It Gets Better, Especially When You Don't Clean

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Categories Balance, Household and Family Management, How Do The Moms Do It, Perspective, RoutinesTags , ,

When our twins were infants, it would annoy me when other MOMs told me that it would get better.  It was tough, certainly, but it wasn’t “awful” during that period so I didn’t really understand why they kept telling me it would get better.  Then the twins passed 2 1/2 years and OH MY GOSH, did it ever get better.  My husband and I felt like we came up for air for the first time in, oh, 2 1/2 years.  We didn’t even know we were under water before we took those big gulps of air consisting of an easier bedtime, small steps in self-sufficiency, and the ability for the twins to play with each other and older kids in our neighborhood for longer periods of time.  Truly, we look back at the period as the dawn of a new era that we continue to enjoy.

That said, what we did to take advantage of our new found freedom is sort of crazy.  We doubled the size of our vegetable garden, decided to raise chickens for eggs (if you are on the fence about chickens, we totally endorse this), adopted two kittens, and we both began to craft and enjoy our hobbies.  I also began to start running again for about an hour a day, which is singularly the thing I do that spoils me most.  I love exercising and had missed it for many years.

I should mention that I am employed full time and at mid-career, which means increasing job and mentoring responsibilities.

How do I do it?

I do not clean. And I mean that seriously.  I know some of you all say that and perhaps you mean it’s time to change the towels in your bath or you haven’t put away all the clean dishes.  What I mean is that our house is a freaking mess. And while it bothers me, it obviously doesn’t bother me enough to choose cleaning over running/gardening/knitting/chickening/kittening.  There is no way we can afford any help to clean up the house until the twins get out of daycare and we pay off the associated credit card debt in 4 more years or so.

So our solution?  We have parties!!  Yes, it is like killing two birds (but not chickens!) with one stone.  We get to socialize and it forces us to clean the house a few times a year.

I really feel like MOMs get special dispensation in some area of their lives.  For us, we choose to forgive ourselves for living in a messy house.  It makes it so much easier to survive and thrive with our little bunnies.  Our children.  We call our children bunnies.  We would not actually get bunnies.  They would destroy the garden.

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5 thoughts on “It Gets Better, Especially When You Don't Clean”

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post, AnitaB. My twins are almost 23 months and my house is a wreck 99.9% of the time. You made my day by admitting (a) you don’t clean, (b) you can’t afford help to clean for you, and (c) you’ve made peace with your messy house. I desperately need to work on c. Also, I love hearing that 2.5 years is like coming up for air, since we are ALMOST there! I have a 5 and 3 year old in addition to my twins (and the full time, mid-career job), so that near-drowning feeling is pretty familiar. Stories like this one make the light at the end of the tunnel seem a little closer. We are so close….

    Hope to see more of your posts on this site. I love your upbeat writing style and positive spin. Thank you again!

  2. Thank you for this. I felt like I was the only one… though last fall we had a case of “fecal fascination” (Ok, 2 cases), and after being forced to scrub poop off of everything we broke down and a) ordered those fancy no escape pjs (little sleeper keepers), and b) hired a bi-monthly cleaner.
    It is worth it!

  3. Yes to this post!!!! I absolutely think that you pick and choose what is important to you and prioritize that and you (and your family) will be happier. I actually do clean my house, but I don’t get myself ready every day. In fact, I rarely get myself ready (hair, makeup, nice clothes). I do that about twice a month if I am going out. Otherwise I save time & money by wearing yoga pants and showering infrequently and putting my hair in a bandanna. I also choose to work out daily, but our dinners consist of meals that can be made in ~15 minutes. My girlfriend works out twice a week but spends an hour on gourmet meals for her family – whatever makes you happy!!!!

  4. Oh my gosh- this is true for us as well! Our boys just turned 3 last month- and I really don’t think our house has been clean since they started to crawl :) The only time it looks really good is the hour before company arrives. The priorities are 1)family, 2) exercise, and 3) everything else (of which cleaning is definitely near the bottom of that group). I suspect since the boys start soccer this weekend- cleaning will move even lower! Glad to hear I am not the only one who doesn’t live in a clean house- thank you :)

  5. Loooove this! So good to hear that eventually…it gets better. Although I think it has improved since birth…then at three months, and now. I love that you are ok with not having a clean house…not because you can’t manage, but because you have other interests. And I love that your motivation to clean is inviting people over!

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