March 27, 2010 by greenhouse04
My attitude toward a clean house has changed dramatically since Ellie and Jake’s arrival.
At one time, not too long ago, keeping our home clean was a priority. When we first accepted the pastorate here, those in the congregation working with us gave me as one of my ministry requirements: “keep the parsonage clean.” This was not a burdensome requirement, since I appreciate a clean house myself. I’m not a “clean freak,” but I do function better when things are organized around me.
So, I made myself a housecleaning plan. I gave myself daily chores, such as doing the dishes, straightening, and emptying trash and sweeping if needed; weekly chores, such as dusting, cleaning bathrooms, mopping, vacuuming; and “special” chores to be done a little at a time, such as cleaning the fridge, microwave, and oven, washing windows, etc.
As you may have guessed, since Jake and Ellie’s arrival, the level of cleanliness in our house has changed! I dust when I can see the film obscuring the sheen of the furniture; I try to vacuum every week; the bathrooms – once a top priority for me to keep clean – went a record 2 1/2 weeks without being cleaned right after the kids’ arrival!
The problem, of course, is when to clean. I have an hour in the afternoons when Ellie is in quiet time and Jake is napping, but I usually need that time for the women’s bible study I lead or to make the bulletin for that Sunday. I have an aversion to doing much of any kind of work in the evening after the kids are in bed. So I try to do the work while the kids are up and about.
I can get an amazing amout done with them around – except mopping the kitchen floor. This was one chore I tried to do every week before the kids arrived, but now that they’re here I’m lucky to get it done every few weeks. And, as any parent of a toddler knows, this is the time it needs to be mopped almost every day!! We have a beautiful kitchen floor – wood laminate – but its not so beautiful after two weeks of dripped milk and juice and dropped spaghetti and mac & cheese.
Today I finally mopped the floor. Not only that, but I wiped down the chairs, trash can, wall behind the trash can, and the floor under the cabinets. Yes, the kids are not here – this is our “respite” weekend, where the kids go to another home and we get a break. Last night we went to a hotel in Wichita, and today I’m cleaning!
Because that’s another part of my attitude toward cleaning that has changed. Not only is it not a top priority anymore (in other words, I can function on a much lower level of cleanliness now), but I find more satisfaction when I finally get it done! Before it was a weekly chore that I had to motivate myself to do – now its a great pasttime when I have a chunk of uninterrupted time in which to do it!
All that to describe one small aspect of my life that has changed since Jake and Ellie have come. Now to go do some dishes.