My Beef With Moms These Days

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I feel like I’m reading the same blog entries all over the internets.

I don’t want to clean my house, and I don’t care.

I’m not going to help out at school and I am OK with it.

I don’t want to be organized and that’s fine.

And in reality, all that is fine.  Nothing will fall apart if those things don’t happen.  BUT, should you really be OK that your house is a sty?  Don’t you feel SO much happier with a clean house?  Do you really mean to say that you can’t find 10-20 minutes each day to put stuff away and just be a bit more organized?  And I’m not here to put guilt on people whose house isn’t clean.

I think my friend Lara hit the nail on the head (as she always does, did I mention I adore Lara?) in this entry.  It’s the guilt that isn’t OK.  If your house isn’t clean — do you really need to feel GUILTY about it?  No!  You haven’t broken a commandment, your day was possibly extra hectic, or your baby has learned how to take ALL the books off the shelf in one fail swoop… there’s no guilt needed.

But there should be an attitude that maybe that’s just no OK for every day.  Maybe you hope that tomorrow it will be better, especially as you pick up your shreds of the day after going to bed (as Maryanne put so nicely here).

Maryanne, in fact taught a great sunday school lesson on Sunday about Isaiah — who I usually find almost as bad as my statistics class at 3 pm (the only class I actually ever slept through, sorry mom).  I love how she wanted us to really apply it to ourselves.  We talked about how we can more abundantly feel the spirit in a home that is clean and organized, which I totally agree with.  Of course, it’s also more abundantly felt in a home where the mom isn’t screaming at her children…. but I digress…

Anyway, I’m kind of tired of the blogs about how you don’t have to do this or that and that’s fine, especially when I find those things very close to my heart — like helping out in classrooms, or teaching your children.

So, I challenege you to make every day a little bit better than before.  There’s no guilt involved and it’s obviously a constantly evolving process, but try to do whatever you can to make the world a better place and then tomorrow, try a little harder.  Because as Annie once put so eloquently, “The sun will come out tomorrow….”  And your house will also be messy. :)

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  1. says

    I definitely went through a phase like this. Where I just decided that I had too much on my plate and I let my house go.

    It lasted a long time and when I finally made it to the other side of that I can see that we are all a lot happier when we live in a clean house.

    But I think the clean/unclean house is just a symptom of all the things we feel like we are falling down on.

    And we allow ourselves to use the rationale that there is a time and season.

    But I have to come realize that for some things…the time and the season is right now.

  2. says

    “Of course, it’s also more abundantly felt in a home where the mom isn’t screaming at her children…. “

    I truly find that I scream less when my house is cleaner. There’s something about it being all chaotic that just puts my emotions close to the edge. So for me, they definitely go together.

    I totally agree with everything you’re saying here. I understand that some days it’s important to lower the bar, but do we really want to live that way all the time?

    The thing that makes me crazy is when women who have chosen not to focus on the housekeeping part of their life get all judgy and snarky about those who have, like we’re neglecting having fun with our kids to spit polish our baseboards. I like a clean baseboard as well as the next person, but I have more fun doing massive crazy art projects with my kids when we can actually find the art supplies.

    And yay, I’m glad you enjoyed Isaiah. :)

  3. says

    “And we allow ourselves to use the rationale that there is a time and season.

    But I have to come realize that for some things…the time and the season is right now.”

    I LOVE this.

  4. says

    I find myself in these cycles too. I think the only time I say things like “I don’t care” is when I feel like that day, I can’t care anymore. Or maybe that week. Ultimately I think everyone has to goal to be the best we can be. I’m sure most of us understand that our best does not mean cereal for dinner every night.

    Is there a way around the guilt? The guilt because I really, truly want to go to bed with a clean house, but that just doesn’t always happen.

  5. says

    Warning: Stereotype ahead.

    People who have to say that “I don’t care” after professing their house is dirty really mean “I feel so guilty about having a dirty house that I’m going to post it online and hope for validation from people that it really is okay.”

  6. says

    This is so weird, because as I was doing the dishes tonight I was remembering that talk by Sister Beck a while back where she encouraged us all to be a little bit better at our *gasp* homemaking.  The backlash after that talk was incredible to me. Women were so upset that Sister Beck had the nerve to be so bold as to encourage us to keep a clean house.  Wha-huh?

    Here’s what I think:  I think keeping our house clean and organized, our laundry folded, our dishes done – on top of all the other demands that fall on us as wives and mothers and in some cases, professionals, is a HUGE challenge. And with that challenge comes an even greater opportunity. An opportunity to develop patience. An opportunity to become a little more efficient and a little more organized with each new season of life. An opportunity to take pride in all that we have been given and show gratitude for those blessings, by taking care of those things – and then teaching that pride and gratitude to our children as they participate in making their home a place they can be proud of and can feel the spirit.  We learn to be a little less selfish as we consistently get our hands dirty rather than manicured.  We learn how to work day in and day out at the same thing that never ends and seems so insignificant, yet is so critical to the happiness of our family and our spirit.  In reality we are becoming more like our Father in Heaven – who’s cares about and attends to every seemingly insignificant and minute detail of all our lives day in and day out – in a perfectly organized and unselfish manner.

    I’m not saying we don’t need a GNO here and there,  or that we should skip reading to our kids at night so we can scrub the dishes. I’m just saying that a house cannot be a home if there is no homemaker.  And all who live in a home, such as one we are encouraged to keep, are greatly blessed – but none more than she who embraces her responsibilities and realizes that they are actually some of her greatest opportunities and blessings.

    Now having said that I should also confess that I am behind on my laundry and my bathroom is several days overdue for a cleaning.  But that is ok, because the point (and I believe this is the point Sister Beck was trying to convey) is not that our house should sparkle every second of every day, but that we do our best to make it a place where we are working to become more like our greatest Example, and can feel His spirit guiding us in all we do.  

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