I never considered that in order for it to get that way, someone would have to clean it. Or maybe I did think of that, and even assumed it would mostly be me, (since I was going to stay home with my six children and that meant I would have all the time in the world), but I didn't have any idea of what keeping a house clean would entail. All I knew was that the house I grew up in was kind of messy, and our family relationships were pretty messy, too. Having a clean home was a symbol of a chaos-free, well-ordered life.
Now, my life and my house are anything but clean. My kids spill stuff everywhere. I clean up, my husband cleans up, I make my kids clean their own messes, and I still can't keep up.
And. This. Bothers. Me.
Let it go, all the working woman literature says. Time together matters more than the dishes being done. You are not your house.
Ah, but I am.
Except I don't want to be. There are a million things I'd rather do than clean. I don't even mind cleaning so much. It's just that blogging, helping my friend edit her novel, reading a story to my kids, and pondering business strategies all make more of a difference in the world than scrubbing dried, sticky fruit snacks off the kitchen floor. Cleaning's OK, but I'd rather be doing something else.
And of course, I have friends with immaculate houses. I don't compare myself to them, but compared to their housekeeping abilities, I suck (I compare all the time. And I lie, too).
I know better. I know I don't want to be six feet under and have people talk about what a clean, sparkly house I had. My house is raw and messy, just like my life. I don't want my life to be sterile and clean--I want to live it. I want to get in and get my hands dirty. I want to roll around in the muck and emerge triumphant because in spite of everything, I tried hard, I fought, and I did it. But then, there's that house, the only visible indicator of what I haven't done, trying to accuse me of being a failure.
I don't mind getting dirty. I just wish the evidence didn't take so much scrubbing to remove.