Sunday, August 29, 2010

Susie Homemaker

Yesterday I talked Boss in to a day trip to the local flea market and while there I saw a sign that made me laugh out loud. It said, "I know all about cooking and cleaning. I just don't know how it applies to me!". So, so true. Another funny quote I love is, "I only have a kitchen because it came with the house." (One of my Besties even gave me a cute bag with this saying on it! When she saw it she thought of me, if that tells you anything.) Because the nasty truth is, Susie Homemaker, I am not. I mean, I love Susie Homemaker. I love being friends with her, and reading blog posts about her,and sometimes I even dream about her. Heck, I want to be her. But alas, I have come to accept that I am not her. If you have ever seen my children's bedroom or our master bathroom, you know this to be true. No matter how great the rest of our house looks on any given day, these two areas are always in need of serious work. Some nights I must dig a tunnel through the clutter of toys, clothes, and books, just to tuck my children in to bed at night. I am not proud of this fact, I am just keeping it real, folks.

I always walk the fine line of wanting our home to be tidy, organized, and presentable to others at a moments notice, and yet wanting our home to be well loved and lived in at the same time. On one hand I believe in the saying, a place for everything and everything in its place. Shoes in the basket by the front door. All toys in the playroom, nothing left out. Dishes washed and put away. Nothing in the sink. Tables and counter tops free of clutter. I grew up in a house like this. My parents let me keep my room the way that I wanted it. They cringed at how messy it often was, but they rarely ever complained. We often tease my dad (Hi Dad!) because he is the kind of guy who carpeted the garage so we could wipe our shoes off before we got into the vehicles. I respect the idea of having a neat and orderly home. I value taking care of the possessions that Boss and I have worked so hard to buy. All of those things truly are important to me, and I want to instill these values in to my children as they grow.

Yet on the other hand, I want our home to be well lived in and loved. It is our home. Our place of refuge from the storm. It is not a museum, and I don't ever want it to feel as such. Little shoes strewn about remind me that sweet little feet live in this home. That makes me thankful. Crumbs on the table tell me that little bellies are now full. Books on the counter are a sign that learning went on inside these walls today. People live here, and sometimes I love the reminders that my home is an active and busy place. It is a constant struggle for me balancing tidiness and life. Because often times life is not tidy. At times it can be quite messy. And sometimes messy is good.

So what do I do? I strive daily to find that balance. I teach my children about the importance of caring for the earthly possessions we have been blessed with. Twice a day we do a quick pick me up. Once before Boss gets home from work, and then again before bed. We light candles, put away the shoes, pick up our school supplies, and put away the toys. Twice a day we do this. This keeps the house from completely getting away from us. But in between those times, we live. We eat cupcakes not caring if crumbs get on the floor. We get out checkers before we have put away the crayons. We play dress up and change our outfits 50 times. We snuggle on the couch and leave the blanket strewn about when we are done. We just live, finding that balance between tidiness and life.

And on the days that everything gets completely away from me? I just sit back and thank God for it all, because I know that one day I will miss this. I will miss tripping over tiny shoes and picking up baby dolls and plastic tiaras. I will miss sweeping up goldfish cracker crumbs, and finding pacifiers lying around in every nook of the house. There will come a day that neat and orderly will be all that exists, because our babies will have flown the nest and Boss and I will be on our own. On the really crazy, messy days I remind myself of these simple things, and it helps to get me through. Because Susie Homemaker I am not, but a Momma I am.

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