Forgiving myself for being messy…


Cleaning has never really been a priority for me.  My mother will attest to that one.  I remember arguing with my parents as a teenager.  I told them I shouldn’t have to clean my room because it’s my room, and since I have to live in it – it could be messy if I wanted it to be.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

In college, all my roommates yelled at me for not doing the dishes right away.  My side of the room was usually okay though.  It seems like every week or so I would have to take time to put all my clothes away from the week before.

When I had my own apartment, since it was a small studio, I tried to keep it more tidy.  I don’t like clutter or feeling like I’m a hoarder.  But I have a high threshold for a mess.  And thankfully, so does my husband.  I’m so glad he doesn’t put pressure on me to clean.  I think his threshold is even higher than mine.  He is also very helpful around the house.  The other morning I woke up to a lovely clean apartment – he mopped and everything when I was sleeping!

Sometimes I feel guilty that the apartment isn’t more organized.  I want to get rid of more stuff, so it’s not so cluttered.

Since we have a storage problem, we have to keep some boxes of books and important papers underneath the dining room table – which we never use anyway.  Except as a junk collector.  We usually eat at the pub table an chairs closer to the kitchen.

But here’s the thing – I constantly remind myself that I’m not a victim.  No one else messes up our place, and I CHOOSE to spend my time doing other things.  Cleaning is not at the top of my priority list.  Especially after becoming a mother.  I’d rather play with Zoe, go on an adventure, or just relax.  I forgive myself for a less than clean apartment.  And in the end, it’s okay.

I used to have some mini-freakouts when it got really crazy.  Or before we had guests over.  But lately, I’m trying to manage everything a little bit better.  Once in a while, we hire someone to clean.  But I also prefer to prioritize our budget differently.

Obviously, there are some things that just need to get done.  And they do, eventually.  It’s not like we have garbage all over the floor.  And the dishes get done, most days.  But I can’t stress about it.  There are more important things in life.

In the end, we all have choices.  As parents, we can’t do it all.  I do my best – work, laundry, dinner.  When it comes down to it, we have to decide what is going to get done.  A sparkling clean house just isn’t on my list most days.  Sure, I like it when it’s clean.  But guilt and shame are never beneficial!

Is cleaning at the top of your priority list?  What else do you give up to keep it clean?

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