The bar for cleanliness in my home has been set very high.
No more than ten toy items on the living room floor at one time. All dishes should be rinsed and placed directly in the dishwasher after use. Pots and pans must be washed immediately after cooking. The table and counter must be cleared and wiped after every meal. The floors should be swept, mopped and/or vacuumed once a week. The dirty laundry baskets should be kept below half full. All clean laundry must be folded and put away within a day of drying. Beds need to be made every morning. Bedrooms should be tidy at all times. All family members must bathe at least every other day. Each child must be read to and played with individually for fifteen minutes at least once per day.
These have been my real expectations. I fail every day.
Daily failure makes me feel like I stink at momming and, therefore, hate it! But why is this the accepted bar height? Who set it? Who decided this is the definition of a mom who's allowed to feel good about herself?
Think back on past experiences. Growing up, how did your friends' homes look when you'd visit? I'm talking about the friends who had moms you thought were awesome. As an adult, how do the homes of your friends look when you visit for play dates? All of these moms I have and do admire have one thing in common: clean, tidy, fresh-smelling homes. BUT, there's something we've been missing all of these years—something we haven't noticed. Know what it is? Every one of those homes smell like cleaning products! They've recently cleaned because they knew you were coming!
Do you ever show up to those women's homes unannounced? Maybe a few of them really are that clean. But, for the most part, I'd venture to say they're not. Come knock on my door any day of the week and you'll see that the floor holds more like 78 toys, the dishes from dinner last night and the night before (don't judge me!) are still on the table and it's been three days since our last baths. So, if this is the norm, why don't we lower that bar of cleanliness so we can succeed?
A more realistic bar would allow for dishes in the sink and on the counter, vacuuming once a month, living out of the clean laundry baskets, bathing the entire fam twice a week and smiling at your kids at least once a day. That way, you feel like a success every day because you're always meeting the bar! And, I'll bet that when you like yourself, you might want to do a little more, which will make you think you're even MORE awesome (because you are).
So, let's lower that bar of cleanliness, rock that mess and enjoy life as successful mommas.