The point of a weekend is to take a physical and mental break from the day to day job that allows us to provide for ourselves and our families. Before I had kids, I went to work through the week so that I could afford to have fun on the weekends. I liked to try new restaurants, go dancing, travel, and try new things. I didn’t always rest, but I enjoyed myself. Because It was just me, doing laundry and keeping the house clean was a breeze so I didn’t have to spend too much time doing that. Things were definitely more simple then.
After having kids, weekends became about doing things with our kids and having fun with them. This has been a blast because I enjoy experiencing the world through their eyes. I recently realized, however, that I have been letting time slip away and missing out on the precious and limited time I have with my family. How? Because once you have kids, laundry is never ending, there are always dishes to be cleaned, and kids view cleaning as messing up their organized mess. Cleaning is truly never ending and my desire to live in a clean home consumed me. My husband and I were staying up late trying to put laundry away, wash the dishes and straighten up every night. We were exhausted. And because we were too tired to get things done through the week, those chores rolled over into the weekend. What I found was that my kids were asking for my attention at times when they should have had my undivided attention. I was cleaning when I should have been cuddled up on the couch with my family, watching a movie.
When I realized how much time I was spending trying to keep my home presentation ready, and more importantly how little quality time I was spending with my kids s a result, I decided something needed to change. It was a Saturday morning and my husband and kids were watching a movie on the couch while I folded clothes in another room when it hit me, I wasn’t making good use of my time, I was wasting it. My kids won’t be this age forever. I need to enjoy them at every phase and especially this one. I stood up, dropped the clothes in my hand on the floor, and walked out to the front room declaring I was done. I forced myself to be ok with my house not being up to my standards, climbed onto the couch and enjoyed the movie with my family. That night, my husband and I decided that maybe it was time we try a maid.
The maid was great, but I soon realized that while it was nice to have a maid, with three little kids who were all over the place, and a busy life that didn’t cater to being able to keep the house clean 100% of the time, paying $100 1 day week to have someone come to clean my house (that would stay neat for 2 days max) just wasn’t worth it. So, we came up with a new plan. We realized that we had way too much stuff. Kids come with lots of stuff and we were also buying stuff we didn’t need, so that created clutter.
We are going on 3 months now of actively donating stuff. We’ve been donating baby furniture, toys and clothes the kids no longer need to shelters for women with babies, the Salvation Army, and Good Will. If our kids haven’t played with a toy one month, the next month it gets donated too. Getting rid of our junk has made it so much easier to straighten up so that we feel comfortable in our home. I highly recommend purging unnecessary stuff!
I also found that I had to change my outlook on things. Growing up, my mom was able to always keep a clean house, but she had my grandama who was able to help clean and/or watch my brother and I so my mom could clean. We live in different states so I don’t have that. When my parents come to visit, they are a huge help but when they aren’t here, I can’t spend so much time stressing about having a presentable home and always being show ready for guests. Most people (especially those who have or have had kids) understand, and those who don’t do not have to come to my house. We can meet up somewhere instead.
We have family visiting this week and we had family over this past Saturday for a backyard BBQ. I would love to say that my house was perfect, but it wasn’t. It was okay, and that’s okay. It was good enough, and no one complained. Whatsmore, by not stressing about it, I had a lovely time with all of our guests. Instead of making it a point to constantly clean, I enjoyed the moment and have some great pictures to show for it. We had great conversations and laughed and really enjoyed each others company.
Time with my family is far more important than stressing about keeping my home picture perfect at all times. Most people understand and I don’t have to apologize for it. Time is something we can’t get back. I don’t want to look back one day and wish I’d spent more time with my family.
By stressing less, my husband was less stressed and my kids were less stressed.
Getting rid of unnecessary stuff made it so much easier to straighten up and keep the house clean.
One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.
The P.I. Mom