Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Noon Report: A Guilt-Ridden Mother



Ever since my return from the LDS Storymakers Writers Conference, I have been spending hours and hours every day on my laptop. I've been spending the majority of my time writing and editing, therefore some of my normal daily chores got pushed aside.

The first things on the list to go were cleaning and vacuuming each day. Then dishes began stacking themselves not only in one sink, but in both sinks before getting put into the dishwasher. Finally, came the comments from my kids, “Mom, I don't have any clean jeans left.” And another from my hubby, “Honey, are there any clean whites?” Both of these came about a day apart—and of course, as they are trying to get ready for the day with no time to throw a load into the washing machine.

Before you think I'm a terrible wife and mom, I should tell you that my hubby and I talked about this before I re-prioritized my schedule. As always, our family comes first—so getting everyone to school and preschool, soccer and track, talent show practices, etc. That all stayed into our schedules like they had been previously. Together, my hubby and I figured out all the logistics of how to keep our family going and try to keep our house in order. And we agreed that if things got messy, we'd just shrug our shoulders and wait until our family chores on Saturday mornings to get everything back in order. My hubby has gone the extra mile by coming home from work and emptying and folding the clothes that were in the dryer, then throwing in a new load.

But sometimes there's a kink thrown in. Like last week, my hubby had a very demanding work schedule. I remember him leaving for work on Monday . . . but don't remember seeing very much of him again until Saturday morning. It's weeks like this that our house goes haywire, clothes go missing, and we scramble to find clean plates for dinner.

This morning, I took a really good look at my house. I realized the bathrooms hadn't been cleaned for a month—which is totally scary considering the three boys who use them. For some reason, my sons can't just stand there and go potty. No. They think it's too boring. So they like to see how many designs they can make in the water before their ammo runs out. Which leads to very yucky toilets and bathroom walls. There was dirt tracked all across our playroom floor. Apparently some kiddios haven't been taking their shoes off when they come in the house like they're supposed to. Another rule to remind them of, especially now that spring is in full effect and they are constantly in and out of the house.

After taking status of my house, I looked over at my laptop and yearned to open it up. But instead guilt kicked in and took over. I marched up the stairs, filled my bucket with cleaning supplies, grabbed the vacuum, and got to work. I deep cleaned the playroom, the stairs and entry way, the dining room, and especially all three of our bathrooms. And I completed it all before high noon.

As a reward, I pulled out some pizza for lunch. Mmm . . . the best thing about burning all those calories is replenishing them with something very yummy.

Of course, having most of my house sparkling again is a great reward too. I just wonder how long it will last once my two oldest get home from school.

8 comments:

gsd4de said...

I am glad you posted this. It sounds like your house is running about the same way mine is--including the running kids to soccer and track. I think I don't mind that as much because my car is cleaner than my house most days. So even though I'm in the car shuttling everyone everywhere, I still find it a nice break from the guilt of having not finished cleaning the kitchen from breakfast that morning--or forgetting that load of laundry--or for shutting the bathroom door instead of just getting in there and cleaning.
I read a cartoon that said: It is easier to apologize for a mess than to clean it up. I like that.
:)

Danyelle Ferguson said...

De -

Another mom like me! Yay!

You know, sometimes I get my best writing done when I'm in the van waiting for my kids. Fifteen minutes with my Dana or a note book and pen can work wonders. I don't know what it is about driving that brings out the creativity in my brain, but it does.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Several years ago, when I was doing the single mom thin and therefore trying to hold EVERYTHING together, my dad asked me why I couldn't keep my house clean. I glared at him and said, "Because it takes me three hours to clean it up, while the kids can return it to its former state in five minutes." He never mentioned it again.

Too bad it's like feeding kids...the job is never done.

Kellie Buckner said...

I feel better about my own household chores neglectfulness now! Mine is half from writing and half from just being plain tired of being pregnant. I'm trying to force my body into labor and the baby isn't cooperating.

Tristi Pinkston said...

You cleaned all those rooms before noon? I always knew you were Wonder Woman . . .

Hey, I just tagged you.

http://tristipinkston.blogspot.com/2008/04/tis-season-to-tag-tristi-fa-la-la-la-la.html

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Wow - such great comments.

Stephanie - You go, girl! It's awesome you stood up for yourself instead of feeling more guilty and beating yourself up. My mom was a single mother, too. Since having my own kids, I've finally come to appreciate how much she really did to keep everything together and work a full time job. She's truly my hero and who I try to live up to. :)

Kellie - Girl, your prego. You have the best excuse out there for having a messy house! No need to feel guilty. You are doing the absolute best you can. I am an advocate for putting up your legs and letting those ankles rest. Who needs a clean house? :)

Tristi - Wonder Woman? Nah. Just determined. I'll be over to check out the tag.

Kim Thompson said...

I bet it feels great to have it clean again. With six kids, I'm right there with you. We have a sign hanging up that says "Our home is clean enough to be healthy, but dirty enough to be happy."

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Kim -

I love that! I may have to make a wooden sign like that and hang it in the playroom!

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