I am a crazy, frenzied, cleaning mama. And now I've finally figured out why. It's because I'm trying to win the Publishers Cleaning House Sweepstakes. If I could just get my house clean enough, then they will show up on my doorstep with balloons and a large amount of money.
There can be no other logical reason for it. I used to think I would clean "in case someone else came over". Then I discovered the truth--people rarely come over, and if they do, they will come when my house is a wreck. I could have had my house white-glove clean for a week, but they will come on the day the dishes block the view out my kitchen window and the laundry is so deep a dogsled team couldn't get through.
Then I thought maybe I clean for sanitary reasons--to keep my kids from inhaling fungus that's bigger than they are. But I realized that was a lie when it didn't even bother me that my baby was licking three day old spaghetti sauce stains off the floor.
Then I thought it was to make me happy. Happy house=happy mama. That was another lie I told to the monster who stomped her feet on the floor and flailed her fists in the air like the four year old child who had spilled milk all over the fridge. I never knew until recently that the expression about not crying over spilt milk was for the parents, not the children.
So now I know the truth. It's all competitive. And I'm going to win. When I go over to another mama's house and it's a wreck, I secretly gloat when she apologizes. When I can actually see my face in another mama's bathroom mirror, it's not usually smiling. It's scheming. Because we're in competition, don't you know. I have to figure out how to beat her at her game. I have to rush home and clean some more.
Besides, if I don't hurry, I might miss the balloons.