Wednesday, July 8

We All Have to Make Choices

Come here for a second. Let me take you for a little tour of our itty bitty townhouse.

Here is the kitchen:

Look closely. Do you see all that molding? I LOOOOOVE that molding. So much. I love it so much I would make out with it, if only I thought it might slip me some tongue. We remodeled that entire kitchen about five years ago. It was a nightmare of funtacular proportions, but it was totally worth it for all that molding. Well, that and the rest of the kitchen. I ain't gonna lie, I know it's a freakin' gorgeous kitchen.

Here's the dining room:

Obviously, I'm not afraid of a little color. I'm not sure that we'll go that bold again, but I do still like that red.

This is our living room:

It's not big, but it still kicks ass. It took years to get it all put together just right. There are the curtains that I made (and that my friend Barbara then remade because I did a craptacular job of sewing them). There's the furniture that we spent years finding. There's the perfect shade of yellow that took me three attempts to get just right.

I'm going to miss this place.

OK, now go back and look at the photos again. Humor me. Do it.

See how CLEAN it is?

That never happens. Seriously, never. Keeping it clean for the whole three days that it was on the market was a nightmare of epic proportions. I nearly died from the bed making, vacuuming, dusting, and general putting away of crap.

I don't clean. It's true, I don't. Ask Mr. Husband and I am quite sure he will nod yes so hard his head will fly off his neck.

Here's the thing, I work full time at an office. I like to spend time with my kid. I believe sleep is important. Put those three things together and you pretty much have to eliminate something else in life. I choose to eliminate cleaning. Some day I will figure out a way to manipulate our budget so that we can have someone come suck the tumbleweeds of fur up off the floor and wipe off the layers of grime all around, but right now that just isn't possible.

My mom was a fantastic housekeeper. She kept the trailer spotless. I can list memory after memory of getting nagged for dragging in dirt. I can perfectly picture her vacuuming because I saw her do it all the time. Our floors were so clean you could eat off of them. I don't remember ever seeing a pile of junk mail on the counters.

You know what else I don't remember ever seeing? My mother sitting down at the table with me or my brother and coloring. She never threw a ball with us in the yard. She didn't drop everything to go ride bikes around the block.

She chose keeping a clean house over spending time with her kids.

I choose spending time with my kid over having a clean house.

But, I'm keeping those pics of a perfectly clean house just so I can prove I do know how to clean, I just don't do it.

Psst . . . go vote.


  1. *thumbs up* This is exactly how I feel. On all levels. Though I now have a weekly schedule that I try to follow that's one or two rooms that can be done after he goes to bed. So far, it works.

  2. I'm right in the same boat as from home, TWO little chickies and the cleaning was the first thing to go. It's either clean or have a little time for myself. Guess what wins? I figure, I can clean when they're both in school. In a year or so.

  3. Thank you thank you for saying exactly how I feel. I don't work outside the home full time like you, but I still don't like to clean. I do the basic stuff but would much rather play with my girls and my dog and hang out with my husband than clean anyday. Like you, I have no memories of playing with my mom, but I do remember her cleaning and me helping when I was old enough. I want my girls to remember the times we have together and not if the house was clean or not. Before we know it, they will be grown and off with their friends and we will have all the time in the world to clean, if we want to. Nah.

    Love the Townhouse pics. Can you help me decorate my house?

  4. Oh and my mom thinks nothing of critiquing my mess one sentence and in the very next telling me what a great mom I am. She just doesn't get it.

  5. i actually was going to remark on how impressively clean it was.

    there's no way in HELL i would post photos of the way my house looks at this moment. cuz clean?

    not so much.

  6. Amen lady! And just to whine a bit: I HAD TO KEEP MY HOUSE CLEAN FOR A *MONTH*. whaaaaaaa!

    (And cleaning a house for being on the market is SO much different then just regular cleaning. argh.)

  7. 3 Whole Days?!? WAAAAHHH! Let me just grab my violin now, said the poor soul who had to keep her house clean for oh, I can't remember 3 months, 5 months? I've obviously blocked it.

  8. You have a gorgeous home. I love the colors. I love the kitchen (all of it). I love the living room furniture and the white chair rail breaking up the yellow walls. But the very first thing I noticed was the clean. Maybe because it's something that's lacking in my own house, and I can't even blame working outside the home. I blame lazy, but choose to say it's because I'm spending quality time with kids.

  9. @Kristi--I actually DO like to clean. Weird, I know, but before Alexis I used to vacuum at least once per day, and mopped probably every other day. She may never know just how much of a clean freak I am since I'm now busy making Play-Doh masterpieces instead.

  10. I work out of my house, too, and I figure if I can find the desk, the child, and the husband, it's all good.

    Now I just gotta figure out why that shoebox in the corner is meowing...

  11. Anonymous8:58 AM

    **applause** for the clean!!

    I must add to your 3 reasons you can't keep up with the clean another reason I have (and we share tho you have more!) pets!! Oh. My. The fur. My house would be so clean if it weren't for the fur! OK, and the toys. And the socks everywhere. And the dishes that have to go to the sink. And the clothes that need folded and put away. Or is that basket of clothes dirty? I can't remember. I'll just wash it again. And then forget it's in the wash.

    My consolation? My kid will have no allergies to dog fur. Or dust. Or ew what is that!?!

  12. I live by your values too. Those words about spending time with you kid instead of cleaning are so true for me. I Love sleep too.

  13. When my husband took his current job (in NC) we were living in a brand-new house that was nicer than I ever dreamed I'd live in. We also had our first 'fix-er-up-er' for sale. I was working full time, outside the home and was a single mom since he had moved 6 HOURS AWAY. I had to deal w/ work, preschool, keeping two houses show-ready (and we were living in one WITH A DAMN DOG). It was nuts. It took 7 months to sell it!!! Seven months. I hated his job every single time there was a showing...mostly b/c I'm a clean-when-forced kinda girl.

  14. I hear you. I do have to keep my house somewhat clean, though, because I still have 2 young children who will pick even the most miniscule piece of lint up off the floor and try to jam it in their mouths.

  15. You're my favorite kind of mom.

    (And I voted. Again. I think you owe me more cookies.)

  16. Okay, three days? You suck. Our house was on the market for 7 months before we sold and we had open houses and private showings ALL THE TIME. And I have three boys, by the way. See why I almost lost my mind???? Ugh.

    I don't think any parents used to play with their kids back in the day the way we do now. My mom would just shoo us outside, which we were more than happy with. Times have changed. I don't feel like letting my 4 year old run around outside by himself, ya know? ;)

    Very pretty house. I can see why you'll miss it. :)

  17. porn! I love seeing other people's homes.

    I'm not a great housekeeper either and I don't even have a paying job as an excuse. I vacuum like a mad woman but that will slow down once Tessa gets off the floor and becomes bipedal. My step mom judge people's worth by ability to keep a clean house. I refuse to do so.

    I didn't know you worked from home. Cool.

  18. @Michelle Smiles--I just edited the post a little cause I worded that REALLY badly. I work away from home. If I worked from home, I can honestly say the floors would generally be cleaner. I can't function when I can see crud on the floors, so I would have to vacuum before I sat down to do anything productive. Thank goodness I don't usually get home until it's almost dark!

  19. I really, really love your town home. And I don't clean either. Unless the cleaning lady's coming, then I go on a mini cleaning spree the night before. Which pisses my husband off to no means, because he's a man, and doesn't understand that the house has to be a certain level of clean for the cleaning lady.

    He also doesn't understand the lure of The Bachelorette. So clearly, he's an ignorant buffoon.

  20. I applaud your choice! I think it's much more important to spend time and play with the kid(s) then have a clean house! I'm sure Alexis will agree.

  21. Oh, and your townhouse was gorgeous! You are a great decorator!

  22. I love the colors - probably because I have the same yellow/red combination in my townhouse! :)

  23. I don't even work full time and keeping the house clean w/ 3 kids a dog and a husband is a nightmare. Plus, like you, I don't clean. This week is my switch...I'm cleaning my ass off. I've been soooo sick of clutter for weeks, but this week I'm getting off my lazy butt and doing something about it. Totally surprised at myself...but the payoff will be worth it...I hope.

  24. Yep I have the same memories of my mom cleaning over playing with us ... and it drives her crazy that my house isnt spotless when she comes to visit us and thats once in a blue moon anyways cause I think shes still home cleaning. I'd rather go out have fun with my family and friends then sit around cleaning all day. I do manage to keep the house reasonably picked up but I work at home so I can find a few minutes to do some cleaning.

  25. I am so glad you posted that. I am just that kind of mom, too. I mean, I do dishes (while the kids finish eating right there in front of me and we talk all the while), and I vaccuum every once in awhile (while nagging the kids to shuffle the piles of toys for just a minute), and I mow the grass while the girls play in the kiddie pool. But mostly I like to be an engaged mommy instead of an absent cleaner. I hope they like it, too.

  26. I love this post! Everyone has been asking for pictures of our new kitchen...that would involve a sunny day and a spotless kitchen on the same day. My mother-in-law thinks that we are lazy if there is anything on the kitchen counter and the floors haven't been freshly swept, she even made a comment when the twins were about 6 weeks old...seriously... Scott stopped talking to her for a while after that. Yet, I am a great mom in her opinion, crazy. Anyway, I will have plenty of time to have a clean house when we aren't using paint and play-doh and puzzles and other things with little pieces to pick-up. And my living room rug doesn't have a play mat and 2 bouncey seats...

  27. @Jennifer--Twins = free pass to live in complete chaos for at least five years. Period.

  28. Anonymous5:09 PM

    This post was a HUGE eye opener for me. My home is clean. I LOVE to clean. Yes, strange. I know. While I'm wiping down counters or mopping floors or scrubbing bathrooms, Morgan is, usually,my sidekick. Or, she's doing her thing in the family room.

    The Mommy Guilt kicks in EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. I am not a Mom to sit on the floor and color or play Little People. I get bored after about 5 minutes.

    I know. I suck.

    I've clearly made the wrong choice. And, in thinking back, I'm following in my Mom's footsteps. She was/is a great Mom and we always knew she loved us. But, more often than not, my sister and I were doing our own thing while Mom was in the kitchen or doing laundry.

    Okay then. I do suck.

    What doesn't suck? Your home. Beautiful. :)

  29. I already emailed Kellie, but I'm publicly saying that I call BULLSHIT.

    Different is not wrong. It's different. Everybody has to figure out what can get done in a day and prioritize. Some people aren't built to sit on the floor and play with dolls. Some are. Some need a clean house to function. Some don't. It's all a personal choice, and nobody is wrong no matter which path they take.

    I'll get off my soapbox now.

  30. I'm right there with ya, sister.

    Only I'm sure it will take far more than 3 days to sell our house, should we ever list it that is. ;-)

    It *is* cute. I can't say I've ever gotten my house to that "cute" point. Ever!

  31. Yep. I hire help AND I clean AND I play. I just gave up sleep instead. :)
    And you were right about Kellie, we're all different and you gotta do what's right for YOU. If you're happy your kids will be too.
    Okay, now. I love the kitchen.
    Your whole place looks lovely, great colour choices, and I especially like the shot of the kid and the dogs on the couch.
    Now I'll go vote.

  32. Dude, I would miss that kitchen, too.

    I loved this post. I totally choose to spend time with my kids and live in a

    My husband's mom was just like your mom and now my husband can't stand our dirty house. OY.

    p.s. still voting for you. You voting for me, too? :)

  33. I'm always saying the dishes and laundry can wait. For many reasons, but one primary one - to hang out with the kids...

  34. My house was never as clean as my mother or sister thought it should be. I was too busy doing things with my kids to clean, too. I took the to the park, was team mother to countless teams they were on, was the Girl Scout leader for 8 years. We slept in the living room every Friday night so we could wake up watching the cartoons on Saturday morning (this was before the cartoon channel). We had "un-birthday" parties, cookouts in the back yard over a fire ring, and camped out on the deck. All the while, dust and cobwebs gathered in the house. Do my kids remember a nasty house? nope. They remember a Mom who did things with them.

    Keep doing what you are doing. Yep, all that cleaning will wait for a later date.

  35. I am sooo with you on the cleaning vs time with the kids thing. Love it! Working full time, I will ALWAYS take playing or even just snuggling wiht my kids over vacuuming, dusting or doing dishes. IMO it's more important. I also had a house on the market for a while with kids and it's a CHORE! I did enough picking up and putting away that I am defin using the carryover in the new house. Any clutter can stay in a moving box for a while.