change the beds on a weekly basis, the windows might only get washed when someone offers to do it for me. But I am getting better at being ok with that. And I am getting better at asking for help; the kids clean their rooms and make their beds (after a fashion, but it is sort of getting done) Rebe is getting better at clearing up after her baking sessions. I have a wonderful lady who comes to help me mop the floors and clean the bathrooms once a week.

chocolate finger prints mean home made chocolates in the fridge
 But what I realised yesterday is that it is all about choices and priorities...

I would rather push this girl on the swing than plonk her in front of a screen so I can hoover the living room...
 I'd rather let the kids play with scrap wood in the garden than worry about how untidy it looks
 I would rather hold this little boy while he does his sitting up practice than go and sort out the spare room.
I cook from scratch, make my own bread, plan every meal to make it as nourishing for us all as possible. All that cooking takes time, time I don't spend cleaning and tidying.
I use (often home made) cleaning products that are kind to the environment, 

and because I choose not to use bleach or spend hours sorting and soaking and separating the laundry, paint stains don't get washed out properly. And I certainly don't iron the clothes... we are lucky if the clean washing makes it back into the drawer before it needs to be worn again!

I would rather read stories, I would rather we make play dough, I would rather go for a walk on the beach, I would rather listen to how someone's day was. I would rather the kids craft, bake and create without worrying about making a mess. I would rather do some knitting. I would rather Garry feels he can have all his stuff around him. I would rather....
So cleaning and tidying is not my priority. I always have said that I am a stay at home mum, not a stay at home housewife!!!

But back to my inspiration in the bath, although I am not a good house keeper, I am a very good home maker.
For me a home is somewhere everyone who lives there feels at ease, at peace and happy.
It is a place to be heard, a place for fun, a place to sort out your problems.
A retreat from the world.
It is a place to celebrate and be celebrated.
It is a place to find yourself and find your place in the world.
And I think that if I were a good house keeper I would not be a good home maker. That is not to say that people who have wonderfully clean and tidy houses have not made lovely homes (you know like the ones you see on blogs and pinterest) what I am saying is that I know what it would take for me to create a house like that and I would much rather spend the energy on making a home.
So I am making peace with the mess, with the dirty window sill, with the full-to-the-brim-spare-room-that-I-will-sort-out-one-day, I am making peace with it because this is a beautiful home, and we are all so happy here.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

who needs paper...

 ...when you have the floor...
 ...your hands...

...and your little brother's head!!!