I truly hate the term “HOUSEwife”! Excuse me, but I did *not* marry a house! I married a man.  I refuse to be ball-and-chained to a pile of wood.  And don’t even get me talking about submitting to it!

I have found, however, that as a stay-at-home-mom, I can sometimes get confused about my duties and start to believe it’s all about taking care of the home.  No, it’s about taking care of the inhabitants of that home. And keeping a nice environment for those inhabitants is indeed one of my duties.  Gotta keep those priorities straight.

With that said, I love a clean house. I savor clean floors. The smell of melaleuca “Rustic Touch” furniture spray and Murphy Oil wood floor soap is better than any processed smell on the candle/air freshener grocery aisle.  When I remember my childhood, some of my best moments were “Pledge Moments”. Since my father was a college professor and my mother was a social butterfly, we entertained often.  All three of us would work all day to make the house perfect…Daddy would vacuum, Mom would clean the kitchen and I would dust the furniture. Then we would sit. We would sit and smell the pledge (they weren’t enlightened about Melaleuca) and wait for our guests to arrive.  The anticipation and satisfaction mixed to create wonderful, warm memories.

When my children were small I discovered www.flylady.com and although she is as irritating as heck, she helped me figure things out. Go ahead and check her out for a few weeks and then cancel your subscription because you will get so you hate to check your email.  Give special attention to creating a control journal. After a few weeks with flylady, you’ll feel intense guilt if your sink is dirty and you’ll feel naked if you’re not wearing shoes.

I try to have “Cleaning Day” on Mondays and the kids and I crank up the music and get to work. They know how to mop and clean bathrooms and scrub mirrors! I know how to command….(and clean right there next to them). Throughout the week we have “pick up” times and I sweep and the kids help with the garbage cans and such.  I stay on top of my kitchen at all times. By Saturday, the house is pretty filthy but I am able to relax through the weekend knowing that Monday is coming.

One day Joe came home and reported to me what he had heard on “Focus on the Family” radio straight from the mouth of Dobson himself. ..Dobson was talking about homeschooling and he was warning husbands about having too high of expectations regarding the house.  Homeschool moms are in that house…with their children…*all* the time! There is no way it is going to stay clean…even if it is cleaned often.

My sister who does not have children visited a few months back and I could tell she was getting a bit flustered as the house became more and more of a shambles so we all chipped in and picked up. Soon after we were sitting in the clean living room for a few minutes and Lydia came in with a toy. My sister looked at her and said, “NO! No, PLEASE don’t get out a toy!” My child looked at her in confusion and terror.

Yes, Sister, welcome to my world!


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