“Oh, if you think that’s messy, you should send him over to Lori’s house during the day!”
– one of my dear besties
There was a time a few years ago when I cleaned the house all day long. I cleaned the house more than I played with the kids. I cleaned the house more than I worked on ‘work’ stuff. I cleaned the house more than I cooked. I cleaned the house more than I spent time with Jamie. The house stayed tidy all day. It was glorious. Crazy, but glorious.
I was obsessed with cleaning the house, with making sure that everything was tidy and in its place. I expected Olivia, at two years old, to play and do things without making a mess. Making something like moon sand? That was my worst nightmare. Two year olds were to be tidy, at all times. Husbands were to ensure that their pants were not on the floor, twice daily. Untidiness and mess made me irrationally angry. I see that now – but in the midst of it? The house needed to be orderly, and that was my top priority.
Turns out that the obsessive cleaning taking over my life? Just an effect of postpartum depression. Learning that, and making the decision to get help via the use of modern medicine and a prescription filled for almost a year was life changing.
The thing is though, I’ve become that friend. The friend with the messy house. The friend that has a dining table scattered with projects of the day, and the friend with a mid-baking project all over the counters, with kids running around making even more of a mess, with separate areas of toys all over the house that the kids are in the midst of playing with. During the day, there are small disasters, everywhere you turn.
I’ve become the friend who my best ones come over and tidy and straighten the kitchen as I tidy around them, cleaning the morning projects or the sundaes we just made after dinner. I’ve embraced my ‘messy’ friend status, and accept that perfect tidy happens after eight, when the kids are asleep.
The bliss of bedtime means the toys are placed in their baskets, the laundry is hanging in the laundry room, the counters are clear from the days projects and the blankets are folded nicely on the couch instead of strewn into nests for kids on the floor. The tables are wiped, the backpacks prepared for the next day, the furniture straightened, the table set for breakfast in the morning – and just for a moment it’s like it used to be, without the crazy.
I’ve embraced my messy house friend status.