Sometimes Cleanliness Is Not Required for Happiness

This morning I woke up to Manly’s hungry cries.  I took him out, changed him, and rocked him, hoping he would fall back asleep.

I guess not.

This morning I held Manly as I worked out.  He giggled, I smiled, we had fun.

Working out is a lot harder while holding a chub-a-lub.  Maybe that’s a good thing.

This morning I fed the Queen breakfast.  She ate all her cereal and promptly poured the milk all over the table.

Great, now the table’s messy.

This morning, the Queen emptied out all her toys, the desk drawers, the bookshelf, the kitchen cabinets, and 2 water bottles.  She had fun.

I wonder if this house can get any messier?

This afternoon, I took the Queen and Manly on a long walk.  They fell asleep to the rhythmic bouncing of the stroller.  I pondered the mysteries of the universe while enjoying the lovely weather.

I wonder if we will have a drought this summer because of the lack of snow?  Oh, look at that mom and her cute baby!  It sure is peaceful out here. I think I should do this more often.

This afternoon, I nursed Manly to sleep and unintentionally fell asleep myself.

I should get up and……

This afternoon, I washed the dishes as the Queen emptied out the cupboards I had just rearranged.

Perhaps I should start cleaning after she goes to bed.

This evening, I made delicious dinner, messing up the clean kitchen.

Oh, well.  Entropy is a scientific fact–the proof is in my apartment.

This evening, after the kids went to bed, Mr. B cleaned the house for me.

I love this man!

Today, routines were broken and new routines decided upon.  Today my house was messy and cleaned again. (And again and again….)  Today I was frustrated and close to tears, looking at my messy house.

Then I read Becca’s thoughts on routines.  I laughed at her familiar examples and cried over poignant description of broken routines.  I recognized that I am not alone in my frustrations.  And I smiled.

Yes, the Queen has refused to take a nap for 3 days straight.  I have been pulling my hair out!

Tonight, I can’t stop smiling.  Even though Manly has cried on and off for the past 2 hours, refusing to sleep, I try to remember that it will not always be this way.  Soon, he and the Queen will be too big to fit on my lap.  I will fondly remember this time.

I will look back with gladness,  happy that I made the most of this time.



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16 responses to “Sometimes Cleanliness Is Not Required for Happiness

  1. Nicki

    Enjoy it while you can! All too soon, the tables will turn and life will be all too routine.

    • Is life really routine when your teen shows up with a tatoo? : )

      Thank you for the reminder, Nicki! I know how experienced you are with this!

  2. Luckily I learned to disconnect my happiness from spotless house early on in my parenting career. I could either spend the time with the kids or with the house. I try to keep the house part to the basics (which still take way too much time!)

  3. Amber, I love the way you capture the internal monologue so many of us must share. There’s the action of the house and then there are the thoughts running through our heads – almost like two separate lives going on at once.

  4. Cleanliness and order? Overrated. I would choose the magical mess, the compelling chaos, the darting of thoughts and flashing of smiles any day.

    Great post.

  5. I often have to reconcile a dirty house or an unwashed head of hair with a smiling face or contented hug of satisfaction from the kids. It’s hard to not have a magazine-worthy home, but much easier when you remember what really matters.

  6. Mess? Consider it a sign of healthy priorities and a creative household. Short of domestic help (or elves), kids = mess. As long as you can FIND them, you’re good.

  7. Routines are made to be broken…some things are much more important than a clean house. Glad you guys enjoyed yourselves.

  8. You have a routine? Hmm, I’m afraid naps are the only routine thing around here… sometimes. =)

  9. Wise beyond your years, my dear!

  10. Loved this! Can so relate to the shoulds being pushed aside…

  11. “I will look back with gladness, happy that I made the most of this time.”

    Yes. You will. You really, really will.

  12. Amber, I was so happy (for like ten minutes) on Saturday night. My house was spotless, waiting for a party to start. Then there was the party. Then there was the mess after the party that’s just, like, impossible to clean. Then the kids start encroaching on the mess with their mess. Soon I’m back to a wreck.

    I do know that as they head into adulthood, they will remember that in our house they were always free to be kids.

  13. I can’t imagine that there is a single mother anywhere who has not felt the same at one time (or a hundred). Glad the day ended well!

    • Motherhood is demanding, hard, and absolutely rewarding. Some days I just want to sit down and cry, and other days I am all smiles.

      Thank you for visiting! Now that my guy is better I will be getting around to blogs again, can’t wait to hop on over to yours!