Sometimes I wish I did a better job keeping up with the housework. I used to think I could easily keep a spotless house if I stayed at home. Ha! As irritated as I get when things are in disarray, I've realized that having a clean house is an impossible standard. And here's why--there is no time to do housework. I used to think that staying home would give me plenty of time, but it's just the opposite. The reason for this is that there are many, many chores that cannot be done while the children are awake. I will list them in case anyone doubts me.
1. Ironing. I might occasionally feel bad about the wrinkled shirts that have been hanging on the hall pegs for weeks on end. But I would feel a whole lot worse about my children ending up in the emergency room blistered to the bone because playing with the iron cord seemed so much more interesting than playing with Thomas trains.
2. Dishes. When Liam was a toddler, I actually put a baby gate up in the kitchen to keep him away while I was doing dishes. That wouldn't work so well now (with a bigger house and two children), so rather than letting Kyle impale himself, we sometimes eat with china plates and plastic forks.
3. Wrapping presents. Sharp objects (scissors), sticky objects (tape), and noisy, crinkly objects (paper). Enough said.
4. Sweeping the floor. While having a one-year-old necessitates more frequent floor cleanings, it also makes said cleanings rather difficult. My little one loves to impersonate a vacuum cleaner, and his favorite time to do so is when the food he so loves to scrounge is covered in dirt and dead insects.
5. Cleaning up toys. It's amazing how interesting broken and boring toys can become when Mama is trying to put them away.
6. Cooking dinner. Nothing says lovin' like knives, hot ovens, and hot stoves. And Mama loudly reminding them that I'm doing all of this cooking for them (so they can complain half an hour later about how they don't like whatever it is I'm making that they haven't tasted).
7. Cleaning bathrooms. I try to clean with natural products like baking soda so we only call Poison Control once a week. But I have another problem with the bathroom. Kyle's favorite place is the bathtub. He dives into the tub headfirst whether there's water in it or not.
8. Raking leaves. Who am I to deny my children the pleasure of jumping in a freshly raked pile of leaves?
9. Taking a shower. My children have a built-in alarm system set to wake up one minute before Mommy does. It doesn't matter how early I set my own alarm. They will find a way to disrupt my shower-taking time.
10. Making beds. It's not 100% impossible, but it took me several years to master the art of making beds while children are jumping on them. You have to time it just right so you pull the sheets during the split second their feet are in the air.
So, after recording all the chores that are impossible during the daytime, I think it's pretty amazing that my children are fed and clothed every day. Don't ask me to do anything more.