A little poem for your wall....

One of my life’s greatest frustrations is my desire to keep my house "company-ready, magazine-clean" all the time. I work at it – I stay up late staying on top of it. And I have a really cool flylady schedule that keeps me decluttering and deep-cleaning in a different “zone” every week.

But why in the world doesn’t anybody come over when my whole house is clean?

Instead, my house fills up on Sundays and Wednesdays when I’ve been doing church and school projects and trying to fit the baby’s socks on the 5-year old and getting 3 and a half heads of hair fixed and diaper bags packed and 40 fingernails clipped. I faithfully wash dishes – lots of them! But anytime anyone drops over, there seems to be a sink (or two) full.

Tell you what……You’re all invited to come over on a Friday or Saturday evening after my “Home Blessing” when the whole house is tidy at the same time.

Really, though - David can vouch that one of the top things I agonize over is people seeing my house when it is in its “lived-in” state. Bills on the desk. Dishes in the sink. Toys on the floor. Crumbs on the table. But nobody bothers to look under my bed and comment how nice it looks without any dust or clutter (I’m in the master bedroom zone this week.)

So this morning when I couldn’t sleep, it dawned on me that I have GOT to come to terms with the fact that I am going to live in a sometimes or often messy house for the next 10-15 years! We’re constantly training our kids to clean up after themselves (who would know!). I work hard at keeping house and will continue. But spending quality time with them and having a happy mama are so much more important than impressing you. Why can’t I get that through my thick skull?

One reason is that I’ve been deeply hurt by gossip, so I don’t trust people to be kind anymore. The other reason is that all of your houses seem to be so company-ready when I come over! The other reason is that I’m just more peaceful when everything is put away. But I’m trying to learn that I have got to accept that the days of babies and diapers and toys come with a large dose of realness.

So I wrote this poem for myself and my guests…..my first step in coming to grips with my real house. I plan to frame it and hang it in a prominent place in my entryway. Enjoy! :)
____________________________________________________
Our House
Our house is clean - we sweep and dust
and put away and mop
But it is rarely perfect
from bottom to the top!

You see, we’re busy living here -
We read and dance and sing
And give our hands to little ones –
the most important thing!

So if it gives you worries
that you see things on our floor
You may just want to turn around
and walk back out that door!
I'm in a paranoid mood (probably because it's 11:18, I'm still up trying to get things done, I'm behind on my sleep and I left my vitamins and happy pills in Cincy at my mom's), and I've always tended to apologize all over myself. So here go my disclaimers for the night.
#1 The purpose of this blog is NOT to gripe about visitors. I LOVE friendly visitors. Please visit me. (Call first so I can throw everything in a laundry basket and light a candle real quick. Thanks, Char, for this great advice.)
#2 I do not always (or ever) have a perfect house. Nor is it a junkyard. It is real. It is lived-in. It is happy.
#3 I'm sorry if you're offended or grossed out because I said p**p on the internet in a recent post.
#4 I'm sorry if I wear you out by my real-life posts. I'm really a very happy person and enjoy life immensely. But I tend to want to share my thoughtful thoughts if I ever think some. Not in any way trying to hang out "soiled laundry", as they say.
#5 I'm sorry for saying I'm sorry so much. : )
#6 I have a friend who shares my affinity for apologizing. When he was little, he worked out a system with his family. He'd go from one to the next saying "BEEP....BEEP" They understood that it was shorthand for: "I'm- sorry- for- anything- I- said- or- maybe- did- that- I- shouldn't- have- today."
BEEP.....BEEP

Comments

Valorie said…
OK. I agree, Sarah. Yeah. Uh-huh. No one comes unexpectedly when it's ready.....is that like Murphy's Law or something? Liked the poem.
Ronda said…
You are so funny! I enjoyed the poem. I love to keep a clean house too...It is such a great feeling to have everything "perfect"{almost, anyway!)but EVERY MOM knows just how difficult this is when you have little ones(our precious gifts from God)...Just remember--the years with our children go by so fast ... My Mom has reminded me of this! And hey, cleaning is absolutely not as fun as laughing, playing, dancing or reading with your kids! God is continuing to teach me to be more flexible! (smile) Hope that you all are doing great!(Just a thought....Shouldn't people call first? ha!)
Carrie said…
Ha! You are officially invited over to my house at any time, because I know you won't notice the laundry piled all over the couch, homework all over the kitchen table, shredded cheese melted onto the stove, tire chips from the school playground all over the floor, "dust me" written on the coffee table, dishes in the sink and legos strewn in the playroom! You'll simply be there to visit me.

This post has given me a warm fuzzy feeling this evening!
Anonymous said…
My mother-in-law always said to a distressed me, "I didn't come to see your house, I came to see you". Bless her heart, I believed her too!
Advice from the "empty nest". When they (our precious gifts) are grown and gone, they won't remember if the house was always clean and tidy, but they WILL remember the "dancing, singing, playing and the "happy parents". Enjoy this phase in your life. Always appreciate your blog.
Julie W said…
I too have the same problem I want my house to be CLEAN all of the time but...it's not! AND I am learning that everyone with kids has a messy house at times!!! Relax! We are all in the same boat!
So, drop by anytime just give me a warning first.Ha!
Julie
Peggy B. said…
You all make me feel soooo much better. Here I thought it was just me and the "battle" of the house.
Angie Davis said…
Okay, so the battle of the messy house is pretty much universal. The next time you start feeling bad about your place, just stop by my house and open the door to the closet at the top of my stairs. If the avalanche doesn't kill you, you'll feel SOOO much better! :)
Beth Stetler said…
Amen to wanting a clean house.
Amen to wanting people to call first! BEEP!
You're the bomb! BEEP!
Love Ya
Beth
Liz said…
Can I have a copy?

Love it!
Lizzy
Sarah,
I love the poem. May I copy/paste/credit you/print?
It was so nice to hear you sing Friday night. (Homecoming) It brought back some great memories.
Jody J said…
Love the poem and totally identify with the fact the no one stops by when the house is clean. I've thought of that so many times. I get the house clean and just wish so badly that someone would drop in . . . then, 10 minutes later they do. There are toys strewn through the living room already and snacks out on the kitchen table with a trail of crumbs on the floor . . . . (sigh) A woman's work is never done! :)
Sure, Dixie - feel free to copy/paste/print. But mercy me, no need to credit... Knock yourself out.
tacomom said…
Wow, I'm feeling very outnumbered. I HATE to clean and REALLY wish I could do something to change that little detail about me. Maybe I should pray about it :) But I don't iron, so can't pray over the clothes :)
Kim M. said…
I can so, so, SO, RELATE to this post. I am constantly COMPARING myself to other PERFECT moms who I just know their houses are always perfect. I always think I am the only one. It is so refreshing to see your post and then read all these comments!
I love the poem!!!! It would be perfect for my door! Thanks for being real.
Bev said…
I know exactly how you feel. I always strive for a clean house all the time but when its clean no one drops by, but you sure can count on them coming by when your up to your ears in dishes, laundry and a sundry of other mom things.

Love your blog, I feel so connected to those I knew from GBS just by reading their blogs.

Bev Warning(Holloway)
Valorie said…
Sarah,

the "beep...beep" is great. I identify that struggle.
Deanna said…
I love you sis! Someone recently came to my house and stared pointedly at something that had spilled on the cabinets... Love their hearts, they need a ministry!
You know what God reminded me about people like this? They already have their reward. It's their perfect home - here on earth. Mine will come later....

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