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Thursday, 2 August 2012

How I Survive, Really: The Dirt On Cleaning

I do not clean my house. There. The truth is out.

This is a choice I have made:

  1. Because I am mother to four boys aged five and under, and so each day is filled with lurching from chaos to crisis. 
  2. Because, I am the type who needs at least eight hours of sleep per night... which I do not get because of the first reason. But really where I was going with the sleep thing, is that once I get everyone else in bed, I am zonked and often fall asleep soon after.
  3. Because if I have a minute, I spend it throwing dirty clothes into the washing machine, or emptying the dishwasher of many small plates and bowls, or even scouring pots. (If I don't do these things, suddenly we have no clean clothes to wear or vessels to eat out of or cook with.)
  4. Because the futility of the endeavour depresses me. There's nothing as discouraging as finally washing the kitchen floor, only to immediately have the back door open and a troop of muddy paws dash across the shining surface.

My favourite domestic tasks to abandon:

  • dusting
  • vacuuming behind furniture
  • washing floors
  • cleaning windows
  • folding clothes
  • ironing 

But, the best part is that I'm learning that I'm not alone. Unless they have a cleaning service or children of a helpful age and/or temperament, other mummies make similar choices.

So, let's relax and let go of our misconception that every mummy's house is pristine except for ours! Like so much of parenting, this messiness is indicative of a stage in our families' lives; it will pass. I can't imagine that on my death bed, I'm going to look back on my life and say, "If only I had dusted more..."


  1. My motto:
    You can only ever have two of the following -- your sanity, a clean house, happy family
    Guess which two I picked? Great blog!


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