I am joining Keri from Living in this Season for a special series. Keri is a stay-at-home mom with three little ones. She has two little boys and a brand new baby girl! She writes about motherhood, fun activities, recipes, and DIY projects!
Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook would say that life is perfect. Everyone is always smiling. The house is neatly decorated. Families never fight. Messes don’t exist. Real life is not like that. Real life is hard. Women face a lot of emotions and sometimes feel guilty that we are not happy all of the time. We hope by sharing with you our Honest Moments, you can put aside the guilt and begin to live in God’s grace. We hope to not simply share with you our struggles, but also our hope. We want to encourage you to grow to be a better woman and embrace the life God has given you. God is faithful, even if life is not.
Forget pretty decorations, Spiderman underwear, basketball themed shirts, and little socks are piled up on my dresser. I walk into the bathroom to find cat hair around the sink. The floor next to the toilet is wet. Oh dear God, please let it be from the shower and not from pee. Cobwebs hang from the ceiling. Sticky syrup dots the counter. Crumbs stick to my feet as I walk to get my coffee.
Little ones make messes….I have little ones…Howdoes that work?
I find that I do two things:
I am obsessive compulsive about cleaning. I clean every day, all day long.
I cope. I turn a blind eye to all the clutter and dirt. I go outside and play.
Some days I clean up messes all day long. I clean them because I can’t stand them. I will vacuum, sweep, mop, wash dishes (by hand because if they sit in the dishwasher they are not clean), do laundry, get out my Swiffer duster, and go on an organizing streak! I get to the end of my day and am exhausted. I am also sad because even though I have a clean house, I hardly engaged with my little ones at all. Regret and guilt take over. The inner dialogue of What a horrible mother, my children didn’t get to play hardly at all outside today.
I am tired of being obsessive about cleaning though. I struggle with this. I struggle with finding the balance. I cannot live in a dirty house – but I do not want to be so obsessed with cleaning that I miss playing with my kids. Sometimes I feel guilty for choosing to clean. I think, Am I putting my house above my little ones?
Some days I don’t clean at all! I ignore the mess, clutter, dirt, and crumbs. I spend time playing outside, going to the pool, or running errands. I forget about my house and enjoy my little ones. I get to the end of my day and am exhausted. I am also sad because even though I spent time with my kids, my house is a MESS! Because my tendencies are obsessive compulsive, I sometimes spend two-three more hours after bedtime cleaning. The inner dialogue is this, Ugh! I hate cleaning, I am so tired, and I still have so much to do!
Finding that balance is so hard.
My Bible flipped open to Proverbs 17:1 today: “Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.” and Proverbs 3:33 “The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the just.”
My house is more than rooms. My house is the people in it. My cleaning should not cause strife. If I get irritated at others because they are not cleaning, or are making messes – my heart is not right. God says that He will bless the home of the just – not the home of the clean. A clean house does not mean that I am doing everything right. A messy house does not mean that I am failing either.
I needed that reminder today.
When it comes to cleaning, I don’t have to ignore and I don’t have to obsess: I can rest.
“Better is a dry morsel with quietness” – Resting in what God has given us brings peace to our houses. God wants peace to reign, not strife. Letting the messes destroy peace is not what He wants for my home.
“He blesses the home of the just” – I am covered in Grace. Messy house or not, I am loved by Him. He will bless, not based on our outward appearances, but on our inward hearts.
Oh, and remember: A House is Made to be Lived In!!
You can find a free printable of this at Glitter Bug!
Some helpful tips might be
1. Designate ONE day a week to do most of your chores. OR
2. Designate ONE chore a day and by the end of the week you’ve done them all!
3. Have your children help with cleaning!
4. Have someone come in and either help you clean, or watch your little ones while you clean.
What about you dear mom?
Are you struggling with finding the balance when it comes to cleaning?
Are you feeling guilty for cleaning? For not cleaning?
You are loved.
God wants you to rest in Him.
Share below if you’ve found anything helpful when it comes to balancing messes and spending time with your little ones!
Share also if you struggle with this! We moms need to encourage each other!