Does this story sound familiar to anyone? Can you recall a time when you went to bed and your kitchen was clean? Do you remember what the bottom of a clothes hamper looks like? Do you recollect the days when you would do things like dust the furniture or mop the floor?
Once you have kids, many of these things go out the window. You tell yourself that after the baby gets here it will be busy but you will not be like those other mothers whose houses look like a blown-up toy factory. You tell yourself that you will be able to take care of a baby, keep your house clean, cook a five-course dinner every night, look like a supermodel everyday and continue to rid the world of crime!
Then, the baby arrives. You are entranced! You are enraptured! How could anything be so perfect?! You fall into love instantly with that sweet little baby who fills your heart with so much love and joy. You would do anything for this little one. You change their diapers, comfort them when they are upset, hold them just to snuggle, wake up for middle of the night feedings, hold them with one arm and eat/pay bills/brush your teeth/tie other kids shoes/do the dishes with the other arm. You are exhausted!
Now, at one point or another, you look around your house and see the clutter. You think to yourself 'Wow, this place is really messy'. You also think to yourself 'I am so stinking tired'. You debate with yourself for about 30 seconds as to what to do. Screw it! Sleep wins out and the house remains as it was. A complete and total disaster zone.
You make yourself feel better by saying to yourself 'This will only last for a little while. When the kids get bigger and I have had more sleep, I will be able to bring my house back to the glory days.' Only, once the kids get bigger, they can walk now, therefore they are like tiny tornadoes, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.
So, yes, you are sleeping through the night, but now you have to make sure they don't climb up the stairs, eat the rocks out of the fireplace, chew on the markers or stab themselves in the eye with brother's drum sticks. In other words, you are even busier than you were before.
Now, maybe you are one of those moms who are in the 1% who spend lots of time with their kids AND have an impeccable house. Good for you! If I had a hat on, I'd take it off to you. For those other moms in the 99%, who are like me, you can't have both. Or you can, but you will have to let something go, like sleeping.
I once read somewhere that kids will remember the time you spent with them, not that their house was dirty. I sure hope this is true. I am not perfect but I do try to put my kids and my husband first and to cuddle with them as much as I can. I also try to keep the house clean but that seems very low on my priority list these days. Like say, it's at number 132 on the list.
I think I should amend the the story above. Let's add: "They all lived happily ever after in their modest castle, playing among the dust bunnies and sharing in their love for one another."