Nine kids. Mess. Yes. I have a few experiences that really bring it home for you.
My friend will probably be embarrassed about me posting this but I just have to do it. I am trying hard to be open and honest with you. So here it is. My children had a play date with these friends and our neighbor one time. They stacked all of the outside toys into one corner of the yard. The kids had a blast and I thought nothing of it. Later, at their house one of the kids said “Mom, I wish we could play junk yard in our backyard like we do at the Wilsons.” Gotta be proud!
If that does not paint a good enough picture, here is one more for the books! A friend was talking about passing out invitations for his party. He said “Well, I can give the Wilsons two in case they lose one. Their house is a dump.” OUCH! I told my kids about this today. No, it wasn’t very nice of him to say it and he didn’t do it to be hurtful. The sad part is – he is right. No matter how hard I try to keep things clean, there are nine little people coming behind me and messing it up!
Our children have chores and they know how to do them well. Do they? Yes, when we totally fuss at them and force them to do it. On a regular day, heck no – I tease this is a halfway house! So yes, we are dealing with a mediocre level of clean here. Bedrooms – that is probably where the term “dump” is coming from. They are a mess. There are at least three kids in the room and that is a lot of clothes, shoes and whatever else they take in there. Somehow we neglected to teach the boys that clothes can actual stay IN the dresser and that they are a whole lot easier to find that way! The loft/playroom – again, there are things to organize the stuff with and every time I go in there I clean. I go in with the littles for preschool and there is no room on the floor. So I clean. There goes preschool – maybe tomorrow – but the same thing happens. Today we just did it in my room.
I have another good friend who really gets it. She gave me the best idea ever – raise the children then burn the house down and start all over! Probably not – I want to have a fun house for the grandchildren. So in my defense – my house is cluttered – we have 11 people in a 2100 square foot house. But it is not filthy. (Well, maybe the kids’ bathroom. I usually break down and clean it for them to give them a higher standard to start).
So moms out there. You aren’t alone. The only time I have had a really clean kitchen was when the older kids were little and I had a gate to keep them out! But everyday I strive to improve something. Last week, I taught one of the kids that it is not okay to drop toothpaste in the sink and leave it! Especially if they use my bathroom! Like the country song says “You’re Gonna Miss This”. Well, maybe not the clutter but the cause of the clutter we will! So hang in there!